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The Russian Civil War Essay

1323 words - 6 pages

The Russian Civil War

Between 1918 and 1921 there was a civil war in Russia. The war was
between the reds, who were the communists/Bolsheviks, and the whites
who were the either Tsarists or anti-communists. The whites also had
help by the way of foreign intervention and in this essay I am going
to explain what happened and how this helped the communists win the
Russian civil war.

One reason why the communists won the civil war was that both sides
had different aims. The reds had one collective aim that everyone
could strive for. This was to build a new socialist society. This new
socialist society or communist revolution was portrayed to the rest ...view middle of the document...

They had control of the industrial areas and the
extensive railway network. This allowed the communists to distribute
and rush supplies and troops virtually anywhere along their front. The
reds also had control over the major administrative areas and centres
of Petrograd and Moscow and were based in a much smaller area than the
whites. The whites were in a very different geographical situation.
The whites were scattered with hundreds of miles and often mountains
in between each individual army. This made communication very
difficult as well as the distribution of supplies and troops. This
helped the communists win the war because the reds never had t an
attack that could be sustained for a long period of time, before the
whites needed reinforcements which could never come due to the
distance between each army, so ultimately the whites always had to
retreat.

A third reason was Leadership and unity. The reds were very lucky in
the fact that they had a fantastic leader in the form of Trotsky.
Trotsky had built the army up from nothing had had done this through
the introduction of conscription for men who were over the age of
eighteen. T o command these men Trotsky brought in 50,000 experienced
former tsarist officers and appointed political commissars, who were
basically fanatical communists to each unit of men to make sure they
carried out their orders with efficiency. Trotsky was personally very
courageous and was not afraid of going to the front or facing the
people. He was also a superb public speaker so he could easily get his
voice across or boost morale if required. He did this several times on
his personal train, which he virtually lived on, Upon which he took
himself and his army of hand picked elite soldiers to the places where
the fighting was hardest. On the other hand the whites lacked good
leaders. The system within the communist’s armies was there was no
rank and everyone would be called and treated the same insured unity
amongst the ranks. However with the whites, due to there being several
independent armies of varying degrees of wealth and successfulness,
jealousy was rife. Also the language barrier did not help the white’s
to unify. This helped the reds to win the war because the reds were
always ready to support one another and back each other up. Their
leadership and particularly unity made the red army into a feared and
strong fighting force. It also helped the reds win the war because the
morale was always high, therefore the soldiers were happy to fight.

Another reason was the intervention of foreign troops. Foreign
intervention was supposed to help the whites however it proved to help
the reds more. Some countries were there just to keep an eye on what
other countries were doing. The individual forces never co-ordinated
their attacks and therefore had...

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