Russian Revolution?

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Lucky13, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Wasn't too sure where to post this, so feel free to move it to the proper place...

    What would have happened if Lenin would have assassinated during the revolution, who would have taken over, would it have created unrest and a struggle in the following power vacuum...
     
  2. Ferdinand Foch

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    Hmmmm, that's a interesting question, Lucky. I kinda wanna say that, if Lenin died, one of his Lieutenants would have taken over, like Trotsky (though the revolution probably would have been a lot bloodier than under Lenin, least in my opinion).
    That, Russia might have still been in the war, at least for a little while longer, though that's up for speculation.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Trotsky will take over as he controlled the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. He also had a huge following among communists worldwide. (That's why Stalin had him killed.)
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Too much of a threat top his own power, eh?
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Too much of a threat to his own power, eh?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    During the 1930s there was a world wide civil war between communists loyal to Stalin and communists loyal to Trotsky. This even extended to the communist controlled "International Brigades" that fought in the Spanish Civil War. Aproximately 10% of International Brigade deaths were NKVD executions conducted in an effort to purge those loyal to Trotsky.

    But all this is in the future. During 1917 to 1921 Stalin was still barely more then a gangster. Trotsky had the Red Army under his command.
     
  7. Negative Creep

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    The October Revolution was more of a farce really, it could quite easily have been another party who took over. If Lenin had been killed Trotsky would have taken over and as already mentioned he was just as ruthless. So I think he could still have taken power in the same way. The main mistake of the February government was employing Red Guards to defend the city from an attempted army coup. So in that respect their leader wouldn't have made a difference
     
  8. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Had Trotsky taken over command of the Communist faction, I believe world history would have been very different. Trotsky's main point of doctrinal difference with both Lenin and Stalin was his enthusiasm to spread the revolution across the globe, as Napoleon had tried to do with the French revolution 120 years earlier. I'm not sure how much of this was from idealistic fervour and how much was a cynical appreciation that keeping the Red Army at war would prevent it becoming a power bloc in it's own right, but I think it's about 50/50.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    How is this different from the Comintern effort of Stalin during the 1930s? The Comintern successfully took over the Spanish government causing the army coup in 1936. And came close to taking over the French government also. Stalin also achieved major successes penetrating the British and American governments.

    Pre-WWI China, Germany, Italy, Japan and Portugal were impossible (from the Soviet point of view) as those nations made communism illegal. Otherwise all of Europe and Asia might have gone red by 1940.
     
  10. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    It's very different Dave, because Trotsky wanted to spread the revolution via direct force of arms, not propaganda and funding national communist parties. A general European war ignited by the October Revolution would have been even bloodier than WWI. I would also question your interpretation of the causes of the Spanish Civil War - considerable elements of the Republican polity and armed forces were strongly opposed to Moscow's intervention, and the Communist Party was a minority within the conglomerate of left-wing groups that constituted the Republican faction. It certainly did not 'take over' the govt, nor was the army coup entirely caused by the govt being left-wing. Social and religious issues were just as important, if not more so.

    I cannot comment definitively on 'penetration' of other govts, but the British history I have learned shows the Communist Party and it's sympathisers playing a pathetically small role in British political life between the wars.

    As for anti-communist legislation, it was irrelevant and far from making a communist revolution in any of those countries 'impossible'. Like any political force, communism was no respecter of the law and a rising was still fully possible whether the state permitted communist political parties or not. Indeed, communism gained considerable ground in Germany between 1916 and 1918, even leading to short-lived Soviet republics in some parts of the country - all this despite being illegal :rolleyes:
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's impossible during the 1920s. The Russian economy practically collapsed during their civil war and did not recover until 1929. Russia couldn't even beat Poland, which was a relatively weak nation during 1920.
     
  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    It would have been hard, but not impossible. While Russia was weak, so was the rest of Europe. The Red Army under Trotsky would, IMHO, been a much better organised and motivated force that it was under Lenin's leadership - Lenin essentially looked inward during his time in power, seeking to rebuild Russia and right her internal wrongs rather than feed the flames of Communist dissent already burning in Europe. And while you are correct that Poland was relatively weak, the Poles were motivated by a desire to defend the independence they had regained after some two centuries of foreign rule. IMHO, that gave them a serious edge over a poorly trained and led Red Army. Also, the Poles were essentially fresh, whereas the Red Army had been ground down by it's struggles against the White forces and their Allied partners. I'm not saying that an attempt to export the revolution by force would definitely have succeeded - but I think Trotsky's leadership would have given it a much better chance than it had historically...
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    They wouldn't have been if the Red Army had been strong enough to defeat Poland. Britain, France and the USA would have maintained powerful armies in Germany.
     
  14. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    The USA maybe. France and Britain were already war-shattered and I am inclined to think that there was enough left-wing sympathy in France to make a confrontation with the Soviets a politically difficult matter at home. The USA would have to have made most of the running in that kind of situation, and I do believe that the desire for isolationism and withdrawal from the problems of the Old World might have outweighed the desire to halt international communism at that point. Lets not forget that it took a long time to get the US public behind WWI, but a much shorter time for them to turn inwards again afterward...
     
  15. Hangwire

    Hangwire New Member

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    Ah! Very interesting topic!
    If Lenin was killed could it be possible that the Revolution wouldn't have succeeded?
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The government of Czar Nicholas II was doomed by 1916. If Lenin company don't take over then someone else will.
     
  17. Hangwire

    Hangwire New Member

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    I think that the allied intervention there would have installed a pupper pro-british government.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    They might have tried. And then quit as the British public would be unwilling to sustain a million occupation troops in eastern Europe indefinately.
     
  19. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I don't think an occupation force would have been necessary. Don't forget that the population as a whole seemes fairly happy with the Provisional Govt, the Bolshevik revolution was launched by a minority in the name and interests of a minority. A pro-Western govt would have needed intervention to get it established and defeat the Red Army, but after that I think the troops could have come home, maybe as soon as they did historically - as long as the new govt wasn't obviously composed of former Tsarist types...
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the Austro-German occupation force required to protect the Baltic States and Ukraine during 1918. Britain would need an even larger force if they want to control all of Imperial Russia.
     
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