The Battle is Won (April 1919–March 1920)

  • Robert Service


The outcome of the Civil War was decided in 1919. The auguries for a Red victory had seemed most unfavourable at the beginning of the year when Kolchak was still pressing on remorselessly westwards through the southern passes of the Urals, when Denikin was putting the finishing touches to his plan to launch a two-pronged invasion of central Russia through the Donbass, and when Yudenich was on the point of moving his army from Estonia in a lightning strike on Petrograd. Yet the Bolsheviks did more than hold their own. The main body of their forces was turned first upon Kolchak and it was not long before his army, which had hitherto threatened to wreak the complete destruction of the Red Army, was itself streaming back over the Urals to Siberia as fast as it had come. Denikin fared no better. Initially he succeeded in making great inroads into Soviet-held territory and pushed some regiments as far north as Orel; but the Red counter-offensive, once Kolchak had been dealt with, quickly turned back the tide of the White advance and had Denikin marching southwards through the Ukraine in retreat. The Bolsheviks, while pressing home this victory, felt confident enough to transfer numerous troops to the environs of Petrograd to meet Yudenich. The Red Army was triumphant.


Central Committee Local Committee Central Party Party Committee October Revolution 
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Notes and References

  1. 6.
    O. H. Radkey, The Unknown Civil War in Soviet Russia: A Study of the Green Movement in the Tambov Region 1920–1921 (Stanford, 1976).Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    P. Avrich, Kronstadt, 1921 (New Jersey, 1970);Google Scholar
  3. E. Mawdsley, ‘The Baltic Fleet and the Kronstadt Mutiny’, Soviet Studies, 1973, no. 4, pp. 506–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Robert Service 1979

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  • Robert Service

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