Russia in Revolution
Impact of WWI
- Battles lost: Tannenberg and the Mazurian Lakes were the most crushing defeats on the Russian side. (1-2 million casualties altogether in the war) - Low morale: Because soldiers either died or deserted, the injured ones waiting for days with no medical care, patriotism collapsed. - No cooperation: The Russian army was a mess. Orders were given, then taken back, and workers had to toil to produce food at the failing front line.
Causes of the February Revolution
- Impact of the war on soldiers: 25% soldier desertion rate, Tannenberg + Mazurian, inadequate healthcare, high death toll, inadequate ammunition, low morale, organization falling to pieces - Impact of the war on the home front: Inflation, long hours, vodka ban, food shortages because peasants were fighting, shortage of industrial materials such as coal meant cold in brutal Russian winters - Tsar leaves for warfront, a terrible mistake: Puts Tsarina and Rasputin in charge, who wreck the country: they replace competent men with Rasputin’s yes-men due to the Tsarina’s blind faith. Food isn’t brought into the city and lies spoiling on train tracks, rumours are rampant about the pair and the Tsarina’s connection with Germany. - Losing support from gentry: Now even the upper classes are angered at being ruled by peasant Rasputin and blame the Tsar for Russia’s slew of problems. These represent the last people who rooted for the Tsar but now, he has no actual favour in the country. - Revolution begins: 7th March 1917 (February because of Julian calendar), workers from engineering giant Putilov take to the streets demanding bread and freedom from Tsarism. The next day is International Women’s Day – and since Russian women are supposed to bring food home for their children, they are especially angered by the lack of bread. In two days, the demonstration is over 1000 strong but the Tsar still likens it to Bloody Sunday despite Duma leader...
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