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Access The View That The Red Army's Victory Led To The Establishment Of Bolshevik Power By 1924.

2375 words - 10 pages

Assess the view that the Red Army's victory in the Civil War was responsible for the establishment of Bolshevik power by 1924.Why the reds won:Much credit must go to Trotsky who, despite the criticism aimed at him over the Czech Legion issue, was a brilliant War Commissar. Untrained in military matters, Trotsky seemed to be a natural leader of men. His beliefs were simple. If a Red commander was successful in combat, they were promoted. If a commander failed and survived, he paid the price. Trotsky was willing to use ex-tsarist officers as he knew that they had the military experience the Red Army lacked. Ironically, though this was a successful policy, it was later held against him in his battle with Stalin for control of the party after Lenin's death.Trotsky also knew that the first time the Red Army lost a major battle, it would spell the end of the revolution and all that the Bolsheviks had fought for. He visited the Red Army at the front in his legendary armoured train to instill into them this very simple fact.Lenin also imposed an iron grip on territory under the control of the Bolsheviks. The party had a secret police unit (called the Cheka, which was to change its title to the NKVD) which was ruthless in hunting out possible opponents to Lenin. In many areas of Russia, where the Bolsheviks had control, the NKVD was judge, jury and executioner. Its power was massively extended after August 30th, 1918. On this day the Socialist Revolutionary Kaplin shot and wounded Lenin.Whites were made up of many groups - groups that hated each other as much as they hated the Reds. With no cohesiveness to them, the Whites were on the whole a hopelessly uncoordinated group that fell out with each other. Though on a map of Russia, it looked as if the Reds were being attacked from all sides, such attacks were disunited and dislocated. The fact that so many groups existed, meant that no one person could be appointed to act as their sole commander. With no unified leadership, the Whites were much weakened.The Whites also suffered a massive blow to their campaign when the Allies withdrew from Russia after November 11th 1918. With the end of World War One, the Allies were much cooler in their dealings with the White leaders. Reports reached London that the Whites had committed many atrocities on innocent civilians - and the government could not afford to be associated with such things. The senior British observer attached to Kolchak wrote to Lloyd George that Kolchak was a "disinterested patriot". In May 1919, Britain refused to recognise Kolchak and France did the same in May. The Red Army drove Kolchak and his rapidly disintegrating forces back to Siberia where he surrendered to the Communists. He died in their custody.White forces in the south of Russia were evacuated from the Crimea from November 1920 on.After success against forces in Russia itself, Trotsky then faced a challenge from Poland. Granted her independence in 1918, Poland invaded the Ukraine in...

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