Author Topic: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War  (Read 104060 times)

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Joanna Mayer

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Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: April 24, 2004, 06:01:27 PM »
I thought that this might be an interesting new discussion-- Opinions and Questions related to the Russian Civil War. Who really had the moral high ground the reds or the whites? Or can anyone in a civil war really claim the Superior virtue?  

My opinion is that both sides were reduced to  using military terror on noncombatants...But that some of the  actions taken by White generals as Denikin and  the Kuban Cossacks were truly crimes against humanity!

Any views?

Offline JM

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2004, 06:18:41 PM »
I always found it odd that the Whites didn't win the Civil War. The Constituent Assembly showed that the Bolsheviks didn't have a majority support. In the end I think that the White army just wasn't united enough. It was filled with many groups that opposed the Bolsheviks but it came to be thought of as an army that wanted to restore the Romanovs. Therefore, many common people didn't want to support it.

In my opinion the White Terror was just as cruel as the Red Terror.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jmentanko »

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2004, 06:29:20 PM »
It was the Reds who executed large groups of civilian hostages across Russia.  It was the Reds who invented the Terror.  

The Whites were a mess but the Reds far outstripped them in bloody tactics.  The Reds were unrestrained by any morality, the ends justified any means.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2004, 06:32:59 PM »
The Bolsheviks won because they possessed the heartland - Moscow/Petrograd, the rolling stock, the rails, industry, resources - including men - which the Whites lacked.  A huge percentage of Russian industry and virtually all of the armaments industry was within the Bolshevik area of control.

Joanna Mayer

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2004, 06:47:08 PM »
Bob,

I agree with you that nobody came out of this business with their hands clean so to speak, but some of the masacres perpetrated by the Whites seem to smack of the basest elements of revenge..
"The White Terror reached its climax and the worst pogroms against the Jews were carried out. It was a last savage act against a race whom many of the Whites blamed for the Revolution.  Whole Jewish towns were burned and destroyed on the grounds that they had supported the Reds (was it any wonder that they did?) Red stars were painted on synagogues. Jewish corpes were displayed in the streets ...with a Red Star cut in to their flesh."'   O. Figes "A People's Tragedy"  page 677-8

I won't argue that the Red Terror was somehow good but I am just interested in how little the White terror is discussed.

Offline JM

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2004, 06:59:51 PM »
Isn't it true that the Whites recieved extensive help from abroad? Didn't they have the experienced generals and officers that the Reds lacked? While not enough to win a war I don't think they had a total disadvantage.

I agree with Joanna. Nobody came out of the civil war with their hands clean. It's just that the White Terror isn't really recognized. As far as I'm concerned the Whites haven't recieved the credit that they deserve.

Joanna Mayer

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2004, 07:06:55 PM »
Well ...I don't think that it was substantial help...Come historians have called it "losers poker" The Allies didn't really want to commit themselves unless they were sure that the Whites could win. So they more or less offered a few uniforms some rifles some supplies but certainly not a great deal that I am aware of...but I may be wrong.

Joanna Mayer

Offline JM

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2004, 07:16:37 PM »
I think you're right Joanna. But I have a book in front of me that says " . . . they endured only so long as they retained the support of foreign governments . . . all the White leaders recieved money and equipment from abroad . . . from the Japanese, France, Britain, United States, Italy, Serbia, Finland, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey".

I suppose I took some liberty by saying they recieved "extensive" help. ;)

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2004, 11:15:07 AM »
Quote
Bob,

I agree with you that nobody came out of this business with their hands clean so to speak.. .


I was wondering if certain White Army leaders and Red Army leaders had significant reputations of burning villages or cutting a red star into flesh.  If so, who were they?  And, if this is true, were there certain areas hit harder than other areas?  Or was this done by the majority of all the leaders on both sides and all areas of Russia suffered?

AGRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

rskkiya

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2004, 07:11:48 PM »
Agrbear

Yes the Whites troops under Dragomirov, Denikin and under a number of the Cossaks with the Whites -- either openly encouraged pogroms or refused to stop them.  It seemed to happen in a number of places the
Ukraine and in Kiev as well as in smaller towns of Fastov, and in areas like Chernoble  & Krivoe Ozero. This is is a fact, it can be documented!  

While the Reds were no angels... we do know that generals Mamontov and Mai-Maevsky did order their soldiers to stop spontanious violence against Jews. I will look for information about locations with the Reds.

R.

Offline tea_rose

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2004, 05:10:07 PM »
 Like Rskkiya, my general impression is the Civil War was a traumatic experience with no real heroes. There is evidence of brutality and reprisals from either side at different points. Add the famine that occurred in the early 1920s and you can see what desperate straits Russia had fallen into.  

Olga Ilyin's "The White Road" gives a gripping account of the fierce struggles and constant traveling that she endured in the wake of her husband who was in the White forces. It gave a good picture of the general turmoil. In one of the most wistful vignettes, she is forced to burn old family papers and diaries in order to protect herself from recognition. She tries to read as she burns so that she can remember the stories for the future. (In old age, she writes a novel based on some incidents from these papers.)  

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2004, 07:02:11 PM »
Quote
Agrbear

Yes the Whites troops under Dragomirov, Denikin and under a number of the Cossaks with the Whites -- either openly encouraged pogroms or refused to stop them.  It seemed to happen in a number of places the
Ukraine and in Kiev as well as in smaller towns of Fastov, and in areas like Chernoble  & Krivoe Ozero. This is is a fact, it can be documented!  

While the Reds were no angels... we do know that generals Mamontov and Mai-Maevsky did order their soldiers to stop spontanious violence against Jews. I will look for information about locations with the Reds.

R.


Now, if you would be so kind, please tell me two "good guys" who were in the Whites, and, two "bad guys who were in the Reds?  And, if known, what areas were affected by them.

quote author=tea_rose link=board=revolution;num=1082844087;start=0#10 date=08/02/04 at 17:10:07]  Olga Ilyin's "The White Road" gives a gripping account of the fierce struggles and constant traveling that she endured in the wake of her husband who was in the White forces. It gave a good picture of the general turmoil...  [/quote]

I liked "The White Road", too.  Had forgotten all about it.  Thanks for reminding me.

GRBear
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

rskkiya

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2004, 08:33:12 PM »
agrbear
Two Bad reds? Two Good Whites?

I ask you YET AGAIN to do some research ! I am sure that a lot of people here (myself included) are tired of feeding you the information that you could look up yourself...I am guessing that you are retired --so visit a library!Whatever your focus, agenda or point of view may be ...do your own leg work!

R.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2004, 09:28:03 PM »
Quote
agrbear
Two Bad reds? Two Good Whites?
R.


I found it interesting that you produced two Whites who  did terrible things to the  Jews from the beginning to the end, whereas,  you came up with two Reds who had not continued their practice of killing Jews.  So, I was just wondering if you had ever read anything about "two good Whites" and "two bad Reds".   Sorry if I've struck a sore spot.  Guess  I'm showing my colors, again, because, I knew a lot more "good guys" who were in the White Army than "bad guys".

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

rskkiya

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Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2004, 09:08:04 AM »
I would recomend that you read " A Peoples Tragedy" by Orlando Figes...
You may not realize just how annoying it is to have to perpetually explain everything to you!

R.