Analysis of the reasons for Bolshevik Victory in the Civil War

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  • Created on: 11-06-19 11:33
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  • Analysis of the reasons for Bolshevik (Red) Victory in the Civil War 1918-1920
    • Geographical factors
      • Bolsheviks held control of central areas such as Petrograd and Moscow. This meant they had rail resources as well as industrial resources and armmament factories
        • Had a much larger red army due to huge population which outnumbered the whites.
      • The whites were scattered around the edges of Russia which made co-ordination and communication incredibly difficult.
        • The whites also had no telephone links.
    • Unity and Organisation
      • Bolsheviks had a single unified command structure and Trotsky was able to organise the army into an effective fighting source
      • The whites were made up of different groups who couldn't agree what they were fighting for: monarchism or republic-ism or a constituent assembly
    • Leadership
      • Lenin used his authority to keep the reds united and he backed Trotsky's controversial decision to use ex Tsarist officers
        • Trotsky led the red army with great charisma and their special train covered up to 65,000 miles front to front
      • The white Armies officers were second rate with indiscipline and corruption rife throughout the White armies. Many officers lived in Brothels amongst cocaine and vodka
    • Political Factors
      • The support of peasants was crucial since they supplied the the main body for the armies and Lenin has legitimised peasant's right to the land, The peasants also stood for the revolution
      • The Whites lacked a political programme with any appeal to the peasantry. If they won land would be restored to it's original owners which was the main reason for their failure.
        • Their refusal to accept national independence movements also turned out to be disastrous.
          • Their lack of a political programme to appeal to the peasantry was perhaps their biggest weakness
    • Foreign Intervention
      • Foreign powers allowed Bolshevik propaganda to present themselves as defenders of Russian soil against foreign forces.
      • Although foreign powers gave Whites weapons it was largely ineffective and half-hearted
    • Propaganda
      • Red propaganda was infinitely superior. The red flag and red star was extremely powerful symbols
        • The Bolsheviks had clear ideologies that they pursued ruthlessly, they presented their war as a class war and their propaganda pressented them as defending revolution against the whties.
      • The Whites did not see how valuable propaganda was

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