Despite the strong forces pushed upon the red army, the experience of the white leaders and position of Lenin, the communists still managed to achieve a victory in the Russian Civil War. Two main reasons that led to their success were because they had control over more people and because they had access to more weapons. However, there were many other contributing factors leading to the Bolshevik victory questioning the importance of these specific two. Bolshevik control over highly populated parts of Russia lead to communist success in the Civil War. The Bolsheviks had a huge strategic advantage due to their geographical position within Russia, in that they had control over major cities such as Moscow and Petrograd, which had many people within them.
‘How far do you agree that the Bolsheviks won the civil war because they controlled more people and had access to more weapons?’ Despite the diverse forces massed against the red army, the experience of the white leaders and the precarious position of Lenin, the communists still managed to gain victory in the Civil War of 1918-1921. The fact that the Bolsheviks had control of the heartland and therefore factories and supplies was an advantage to them. But on the other hand there were other factors such as good leadership, weak opposition and terror that helped just as much. I believe that the Bolsheviks controlling more people and having access to more weapons was a key factor in them winning the war. They controlled the industrial heart of Russia, which included Petrograd and Moscow, this also meant they had control of all the factories, and the railway lines.
In this aspect the changes brought about by this policy were successful as it resulted in a Bolshevik victory in the war as it ‘...did the job of supplying towns and armies with just enough food and supplies to keep providing war material and to keep fighting. In this way it was successful.’ (David Christian, Power and Privilege) When focusing on its second goal, ‘to build a socialist society’ (David Christian) then the changes it brought about where highly ineffective. Although War Communism was successful in moving the country closer to Communistic ideology with the idea that everything is communal and each is given according to his needs, the socialist aim to have unity and peace amongst the
The people adored him at first, His April Theses kept his Marxist beliefs in check, and he used it in order to rule Russia in a communist manner. The people liked his speeches, he was well spoken and an inspirational speaker especially in his speech of “Peace, Land and Bread” in which he spoke of making Russia for the people. Lenin was precise, and careful with his methods and rules. He never left any chance of fault. By creating the Cheka, his secret police, he kept political parties at bay and kept order through fear.
The Reds controlled high industry areas which allowed them to stop the enemy receiving supplies as well as supplying the Bolshevik army with plenty of munitions. Another key point as to why the Reds won is that the army was controlled by Trotsky who organised it in a very strict, but effective way. The Whites however, were inefficient, lacked unity within their army and therefore fought as separate detachments; they lacked a true leader and were too dependent on supplies from abroad, which rarely arrived with sufficient quantities or in the right location. In short, the Whites were unlikely to ever destroy the Reds exceptional army due to their many weaknesses in comparison to the Reds strengths. Source A would agree with the idea that the Whites were weak, which is why the Reds won the civil war.
Not only this but Stalin used Lenin’s Legacy when he once again falsely claimed he was there at the beginning of the original Russian Revolution, when he was actually in exile. There is a picture, taken from the Eighth Bolshevik Party Congress in 1919 in which Trotsky was absent and Stalin took the opportunity to sit himself at Lenin’s right hand side, gaining him credit and showing his subtle ways of propaganda. However, Stalin’s win couldn’t just be down to what Lenin had done previous to the power struggle. To achieve and successfully get away with all of the above he would have had to have great skill as a politician – which he did. He had the ability to control Lenin’s funeral and turn it into his own campaign,
History essay EVALUATE THE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES OF ONE RULER OF A SINGLE- PARTY STATE Bolsheviks came to power in November 1917 with Lenin as a party leader. His leadership was strong and determined, which he previously showed by publishing his April theses that gave serious of directives that enabled Bolsheviks to come to power after November Revolution. He was a memorable leader whose policies and decisions shaped Russia from 1917-24. In this essay I am going to evaluate and analyse how effective were his revolutionary transformations in economic, political and social context. When Lenin and Bolsheviks came to power Russia was in tremendous economic and administrative problems.
This is a massive key factor to why the Bolsheviks had won the war because without the people that they controlled they would of not of been able to make all the weapons and the most essential things that they needed to win the war against the whites. So even though the whites had a bigger army, the Bolsheviks were able to win the war, because of all the support of the people they had control over and all the work they had done and the support they gave to the red army to lead them to victory. However the amount of arms they had and the amount of people they had control over may not be the leading factor to why they won the war. There are other factors such as the Bolsheviks had complete control over the trans-Siberian railway. This railway was the main line where all the supplies and goods came in and out of Russia so having control over this was a great advantage.
Furthermore the Trotsky permitted the assassination of the Tsar; this was a good tactic as it immediately killed the cause of a large proportion of the White army. The discipline of the Red army was also much better; this is because there were much more severe punishments for disobedience than with the Whites. The main body of the Red Army were workers and army conscripts, therefore they were more experienced that the Whites when it came to tactics and combat. Trotsky also made sure that his men were well fed by rationing the supplies and taking food away from peasants, they also took over arms factories so that they always had equipment and ammunition which the White Army did not always have. In addition the Reds had a territorial advantage as their enemies were spread around edge of Russia whilst the Bolsheviks had the main communication lines.
To what extent was Trotsky the single most important factor in the success of the Red’s during the Russian Civil War? After the Bolshevik takeover in 1917, Lenin had moved to uphold the idea of a ‘people’s revolution’, something shown most evidently through the creation of workers committees within the factories and also the soldiers committees within the armed forces. These soldier committees would elect their own officers and govern their own regiments. Along with this, traditional elements of the forces had been pushed aside: discipline was non-existent, graded titles had disappeared and saluting was removed as an exercise. In 1918, this was all to change, with Leon Trotsky placed as the commissar for war.