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Charles
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:53 pm

ERISS wrote:. At the end of 1919, without the makhnovists, Denikin would have entered Moscow. Denikin's army retreated for the makhnovists had destroyed all their back. The Red army just followed the White backing movement.
Denikin had, again, underestimated the makhnovists: Makhnovists destroyed the better units (it was though: elite cavalry, son's officers) Denikin had sent to kill them, and then destroyed all reinforcements and theft all the White supplies.
End 1919, Moscow was absolutly lost if Black and White were allied.
. There is a second time, I'll try to edit here if I remember/found when in my books.


The facts dont support such an unequivocal affirmation. The Red Army reached peak strength of 5,500,000 in 1920. White Armies apparently had a peak strength of 2,400,000 in 1918-19. The Black Army had a peak strength of 100,000 in late 1919, not strong enough to have a decisive impact.

By the summer of 1919, the war was going well for the Red Army, armies under Marshal Tukachevsky (my avatar :) ) had pushed back forces under Kolchak and Wrangel. By this time the Red Army had a numerical superiority over the White Armies. The Black Army helped, but there is no reason to believe Tukachevsky could not have defeated Denikin on his own.

The Greens attacked many times the Red and Whites. I don't think the Greens attacked the Blacks, but the Blacks attacked a very few times some Greens band with the pretext those Greens were for killing jewishes. Often they killed just the Green leader.


From what I can see, the Black Army treated the peasants the same way as the Reds or the Whites. There is no reason to believe the peasants would have reacted differently to Black looting:


An army needs to eat. As they moved through the Ukraine, locals would point out the kulaks who would “agree” to provide food.79[size=84] Despite orders to the contrary, Makhnovists would loot town after town, adding to the workers’ misery. One witness recalled:
[INDENT]Food supply was primitive, on the traditional insurgent pattern: the bratishki—the Makhnovists’ name for each other—would scatter to the peasant huts on entering a village, and eat what God sent; there was thus no shortage, although plundering and thoughtless damage to peasant stock did occur; I saw them shoot peasant cattle for fun more than once, amid the howls of women and children.[size=75]80


[/INDENT][size=75][size=84]From their earliest days, they took the equipment they needed from those who had it.81[size=84] As they passed through towns and villages, they required the populace to quarter them.[size=75]82 [size=75][size=84]While condemning the Soviet Cheka as an authoritarian betrayal, Makhno created two secret police forces that carried out numerous acts of terror.82 After a battle in one village, they shot a villager suspected of treachery with no trial. They summarily executed many of their prisoners of war.84[size=84] Their secret police were tasked with getting rid of “opponents within or outwith [sic] the movement.”[size=75]85[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]



http://www.isreview.org/issues/53/makhno.shtml
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:39 pm

Charles wrote:The facts dont support such an unequivocal affirmation. The Red Army reached peak strength of 5,500,000 in 1920. White Armies apparently had a peak strength of 2,400,000 in 1918-19. The Black Army had a peak strength of 100,000 in late 1919, not strong enough to have a decisive impact.


:blink: all that ! i would have said 1/4 of it for all sides...
But do you count the enlisted on the paper or the ones which was really equiped ?



Charles wrote:From what I can see, the Black Army treated the peasants the same way as the Reds or the Whites. There is no reason to believe the peasants would have reacted differently to Black looting:


I don't know who describe the situation in the text you quoted (obviously the ISR review is a trotskist point of view. But your link is down, for now... maybe later...).
But anyway why not. It could be true. For me, Reds and Blacks would move and act like this in some regions but differently in other to keep areas with a true/better support from the local population.

Except that i don't think the Blacks had a Tcheka but probably they tried to have a counter-tcheka (which had not the aim of the Tcheka, which was to kill ALL opponents leaders from all other sides).
I would better say that maybe they tryied to kill as many tchekists as they could find, of course without "trials" (what is "trial" in a civil war :D ?).
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ERISS
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:42 pm

Charles's bolshevik link (International Socialist Review) works better here:
http://bermudaradical.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/nestor-makhno-and-anarchist-myth-making/
Same "Black is Red" story (You can even see the red Makhno picture!) (ok, some anarchists prefer the reverse: 'Red is Black'):
EDIT: Lol, that's the same "Steam is not a DRM" or "GOG is a DRM too" war.

Makhnovists' spies were the paesants themselves. (EDIT: Ok he had some organised intelligence system against assassins)

The prisonners of war executed were the officers knowned guilty by their own troop.

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:40 pm

andatiep wrote: :blink: all that ! i would have said 1/4 of it for all sides...
But do you count the enlisted on the paper or the ones which was really equiped ?


These are just the total numbers, which is all I could find, although it does gives a general idea. If anyone has the actual numbers for troops involved, it would be even better.

I don't know who describe the situation in the text you quoted (obviously the ISR review is a trotskist point of view. But your link is down, for now... maybe later...).
But anyway why not. It could be true. For me, Reds and Blacks would move and act like this in some regions but differently in other to keep areas with a true/better support from the local population.


Totally agree the article I quoted has an axe to grind, but it links to other sources for the facts that are quoted. The problem with Makhno is that there is little written material about him and no objective history of his movement has been done. All texts are either written by his supporters or his opponents, so it is hard to know where the truth lies. Best you can do is just read what there is out there and make up your own mind.

Now back to the facts I quoted, the question is how did Makhno keep his Black Army supplied in the middle of the Civil War? The Black Army received its food and horses from the local civilian population. Unless the peasants willingly "gave" the food away, which I doubt, Makhno's army would have had to "requisition" food from villages and presumably use force if there was resistance. I doubt the peasants would see much difference whether it is a Black, White or Red Army "requisitioning" their grain. ;)
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:13 pm

Charles wrote:, the question is how did Makhno keep his Black Army supplied in the middle of the Civil War? The Black Army received its food and horses from the local civilian population. Unless the peasants willingly "gave" the food away, which I doubt, Makhno's army would have had to "requisition" food from villages and presumably use force if there was resistance. I doubt the peasants would see much difference whether it is a Black, White or Red Army "requisitioning" their grain. ;)

The bigger difference is Whites and Reds wanted, trough coercicion (death, burned farms, etc), to dictate the paesants life.
The traditional peasant organisation (the 'mir'), didn't need the Red or White systems. They were as natural soviets, so the Black had just to ask them to send a mandated villager at a soviets meeting to unite and decide all about themselves. Red didn't like that, as peasants didn't need the commissar tchekist State.

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:19 pm

ERISS wrote:The bigger difference is Whites and Reds wanted, trugh coercicion (death, burned farms, etc), to dictate the paesants life.
The traditional peasant organisation (the 'mir'), didn't need the Red or White systems. They were as natural soviets, so the Black had just to ask them to send a mandated villager at a soviets meeting to unite and decide all about themselves. Red didn't like that, as peasants didn't need the commissar tchekist State.


That is all very nice, but where did Makhno get the food to feed his army of 100,000 men?
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:24 pm

Charles wrote:, but where did Makhno get the food to feed his army of 100,000 men?

Another difference is the makhnovists were mainly peasants defending their country, like the Greens.
Another is anarchists did not gave their country to the germans. Bolsheviks had no shame, asking for paesant work after giving the peasants down to the german army.
Makhno helped greatly the fight against the germans and whites, 6(?) months before the bolsheviks could reach them to "help".
So, peasants often welcome the makhnovists.

Bolsheviks often omit this...

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:26 pm

Charles wrote:That is all very nice, but where did Makhno get the food to feed his army of 100,000 men?


Maybe they were only 30 000 mens to feed, as says your own quoted "trotskist" source :)
Which is a number which could be realistic.

In this case, it's normal that the little black force was less unpopular with requisitions than the big Red's forces which need also to feed the big towns from which they control the state/goverment.

Next to this, i could believe that the ukrainian peasants would probably more likely participate (even if they don't believe completely in it and do it provisionnaly) to the local self-management proposed by the Blacks, and then suffered less from the requisitions and abuse than in the other regions were the war communism (requisions + Tcheka) was implemented.
It could be judged egoistic but it could fit to a state of mind of the peasants which don't care of the rest of the situation (who care of them during centuries of Tsarism and servage?).

Of course, that's not like this that you help the urban populations or like this that you can face a huge, organized and well-equiped army (white or red).
The situation and the debate between actors (or current believers) is almost the same with the Spanish civil war.
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:44 pm

andatiep wrote:The situation and the debate between actors (or current believers) is almost the same with the Spanish civil war.


This debate is nothing, just wait until the game comes out... :D
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Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:55 pm

Hohenlohe wrote:
But nowadays many people think that we need no more of a pure capitalism because of these crisis and they often prefer a christian founded "social economy" called "Soziale Marktwirtschaft" which is basically founded on christian ethic, in our case on catholic ethic principles.


Well Iran revolution in lately found that also in religion.Nothing about catholic principles. Once upon a time I talked about Profs from USA and they also thought the same think about that "ethics" found in religions. And they added that it should be "green" socialism.

Hohenlohe wrote:
for those of you which think I would be an admirer of some socialism, thats definitely not the case.


No one thinks that dont worry about it :mdr:



Charles wrote:That is all very nice, but where did Makhno get the food to feed his army of 100,000 men?


That should be the correct question. The point is whether opposing groups green,red,orange or white doesnt matter..

From previous posts I mentioned that most anarchists from citizens and "reaction" to heavy labour.

And Im not convinced about they heavily influenced any vilagers...
independent from color :)

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Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:57 pm

Charles wrote:This debate is nothing, just wait until the game comes out... :D


Yes, i soon as i wrote this last sentence, i had regrets... ;)

Rafiki : i promise to not speak anymore of such a new "Pandora's box" in this thread !! :w00t: don't shoot at me please :love:
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Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:00 am

Charles wrote:That is all very nice, but where did Makhno get the food to feed his army of 100,000 men?

For Bolsheviks, the makhnovist movment is illegal since 10th April 1919: This said illegal 3rd Military Congress was with mandated of 72 districts, representing 2 millions men (And the congresses before were hailled by bolsheviks, but at these times the bolsheviks couldn't grab the peasants lands).
So, Bolsheviks forbiden themselves to understand that if only 5% of these people actually fought (in the makhnovstchina), they were backed by the remaining peasants.
That's funny the bolsheviks declare illegal a movement where they had given the land (a land that didn't belong to bolsheviks..) to the germans. Only the ukrainians could claim the illegality, or the germans (in the bolsheviks 'gift'), not the moscovist bolsheviks!

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Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:42 pm

ERISS wrote:The bigger difference is Whites and Reds wanted, trugh coercicion (death, burned farms, etc), to dictate the paesants life.
The traditional peasant organisation (the 'mir'), didn't need the Red or White systems. They were as natural soviets, so the Black had just to ask them to send a mandated villager at a soviets meeting to unite and decide all about themselves. Red didn't like that, as peasants didn't need the commissar tchekist State.


ERISS wrote:Another difference is the makhnovists were mainly peasants defending their country, like the Greens.
Another is anarchists did not gave their country to the germans. Bolsheviks had no shame, asking for paesant work after giving the peasants down to the german army.
Makhno helped greatly the fight against the germans and whites, 6 months before the bolsheviks could reach them to "help".
So, peasants often welcome the makhnovists.

Bolsheviks often omit this...


ERISS wrote:For Bolsheviks, the makhnovist movment is illegal since 10th April 1919: This said illegal 3rd Military Congress was with mandated of 72 districts, representing 2 billions men (And the congresses before were hailled by bolsheviks, but at these times the bolsheviks couldn't grab the peasants lands).
So, Bolsheviks forbiden themselves to understand that if only 5% of these people actually fought, they were backed by the remaining peasants.
That's funny the bolsheviks declare illegal a movement where they had given the land (a land that didn't belong to bolsheviks..) to the germans. Only the ukrainians could claim the illegality, or the germans (in the bolsheviks 'gift'), not the moscovist bolsheviks!


ERISS, I read your responses, but I am still not sure what your point is.

Are you saying the Ukrainian peasants voluntarily gave away their food to the Black Army?
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Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:14 pm

Charles wrote:Are you saying the Ukrainian peasants voluntarily gave away their food to the Black Army?

I think they mainly gave, as I think for them, after being a civil-organisation-where-paesantry-decided, the then militarized makhnovshtchina was sadly their better hope against Whites and Reds.
If being coerced is true, I don't know about exemples of violence back of paesants against makhnovists. I think the coerced ones would be sulky, or angry without acting.
There were no such hate as against Reds or Whites where the peasants dare to fight back (and even counter-terrorised the Reds!).

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Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:50 pm

ERISS wrote:I think they mainly gave, as I think for them, after being a civil-organisation-where-paesantry-decided, the then militarized makhnovshtchina was sadly their better hope against Whites and Reds.
If being coerced is true, I don't know about exemples of violence back of paesants against makhnovists. I think the coerced ones would be sulky, or angry without acting.
There were no such hate as against Reds or Whites where the peasants dare to fight back (and even counter-terrorised the Reds!).



ERISS, we should probably agree to disagree and move on, otherwise this will become "The Makhno history debate". :)

I will concede that Makhno and his Black Army probably treated the peasants better than the Reds and the Whites did.

However, I still don't agree that Anarchism is a viable political ideology for building a society.

Back to the main topic, you made many references to the Reds giving away Ukraine to the Germans. I presume you are referring to the Brest-Litovsk treaty. This was a case where the Bolsheviks had no choice. After the October 1917 revolution, the Imperial Army dissolved away as thousands of soldiers left to go back home. The Bolsheviks created a Red Army in early 1918, but it was unable to put up any kind of resistance to the Germans who pushed deep into Russia. The Russian government had no choice, it was either agree to the German terms and give up Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states or have the Germans drive all the way to Moscow and Petrograd. Lenin agreed to the treaty to buy time to build up his Red Army.
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Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:04 pm

Charles wrote:However, I still don't agree that Anarchism is a viable political ideology for building a society.

Maybe, but that's the better. :D

the Reds giving away Ukraine to the Germans. you are referring to the Brest-Litovsk treaty. This was a case where the Bolsheviks had no choice. After the October 1917 revolution, the Imperial Army dissolved away as thousands of soldiers left to go back home. The Bolsheviks created a Red Army in early 1918, but it was unable to put up any kind of resistance to the Germans who pushed deep into Russia. The Russian government had no choice, it was either agree to the German terms and give up Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states or have the Germans drive all the way to Moscow and Petrograd. Lenin agreed to the treaty to buy time to build up his Red Army.

No choice? They were cowards: The ukrainians succeded were the bolsheviks feared: They drove back the german army (already about to retreat, ok).
Even, the bolsheviks proved they didn't want to sacrifice for their revolution: There are other towns than Moscow in Russia and all. As Napoleon saw...
With solding the ukrainians and others, the bolsheviks deserted the revolution, for revolution is solidarity.

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Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:34 pm

It was not a question of bravery, it was a coldly rational political decision.

The most important thing for Lenin was to make sure the Bolsheviks had time to consolidate their hold on power. If they did not sign the treaty, the germans threatened to drive all the way to Petrograd and Moscow and overthrow them. If they signed, it would give Lenin a breathing space to consolidate Soviet power. It was the only rational choice.

As it was, Lenin had to use all his powers of persuasion to get his way, since many members of the Sovnarkom and the Party were dead set against approving the treaty.
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Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:03 pm

Charles wrote:It was not a question of bravery, it was a coldly rational political decision.
The most important thing for Lenin was to make sure the Bolsheviks had time to consolidate their hold on power.

You says it. Bolsheviks saved their ass.
Mind acting, without letting heart to control, drove them to the Tcheka madness.
As it was, Lenin had to use all his powers of persuasion to get his way,

I know, Lenin went the doom of the revolution.
(Yep, its fans will surely see this sentence as a troll)

Ok, people, almost all revolutionaries, wanted dearly the end of the war. But surely not at this cost.
I imagine, as bolsheviks were very few in Ukraine, that they saw the ukrainians as expendables (more than the others). Bolsheviks tought the ukrainians paesants, somewhat selfish, won't help them. They were wrong, as at first many ukrainians believed in them as the bolsheviks went talking as the anarchists. But as the bolsheviks didn't believed in the ukrainians, they didn't listen to them, treated them badly, and then the paysants revolted.

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Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:29 pm

ERISS wrote: But as the bolsheviks didn't believed in the ukrainians, they didn't listen to them, treated them badly, and then the paysants revolted.


Maybe one of the reason can be Ukraine wanted independence. Because in previous and in many centuries Ukraine was controlled by Russian Empire. They should have though that it is the best chance for them to become independent. Maybe Bolsheviks understood that. It can be one of the good reasons they didn't trust or treat badly apart from which groups are anarchists or which group trusted to whom..

Also Ukranian language is different from Russian, even in Russian empire times they were never asimilated even againt harsh regulations. Maybe when you ask an Ukranian in 1900's maybe he will reply that " I want to be independent from Russia first then to become communist,anarchist or other." But hard to know people's main motive in early 1920's

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Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:26 pm

Baris wrote:Maybe one of the reason can be Ukraine wanted independence.
Maybe when you ask an Ukranian in 1900's maybe he will reply that "I want to be independent from Russia first then to become communist,anarchist or other." But hard to know people's main motive in early 1920's

Independance is the anarchist way: The cooperation of independant ones (That's why anarchists support all regional freedom movements, if this movment is not to construct another State).
Bolsheviks want the power over all, to rule and decide for all, that's why they destroy the independance of every country: Bolchevism was a russian imperialism. :(
They support regional freedom movements too, but as a way to separate them from their masters, to better control them and be their new master.
"USSR" was a somewhat anarchist name (bolsheviks had to hide under anarchist language to be popular), but its reality was the reverse: That was not an union, but a coercition, and there were no longer any soviet since long. (We can tell the same about today's "democracies". Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: words.)

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Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:42 pm

andatiep wrote:Could we have some volunteers to speak about the white(s) side(s) political and military objectives, too ? I feel ignorant about it...
I'll see what I can do...

Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak overthrew the democratically-elected All-Russia Directory in a coup, had many of its members executed (and their mutilated bodies dumped along the banks of a river), and then declared himself Supreme Ruler of Russia. It's not hard to see what his main motivation was. :)

His main policies were:

  • A strong central government untainted by "idle talkers". He gave lip service to the idea of democracy but in practice ruled purely by decree as a dictator in the area under his control.
  • One Russia, indivisible. Most of the Whites had no patience for attempts by Finns or Poles or the Baltic States to gain independence; they were fighting to restore the Tsar's Empire, after all.
  • Free trade - the British government backed Kolchak, and British investors had a major stake in the mining resources of the Urals. The idea that the Whites were mere stooges of Western capitalist interests was a major and successful theme of Bolshevik propaganda.
  • Restriction of workers' rights - strikes were illegal, trade unions were under state control, cossacks were used to massacre workers who went on strike anyway.
  • Forced grain requisition at artificially low prices to support the war effort. In other words, the Whites were using exactly the same policy the Reds are blamed for! Also, Kolchak's White army was made up of soldiers conscripted at gunpoint and marched out of their villages, often never to see them again. In total contrast, Trotsky's Red Army even offered pensions to the families of soldiers killed in action... another reason why the Reds had more popular support than the Whites.
  • Confiscation of all the land acquired by peasants from the nobility, Church and Tsar during the Revolution, which would then be rented back to them by the State. Kolchak talked about letting the peasants buy this land, and using the money to compensate the nobility and Church for its loss; but the policies were never put into effect.
  • When up to 100,000 peasants revolted against White policies of grain confiscation and forced conscription in the Volga region, Kolchak's response was punitive expeditions to burn villages, decimate their population (in the Roman sense) and take hostages.

As for Anton Denikin, he wasn't as megalomaniacal as Kolchak in the title he took for himself: simply General of the Armed Forces of Southern Russia. He never spelled out in detail exactly what he was fighting for, but most of his advisors seem to have favoured a restoration of the monarchy. He certainly restored the old Tsarist system of local government in the areas under his control, with military governors answering only to him, and a lot of corrupt and bureaucratic committees appointed to manage things.

  • On land reform, Denikin talked vaguely about letting the peasants keep the land they'd taken from the aristocracy, but like Kolchak he insisted they'd have to pay compensation to the former owners. In the end, Denikin's regime confiscated the peasants' land in the name of the State, and let the peasants continue to farm it as long as they paid over the grain they produced as "rent" to feed Denikin's armies.
  • Denikin blamed the Jews for the Bolshevik Revolution, and his army was instructed to carry out revenge. This started as small-scale murder, rape and burning down Jewish houses, then escalated into full-scale mass executions and genocide. In less than five months Denikin's forces murdered over 100,000 Jews in the areas under their control.
  • Denikin made some efforts towards labour law reform, but in practice the old pre-war Tsarist management style was reintroduced - including public floggings of workers who broke company rules.



Basically, I think the reason why the Bolsheviks won the Civil War can be summed up like this:

The Reds were the bad guys...
But the Whites were the even worse guys.

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Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:59 pm

StephenT wrote:Basically, I think the reason why the Bolsheviks won the Civil War can be summed up like this:

The Reds were the bad guys...
But the Whites were the even worse guys.


great post!

Long live the Revolution! :D


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Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:26 pm

Charles wrote:great post!
Long live the Revolution! :D


Haha ! ...but wich one ? :D

We have at least 7 Revolutions in the hands :thumbsup: :

- Mencheviks/socialist and liberals (all kind of parliament democrats) of the first revolution. (By the way, those i would like to know what they did or could do in the game, is a third way possible ? etc.)
- Bolchevik
- Anarchist
- Ukrainian nationalist
- Baltics nationalist
- Polish nationalist
- Kolchakist (if the portrait of StephenT is the most close to the true (what i'm ready to admit because i have doubts on the historical methods used by the current Russian goverment when he draw the new Kolchak official portrait now).

Denikin would finally be the only real white :w00t:
Except that it's jewish policy may be a bit revolutionary comparing to the old Tsarist rules. :cool:
Or not, if the pogroms were already a national sport under Nicolas II.


So, then what about the white's foreign supporters :
- UK was for Kolchak, StephenT said.
- France was for ?
- USA was for ?

Finally, was there any other second rank Whites leaders which could have performe different policies and strategies if one or two of those Kolchak and Denikin did died suddenly from a hard core vodka party ?

Because it seems that's the only way for the White's players to win in the game... :(
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Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:46 pm

andatiep wrote:Finally, was there any other second rank Whites leaders which could have performe different policies and strategies if one or two of those Kolchak and Denikin did died suddenly from a hard core vodka party ?

Because it seems that's the only way for the White's players to win in the game... :(


not really, its a war.

Once it has started, the reasons and causes are irrelevant and it is just a question of strategy and manpower.

I presume it is possible for the Whites to win, otherwise, it will be a boring game.
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Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:59 pm

"It would be a boring game." I agree. On with VGN or whatever Paradox had decreed it should be called. Why waste time on this turkey? I await the chance to buy VGN!! I'll never buy this unless Pocus says it is necessary for his and Phil's health and safety. tag :thumbsup:

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Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:59 pm

andatiep wrote:- Mencheviks/socialist and liberals (all kind of parliament democrats) of the first revolution. (By the way, those i would like to know what they did or could do in the game, is a third way possible ? etc.)
If there were any "good guys" in the revolution, I'd say it was the Komuch (Russian abbreviation for the "Committee of the Constituent Assembly") - these were the democratically elected SR members of the Constituent Assembly that was dispersed by Lenin a few weeks after taking power. They formed a rival government in Samara on the Volga during 1918, and attempted negotiations with other groups like the Siberian regional government in Omsk to form a federal Russian republic. They also had support from the Czechoslovakian Legion and their own troops, the People's Army.

Unfortunately, after a few early successes such as capturing Kazan (and the old Tsarist national gold reserve, which had been stored there...) they failed to make much of an impact outside their own terrritory - and then Kolchak launched his coup against them and got rid of them.

(if the portrait of StephenT is the most close to the true (what i'm ready to admit because i have doubts on the historical methods used by the current Russian goverment when he draw the new Kolchak official portrait now).
The main source I'm using for my information is Geoffrey Swain's book Russia's Civil War, which I have here with me. (I've read other stuff in the past as well,but don't have it to check against.)

Except that it's jewish policy may be a bit revolutionary comparing to the old Tsarist rules. :cool:
Or not, if the pogroms were already a national sport under Nicolas II.
Anti-Jewish pogroms were common enough under the Tsars, but Denikin's regime does seem to have take them to a new level. And some of the propaganda he issued, taking about Jews as a "microbe" which must be "made harmless", is identical to the sort of the thing the Third Reich would issue 20 years later.

So, then what about the white's foreign supporters :
- UK was for Kolchak, StephenT said.
- France was for ?
- USA was for ?
Finally, was there any other second rank Whites leaders which could have performe different policies and strategies if one or two of those Kolchak and Denikin did died suddenly from a hard core vodka party ?
Kolchak and Denikin were in charge of the two largest and most important White armies during the height of the civil war, but there were certainly other factions:

Kolchak, as I mentioned, seized power away from the Komuch and the Directory which had previously ruled the area between the Urals and the Volga. He advanced westwards, but failed to get much further than the Volga and had to retreat gradually back again.

Denikin was originally a follower of General Kornilov, who replaced him as commander of the White army in the Don and Kuban region after Kornilov's death in early 1918. Denikin lead an offensive which almost captured Moscow, but failed and had to retreat. After that he went into exile and General Wrangel took over as commander.

There was also a smaller White army based in Estonia under the command of General Yudenich (who was one of the best Russian generals of WW1, defeating the Turks in the Caucasus). Yudenich raised and trained his army with British support, planning to advance on Petrograd and capture it; but in a desperate fight Trotsky's hastily-raised forces beat him back.

These were the main White armies which were fighting to conquer Russia and set themselves up as the new central government. There were plenty of other factions, like the Ukrainian nationalists, the Czech Legion, the Don Cossacks, the Polish Army, and so forth who were crucial to the fighting in particular areas; but they only had limited or regional goals such as independence rather than fighting to overthrow the Bolsheviks entirely.

If all three main White armies had been able to coordinate their attacks simultaneously, they might possibly have won. Unfortunately, they never managed that, allowing the Reds - who held a central position around Moscow, Russia's main rail hub - to shift their forces from one front to another and defeat each of them in turn.

Kolchak was something of an anglophile and had a lot of support from Britain, but Britain also backed Denikin and Yudenich... in fact, they were often the ones trying in vain to persuade the White leaders to cooperate with each other. France mostly supported Denikin, but that's purely a matter of geography because the French intervention force was in the Black Sea which is where Denikin was based.

As for the US - they got drawn in because there was a huge stockpile of military supplies at Murmansk and Archangel which had been shipped to Russia during WW1, and the Allies didn't want the Germans to confiscate them. So they sent a multinational force, including Americans, to garrison the ports. This force then got sucked into the wider war, and ended up fighting alongside the Whites against the Reds - one of Kolchak's plans was to link up with them so he could use the supplies himself, but the Reds managed to stop him doing so.

Finally, Japan seized the opportunity to occupy most of the Russian Far East in the name of "protecting it from Communism"... but they were pressured into giving it back again. This did give them some ideas about the region which they'd come back to a couple of decades later, however...


Charles wrote:not really, its a war.

Once it has started, the reasons and causes are irrelevant and it is just a question of strategy and manpower.
I disagree: morale and national will were essential parts of the war. Time and again, one faction would seize control of a region, only for its brutal occupation policies to turn the locals against them. The early White successes in the South were largely due to the local Cossacks deciding to ally with Denikin's forces due to Bolshevik land policies alienating them; Denikin's ultimate defeat was likewise due to him losing control of his rear area to anti-White partisans (including Makhno) and being cut off from supply in consequence.

In the end, one big reason why the Reds won was that they were slightly less brutal than the Whites. Peasants would grumble at having to hand over half their grain to the Red Guards under "War Communism" - but that was still better than a bunch of White cossacks turning up, stealing all the grain, and burning down the farmhouse as well just for fun. Trotsky was able to mobilise millions of Russians to fight in the Red Army, and keep them supplied and fed, because the Russians saw the Reds as the lesser of two evils.

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ERISS
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Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:29 pm

StephenT wrote:If there were any "good guys" in the revolution, I'd say it was the Komuch (Russian abbreviation for the "Committee of the Constituent Assembly") - these were the democratically elected SR members of the Constituent Assembly that was dispersed by Lenin a few weeks after taking power.

They wouldn't be dispersed if they were not just talkers.
The peasants would have protect them if this committee had let them take the lands they promised to them.
That's representative democracy: One talks to be elected, then one elected makes all he wants. Paesants punished those liars by letting them throwned away.
Representative democracy needs a big police to stand up against people that the 'democracy' cheated. SR should have created their Tcheka before cheating people...

France mostly supported Denikin, but that's purely a matter of geography because the French intervention force was in the Black Sea which is where Denikin was based.

Yes, the 'help' from the French were to steal territories before Denikin could reach them.
I think the French succeded in allying the Whites and the Reds against them! :bonk:

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Charles
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Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:00 pm

StephenT wrote:I disagree: morale and national will were essential parts of the war.


agreed, but at what level? Morale is important among your own troops, demoralized troops will not fight and will desert.

Among the general population however, active support is not as essential as a lack of an active opposition. The peasants, which comprised 80% of the population were essentially neutral, disliked both the Reds and the Whites and just wanted to be left alone. This allowed the Reds and the Whites to fight it out, in the military sphere, without interference.

It does appear the Whites were more hated than the Reds, but that would be a question of degree. There were many instances when the Red Army destroyed villages in reprisals and Tukachevski used poision gas to put down the Tambov peasant rebellion in 1920.

The book by Swain you mentioned sounds interesting. Is the focus primarily military or political?
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Baris
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Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:07 am

ERISS wrote:Independance is the anarchist way: The cooperation of independant ones (That's why anarchists support all regional freedom movements, if this movment is not to construct another State).
Bolsheviks want the power over all, to rule and decide for all, that's why they destroy the independance of every country: Bolchevism was a russian imperialism. :(
(We can tell the same about today's "democracies". Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: words.)


I agree. Imperialism is seen (on a mass scale)in RCW. Where Greek troops landed Ukraine with good amount of numbers where they dont have any business with reds, whites or other colors :)

But apart from Nestor Makhno, peasants I think didnt have many theoratical knowledge about what is "state". They can have relative answer about the definition. Some can say it is a "police" some say "judge" or "landowner"...Difficult to know main motivation in 1920's whether the leaders made difference or peasants.
I think Ukranian and most soviet peasants most problem was poverty after the ww1 or other wars. Bolsheviks used poverty to control Soviets under their own elite(after a time) while Nestor became "Robin Hood".

But it is no doubt that Ukraine practiced collectivizm(no harsh rules) whether Nestor or peasants wanted it.




StephenT wrote:
There was also a smaller White army based in Estonia under the command of General Yudenich (who was one of the best Russian generals of WW1, defeating the Turks in the Caucasus). .


I think you mean "Sarıkamış" , maybe Yudenich is a good commander but..
It is told as tragedy by historians. General Yudeniç against Enver paşa. While Enver paşa is a crazy man there is poem about that.

in WW1 Turkish army under general Enver Paşa decided to attack Tzarist Russia(to take back occupied territory form Russian-ottoman war, and not listening to orders) with army lacking artilery and winter clothes. Ottomans try use some Turkic groups in Russian lands, while Russia try to use Armenian groups inside Ottoman empire.( "Hınçak" and "Taşnak" I didnt remember which guerilla group(they also had a party at that time) was Marxist-Leninist. Im not sure they helped Bolseviks after WW1) Both sides in a some opinion thinks as "betrayed" from inside.

After some successfull battles Ottoman army reached some north parts of Caucasus. Winter was coming so Enver decided to shelter his army in a caucaus village(villagers helped about supply). At that time Russians encircle the village with good winter clothes and good supply of ammunition. As what I have read and imagined(when I have visited there)they knew they will gone die. Or other option freezing to death. so and so..
. Most of the army freezed to death because of the enemy "winter"..

Russian soldiers in the picture below

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sarikamis-1.jpg

StephenT
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Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:44 pm

Charles wrote:The peasants, which comprised 80% of the population were essentially neutral, disliked both the Reds and the Whites and just wanted to be left alone.
I think things are a little different in a civil war compared to a normal war, when both sides have to recruit their forces and draw supplies from those same peasants, and when peasant militias and partisans often swing the balance of power between the sides.

The book by Swain you mentioned sounds interesting. Is the focus primarily military or political?
Mostly political, I'd say - he talks about the military campaigns, but setting them in the context of the political actions going on around them. It's quite a short book (192 pages)
and difficult to follow in places, but interesting, relatively recent (published in 2000) and Swain seems to know his stuff. He's an academic, not a popular writer.

Baris wrote:I think you mean "Sarıkamış" , maybe Yudenich is a good commander but..
It is told as tragedy by historians. General Yudeniç against Enver paşa. While Enver paşa is a crazy man there is poem about that.
That's right. Most of the English-language histories of WW1 talk about that battle as a disaster caused by Enver's mistakes and incompetence - but I recently read a new (2008) history of the campaign by E J Erickson which draws on newly-published sources, and argues that Enver's plan was actually a pretty good one - and the Ottomans only lost because Yudenich reacted with unusual speed and skill. To quote the book:

"On 28 December the Ottoman X Corps seized blocking positions to the north along the Kars-Sarikamis road, aiming to further weaken Russian resolve. Enver now expected a rapid Russian collapse, but instead the aggressive General Yudenich kept his head and coolly orchestrated a counterattack using forces pulled off the line and fresh forces from Kars. Yudenich's effective actions now gave the Russians numerical superiority in the immediate vicinity of Sarikamis. To make matters worse, the weather turned against the outnumbered Turks, with temperatures dropping to minus 26 degrees centigrade [...]

"On 2 January 1915, Yudenich unleashed a powerful counter-offensive that swiftly re-enveloped the Ottoman left wing around Sarikamis.[...] The battered Turks tried to form a perimeter, but the Russians turned it into a noose. By 4 January 1915 Hafiz Haki Bey was forced to choose between losing his entire force or leaving a rearguard to die while the others escaped."

Yudenich went on to win further victories in 1915 and 1916, including the capture of Erzurum, and is called "arguably the most successful Russian commander of World War I". I suppose the "arguably" is because it's between him and Brusilov. :)

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