Alternate History

Fourteen Points

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The Fourteen Points were listed in a speech delivered by President Woodrow Wilson of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. This speech was intended to assure the country that the war was being fought for a moral cause and for peace in Europe after World War I. The common people of Europe welcomed Wilson as a hero but his Allied colleagues (Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Orlando) remained skeptical of the applicability of Wilsonian idealism.

The speech was delivered over 10 months before the Armistice with Germany ended World War I, but the Fourteen Points became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.The Treaty of Versailles ratified this.

The United States of America joined the Allies fighting the Central Powers on April 6 of 1917. By early 1918, it was clear that the war was nearing its end. The Fourteen Points in the speech were based on the research of the "Inquiry," a team of about 150 advisors led by Colonel Edward M. House, Wilson's foreign policy advisor, into the topics likely to arise in the anticipated peace conference.

Woodrow Wilson's speech on January 8, 1918 took many of the principles of progressivism that had produced domestic reform in the U.S. and translated them into foreign policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination). The Fourteen Points speech was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I: some belligerents gave general indications of their aims; others wanted to gain territory, and so refused to state their aims.

The speech also responded to Vladimir Lenin's Decree on Peace of October 1917, which proposed an immediate withdrawal of Russia from the war, calling for a just and democratic peace that was not compromised by territorial annexations, and led to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918.

Fourteen Points

  • Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
  • Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
  • The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
  • Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
  • A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.
  • The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
  • Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.
  • All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
  • A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.

  • Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
  • The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.
  • An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
  • A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.[3][4]


Influence on the Germans to surrender

The speech was widely disseminated as an instrument of propaganda, to encourage the Allies to victory. Copies were also dropped behind German lines, to encourage the Central Powers to surrender in the expectation of a just settlement. Indeed, a note sent to Wilson by Prince Maximilian of Baden, the German imperial chancellor, in October 1918 requested an immediate armistice and peace negotiations on the basis of the Fourteen Points.

Due to the fact that the Germans were excluded from the creation of these points, this was not well received in Germany.

The speech was made without prior coordination or consultation with Wilson's counterparts in Europe. As the only public statement of war aims, it became the basis for the terms of the German surrender at the end of the First World War, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and documented in the Treaty of Versailles.

Opposition from the Allies

Opposition to the Fourteen Points among British and French leaders became clear after hostilities ceased: the British were against freedom of the seas; the French demanded war reparations. Wilson refused to compromise on any of his ideals to ensure that his most important point, the establishment of the League of Nations, was accepted. In the end, the Treaty of Versailles encompassed all of the principles of the Fourteen Points, both in detail and in spirit. This created a secure post war Europe with Germany keeping all its territory aside from Alsace and the eastern gains.

Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, one of the events that triggered the start of the war. Although the armistice signed on 11 November 1918 ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. The result of these competing and sometimes incompatible goals among the victors was a compromise that nobody was satisfied with. Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, which would prove to be a factor leading to later conflicts

Impositions on the Sides

Legal restrictions Article 227 charges against war criminals of all sides.

Military restrictions Part V of the treaty begins with the preamble, "In order to render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations, Europe undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval and air clauses which follow."[8]

All nations naval forces will be limited to 15,000 men, 6 battleships (no more than 10,000 tons displacement each), 6 cruisers (no more than 6,000 tons displacement each), 6 destroyers (no more than 800 tons displacement each) and 12 torpedo boats (no more than 200 tons displacement each). The manufacture, import, and export of weapons and poison gas is prohibited. Tanks, military aircraft, and artillery are all to be limited to 100. Blockades on ports are prohibited.

All armies must be under 200,000 men.

Territorial losses

All the old colonial powers were compelled to yield control of their colonies.

Alsace-Lorraine, the territories which were ceded to Germany in accordance with the Preliminaries of Peace signed at Versailles on 26 February 1871, and the Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871, were restored to French sovereignty with a plebiscite as from the date of the Armistice of 11 November 1918.The plebiscite was won by with the desicion to rejoin France . Clemenceau was convinced that the German neighbour had "20 million people too much", thus incorporating the seven million inhabitants and the industry of the Prussian province was seen as means to weaken Germany and strengthen France. Northern Schleswig was returned to Denmark following a plebiscite on 14 February 1920 (area 3,984 km², 163,600 inhabitants (1920)). Central Schleswig, including the city of Flensburg, opted to remain German in a separate referendum on 14 March 1920.

The German and Austrian governments had to acknowledge and strictly respect the independence of Austria. The unification of both countries, although desired by the huge majority of both populations, was strictly forbidden.

Russia's new Bolshevik (communist) government renounced all claims on Finland (which it had already acknowledged), but it had still forbade secession with the Baltic States, Poland, Byelorussia and Ukraine and kep them on a tight leash, seeing the vital position of these countries. Lenin, justifying his actions in a letter to Woodrow Wilson, said that "the 14 points must not be an excuse for the disintegration of soverign nations". This caused tension between the west and the Soviets. Shandong problem Article 156 of the treaty transferred German concessions in Shandong, China to Japan rather than returning sovereign authority to China. Chinese outrage over this provision led to demonstrations and a cultural movement known as the May Fourth Movement and influenced China not to sign the treaty. China declared the end of its war against Germany in September 1919 and signed a separate treaty with Germany in 1921.


The total sum of war reparations demanded from Germany — 1 billion Reichsmarks in gold (around £60 million)— was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission. This left the French seething and at one point threatening to pull out.

The Versailles Reparations came in a variety of forms, including coal, steel, intellectual property (eg. the patent for Aspirin) and agricultural products.

The creation of international organizations Part I of the treaty was the Covenant of the League of Nations which provided for the creation of the League of Nations, an organisation intended to arbitrate international disputes and thereby avoid future wars. Part XIII organised the establishment of the International Labour Organisation, to promote "the regulation of the hours of work, including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemployment, the provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment, the protection of children, young persons and women, provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own recognition of the principle of freedom of association, the organisation of vocational and technical education and other measures" Further international commissions were to be set up, according to Part XII, to administer control over the Elbe, the Oder, the Niemen (Russstrom-Memel-Niemen) and the Danube rivers.

Other The Treaty contained a lot of other provisions (economic issues, transportation, etc.). One of the provisions was the following:

"ARTICLE 246. Within six months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, ... Germany will hand over to His Britannic Majesty's Government the skull of the Sultan Mkwawa which was removed from the Protectorate of German east africa.

The Russian Civil War

In the wake of the October Revolution, the old Russian Imperial Army had been demobilized; the volunteer-based Red Guard was the Bolsheviks' main military force, augmented by an armed military component of the Cheka, the Bolshevik state security apparatus. In January, after significant reverses in combat, War Commissar Leon Trotsky headed the reorganization of the Red Guard into a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, in order to create a more professional fighting force. Political commissars were appointed to each unit of the army to maintain morale and ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it became apparent that a revolutionary army composed solely of workers would be far too small, Trotsky instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army. Opposition of rural Russians to Red Army conscription units was overcome by taking hostages and shooting them when necessary in order to force compliance. Former Tsarist officers were utilized as "military specialists" (voenspetsy), sometimes taking their families hostage in order to ensure loyalty. At the start of the war, three-fourths of the Red Army officer corps was composed of former Tsarist officers. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers.

In the elections to the Constituent Assembly, the Bolsheviks constituted a minority of the vote and dissolved it. In general, they had support primarily in the Saint Petersburg and Moscow Soviets and some other industrial regions.

While resistance to the Red Guard began on the very next day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Brest-Litovsk treaty and the political ban became a catalyst for the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime.

A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces aligned against the Communist government, including land-owners, republicans, conservatives, middle-class citizens, reactionaries, pro-monarchists, liberals, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists who still had grievances and democratic reformists, voluntarily united only in their opposition to Bolshevik rule. Their military forces, bolstered by foreign influence and led by General Yudenich, Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin, became known as the White movement (sometimes referred to as the "White Army"), and they controlled significant parts of the former Russian empire for most of the war.

A Ukrainian nationalist movement known as the Green Army was active in the Ukraine in the early part of the war. More significant was the emergence of a anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno. The Black Army, which counted numerous Jews and Ukrainian peasants in its ranks, played a key part in halting General Denikin's White Army offensive towards Moscow during 1919, later ejecting Cossack forces from the Crimea.

The Western Allies, also expressed their dismay at the Bolsheviks, upset at the withdrawal of Russia from the war effort, worried about a possible Russo-German alliance, and perhaps most importantly galvanised by the prospect of the Bolsheviks making good their threats to assume no responsibility for, and so default on, Imperial Russia's massive foreign loans the legal notion of Odious debt being then unknown. Winston Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle". In addition, there was a concern, shared by many Central Powers as well, that the socialist revolutionary ideas would spread to the West. Hence, many of these countries expressed their support for the Whites, but the provision of troops and supplies was out of the question after the strict limitations of Versaillies.

The majority of the fighting ended in 1920 with the defeat of General Pyotr Wrangel in the Crimea, but a notable resistance in certain areas continued until 1922 (e.g, the final resistance of the White movement in the Far East).


In January Soviet forces under Lieutenant Colonel Muraviev invaded the Ukraine and invested Kiev, where the Central Rada of the Ukrainian People's Republic held power. With the help of a revolt by Russian workers in the Arsenal plant within Kiev, the city was captured by the Bolsheviks on 26 January. As Civil War became a reality, the Bolshevik government decided to replace the provisional Red Guard with a permanent Communist army. The Council of People's Commissars formed the new army by decree on January 28, 1918, initially basing its organization on that of the Red Guard.

Rostov was recaptured by the Soviets from the Don Cossacks on 23 February 1918. The day before, the Volunteer Army embarked on the epic Ice March to the Kuban, where they joined with the Kuban Cossacks to mount an abortive assault on Ekaterinodar. General Kornilov was killed in the fighting on April 13, Operational command passed to General Denikin who spent the next few months rebuilding his army. In October, General Alekseev died of a heart attack and General Denikin was (in theory at least) now the top political leader for the White armies in Southern Russia.

On 18 February, as peace negotiations between the Bolshevik government and the Germans broke down, the Germans began an all out advance into the interior of Russia, encountering virtually no resistance in a campaign which lasted eleven days. Despite mass recruitment of new conscripts, the newly formed Red Army proved incapable of stopping the advance and the Soviets acceded to a punitive peace treaty. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 6, 1918) which pulled Russia out of the war and gave Germany control over vast stretches of western Russia, came as a shock to the Allies. The British and the French had supported Russia on a massive scale with war materials and money. After the treaty, it looked like much of that material would fall into the hands of the Germans. Under this pretext began allied intervention in the Russian Civil War with the United Kingdom and France sending troops into Russian ports. There were violent confrontations with troops loyal to the Bolsheviks.

At the end of May a marked escalation of the conflict was signalled by the unexpected intervention of the Czechoslovak Legion. The Czech Legion had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917. Most were former prisoners of war and deserters from the Austro-Hungarian Army. Encouraged by Tomáš Masaryk, the legion was renamed the Czechoslovak Army Corps and hoped to continue fighting the Germans. An agreement with the new Bolshevik government to pass by sea through Vladivostok (so they could unite with the Czechoslovak legions in France) collapsed over an attempt to disarm the Corps. Instead their soldiers disarmed the Bolshevik forces in June 1918 at Cheliabinsk. Within a month the Czechoslovak Legion controlled most of the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Lake Baikal to the Ural Mountains regions. By the end of July they had extended their gains, capturing Ekaterinburg on July 26, 1918. Shortly before the fall of Ekaterinburg (on July 17, 1918), the former Tsar and his family were executed by the Ural Soviet, ostensibly to prevent them falling into the hands of the Whites.

The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries supported peasant fighting against Soviet control of food supplies[citation needed]. In May 1918, with the support of the Czechoslovak Legion, they took Samara and Saratov, establishing the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly (Комуч, Komuch). By July the authority of Komuch extended over much of the area controlled by the Czechoslovak Legion. The Komuch pursued an ambivalent social policy, combining democratic and even socialist measures, such as the institution of an eight-hour working day, with "restorative" actions, such as returning both factories and land to their former owners.

In July, two left Socialist-Revolutionaries and Cheka employees, Blyumkin and Andreyev, assassinated the German ambassador, Count Mirbach, in Moscow, in an attempt to provoke the Germans into renewing hostilities. Other left Socialist-Revolutionaries attempted to rouse Red Army troops against the regime. The Soviets, using military detachments from the Cheka, managed to put down these local uprisings, and Lenin personally apologised to the Germans for the assassination. Mass arrests of Socialist-Revolutionaries followed.

After a series of reverses at the front, War Commissar Trotsky instituted increasingly harsh measures in order to prevent unauthorized withdrawals, desertions, or mutinies in the Red Army. In the field, the dreaded Cheka special investigations forces, termed the Special Punitive Department of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combat of Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, or Special Punitive Brigades followed the Red Army, conducting field tribunals and summary executions of soldiers and officers who either deserted, retreated from their positions, or who failed to display sufficient offensive zeal.[21][22] The use of the death penalty was extended by Trotsky to the occasional political commissar whose detachment retreated or broke in the face of the enemy. In August, frustrated at continued reports of Red Army troops breaking under fire, Trotsky authorized the formation of anti-retreat detachments stationed behind unreliable Red Army units, with orders to shoot anyone withdrawing from the battle line without authorization.[23]

Conservative and nationalist "governments" were formed by the Bashkirs, the Kyrgyz and the Tatars (see Idel-Ural State) as well as a Siberian Regional Government in Omsk. In September 1918, all the anti-Soviet governments met in Ufa and agreed to form a new Russian Provisional Government in Omsk, headed by a Directory of five: three Socialist-Revolutionaries (Nikolai Avksentiev, Boldyrev and Vladimir Zenzinov) and two Kadets, (V. A. Vinogradov and P. V. Vologodskii).

However, the new government quickly came under the influence of the new War Minister, Rear-Admiral Kolchak. On November 18, a coup d'état established Kolchak as dictator. The members of the Directory were arrested and Kolchak proclaimed the "Supreme Ruler of Russia". Kolchak was apolitical and not involved in the coup. He proved to be ineffective as both a political and military leader (his training being all in naval warfare). Kolchak also did not get along with the leaders of Czechoslovak Legion, the strongest military force in the area.

To the Bolshevik Communist government, the emergence of Admiral Kolchak was a political victory because it confirmed their opponents as anti-democratic reactionaries. Following a reorganisation of the People's Army, Kolchak's forces captured Perm and Ufa in December 1918. But this was to be the high water-mark for his army.


The stage was now set for the key year of the Civil War. The Bolshevik government was firmly in control of the core of Russia, from Petrograd through Moscow and south to Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd). Against this government in the east, Admiral Kolchak had a small army and had some control over the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In the south the White Armies controlled much of the Don and the Ukraine. In the Caucasus, General Denikin had established a new White army. In the newly independent country of Estonia General Yudenich was organizing an army. Estonia was overtly hostile to the Bolsheviks and had been fighting with them since November 1918. The French occupied Odessa. The British occupied Murmansk. The British and the United States occupied Arkhangelsk and the Japanese occupied Vladivostok. French forces landed in Odessa, but after having done almost no fighting, withdrew their troops on April 8, 1919.

By 1919, the cossacks were beginning to run short of supplies. Consequently, when the Soviet counter-offensive began in January 1919 under the Bolshevik leader Antonov-Ovseenko, the Cossack forces rapidly fell apart. The Red Army captured Kiev on February 3, 1919 and ten days later, with his army in chaos, General Kaledin committed suicide.

The decision of the Bolshevik government to withdraw most Red Army forces from the Ukraine in the face of white Army advances was met with disgust by Red Army detachments in the Crimea; 40,000 mutinied in July, most joining the anarchist Black Army forces of Nestor Makhno, enabling the anarchists to consolidate their power in the southern Ukraine.

While the war between Anarchist Black and Tsarist White armies was going on in the Ukraine, Trotsky sent another army against Kolchak's forces. This army, lead by the capable commander Tukhachevsky, recaptured Ekaterinburg on January 27, 1919 and continued to push along the Trans-Siberian railroad. Both sides had victories and losses, but by the middle of summer the Red army was larger than the White army and had managed to recapture territory previously lost. With the retreat of Kolchak's White Army, Great Britain and the United States pulled their troops out of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk before the onset of winter trapped their forces in port. On November 14, 1919, the Red Army captured Omsk. Admiral Kolchak lost control of his government shortly after this defeat; White Army forces in Siberia essentially ceased to exist by December.

Great Britain , France and America along with other powers withdrew their troops from the theater in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles , they stopped giving significant military aid (money, weapons, food, ammunition, and some military advisors) to the White armies during 1919 . White commanders accused Allied nations of bailing out, many White commanders felt that they were assured defeat when this happened. Yudenich in particular complained that he was receiving no support. The First World War had greatly influenced the tactical thinking of many commanders on both sides of the Civil War, causing some commanders to ask for greater numbers of guns and heavy artillery than were needed when engaged in a mobile campaign over the Russian steppes. However, when attacking large urban areas held by Red Army troops with populations largely sympathetic to the Bolshevik government, the reality was that it would take more heavy guns, troops, and/or time to besiege a city than were available to White Army forces.

In the early summer, the Caucasus Army attacked north, trying to relieve the pressure on Kolchak's army or even link up with it. It's troops managed to capture Tsaritsyn on June 17, 1919. Trotsky responded to this threat by sending Tukhachevsky with a new army against the army. The Caucasus army , faced with superior numbers, was annihilated, leaving Tsaritsyn to the Bolsheviks.

Later in the summer, another Cossack force called the Don Army under the command of Cossack General Mamontov attacked into Ukraine. The Red army, even though stretched thin by fighting on all fronts, held Kiev at the battle of Kiev on September 2, 1919. Mamontov's Don Army retreated south where they were defeated by Tukhachevsky's army on October 24. Tukhachevsky's army then turned towards yet another threat, the rebuilt Volunteer Army of General Denikin. Denikin's forces constituted a real threat, and for a time threatened to reach Moscow. However, a timely intervention by the Ukrainian Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno seized several key railroad lines, cities, and munition depots along the White Army's lines of supply, defeating several White infantry regiments along the way. Alarmed by events in their homeland, Ukrainian White commanders soon forced General Denikin to shift his offensive and many of his troops to the southern front. Deprived of food, ammunition, artillery, and fresh reinforcements, Denikin's army was decisively defeated in a series of battles in October and November 1919. While the White Armies were being crushed in the center and the east, they had succeeded in driving Nestor Makhno's anarchist Black Army (formally known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine) out of part of southern Ukraine and the Crimea. Despite this setback, Moscow was loathe to aid Makhno and the Black Army, and refused to provide arms to anarchist forces in the Ukraine. Trotsky openly discussed the hope that the two armies would destroy each other. He also ordered the withdrawal of some Red Army units from their existing positions, allowing White Cossack forces to re-enter and occupy portions of Crimea and the southern Ukraine.

In the meantime, the Red Army turned to deal with a new threat. This one came from White Army General Yudenich, who had spent the spring and summer organizing a small army in Estonia. In October 1919 he tried to capture Petrograd in a sudden assault with a force of around 20,000 men. The attack was well-executed, using night attacks and lightning cavalry maneuvers to turn the flanks of the defending Red army. Yudenich also had six British tanks that caused panic whenever they appeared. By October 19, 1919 Yudenich's troops had reached the outskirts of Petrograd. Some members of Bolshevik central committee in Moscow were willing to give up Petrograd, but Trotsky refused to accept the loss of the city and personally organized its defenses. Trotsky declared that "It is impossible for a little army of 15,000 ex-officers to master a working class capital of 700,000 inhabitants." He settled on a strategy of urban defense, proclaiming that the city would "defend itself on its own ground" that the White Army would be lost in a labyrinth of fortified streets and there "meet its grave." Trotsky armed all available workers, men and women, ordering the transfer of military forces from Moscow. Within a few weeks the Red army defending Petrograd had tripled in size and outnumbered Yudenich three to one. At this point Yudenich, short of supplies, decided to call off the siege of the city, withdrawing his army across the border to Estonia. Upon his return, his army was disarmed by order of the Estonian government, fearful of reprisals by Moscow and its Red Army War Commissar, which turned out to be well-founded. However, the Bolshevik forces pursuing Yudenich were beaten back by the Estonian army. Following the Treaty of Tartu most of Yudenich's soldiers went into exile.

The victories by the Bolsheviks over Mamontov's Cossack army at Voronezh, Yudenich at Petrograd, and Kolchak at Omsk — transformed the war. After a long struggle, the Red Army had finally triumphed over its internal enemies on the right; it now turned on its allies on the left.Trotsky was hailed as a hero and genius.


In Siberia, Admiral Kolchak's army had disintegrated. He himself gave up command after the loss of Omsk and designated Semyonov as the new leader of the White Army in Siberia. Not long after this Kolchak was arrested by the disaffected Czechoslovak Corps as he traveled towards Irkutsk without the protection of the army (historian Richard Pipes thinks the French military liaison was involved in this). On 15 January Kolchak was turned over to the socialist 'Political Centre' who administered Irkutsk. Six days later this regime was replaced by a Bolshevik dominated Military-Revolutionary Committee. Kolchak was interrogated by a team consisting of one Bolshevik, one Menshevik and two SR's. Plans to put him on trial in Moscow were cancelled when the White army, now under General S.N. Voitsekhovsky approached the city from the west. Against Lenin's explicit instructions to the contrary, on 6-7 February, Kolchak and his prime minister were shot and their bodies thrown through the ice of a frozen river, just before the arrival of the White Army in the area. Fighting in Siberia continued for the next year as armed gangs—essentially bandits—roamed the land. Semyonov and his tattered band of Cossacks ultimately retreated into China.

The Czechoslovak Legion had no real interest in fighting in the Russian Civil War. They wanted to fight the German army, but with the end of World War I, that desire died. Uninspired by Kolchak (and not, in turn, trusted by him) they spent most of 1919 moving their troops east and having them shipped, boat by boat, back to Europe. The Czechoslovak Legion managed to evacuate all their forces out from Vladivostok (as had been their original plan in 1918). They were gone by April 1920.

Most of the White Armies were captured trying to evacuate during the winter-spring of 1920. The Cossack army was the only holdout; his army remained an organized force in the Crimea throughout the summer of 1920. After Moscow's Bolshevik government signed a military and political alliance with Nestor Makhno and the Ukrainian anarchists, the Black Army attacked and defeated several regiments of Wrangel's troops in southern Ukraine, forcing Wrangel to retreat before he could capture that year's grain harvest. Stymied in his efforts to consolidate his hold in the Ukraine, General Wrangel then attacked north in an attempt to take advantage of recent Red Army defeats at the close of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920. This offensive eventually halted by the Red Army, and Wrangel and his troops were forced to retreat to Crimea in November 1920, pursued by both Red and Black cavalry and infantry. Wrangel and the remains of his army were evacuated by the British on November 14, 1920 amidst horrific scenes of desperation and cruelty. Tens of thousands of Russians tried to escape from the Red Army, but were unable to find transport.


After the defeat of Wrangel, the Red Army immediately repudiated its 1920 treaty of alliance with Nestor Makhno and attacked the anarchist Black Army; the campaign to liquidate Makhno and the Ukrainian anarchists began with an attempted assassination of Makhno by agents of the Cheka. Red Army attacks on anarchist forces and their sympathizers increased in ferocity throughout 1921. As War Commissar of Red Army forces, Leon Trotsky instituted mass executions of peasants in the Ukraine and other areas sympathetic to Makhno and the anarchists. Angered by continued repression by the Bolshevik Communist government and its liberal use of the Cheka to put down peasant and anarchist elements, a naval mutiny erupted at Kronstadt, followed by peasant revolts in Ukraine, Tambov, and Siberia.

The Japanese, who had plans to annex the Amur Krai of Eastern Siberia, finally pulled their troops out as the Bolshevik forces gradually asserted control over all of Siberia. On 25 October 1922 Vladivostok fell to the Red Army and the Provisional Priamur Government was extinguished. General Anatoly Pepelyayev continued armed resistance in the Ayano-Maysky District until June 1922. In central Asia, Red Army troops continued to face resistance into 1923, where basmachi (armed bands of Islamic guerrillas) had formed to fight the Bolshevik takeover. The regions of Kamchatka and Northern Sakhalin remained under Japanese occupation until their treaty with Soviet Union in 1925, when their forces were finally withdrawn.


Although the War had ended the result had been terrible but most infrastructure had survived.Ukraine and Belarus remained in the USSR.Most important of all ,Trotskys popularity had soared as had Tuckasheskys, even over Lenins.In 1923 Lenin named Trotsky his official successor despite grumbles from those like Molotov and Stalin.

March on Rome

In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded the first "Italian Combat League" (Fasci Italiani di Combattimento) at the beginning of the "two red years" (biennio rosso). He suffered a defeat in the the election of November 1919. But, by the election of 1921, Mussolini gained entrance to Parliament.

Out of his "Fascist" party the "Blackshirts" (squadristi) were formed. In August 1920, the Blackshirts were used to break the general strike which had started at the Alfa Romeo factory in Milan. In November 1920, after the assassination of Giordana (a right-wing municipal counsellor in Bologna), the Blackshirts were used as a repression tool by the state to crush the socialist movement (which included a strong anarcho-syndicalist component), especially in the Po Valley.

Trade unions were dissolved while left-wing mayors resigned. The fascists, included on Giovanni Giolitti's "National Union" lists at the May 1921 elections, then won 36 seats. Mussolini then withdrew his support to Giolitti and attempted to work out a temporary truce with the socialists by signing a "Pacification Pact" in summer 1921. This provoked a conflict with the most fanatized part of the movement, the squadristi and their leaders the ras. In July 1921, Giolitti attempted without success to dissolve the squadristi. The contract with the socialists was then broken at its turn in November 1921, Mussolini adopted a nationalist and conservative program and founded the National Fascist Party, which boasted 700,000 members in July 1922. In August, an anti-fascist general strike was triggered, but failed to rally the Partito Popolare Italiano and was repressed by the fascists. When Mussolini learned that Prime Minister Luigi Facta had given Gabriele d'Annunzio the mission to organize a large demonstration on November 4, 1922 to celebrate the national victory during the war, he decided on the March to accelerate the process and sidestep any possible competition.


Mussolini stayed out of most of the march.The quadrumvirs leading the Fascist Party, General Emilio De Bono, Italo Balbo (one of the most famous ras), Michele Bianchi and Cesare Maria de Vecchi, organized the March while the Duce stayed behind for most of the march, though he allowed pictures to be taken of him marching along with the Fascist marchers. Generals Gustavo Fara and Sante Ceccherini assisted to the preparations of the March of October 18. Others militaries who organized the march included the Marquis Dino Perrone Compagni and Ulisse Igliori.

On October 24, 1922, Mussolini declared before 60,000 people at the Fascist Congress in Naples: "Our program is simple: we want to rule Italy."Meanwhile, the Blackshirts, who had occupied the Po plain, took all strategic points of the country. On October 26, former prime minister Antonio Salandra warned current Prime Minister Luigi Facta that Mussolini was demanding his resignation and that he was preparing to march on Rome. However, Facta did not believe Salandra and thought that Mussolini would govern quietly at his side. To meet the threat posed by the bands of fascist troops now gathering outside Rome, Luigi Facta (who had resigned but continued to hold power) ordered a state of siege for Rome. However, King Victor Emmanuel III refused to sign the military order. On October 28, the King handed power to Mussolini, who was supported by the military, the business class, and the right-wing.

The march itself was composed of fewer than 30,000 men, but the king in part feared a civil war since the squadristi had already taken control of the Po plain and most of the country, while Fascism was no longer seen as a threat to the establishment. Mussolini was asked to form his cabinet on October 29, 1922, while some 25,000 Blackshirts were parading in Rome. Mussolini thus legally reached power, in accordance with the Statuto Albertino, the Italian Constitution. The March on Rome was not the conquest of power which Fascism later celebrated but rather a transfer of power within the framework of the constitution. This transition was made possible by the surrender of public authorities in the face of fascist intimidation. Many business and financial leaders believed it would be possible to manipulate Mussolini, whose early speeches and policies emphasized the free market and laissez faire economics. He also feigned to be ready to take a subalternate ministry in a Giolitti or Salandra cabinet, but then demanded the presidency of the Council. Fearing a conflict with the fascists, the ruling class thus handed power to Mussolini, who went on to install the dictatorship after the June 10, 1924 assassination of Giacomo Matteotti, who had finished writing The Fascist Exposed: A Year of Fascist Domination, by Amerigo Dumini and others agents of the Ceka secret police created by Mussolini.

Fascism rise in Europe

Over the next few years, Mussolini (who became known as "Il Duce", the leader) eliminated all political parties (including the liberals) and curtailed personal liberties under the pretext of preventing revolution. The nation state could only be formed by means of revolt.

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