Russia and the First World War (7)

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  • Created by: MonsurAli
  • Created on: 03-06-17 17:45
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  • Russia and the First World War
    • Politically
      • Duma dissolved itself to avoid 'unnecessary politics' during war time and to create anti-Germanic feeling. St Petersburg became Petrograd. Russia mobilised quickly and efficiently, ruining Schlieffen plan.
        • However the loss of Battle of Tannenburg showed military backwardness: 300,000 wounded or dead and thousands taken as prisoners.
      • Disagreements with the prohibition of alcohol (an attempt to control people) was ignored. Govt lost tax revenue from legal sales as vodka was seen as a necessity.
      • Robert Service argued that due to the war, a communist revolution occurred.
      • Zemgor created (unification of Zemstva's). It was led by Prince Lvov and wanted to aid the Tsar. However due to it not having any direct influence it soon became a liberal focus for discontent.
      • Deputies from the 4th Duma created the 'Progressive bloc', which wanted a constitutional monarchy. The Tsar coul have restored order by accepting this but he did not.
      • He himself lost faith in the army as he appointed himself as the leader. This made him directly responsible for army failures.
      • The political system was too rigid: Alexandra (Tsarina) became a real autocrat - driven by Rasputin - while the Tsar was leading the army. Rasputin influenced many decisions and due to rumours he corrupted the image of the royal family.
    • Military
      • Peasants had no idea who they were fighting for. Out of 27 million men, 48% were deemed exempt.
      • They were the first nation to suffer from man-power shortages and the army itself had little training; the second levy soon had to fight front line.
      • Leaders themselves were uneducated; 1.5 million desertions occurred alongside mutinies due to floggings etc.
    • Economy and society
      • Russia was socially divided and it was too weak economically to bear the strain of a long war.
      • People were information starved due to censorship which made rumours believable.
      • Spies broke loyalty of soldiers; when rumours spilled into the army, morale broke.
      • There were also huge production falls and food shortages. Some firms benefited from wartime production.
      • Inefficiencies of distribution meant that foodstuffs did not always reach towns.
      • Even though demand for factories were increasing, it was at the expense of the people as the railway was prioritised for the war effort (not for food delivery).
      • Foodstuff became unaffordable and there was a 300% rise in cost of living. Flashbacks of the famine were occuring causing a strike in Jan 1917 (30k in Moscow, 145k in Petrograd).

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