From Rebel Soldiers to the Red Army: Defence of the Russian Revolution, 1917-1921

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

The Russian Revolution transformed all sections of society, including the armed forces. The horrors of the First World War and the social crisis compelled millions of soldiers and sailors to join the revolution to overthrow the Tsar. By the end of 1917, soldiers (many of them peasants in uniform) and the working class had united to establish a workers' republic. After the revolution, as foreign invasion and counterrevolutionary White armies beset the workers’ state, the Red army was created, and over time was transformed into an effective and disciplined fighting force under the guidance of Leon Trotsky. This talk will illustrate how Russian soldiers were transformed by the revolution and how the vanguard of the class organized to defeat the counterrevolution.

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