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Flashcards in Civil War Deck (42):

Why did the Reds win the civil war? (5 factors)

Trotsky's Leadership
Unity and Organisation
Geographical Factors
Other Factors


Where did Japanese forces occupy?



Where did Churchill send British forces?



When were all foreign armies withdrawn by?



What areas of Russia did the Reds hold?

The central area including


Why was it beneficial that the Bolsheviks moved their capital to Moscow?

It was at the hub of the railway network so it was easier to transport men and munitions to battle fronts


When was the Russian Civil war?

1918 - 1921


Why was it beneficial that the area of Russia the Bolsheviks held contained the main armament factories?

They could carry on producing war materials.

Much of the artillery, rifles and other military equipment of the old Russian army fell into Bolshevik hands


Why was it beneficial that the central area was heavily populated (more so than White held areas)?

Reds could conscript larger numbers to fight.

Red armies often vastly outnumbered the Whites.


Why was the Whites being scattered around the edges of the central area an issue? (3 reasons)

They were separated by large distances so communications were difficult (No telephone links - had to use officers on horseback to convey messages)

More difficult to move men and weapons

Harder to co-ordinate attacks of different White armies


How were the Reds better organised?

Had a single unified command structure


Who organised the Red Army into an 'effective fighting force'?



Who were better organised? Reds or Whites?



Why were the Whites unorganised?

Made up of different groups

Different aims and beliefs (couldn't agree if they were fighting for Monarchism, Republicanism or for the Constituent Assembly)

Split views on national minorities


Why was the Whites being unorganized an issue?

Hard to co-operate and impossible to develop a co-ordinated military strategy due to divisions


Why would the White leaders often not work together? Give an example.

Did not like or trust each other

E.g. Other generals suspicious of Kolchak's motives and intentions


Why was Trotsky a superb leader?

Brave - took his special forces by train to parts of the Front where fighting was fiercest

Inspirational - Able to rally men


What did Trotsky do in terms of Army Discipline?

Tough discipline.

Death penalty used frequently
(Unwilling peasant conscripts knew certain death lay before them if they retreated in battle - would be machine gunned by their own side)


What were the issues with the White leaders?

Second rate.

Several were cruel - treated men with contempt.

Reminded soldiers of worst aspects of Russian Army + Tsarist rule.


What were the effects of White leadership on soldiers?

Little natural warmth or support for White Leaders.

Many soldiers deserted.


What were the consequences of indiscipline and corruption in White Armies?

Uniforms and munitions supplied by foreign interventionist governments were sold on black market

Officers lives in brothels in a haze of cocaine and vodka


Why was support of peasants a crucial factor? Who did they support?

Peasants supplied the main body if soldiers for both sides.

But they had little love for either side - just as inclined to desert from Red as from White armies they had been conscripted into.


What did Lenin do to gain peasant support?

Lenin legitimized their right to the land - Peasants inclined to support Reds


What did the Whites do to lose peasant support?

Made it clear land would be restored to its former owners


What did Kolchak do to lose peasant support?

Gave estates to landlords who hadn't owned them before the revolution


Who else did the Whites lose the support of and why?

Nationalist groups (separatists) like Ukranians and Georgians who wanted more autonomy in their affairs or complete independence.

White leaders wanted to restore Russian Empire with pre-1917 borders - antagonised national groups


Why did Reds have core support of some workers and soldiers but not widespread support?

1) War Communism + the way they managed cities and food supply


Why did urban workers and peasants support the Reds?

Wanted to protect the gains if 1917. Reds seemed to offer them their chance of this


What were the Whites associated with that limited their support?

The old system of government


What was the benefit of foreign intervention for the Whites?

Brought them supplies and weapons


Why did foreign intervention fail?

1) Their attacks weren't co-ordinated- little co-operation between interventionists
2) No concerted attempt to unseat Bolshevik regime
3) Effort to co-operate with White armies failed
4) After a token display if aggression troops began to withdraw
5)Nations had different interests for intervention


How did the Bolsheviks use foreign intervention to their advantage?

Presented themselves as the defenders of Russia against foreign forces

Used this as propaganda


How did the Reds and Whites use propaganda?

Both used propaganda

Whites, particularly Denikin, Didn't see how valuable it was

Reds used imaginative, powerful images (Whites woukd take away land from peasants, Reds protecting Russia from foreign invaders working with Whites, Reds offered wonderful new society for workers and peasants)


How many men did the Reds have in 1919?

1.5 million


How many men did the Reds (Trotsky) have by 1920?

3.5 million


How many men did Yudenich have in his army?

Around 14,000


How many officers did Denikin have in his army?

Never more than 100,000


What effect did Trotskys train have on the soldiers?

Boosted morale


How did Trotsky ensure the loyalty of the former tsarist officers he brought back?

Held their families hostage


What was War Communism?

Policies adopted during 1st years of Communist rule.

Lenin introduced decree of nationalisation- established strong centralised control over all areas of production and distribution in areas under his control


How did War Communism help the Reds win the Civil War?

1) Rapid deterioration of economy spring 1918
2) Industry fell apart (workers incapable of running factories)
3) Shortages of raw materials and food - bread rations
4) Inflation - value of rouble collapsed
5) Industrial output decrease
6) Workers leaving cities
7) Peasants withheld resources
8) Food riots many cities early 1918


Statistic for Workers leaving cities due to War Communism

Petrograd lost 60% of workforce April 1918