The Drive On Moscow Russian Civil War Summer 1919 I THE GREAT WAR 1919


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more details are also below this video. And now on to the show. It s August 1919, and the Russian Civil War has been tearing the former Tsarist Empire apart for nearly two years.


The White Russian Army faces a powerful Bolshevik attack in the East, but in the South, the Whites are about to launch. one final offensive to reverse the revolution and take back the Empire it s the Drive on Moscow.

Hi, I

m Jesse Alexander and Welcome to The Great War. By the spring of 1919, the Russian Civil War had been rocking the former Empire of the Tsar on an unprecedented scale, pitting multiple factions against each other in a kaleidoscope of violence, hunger and death. The. Two largest factions, the revolutionary Bolsheviks and the counter-revolutionary Whites, were both preparing massive military operations to bring a victorious end to the struggle

And The Fate Of The Revolution Hung In

the balance. Now before we dive in, if you want more details about the Russian Civil War before spring 1919, or about the Baltic Front in particular, check out our previous episodes. Today We re going to concentrate on the Eastern and Southern fronts, where the decisive battles would take place. As A quick faction UK The Whites were led by former officers of the Tsar and wanted to restore the old order, minus the monarchy.


They held the extremities of the Empire, in the South, East and north. Supporting the Whites were the Allies, chiefly Britain but also France and the United States. . The Reds were the revolutionary Bolsheviks and dominated the European heartland of Russia.

In The West,.

There were the various independence movements of smaller nations, like Ukraine,, Poland or the Baltic States. . The Greens were peasant armies, which we will cover. Later, and the Blacks are the faction we

Re Going To Introduce Today.

. The Black faction represents the anarchist peasant army of Nestor Makhno,, also known as Makhnovshchina. Makhno, was a peasant from the eastern Ukrainian town of Hulyai Pole, who had spent 7 years in prison for revolutionary activity before 1917. After his release from prison, he returned home fortified with anarchist ideas he had absorbed from fellow prisoners like Arshinov” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Pyotr Arshinov.

In, The Post-Revolution Chaos, He Took

the lead of a band of armed peasants who seized land from local estate owners, until the Germans and UK arrived in Spring 1918.. He briefly fled to Russia and even met Vladimir Lenin, and though the two differed in political ideology. They agreed to fight the Central Powers and Whites. Makhno returned to Ukraine and organized local forces against theNK] and the puppet Ukrainian government.


The Austrians left, Makhno s Black Army fought against the Whites and the independent Ukrainian People s Republic of Symon Petliura. .

He Formally Allied Himself To The Red Army

in February 1919 and by April. He commanded 20,000 men, armed by the Reds. The. Local Local peasant leaders were joined by anarchist intellectuals from Russia, like Arshinov and Voline,. Though the two groups didn

T Always See Eye To Eye.

In the zone under their control, the anarchists tried to introduce a program of local self–rule of free peasant councils, giving the land to the peasants, promoting education, and free exchange of goods and services between the countryside and the city. . In political meetings and in the local anarchist newspaper, the Bolsheviks and the Red Terror were openly criticized, and Makhno retained for the time being a fair degree of military and political freedom. .

He Felt Anarchism Was The Natural Political Ideology

of free peasants, as he wroteNK] UK Instinctive anarchism clearly illuminated all the plans of the Ukraine’s Toiling peasantry, which gave vent to an undisguised hatred of all State authority, a feeling accompanied by a plain ambition to liberate themselves.. Now. There have been many different interpretations of UK.

Some Say He Was A Ukrainian Nationalist, Or

an anarchist, or the leader of just another peasant Jacquerie, or a criminal bandit. Some have questioned to what extent anarchist principles were actually put in practice, or whether his movement was simply a traditional peasant revolt about land reform that needed his military leadership. In any case, in 1919 his standing among the local peasants was such that many referred to him as Batko, or little father. . In.

In The Late Spring, He Controlled A Chunk

of territory in southeastern Ukraine around Hulyaipole,, though this would soon change. SO now We ve refreshed our grasp of the various factions at war. In summer 1919, let s turn to the action at the front.


s start in the east, where the White forces ofNK] Leader Kolchak stood tantalizingly close to the Russian heartland. After a partially successful offensive in March and April. They

D Been Stopped Just Short Of Their Goal

of reaching the Volga river,. But Kolchak was hoping that his advance would spur the peasants to rebel against the Reds and cause the Allies in Paris to recognize him as the legitimate ruler of Russia. . In fact, it was to win Allied favour that he had rushed the start of the offensive, and now his army was overstretched and vulnerable. .


The Spring attack had been a major gamble, since his forces faced some serious problems. For one thing, the White troops were mostly inexperienced. Of. His 150,000 men, two thirds were poorly trained recent conscripts and only 5% of his officers had received proper pre-war training.

The Army Was Also Inefficient And Corrupt, In

spite of the large amount of weapons and supplies it received from the Allies. General Gajda s Siberian Army, for example, was drawing rations for 275,000 troops. Even though he only had 30,000 men under his command. .

British Goods And Weapons Often Never

made it to the fighting units. Instead they were diverted and sold on the black market. , brought over to the Reds by deserters, or simply held up by inadequate transport infrastructure. British British General Knox, in charge of overseeing Allied military support to the Whites in the East, had been furious when the first Red Army soldiers he saw were wearing fresh new British uniforms. Legend has it that the Reds even sent him a joke letter thanking him for supplying the Red Army.

What Supplies Did Arrive Took Over

a month to make the journey from far off Vladivostok, and had to cross territory controlled by peasant rebels and Cossack warlords., since Kolchak s authority essentially stopped at Lake Baikal. White officers themselves knew their position was fragile. As one put UK UK think that our successful advances are a result of military prowess, for it is all much simpler than that

When They Run Away We Advance;

when we run away they will advance. But. It wasn t just the White military in the East that was weak

White Civilian Legitimacy Was Also Lacking.

Kolchak had hoped that as he approached the centre of Russia, the large population of peasants would rally to the White cause. This did not happen, because many of them feared the return of the landowners and factory bosses. If the Whites won. Kolchak

S Statement On Land Reform In April

Rang Hollow, and was not enough to win peasant hearts and minds. One White officer later wrote of this UK UK not only did not give the muzhik the bird in the hand, we were even afraid to promise him the bird in the bush. . Though.

It Has Been Argued He Held

some progressive views, many in his regime were reactionary, and the peasants and ethnic minorities knew it.. It. Kolchak s own General Budberg wrote in his UK UK regime was only form without content; the ministries can be compared to huge and imposing windmills, busily turning their sails, but with no millstones inside and with much of their machinery broken or missing.

Meanwhile,, the Red Army facing Kolchak was growing in strength. Reinforcements were moved east a luxury it could afford since it had far larger reserves than any of the White armies. The young but talented General Frunze also arrived, along with future Marshall Tukhachevsky, who had spent time as a UK in Germany alongside Charles De Gaulle.


Fresh forces, the Bolshevik counter-offensive began at the end of April, and pushed back the overextended forces of the Whites. Ethnic Bashkir units deserted Kolchak and went over to the Red Army, further weakening White resistance. Despite The progress, in May Lenin was still worried about the situation, given the strength of the Whites in the UK UK before winter we do not make the Urals, I consider that the defeat of the revolution will be inevitable.


It turned out he had no reason to worry. Ufa, at the edge of the Urals, was taken on June 9, partially thanks to the efforts of Commander Vasiliy UK, who was made into a Soviet hero for his part in the war before he was killed in September. . The Siberian army under General Gajda, which had continued the advance in May, was now forced to retreat because of the collapse in the centre.

The Rout Was On, And By The End

of June Red forces reached Perm, the starting point of the White offensive in March. At. This stage, the Bolsheviks had a choice to make. They d won.

A Great Victory, But Had Also Stretched Their

supply lines.. Red Army Commander in Chief Vatsetis and War Commissar Leon Trotsky wanted to call a halt and consolidate the gains. But Lenin, Stalin and General UK, the top commander in the east, wanted to press on-and they got their way. Kamenev took over command of the army.

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, Vatsetis Ended Up In Prison, And The

offensive continued across the mountains.. By UK. The Bolsheviks were in Ekaterinburg, following an advance of up to 300 kilometres In 4 weeks. .

By July 24 Uk Had Fallen, Despite A

major White counterattack. The Chelyabinsk counter attack used up the last few fresh troops. The Whites had, and though they inflicted 15,000 casualties on the Reds to their own 5000, the Red Army could not be stopped. . The fleeing White Army, with its bloated complement of staff, officers and families and servants in.

In Tow, Was Described By One Of Its

own UKNK] were not military units, but some kind of Tatar horde. Kolchak himself summed up the reasons for White failures in UK poor supply, poor relations between officers and men, effective Bolshevik propaganda, and ineffective White propaganda. To make matters worse for Kolchak, in July Allied representatives came to Omsk to discuss how they could help the White regime. Instead, the White defeats convinced the Allies that Kolchak

S Government Was A Lost Cause And Further

help was likely useless. The British withdrew their training mission in the late summer, and General Knox wrote to the White UKNK] present all seems to me to be absolute chaos, and worse chaos than anything I have seen in the past 12 months. . . .

It Is My Wish To Help You, But Frankly

at present you make help impossible. The loss of the Urals was. Urals was decisive.

Not Only Did The British Lose Faith In

Kolchak,, but the mines and factories in the region were among the few that the Whites had. Plus. It cut off the central White armies from their southern forces.


The Russian Civil War has been tearing the former Tsarist Empire apart for nearly two years . The White Russian Army faces a powerful Bolshevik attack in the East, but in the South, the Whites are about to launch.& one final offensive to reverse the revolution and take back the Empire . Today going to concentrate on the Eastern and Southern fronts, where the decisive battles would take place . Check out our previous episodes of The Great War before spring 1919, or about the Baltic Front in particular, for more details about the . Baltic Front, or . the . decisive battles in the . Eastern and . Southern fronts . The fate of the revolution hung in the balance. The Whites were led by former . officers of the Tsar and wanted to restore the old order, minus the . monarchy . The Whites wanted to . restore the . old order minus the monarchy, without the . Tsar . The . White Russians were led to by former Officers of the . tsar . They held the ….. Click here to read more and watch the full video