A Russian Imperial Army unit that served in World War I, the Czech Legion contained volunteers of Czech and Slovak heritage who enlisted to defend their homeland. Russia’s Federal News Agency (FAN), underwritten by “Putin’s chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin, exclaimed: “Experts predict civil war in the United States following the presidential election.” Numerous spatial and temporal aspects of the Russian civil war make it difficult to clearly identify or even date precisely. Each hoped their regime would become an alternative Russian government, gaining the support of other counter-revolutionaries, as well as recognition and assistance from foreign powers. shipping: + $20.00 shipping . The communists, known collectively as the Bolsheviks, or Reds, sought to construct a new, collectivist society on the ruins of the old Russian Empire. There were also significant White forces in Siberia and the east (Kolchak) and in Russia’s north-west (Yudenich). It contains 179,175 words in 288 pages and was updated on October 10th 2020. He has taught Russian History and Military History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Several foreign powers who opposed the Bolshevik regime also contributed troops, weapons, supplies and intelligence to the Whites. The Russian Civil War was one of the most fateful of the 20th century's military conflicts, a bloody three-year struggle whose outcome saw the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime within the former Russian Empire. The treaty inflicted deep humiliation on the country that people thought it was better to fight the Germans, but the Russian army had been disintegrated. Other, lesser fronts also flared up from time to time. Publisher: Alpha History By late 1918, World War I had come to an end and nobody wanted to commit large troop numbers to another major conflict. This made communication, collaboration and combining forces difficult if not impossible. As a result, the Whites failed to win support from the people or present themselves as an alternative to the Soviet regime. Given the extremely small armies that the contending sides could muster following Russia’s withdrawal from the First World War, it was also a war of wide-ranging maneuver, certainly when compared to the trench warfare of the latter conflict. As a consequence, foreign troops began withdrawing from Russia in 1919. British, French and American units were all sent to various Russian ports to support White forces while Japanese troops occupied Vladivostok in the east. Richard W. Harrison helped translate part of the official Russian history of the 1918 to 1921 Civil War. Yet another White government was based in Arkhangelsk, a White Sea port city, 700 miles north-west of St Petersburg. Russian Civil War Summary The treaty of B-L provided the context for the Civil War. The civil war was fought mostly by Russians loyal to (or forced to fight for) Lenin's communist Bolsheviks against a motley collection of militias known as … In November, a group of Cossack officers, encouraged and backed by the British, arrested the Ufa executive and forced them into exile. The Russian Civil War (1918-21) was a long struggle for the control of Russia. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Russian Civil War – Inside the Murky Conflict that Shaped the 20th Century militaryhistorynow.com - By Richard W. Harrison. The Russian Civil War of 1917-1920, out of which the Soviet Union was born, was one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. This site is created and maintained by Alpha History. Date accessed: December 29, 2020 The communist program also had an inherently broader appeal to the impoverished masses. Not true. The Civil War was fought on several fronts by different leaders and groups, each with different political ideals and objectives. After taking power, Kolchak issued a statement outlining his aims: “…the organisation of a fighting force, the overthrow of Bolshevism and the establishment of law and order, so that the Russian people may be able to choose a form of government in accordance with its desire and to realise the high ideas of liberty and freedom.”. Although most of the war was over by 1920, it took until 1922 for the Bolsheviks, who held the industrial heartland of Russia from the start, to crush all opposition. This book offers an account of the first phase of the civil war that followed the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd in 1917. Behind the White armies emerged a political movement, a loose coalition comprised of monarchists, liberals, non-Bolshevik socialists and disgruntled peasants. Rather it was a national war that pitted a reborn Polish state against its former Russian overlords, who appeared this time in the guise of social revolution. By the end of June 1918, counter-revolutionaries controlled most of the railway and with it, all of Siberia. →. Anti-Bolshevik Russian soldiers in 1919. Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson Immediately after the two Revolutions of 1917, the Civil War broke out in the former Russian Empire. With the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, the Bolsheviks became not just traitors to the war but a political threat to democratic-capitalist nations. The Whites also lost important generals at critical times, such as Kornilov (killed in battle in March 1918) and Kolchak (executed in January 1920). By the autumn of 1919, they controlled a huge swathe of territory from the Polish border to the Volga. The peace agreement ceded large parts of the former empire to the Germans and their allies. A loose confederation of a… The Provisional Government of the Northern Regions, as it was known, was headed by Nikolai Tchaikovsky, though it recognised the supremacy of Kolchak and his government. There were other groups not aligned with the Bolsheviks or Whites who fought for their own objections, such as regional interests, political autonomy or independence. Canadian troops of the Siberian Expedition, 1919. Russian Civil War, (1918–20), conflict in which the Red Army successfully defended the newly formed Bolshevik government led by Vladimir I. Lenin against various Russian and interventionist anti-Bolshevik armies.. Russian Civil War: Seeds Of Conflict. US Involvement in Russian Civil War 1918-1920. Some foreign powers were chiefly interested in protecting resources previously lent to Russia. The family of Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, who had been deposed when the communists came … These White regimes were backed and assisted by foreign governments, particularly the major Allies, though they were reluctant to become directly involved in the Civil War. The Bolshevik victory ensured the supremacy of the Russian Communists in the nascent Soviet Union. 3. The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921: An Operational-Strategic Sketch of the Red Arm. Abraham Lincoln – President, Emancipator… and Tyrant? They were geographically scattered and separated by vast distances. These groups included monarchists, militarists, and, for a short time, foreign nations. The Second Russian Civil War was a civil conflict primarily based in Russia, Eastern Europe, the parts of Central and Southwest Asia and the large areas in the Middle East. This new government, the Ufa Directorate, was led by a five-man committee, three of whom were Socialist-Revolutionaries. The Civil War was born of anti-Bolshevik activity following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the closure of the Constituent Assembly and the revolt of the Czech Legion. German and Russian soldiers mingle on eve of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918. Kolchak’s arrest and execution in February 1920 was an important turning point, while the retreat of Wrangel‘s army from southern Russia in November 1920 marked the Bolshevik victory in European Russia. By the time of his assassination four years later, he had claimed more prerogatives than any president…Read …. The Magazine Basic Theme by bavotasan.com. He also was an exchange student in the former Soviet Union and spent several years living and working in post-communist Russia. The Red Army was an army of communists. These short-lived White governments were based in Ekaterinburg, Novorossiysk, Priamuraye, Pskov, Sevastopol and Transbaikal. It was a brutal conflict that produced terror, war crimes and human suffering on catastrophic levels. Like other internecine conflicts, the Russian Civil War was marked by periods of confusion and great division, shifting loyalties and intense propaganda. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). After losing the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) to the alliance of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire, Russia faced another challenge a few years later. 1. URL: https://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/russian-civil-war/ The Russian Civil War was to tear Russia apart for three years – between 1918 and 1921. So hard, in fact, that it led to the end of the Russian Empire. The book is published by Casemate. Russian Revolution memory quiz – events 1907-1916, Russian Revolution memory quiz – events 1917, Russian Revolution memory quiz – events 1918-1924, Russian Revolution memory quiz – revolutionaries, Russian Revolution memory quiz – tsarists, Russian Revolution memory quiz: concepts (I), Russian Revolution memory quiz: concepts (II), Russian Revolution memory quiz: events 1906 to 1913, Russian Revolution memory quiz: events 1914 to 1916, Russian Revolution memory quiz: events to 1905. It difficult to pinpoint a definitive end to the Russian Civil War. Before taking an in-depth look at the continuity between the two conflicts, we need to first establish the boundaries of this multifa… These fronts alternated in significance throughout the war, with the Reds sometimes attacking and sometimes defending. The Origins of the Russian Civil War. This phase began with the Whites’ second offensive along the Eastern Front, which pushed the Reds back nearly to the Volga. The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражда́нская война́ в Росси́и, tr. Opposition began to grow and intensify into a fully-fledged counter-revolutionary movement. By May 1918, the Legion was distributed along the Trans-Siberian Railway but found itself unable to move due to transport shortages and Bolshevik red tape. That the Whites used similar methods to the Bolsheviks did not help their cause. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window), a broad spectrum of counterrevolutionary political currents, Russia’s withdrawal from the First World War, a national war that pitted a reborn Polish state against its former Russian overlords, The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921. While resistance to the Red Guard began on the very next day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the political ban became a catalystfor the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime. On May 14th, the Legion began to rebel, killing several Bolsheviks and seizing control of Chelyabinsk, a town not far south of Ekaterinburg, where the former Tsar Nicholas II and his family were being held. 4. Strictly speaking, the Polish front had nothing to do with the civil war and its emphasis on class forces. At first, the Poles made good progress and even captured Kiev after a brief campaign. Many White generals, while capable soldiers, either had political ambitions of their own or distrusted those of their fellow White commanders. They were joined by other groups, including former tsarist officers and loyalist militias. World War I was very hard on the Russian Empire. It drew in many disparate political and military groups, nationalist movements and social classes. The size, strength and leadership of these White armies varied considerably. Free shipping . However, the Reds themselves were soon driven out by the advancing German army, which occupied the territory later that spring as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. 1. Polish soldiers gathered to repel the Red Army, 1920. Here the beleaguered White forces managed to hold out and even expand the area under their control until a determined Red offensive in October-November 1920 forced them to abandon the Crimea and evacuate the remnants of the White army to safety abroad. All of this was just a prelude to the decisive year of 1919. By Jennifer L. Weber WHEN ABRAHAM LINCOLN TOOK OFFICE IN MARCH 1861, the executive branch was small and relatively limited in its power. Swain, Geoffrey. In contrast, the Red Army, though not without its own problems, contained five million soldiers at its peak and was tightly disciplined. Copyright: The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. The catalyst for the outbreak of civil war was an uprising by Czech Legion. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). In the first half of 1919 the main fighting was in the east. Set during the Civil War between the Reds and the Whites that followed the 1917 revolution in Russia Director: Nikita Mikhalkov | Stars: Yuriy Bogatyryov, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Sergey Shakurov, Aleksandr Porokhovshchikov Votes: 2,644 6. Various fronts of the Russian Civil War, 1919. The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. At the same time, Russia’s former allies – Britain, France, the United States and Canada, among others – landed forces at Murmansk and Archangel, thus opening a front in this area. An Operational-Strategic Sketch of the Red Army’s Combat Operations, ← The Battle of Cannae – How History’s Greatest Victory Inspired Generals for 2,000 Years, The Mystery of U-853 – All U-Boats Had Orders to Surrender; Why Did This One Attack? Leaders in White-controlled regions also resorted to grain requisitioning to feed their soldiers and conscription to fill their ranks. $65.11. Soviet propaganda promoted the idea that a White victory would be a return to the ‘old Russia’, a prospect that terrified most Russians. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Southern Front exploded in the spring of 1919 as well, with the irruption of the White armies out of the North Caucaus. The war began in Ukraine and south Russia during the winter of 1918, where scratch forces of Red Guards – the predecessors of the Red Army – quickly dispersed the feeble anti-communists in the area. By autumn the Red armies were deep in Siberia and finally halted at Lake Baikal by the winter of 1920. Russian Civil War (1918–20), conflict in which the Red Army successfully defended the newly formed Bolshevik government led by Vladimir Lenin against various Russian and interventionist anti-Bolshevik armies. Citation information The Reds counterattacked the motley Whites in April and soon threw them back in what soon developed into a general offensive along the entire front. The Bolsheviks and Soviets also maintained control of Russia’s industrial heartland, most of its major cities and its significant ports and railways. Rarely did foreign units directly engage the Bolsheviks on their own. Foreign powers also intervened in Russia in an attempt to force the collapse of Bolshevism. Date published: August 15, 2019 At this critical juncture the Poles carried out a masterful turning movement, which sent the Reds reeling back again into Belorussia and Ukraine before the conclusion of peace, as a result of which Poland was awarded considerable territory in the east. For more information, visit our FAQ page or Terms of Use. The Bolshevik mission was to establish a soviet socialist republic across Russia. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use. The struggle pitted two irreconcilable parties against each other. Their opponents, which included a broad spectrum of counterrevolutionary political currents, were known as the Whites. Main article: October Revolution (Central Victory)In the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Party directed the Red Guard (armed groups of workers and Imperial army deserters) to seize control of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg), and immediately began the armed takeover of cities and villages throughout the for… The Russian Civil War by Mawdsley, Evan, 1945-Publication date 2007 Topics History - General History, History, History: World, Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union, Revolutionary, History / General, Military - General, Russia (Territory under White armies, 1918-1920). The Whites advanced rapidly at first and even captured Kazan’, along the Volga River. Meet the Landsknechts – 10 Wild Facts About the Most Murderous Mercenaries of the Renaissance, Bloodletting – The Deadliest One-Day Battles in Military History, Broken Bombers – How the U.S. Military Covered Up Fatal Flaws in the B-47 Stratojet with Disastrous Results, P-47 Thunderbolt – 11 Fast Facts About Republic's Rugged Fighter Plane. Richard W. Harrison helped translate part of the official Russian history of the 1918 to 1921 Civil War. 1983 Civil war and military intervention in the USSR Encyclopedia Russian Book . One is that the Bolsheviks, for all their problems, fought with a clear political objective and unity of purpose. 5. Some misguided historians believe the US intervention in the Russian Civil War was an imperialistic adventure. The most significant groups involved in the Civil War were the Bolsheviks and their Red Army, and a loose coalition of anti-Bolshevik groups known as the Whites or White armies. Most foreign powers refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Bolshevik regime, dealing instead with White generals in exile. Fighting intensified in the summer of 1918, when the action spread to the eastern periphery of the Bolsheviks’ territory. By Richard W. Harrison. This is a basic overview of the Russian Civil War, so I've excluded quite a lot. In September 1918, these two bodies merged and relocated to the city of Ufa. There was opposition to the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution but it intensified after the closure of the Constituent Assembly (January 1918) and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918). The largest of these White contingents was Anton Denikin’s Volunteer Army in southern Russia, which at its peak in mid-1919 numbered around 40,000 men. Origins of the War: Reds and Whites Form The Russian Civil War began with widespread resistance to the new Bolshevik order. $78.13. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). 2. This civil war is often said to have started in 1918, but bitter fighting began in 1917. The main fighting was between the Red Army and the White Army. Coincident with these events, the Red forces in the northern Caucasus fought to crush a small group of Whites. The Russian Civil War was a three-year struggle for control of Russia, fought by the Bolshevik Red Army, counter-revolutionary White armies and other non-aligned forces. In 1863… The outcome of the conflict had a profound effect on the lives of millions of people within the country and abroad for the next 70 years. The Whites armies, with a higher percentage of trained officers, had the initial qualitative advantage, but were outnumbered by their enemies, who possessed an ultimately decisive quantitative advantage due to their retention of the most populous recruiting base of European Russia. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). Ultimately, the political divisions and military problems of the White movement, along with the Bolsheviks maintaining control of European Russia and its industrial centres, allowed the Bolsheviks to secure victory in 1921. The White armies fought as separate units and were unable or unwilling to coordinate their strategy or offensives. The Russian Civil War (November 1917 – October 1922) was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the Russian Revolutions of 1917, as … This essentially concluded the Russian civil war, although there remained isolated centers of resistance in Central Asia and the Far East. THE RUSSIAN CIVIL War, which ended 100 years ago with the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime in the former Russian Empire, was one of … 2. This gave them better access to infrastructure, communications and supply lines. After this coup d’etat, command of the government passed to Alexander Kolchak, a former tsarist naval commander. The Whites, in contrast, were not sure what they wanted to create. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this site without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Kolchak advanced in the Urals and had attained his greatest success by April. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). Here, the Whites made their most serious attempt to take Moscow and overthrow the Soviet government. The Whites were also unsuccessful in capturing the Bolshevik stronghold of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad). Ufa fell in June, and Kolchak’s armies retreated through Siberia, harassed by partisans. Swain provides the reader with a picture of the extraordinarily complicated developments that init… This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. How and why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War? Tensions between Czech Legion soldiers, who were impatient to travel, and hostile Bolshevik officials began to escalate. However, by the end of 1922 Soviet power had been effectively established throughout the country. The Russian Civil War was a civil war fought from November 1917 until October 1922 between several groups in Russia. He later earned his doctorate in War Studies from King’s College London. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The two largest combatant groups fought over the control of Russia’s political future: the Red Army, known as the Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin’s leadership, and the White Army which had foreign influence. An Operational-Strategic Sketch of the Red Army’s Combat Operations, the third part of a three-volume official Russian history of the conflict. There had been opposition to the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution but this intensified after the closure of the Constituent Assembly (January 1918) and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918). These phony historians pick out certain facts and ignore others to give you an inaccurate view of what really happened. Each of these White governments had some kind of military force under its command. The Civil War saw the formation of White armies and governments in different locations around Russia, particularly in the north, southern Russia and Siberia. This Russian Revolution site contains articles, sources and perspectives on events in Russia between 1891 and 1927. The White Army opposed the communists. The war was also a struggle of immense spatial scope and at one point the front stretched some 8,000 kilometres in European Russia. It erupted in the wake of the October Revolution and the Bolshevik closure of the Constituent Assembly. The Russian Civil War was a pervasive and often intense conflict. Foreign military intervention was lukewarm at best. The Reds quickly set about building a new Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, albeit with a great deal of help from a large contingent of former Czarist officers. Richard W. Harrison was a co-editor and translator of The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921. The Poles chose to attack in Ukraine in the spring of 1920 as Soviet Russia lay nearly prostrate following two years of civil war. Copyright © 2020 MilitaryHistoryNow.com. However, a determined counteroffensive soon threw them back to their starting point just west of the Ural Mountains. The Whites were also politically divided and the quality of their leadership was inconsistent. Title: “The Russian Civil War 1918-21” The civil war occurred because after November 1917, many groups had formed that opposed Lenin’s Bolsheviks. Finally, the German defeat in the autumn of 1918 caused them to evacuate Ukraine and the Reds quickly moved in to fill the vacuum. The war comprised three main fronts: the Eastern, stretching from the middle Volga to Lake Baikal in Siberia; the Southern, which encompassed most Ukraine and southeastern Russia, and; the Polish, which covered the territory from the newly-independent Baltic States to the Romanian border. Here is the whole story. However, the Red Army’s counteroffensive around Oryol and Voronezh finally drove their overextended forces back to the Crimean peninsula by the spring of 1920. Two of these first White governments were formed by Socialist-Revolutionaries: the Provisional Siberian Government, based in Vladivostok, and the Committee of Constituent Assembly Members, formed in Samara. The Bolshevik propaganda campaign was also more successful. Hope everybody can follow this. In the weeks that followed, the Czech Legion continued its revolt against Bolshevik authority, seizing control of towns and stations along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Their victory can be attributed to several factors. All Rights Reserved. The Russian Civil War was a large conflict over the former Russian Empire.The collapse of the Russian empire in 1917 triggered a complex series of interlocking conflicts that lasted into the 1920s and are estimated to have cost 13 million lives, mostly civilian victims of famine and of the massacre and depredation practiced by all sides in the Civil War. To tsarists, liberals, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries alike, the Bolsheviks had not only betrayed the promise of a democratic government, they had also betrayed Russia to the German Kaiser. Harrison earned his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Georgetown University, where he specialized in Russian Area Studies. White disorganisation and disunity was another factor. These foreign interventions, launched by Allied nations at the end of World War I, generated significant controversy. On April 28 the Red Army’s counteroffensive began. Neither side possessed an army when the fighting began, the old imperial army having collapsed during the revolutionary upheavals of 1917. To tsarists, liberals, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries alike, the Bolsheviks had not only betrayed the promise of a democratic government, they had also betrayed Russia to the German Kaiser. London: Longman, 1996. They had little in common other than their opposition to their Bolsheviks. These included the northern front, along the White Sea; the northwestern, encompassing the Baltic States and the approaches to the Reds’ Petrograd bastion; the north Caucasus, extending from the lower Don River to the Caucasus Mountains, and; the Turkestan, which covered all of Central Asia. There were several other White governments that lasted just a few weeks or months before collapsing, fleeing the Red Army or merging with other governments. The Russian Civil War began with growing resistance to the Bolshevik regime that seized control of Russia in October 1917. While the Red Army and the Cheka unfurled terror against potential counter-revolutionaries, the Whites also used it willingly against anyone suspected of supporting the Bolsheviks, including civilians, the elderly, women and children. Red Victory: History of the Russian Civil War … The 'Russian' Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years That Shook the World by Jonathan Smele Paperback $21.95 Customers who viewed this item also viewed Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Between the winter of 1917-1918 and the spring of 1921, forces that had been contained for too long were unleashed and fuelled political, ethnic and geographical (between cities and the countryside) discord – all of which were exacerbated by the First World War. THE RUSSIAN CIVIL War, which ended 100 years ago with the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime in the former Russian Empire, was one of the most fateful struggles of the 20th century, yielding perhaps only to the two world wars in its significance. THE RUSSIAN CIVIL War, which ended 100 years ago with the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime in the former Russian Empire, was one of the most fateful struggles of the 20 th century, yielding perhaps only to the two world wars in its significance. Even date precisely foreign troops began withdrawing from Russia in an attempt to force the collapse of Bolshevism out. Followed the Bolshevik victory ensured the supremacy of the Red Army ’ s north-west ( )... War and its emphasis on class forces the revolutionary upheavals of 1917, the Red Army ’ s Operations! Soviet power had been effectively established throughout the War was fought on several fronts by different leaders and,... 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Ural Mountains claimed more prerogatives than any president…Read … White Army an attempt to take Moscow and overthrow Soviet... Studies from King ’ s Bolsheviks Ekaterinburg, Novorossiysk, Priamuraye, Pskov, Sevastopol Transbaikal. Significant White forces in the northern Caucasus fought to crush a small group of Whites catalyst the! On the Russian Civil War was an exchange student in the Russian.. Retreated through Siberia, harassed by partisans the Russian Civil War is often to. Launched by Allied nations at the end of the Russian Civil War broke out in the summer 1918... ) and in Russia in October 1917 White Sea port city, 700 miles north-west St... Army having collapsed during the revolutionary upheavals of 1917, the Polish had... Territory from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited comprised of monarchists, militarists, and Bolshevik.
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