Bolsheviks overthrown in July 1918

cex

Banned
Ah, I think here's the bottom line of our disagreement.
I think that statement is utterly false. There certainly was a strong and well-organised group around which had a vested interest in restoring or reinvigorating the vanquished Bolsheviks over any White or Green rule, at least at this point in time:
INDUSTRIAL WORKERS.
The industrial workers are in no position to communicate or co-ordinate with the Bolsheviks: with the Fifth Congress of the Soviets wiped out, Bolshevik military and political C2 (command and control) which they were totally dependent on for seizing and then maintaining power, is entirely gone.
They were not only around in the Urals and Petrograd and the Baltics. They're a strong force in Belarus (Vitebsk, Smolensk) and in Russian cities around Moscow, too: Tver, Vladimir, Kaluga, Tula.
The workers' soviet and councils were militarily puny: the Czechoslovak Legion and their Right SR allies overthrew Bolshevik rule in the Urals in short order, and they were quickly overthrown in the Baltics and Belarus by the German Army. The workers didn't really have much of a military force of their own, unlike the Right and Left SRs and the Germans.
(Looking at the results of the December 1917 Constituent Assembly elections gives you a general idea where which group was how powerful.)
Huh? The industrial workers in the Urals voted SR. Hardly a glowing indication of Bolshevik power!
They had Bolshevik cells on the grounds who are not all dead, and beyond that, they have unions that were, mostly, not pro-Menshevik and pro-war.
And there is an underlying reason why industrial workers flocked to the Bolsheviks, and why they fought in the Civil War for them.
In May 1918, Stalin, Sokolnikov and many of the Bolsheviks were openly supporting a resumption of the war with Germany. The Mensheviks, recognizing that actively resisting Germany was futile, advocated guerrilla/partisan warfare.
It has little to do with all the semantics about proletarian self-rule (the SRs and Mensheviks can talk that, too) and a lot more to do with bread.
"Surplus requisitionings" are very unpopular with the peasantry, but when you called the same thing "getting grain into the cities and processed into cheap bread for the fighting workers" then it was, understandably, very popular with urban industrial workers.
By 1920-1921, the same industrial workers had turned against the Reds. Had the Gulf of Finland thawed early in 1921 or the mutiny had started earlier, the 'Greens' (mostly industrial workers now) would have overthrown the Reds.
(4) Maybe, *pace* Swain, 1920-21 wasn't too late for the "Reds" to be overthrown by the "Greens"? The situation in February 1921 looked like that of exactly four years earlier, with strikes in Moscow and Petrograd, and some soldiers refusing to fire on the strikers. Under these circumstances, as Orlando Figes writes, the Bolsheviks "could not wait for it [the Kronstadt uprising] to peter out. Revolts in other cities, such as Kazan and Niznhyi Novgorod, were already being inspired by it. The ice-packed Gulf of Finland, moreover, was about to thaw and this would make the fortress, with the whole of its fleet freed from the ice, virtually impregnable." (*A People's Tragedy*, p. 762) http://www.rulit.me/books/a-people-s-tragedy-the-russian-revolution-1891-1924-read-232715-281.html So an interesting POD would be the Gulf of Finland thawing a little early that year. Or if it be objected that changes in the weather are considered ASB, we could have the mutiny start a few weeks later...
I'm not trying to legitimise Bolshevik terror and the subsequent communist dictatorship, mind you. I'm just cautioning you against underestimating the fundament on which Red power rested.
You can't reasonably expect Red power to last long once their entire leadership/organization have bayonets rammed through their skulls, any more than White or Green power lasted beyond the execution of their leadership, or German power lasted beyond their defeat. The support of the industrial workers will be no more of a panacea than the support of the middle classes or the rural peasantry.
 
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cex

Banned
Mass murder fantasy it is. With a sadistic touch.
The Left SRs shot Mirbach, the German Ambassador to Russia, full of holes and had gunned down several Tsarist officials before the war. You can't reasonably expect a half-paramilitary, half-terrorist group to be exactly merciful to the Bolsheviks had they been really attempting to seize power rather than force a resumption of the war.
 

cex

Banned
Mass murder fantasy it is. With a sadistic touch.
Furthermore, I fail to see how the SRs summarily executing the Bolsheviks is any more of a 'sadistic mass murder fantasy' than assorted right-wingers( the Freikorps, or the Whites or the Germans had they won) summarily executing Communists. Summary execution and mass murder was a virtual order of day for the Left and the Right during the Russian Civil War.
 
The Left SRs shot Mirbach, the German Ambassador to Russia, full of holes
No, they did not. They missed every shot but one.
2023-09-19_21-36-40.png

Some assassination skills, I tell you!
 

cex

Banned
No, they did not. They missed every shot but one.
View attachment 856993
Some assassination skills, I tell you!
Steinberg later said that the uprising had failed "not because [the]
leaders were not brave enough, but because it was not at all their purpose
to overthrow the government." Indeed, it is ridiculous to accuse Left SR
leaders like Maria Spiridinova of timidity. (As a 20 year old, she had
shot and killed a brutal Tsarist official
, and was sentenced to death--
which however the Tsar commuted to life imprisonment. In 1937, arrested in
Stalin's Great Purge, she refused to yield to torture, and denied the
charges of "counterrevolutionary conspiracy." Sentenced to 25 years in
prison, she was shot in 1941.) The problem with Spiridinova, Kamkov (also
executed under Stalin) and other Left SR leaders was not lack of courage
but lack of political judgment.
Given the SRs' established history of terrorism and their prior complicity in the November coup d'etat, it would hardly be ASB for the SRs to decide to storm the Kremlin and seize power, especially given the Latvian Rifles were stuck on the outskirts of Moscow due to the poor weather. As Radkey notes, without the Latvians, 'Lenin was as defenseless as Kerensky had been in October'.
 

cex

Banned
A victorious Left SR regime would probably have given the Bolsheviks the same 'mercy' they had given to Ambassador Mirbach and the Tsar's officers before then: that is, none at all in a rather gruesome fashion...
 
had gunned down several Tsarist officials before the war
But they didn't gun down Dzerzhinsky, Latsis and Smidovich, only arrested them.
Furthermore, I fail to see how the SRs summarily executing the Bolsheviks is any more of a 'sadistic mass murder fantasy' than assorted right-wingers( the Freikorps, or the Whites or the Germans had they won) summarily executing Communists. Summary execution and mass murder was a virtual order of day for the Left and the Right during the Russian Civil War.
Bolsheviks did not execute Left SRs for their coup attempt. Sentences were rather lenient: 1 to 3 years of imprisonment.
it would hardly be ASB for the SRs to decide to storm the Kremlin and seize power
They did not need to storm Kremlin. Kremlin security consisted of Left SR chekists. mostly.
 

cex

Banned
But they didn't gun down Dzerzhinsky, Latsis and Smidovich, only arrested them.
The entire POD is that they seize the Kremlin and therefore seize power. The Bolsheviks, deprived of the Latvian Rifles, would have futilely resisted and been killed.
Bolsheviks did not execute Left SRs for their coup attempt. Sentences were rather lenient: 1 to 3 years of imprisonment.
The SR Chekists were summarily executed and out of the 400 Party members arrested, a large number were executed for show trials. Spiridonova was intermittently committed to prison/sanitarium for the rest of her life. More Great Purge than lenience.
They did not need to storm Kremlin. Kremlin security consisted of Left SR chekists. mostly.
The leader of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries Maria Spiridonova then went to the Fifth Congress of Soviets, where she announced that "the Russian people are free from Mirbach," and, jumping onto a table, started shouting "Hey, you, listen, Earth, hey, you, listen, earth! ”.[7] However, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries made no attempt to arrest the Bolshevik government, although they even had passes allowing them to enter the Kremlin without hindrance. In addition, the rebels did not arrest the Bolshevik delegates of the Fifth Congress of Soviets. Without attempting to seize power, they declared the Bolsheviks “agents of German imperialism” who established the regime of “commissar rule” and smeared all other socialists as “counterrevolutionaries”. Researcher Valery Evgenievich Shambarov draws attention to the passivity of military units that sided with the rebels: “The regiment of the Cheka, under the command of Popov, rebelled quite strangely. On 1 March, their forces were armed with 1,800 bayonets, 80 sabers, 4 armored cars and 8 artillery guns. The Bolsheviks in Moscow had 720 bayonets, 4 armored cars and 12 artillery guns. But instead of attacking and winning, taking advantage of surprise and an almost three-fold advantage, the regiment passively "rebelled" in the barracks ".[14] On the same topic American historian Alexander Rabinowitch argues as follows.
By the night of 6 July, the actions of the Left SRs, beginning with Count Mirbach's assassination, were already being defined by the Soviet government as "an uprising against Soviet power," and historians have often depicted the episode that way. But is this characterization valid? Having sifted through the available published and unpublished evidence, I conclude that it was not. Upon investigation, with the possible exception of Prosh Proshian's brief occupation of the Central Telegraph Office and his behavior there, which may as well have been unauthorized, all of the Moscow Left SRs' actions following Mirbach's assassination were consistent with the objective of reshaping the policies of the Leninist Sovnarkom but not with forcibly seizing power or even fighting the Bolsheviks except in self-defense.[15]
The Left SRs clearly needed to enter the Kremlin to arrest and kill the Bolshevik leadership.
 
Stalin was in Moscow in early May 1918: we know this because he and Sokolnikov were attempting to persuade Lenin to re-declare war on Germany after the 'breathing space' of Brest-Litovsk was over. While he certainly was in Tsaristyn murdering Tsarist officers in May-June 1918, this hardly precludes him returning to Moscow in July 1918 to attend the Fifth Congress of Soviets, which he was a member of.
He was not a delegate.
This telegram I mentioned:
 

cex

Banned
They did not need to kill anybody to ceize the Kremlin. They could do it without violence. They had the numbers.
Even virtually helpless without the Latvians, I highly doubt those as fanatical as Lenin and Trotsky would have chosen to meekly surrender like the Tsar or flee like Kerensky disguised as a woman. Especially since surrendering here now and then would have meant the extinction of Bolshevism.
He was not a delegate.
This telegram I mentioned:
Lenin's telegram reads 'Tsaritsyn to People's Commissar Stalin'.
 

cex

Banned
Dzerzhinsky surrendered, and he was as fanatical.
And why expect the Left SRs to spare them and allow them to stir up even more trouble against the new Green regime? The Left SRs didn't show much mercy or restraint towards Mueller and Riezler for the 'crime' of being with Mirbach, and they regarded Lenin, Trotsky et al. as being traitors and sell-outs for signing Brest-Litovsk rather than continuing the war. Expect a quick show trial and execution for treason for the senior figures, which Spiridonova explicitly denounced the signing of Brest-Litovsk as in front of the Fifth Congress of Soviets.
 
The SR Chekists were summarily executed and out of the 400 Party members arrested, a large number were executed for show trials
No, they were not. Some twenty chekists were executed for being immediately involved. Left SR leadership were sentenced for 1-3 years imprisonment.
Spiridonova was intermittently committed to prison/sanitarium for the rest of her life. More Great Purge than lenience.
Spiridonova was sentenced for 1 (one) year imprisonment.
 

cex

Banned
No, they were not. Some twenty chekists were executed for being immediately involved. Left SR leadership were sentenced for 1-3 years imprisonment.
The Bolsheviks immediately executed thirteen SRs that were in the Cheka,[4][25] without trial,[26] while keeping the SR Congressional delegation in prison[17] and expelling its members from the executive committee.[27] Little by little they released the bulk of the delegates.[17] Those who opposed the uprising were immediately released, after their weapons had been seized.[10] Thirteen of the four hundred and fifty delegates - including Spiridonova - were transferred on the morning of 8 July from the theater to the Kremlin dungeons; ten of them were released the next day.[10]

The Communists tried to divide the party and alienate the militants from the leadership,[28] by having some form two separate new parties.[27] Most of the radical leaders who had advocated accepting peace with the Central Empire ended up repudiating the uprising.[10] Those who, instead of criticizing the actions of the party, endorsed them, were persecuted by the authorities.[29][10] Despite the flight of most of the leaders, some four hundred Party members were arrested and many of them executed.[29] Spiridonova remained in prison in the Kremlin until the end of November.[17] She received a one-year sentence,[10] which was commuted by her admission to a sanitarium, from which she soon escaped.[25]

Spiridonova was sentenced for 1 (one) year imprisonment.
From 1918 on, Spiridonova faced repression from the Soviet government, as she was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned, briefly detained in a mental sanitarium, sent into internal exile before being shot in 1941. A successful campaign was run to discredit her name and portray her as a hysterical extremist, and she was "forced into oblivion".[4] In 1958, when publishing the fourth volume of A History of Socialist Thought, G.D.H. Cole wrote that nothing was known of what had happened to her after 1920.[5] Twenty years later, Richard Stites was still uncertain whether her death occurred in 1937 or 1941.[6] Only after the end of Stalinism and the fall of the Soviet Union did it gradually become possible to reconstruct the last decades of her life.


All in all, the SRs who still refused to accept Brest-Litovsk after the Uprising were violently crushed.
 
some four hundred Party members were arrested and many of them executed
In the long run, yes, they were. During the Great Purge of 1937-38. But not right after the putsch.
From 1918 on, Spiridonova faced repression from the Soviet government
In the long run, yes, she did. But for her participation in the putsch she received a one-year sentence.
 

cex

Banned
In the long run, yes, they were. During the Great Purge of 1937-38. But not right after the putsch.
The Wikipedia articles (and Oliver Radkey) are referring to the period immediately after the Left SRs' Uprising.
In the long run, yes, she did. But for her participation in the putsch she received a one-year sentence.
Spiridonova was repeatedly arrested in 1919, 1920 and 1923 and 1930 and 1937. She was arrested more times during the Civil War than under Stalin.
 
The Wikipedia articles (and Oliver Radkey) are referring to the period immediately after the Left SRs' Uprising.
No, they are not. Or if they are, they are wrong. There were no mass executions of Left SRs in 1918-1919.
Spiridonova was repeatedly arrested in 1919, 1920 and 1923 and 1930 and 1937. She was arrested more times during the Civil War than under Stalin.
On November 27, 1918, the Supreme Revolutuiinary Tribunal sentenced her for one year imprisonment, but right then amnestied her "considering her great services to the Revolutuion". Further arrests in 1919 and 1920 were caused by her continuing fighting against Bolsheviks.
 

cex

Banned
No, they are not. Or if they are, they are wrong. There were no mass executions of Left SRs in 1918-1919.
There's no evidence at all to contradict Radkey's claim that many Left SR members were executed after the failed Revolt.

Spiridonova and many other Left SR leaders were imprisoned in Moscow, her Peasant Section of the VTsIK was dissolved,[27] and an undisclosed number of other party members (over 200 according to Rabinowitch) were summarily shot.[31]

On November 27, 1918, the Supreme Revolutuiinary Tribunal sentenced her for one year imprisonment, but right then amnestied her "considering her great services to the Revolutuion". Further arrests in 1919 and 1920 were caused by her continuing fighting against Bolsheviks.
The entire Bolshevik pardon was as usual a great sham: Spiridonova was hiding as a peasant woman in Moscow the second time: as Alexander Rabinowitch points out, at no point did she ever take up arms against the Bolsheviks after the Revolt. The first time, yes, she did publicly oppose the Communist Government in a speech, but violent resistance from the Left SRs was at an end after July 1918.
 
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