Whites were divided
- generals wanted different things. Some wanted to bring back the Tsar, others wanted an elected government. This made it very hard for them to work together
- they mistrusted one another and refused to co-ordinate their attacks. The Reds would not have been able to survive a combined attack, but the Whites were not able to work together
- they spent some time attacking one another. When two parts of the White army had to camp near each other there were often disputes or clashes of troops
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Reds had better supplies
- Reds had the rail network, so they could easily move their troops and supplies around.
- They were much better supplied with ammunition and arms.
- War Communism requisitioned grain from the peasants and effectively got it to the cities and the troops.
- The Reds outnumbered the Whites, having about 2,000,000 men to the Whites' 250,000
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- peasants were conscripted to fight by both sides
- the Whites had vowed that, should they win, they would take land away from the peasants. This was hugely unpopular with the peasants.
- the peasants deserted from both sides
- when the Reds began to lose, peasants would often come back and fight for them, in order that they should retain their land
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