The Civil War was fought on several fronts by different leaders and groups, each with different political ideals and objectives. All of this was just a prelude to the decisive year of 1919. 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 main fighting was between the Red Army and the White Army. Richard W. Harrison was a co-editor and translator of The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921. The civil war occurred because after November 1917, many groups had formed that opposed Lenin’s Bolsheviks. 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. The Russian Civil War was a civil war fought from November 1917 until October 1922 between several groups in Russia. Like other internecine conflicts, the Russian Civil War was marked by periods of confusion and great division, shifting loyalties and intense propaganda. Publisher: Alpha History 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 treaty inflicted deep humiliation on the country that people thought it was better to fight the Germans, but the Russian army had been disintegrated. That the Whites used similar methods to the Bolsheviks did not help their cause. The Russian Civil War, 1918-1921: An Operational-Strategic Sketch of the Red Arm. The family of Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, who had been deposed when the communists came … 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.”. Finally, the German defeat in the autumn of 1918 caused them to evacuate Ukraine and the Reds quickly moved in to fill the vacuum. 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… shipping: + $20.00 shipping . Immediately after the two Revolutions of 1917, the Civil War broke out in the former Russian Empire. The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражда́нская война́ в Росси́и, tr. 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. 1. The White armies fought as separate units and were unable or unwilling to coordinate their strategy or offensives. This book offers an account of the first phase of the civil war that followed the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd in 1917. 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. Origins of the War: Reds and Whites Form (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. In November, a group of Cossack officers, encouraged and backed by the British, arrested the Ufa executive and forced them into exile. $45.00. 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. They were joined by other groups, including former tsarist officers and loyalist militias. 1. 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. So hard, in fact, that it led to the end of the Russian Empire. Copyright: The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. However, the Red Army soon struck back in both Ukraine and Belorussia and by early August were approaching Warsaw itself. The Russian Civil War began with widespread resistance to the new Bolshevik order. The size, strength and leadership of these White armies varied considerably. 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. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). Free shipping . 1. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). They had little in common other than their opposition to their Bolsheviks. 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. By the time of his assassination four years later, he had claimed more prerogatives than any president…Read …. 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. 5. 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. In contrast, the Red Army, though not without its own problems, contained five million soldiers at its peak and was tightly disciplined. Kolchak advanced in the Urals and had attained his greatest success by April. 4. It erupted in the wake of the October Revolution and the Bolshevik closure of the Constituent Assembly. World War I was very hard on the Russian Empire. A loose confederation of a… Various fronts of the Russian Civil War, 1919. The Russian Civil War was a pervasive and often intense conflict. 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. He also was an exchange student in the former Soviet Union and spent several years living and working in post-communist Russia. Swain, Geoffrey. Richard W. Harrison helped translate part of the official Russian history of the 1918 to 1921 Civil War. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). The Bolshevik mission was to establish a soviet socialist republic across Russia. This Russian Revolution site contains articles, sources and perspectives on events in Russia between 1891 and 1927. The Whites were also politically divided and the quality of their leadership was inconsistent. (Image source: WikiMedia Commons). 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. Swain provides the reader with a picture of the extraordinarily complicated developments that init… US Involvement in Russian Civil War 1918-1920. 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. Polish soldiers gathered to repel the Red Army, 1920. By Jennifer L. Weber WHEN ABRAHAM LINCOLN TOOK OFFICE IN MARCH 1861, the executive branch was small and relatively limited in its power. He has taught Russian History and Military History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The struggle pitted two irreconcilable parties against each other. One is that the Bolsheviks, for all their problems, fought with a clear political objective and unity of purpose. Ufa fell in June, and Kolchak’s armies retreated through Siberia, harassed by partisans. Here, the Whites made their most serious attempt to take Moscow and overthrow the Soviet government. 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. This gave them better access to infrastructure, communications and supply lines. The collapse of the Tsarist regime and the failure of the Kerensky Provisional Government nearly led to the complete disintegration of the Russian state. The Whites advanced rapidly at first and even captured Kazan’, along the Volga River. 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. By Richard W. Harrison. Foreign powers also intervened in Russia in an attempt to force the collapse of Bolshevism. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use. 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. The White Army opposed the communists. There were also significant White forces in Siberia and the east (Kolchak) and in Russia’s north-west (Yudenich). 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. It drew in many disparate political and military groups, nationalist movements and social classes. Foreign military intervention was lukewarm at best. These foreign interventions, launched by Allied nations at the end of World War I, generated significant controversy. The Bolshevik propaganda campaign was also more successful. 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. $65.11. 1983 Civil war and military intervention in the USSR Encyclopedia Russian Book . The Bolsheviks and Soviets also maintained control of Russia’s industrial heartland, most of its major cities and its significant ports and railways. The Whites were also unsuccessful in capturing the Bolshevik stronghold of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad). As a result, the Whites failed to win support from the people or present themselves as an alternative to the Soviet regime. Their opponents, which included a broad spectrum of counterrevolutionary political currents, were known as the Whites. The book is published by Casemate. 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. 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). 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. In the first half of 1919 the main fighting was in the east. 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. German and Russian soldiers mingle on eve of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918. 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). 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. By autumn the Red armies were deep in Siberia and finally halted at Lake Baikal by the winter of 1920. This civil war is often said to have started in 1918, but bitter fighting began in 1917. 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. Not true. The Bolshevik victory ensured the supremacy of the Russian Communists in the nascent Soviet Union. Other, lesser fronts also flared up from time to time. These fronts alternated in significance throughout the war, with the Reds sometimes attacking and sometimes defending. This new government, the Ufa Directorate, was led by a five-man committee, three of whom were Socialist-Revolutionaries. 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.” All Rights Reserved. Rarely did foreign units directly engage the Bolsheviks on their own. 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. 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. 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 … Abraham Lincoln – President, Emancipator… and Tyrant? These groups included monarchists, militarists, and, for a short time, foreign nations. Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson Leaders in White-controlled regions also resorted to grain requisitioning to feed their soldiers and conscription to fill their ranks. This made communication, collaboration and combining forces difficult if not impossible. Harrison earned his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Georgetown University, where he specialized in Russian Area Studies. Date published: August 15, 2019 Copyright © 2020 MilitaryHistoryNow.com. Central Powers intervention in the Russian Civil War consisted of a series of multi-national military expeditions starting in 1918. 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. 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. However, by the end of 1922 Soviet power had been effectively established throughout the country. This site is created and maintained by Alpha History. The Poles chose to attack in Ukraine in the spring of 1920 as Soviet Russia lay nearly prostrate following two years of civil war. 3. 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. 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. Some foreign powers were chiefly interested in protecting resources previously lent to Russia. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Origins of the Russian Civil War. As a consequence, foreign troops began withdrawing from Russia in 1919. It contains 179,175 words in 288 pages and was updated on October 10th 2020. 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 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 communists, known collectively as the Bolsheviks, or Reds, sought to construct a new, collectivist society on the ruins of the old Russian Empire. URL: https://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/russian-civil-war/ For more information, visit our FAQ page or Terms of Use. 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. 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. These phony historians pick out certain facts and ignore others to give you an inaccurate view of what really happened. By the autumn of 1919, they controlled a huge swathe of territory from the Polish border to the Volga. By late 1918, World War I had come to an end and nobody wanted to commit large troop numbers to another major conflict. In 1863… He later earned his doctorate in War Studies from King’s College London. Some of these groups established counter-revolutionary regimes, usually based in a particular city or region. They were geographically scattered and separated by vast distances. The peace agreement ceded large parts of the former empire to the Germans and their allies. 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 war was also a struggle of immense spatial scope and at one point the front stretched some 8,000 kilometres in European Russia. Date accessed: December 29, 2020 British, French and American units were all sent to various Russian ports to support White forces while Japanese troops occupied Vladivostok in the east. Strictly speaking, the Polish front had nothing to do with the civil war and its emphasis on class forces. These short-lived White governments were based in Ekaterinburg, Novorossiysk, Priamuraye, Pskov, Sevastopol and Transbaikal. How and why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War? The Russian Civil War (1918-21) was a long struggle for the control of Russia. Numerous spatial and temporal aspects of the Russian civil war make it difficult to clearly identify or even date precisely. At first, the Poles made good progress and even captured Kiev after a brief campaign. Anti-Bolshevik Russian soldiers in 1919. 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 … White disorganisation and disunity was another factor. The Whites also lost important generals at critical times, such as Kornilov (killed in battle in March 1918) and Kolchak (executed in January 1920). The Russian Civil War was to tear Russia apart for three years – between 1918 and 1921. Russian Civil War Summary The treaty of B-L provided the context for the Civil War. 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. 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. 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. Most foreign powers refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Bolshevik regime, dealing instead with White generals in exile. Their victory can be attributed to several factors. This phase began with the Whites’ second offensive along the Eastern Front, which pushed the Reds back nearly to the Volga. By the end of June 1918, counter-revolutionaries controlled most of the railway and with it, all of Siberia. Here is the whole story. It difficult to pinpoint a definitive end to the Russian Civil War. In September 1918, these two bodies merged and relocated to the city of Ufa. 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. Hope everybody can follow this. 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. However, a determined counteroffensive soon threw them back to their starting point just west of the Ural Mountains. The Red Army was an army of communists. 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