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

Why did the Reds win and the Whites lose the civil war?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the Reds win and the Whites lose the civil war? Initial opposition to the Bolsheviks was limited, but they were attacked by opposition forces immediately after the October Revolution. This opposition grew after the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. To answer the question therefore I will look at all aspects of the civil war to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of the forces. The White Army was the title given to the groups that opposed the Bolshevik take-over and suggests a unity that they did not have, in truth the only common factor that they shared was a desire to remove the Bolsheviks. Groups like the national minorities gave limited support and this was not helped by slogans like "Russia One and Indivisible". ...read more.


He organised the recruiting of 50000 ex-Tsarist officers, and ensured their loyalty by pairing them with political commissars and threatening their families. He introduced strict discipline, with the death penalty for desertion. His unflagging spirit kept morale high at a time when other Bolshevik leaders were unconvinced about their chances of winning, coupled with frequent visits to the fronts in order to galvanise the troops. He also ensured that the Red Army was kept well fed and equipped. Unlike the White Armies the Red Army had one aim- to survive the Civil War and come out victorious. The Reds had greater ease of communication since they had control of Petrograd and Moscow, from which the railway network radiated. The economy was geared for war by War communism. ...read more.


Trotsky was the organisational driving force behind the entire Red Army something the Whites lacked. He also provided a cohesive base again something that the Whites did not have. Further to this the Whites lacked control the ability to control industry and agriculture in the areas that they had control of, whereas the Reds could not only implement such policies, they could also enforce them. Finally the Reds had the common support of the majority of the people, along with being seen as less of a threat to their position than the various White groups were. From all of these reasons it can be deduced that not only were the Reds better prepared and better able to deal with a war, but also that it was inevitable that the Whites would lose. ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. “Generals Win Battles, Resources Win Wars”. How Far Does Your Study of the Period ...

    In comparison to Napoleon's campaign in Russia, Wellington's Peninsula War seems to have gone spectacularly well indeed, conquering as he did the entirety of Iberia and then making headway into France itself - all from a mere foothold in Portugal.

  2. Why did the Reds win the civil war

    This meant they remained loyal throughout. Trotsky also inserted discipline into the reds army. He did this by installing harsh military discipline - that included the death penalty - into the army. However these harsh methods meant loyalty was ensured as well as commitment. An additional reason the reds won the war was because of their geographical advantage.

  1. "Why did the nationalists lose the civil war?"

    In 1927, the communists were organising peasants in the south of China, where the gaps between the poor and rich were enormous. A beginning to a social reform was taking place. In 1930, a communist government was established in Jiangxi.

  2. American Civil War (1861-1865).

    About that time he learned that he had cancer of the throat. He started writing his recollections to pay off his debts and provide for his family, racing against death to produce a memoir that ultimately earned nearly $450,000. Soon after completing the last page, in 1885, he died.

  1. To what extent was the Civil War the main factor in the Bolshevik

    In addition to this point a collaboration of historians express that "Events of 1918-22...in Russian society were far more complex than the simple Red-White struggle...the Civil War began as a war between the Bolsheviks and their socialist opponents - the...Socialist Revolutionaries"8.

  2. Why the Whites lost the Civil War of Russia.

    They could not develop effective or politically reliable armies � The Whites had very limited capacity for state building or for the rallying of popular support Pipes: "Whites enjoyed superior general ship and morale. They lost because they were outnumbered and outgunned," Why were the Reds win the Civil War?

  1. How far do you agree with the proposition that the outcome of the civil ...

    fronts to help repel the attack using the Railway network radiating from Moscow. The Reds also had control of the area in which Russia's main engineering and armaments factories were located, which gave them the capacity to manufacture new weapons.

  2. Explain Why the White Armies Despite Allied Intervention Were Unable to win the Civil ...

    The use of the death penalty for deserters spread terror through the army and kept them united and focused on defeating the Whites. Trotsky had an unflagging spirit, which kept morale high throughout his army and convinced his soldiers that they would defeat the Whites.

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