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Why Did The Bolsheviks Win The Civil War?

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Introduction

Why Did The Bolsheviks Win The Civil War? After the storming of the winter palace in 25th October 1917 in the October revolutions the Bolsheviks seized power in the Government in Russia. After the Bolsheviks seized power in the October Revolution in Petrograd and Moscow, the question was how to secure and increase their gains. The Bolsheviks went on to control the whole of Russia. This was achieved to a great extent, by Trotsky's organisation of the Red Army. Organised under the direction of Trotsky (who became commissar of war in spring 1918) The Red Army consisted of Bolshevik members and those who followed their party. The 'Nucleus' of the Red Army was the Red Guards, they were from the factories and pro-Bolshevik units from the old Army and Fleet. This was also expanded by voluntary recruitment and, from the summer of 1918 selective conscription. The White Army consisted of mainly Bourgeoisie. This included, Aristocracy, Land owners, Tsarist supporters, Military Elites, Social Revolutionary's/Mensheviks, National minorities. Great Briton, France and a few countries surrounding Russia also fought against the Reds, this is known as foreign intervention. There was another Army, which fought as well against the Reds and against the Whites. ...read more.

Middle

This was because the cities they tried to attack were so heavily defended the Whites were fighting a losing battle. For example Denkin and Wrangel in the south of Russia had a plan to take over a major strategic city called Tsaristyn, which was under control by the Reds. The Whites came within 320km from Moscow before being forced to retreat by Trotsky's ferocious counterattack. War communism was an idea by Lenin for how a city should be under communist leadership during a war. He had 2 main things to do; they were to win the war (short term), Introduce Marxist style economic policies to Russia (long term). This meant that money was abolished, a ban on private trading and trade unions. Military discipline in factories and planners to determine production levels. But above all they wanted requisitioning of the grain and to give out rations (priority to Red Army and Industrial workers). This gave Lenin some good things like high production levels and supplies going out to the troops. Problems are that black-markets will form, workers had no incentive to work in factories when they could have an easier job such as road sweeping. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lenin helped the Bolsheviks by introducing War Communism. The Bolsheviks nationalised the factories, and introduced military discipline. Strikes were made illegal. They introduced rationing and forced the peasants to give food to the government. This put the whole nation on a war footing, and gave the Bolshevik armies the supplies they needed. Whereas the whites were disunited, the Bolsheviks maintained absolute unity through Terror. The Tsar and his family were put to death, which removed a focal point for the whites. The Cheka murdered any Whites they found more than 7000 people were executed, and Red Army generals were kept loyal by taking their families' hostage so the Bolsheviks were united and disciplined towards a single end winning the war. Finally, the Bolsheviks had what they needed to win the war. The British, French and American armies were fighting thousands of miles from home, at the end of a long supply line. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, had control of the main cities of Moscow and Petrograd (with their factories), control of the railways (vital), an army of 300,000 men, very strict army discipline, and internal lines of communication giving them the advantage in the war. When Kolchak was defeated in 1919, the foreign armies went home. The last white army was defeated in the Crimea in 1920. George Carter 12NFR ...read more.

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