'The Bolsheviks only won the Civil War because of violence and terror.' To what extent does this statement accurately for the reasons for Red victory?
The Bolsheviks were victorious because they were a stronger, more cohesive team than those of the White Army. It can be argued that for any civil war to come toa definite end, one side must be decisively victorious. Since history can attest to the Bolsheviks’ victory, it can be argued that they won primarily because of their own strengths and not because of their enemies’ shortcomings. When examined more closely, it can be seen that the Bolsheviks’ were superior in their economic, military and political policies and could therefore decisively defeat the White Army.
One main advantage the Bolsheviks had, was that they were concentrated in the cities they had seized, such as Petrograd and Moscow. Thus, this consolidated their power in ...view middle of the document...
Bolsheviks were able to coordinate military operations in a more rational way, especially with use of railways. This is one of many reasons of why the Red's triumphed over the Whites in the Russian Civil War.
One utmost reason why the White's lost the Russian Civil war, was simply, because they could not make up their minds. The Whites were made up of different groups with different aims including tsarists, capitalists, cossacks, okrana members basically ANYONE who opposed communism, this lead to trouble 'cos civil fights often broke out between white soldiers. . Whereas the Reds had one aim, which was to complete the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, and in which they succeded because their message was so simple to spread. This sealed the fate of the Whites, and was one of the reasons behind the Red's glorious victory.i
The red army had a strict commissar for war, Leon Trotsky, who was ruthless with controlling his army. Historian Richard Pipes main criticism of Trotsky during the Civil War was "the brutality with in which he pursued his goals." He bribed and blackmailed tsarist generals, ex-cossaks and whites to join his army , sometimes kidnapping family members. The Bolshevik "secret" ruthless army the Cheka, seized grain and food from the peasants, so the red army had food, except this had terrible long term consequences like the first ever man made famine in Russia after the war, where peasants resorted to cannibalism in some cases. By May 1918, the Red Army had 306,000 men under their influence, this figure drastically rose to over 445,000 by December 1920. By the end of the Civil War, the Bolsheviks had a whooping 5.5 million mobilized men, though only 800,00 were actual combatants. These were some of the many reasons of which the Red's won the Civil War.
All in all, the Red army won the Civil War, not due to violence and terror, but because of their smart and innovative leaders, their ruthless army and their simple, but yet powerful aim. So in spite of it all, NO, the Red's did not win the Civil war due to violence and terror.