• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War? Fresh from seizing control of Russia from the hands of the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks' next step was to safeguard their fragile grip on the reigns of power. Lenin negotiated peace with Germany and therefore an end to Russia's role in World War I. He could not, however, avoid a civil war in Russia. The Bolsheviks were made to fight for control of the country. The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. During this time, the Bolsheviks faced massive opposition to their rule in the form of the White Armies, led by former officers of the Tsarist state, and also from intervention by the forces of foreign countries. The Bolsheviks were surrounded, often outnumbered by their opponents, and had no experienced military commanders. At times, their situation seemed hopeless. Yet, by the start of 1921, the Bolsheviks had defeated their enemies and gained a complete victory. ...read more.

Middle

The large population of the major cities in this central area was a key resource for the Bolsheviks. The cities provided fresh recruitment for the Red Army. Furthermore, much of Russia's industry and raw materials was located in this area. This made it possible for the Bolsheviks to keep their troops supplied and equipped with weapons, ammunition and supplies. Under Lenin's leadership, the Bolsheviks displayed total ruthlessness in making sure that they did not face rebellion and revolt in the areas they controled. The Constituent Assembly, this had been organised by the Provisional Government, to draw up a constitution for Russia. In the election, the majority of delegates came from another revolutionary party, the Social Revolutionaries. Fearing opposition to their plans, when the Constituent Assembly attempted to meet, the Bolsheviks simply had it closed down. Other Parties, once the Civil War had started, the Bolsheviks banned the other political parties and arrested their leaders. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Bolsheviks were fighting for a very definite cause - the establishment and survival of a Communist Russia. The Whites, however, had problems motivating their troops and building up support. Why should soldiers face death simply to make Kolchak or Yudenich master of Russia? As time passed, more and more soldiers deserted from the White Armies. The government set up by the Whites in areas they controlled soon became corrupt and inefficient. For example, medical supplies sent by foreign countries often ended up being sold on the black market rather than being used to help the soldiers. White Army forces often behaved with great brutality and cruelty in areas they controlled. Towns were burned, property destroyed or stolen, peasant farmers' crops and livestock taken by force - if people objected, they faced torture and execution. Inevitably, the Whites became hated and feared because of this. Inevitably, Bolshevik propaganda homed in on this. Given the choice between the Bolsheviks or the Whites, it was hardly surprising that Bolshevik support increased dramatically. And the Bolsheviks easily won the war and took over Russia. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Why did the Bolsheviks win the Civil War

    They had to move their forces and supplies over huge distances, making it difficult to maintain effective control. The lack of effective railways was an added complication to the existing communication difficulties between them. Whereas the Whites were disunited, the Bolsheviks maintained absolute unity through the Terror.

  2. Vietnam war

    * Americans used: "unparalleled, lavish use of firepower as a substitute for manpower,". * Practice of VC/NVA to "clutch the people to their breast". North Vietnamese: * By Spring 1966, China had dispatched 50,000 military personnel. * The bombing caused manpower dislocations but did not limit North Vietnam's ability to maintain essential services in the North.

  1. Why Did the Bolsheviks Win the Russian Civil War?

    The Red army was headed by Trotsky who turned it into an effective fighting force. He reorganised the army and brought back thousands of former tsarist officers, and also brought back the strict hierarchical lines (saluting, ranks, pay differentials). Many of these officers who were unemployed were keen to get back into the world they knew best.

  2. Why Did The Bolsheviks Win The Civil War?

    In 1917 the Red Army had just over 7,000 men, but by 1920 Trotsky had turned that into 5,000,000 men. After being promoted to the task of war commissar, Trotsky raced across the battlefields to fight and rally his troops. This determination and headstrong idea caused morale to be high.

  1. The enormous role that Trotsky played in the success of the Bolsheviks up until ...

    The Russians people agreed with him, they did not want to have to rely on other countries but stand proud and be independent, plus many realised that if Stalin did make an effort to build up Russia's economy that would mean more work and better pay for many, this is

  2. The Russian Civil war, 1918-21

    It also meant that the whites could fight a longer drawn out war, for they were not footing the bill, while the soviets could not afford to do this. It is realistic to say that the whites did prove a large threat to the Bolsheviks due to the reasons above.

  1. Why did the Bolsheviks win the civil war?

    Without this support the Bolsheviks again had the upper hand. The Weaknesses of the whites did provide the Bolsheviks with a considerable advantage because with a weak opposition the Bolsheviks could concentrate on other aspects of the war. Another reason why the Bolsheviks won the civil war was that they were a very strong party.

  2. How did the Bolsheviks Win the Civil War?

    He was able to prove himself as a true leader and player in the Bolshevik party. He was able to train and use his specially trained army forces to go to the front line and support areas of trouble.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work