(Pdf Kindle ePUB) The Russian Civil Wars 1916 1926 by Jonathan D. Smele

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The Russian Civil Wars 1916 1926

Ic to the Caucasus Contemporary memorialising and de memorializing of these wars therefore form part of the book's focus but at its heart lie the struggles between various Russian political and military forces which sought to inherit and preserve or even expand the territory of the tsars overlain with examinations of the attempts of many non Russian national and religious groups to divide the former empire The. In English there aren t all that many works available on the Russian Civil War Partly this is due to the overshadowing preludes of the Great War as well as the towering giant across the way what would become the infamous East Front between National Socialist Germany and the International Socialist Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945 Because of all of that the Russian Civil War tends to get lost in the shuffle Part of it too may be lingering ideological embers still smoldering from the Cold War and a Western world still beholden to now obsolete international organizations and defensive pacts that have since passed not only their usefulness but their very reason for existence Regardless the Russian Civil War alongside WW1 is the defining moment in the history of the modern world Nowhere else can one point and assert that had things gone differently the world would be vastly different would they be correct However Jonathan Smele asserts that this was than one war Not only than one war it involved far than just Russians This is the focus of his work that this was a series of conflicts beginning with ethnic insurrections in Central Asia and the Caucasus in 1916 and ending over a decade later in the same regions Holy Russia the Orthodox Imperium was after all a multi ethnic Empire constituting an enormous portion of the globe and housing a bewildering array of people groups And while the book does not remotely lose sight of the main event of the Bolsheviks versus the Whites Smele highlights in eually bewildering detail the gigantic plethora of political parties ethnic interest groups and rising nationalist movements that made up the political arena that was one half of the Civil Wars And this book is clearly focused on the political struggle While the author reminds the reader that a war was indeed raging it is largely skimmed through and only glanced at from a very high up Grand Strategic view point Those seeking to understand the operational and tactical level of the wars themselves will need to look elsewhere as like Mawdsley s work Smele largely ignores the actual war in favor of the astoundingly complex web of international politics and internal infighting amongst both sides during the conflicts Since his focus is so broadly encompassing of non Russian forces and actors there is much to learn here The Polish crusade to form a Promethean wall of satellite anti Communist States around Russia is well described as is the Ukrainian attempts first under the tutelage of the Germans and then in alliance with the Poles at independence Also discussed are the various Muslim nationalist insurgencies in the Caucasus and Central Asia the Western Allied Expeditions to assist the Whites largely a joke in hindsight with only the Japanese accomplishing anything of note and even then largely for their own ends the various attempts by Lenin and Trotsky to foment Communist revolutions in Eastern and Central Europe all of which were brutally crushed and the Red Army s attempt to steamroll into Germany in 1920 an attempt stopped cold at Warsaw by the nascent Polish Army Included too are looks at the Finnish Civil War tied to the one in Russia and the various conflicts in the Baltic states including discussions on the German Freikorps While Smele tends to skim over the actual war between the forces of the Whites and the Reds he does a fantastic job of showcasing just how tenuous those designations really were The Whites to their ultimate ruin were far from unified in organization or purpose and the Reds as well were riven with internal spats especially early on One gets a pretty good picture of just how nobly tragic some of the White leaders were especially Yudenich Kolchak and Wrangel Yudenich was a brilliant military commander he having come close to bringing the Ottoman s to their knees during the Great War but was poorly served by an inability for the Whites to showcase any sort of ability to operate in any kind of master plan Kolchak too as well as Wrangel were all superior military leaders but eually inept politically and their noble pursuit to keep alive the Russia of old was doomed as a conseuence Unusually for a book on this topic the conclusion is perhaps the best part of the book Smele details just how ephemeral from a long historical view that is the Red victory really was The monuments and memorials of Soviet victory in the former Soviet Republics Warsaw Pact states and Russia itself are by and large now destroyed In 2008 Russia released a blockbuster historical drama all about Admiral Kolchak a great movie to be honest and in places such as Georgia and Poland the culture has turned militantly against both anything Soviet as well as Russian While the book is a tad disappointing in that like Ewan Mawdsley s book there is little of the actual war narrated it is still an eye opening work that needs to be considered as for now the best work on the topic The only drawback besides the one already mentioned is how utterly dense this little book is almost half the book is taken up by notes the actual narrative is roughly 253 pages So much is packed into a relatively brief narrative that it can at times be overwhelming Regardless however this should stand as the new standard work on the Russian Civil War Very much recommended

FREE READ The Russian Civil Wars 1916 1926

This book offers a comprehensive and original analysis and reconceptualization of the compendium of struggles that wracked the collapsing Tsarist empire and the emergent USSR profoundly affecting the history of the twentieth century Indeed the reverberations of those decade long wars echo to the present day not despite but because of the collapse of the Soviet Union which re opened many old wounds from the Balt. A colorful and in depth history of the Russian civil warThe narrative covers a lot of material but moves along at a good pace As a history of the war the book is relatively short Instead he spends a lot of time on the war s origins which he traces to the 1916 uprisings in Central Asia the Bolsheviks advantages the failures of the Whites the various revolts in the interior such as the Greens and the Kronstadt situation and the lack of a definitive end for many of these conflictsThere is little on social aspects and Smele s argument that the end of the fighting in Turkestan in 1926 represented the end of the wars seems a bit thin Also his distinction between internal and external fronts is a bit unclear given the nature of the war and the narrative raises many uestions that Smele doesn t always try to really answerStill a broad well researched and well written history

SUMMARY ô PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Jonathan D. Smele

Reasons why some of the latter were successful Poland and Finland for example while others Ukraine Georgia and the Muslim Basmachi were not are as much the author's concern as are explanations as to why the chief victors of the Russian Civil Wars were the Bolsheviks Tellingly the work begins and ends with battles in Central Asia a theatre of the Russian Civil Wars that was closer to Mumbai than it was to Moscow. An excellent book in the Russian Civil Wars which is just on the right side of being accessible to someone who has scant knowledge of these warsThe reason for only four stars is due to the 107 pages of notes which accompany the book There is enough interesting information within these notes to have written 2 3 chapters in the space provided


About the Author: Jonathan D. Smele

Jonathan Smele teaches Russian and European history at ueen Mary University of London and has published extensively on the Russian revolutions and civil wars



6 thoughts on “The Russian Civil Wars 1916 1926

  1. says:

    A colorful and in depth history of the Russian civil warThe narrative covers a lot of material but moves along at a good pace As a history of the war the book is relatively short Instead he spends a lot of time on the war’s origins which he traces to the 1916 uprisings in Central Asia the Bolsheviks’ advantages the fai

  2. says:

    In English there aren't all that many works available on the Russian Civil War Partly this is due to the overshadowing preludes of the Great War as well as the towering giant across the way what would become the infamous East Front between National Socialist Germany and the International Socialist Soviet Union between 1

  3. says:

    An excellent book in the Russian Civil Wars which is just on the right side of being accessible to someone who has scant knowledge of

  4. says:

    A good book; I learned some useful things But it's a pretty conventional military history from a 30000 foot view numerous allusions to the exciting personalities of figure x y or z but a fair number of them are eve

  5. says:

    Not the introductory book I was looking for this assumes a lot of knowledge of the Russian revolution and subseuent civil wars The cast of characters is in the 100s too many to keep track of without some context The book is goodgreat

  6. says:

    Excellent review of the political history of the various conflicts intertwining the Russian Civil Wars It is an academic book so don't expect popular main stream writing but it was an easy read versus the typical dry writing of an academic book

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