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THE EMERGENCE OF “TOTAL” WAR AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION. The First World War is often referred to as the first “total” war for four reasons: Industrial warfare by huge conscript armies demanded the reorganization of the whole economy.

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the emergence of total war and the russian revolution
THE EMERGENCE OF “TOTAL” WARAND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

The First World War is often referred to as the first “total” war for four reasons:

  • Industrial warfare by huge conscript armies demanded the reorganization of the whole economy.
  • Combat became utterly terrifying, with a killing zone over 5 miles deep. “Shell shock” became a major source of casualties.
  • Government propaganda through mass media disseminated hateful stereotypes of the enemy.
  • The distinction between combatants & noncombatants began to break down as a result of “hunger blockades,” aerial bombardment, submarine warfare, and partisan warfare.
slide3
Trenches soon ran from Switzerland to the English Channel(a German trench on the Western Front, November 1914)
in 1906 the government abolished all restrictions on foreign investment and migration by peasants
In 1906 the government abolished all restrictions on foreign investment and migration by peasants

LEFT: An oil field near Baku on the Caspian Sea

Russian peasants newly arrived in Moscow,

looking for work;

22% of all peasant heads of household seceded from their village collective in the years 1906-1915

the battle of tannenberg east prussia august 27 30 1914 30 000 russians killed 100 000 captured
The Battle of Tannenberg, East Prussia, August 27-30, 1914:30,000 Russians killed, 100,000 captured
symptoms of illness in the russian body politic
SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS IN THE RUSSIAN BODY POLITIC
  • Russia mobilized 11 million soldiers in 1914/15 but could not train competent officers to replace those killed at the front.
  • Most promotions to major commands were based on connections at court, not performance.
  • Russia produced a major food surplus, but the system to distribute food to cities often broke down.
  • By the end of the year 1916, almost 2 million soldiers were Absent Without Leave.
  • By the end of 1916, the cost of living was 4X higher than in 1913.
  • By the end of 1916, 1.7 million industrial workers had participated in strikes.
order 1 of the petrograd soviet march 14 1917
ORDER #1 OF THE PETROGRAD SOVIET, MARCH 14, 1917
  • In all military units and vessels of the navy, committees from the elected representatives of the lower ranks shall be chosen immediately.
  • …One representative from each company shall be selected [for the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies]….
  • In all its political actions, the military branch is subordinated to the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and to its committees.
  • The orders of the military commission of the State Duma shall be executed only in such cases as do not conflict with the orders and resolutions of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.
  • All kinds of arms… must be kept at the disposal and under control of the company and battalion committees, and in no case be turned over to officers, even at their demand.
  • During the performance of duties, soldiers must observe the strictest military discipline, but outside duty, …soldiers cannot in any way be deprived of those rights which all citizens enjoy. Standing at attention and compulsory saluting when not on duty is abolished.
  • The addressing of officers with the title, ‘Your Excellency,’ ‘Your Honor,’ etc., is abolished, and these titles are replaced by the address of ‘Mister General,’ ‘Mister Colonel,’ etc.
war minister alexander kerensky addresses troops about to leave for the front in 1917

“War until Victory!”

(an attempt to arouse “Jacobin nationalism”)

War Minister Alexander Kerensky addresses troops about to leave for the front in 1917
slide16
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, i.e., “Lenin” (1870-1924), leader since 1903 of the “Bolshevik” faction of Russian socialism

LENIN’S APRIL THESES

Transform the Imperialist War into Civil War!

All Power to the Soviets!

Land for the Village Poor!

machine gun fire disperses pro bolshevik demonstrators on nevsky prospect in petrograd july 4 1917
Machine gun fire disperses pro-Bolshevik demonstrators on Nevsky Prospect in Petrograd, July 4, 1917
slide18
General L.G. Kornilov waves to the crowd in Moscow in August 1917, shortly before he attempted a military coup
slide22
German troops moving through San Quentin to preparefor the “Ludendorff Offensive” launched on March 21, 1918
slide23
The Ludendorff Offensive, March-July 1918:Each assault was very well prepared, but their force tended to dissipate…
the breach of the hindenburg line at st quentin 2 oct 1918
The breach of the “Hindenburg Line” at St. Quentin, 2 Oct 1918

British troops line the banks of the St. Quentin Canal

Their multitude of German prisoners

slide26

In October 1918 Ludendorff told the Kaiser to appoint Prince Max of Baden head of a “parliamentary” government, but Max soon turned to Friedrich Ebert of the SPD

slide27

Social Democratic politicians address revolutionary sailors at Kiel, November 5, 1918: Mutiny broke out when the admirals ordered a desperate attack

slide28
Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann (SPD) proclaim the Republic from the balcony of the Reichstag on 9 November 1918
slide30

When the “Big Four” gathered in Versailles in December 1918 (Lloyd George, Orlando, Clemenceau, and Wilson), they first debated whether to intervene in the Russian Civil War.

slide31

The Russian Civil War, 1918/19:In January 1919 Marshall Foch advocated intervention from Odessa, Murmansk, Archangel, Vladivostok, Poland, and Romania, but Lloyd George insisted that the Russian people preferred the Reds to the Whites.

slide34
“Long live the three-million-man Red Army!” (USSR, 1919):The Red Army won a series of victories in summer 1919
slide37
Soviet leaders all hoped at first for world revolution:“Long Live the Third Communist International!” (1920)