Why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War?
The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. During this time the Bolsheviks faced massive opposition to their rule in the form of the White Armies, led by the former officers of the Tsarist state, and also from intervention by the forces of foreign countries. The Bolsheviks were surrounded, and often outnumbered by their opponents. At times, their situation seemed hopeless. Yet, by the start of 1921, the Bolsheviks had defeated their enemies and gained a complete victory. This victory can be attributed to the party’s aims, leadership, geography, and support.
The Bolsheviks, commonly known as the Reds, had one aim: to take over the current government and create a socialist Russia. This goal was very simple, and easy to relate and spread throughout Russia. They were well organized, keeping strict control on their resources. The Whites, on the other hand, were made up of many opponents of the Reds. They consisted of Tsarists who wanted the Tsar and the old system of government back, people that wanted a military dictatorship, and liberals that wanted a constitutional monarchy like that of Great Britain. They all wanted different kinds of government for Russia, thus not having a common aim. In fact, the only common aim they had was to defeat the Bolsheviks. Furthermore, the Whites were spread out over entirety of the vast nation. This led to misconceptions in decisions, as well as poor management of troops and resources.
The leaders of the Red Army were a very important factor to the Reds victory, the Bolsheviks were extremely fortunate in the quality of their leadership, particularly in Lenin and Trotsky. They used severe measures to achieve the suppression of the peasant uprisings. Whole villages were burnt to the ground and their populations executed, while the inhabitants of local villages were forced to watch as a warning not to oppose the Bolsheviks. Lenin had led the Bolsheviks to...
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