Access the view that the Red Army's victory led to the establishment of Bolshevik power by 1924.

Essay by airam972High School, 12th grade March 2008

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Assess the view that the Red Army's victory in the Civil War was responsible for the establishment of Bolshevik power by 1924.

Why the reds won:

Much credit must go to Trotsky who, despite the criticism aimed at him over the Czech Legion issue, was a brilliant War Commissar. Untrained in military matters, Trotsky seemed to be a natural leader of men. His beliefs were simple. If a Red commander was successful in combat, they were promoted. If a commander failed and survived, he paid the price. Trotsky was willing to use ex-tsarist officers as he knew that they had the military experience the Red Army lacked. Ironically, though this was a successful policy, it was later held against him in his battle with Stalin for control of the party after Lenin's death.

Trotsky also knew that the first time the Red Army lost a major battle, it would spell the end of the revolution and all that the Bolsheviks had fought for.

He visited the Red Army at the front in his legendary armoured train to instill into them this very simple fact.

Lenin also imposed an iron grip on territory under the control of the Bolsheviks. The party had a secret police unit (called the Cheka, which was to change its title to the NKVD) which was ruthless in hunting out possible opponents to Lenin. In many areas of Russia, where the Bolsheviks had control, the NKVD was judge, jury and executioner. Its power was massively extended after August 30th, 1918. On this day the Socialist Revolutionary Kaplin shot and wounded Lenin.

Whites were made up of many groups - groups that hated each other as much as they hated the Reds. With no cohesiveness to them, the Whites were on the whole a hopelessly uncoordinated group...