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

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


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¬– more details are also below this video. And now on to the show. It’s August 1919, and the Russian Civil
War has been tearing the former Tsarist empire apart for nearly two years. The White Russian army faces a powerful Bolshevik
attack in the East, but in the south, the Whites are about to launch one final offensive
to reverse the revolution and take back the empire – it’s the Drive on Moscow. Hi, I’m Jesse Alexander and welcome to The
Great War. By the spring of 1919, the Russian Civil War
had been rocking the former empire of the Tsar on an unprecedented scale, pitting multiple
factions against each other in a kaleidoscope of violence, hunger and death. The two largest factions, the revolutionary
Bolsheviks and the counter-revolutionary Whites, were both preparing massive military operations
to bring a victorious end to the struggle – and the fate of the revolution hung in
the balance. Now before we dive in, if you want more details
about the Russian Civil War before spring 1919, or about the Baltic Front in particular,
check out our previous episodes. Today we’re going to concentrate on the
Eastern and Southern fronts, where the decisive battles would take place. As a quick faction refresher: The Whites were
led by former officers of the Tsar and wanted to restore the old order, minus the monarchy. They held the extremities of the empire, in
the south, east and north. Supporting the Whites were the Allies, chiefly
Britain but also France and the United States. The Reds were the revolutionary Bolsheviks
and dominated the European heartland of Russia. In the West, there were the various independence
movements of smaller nations, like Ukraine, Poland or the Baltic States. The Greens were peasant armies, which we will
cover later, and the Blacks are the faction we’re going to introduce today. The Black faction represents the anarchist
peasant army of Nestor Makhno, also known as Makhnovshchina. Makhno was a peasant from the eastern Ukrainian
town of Hulyai Pole, who had spent 7 years in prison for revolutionary activity before
1917. After his release from prison, he returned
home fortified with anarchist ideas he had absorbed from fellow prisoners like Pyotr
Arshinov. In the post-revolution chaos, he took the
lead of a band of armed peasants who seized land from local estate owners, until the Germans
and Austro-Hungarians arrived in Spring 1918. He briefly fled to Russia and even met Vladimir
Lenin, and though the two differed in political ideology they agreed to fight the Central
Powers and Whites. Makhno returned to Ukraine and organized local
forces against the Austro-Hungarians and the puppet Ukrainian government. Once the Austrians left, Makhno’s Black
Army fought against the Whites and the independent Ukrainian People’s Republic of Symon Petliura. He formally allied himself to the Red Army
in February 1919 and by April he commanded 20,000 men, armed by the Reds. The local peasant leaders were joined by anarchist
intellectuals from Russia, like Arshinov and Voline, though the two groups didn’t always
see eye to eye. In the zone under their control, the anarchists
tried to introduce a program of local self-rule of free peasant councils, giving the land
to the peasants, promoting education, and free exchange of goods and services between
the countryside and the city. In political meetings and in the local anarchist
newspaper, the Bolsheviks and the Red Terror were openly criticized, and Makhno retained
for the time being a fair degree of military and political freedom. He felt anarchism was the natural political
ideology of free peasants, as he wrote later: “An instinctive anarchism clearly illuminated
all the plans of the Ukraine’s toiling peasantry, which gave vent to an undisguised hatred of
all State authority, a feeling accompanied by a plain ambition to liberate themselves.” Now there have been many different interpretations
of Makhno: some say he was a Ukrainian nationalist, or an anarchist, or the leader of just another
peasant Jacquerie, or a criminal bandit. Some have questioned to what extent anarchist
principles were actually put in practice, or whether his movement was simply a traditional
peasant revolt about land reform that needed his military leadership. In any case, in 1919 his standing among the
local peasants was such that many referred to him as Batko, or little father. In the late spring, he controlled a chunk
of territory in southeastern Ukraine around Hulyaipole, though this would soon change. So now we’ve refreshed our grasp of the
various factions at war in summer 1919, let’s turn to the action at the front. Let’s start in the east, where the White
forces of “Supreme Leader” Kolchak stood tantalizingly close to the Russian heartland
after a partially successful offensive in March and April. They’d been stopped just short of their
goal of reaching the Volga river, but Kolchak was hoping that his advance would spur the
peasants to rebel against the Reds and cause the Allies in Paris to recognize him as the
legitimate ruler of Russia. In fact, it was to win Allied favour that
he had rushed the start of the offensive, and now his army was overstretched and vulnerable. The spring attack had been a major gamble,
since his forces faced some serious problems. For one thing, the White troops were mostly
inexperienced. Of his 150,000 men, two thirds were poorly
trained recent conscripts and only 5% of his officers had received proper pre-war training
. The army was also inefficient and corrupt, in spite of the large amount of weapons and
supplies it received from the Allies. General Gajda’s Siberian Army, for example,
was drawing rations for 275,000 troops even though he only had 30,000 men under his command. British goods and weapons often never made
it to the fighting units. Instead they were diverted and sold on the
black market, brought over to the Reds by deserters, or simply held up by inadequate
transport infrastructure. British General Knox, in charge of overseeing
Allied military support to the Whites in the East, had been furious when the first Red
Army soldiers he saw were wearing fresh new British uniforms. Legend has it that the Reds even sent him
a joke letter thanking him for supplying the Red Army. What supplies did arrive took over a month
to make the journey from far off Vladivostok, and had to cross territory controlled by peasant
rebels and Cossack warlords, since Kolchak’s authority essentially stopped at Lake Baikal. White officers themselves knew their position
was fragile. As one put it: “Don’t think that our successful
advances are a result of military prowess, for it is all much simpler than that – when
they run away we advance; when we run away they will advance.” But it wasn’t just the White military in
the East that was weak – White civilian legitimacy was also lacking. Kolchak had hoped that as he approached the
centre of Russia, the large population of peasants would rally to the White cause. This did not happen, because many of them
feared the return of the landowners and factory bosses if the Whites won. Kolchak’s statement on land reform in April
rang hollow, and was not enough to win peasant hearts and minds. One White officer later wrote of this failure:
“We not only did not give the muzhik the bird in the hand, we were even afraid to promise
him the bird in the bush.” . Though it has been argued he held some progressive
views, many in his regime were reactionary, and the peasants and ethnic minorities knew
it. Kolchak’s own General Budberg wrote in his
diary: “The regime was only form without content; the ministries can be compared to
huge and imposing windmills, busily turning their sails, but with no millstones inside
and with much of their machinery broken or missing.” Meanwhile, the Red Army facing Kolchak was
growing in strength. Reinforcements were moved east – a luxury
it could afford since it had far larger reserves than any of the White armies. The young but talented General Frunze also
arrived, along with future Marshall Tukhachevsky, who had spent time as a POW in Germany alongside
Charles De Gaulle. With fresh forces, the Bolshevik counter-offensive
began at the end of April, and pushed back the overextended forces of the Whites. Ethnic Bashkir units deserted Kolchak and
went over to the Red Army, further weakening White resistance. Despite the progress, in May Lenin was still
worried about the situation, given the strength of the Whites in the south: “If before winter
we do not make the Urals, I consider that the defeat of the revolution will be inevitable.” As it turned out he had no reason to worry. Ufa, at the edge of the Urals, was taken on
June 9, partially thanks to the efforts of commander Vasiliy ChapAev, who was made into
a Soviet hero for his part in the war before he was killed in September. The Siberian army under General Gajda, which
had continued the advance in May, was now forced to retreat because of the collapse
in the centre. The rout was on, and by the end of June Red
forces reached Perm, the starting point of the White offensive in March. At this stage, the Bolsheviks had a choice
to make. They’d won a great victory but had also
stretched their supply lines. Red Army Commander in Chief Vatsetis and War
Commissar Leon Trotsky wanted to call a halt and consolidate the gains. But Lenin, Stalin and General KAmenev, the
top commander in the east, wanted to press on – and they got their way. Kamenev took over command of the army, Vatsetis
ended up in prison, and the offensive continued across the mountains. By mid-July the Bolsheviks were in Ekaterinburg,
following an advance of up to 300 kilometres in 4 weeks. By July 24 ChelYAbinsk had fallen, despite
a major White counterattack. The Chelyabinsk counter attack used up the
last few fresh troops the Whites had, and though they inflicted 15,000 casualties on
the Reds to their own 5000, the Red Army could not be stopped. The fleeing White army, with its bloated complement
of staff officers and families and servants in tow, was described by one of its own officers:
“These were not military units, but some kind of Tatar horde.” Kolchak himself summed up the reasons for
White failures in July: poor supply, poor relations between officers and men, effective
Bolshevik propaganda, and ineffective White propaganda. To make matters worse for Kolchak, in July
Allied representatives came to Omsk to discuss how they could help the White regime. Instead, the White defeats convinced the Allies
that Kolchak’s government was a lost cause and further help was likely useless. The British withdrew their training mission
in the late summer, and General Knox wrote to the White government: “At present all
seems to me to be absolute chaos, and worse chaos than anything I have seen in the past
12 months…it is my wish to help you, but frankly at present you make help impossible.” The loss of the Urals was decisive. Not only did the British lose faith in Kolchak,
but the mines and factories in the region were among the few that the Whites had. Plus it cut off the central White armies from
their southern forces. By mid-August the Red Army had reached the
TobOl river and the White army was a shadow of its former self – with no reserves left
to replace battle casualties or deserters. Kolchak attempted a last desperate counterattack
in September, but the gains were soon lost and the isolated southern Cossack army surrendered. His main force had shrunk from 62,000 men
to just 15,000, mostly because of desertion. As the summer turned to early fall, the White
regime in the east was in full retreat. The army had been smashed and the authorities
were in no position to organize a recovery. General Budberg summed it up: “In the army
disorganisation; at the Stavka illiteracy and hare-brained schemes; in the government
moral decay, discord, and the dominance of the ambitious and egotistical; in the country
uprisings and anarchy; in society panic, selfishness, graft and all kinds of loathsomeness; at the
top thrive various scoundrels and adventurers. Where will we get to with such baggage!” So the summer campaign in the east had resulted
in a major Bolshevik victory and pushed the Kolchak regime to the brink of collapse, causing
the Allies to withdraw their support. But the Allied disengagement in summer 1919
was not just about Kolchak – it had been months in the making. In March, Red Army General Vatsetis had expressed
the Bolshevik fear of Allied power: “So everything depends on whether the Entente
wants to come in actively against us or, for various reasons of internal and external policy,
does not.” But even as he was uttering these words, Allied
policy in Russia was about to fall apart. The French and Greeks had pulled out of Ukraine
in April and the Americans had decided to pull out of north Russia in May. France began to shift to a diplomatic policy
of strengthening the newly independent countries in eastern Europe to contain Bolshevik Russia
with a cordon sanitaire. Even the British, until now the most dedicated
interventionists, were ready to go. Trotsky commented on the Allies pending abandonment
of the Whites: “We have before us a case of betrayal of the minor brigands by the major
ones.” That didn’t mean it was easy. David Lloyd George, who had always had doubts
about intervention, admitted his doubts: “Bolshevism threatened to impose, by force of arms, its
domination on those populations that had revolted against it, and that were organised at our
request. If we, as soon as they had served our purpose,
and as soon as they had taken all the risks, had said, “Thank you; we are exceedingly
obliged to you. You have served your purpose. We need you no longer. Now let the Bolsheviks cut your throats,”
we should have been mean – we should have been thoroughly unworthy indeed of any great
land.” But leave they would, in spite of a few last
gasps. In May the Allies gave partial diplomatic
recognition to Kolchak, just as his armies were being defeated. The same month they tried to attack Petrograd
along with the Whites but were defeated. The summer saw the last offensive action in
North Russia as well, as a covering action for the evacuation at Archangelsk. Only in the Far East did a significant Allied
presence remain, and it could not influence the outcome of the war. By June, Trotsky knew the jig was up and the
Allies had no stomach for a fight: “German and Austro-Hungarian militarism has been smashed
to pieces. French and English militarism still exists
outwardly, but it is inwardly rotten and incapable of fighting. Neither America nor England, and still less
France, is in a position to send a single corps to Russian territory for the struggle
with Soviet power.” The Allies were all but out. But it wasn’t only Allied withdrawals and
White weakness that had begun to turn the tide in the war. The Bolsheviks were also hard at work behind
the front, organizing, planning and propagandizing to strengthen their hold on power. The Reds knew if they were going to overcome
the Allied-supplied forces of the Whites reform was needed. They were cut off from most of the world,
and from their potential Allies in Hungary, Slovakia, and Bavaria – so they would have
to survive on their own. The economic situation in the Red zone was
still incredibly difficult, and the Red Terror against the peasants continued, though the
authorities did reduce the violence and pressure somewhat. Defence production was concentred in a few
areas at the expense of the rest, according to the new principle of udarnost, or shock
production. This allowed the Bolsheviks to overcome the
serious ammunition shortfall of 50 million rounds a month by July. The Reds also reformed the army. Former Tsarist officers were given more power
and political commissars a bit less. More of the critical junior commanders were
trained, and more men were conscripted, bringing the total strength of the Red Army up to 1.5
million men by mid-1919. Desertion was still a major problem, but hundreds
of thousands of deserters also returned to the ranks of an army that had become more
traditional in its culture. As Lenin had said in March: “Iron discipline
is needed here. And if you say that this is an autocratic-feudal
system and protest against saluting, then you will not get an army in which the middle
peasant will fight.” Though he lost some influence after the June
disagreement with Lenin and Stalin, Trotsky also took steps to keep up morale and motivate
the troops. He flew around the front in his special armoured
train, making 36 visits to the troops and covering 120,000km. As he later wrote in his memoirs: “The strongest
cement in the new army was the ideas of the October Revolution, and the train supplied
the front with this cement.” The improved quality and morale of the Red
troops was not lost on their opponents. General Budberg confided to his diary in August:
“We are up against not the [Bolos] and motley Red-Guard rabble of last year, but a regular
Red Army.” So the Red Army and the Bolshevik government
were slowly reforming and gaining the upper hand over the chaos in the centre of Russia,
while the Whites in the East were collapsing. Now came the sternest test for the revolution,
from the White armies in the south. In the south, General Denikin’s Armed Forces
of South Russia spent the spring consolidating its newly-won base in the Caucasus and licking
its wounds after a defeat on the Don. The Red Army, though, was in no mood for rest
and attacked in the Donbas and Don regions in March and April, making good progress and
before being stopped. Due to the harsh policies directed against
the local population, in March a major revolt broke out behind Red lines amongst the Cossacks,
which was supported by air drops of supplies from British planes. At the same time, the Red Army advanced in
central Ukraine, crushing the forces of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, pushing out
the French and Greek intervention forces and occupying the Crimea. In May, Trotsky was ready for a final reckoning:
“This spring and this summer, we must finish with the southern front [once and for all].” Despite his public bluster, Trotsky was well
aware of the difficult conditions facing the Red Army. After visiting the front in May he wrote:
“The prevailing state of chaos, irresponsibility, laxity and separatism, exceeds the most pessimistic
expectations.” Later that summer he shared his concerns with
the Central Committee: “Nowhere do the soldiers suffer so much from hunger as in the Ukraine. Between a third and a half of the men are
without boots or undergarments and go about in rags. Everyone in the Ukraine except our soldiers
has a rifle and ammunition.” It may be that he was exaggerating to force
the government to send more supplies, but the situation was indeed serious and hundreds
of thousands deserted the Red Army that year. Indeed, the tables were about to be turned
on the Red Army. By May, the Reds had about 230,000 troops
in the south, some of whom had been transferred from the relatively quiet Polish front, while
the Whites had about 50,000. But though they were outnumbered the White
troops here in the south, unlike in the east, were still of better quality than their Red
opponents, which they were about to prove. The first White blow fell to the west, in
the direction of southern Ukraine. General Shkuro’s troops quickly took the
Crimea, as well as the Donbas. Kharkiv was taken in June. The experienced Whites had beaten Makhno’s
anarchist peasants on their home turf, and the Black Army withdrew westwards across the
Dnepr and accepted an offer of alliance from another peasant leader, Nikifor Grigoriev. The Bolsheviks accused the Black Army of treason
and fighting broke out between the former Allies. Makhno had Grigoriev shot shortly thereafter
upon learning his new ally was planning to join the Whites or in order to take over his
units, depending on whom you believe. In the east, Vrangel’s Caucasian army finally
took the besieged city of Tsaritsyn on the Volga, which had been under pressure for so
long it became known as the Red Verdun, and 40,000 prisoners were taken. On July 3, Denikin held a victory parade and
issued the famous Moscow Directive, which announced an offensive aimed at “the occupation
of the heart of Russia, Moscow”. According to the directive, Vrangel’s forces
were to follow the Volga north to Saratov and then wheel west, passing through Nizhnii
Novgorod before attacking Moscow. In the centre, the Volunteer Army was to advance
north through Kursk, Oryol and Tula while the Don Army was to advance along the axis
of VorOnezh and RyazAn. This plan was a huge risk. The White armies were suffering from weak
discipline and morale, and the supply situation was catastrophic. Some observers have argued that Denikin was
foolish to go for Moscow at this stage – including his own General Vrangel, who criticized his
superior in his memoirs after the war. But others say that he had no choice- that
the Red Army’s numbers, quality and armament would only continue to increase. If there was a chance for the Whites to overturn
the revolution, Denikin had to seize it now. And by the summer, Allied aid had begun to
arrive at the port of Novorossiisk, including 60 British tanks and 168 British planes, complete
with crews. Lenin sensed the gravity of the moment: “Now
the foreign capitalists are making a desperate effort to restore the yoke of capital through
the attack of Denikin, whom they have supplied, even more than Kolchak, with officers, supplies,
shells, [and] tanks.” But the White offensives that began after
the Moscow directive weren’t directed at Moscow at all. Instead, White forces acting without orders
from Denikin struck hard to the west, in Ukraine. They took Poltava by the end of July, and
had occupied Mikolaev, Odessa and Kyiv by the end of August. Makhno’s Black Army, fighting both Whites
and Reds, took refuge around the city of Uman to regroup. They agreed to a truce with Petliura and began
to integrate Red deserters into their ranks. The central front was a mess, as Red Army
attacks in August delayed the launch of the White drive on Moscow and pushed the Volunteer
army back to KUpyansk. At the same time, White Cossack cavalry under
General Mamontov launched a wild raid behind enemy lines. They ran unchecked for a month, sowing chaos
and damaging Red lines of communication and supply lines. They took TambOv on August 18, where they
nearly captured Trotsky himself. In early September, they were in VorOnezh. During the wild ride, the Whites looted and
plundered, to the extent that some soldiers simply decided to desert and go home with
the spoils. Trotsky called the Mamontov raid: “A comet
with a filthy tail of robbery and rape.” On the Volga, Vrangel’s army set out in
July, and made it to within 100km of Saratov by August. But he was stopped by a Red Army reinforced
by troops freed up from Red Victories in the East, and a lack of White supplies and reinforcements. Near Lake Elton, a few White patrols actually
met up with some of Kolchak’s cavalry that had been cut off by the Red advance in the
Urals, but the contact was fleeting. By the end of August the Caucasian army had
retreated to its starting point, Tsaritsyn. The main White offensive finally got going
in the second half of September, though by now Kolchak was long beaten in Siberia and
Vrangel had already failed on the Volga. It was one last desperate gamble for the fate
of the country. The Volunteer army’s elite units led the
charge, and captured Kursk with the help of armoured trains on September 20th. The Don Army then captured VorOnezh on September
30. The Red Army was in full retreat, and many
soldiers deserted in the face of the White advance. Nikita Khrushchyov, future leader of the Soviet
Union, experienced the rout first-hand as a Battalion Commissar in the shattered 9th
division. Oryol fell on October 14, and the White armies
were within reach of the all-important arms factories at Tula and, 300km away from where
they now stood, Moscow itself. A British military mission report made a bold
prediction: “In the face of resistance, judging from the progress hitherto made, Moscow
might be reached within two and a half months.” But despite the impressive progress of the
White armies, there were worrying signs. On September 25th, Makhno’s regrouped troops
destroyed Denikin’s units in western Ukraine at the battle of Peregonovka. The Black Army raced eastwards, soon reaching
its capital of Hulyaipole and threatening White supply lines for the advance on Moscow. Denikin was forced to transfer some units
south to deal with Makhno. This was not Denikin’s only problem, however. His army’s advance was chaotic, and the
command structure was weak. The awful supply situation meant they had
to live off the land, which in practice meant stealing from the local population. His forces also committed pogroms against
the local Jewish population. The Whites hoped the people would rise up
and join them, but they did not, and they did not have enough troops to properly hold
onto the wide front they now held. In September, Denikin complained to General
Mai-Maevsky: “[…]this gloomy picture of grandiose looting and plunder, the bacchanalia
of arbitrary rule, which reigns unchecked in the whole front line zone.” So by the early fall of 1919, the Red Army
stood triumphant in the East, with the remnants of Kolchak’s armies in full retreat. The Allies were withdrawing from the north,
east and south and had lost the will to continue the intervention. The last hope of the Whites to stem the tide
of Bolshevik revolution were Denikin’s armies on the road to Moscow. But their strength was on the wane, and in
the heart of the Soviet zone, the Red Army was marshalling its forces for a counter-offensive
that would decide the fate of the revolution. As usual, you can find all our sources for
this episode in the video description. If you want to support our channel, you can
buy our official merchandise, like our newly released Hope 1919 design which is an excellent
conversation starter for all the history parties you attend. I’m Jesse Alexander and this is The Great
War 1919, a production of Real Time History and the only YouTube history that would really
love a ride in a Tachanka in 1919.

Comments

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    Author
    The Great War

    Register for our free newsletter and win $250 worth of our recommended history books: https://realtimehistory.net/win *

    *Instead of paying Facebook, Twitter & Co. money for the possibility to reach you with our content, we'd rather get in touch with you directly and spend the money on history books and the production of the show.

  2. Post
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    Jan Gelbrich

    Wonderful video! The maps are essential to follow the line of events and the position of "chess gamers". And once more we learn that anyone making war in Russia is defeated by overstretching fronts and difficult supply lines. BTW the Whites withdrew because of the lack of funding, by governments that were in deep debts, which appears as a harder argument than the Red Scare. While the Reds, no matter how insane their own cause was, were fighting on their own ground.
    I saw the flag of the Czechian Legion on the map. Maybe in the next episode You could elaborate on that detail?

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    Jack Sharpe

    Another great episode guys! Loving the longer videos now and Jesse is really good as host. The whole set of videos you've done on the Russian Civil War (and will do) have really made the whole war so much easier to follow. I imagine they'll be at least three more videos on the Civil War. But I'll still support you no matter what.

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    Maxim Sinitsyn

    It's always interest for me as Russian – how Europeans perceive and understand this bloody civil conflict (both in books and video). Great job, The Great War Team and also Jesse!

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    Peter Croves

    The whites were divided, some wanted the czar, others a republic, others wanted the old order, others wanted a conditional monarchy like the UK and others wanted to put in a strong man as ruler or a military regime, But all were against the reds

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    Ryan Wiles

    Hey Mr. Jesse, id just like you to know that you’re subjectively a better host than Mr. Indy. Indy Neidell made the weekly episodes exciting but his charisma made the episodes forgettable for me personally. You on the other hand make the episodes much easier to remember through your tone of voice and articulations of certain subjects. If you still have haters, I hope you this comment to help your spirits

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    Jonathan Meyer

    Subscribed to the newsletter! I meant to do that after viewing the last episode, but got distracted and then forgot to do so. Thanks for the reminder.

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    NSMITH8516

    um hi im new to this channel but i'm wandering if you'll ever cover the lost generation and the spiritalist movements that happen after the war

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    Aggressive Tubesock

    As a Marxist-Leninist, I find the Russian civil war to be one of the greatest victories of the people over their oppressors.

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    Kelly Costin

    I thought after the great war was over , I figured that was the end……but now I know , conflict will never end.Thats depressing.

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    Syabil Mohar

    Sorry I just come back to the channel but can anyone kind me tell me what happen to the previous host? I technically miss alot of stuff going on

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    Con b

    Really not enough documentaries on this subject. @You tube community: any one have a link for a good doc on the civil war portion? Lots on the revolution but very little about the civil war white vs red portion. Thanks you tube

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    Joshua Condell

    When are you guys gonna cover the Turkish war of independence. I'm impatient please start soon, I'm anxious to see more of ataturk

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    Marcus Tullius

    The scale of corruption in the White Army is simply astounding.
    Now in Russia, people are more likely to treat the White Army as traitors because they made a deal with foreign forces.
    Of course, this does not apply to socialists and monarchists. They are still trying to turn the facts in their favor.

    Thanks for the work. A detailed statement of facts is what history should be.

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    Mikesman1000

    From one side, I condemn the tsar for letting the people to be smeared upon, but on the other hand, bolsheviks made anahilation of people, tens of millions were killed from communist regime later…

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    letecmig

    General Gajda has been mentioned several times. Truly interesting person: he was actually Czech (originally Czech legion), who left the Legion to help Kolchak. After the defeat of Kolchak, he went back to Czechoslovakia. There he quickly shown authoritarian tendencies and political aspirations not consistent with the democratic ethos of new republic.
    He was sidelined and left the Czechoslovak Army. He became leader of the fascist movement in Czechoslovakia even attemting (rather laughable) coup de etat in 1933(put down within hour or two by the local POLICE).
    When Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, despite his fascist beliefs, he refused collaboration and was involved in the anti-nazi resistance.
    After the liberation in 1945, regardless his involvement in the resistance, some old scores were settled and he was sentenced for two years for his pre-war political fascist activities and attempt on 1933 coup de etat.
    Till this day he is an idol of fringe Czech neo-nazis (anti-nazi fascist hero……who could accuse you being 'neonazi':) )

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    Roronoa Zoro

    After the Treaty of Versailles, the worst thing Lloyd George and Wilson did was abandon Russia to the Bolshevik tyranny.
    These two moralistic hypocrites, instead of creating a "safe world for democracy" left Eastern Europe in total chaos and as a hotbed of ethnic conflicts, poverty and totalitarianism.

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    forgetfulfunctor1

    @5:00 so I guess "ba(t)" is their word for father, and "-ka" is the russian diminutive. If so I feel like "papí" might be a more semantical translation than "lil father"

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    Circumpolar Bear Cult

    "Bolshevikings" does a song on Makhnovshchina. The channel is "Eugene Wolynsky" youtube channel, Eugene is one of the "Bolshevikings". 125 year birthday (Jubileum) of Nestor, was the 'occasion'. The Russian movie "Admiral" is a drama about Admiral Kolchak. "Once upon a time there lived a simple woman", ("Zhila bila odna baba"), is a good movie about the Russian Civil War from a "lapotnik", peasant perspective. The book "Ru"slander", The Russian, by Sandra Birdsell, is a good book about that time from a Mennonite perspective…describes daily life, and a massacre of Mennonites by an Anarchist faction. Thanks for the excellent video.

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    spqr1945

    If you want to know more about this time – one the best sources –
    "And Quiet Flows the Don" by Mikhail Sholokhov. Southern white russians were much better at warfare because it was consisted mostly of russians Cossacks – military estate of Russia, most of whom were veterans of the Great war.

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    mikhailv67

    Hey guys is there good will btw the New crew and Indy et al? Ive noticed no references or mutual promotion.

    Really well produced and presented. Such a complex period of history yet i feel i understand and appreciate. Thank you

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    NeveroOn

    @TheGreatWar
    Why didnt Allies not intervene with some 100.000s troops from west to order the mess?
    Erich D. Dwinger wrote in his 2. Book between red and white that the western Allies did trait the Whites to destroy Russia with communism, could you try to explain how his sight was created?
    And show your viewers General Bermondt Awallov in the Baltics.

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    OG VH

    Just to let you guys know, I really appreciate the effort you guys put into these videos. I watched for 2 years with Indie (had a lot of catching up to do before-hand) and I'm very happy that you've continued on with the channel with the excellent Jesse. This has also been very useful for me, because I am using your Russian Civil War videos as sources for my A-Level History Coursework, which is on whether the strength of the Reds was the most important factor in the defeat of the Whites. Thank you so much!

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    prkyyynko prknowsbetter

    funny how your map says Czech Legion instead of Czechoslovak Legion and then you mention potential Bolshevik allies in Hungary, Germany and Slovakia… some fact checking this is…

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    Ann Onymous

    I came here for ancient aliens seeded earth with yeti, progenitor of bigfoot
    and all i got was this lousy trench footed newsletter

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    Clay B

    I’m guessing I missed the episode where this guy replaced Indy on this channel or something. I’m Shook, this is like when I was a kid and they replaced Steve with joe on blues clues.

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    John Weerasinghe

    Western authors make light of Stalin's "paranoia ".
    The seeds of that so called "paranoia" is fully justified when you see how many western Nations tried to "strangle the soviet state at birth ".
    Also explains the Gulags …and if Tukachevsky spent time in a German prison explains why Stalin eliminated him.
    As usual the west paying lip service to Democracy choose to support unpopular, corrupt ,elite, factions when it's in their interest to do so.

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    C ELOWSKI

    What a different world it would have been if we "nipped the bud" with communism before Russia turned red…. No cold war, Korea,  Vietnam, Cuba… etc..

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    Jarod Farrant

    There should be a game of Thorne style show based on the Russian civil war there’s so many stories they can tell with this.

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    Claudia Müller

    Some of the greatest novels in existence have been written about this conflict. "Red Cavalry" by Isaac Babel, "The Pale Horse" by Boris Sawinkow and "Blood And Fire" by Artyem Wesjoly. I'm not sure if the third one has been translated to English but I'm currently reading the German version and it's awesome! All 3 authors were later captured and executed by the Cheka, even though Babel and Wesjoly fought for the Red Army! Sawinkow on the other hand started as a social revolutionary Terrorist ( his cell killed a few Ministers and Czar's family members) and later fought for the white army. Revolution eats its children!

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    Matthaeus Radium

    Russian civil war is one very interesting point of the history books . Great video . Do you think the Russian federation today is actually the white Russian army in disguise?

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    Enchantress Death

    What a tragic fate for the White Army… but despite the disorganization and confusion amidst the White Army ranks, the bravery of those White Army soldiers who did fight to the last must not be forgotten

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    Mark Merin

    I truly miss Indie hosting, he just had this presence that made everything so much more interesting. I have respect for all the dedication and hardwork all of you do, but I will truly miss Indie every time I watch one of these.

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    sergeontheloose

    Kolchak was an excellent Russian Navy commander and an excellent sapper as was proven by the engagements with the German fleet on the Baltic Sea in the Great War. But he was indecisive and probably should have stuck to the fleet. As a field officer of the infantry he was useless.

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    Christopher Justice

    If you love learning about World War 1, then you’ll love the sequel. Indy Neidell and Spartacus Olsen return in “World War 2 in real time.”

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    Metrack

    Wait, hold on, the Whites expect the peasants/minorities would join them? The same minorities/peasants that hated the Tsar and landlords and the only thing they would want, is another king/tsar?

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    Justin Boroughs

    If only the White Patriots won. So many lives in the long run would be saved. No Lennin. No Trotsky. NO STALIN. No Communism. No Collectivization in the name of the state (Ukrainian peasants) Etc. Etc. and more etc.

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