Intervention. - Stages of its development. Prime motive powers behind the Revolution. Formation of counter-revolutionary focalpoints. Brief description of the various theaters of operation. Principal zones of action. Among the consequences of the October revolution in the foreign field were a number of changes in the relationships between Russia and foreign governments. The most important of these changes was Soviet Russia's ending of the war that it was waging with the Allied powers against the Central governments (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria).
Germany, while officially recognizing the Soviet government and concluding peace with her, at the same time took advantage of the extremely weak military situation of the Soviets and occupied the Ukraine and Finland. The occupation of the Ukraine had the effect of greatly increasing the economic strength of the Central powers, particularly that of Germany, and secured for them a favorable strategic flanking position, in the event of the formation of a new anti-German Eastern front, under the influence and with the backing of the Entente. Germany, when it recognized the Soviet government, was at the same time supporting counter-revolutionary organizations and groups in the Don territory, in Georgia, etc. - which greatly aggravated our position. Austro-Hungary made no attempts at asserting her own influence with regard her foreign policy and merely followed Germany. Turkey, satisfied with the acquisition of Ardahan,* Kara**, and Batum***, had no particular quarrels with the Soviets. Besides, Germany herself aided in isolating Turkey - supporting the Menshevik government of Georgia with a view to gaining access to Transcaucasian raw materials.
Here we should point out the change which had taken place n the relations between the Soviets and Imperial Germany on the eve of her military and political collapse. Under the impact of the disastrous situation at the front and the rising tide of the revolution at home, the German government was confronted by two immediate tasks: the conclusion of an armistice in the West, and action against the approaching revolution. The assumption of an actively hostile policy toward the Soviets by the ruling class in Germany served as one means for combating the revolution at home and as a mitigating circumstance in the forthcoming peace negotiations with the Allies. These considerations may explain the rupture of Germany's diplomatic relations with us, which followed at the behest of Germany on the 5th of November, 1918. The revolutionary upheaval of November 9, 1918, prevented German imperialism from embarking, hand in hand with the world imperialism, upon a campaign against Soviet Russia.
Crushed by the terms off the Armistice and by the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, dictated to her by Entente imperialism that had triumphed in the imperialist war, and reduced to the rank of an unimportant power politically and militarily, Germany in the autumn of 1918 ceased to play a dominant role in the foreign encirclement of our republic. The support which it gave to our counter-revolutionary organizations, such as the Volunteer Corps under Von der Goltz, had but a limited objective: With the aid of this corps, Germany endeavored to preserve her influence in the Baltic Provinces and to insure her own boundaries against the surging waves of Bolshevism. However, during the summer of 1919, under pressure of the Allies, Germany was compelled to recall Von der Goltz's corps and the corps was required to disband at home. The entire German policy with respect to the Soviet Union up to the resumption of direct diplomatic relations with the Soviet republic was characterized also by a dual line of conduct. Too weak by herself, politically and militarily, to pursue independently an active policy with respect to the Soviet Union, Germany, under the influence of her reactionary circles, was at that time not averse to going hand in hand with the Entente in her fight against us, but as compensation for so doing, she demanded a revision of the Versailles Treaty. Only the curt rejection on the part of the Entente of these German importunities caused Germany once more to change her policy. In the autumn of 1919, when the Allies announced the blockade of Soviet Russia, Germany refused to participate in it, agreeing, however, to take part in other forms and methods of entering the "fight against Bolshevism."
In 1920 Germany maintained complete neutrality in the Polish-Soviet war, notwithstanding the efforts of some of her military and reactionary circles to have her engage actively in action against the Soviet Union (these efforts came in response to a project of the British War Minister, Churchill, suggesting that Germany undertake a march on Moscow in return for some concessions in the Versailles Treaty). It is beyond the scope of this work to enter into a discussion of the further progress which led Germany and the R.S.F.S.R. to the restoration of normal relations, confirmed by the Rapallo treaty of April 16, 1922.
An incomparably more complex and sweeping role in the civil war belongs to the governments of the Entente and those newly formed states that were created from the fragments of the former Russian empire, known as the border states (Finland, Poland, Esthonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).
The Entente governments fully realized the international significance of the October revolution and its socialistic implications. However, their hands were tied by the struggle with German imperialism, and therefore, the Entente found it impossible to intervene at once against the first workers' government. After they had succeeded in achieving a decisive victory over the Central Powers, The leading Allied governments in Europe, represented by Great Britain and France, openly announced their slogan of fighting the Soviet government to its complete destruction. Until the final defeat of Germany, i.e., up to the latter part of 1918, the position of the Allied Powers with respect to the so-called "Russian question" remained vague, indefinite, and contradictory.
On the 12/25 November,* 1917, Robert Cecil, representative of the British government, officially announced in Parliament the policy of the British government of non-recognition of the Soviet Union, which, however, was not to preclude certain trade relations with the Soviets.
* Where dates are thus shown - 12/25 November - these represent the old Russian calendar, and the English (Gregorian) calendar. The old Russian calendar is 15 days behind ours. In this case, "12/25 November" denotes the 12th of November by the old Russian calendar, and the 25th of November by ours. - Tr.
France was more definite and precise in her diplomatic and military representations. While declining to recognize the Soviet government, she was attempting to exert a direct influence on the military leaders of the old army, represented by General Dukhonin. Meanwhile the press of both of these countries, in carrying out the policy of their governments, continued to discuss at great length the question of intervention, going even so far as to designate Japan for carrying out this undertaking. As regards the United States, the American government, during the initial period of the existence of the Soviet government, endeavored to remain neutral, as regards Russia, until the situation becomes more clarified. The position of the other governments had not yet been announced.
With the beginning of the peace negotiations at Brest- Litovsk there took place some greater vacillations in the policy of the Allied Powers with respect with respect to the Soviet republic. England, while awaiting the outcome of these negotiations, endeavored to pursue a neutral policy with regard to the Soviets. But the Japanese, who had landed a small expeditionary force at Vladivostok on the 12th of December (November 29), 1917, were warmly acclaimed by the French press. At the same time, the Japanese government was vigorously protesting against the plans outlined for its intervention in Russia. The American policy on the Russian question was defined in the hypocritical, deceptive speech of President Wilson before the Congress of the United States of January 8, 1918, wherein he spoke of the American desire to offer assistance their "endeavor" to attain freedom and the establishment of peace.
France, in January, 1918, proceeded to offer decisive aid to the enemies of the Soviet government. On January 9, 1918, it extended a loan to the Ukrainian Rada,* which was hostile to the Soviets, and it designated the head of its Military Mission in the Ukraine as its official representative in the Ukraine. At the same time, the French government refused to send its representative to Petrograd and declined to issue a passport to French socialists who wanted to make a trip to Soviet Russia.
* Ukrainian Provisional Government. - Tr.
Under the conditions of this general political situation, one member
of the Entente, Rumania, hastened to take advantage of the complicated
situation in which the Soviet government found itself, and in January, 1918,
seized Bessarabia on the pretext of securing its own stores and lines of
communication. The Soviet government countered with the detention of the
Russian envoy, Diamanda, and the adoption of measures for the defense of the
territories of its republic.
On the 18th of February Germany, interrupting the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, resumed its offensive against Soviet Russia, assuming for its objective first the occupation of the Ukraine and then the Baltic Provinces. The extension of Germany's economic base at the expense of Ukrainian territory coupled with the continuing conversations between the Soviet government and the Germans concerning peace served to revive the plans of intervention on the part of the Allied Powers; as an argument for this there was now advanced the necessity of creating an anti-German front on the Russian territory, regardless of the participation in this on the part of the Soviet government.
Particularly clear was the expression on this question by Marshal Foch, the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces. In an interview published in the American press on the 26th of February, Marshal Foch openly declared that "America and Japan must meet Germany in Siberia - they can accomplish this."
Henceforth the question of the creation of an anti-German front in Russia, with or without the participation of the Soviet government, was the principal matter on which all efforts of Allied diplomacy was concentrated until the final open break with the Soviet government. Actually, on the 28th of February, the American press announced, semi-officially, Japan's proposals to the United States and the Allies to undertake joint operations in Siberia with a view to saving considerable military supplies that had been concentrated at Vladivostok. This communique was taken up by nearly the entire Allied press, which launched an intensive campaign in support of Japanese intervention. French political circles, in unison with the voice of the French press, now saw in Japanese occupation of Siberia "a just punishment of the Bolsheviks for their cancellation of debts and the conclusion of a separate peace with Germany." The Japanese ambassador to Great Britain, Chinda, simultaneously announced that, under the circumstances, Japan would be following the general Allied course rather than one purely Japanese. However, it became clearly apparent ere long that Japan, as compensation for her undertakings in Siberia, would call for complete freedom of action there. This freedom of action for the time being, envisaged the occupation of the entire Siberian railway on the pretext of its "defense" against use by the Germans. But this Japanese undertaking did not eventuate. It encountered the most vigorous opposition of President Wilson on behalf of the United States.
On the 3rd of March, 1918, the Japanese ambassador at Washington, in the presence of the British, French, and Italian ambassadors, was advised of President Wilson's note which stated that the President of the United States doubted very much the expediency of the proposed intervention. The premises upon which President Wilson based his statement in this connection were that an intervention would only tend to strengthen the revolutionary extremist elements in Russia and create agitation throughout the country. And aside from that, very act of intervention was contrary to the democratic military aims of the United States. It should be borne in mind that the declaration was merely intended to camouflage the real reason for American opposition to participation in the undertaking jointly with the Japanese. This reason consisted in the divergence of the interests of the respective countries - Japan and the United States. America looked with disfavor on Japan's efforts at consolidating her influence on the Asiatic continent.
President Wilson adhered to this point of view during the subsequent six months, but he was finally compelled, owing to the pressure of Entente diplomacy and the bourgeois public opinion within the United States, to agree to intervention and he agreed to the participation of American forces in the intervention primarily to offset the Japanese, French, and British. Reactionary circles in England, in turn, backed the idea of Japanese intervention, which they hoped would lead to the complete overthrow of the Soviets.
On the 4th of March, 1918, the Times wrote of the necessity to "support the healthy elements of the Siberian population and to afford them an opportunity to enrol under the banner of order and liberty under the aegis of Russia's Allies and of the "United States." The Daily Mail on March 5, 1918, insisted on the necessity of inviting the Japanese to Siberia and of forming out of Asiatic Russia a counterpoise to European Russia.
The outcome of Japanese preparations for active intervention in Siberia was the appearance on our Far Eastern frontier of the bands of Ataman Semenov. Considering our Far Eastern territory as the first point for intervention, the Allies hastened to organize in Peking the fictitious "First Russian Counter-Revolutionary Government" of Prince Lwow and Putilow. Aside from this, the Japanese endeavored to gain the support of the Chinese in their undertaking. Therefore, we may conclude that, beginning with the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, the thought of intervention was uppermost in minds of the diplomats and political leaders of the Allies.
With a view to clarifying the further progress of events, it is now necessary to present briefly the efforts of the Allied diplomats.
One of the peculiar characteristics in the foreign relations which had developed after the October revolution was that the heads of the diplomatic corps represented by the various ambassadors (Buchanan of England, Nulans of France, and Francis of the United States) assumed a most irreconcilable attitude toward the Soviet government, avoiding any dealings with it, while current relations with the Soviets were carried on through second parties. Some of these were less prejudiced and (having considerable influence with their ambassadors) at times succeeded in exercising a decisive influence on important decisions of their governments on questions pertaining to Russia. Shortly after Buchanan, the British Ambassador, left Russia, Mr. Lockhart took his place. Mr. Lockhart at first strongly opposed intervention in Russia and favored arriving at an agreement with the Soviet government. In this policy he was supported by the representative of the French Military Mission in Russia, Captain Sadul, who also favored an understanding with the Soviets; and during the months of February and March he succeeded in neutralizing, to a considerable extent, the influence of Mr. Nulans, the French Ambassador.
Mr. Francis, the American Ambassador, who was an outspoken enemy of the Soviet government, defeated his own ends when, at his insistence, the Allied envoys moved to Vologda. He was represented at the Soviet capital by Raymond Robbins, who was head of the Red Cross mission. These three, Sadul, Lockhart, and Robbins were endeavoring to bring about the recognition of the Soviet government by their respective governments, for they believed that by so doing the Soviets would be kept from signing the peace of Brest-Litovsk. Upon Robbins' suggestion Francis prepared a report embodying the former's view on the matter to his government. But along with this, the foreign missions were busily engaged with the problems of the preparations of internal counter-revolutionary forces within Russia for the overthrow of the Soviet government. They were secretly establishing contact with the counter-revolutionary groups in Russia and supporting them. Even before this, namely, in December 1917, the military representatives of France and Great Britain had visited the Don territory and promised to Generals Kaledin, Kornilov, and Alexeyev the considerable financial support of their respective governments.
On the 25th of March, 1918, Japan arrived at an agreement with China looking to intervention in Siberia, in the event that, "the hostile influence should penetrate Siberia." This agreement gave Japan a free hand in Manchuria and Siberia. Later on the 5th of April, 1918, the Japanese Admiral Kato, quite unexpectedly, as far as the Allied powers were concerned, landed an expeditionary force at Vladivostok. However, the Allies made no objection to this action on the part of the Japanese, regarding it as a simple polite precautionary measure. On the 18th of April, at Vologda, Francis explained this Japanese step as of no particular significance, ascribing the matter to thee personal initiative of the Japanese Admiral. The official attitude of the British government was similarly expressed.
This political maneuvering was continued by the Allies during the
first part of May, while awaiting the outcome of the organization of
counter-revolutionary plots and uprisings, staged with their support. In the
latter part of May there was noted a sharp change in the policy of the Allied
powers in connection with the matter of Soviet relations.
This change indicated that the Allied diplomats had concluded their preliminary work in connection with the internal explosion and through that the mask could now be removed. The principal role here was being played by Nulans, the French Ambassador.
In its dealings with the social-revolutionaries, the French mission had already worked out a whole plan for the formation of a Volga counter-revolutionary front (theater of operations); one element in this plan contemplated the seizure of Yaroslavl. If successful, the Allied forces that were to seize Vologda could then threaten Moscow. Secret officer formations were invited to proceed simultaneously against Rybinsk, Yaroslavl, Vladimir, and Murom. There was to take place simultaneously the revolt of the Czecho-Slovak Corps.
Gradually, on instructions of his government lockhart was now adopting Nulans' attitude. Thus, by the end of May, 1918, among the Allied missions in Soviet Russia the view gained ground that it was necessary to stage an interview against the Soviet government. Amply supplied with funds, the Czechoslovak Corps staged an open revolt on the absurd pretext of the necessity to change its itinerary - to proceed to Archangel instead of Vladivostok - which met with the express desire of the Allies themselves. On June 4, 1918, the Allied representatives declared that they regarded any possible action looking to the disarming of the Czech Corps as a hostile act against the Allies. On June 20, Balfour, a member of the British government, announced in the House of Commons that the "British government cannot promise that it would not participate in an armed intervention." In the United States also, voices were raised in favor of intervention. Ex-president Taft openly declared that America must permit Japan to enter Siberia. For the purpose of outward appearances there had been allowed in Harbin the formation of a "Russian Far East Commission," which urged immediate action on the part of the Allies.
The recent publication of some notes of certain of the Allied
diplomats now disclose that during the months of June and July, 1918, the
French government was engaged in persuading the outer governments of the
Entente to undertake a most extensive intervention. French diplomatic
representatives were particularly hard at work in Washington in this
connection, where President Wilson persisted in opposing intervention as well
as any territorial concessions to the Japanese at Russia's expense. Great
Britain wavered regarding the feasibility of the restoration of the Eastern
Front. We thus see that on the very eve of Allied intervention there was a lack
of agreement in the views and attitude of the various Allied governments in
this connection, which gave the Soviet government about another month's
Despairing in their efforts to overcome President Wilson's opposition to the plans of intervening against Russia, the British and French diplomats at last decided to come to an understanding directly with the Japanese. This had the effect of bringing about a change in the attitude of the United States. Wilson now decided in favor of American participation in the Allied intervention - with a view to preventing Japan from gaining a free hand in Siberia.
On the 6th of July, 1918, the Czech forces, after some street fighting with the Red forces, seized Vladivostok. In this fighting, along with the Czechs some Allied forces, landed from vessels, also participated. So this date may be regarded as the one on which open and active intervention began. (Actually, the Allied intervention had begun before this). Only after the departure of the Allied missions from Vologda, and their successful arrival on the Murmansk coast, did the Allied intervention assume a legal aspect. The declaration of the American government on the 5th of August, 1918, explained the objects of the intervention as follows: The United States have no territorial gains whatever in view - they merely desire to aid the Czechoslovak forces, which are threatened by attack on the part of the armed Austro-German prisoners of war. The declarations of the British and French governments of the 22nd of August and the 19th of September, 1918 (their obviously hypocritical statements veiling the main object of their intervention), expressed their desire "to help save Russia from being partitioned and ruined, which is threatening her at the hand of the Germans, who are endeavoring to subjugate the Russian people and to exploit the enormous riches of their country," while it was quite evident that the main object of the Allied intervention was to overthrow the government of the workers and peasants, to seize the "enormous riches" of our country, and to make possible the unrestrained exploitation of the masses of workers and peasants. Obviously, of course, the imperialists had resorted to these high-sounding phrases in order to camouflage the real purpose of their intervention, namely: the crushing of the proletarian revolution, the establishment of a bourgeois dictatorship, and the conversion of the Soviet republic into a semi-colonial imperialist dependency.
The mounting tide of the revolutionary movement throughout Central and Eastern Europe contained some ominous implications for the capitalistic and bourgeois world. In the vanquished countries the working classes were rapidly becoming revolutionized; the Spartakist movement in Germany assumed proportions where social-revolutionary upheavals and outbreaks were taking place on the streets of Berlin, and there were echoed in other lands, leading to the formation of the Bavarian and Hungarian Soviet republics. There were strikes in the lands of the victor-nations. A wave of strikes swept through Great Britain, France, and Italy. It was this situation which had raised the potential importance and the significance of the Soviet power and which in turn served to accelerate the beginning and augmented the scope and extent of the Allied intervention intended to liquidate the revolutionary "contagion." The battle against the "venom of Bolshevism" hence forth became a matter of life and death to the capitalist world. The Allies no longer considered it necessary to veil their action by the use of their hypocritical mask, and they began carrying on their policy in the open, which now afforded us a better opportunity to expose their predatory counter- revolutionary character. While imposing upon Germany as one of the Armistice conditions the withdrawal of all forces from the territory of the former Russian empire, the Allies at the same time emphasized that this withdrawal of German forces should be a=effected only at such time as the Allies would determine the condition existing within the particular territory to be such as to deem this withdrawal advisable. Obviously, this stipulation had envisaged the conduct of the intervention with the assistance of German bayonets. Circumstances beyond the control of the Allies, namely, the disintegration of the German occupational forces, however, served to vitiate this plan.
It was with regard to views concerning the future role which Germany was to assume in the relationships with Soviet Russia that gave the first rise to differences between the British and French on the "Russian question." Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain, advocated moderation in dealing with Germany, so as not to hasten her turning Bolshevik. In so far as relations with Soviet Russia were concerned, the British policy was one contemplated to weaken her as far as possible and to bring about Soviet isolation, which it hoped to bring about by means of supporting the counter-revolutionary forces and developing the civil war. In connection with this, Lord Beatty, Great Britain's Naval Commissioner at Paris, served as the cynical exponent of these veiled objectives of British foreign policy. Here is what this British diplomat wrote in his diary: "If we only succeed in bringing about the independence of the buffer states bordering on Germany in the east, namely that of Finland, Poland, Esthonia, the Ukraine, etc., in one way or another, then, so far as I am concerned, the rest could go to the devil and stew in their own juice". This guiding principle of the British policy closely conformed with the views of the French foreign policy in connection with Russia. This is why both of these powers (though immediately after Germany's capitulation they had some friction which arose over the dominant political role that each wanted to play on the continent of Europe) continued to maintain solidarity, outwardly at least, in their action with respect to the Russian question. The French foreign policy during this period was particularly reactionary and irreconcilable.
This French policy, of which Clemenceau was the exponent, had
triumphed at the Conference of Paris held on the 18th of January, 1919. The
results of it were not long in showing, for witness the fantastic carving out
of territories and boundaries of those intermediate states which were to play
the role of buffer states between Russia and Germany: the most favored country,
in this connection, was Poland. Clemenceau regarded Poland as the future
"bastion of the French military power in the east," which was to
prove the most important barrier between Germany and Russian Bolshevism.
Clemenceau's policy had also some other real consequences of a purely military
With the active support of France, all of the newly created governments on the western frontiers of the Soviet republic energetically undertook the formation of their military forces - which before long complicated and increased the problems already confronting the Soviet high command.
The military situation brought about by the defeat of the Germans
and their allies appeared now to present the brightest of prospects for the
French in pushing their intervention to the utmost. The opening of the
Dardenelles made possible the inauguration of the intervention against new
vital districts of the Soviet republic (South Russia and the Ukraine).
Preparing to extend their intervention to these districts, the British and French, on the 15th of November, 1918, issued a new declaration, in which they openly announced their entering of Russia for the purpose of "maintaining order" and liberating" her from the "Bolshevik usurpation." Based on this declaration, they concluded at Yassy an agreement with the fragmentary Russian and Ukrainian counter-revolutionary parties for the intervention in the south of the Soviet Union. This agreement was required by the Allies merely as a judicial excuse, for the occupation of the south of Russia had been decided before this. Back on the 27th of October, 1918, the French Premier, Clemenceau, advised the French commander of the Eastern Front, General Franchet d'Esperey, regarding the plan which had been adopted for the "economic isolation of Bolshevism in Russia with a view to bringing about its collapse." In the same letter addressed to General Franchet d'Esperey, it was proposed to work out a plan for the creation of a base for Allied forces at Odessa.
For the purpose of effecting the intervention in the south of our Union it was proposed first to advance twelve French and Greek divisions. A number of objective reasons, the principal one of which was the unsettled internal situation in Europe and agitation in many French army and navy units, disrupted these extensive plans, and the final intervention in south of Russia assumed a very modest form. At the time of the actual intervention, France and England hastened to conclude an agreement between them concerning their respective spheres of influence, in which they were dominated by the economic interests of their capital at home. In accordance with this agreement, arrived at on the 22nd of November, 1918, the Ukraine, Poland, the Crimea and the western portion of the Don territory were to comprise the French sphere of influence. The British reserved for themselves the right of a controlling influence in the north - in the Baltic provinces, the Caucasus, the Kuban, and the eastern portion of the Don territory. In its endeavors to establish itself firmly in Transcaucasia and Central Asia Great Britain was influenced also by a fear for the fate of her Asiatic colonies, in which the October revolution, which proclaimed the freedom of nations on the basis of self- determination, threatened to kindle the flame of national- revolutionary uprisings. At the same time, in both countries there were heard voices, which were echoed also at the Versailles Peace Conference, that, with the appearance in Eastern Europe of a "Great Poland," the Russian question lost its importance in the matter of European equilibrium and that Russia belongs more to Asia than Europe.
With a view to clarifying further the events that followed, we shall treat briefly the political attitude which the United States adopted with respect to general European matters, inasmuch as her attitude toward the Soviet Union was based primarily on the general situation existing in Europe. The United States did not wish to see the excessive strengthening of either France or England. This could well take place upon the dismembering of Germany or Russia. With regard to Russia, President Wilson wished to see her strongly united as a government having political entity, minus, however, Poland and Finland. Wilson took advantage of unofficial discussions between the United States and the Soviet representative for the purpose of presenting his project of inviting the Soviet representatives for negotiations in Paris. He bluntly pointed out that the intervention would not succeed by the use of the bayonets of either the British or American armies. This opinion expressed by President Wilson received the support of Lloyd George, who announced in British parliament that no forces should be sent against Russia and that, instead, attempts should be made to restore order within the country. The powerful resistance of the Red armies, of course, served as the main reason for the argument in support of the proposals advanced President Wilson and Lloyd George. The peace proposals of the Soviet government, submitted to the United States, set forth in the note of the Peoples Commissar for Foreign Affairs on the 2nd of January, 1919, pointed out that the Soviet government was quite willing to undertake the discussion of these proposals. Only Clemenceau continued to adhere to his former views; and it was for this reason that it was decided to invite the Soviet representatives not to Paris, but instead to Princes' Island (near Constantinople). To this conference were also invited the representatives of all the White Guard governments that had been formed on Russian territory. The Soviet government, on the 25th of January, 1919, expressed its willingness to participate in this conference. Clemenceau, however, employed every means to have the representatives of the White Guard governments refuse to take part in the conference. Wilson could not continue his endeavors to bring about some sort of an agreement with the Soviet government, since there had arisen strong opposition to it in the United States. The further attempts on the part of President Wilson to arrange new discussions with the Soviet government on the part of the Entente governments during the spring of 1919 - in view of the temporary gains which some of the White armies had managed to achieve - met with the solid opposition of the Entente.
The intervention in South Russia, carried on principally by French forces, ended in complete failure, primarily due to disintegration of the French forces sent there. This collapse, taking place in April of 1919, forced the French to adopt a different policy. Abandoning the method of direct intervention, the French now decided to continue to "lend effective support against the Bolshevika to the states bordering on Germany." But, while she abandoned her active participation in the intervention, France continued to participate in giving financial support to the Russian counter-revolutionaries (Kolchak and Denikin). During the first half of 1919 France spent in Siberia alone 300,000,000 francs. Only on the 9th of August, 1919, did France, "in view of the growing difficulties," curtail her financial aid to the Siberian Kolchak government. In the proportion that she was curtailing her active intervention on the territory of the Soviet Union, France was removing her troops from this territory. In April, 1919, she cleared her troops from some of our Black Sea ports. There soon followed the departure of her troops from the coast of the White Sea. Finally, in September, 1919, the French navy abandoned the Black Sea; but now all of France's efforts were directed toward supporting the borderland states that were hostile to the Soviet government, of which, as we have already pointed out, Poland occupied first place.
However, during the final stages of our civil war, when the Success of Soviet arms in the 1920 campaign began to menace Poland, the French government, on the 13th of August, 1920, hastened to recognize as an independent state the "government of South Russia," a government formed in the Crimea from fragments of the southern counter-revolution and supported by the bayonets of Wrangel's forces. This recognition was bought at the price of the complete mortgaging of South Russia to French interests, which, in the event of Wrangel's success, would have created a French colony out of our opulent South.
In the spring of 1919 France was gradually abandoning her policy of active intervention. The policy of the British, however, remained unchanged throughout the entire year of 1919. British troops continued to occupy the White Sea coast. The British navy continued its operations in the Gulf of Finland against the Red fleet and against our fortifications along the coast. The British aided with supplies and instructors the Baltic borderland states, Kolchak and Denikin, and they put Yudenich's Northwest Army in the Baltic provinces on its feet. The poor showing, however, which the intervention made in connection with the internal counter-revolution and the civil war, had the effect after all, of bringing about a change also in the policy of the British toward our civil war.
In August of 1919 the British press, irrespective of political affiliations, started an intensive campaign against the use of British troops on the White Sea coast, demanding that they be withdrawn. The British government apparently did not hesitate to follow the clamoring of the press, for the evacuation of British forces from the coast of the White Sea immediately followed in September of 1919. After the autumn failures of the White armies in 1919, Lloyd George was not long in openly announcing in Parliament that Bolshevism could not be suppressed with the sword and that therefore it was necessary to find a way of reaching an understanding with the Soviet government. On the 18th of November, 1919, Lloyd George announced in the British Parliament that it was impossible to continue indefinitely to finance the White Russian governments and that it was necessary to call an international conference for the purpose of solving the Russian question.
This new British policy found final expression in the inauguration of trade discussions by the British government with the Russian mission. During the entire year of 1920 Great Britain adhered to a policy of non-interference in our civil war, although both diplomatically and financially it supported Wrangel's army and endeavored also diplomatically to assist Poland. Thus on the 9th of April, 1920, the British High Commissioner at Constantinople, Admiral de-Robeck, addressed an appeal to the Euban and Don Cossacks calling upon them to continue the fight against the Soviet government. The British government turned over the credit of 14,500,000 pounds sterling to General Wrangel, that had not been used up by General Denikin, and only in June of 1920, in consequence of the negotiations for a commercial treaty with Soviet Russia and the strong agitation among British workers against British intervention, did Britain at last recall her representatives from Wrangel's army. Britain's "intercession" in behalf of Poland, as already pointed out, had been carried on solely along diplomatic lines. The most typical action in this connection was Curzon's note of the 13th of July, 1920, which embodied the ultimate to the Red Army demanding that it curtail its further advance, threatening that in the event that its warning be unheeded, Britain would reserve for herself complete freedom of action.
Now let us turn to the group of our neighboring countries. We have already referred to the position adopted by Rumania and the reasons for her hostility toward the Soviet government. Occupied with the newly acquired territory which the Treaty of Versailles handed over to her, Rumania did not evince a particular desire to interfere actively in our civil war for fear she might lose that which she already had gained. But the Allied powers, and France in particular, placed all their hopes on the strongest of the borderland countries - Poland. The latter, in her struggle with the Soviet government, pursued the interests of the French as well as her own ends. Poland was striving to restore her eastern boundary along the line of the frontier of 1772, which was to yield her Lithuania, White Russia, and Eastern Ukraine, with a population that was alien to Poland in nationality and eager to join their kin of the Soviet republic. The states of Finland, Esthonia, and Latavia - political antagonists of the Soviet government - were too weak by themselves to undertake a hostile policy against it. For this reason, these states did not form a bloc of their own or join Poland - which country played a lone hand in our civil war. Neither Poland or any of the other border states enumerated above, could join hands with the internal Russian counter- revolutionaries - since one side was striving for complete national and governmental self-determination, while the other assumed as its ultimate goal the restoration of "one inseparable" Russia within its former boundaries. Thus within the foreign political encirclement of the Soviet Union, there lacked sufficient unity and agreement.
However, the lack of sufficient unity and agreement among the imperialistic countries in their relations with the R.S.F.S.R. (Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic) in no way hindered, as we have seen, the organization of intervention in the Soviet republic, as it also failed to stand in the way of the support which the imperialistic countries gave the counter-revolutionary formations on the territory of the former Czarist Russia. All of the imperialists were united by a class hatred against the government of the proletariat, by a fear of socialist revolution, apprehension of the influence which the October revolution in Russia would have on the international proletariat. They realized full well the international significance of the socialist revolution. This is the reason why, notwithstanding the antagonisms that existed in the details of the imperialist policies with respect to the workers and peasants government - basically, all imperialists regarded it as representing a class enemy that was organizing the international proletariat for a world socialist revolution - an enemy that must be destroyed. In this endeavor to crush the initial formation of the international proletarian revolution, the imperialists aligned themselves to the success of the proletariat and who staked their all for the purpose of organizing the civil war against the Soviet government. In turn, the internal counter-revolution had been oriented not alone on its domestic forces that could be organized to fight the Soviet government, but it counted also on international imperialism. Without the aid of this latter the domestic counter-revolution would never have assumed the proportions and scope which it gained in 1918, 1919, and 1920.
What were the forces upon which the counter-revolutionaries in Russia leaned and what classes were the organizers and leaders in the struggle with the Soviet government?
The answer to this will be more than apparent from a brief examination of the motive forces in the October revolution and the gains which the October revolution made for the working masses. The fundamental and principal motive power of the October revolution was the working class. Only the proletariat, in conjunction with the peasantry, was capable of solving those problems that loomed so large as a result of the entire course of Russia's historical development.
Only the proletariat could completely wipe out the landowners' estates and turn the land over to the peasantry. The bourgeoisie were incapable of this because of the fact that they were not closely connected with the landlords' estates and were to lose much by their liquidation. The petit bourgeois democracy that supported the social-revolutionaries and Mensheviks had likewise been incapable of bringing about the decisive liquidation of the landowners' estates, for the reason that it was tied with its class roots to industrial and agrarian capitalism, was its lackey and trembled before the ghost of the proletariat revolution. Thus, the working class was the sole revolutionary class able to wipe out the landowners' estates and to insure the passing of the land into the hands of the peasantry. Only the working class was in a position to lead the peasant masses out of the war through the medium of the seizure of power, the organization of a workers government and the conclusion of peace. Neither the large nor the small bourgeoisie, because of the position occupied by their class, could avoid annexations and indemnities, and consequently, also the continuation of the imperialist slaughter. The proclamation by the social-revolutionary Menshevik majority soviets* (that existed at the time) calling for a peace "without annexations and indemnities had been due merely to the pressure of the masses who were against the war. If the bourgeoisie had been in a position to continue the war, if they had been in a position to continue in power up to the conclusion of the imperialist war - there can be no doubt whatever that the conclusion of the social-revolutionary Mensheviks would have actively aided the bourgeoisie in the latter's demands for annexations.
* Councils. - Tr.
Thus, the working class was the only revolutionary class that could save the workers from the lasting wars. And finally, only the proletariat could wipe out the remnants of feudalism in the governmental, social, national mode of Russian life, constituting the class that was more consistently revolutionary. This the objective antecedents of the proletarian dictatorship were present. These were multiplied by the intensive political activity of the Russian proletariat, which had received in previous fighting splendid revolutionary training and experience; its concentration at the vital centers (Leningrad, Moscow, Ural, Donets Basin, Baku, Ivano-Voznesensk, etc.) and the presence of the Bolshevik (communist) party at the hands of the proletariat (maintaining the closest ties with the working class and possessing all essential qualities of a revolutionary party to head the proletariat) was there to lead its class. The increasing influence acquired by the Bolsheviks over the working masses was in no small measure facilitated by the policy of the moderate parties, which were being led blindly by the bourgeoisie, as well as by the revolution of their real class aspect of bourgeoisie lackeys. During the period from February to October, through the days of April (Miliukov note), July and August (Kornilov revolt), the Mensheviks and social- revolutionaries were losing their influence over the masses at a disastrous pace. The sympathies of the latter were continuously going over to the left, to the Bolsheviks. The above subjective antecedents had established the foundation for such use that was to be made of the objective antecedents of the immediate revolutionary situation in the period that preceded October revolution, which insured the success of the revolution.
The working class undertook the seizure of power in conjunction with the basic masses of the peasantry. The peasantry was to seize the landlord's estates, quit the war, and secure itself once and for all against the feudal landocracy and capitalist-kulak exploitation. But the peasantry, due to its far-flung and scattered nature, its backwardness and its intermediary class position (being on the one hand, property owners - and on the other, toilers exploited by capital), could not play an independent role in the revolution. It could decide the problem of the revolution only in conjunction with the working class and under its leadership. Otherwise, the peasantry inevitably falls under the class dominance of capital and becomes the object of its exploitation. On the other hand, the peasantry in conjunction with the working class and under its leadership can play a revolutionary role of universal historical importance. This was the role it had played in October, 1917, when the peasant masses went together with the proletariat, and under its guidance, in storming the Provisional government. Thus the poor and middle class masses of the rural districts constituted the second motive power in the October revolution.
The proletariat, however, could not assume the limited objectives of the bourgeois-democratic revolution - such as the seizure of land and the liquidation of the remnants of feudalism. It set for itself the goal of building up a new socialist society, the liquidation of bourgeois-capitalistic relationship, since only a full and complete social revolution would meet the interests of the masses of the working class. Lenin wrote the following regarding the question of the relations of the bourgeois-democratic revolution with the socialist revolution: "For the purpose of securing for the peoples of Russia the gains of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, we had to go further - and we did. We solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution by proceeding with the socialist work as a prerequisite to our principal and real proletarian revolution. The first develops into the second. The second, in the process, solves the problems of the first. The second consolidates the work of the first."
But the socialist revolution amounted to more than the mere liquidation of the remnants of feudalism; it called for the liquidation of capitalistic relationships. And it is quite natural, therefore, that against the workers and peasants bloc which formed the support of the proletariat dictatorship up to the October revolution, during its forebodings, so to speak, there began to form (which after the October revolution emerged completely organized) the bloc of all three classes and groups against which the revolution had been carried on. The large feudal landowners and the agrarian capitalists, the bankers and the owners of commercial and industrial enterprises, the rampant black hundreds and leftist liberals, all aligned themselves in a solid front against the dictatorship of the proletariat. Together with them there arose against the workers and peasant bloc, all the wards and representatives of the former ruling classes of the army and governmental agencies: the generals and officers, functionaries and clergy. All of these groups provided the leadership of the counter-revolution, its organizers and inspirers. The officers and rural bourgeoisie formed the first cadres of the White forces.
Naturally, of course, the counter-revolutionaries first of all appealed to those class groups in the city and country whose interests were more or less affected by the October revolution. In the villages the nucleus of the counter-revolution consisted of the Kulaks (wealthy peasants - Tr.) whose mad fury against the Soviet government had reached its height after the organization of the food collections by the Soviets. The kulak elements, for obvious reasons, could not reconcile themselves to the slogans of the large estates of the landowners only to the extent that there would be removed from the scene the dangerous rivals in the work of exploiting the indigent peasant of moderate means, and to the extent that the removal of this competitor would open for the kulaks extensive fields for their own gains. The socialist revolution, however, had among its slogans also that concerning the decisive struggle with the kulaks as the backers of the capitalistic tendencies in the economic life of people; and this struggle was intensified in proportion as the poor and down-and-out workers in the villages undertook the undoing of the kulak households. The struggle of the kulaks with the revolution of the proletariat assumed most varied forms. It assumed the form of enrolment in the White Guard armies, the organization of individual detachments, and the staging of wide insurrectionist movements in rear of the revolutionaries under separate nationalist, class, religious, and even anarchist slogans. Irrespective of the forms and slogans of the kulak movements, the essential nature and import of the kulaks consisted in their alignment with the large capitalists and landowners against the workers and peasant bloc. The counter-revolutionary bloc were particularly strong in those portions of our country in which class and nationalist antagonisms had been particularly strong. Thus, in the Don territory, where on the one hand, the proletariat was quite numerous and possessed practically no legal status at all - and on the other, the large landowners, the Cossack generals and officers, and Cossack kulaks enjoying traditional privileges, the civil war assumed particularly violent forms and proportions - since both sides enjoyed sufficiently strong class support in the villages. The civil war in the Ukraine, where the number of kulak households was quite considerable, was carried on with no less intensity. Of particular interest here were the methods that were employed in the use of the nationalist psychology of the masses - with the aid of which Petlura's bourgeois-kulak counter-revolution, the landlord-bourgeois counter-revolution led by Skoropadsky, and German imperialism, endeavored to fight the proletarian revolution in the Ukraine. The very circumstance that the counter-revolutionaries began to organize their armies particularly in the outlying districts and that they began to gather even before the October revolution in the Don, the Ukraine, the Kuban, etc., is explained first of all by the particular class and nationalist peculiarities of those districts, and partly also by the fact that within those particular areas there existed "firm control" elements of landocracy-capitalist restoration (as for example, Kaledin in the Don district). The bourgeoisie and landowners realized full well that in the central areas, where the kulaks did not enjoy any particular power, where the proletariat was numerous and organized, where the masses could not be baited by nationalist slogans - they could accomplish nothing. This is the reason why the counter-revolution was first to raise its head in Finland, in the Ukraine, in the Don, the Caucasus, etc. The concentration of the activity of the counter-revolutionary forces particularly in these outlying districts was influenced also, to some extent, by the greater geographical proximity of these areas to the imperialist countries.
This was the manner and geographic location in which the forces of the civil war were distributed. On the one side was the workers and peasants' bloc, led by the proletariat with the slogans of the socialist revolution, and on the other side - the bourgeois-landocracy-kulak bloc, with the slogans of the bourgeois-capitalist restoration. An evaluation of the forces of the counter-revolution at the time of the October revolution would be incomplete, if we were to fail to throw some light on the processes of disaffection that were taking place in the units of the old army. The latter, in the process of its disintegration, set up dadres not only for the future army of the revolution, but for the army of the bourgeois-landocracy counter-revolution as well. The shock organizations, nationalist formations, a portion of the Cossack troops, the higher headquarters, officers associations, that sprang up during the days of the February revolution - all of these organizations in the main represented forces that were hostile to the October revolution.
The October revolution, which was successful in Petrograd, in Moscow and a number of important centers of the country, still had before it the difficult struggle for the consolidation of its success in the entire country. It might be said without exaggeration that under cover of socialistic phrases of the garrulous Kerensky government, there matured, and by the beginning of the October revolution, were available, all elements of the bourgeois-landocracy counter- revolution. This was forestalled, and could be frustrated only by the proletarian revolution. As we have already pointed out, the counter-revolutionary bloc aligned itself with the interventionists and formed in conjunction with it a united front in the struggle against the dictatorship of the proletariat.
For the purpose of affording a more complete description of the distribution of the respective forces it is still necessary to treat briefly of the vacillations of the peasants of medium welfare (serednyaks), which exerted considerable influence on the course of the civil war. These waverings in some areas (Volga and Siberia) raised to power the social-revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and at times even facilitated the movements of the White Guards in the interior of the R.S.F.S.R. However, during the process of the civil war these vacillations inevitably led to the transfer of the peasants of medium welfare (serednyaks) to the side of the Soviet government. The serednyaks learned by experience that the transfer of power to the moderate socialists parties constituted merely a temporary expedient soon to be followed by an openly established military dictatorship (as from the democratic "Samara Committee of the Constituent Assembly" to the Kolchak dictatorship), and was merely a step which followed the passing of control to the old landowner capitalist and general, while the arrival of the White forces was invariably accompanied by the arrival of the landowner and the restoration of the pre-revolutionary order. The wavering among the serednyaks exerted much influence on the military efficiency of the White and Red armies. The White armies, by the very nature of things, maintained their combat efficiency and began disintegrating. The Red Army, on the contrary, gained strength with each passing month, and the mobilized serednyak masses staunchly supported the Soviets against the counter-revolution.
The civil war, which embraced a considerable portion of the territories of the Soviet republic and spread out from the central districts to the outlying territories, was bound to have several different theaters of operations. These theaters of operation were quite different from one another with respect to economic, social, and geographical conditions.
Without undertaking a detailed description of the various theaters of operations, we shall give a brie;f outline of the strategic nature of each of these.
The Northern theater embraced the great stretch of Northern Russia from the North Polar Sea up to the basins of the upper Volga and Kama, inclusive. In the east its boundary was formed by the ridge of the Urals; in the west, by the Russian-Finnish frontier. The strategic importance of this theater of operations lay in the fact that the routes leading through it led from the north Russian ports (Murmansk and Archangel) to the interior of the country to our vital revolutionary centers. This theater of operations may be classed among the poorly developed theaters. The great stretches of swampy forests within this theater limited its accessibility and restricted its approach to only a few areas (by large rivers and a few railway lines). It was very sparsely populated, with the population greatly scattered and concentrated in the valleys of the rivers traversing the theater and along the sea coast, where the population engaged in the fishing industry. In view of the poorly developed industrial life there was practically no industrial proletariat here. There was no particular wealth concentrated within its boundaries. The climate was rigorous, particularly in the winter. As regards its military aspects, this theater was a typical, undeveloped forest theater, suitable for employment of separate small bodies of troops, primarily of the infantry, adapted to the local conditions. The distance of the theater from the principal vital central areas and regions of the country together with its unfavorable physical and climatic conditions made this theater of only secondary importance throughout our civil war.
The Eastern theater in regard to space covered was the largest theater of operation not only of our civil war but of all wars. In depth it extended thousands of kilometers - from the Middle Volga to Lake Baikal; in the north, its boundaries paralleled the coast line of the continents of Europe and Asia; in the south, its boundary ran along the coast of the Caspian Sea, thence along the land frontier of Turkestan, Mongolia, and China. In a scope of this kind, this theater of operations naturally presented various aspects in regard to geographical and economic conditions. For this reason it is necessary to divide this theater into three separate sections: the Volga section, the Ural section, and the Western Siberian section. The economic importance of the Volga section was characterized by its valuable navigable stream of the Middle Volga passing through the fertile and productive areas. The military importance of this particular section of the theater was represented (a) by the presence of this powerful natural boundary, which constituted the last barrier on the way from Siberia to the interior of the more important political and economic regions of the country, and (b) by the presence of the more suitable and shortest routes leading from the Ural Mountains to the revolutionary center - Moscow. This section of the theater of operations, by the nature of its terrain, being fertile and varied, having local natural wealth, temperate climate, a net of improved well developed roads, was entirely suitable for operations by large bodies of troops. The population was mainly agrarian.
The Ural section was quite different from that of the Volga section as regards its geographical as well as its economic and social aspects. Economically, the Ural section was a consuming area, the main occupation of this section consisted of mining and allied industries. The presence here of large manufacturing centers made the Ural the home of a large number of workers. A peculiar characteristic of these workers was that they did not lose their ties with the peasantry, for a considerable portion of them tilled their own gardens. For this reason, the Ural worker frequently tended to reflect the vacillating attitude of the peasants (uprisings at Nevyansky-Zavod, Izhevsk, and Votkinsk manufacturing centers in the summer of 1918). But in general, the class make-up of the population in the Ural section of the theater of operations was quite favorable to the Soviet government. As regards its military aspects, this section was a typically mountain theater of operations with strong natural barriers. The considerable extent of this section (over 1,200 kilometers) made it a strong natural boundary, separating the European and Asiatic portions of the Soviet republic.
The West-Siberian section, both by the nature of its terrain and geography and by the make-up and character of the population, was more like the Volga section than that of the Ural. It was noted for its peculiar division among the peasantry into basic well established farmers, unfamiliar with the rule of the landlord, and the migrating peasants that had come here from Russia and settled along the Trans-Siberian railway, quite familiar with the landowners and with the agrarian revolution of 1905. This peasant element proved a reliable political ally of the Soviet government. From the military standpoint, the West-siberian section, like the Volga section, in spite of the somewhat severer climate, was quite suitable for operations of large bodies of troops in its western portion, although the freedom of movement was somewhat restricted due to the poorly developed lines of communication and the necessity of basing operations on the Trans-Siberian railway line which constituted the main nerve center of the country. The vulnerability of the communications of the armies operating here, the extensiveness of this section of the theater of operations, the feeble nature of the lines of communication, had the effect of determining the extensive development in this area of partisan activities, particularly along the flanks and communications of the armies in the field.
The Southern theater which at times included also the Ukrainian theater of operations embraced the rich productive regions of South Russia, In general, it was noted for its plains and frequent steppes as well as for its moderate climate which made it most suitable for the employment of large bodies of cavalry troops. As regards the population in this theater, it was characterized by the varied classes and peoples and the difficulty in their relationships. The southeastern portion of this theater of operations - the Cossack districts - in their social aspect, represented two categories of the population that were hostile toward each other due to the unsettled land question: the newcomers, peasants that had come from the various cities (comprising about fifty per cent of the population), and the Cossacks. Among the Cossacks themselves there was also to be noted strained relations between privileged upper elements (officers) and the well-to-do Cossacks, and the peasants of medium welfare and indigent Cossack elements. Among the general mass of the population, in isolated localities, frequently of considerable size (Donets Basin), there were scattered workers' communities - in city and manufacturing regions.
As regards the class of the population in the Ukraine, it had the peculiar feature that the proletarian workers, who primarily did not belong to the basic population of the country, were concentrated in the large city centers, as well as in the mining areas (Donets Basin); while the basic population of the country consisted of a peasantry that was quite mixed as regards its economic situation - with the kulak elements which supported the nationalist and chauvinistic aspirations of petite bourgeoisie and intelligentsia in the cities not infrequently joining the general mass of indigent peasants and serednyaks (peasants of medium welfare).
The Western theater of the civil war embraced all western and northwestern districts of the former Russian empire. Its eastern boundary may be stated roughly to have extended along the upper course of the Western Berezina (river) and the line of the Dnieper (river). The strategic importance of this theater of operations was determined by the fact that through it passed the shortest and best equipped routes from the Russian revolutionary centers toward the borderland states. Being quite suitable for operations by large bodies of troops, due to its climatic and physical conditions, this theater of operations was much poorer in local wealth than the Ukrainian and Southern theaters. As regards the class of population here, this theater comprised largely the serednyak (peasant of medium welfare) and indigent peasants with a ruling class that was of foreign nationality (German, Polish, Russian). ~The proletariat in the eastern portion of this theater was small in number and was groped in the cities and towns and did not belong to the basic nationalities. In so far as the proletarian regions were concerned that had been created even before the World War in the western portion of this theater - these were to a great extent disrupted by the World War (Riga, Warsaw, Lodz, etc.).
The four theaters of operations given above were basic throughout the entire civil war.
As regards the special aspects of the respective theaters, Northers Caucasia, by reason of its proximity to the eastern portion of the Southern theater, and finally also the Northwestern theater, included approaches to Petrograd from the direction of Finland, Esthonia, and Latvia. The last named theater did not contain any noticeable differences from the Western Theater in respect to climatic or geographical conditions. As regards class of population, this theater was one that favored more the Soviet strategy, embracing as it did the Petrograd area with its powerful class-conscious proletariat, insured to the revolutionary struggle.
A common feature in all of the theaters was the predominant agricultural population over that of the urban which, according to the figures given in the census of 1897 comprised 86.5% rural population and 13.5 % urban. Among the urban population, with respect to number and organization, the working class predominated, while among the rural population the great mass of serednyak peasants predominated. Thus, from the class standpoint, the make-up of the population in general favored Soviet strategy; even in the more vital areas of the counter-revolution, i.e., in the Cossack districts, the Soviet government could count upon the sympathy and support of at least half of the population. With respect to local means, all advantages originally were on the side of the enemy, who controlled in 1918-1919 the raw material and agricultural producing areas, while the Soviet forces were concentrated in the manufacturing and consuming areas.
A common feature of all theaters of operation with regard to roads was the comparative lack of improved lines of communication. The central portion of the country was better situation in this respect. The western theater of operations was next, followed by the southern theater. The eastern and northern theaters were the ones least favored. In conformity with the political objectives involved in their strategy, namely: "the fighting of Bolshevism to its ultimate complete destruction," the military operations of the Whites were directed from the areas of the original formation of the counter-revolutionary armies (the Volga, Don, Ukraine, borderland states), to the vital centers of the revolution - the revolutionary capitals represented by Petrograd and Moscow.
The strategic undertakings of the counter-revolutionary armies were not always decided by the most promising and best methods, for the reason that in the adoption of plans of action by individual groups within the White movement it was frequently necessary to meet the wishes of those countries that supported the undertaking. We have pointed out above the antagonisms which tended to divide the untied front of the imperialists on the "Russian question." These same antagonisms explain also the circumstance which is not quite apparent at first, that the White groups that were operating against the Soviets during the course of the civil war, guided by the general slogan of "one indivisible Russia," found it impossible to work out a unified strategic plan of action . The strategy of the backers of the "one indivisible Russia" reflected the conflict of interests of their foreign masters. On the other hand, the "one indivisible" slogan provoked distrust toward its proponents on the part of the bourgeois and petit bourgeois governments that had been formed during the course of the civil war by the nationalities oppressed in former days.
The strategic undertakings of the Soviets were directed from the central area against the vital regions of the south, the Siberian and Ukrainian counter-revolutionaries, in instances coinciding with the line of action of the enemy. During the initial stages of the civil war the Soviets were favored by the extensive nature of the various theaters of operations, which allowed their forces that were being organized in the interior of the country sufficient time for developing in the immediate proximity of the line of action.