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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. Over a four-year period 20 countries battled in a crucible that would give birth to Communist revolutions worldwide and the Cold War. David Bullock offers a fresh perspective on this conflict, examining the forces involved, as well as the fascinating intervention by Allied forces.
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At the dawn of modern war, as cavalry duelled with tanks, aircraft, and armoured trains along shifting fronts, this title tells a military story enacted against a backdrop of political and social revolution and within the context of immense human loss. The reader cannot fail to be moved by the rare photographs and illustrations that make this history come alive.
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Lenin against various Russian and interventionist anti-Bolshevik armies. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk whereby Russia yielded large portions of its territory to Germany caused a breach between the Bolsheviks Communists and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, who thereupon left the coalition. In the next months there was a marked drawing together of two main groups of Russian opponents of Lenin: 1 the non-Bolshevik left, who had been finally alienated from Lenin by his dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and 2 the rightist whites , whose main asset was the Volunteer Army in the Kuban steppes.
This army, which had survived great hardships in the winter of —18 and which came under the command of Gen. Anton I.
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Denikin April , was now a fine fighting force, though small in numbers. At the same time, the Western Allies , desperately pressed by a new German offensive in northern France in the spring of , were eager to create another front in the east by reviving at least a part of the Russian army.
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In March a small British force was landed at Murmansk with the consent of the local soviet. On April 5 Japanese forces landed at Vladivostok , without any approval.
A further factor was the Czechoslovak Legion , composed of Czech and Slovak deserters from the Austro-Hungarian army, whom previous Russian governments had allowed to form their own units. In March the Bolshevik government agreed to let these units leave Russia by the Far East, but in May violent incidents took place during the evacuation, and on May 29 Leon Trotsky , commissar for war, ordered them to surrender their arms.
They refused, defeated attempts of the local soviets to disarm them, and took control of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In the vacuum created by this action, two anti-Bolshevik authorities appeared: the West Siberian Commissariat, of predominantly liberal complexion, based at Omsk ; and the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly, composed of Socialist Revolutionaries, based at Samara.
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These events caused the Moscow government to crack down heavily on non-Bolshevik socialists. The Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary deputies were expelled from the central and local soviets and prevented from engaging in any organized political activity. Among the early victims of the civil war, which may be considered to have begun in earnest in June , were the former imperial family.
The Russian Civil War (2)
Tsar Nicholas II , his wife , and his children had been moved in August to Tobolsk and in the spring of to Yekaterinburg. With the development of anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia , the local soviet feared that Nicholas might be liberated. In the night of July 16—17, , all the members of the family were taken to the cellar of their prison house and shot. At Omsk, which became the centre of the anti-Communists, a new army was hastily trained under the command of Adm.