Author Topic: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?  (Read 59497 times)

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Alixz

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2009, 08:09:17 AM »
I meant that he only wanted Russia at that time.

He wanted to get out of the war and have the time to get Russia settled and begin his socialist programs without a war to contend with.

As to the future, Lenin was wrong about the inevitability of Germany following and that may have been good or bad depending on your outlook on the inevitability of WWII and the Holocaust.  Perhaps if Germany had followed Russia in its policies there would have been no Hitler.

Would there have been a Holocaust without Hitler?

If Kerensky had pulled Russia out of the war would the rise of communism have been inevitable?  If Nicholas had pulled Russia out of the war, would his abdication have been inevitable?

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #91 on: May 22, 2009, 12:13:14 PM »
This gets back to the fundamental question:  just how do you "pull Russia out of the war"?  The choices were either surrender or win.

Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #92 on: May 30, 2009, 06:53:37 PM »

I agree with you, JStorey.  The  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was very hard on the Russians.

Offline bkohatl

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #93 on: June 28, 2009, 03:19:52 AM »
I've been reading the very interesting comments by Mr. Kerensky. You are right,  any negotiated settlement with Germany would have been very much like Brest-Litovsk: a disaster. But what Kerensky didn't realize was Russia didn't have to negotiate and had several things going for it. Everyday that Germany fought brought American entry into the war closer. The Von Schlieffen Plan depended on a time table which the Kaiser's advisors cited over and over again as being inviolable, because it was the only way Germany could win the war. All Kerensky had to do is what Alexander I did, destroy provender for the German Army and keep drawing them deeper and deeper into Russia. It may not have been popular, but like the Roman General Fabius who fought Hannibal to a stalemate, proved, it would have frustrated and handicapped any invader(Scipio Afracanus is reputed to have said that if Fabius had been kept in command, Hannibal would have returned to Carthage on his own and there would have been no Cannae or Lake Trasimene defeats); Hannibal is supposed to have thrown emotional tantrums against Fabius, screaming how can anyone defeat a General who won't fight. I am absolutely convinced that the strategy would have worked in Russia's favor. 
Germany's time was running out and an army which placed strategy above tactics was exactly what Hindenburg and Ludendorff and the brilliant Colonel Hoffman, who was the true architect of the Germany victory at Tannenberg Forest, feared most. It was Hoffman who predicted correctly that Russian General Von Rennenkampf would not come to General Samsanov's aid in the Battle of Tannenberg Forest. If I had been the Czar or Kerensky in 1914 my first act after Tannenberg would have been to shoot Rennenkampf personally.
I have never seen World War I as "The Great War". Who cares about the war loans, Lenin reputed all of the Kerensky-Czarist Debt and got away with it. 
As to Stolypin, remember that a poll of Russians put him second behind only Alexander Nevsky as the greatest Russian of All-Time. I agree with them. The difference is that the Imperialist hated him because he was against the Russo Japanese War(Remember they thought a war would have brought Russians together. They were wrong). The intelligensia didn't care. But it was the peasants who profited most from Stolypin and they remembered that he made their lives better. I don't agree that large farms were the answer. In America at that same time small family farms flourished and would have in Russia too. Large Farms were a byproduct of the second half of the 20th Century, not the first.

Alixz

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #94 on: June 28, 2009, 01:38:08 PM »
There has been a change of the definition of "great" since the beginning of the 20th century.

I believe that great was used as in "big" or overwhelming.  As in the title of the book  All Creatures Great and Small by the veterinarian James Herriot.

Not great as in the way tend to use it now - that was a great movie!

They truly believe that World War I would be the "war to end all wars", they just could not see mankind going into another general conflict as universal or "great" as that one had been.

But I agree that using the tactics that Alexander I had used against Napoleon might have worked.  Stretch out the supply lines and make the enemy march into the snows of winter.

Nicholas had made a vow not to stop fighting as long as one enemy soldier remained on Russian soil.  That was his major problem.  He kept trying to drive them out instead of exhaust them.

Even in World War II, the citizens of Leningrad withstood the siege and that was what ultimately stopped the Germans.  But it happened on Russian soil.  Nicholas and Kerensky didn't want that.

Offline bkohatl

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #95 on: June 28, 2009, 07:21:04 PM »
You're right, but, between 5,000,000-10,000,000 dead in World War indicate that the Russian Military while getting better in leadership and weaponry, was not in Germany's class. I don't even think the English were either, except for their Navy. It was the overwhelming number of American Soldiers and the violation of Von Schlieffen Plan, which assured Germany's defeat. Remember that it was Lenin pushing for Brest-Litovsk in the face of Trotsky opposition that got Russia out of the War. At an incredible price, but considering the carnage, the millions of dead, was well worth it in the eyes of starving mothers and chldren of Petrograd, Kiev and Moscow.
If the goal was to win, then the strategy of Nicholas II and Kerensky was a failure and the Russian War Dead prove that.  Lenin's victory proves that. It tipped the balance to his favor.
I remember that Lincoln was the subject of immense criticism everytime Robert E. Lee invaded the North. At Antietam and later Gettysburg, calls resounded through the North to bring the Army of the Potomac and Ohio home to defend the Union. It was Grant, after victories at Shiloh and Vicksburg who convinced Lincoln that defending the homeland wasn't the answer. Grant said at one point every Union General worries about what Lee is going to do. I intend for Lee to worry about what I'm goiing to do.
It was developing a coherent strategy that mattered. Lincoln didn't think he was going to win re-election in 1864. Grant and Sherman proved Lincoln Right.
Alexander I's strategy of drawing the French into Russia and denying the sustenance helped defeat Napoleon. It was a brilliant strategy. And the right one too.
In reading Hindenburg, Ludendorff and Colonel Hoffman's reports, you get a sense that they anticipated every move the Russians made before they made it. Just read Hindenburg's report about the Tannenburg Forest. Hindenburg described as a perfect German Victory. Von Rennenkampf assured that result just as Hoffman had predicted.
Defending Russian soil is a great jingle, but starving Prussian/German soldiers outside Moscow and Petrograd could have brought German collapse well before the American entry into the war.
I think Alexander III would have done what I suggested. Just  a hunch I have. But who knows.

Offline bkohatl

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #96 on: June 28, 2009, 07:28:50 PM »
Doing what everyone expects you to do is a recipe for failure, not victory. Great leaders do the unexpected and win. Caesar at Alesia faced a Gaullic Army of between 200,000 and 300,000 with only 40,000 Romans. Had he retreated, Vercingetorix would have won and Rome would have lost and all of European history would have changed. He risked everything and won everything. A poll of Military Historians ranks Caesar's victory at Alesia and Phllip II's victory at Lepanto as the two greatest and most important battles in all of history. Both involved risking everything by doing what no one expected.
Had Nicholas II or Kerensky drawn the Kaiser into Russia, Germany might have collapsed in 1915 or 1916, not November 1918. And no German would have seen it coming.

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #97 on: July 17, 2009, 03:31:55 PM »
You can't have it both ways.  One of the primary criticisms of Nicholas II was that he involved himself too much in military matters he should have left up to his generals.  And your strategy, while interesting, is one for Kornilov not Kerensky, though I suspect even Vercingetorix himself - were he thrust into the situation - would have had his hands full.

Offline Skipper

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2009, 04:51:49 PM »
Annie to my mind there were two significant departures made by Kerensky which can be described.

Most literature only describe Kerensky's departure from the Winter Palace, under the protection of the Americans Lieutenants Knirsh and Vinner in a borrowed Embassy car waving the American Flag. This incident was not his escape, but a trip intended to rally his troop's spirits. They aparently stopped numerous times to salute troops before reaching the city of Pskov. Most literature tend to ignore Kerensky's stay in Gatchina from October 25. It was here in Gatchina that Kerensky makes his first dramatic break from the Bolsheviks.

On the morning of 31 October 1917, the Gatchina Palace began to to be infiltrated with unfamiliar faces. Krasnov - the Commander of Third Cavalry Corps warned Kerensky that the Cossacks were discussing the idea of exchanging him for Lenin. To make his escape he exchanged his clothes for those of a Danish sailor's uniform, and curiously added a pair of aviator's goggles to his new attire. A young soldier called Belensky led this "figure" through the main gate. Kerensky made his way to a car which awaited him at the Chinese Gate at the Gatchina village and made his escape. Sadly the Palace servant who now wore Kerensky's greycoat was beaten and then executed.

Several months later wishing to flee Russia, Kerensky now in Moscow, sought a British visa in May 1918, which was denied to him by Wardrop the British Consul-General. Not permitting this temporary disappointment, Fabrikantoff, Kerensky's minder appealed directly to Bruce Lockhart (Head of the British Mission), for assistance. Lockhart sympathized with Kerensky's plight, agreed to personally provide an unauthorized visa on the Serbian passport procured by Fabrikantoff through the Serbian Mission. This time disguised as a Serbian officer, that same evening he was smuggled to the port of Murmansk where a platoon of Serbian soldiers were returning home. Kerensky boarded a British secret Service trawler to Scotland.

On 24 June he met with Lloyd George the British Prime Minister.

Kerensky lived in Paris where he met the Australian journalist Lydia Tritton. They moved to Brisbane Australia in October 1945, where they lived until her death from a stroke in 1946. He then returned to New York, drifting between France and Germany, and finally settling down in the United States.

In 1955 the ex-President Herbert Hoover invited Kerensky to write a book at Stanford University at the Hoover Institution of War Revolution and Peace. He became a member of staff giving lectures and writing a number of books, with the collaboration of his co-editor Robert Browder. He died in June 1970, at age 89, in New York - the year of Lenin's centenary birth.

More information can be found in the well written books:

Alexander Kerensky The First Love of the Revolution Richard Abraham, Columbia University Press, 1987 and also in
Memoirs of a British Agent R.H. Lockhart, Pan Books, 1985
 :)







Offline Skipper

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #99 on: November 17, 2009, 04:57:50 PM »
Belochka
I know this topic is from some time ago but I only just came across this forum.
You stated that Kerensky boarded a British secret Service trawler to Scotland, I am very interested in this as I have so far been unable to find such a specific description of his journey. Please could you tell me where this information came from?
I believe that to be more specific he landed at Kirkwall and that my Grandfather was involved in this operation.
Skipper

Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #100 on: November 17, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »
Is there an interesting bio of Kerensky?  I'm not keen on reading a tedious one!

Offline Nicolá De Valerón

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #101 on: November 17, 2009, 07:17:12 PM »
Is there an interesting bio of Kerensky?  I'm not keen on reading a tedious one!

historylover, I know only one book published in English about him
"Kerensky: First Love of the Revolution"(1987), by R. Abraham. Excellent book. Totall autobiography.

There are several Kerensky works, that he made after emigre:
The Prelude to Bolshevism (1919),
The Catastrophe (1927),
The Crucifixion of Liberty (1934),
Russia and History's Turning Point (1965).

Also he wrote, but only in Russian, about Romanovs. Book called something like Tragedy of Romanovs.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 07:18:50 PM by Nicola De Valeron »
"I think that if Shakespeare lived in our times he would not be able to write. Many of his works are not welcome on stage nowadays: The Merchant of Venice – anti-Semitism, Othello – racism, The Taming of the Shrew – sexism, Romeo and Juliet - hideous heterosexual show..." - Vladimir Bukovsky.

Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #102 on: November 28, 2009, 09:53:40 PM »
Hello Nicola,

Thank you.  I will read that one.  I am more interested in the story of his second wife who was Australian
but I am very interested in Kerensky.

I can't help thinking that he was cheeky to write about the Romanovs.  He didn't exactly help them!
However, I don't think that he would have agreed with what the Bolshevisks did to them.

Offline Nicolá De Valerón

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #103 on: November 29, 2009, 10:31:41 AM »
Thank you.  I will read that one.

You are welcome.

I can't help thinking that he was cheeky to write about the Romanovs.  He didn't exactly help them!

How you can imagine that!? It would be very funny, when the Russian social liberal revolutioner would be friendly and helpful with those whom he just overthrew;)

However, I don't think that he would have agreed with what the Bolshevisks did to them.

Of course he as a intelligent and civilized man could never agree with what happened with them.
That's why, I think, later in emigration he wrote a book about their destiny.
Moreover, he was a typical type of a kind Russian revolutioner, and eventually he became more and more sympathy to their fate.
"I think that if Shakespeare lived in our times he would not be able to write. Many of his works are not welcome on stage nowadays: The Merchant of Venice – anti-Semitism, Othello – racism, The Taming of the Shrew – sexism, Romeo and Juliet - hideous heterosexual show..." - Vladimir Bukovsky.

Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #104 on: December 12, 2009, 01:19:58 AM »
Thank you, Nicola.  I must read the biography and see what his thoughts were towards the end of his life.