There were six reasons why the Bolsheviks
won the Civil War.
reason was that the Whites were disunited.
They were a coalition of different enemies of the Bolsheviks (Social
Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Tsarists, army officers angry at Brest Litovsk, and
nobles whose land had been given to the peasants).
In fact, all these different groups hated each other!
They were disunited and their armies were thousands of miles apart – Generals Yudenich and Deniken attacked Russia
from the west, Admiral Kolchak from the east. This
meant that Trotsky could co-ordinate his forces much better, and fight his
enemies one at a time.
reason was Trotsky, who was a brilliant war leader and strategist, so the Red
Army had good tactics.
A third reason
was belief. Many Russians
were Communists, who believed they were fighting for a better world.
Others fought for them because they hated foreign (British, American and
French) armies invading Russia. This
motivated the Bolshevik soldiers – they were fervent and enthusiastic.
Most of their enemies were fighting only because they were paid to.
the Bolsheviks by introducing War Communism.
The Bolsheviks nationalised the factories, and introduced military
discipline. Strikes were made
illegal. They introduced
rationing and forced the peasants to give food to the government. This put the whole nation on a war footing, and gave
the Bolshevik armies the supplies they needed.
whites were disunited, the Bolsheviks maintained absolute unity through Terror.
The Tsar and his family were put to death, which removed a focal point
for the whites. The Cheka
murdered any Whites they found – more than 7000 people were executed, and Red
Army generals were kept loyal by taking their families hostage – so the
Bolsheviks were united and disciplined towards a single end – winning the war.
Finally, the Bolsheviks had what they needed to win the war. The British, French and American armies were fighting thousands of miles from home, at the end of a long supply line. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, had control of the main cities of Moscow and Petrograd (with their factories), control of the railways (vital), an army of 300,000 men, very strict army discipline, and internal lines of communication – giving them the advantage in the war. When Kolchak was defeated in 1919, the foreign armies went home. The last white army was defeated in the Crimea in 1920.