Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935), the head of state (and veteran revolutionary), intended to create a Polish-dominated federation of states including Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belarus (all of which had historical links with Poland and significant Polish minorities). Contrary to the opinion of many historians, it was the actions of the Central Powers which were the most significant “foreign intervention” in Russia. Leon Trotsky, representing the Bolsheviks, refused at first to sign the treaty while continuing to observe a unilateral cease-fire, following the policy of "No war, no peace". The role of foreign interventionists and the Polish invasion had also allowed Moscow to play the nationalist card. The Soviet government used extreme measures in the face of popular dissatisfaction with living conditions and political opposition to the Communist dictatorship. Parallel offensives pushed west through Minsk in Belarus, and across western Ukraine. [1] Vladimir Lenin's political enemies attributed that decision to his sponsorship by the Foreign Office of Wilhelm II, German Emperor, offered to Lenin in hope that, with a revolution, Russia would withdraw from World War I. The number of horses fell from 35 million (in 1916) to 24 million (in 1920). 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. Brovkin, Vladimir: Behind the Front Lines of the Russian Civil War. Bolshevik control was initially confined to a few urban centres. [14] The German and Austro-Hungarian armies began a hasty withdrawal, creating a vast power vacuum, most importantly in Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic region. The skirmish that took place near Kazan was an early test of the new Red Army, a force which had originally been established to defend the western and southern frontiers against the Germans. As for the “Entente”, the British refused to provide military aid, while the French were unable to do so. Baltic States: It was the precipitating event of the Russian Civil War. The second was the attempt by peripheral regions of the Russian Empire to break away. Kenez, Peter: Civil War in South Russia, 1918. [1] The peasant-oriented Socialist-Revolutionary (SR) party, especially its leaders, was prepared to support the Provisional Government. In addition, pro-German factions fought against the newly independent Baltic states until their defeat by the Baltic States, backed by the victorious Allies. Allied intervention before November 1918 had included a political (“counter-revolutionary”) motivation, but its role above all had been strategic and anti-German. Meanwhile Kolchak’s army endured a long retreat east along the Trans-Siberian railway, harried by partisan bands, riddled by typhus, and subject to the extremes of the Siberian winter. [9] He was able, through a combination of revolutionary rhetoric and harsh punishment to rally the Red forces. Russian Civil War Quiz. The consequences of this have ricocheted down the decades to the present day. Pearce, Brian: How Haig Saved Lenin, New York 1987. The admiral had been the energetic wartime commander of the Black Sea Fleet but had resigned because of the power of the revolutionary committees. In mid-December 1919 a withdrawal was organized by Walter von Eberhardt from Lithuania to East Prussia, finally back on German soil. Communist social and economic policies, such as the confiscation of gentry land, brought significant popular support, and the Party developed an effective propaganda apparatus. To the east the vastness of Siberia was controlled by the Czechoslovaks. Prompted by fears that they were about to be disarmed by the Soviet authorities and probably encouraged by Allied advisors, the Czechoslovaks mutinied. The 8th Party Congress in March 1919 was a significant moment, in which the Party declared that its aim was to create a social base among the “middle peasant” (seredniak) majority, an essential source of military conscripts and food. Russia’s role in the Civil War was more palpable than just expressing diplomatic support. In the course of 1918 conscription became the main means of recruitment (coupled with various anti-“desertion” measures). Over a four-year period 20 countries battled in a crucible that would give birth to Communist revolutions worldwide and the Cold War. This was intervention was picking up from the Eastern Front against the newly set up Russian Republic. Firstly, the Allied victory radically altered the strategic geography. A “state conference” was organised in Ufa, between the Volga and the Urals, in September 1918. Auction currency was USD (US Dollar). Velychenko, Stephen: State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine. When Kolchak arrived in Omsk in October 1918, he was prevailed upon to become War and Navy Minister of the PA-RG, and two weeks later a coup, carried out by local Cossacks and with the approval of local British military representatives, gave him dictatorial power. [13] It was to the advantage of the Communists that “their” territory - north-central and eastern European Russia - was the most developed part of the country as well as the location of many of the military assets built up during 1914-17. Suddenly in early March 1919 the Siberian White armies launched an offensive through Ufa back towards the Volga. A Comparative Study of Government and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922, Toronto 2011. [6] As a condition for peace, the proposed treaty by the Central Powers conceded huge portions of the former Russian Empire to the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire, greatly upsetting nationalists and conservatives. The Tsar’s abdication was followed by the creation of a Provisional Government in Petrograd, based initially on the Tsarist State Duma. [6] The Germans installed a Ukrainian nationalist government in Kiev. Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922, Cambridge 2008. Although not yet a force claiming “All-Russian” authority, they were headed by the elite of the Tsarist World-War high command. It was divided on regional or political grounds and had limited military forces, mainly the foreign soldiers of the Czechoslovak Corps. See Foglesong, David: America's Secret War Against Bolshevism. The Russian Empire had been in a mixed situation in the early stages of the war. It was forced to take refuge in the empty steppe in an epic “Ice March”. Omsk fell in November 1919. To suggest, moreover, that even the short-lived British and French intervention represented a new departure in armed international politics is unconvincing. Denikin had commanded an army group in 1917. One way to look at the ebb and flow of the Civil War in 1919 (and 1920) is as a series of attacks by a coalition of hostile forces again revolutionary Russia. Kolchak’s train retreated east to Irkutsk, where the admiral was handed over by his Czechoslovak bodyguards. The German Empire created several short-lived satellite buffer states within its sphere of influence after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: the United Baltic Duchy, Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, Kingdom of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland,[8] the Belarusian People's Republic, and the Ukrainian State. The mutiny of the Czech Legion transformed discontent in Communist-held territory into renewed 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… by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-08. 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. [20] In the end, the poorly co-ordinated Red thrusts were fended off, and by October 1920 the two sides were not far from the line they had held six months earlier. The decisive Polish victory resulted in the establishment of the Russo-Polish border that existed until 1939. The direct involvement of the French Army ended with this fiasco. General H.C. Bickford Memorabilia‎ > ‎ Quotes from the Russian Civil War "Our poor country is fighting at an extraordinary hard conjuncture of an unparalleled war and internal problems such as we have never seen before, and only a strong Governmental power able to rely on the confidence of the nation can save it." Superimposed on these three conflicts were outside forces, the Central Powers and the Allies, which tried to exploit the situation in Russia to their advantage. Causes. Under Soviet rule Cossack communities ceased to function as administrative units. The reds wanted their absolute power to remain intact; Whites where made up of many different powers including: The foreign powers led by the generals: Wrangel,Yudenich and Denikin. 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). An anti-Bolshevik government (the PA-RG) - “democratic” and powerless, but claiming national authority - existed in Omsk. The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918-1923, Pittsburgh 2011. Some were based on conservative former army officers further outraged by the capitulation of Brest-Litovsk. Rat’kovskii, I. S.: Krasnyi terror i deiatel’nost’ VChK v 1918 gody [The Red Terror and activities of the VChK in 1918], St Petersburg 2006. The Antonov Movement in the Russian Civil War, Pittsburgh 2007. The Russian Civil War was a deadly war in the country for the casualties reached 7,000,000 to 12,000,000 people. Badcock, Sarah: Politics and the People in Revolutionary Russia. The Allies, especially the British and French, could give direct support to Russian elements which had been “loyal” to them during the World War. The Russian Civil War that followed is a horrifying story of savage carnage and obscene violence. Numerous spatial and temporal aspects of the Russian civil war make it difficult to clearly identify or even date precisely. They were, in practice, comprised of ad hoc groups opposed to both the Bolsheviks, and sometimes each other, and were outnumbered and overstretched thanks to controlling a smaller population over a huge area. January 1919- Troops from most Allied nations, who are more abundant after the end of World War I, are sent to Russia to fight with the Whites against the Bolsheviks, largely in Siberia through the Eastern city of Vladivostok. The Communists won the Civil War because they had a social and economic programme that enabled them to attract and keep mass (if not majority) support and because they combined this with powerful instruments of force in the form of the Red Army and the Cheka. List of Red Army battles in the Russian Civil War, listed alphabetically with photos, images, and maps when possible. The Poles claimed that their attack was pre-emptive and meant only to protect their borderlands from attack. 58-83. The First Year of Soviet Rule in Petrograd, Bloomington 2007. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. By January 1920, with non-Russian nationalities and Muslim Jadidists, the Bolsheviks won the war. Worsening economic conditions, however, created social turmoil. The Russian Civil War suffocated the revolution, destroyed democracy, and cleared the way for Stalinist dictatorship. The results of the civil war were momentous. The British did not send troops, however they did begin to ship in equipment and supplies. With the Austro-Hungarians, the Germans were moving deep into the Ukraine, and with the Turks they were establishing a position in the Transcaucasus. Even with the entry of Romania into the war Russia could not push back. The Soviets viewed the treaty as merely a necessary and expedient means to end the war. Not only one must see alliances, but analyze the reason behind the different formations of different factions. Hagen, Mark von: War in a European Borderland. The best biography is now Service, Robert: Trotsky. Allied fleets could now operate in the Baltic and Black Seas, not only the Far North and the distant Pacific. Blog. Those in southern Russia formed the core of the White armies there, and about 30,000 fled Russia with the White armies. Historical and chronological depiction of how formed the first volunteer Latvian Riflemen battalions and their battles in World War 1, Latvian war of independence and Russian civil war… While most of the background information focuses on the achievements and final victory of the Red Army, other sectio… The Soviet goal became the destruction of the bourgeois Polish state and an advance into Germany - spreading the revolution with the bayonets of the Red Army. They were angry because Lenin had left the war and they wanted Russia's debts to be repaid. The political and social forces that emerged in Russia between March and November 1917 produced the rival factions in the Civil War. He stressed the possibility of revolution in war-weary Central Europe, the consolidation of popular support for the soviets and the danger that the Provisional Government might stabilise itself through the proposed Constituent Assembly. Slower to emerge were political groupings of the empire’s ethnic minorities. Causes and Impacts of the Russian civil war. 168-211; Sanborn, Joshua: Drafting the Russian Nation. [2] However, after the military fiasco of the summer offensive (June 1917) by the Russian Provisional Government, and in particular after the failed summer offensive of the Provisional Government had devastated the structure of the Russian Army, it became crucial that Lenin realize the promised peace. It examines the appearance of competing centres of power, the attempt of those centres to mobilize support, and the ultimate victory of the Communists. This was the unintended consequence of the actions of all the belligerents – the Reds, the Whites, and the Great Powers. Very different forces were being created far away in the North Caucasus. Russian Civil War - Rarities Auction №3, 2019 by Oldlouis Auctionswas held inUnited States, City Lake Oswego. Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921, Cambridge 2002. This is an apt description. A full discussion of Trotsky as a military leader remains to be written. The Bolshevik victory ensured the supremacy of the Russian Communists in the nascent Soviet Union. Some two thousand miles away the victorious Allies divided the territory of south Russia into two “spheres of influence”, a French one in Ukraine and the Crimea and a British in the North Caucasus. [17] The Communists also benefitted from the scare that followed Kolchak’s “Ufa offensive” - the consolidation of the Red Army. DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.10489. The Communist government in Moscow was able to maintain control over central Russia in 1919-1920 partly because it was more sensitive to popular demands than were its White enemies. Soviet demographer Boris Urlanis estimated total number of men killed in action in Civil War and Polish-Soviet war as 300,000 (125,000 in the Red Army, 175,500 White armies and Poles) and total number of military personnel died from disease (on both sides) as 450,000. A Provincial History, Cambridge 2007, examines regional developments using Nizhnyi Novgorod and Kazan as case studies. With this began civil war. The main base of operations of these new armies was in the Baltics fighting in the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian War of Independence with the goal of maintaining German supremacy in the region. It examines the appearance of competing centres of power, the attempt of those centres to mobilize support, and the ultimate victory of the Communists. 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. [11] The Second Polish Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia formed their own armies immediately after the abolition of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty and the start of the Soviet westward offensive in November 1918.[12]. 6 essential time management skills and techniques The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. The result was a remarkable federal structure, although with a tightly unified Communist Party at its core. Bullock concludes that in total between 7 and 14 … Attempts by the anti-Bolsheviks to create a rival authority to Moscow had little success. The overall aim of these Marxist internationalists had been to transform the “Imperial” World War into a European revolution. (Smaller White forces also advanced on Petrograd from the direction of Estonia). is licensed under: CC by-NC-ND 3.0 Germany - Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works. While the civil war both banks and industries were kept nationalized. His authority was “White” - Russian-nationalist and militarist - unlike the more broad-based Komuch and PA-RG.[16]. 6 essential time management skills and techniques Russia’s remote location, the strength of the victorious Allies, and the recovery of conservative forces in Central Europe left the socialist experiment isolated in a backward country devastated by internal conflict. The development of the Red Army was especially important. Mawdsley, Evan: International Responses to the Russian Civil War (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. The consequences of this have ricocheted down the decades to the present day. (eds. [4] Other places rejected the authority of the new government, among them the army headquarters at Mogilev (in Belarus), the Cossack (kazak) territories of eastern and southern Russia, and some regions - notably in Ukraine - where a rival claim to power was based on national self-determination.[5]. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. List of every major Russian Civil War battle, including photos, images, or maps of the most famous Russian Civil War battles when available. In reality the American role in Russia was small. ", Spring 1919 counteroffensive of the Red Army, Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine, British Campaign in Central Asia (1918–20), Ural Cossacks March from Fort Aleksandrovskoe to Persia, Red Army War Crimes during the Russian Civil War, White Army War Crimes during the Russian Civil War, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Central_Powers_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War&oldid=996546908, Military operations involving Austria-Hungary, Military operations involving the Ottoman Empire, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 06:51. After Russian Empire collapsed, the independence movement took place. [5], On 16 December 1917 an armistice was signed between Russia and the Central Powers in Brest-Litovsk and peace talks began. The Russian Civil War dramatically changed the fabric of Russia. The British had an easier task on “their” stretch of the Black Sea coast, as a relatively firm authority had been established in the Don and Kuban Cossack lands, with the supportive presence of the Volunteer Army. Direct action by British, French, American, and Japanese military forces in 1918 was confined to occupation of remote ports in the northern parts of European Russia and of Vladivostok on the Pacific. There were no open advocates of monarchist restoration, but senior figures from the State Duma, the Imperial bureaucracy and - especially - the army officer corps were dissatisfied with their marginalisation and with the breakdown of the old economic and social order; they also feared the consequences of Russia’s possible defeat in the World War. : the origins of Russian territory differences, the Whites, and Polish. 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