The Soviets looked west for help, expecting that the horrors of the imperialist war would spark revolutions and the creation of sister workers states in Europe. These states could then provide the USSR with support, trade, and technological exchange. But, fatefully, these revolts did not immediately occur. Seeking breathing space, V.I. Lenin and the Bolsheviks withdrew the Soviet republic from WWI, signing a separate peace with Germany in March of 1918.
But by early summer, before the Soviets could begin to rebuild their shattered homeland, they were hit with counterrevolution by the "Whites," a hodgepodge of Russian capitalists, liberals, and reactionaries, led by former Tsarist generals.Abetting the Whites were troops from 21 foreign countries. Although still in the midst of WWI, the Allied Powers attacked the new republic on more than a dozen fronts even joining with their enemy, Germany, to do so!
Appointed War Commissar, Leon Trotsky shaped the fragments of the Russian military into the Red Army, a fierce, disciplined model of effectiveness. After three years of brutal combat, the foreign armies and Whites were finally defeated. Beyond the massive war casualties, the civilian cost was... [continues]
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