The Central Powers certainly made great demands: the demobilization of the Russian Army, the ending of revolutionary agitation, and the abandonment of Russian control of the Imperial periphery, including Poland, Finland, the Baltic region, Belarus and Ukraine (on grounds of national self-determination). This is an apt description. The Russian Civil War is the most important civil war of the 20th century, changing the lives of over half a billion people and dramatically shaping the geography of Europe, the Far East and Asia. It was the result of the German defeat in World War I, Polish nationalism sparked by the re-creation of an independent Polish state, and the Bolsheviks’ determination to carry the gains they had achieved during the Russian Civil War to central Europe. Causes. 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). 6 essential time management skills and techniques Unlike the “democratic” Komuch, the Volunteers can clearly be seen as a “White” (militarist-nationalist) movement. Lenin’s party - which renamed itself the Communist Party - was granted some weeks’ respite before the next period of the Civil War began. However, by 1917 Russia was on its back foot with Germany and Austria having lost Poland, Lithuania and parts of West Belarus. The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice. 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. The Germans now controlled the Baltic region, Finland, and Belarus, and many of their troops could be transferred to the Western Front. The Russian Civil War had three dimensions: The first was the struggle between the new Communist government and its organised “counter-revolutionary” opponents, in which the issues were primarily political and social. The Russian Civil War had a very bad effect on agriculture also. On December 1922, when the Soviet Union or USSR was created, the non-Russian nationals were given political autonomy. [3][4] Even before the failed summer offensive the Russian population was very skeptical about the continuation of the war. is licensed under: CC by-NC-ND 3.0 Germany - Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works. (Smaller White forces also advanced on Petrograd from the direction of Estonia). France sent a considerable expedition, which began to arrive in Odessa by sea in mid-December 1918. Komuch had only limited power. ", David G. Kirby, "Revolutionary ferment in Finland and the origins of the civil war 1917–1918. 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). With the Austro-Hungarians, the Germans were moving deep into the Ukraine, and with the Turks they were establishing a position in the Transcaucasus. The collapse of the Whites in South Russia and western Siberia in the spring of 1920 seemed to indicate that the Civil War was over. In mid-December 1919 a withdrawal was organized by Walter von Eberhardt from Lithuania to East Prussia, finally back on German soil. The Russian Civil War (1919-22) in contrast created refugees fron one emd of the Tsarist Empire to another. Parallel offensives pushed west through Minsk in Belarus, and across western Ukraine. The direct involvement of the French Army ended with this fiasco. Firstly, the Allied victory radically altered the strategic geography. After the defeat of the Central Powers, many armies that stayed mostly helped the White movement eradicate communists in the Baltics until their eventual withdrawal and defeat. The development of the Red Army was especially important. The Red Army had also been distracted by a final campaign against General Vrangel. Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921, Cambridge 2002. Velychenko, Stephen: State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. (The Japanese case was rather different. The Russian Civil War suffocated the revolution, destroyed democracy, and cleared the way for Stalinist dictatorship. A recent case study discussing Viatka Province, where the policies of Kolchak and Communists competed for peasant support, is Retish, Aaron: Russia's Peasants in Revolution and Civil War. To the east the vastness of Siberia was controlled by the Czechoslovaks. Section Editors: Boris Kolonit͡skiĭ; Nikolaus Katzer. Their action allowed uprisings of local anti-Communist Russian elements, which took control of the central Volga region and the communications backbone of Siberia. These conditions brought about the February Revolution and the creation of the Russian republic.The new republic did not fare any better and saw a continued stalemate. [21] The Communists were able to keep control, partly due to their monopoly of military power, partly due to the lack of the organised political leaders among the restless population, and partly due the effective abandonment of forced grain requisitioning following the adoption of the New Economic Policy. This text The number of horses fell from 35 million (in 1916) to 24 million (in 1920). Smele, Jonathan: Civil War in Siberia. 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. [10] This was achieved without help from the Allies. The sovereign states were established. As for the “Entente”, the British refused to provide military aid, while the French were unable to do so. In late 1919 it became clear that the Baltic States were going to be independent and the Western Front was coming to a close. 58-83. Despite profound political differences, the conservative politicians and generals in Berlin found Lenin’s weak and pliable government temporarily preferable to alternatives. Some were based on conservative former army officers further outraged by the capitulation of Brest-Litovsk. As a result, by the end of the civil war, the Reds were almost entirely Bolshevik. However, another confrontation erupted, which has been interpreted either as a third “Entente campaign” or as further Soviet aggression. While most of the background information focuses on the achievements and final victory of the Red Army, other sectio… [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]. It started at 09:00 AM PDT on 27, 2019. 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. The Russian civil war was not simply a conflict between Red communists and White monarchists; rather, it involved a complex intertwining of military, social and political issues that were created or exacerbated by the Great War. Rival underground forces survived the “triumphal march of Soviet power”. When the White forces found temporary refuge in the Crimean peninsula, Denikin was replaced by General Petr Vrangel (1878-1928). [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. List of every major Russian Civil War battle, including photos, images, or maps of the most famous Russian Civil War battles when available. The regiments were strung out along the railway system, from the Volga river crossings to the Russian Far East (along the Trans-Siberian railway). 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. Suddenly in early March 1919 the Siberian White armies launched an offensive through Ufa back towards the Volga. Bullock concludes that in total between 7 and 14 … This was transformed into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. By January 1920, with non-Russian nationalities and Muslim Jadidists, the Bolsheviks won the war. [7] Signing a formal peace treaty was the only option in the eyes of the Bolsheviks because the Russian Army was demobilized, and the newly formed Red Guard was incapable of stopping the advance. The results of the civil war were momentous. One of the main war aims of Imperial Russia in 1914-1917 had been the Turkish straits; now the bedraggled survivors of the White cause, having abandoned the territory of Russia, had to take refuge in Constantinople under Allied protection. The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. Casualties. There was without a doubt a three-sided struggle involving Reds, Whites and minority nationalists. With this began civil war. 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 failure of the Orel offensive was followed by the collapse of the AFSR between November 1919 and January 1920. The French faced difficulties because no one controlled the Ukrainian hinterland, and the Soviet troops were advancing rapidly into that territory from the north. Following the defeat of Germany in World War I in November 1918, these states were abolished. Over a four-year period 20 countries battled in a crucible that would give birth to Communist revolutions worldwide and the Cold War. The role of foreign interventionists and the Polish invasion had also allowed Moscow to play the nationalist card. Allied intervention before November 1918 had included a political (“counter-revolutionary”) motivation, but its role above all had been strategic and anti-German. It examines the appearance of competing centres of power, the attempt of those centres to mobilize support, and the ultimate victory of the Communists. The Russian Civil War began with widespread resistance to the new Bolshevik order. In the course of 1918 conscription became the main means of recruitment (coupled with various anti-“desertion” measures). 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,, 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. [15] At the same time, war-weariness, rapid demobilisation of the armies, and a global range of commitments greatly limited the Allied forces that could be committed to operations in Russia. The October Revolution followed and capitalized on the February Revolution earlier in the year. Casualties. Very different forces were being created far away in the North Caucasus. Russia; Civil War; Bolsheviks; Communists; Whites; mobilization, International Responses to the Russian Civil War (Russian Empire), Austro-Hungarian troops executing prisoners, 1918, Canadian Expeditionary Force in Vladivostok, Bolshevik demonstrations against the Allied intervention, “The Landing of the Japanese Army, Welcomed by Every Nation, at Vladivostok“, print, The Czechoslovak Corps and Allied Intervention, South Russia: Russian Nationalists and Cossack Hosts, Soviet Heartland: Consolidation and Mobilization. Russian Revolution Timeline. The consequences of this have ricocheted down the decades to the present day. 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