The Russian Civil War

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Hypothesis: That the Bolshevik’s Red Army won the civil war in 1920 due to their central and influential ideologies and due to the lack of ideologies and direction of the Whites. Evaluate this claim.

Shortly after the October and February revolutions, in 1917, Russia burst almost immediately into Civil War. The two parties concerned were the Bolshevik’s Red Army and the opposing White Army. The Civil War raged from the years 1917 to presently after 1920 with the eventual success of the Red Army over the White Army. This triumph is traditionally seen by historians as a result of the weaknesses within the white army rather than a merit to the red army. However, with careful analysis of the military situations and organisation of both of the armies this can be shown as false. This analysis shows the result of the Civil War as both a consequence of the weaknesses of the White Army and the strong ideologies within the Red Army. This is further reinforced by the divided leadership within the White Army, as well as single unified command structure of the Red Army, contrasted to the way in which Trotsky was able to inspire and rally men As Richard Malone said in his school textbook, Analysing the Russian Revolution, ‘The White Army was made up of different groups who could not agree on whether they were fighting for monarchism, republicanism or for the constituent assembly. This made it hard for them to develop a political strategy.’ The White’s main weaknesses were in respect to their lack of a secure ideology. Their organisation was in shambles and they were completely lacking in a unified goal. A school website called Skwirk mentions that the White Armies were not only geographically isolated but ideologically divided and there was no central ideology linking the White Armies. As a result, they were unable to provide an appealing alternative to the Bolshevik’s Red Army and found it difficult to rally up support among the peasants. This was partially due to the...
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