Why did Lenin and Trotsky win the Russian civil war?

Essay by paddysmartA+, September 2005

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Key points of essay; (for revision purposes)

1. Trotsky and the red army

2. Weakness of the White armies

3. War Communism

4. Attitude of the peasants

5. Propaganda

6. Red terror- Cheka

7. Allied Withdrawal

Juring the Russian civil war Leon Trotsky played a major role. He was commander and chief of the red army, which fought on the side of the communists. As a much experienced and brave commander he won many battles against the white armies through smart tactics and keeping the moral of his troops high. He was seen as a heroic figure in the eyes of his fellow troops as he accompanied them on frequent occasions to the front lines of battle. One such case of this happened in Petrograd were the white armies came within a mile of the city.

Although the red army was completely out numbered they successfully defended the city while being spurred on by their commander Trotsky who stayed with them for the duration of the battle an extremely rare occurrence for a man of his rank.

Trotsky also introduced conscription into Russia for men aged 18 to 40. He was also a great user of propaganda. Using an armoured train equipped with a printing press he travelled through Soviet Russia spreading leaflets encouraging people to turn against the white army. Another smart move the Trotsky took juring the war was to force former Tsarist officers into the Red army often taking their family hostage. Commissars were employed to watch over them.

Another major factor in the success of the red army was it sheer size. It was 5 million, which far outnumber the Whites. This showed itself to be a particular advantage when the Red army found itself fighting on three fronts. Trotsky used the large Russian railway networks...