The Russian Civil war, 1918-21
It is accurate to say that the Whites were a huge threat to the
Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil war. This discussion will analyse why
they proved such a threat using source A and my own knowledge.
As source A correctly shows, the whites controlled vast amounts of
Russia. This would have given them a huge advantage when it came to
attacking for they could do so from all sides. This ultimately would
stretch the Bolshevik forces to a large extent, causing thin defensive
lines, which the whites may have easily broken.
The whites also controlled the Trans Siberian railway. This was
incredibly important, as it was ...view middle of the document...
Therefore as source a shows the
whites had a considerable amount of foreign support. These powers
included Britain, France and America as well as the Poles, Canadians
and even the Germans. These extra forces were bound to enhance the
white forces and would prove a threat to the Soviets. It also meant
that the whites could fight a longer drawn out war, for they were not
footing the bill, while the soviets could not afford to do this.
It is realistic to say that the whites did prove a large threat to the
Bolsheviks due to the reasons above. All the factors are extremely
important for every regiment stretched the Bolshevik red army even
This piece of writing will discuss how reliable source C is for a
historian studying the Russian civil war.
Source C is an account of the Bolsheviks Red Terror observed by a
British businessman in Russia in 1918. The businessman is British and
is therefore bound to be slightly biased against the Bolsheviks. Being
British the reader assumes he belongs to the white side. This
businessman has written this source at the time of the civil war and
because he hasn't got hindsight the source might not be totally
The first line of the source states that the peasants hated the
Bolsheviks and would not give them grain. Lenin had given the peasants
the land and they were grateful for this. Although they did not really
like the Bolsheviks they were scared that if the Whites won Tsarism or
something worse might be restored. Therefore they either stayed out of
the war or joined the reds. This contradicts the first line for not
all the peasants hated the Communist regime.
The writer of this source is a businessman and is therefore likely to
be middle class. He quotes, "the position of the middle class defies
all description". This comment is probably being overstated and is
probably used mainly as anti propaganda against the Bolsheviks. As
someone from the middle class he is trying to protect his own place in
society, which is threatened by the Bolshevik idea that everybody is
Although a British man has written this source it is largely correct
in what it says. The Bolsheviks were a machine of terror and their
attitude towards the middle classes was terrible. It was in their
interests in some cases to take grain from the peasants for without it
there front line forces would have starved and they would not have
been able to hold onto power. From other sources I have gathered that
if a soldier of the red army deserted the punishment is death.
Therefore this statement is reliable.
I believe this source is reliable in most that it says. It is not a
distorted view at all and is actually surprisingly trustworthy. I
would have expected it to be even more biased against the reds, as the