ï»¿Chapter 14 The Civil War
The Civil War was fought right across Russia, involving several different forces. The Reds were the defenders of Lenin, supporters of his revolution. The Whites were a lose collection of anti-Red forces, most of which desired a return to a traditional Tsarist-regime. The Greens were opponents of both the Reds and the Whites and were in favour of a radical alternative to communist style of government. Greens wanted political and economic power handed to local groups of peasants.
Nationalists, such as Finns, Poles, Ukrainians, and Georgians, fought for national independence.
International Aid, several foreign states such as Britain, France, the USA and Japan, had sent troops to Russia to fight alongside the Whites.
Military Opposition to the Communists
Allied Intervention Force(s) in 1918
To overthrow the Communist regime and get Russia back into the First World War
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After 1918, their political opponents tried to reverse it. The Bolsheviks had many enemies. One group who wanted to destroy the Bolsheviks were the Social Revolutionaries. At first, they had supported the November Revolution.
elections had been held in November 1917 for a new government â€“ the Assembly â€“ in which the Bolsheviks had won 175 seats and the Social Revolutionaries 370 seats. However, when it met in 1918, Lenin used the Red Guards to close the Assembly, and killed anybody who objected.
The Social Revolutionaries fought back by attacking the Bolshevik government. The Bolsheviks were also opposed by the Mensheviks (who had controlled the Provisional Government, and who they had toppled from control of the Soviets in September), and by the Tsarists (who wanted to rescue Nicholas II and put him back on the throne). Lenin made peace with Germany (the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in which Russia had lost much of Russiaâ€™s best agricultural and industrial land to Germany, including Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and the former army officers were angry about this.
Also, the Bolshevik government had taken land from the Tsar and the nobles and given it to the peasants, and the civil war was supported by those landlords who had lost their land. All these enemies of the Bolsheviks co-operated to try to bring down the Bolshevik government.
A second cause of the Civil War was the Czech Legion. These were some Czech prisoners of war being taken across Russia who in 1918 mutinied, took control of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and attacked towards Moscow.
Finally, these groups within Russia were helped by the Great Powers, angry that Russia had dropped out of the First World War. They were afraid because the Bolsheviks believed in World Revolution â€“ the Bolsheviks set up the Comintern, led by Zinoviev, which said it would cause communist revolutions all over the world. Consequently, the Allies sent armies to destroy the Bolsheviks â€“ British, American and French armies attacked from Archangel, Ukraine, and Vladivostok.