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Reds! The Russian Civil War 1918-1921» Forums » General

Subject: End of the Great War rss

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Mark Evans
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At the end of the Great War there is an influx of reinforcements, some from the Western Powers which is understandable. Some from Poland which is also understandable. But why the big influx of White Russians?
 
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drmark64 wrote:
At the end of the Great War there is an influx of reinforcements, some from the Western Powers which is understandable. Some from Poland which is also understandable. But why the big influx of White Russians?


Are you referring to a particular rule? It's been a long time since I played the game, but I don't quite get the context for your question.
 
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Mark Evans
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This is a historical question. Not really a rule. Why the resurgence of the White military after the end of the Great War. I hypothesize it had to do with a big jump in financial and material support from the Western Allies after they were not distracted by the war with the Central Powers, but I don't really know.
 
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drmark64 wrote:
I hypothesize it had to do with a big jump in financial and material support from the Western Allies after they were not distracted by the war with the Central Powers, but I don't really know.

Probably that combined with a reaction to the Reds. A civil war tends to force people to take sides as things escalate, even those who initially wanted no part of it.
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drmark64 wrote:
This is a historical question. Not really a rule. Why the resurgence of the White military after the end of the Great War. I hypothesize it had to do with a big jump in financial and material support from the Western Allies after they were not distracted by the war with the Central Powers, but I don't really know.


I'm not sure that your premise is entirely correct. The factors that made White resistance possible in the Civil War occurred while the First World War was still raging in Europe (it had of course ended in Russia): the rising of the Czech Legion and the occupation of the west of the Russian empire by the Central Powers (who helped arm the Don Cossacks and indirectly the nascent Volunteer Army, but also gave the latter a certain amount of breathing space to form).

Certainly, the end of the Great War meant that the Entente could give the Whites (above all in the south) more direct aid, and the presence, for example, of French and Greek troops in cities along the Black Sea coast or connected to it by river freed up White troops for the front. However, I think you have to look at other, more local factors as well. For example, the White breakthrough into Ukraine was preceded by a wave of local revolts against Bolshevik rule due to the failures of their agricultural policy.
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Lawrence Hung
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Actually we know so little about the period of the White uprising, don't we? A lot of the information was classified in the former Soviet Union and I bet they are not fully revealed yet. For example, I myself don't know there was a Czech Legion in essentially a Russian Civil War and why, until I played the good Triumph of Chaos game.

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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Actually we know so little about the period of the White uprising, don't we? A lot of the information was classified in the former Soviet Union and I bet they are not fully revealed yet. For example, I myself don't know there was a Czech Legion in essentially a Russian Civil War and why, until I played the good Triumph of Chaos game.


I think you're strongly underestimating how much we do know and how much information we have access to: the role of the Czech Legion is not perhaps the best example as its part in the Civil War has never by any means been secret; indeed, it always played well into the Bolshevik depiction of the war as a foreign capitalist conspiracy to strangle the first socialist society at birth.

Obviously, before the late 80s, western researchers had barely any access to the Soviet archives if they wanted to study the Civil War period. However, many of the White and non-Russian participants had emigrated and their memoirs served as the basis for many accounts before the collapse of the Soviet Union; some of them even brought their own papers with them, meaning there was also "archival" material.

At the same time, Soviet historians did have access to some materials in their archives, albeit not everything, meaning Western historians had second-hand access to those documents via Soviet publications. Also, Soviet publishers brought out collections of documents (there's a massive four-volume collection, for example, on the Civil War in the Ukraine from 1967).

Equally, the archives have now been open for over 20 years, and the Civil War is also one of the Soviet periods for which access is least restricted. A number of important studies came out in the 1990s, many of which, for example, redirected our attention towards the "Greens", and, in the last decade, archival research has led a move towards local studies and studies stressing the continuities between the Great War and the Revolution and Civil War. These have updated and corrected the image of the Civil War created before the 1980s, but not fully overturned it.
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Mark Evans
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So why would the designer put so many new units coming in on Turn B (right after the Great War)?
 
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drmark64 wrote:
So why would the designer put so many new units coming in on Turn B (right after the Great War)?


By November 1918, the White forces in the South had established control over the Don and Kuban, while in Siberia Kolchak came to power by overthrowing the Komuch (as I mentioned above, the CP and Cz. Legion interventions respectively had made the formation of these anti-Bolsh. forces possible in the first place). These events meant the consolidation of White opposition to the Bolsheviks under the former tsarist generals. I presume the units coming in at the end of 1918 represent that. Again, I don't think these units are connected to the end of the Great War as such.

Of course, I can't answer for Ted Raicer's interpretation of history, so I don't know exactly what was on his mind. It's worth noting that the history behind the game is decidedly stuck in the 1980s: Raicer massively underestimates the impact of the forces not aligned to either the Whites or the Reds.
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Mark Evans
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Thanks for the analysis. You seem to know quite a bit about the period.
 
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