POLISH GENTRY ATTACK SOVIET RUSSIA. GENERAL
WRANGEL'S CAMPAIGN. FAILURE OF THE POLISH PLAN. ROUT OF WRANGEL. END OF
C H A P T E R E I G H T
PARTY IN THE PERIOD OF FOREIGN MILITARY INTERVENTION AND
CIVIL WAR (1918-1920)
1. BEGINNING OF FOREIGN MILITARY
INTERVENTION. FIRST PERIOD OF THE CIVIL WAR
OF GERMANY IN THE WAR. REVOLUTION IN GERMANY. FOUNDING OF THE
THIRD INTERNATIONAL. EIGHTH PARTY CONGRESS
3. EXTENSION OF INTERVENTION. BLOCKADE OF THE SOVIET COUNTRY.
KOLCHAK'S CAMPAIGN AND DEFEAT. DENIKIN'S CAMPAIGN AND DEFEAT. A
THREE-MONTHS' RESPITE. NINTH PARTY CONGRESS
4. POLISH GENTRY ATTACK SOVIET RUSSIA. GENERAL WRANGEL'S
CAMPAIGN. FAILURE OF THE POLISH PLAN. ROUT OF WRANGEL. END OF
5. HOW AND WHY THE SOVIET REPUBLIC DEFEATED THE COMBINED FORCES
OF BRITISH-FRENCH-JAPANESE-POLISH INTERVENTION AND OF THE
BOURGEOIS-LANDLORD-WHITEGUARD COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN RUSSIA
Notwithstanding the defeat of Kolchak and Denikin,
notwithstanding the fact that the Soviet Republic was steadily regaining
its territory by clearing the Whites and the forces of intervention out
of the Northern Territory, Turkestan, Siberia, the Don region, the
Ukraine, etc., notwithstanding the fact that the Entente states were
obliged to call off the blockade of Russia, they still refused to
reconcile themselves to the idea that the Soviet power had proved
impregnable and had come out victorious. They therefore resolved to make
one more attempt at intervention in Soviet Russia. This time they
decided to utilize both Pilsudski, a bourgeois counter-revolutionary
nationalist, the virtual head of the Polish state, and General Wrangel,
who had rallied the remnants of Denikin's army in the Crimea and from
there was threatening the Donetz Basin and the Ukraine.
The Polish gentry and Wrangel, as Lenin put it, were the two
hands with which international imperialism attempted to strangle Soviet
The plan of the Poles was to seize the Soviet Ukraine west of the
Dnieper, to occupy Soviet Byelorussia, to restore the power of the
Polish magnates in these regions, to extend the frontiers of the Polish
state so that they stretched "from sea to sea," from Danzig to Odessa,
and, in return for his aid, to help Wrangel smash the Red Army and
restore the power of the landlords and capitalists in Soviet Russia.
This plan was approved by the Entente states.
The Soviet Government made vain attempts to enter into
negotiations with Poland with the object of preserving peace and
averting war. Pilsudski refused to discuss peace. He wanted war. He
calculated that the Red Army, fatigued by its battles with Kolchak and
Denikin, would not be able to withstand the attack of the Polish forces.
The short breathing space had come to an end.
In April 1920 the Poles invaded the Soviet Ukraine and seized
Kiev. At the same time, Wrangel took the offensive and threatened the
In reply, the Red Army started a counter-offensive against the
Poles along the whole front. Kiev was recaptured and the Polish war
lords driven out of the Ukraine and Byelorussia. The impetuous advance
of the Red troops on the Southern Front brought them to the very gates
of Lvov in Galicia, while the troops on the Western Front were nearing
Warsaw. The Polish armies were on the verge of utter defeat.
But success was frustrated by the suspicious actions of Trotsky
and his followers at the General Headquarters of the Red Army. Through
the fault of Trotsky and Tukhachevsky, the advance of the Red troops on
the Western Front, towards Warsaw, proceeded in an absolutely
unorganized manner: the troops were allowed no opportunity to
consolidate the positions that they won, the advance detachments were
led too far ahead, while reserves and ammunition were left too far in
the rear. As a result, the advance detachments were left without
ammunition and reserves and the front was stretched out endlessly. This
made it easy to force a breach in the front. The result was that when a
small force of Poles broke through our Western Front at one point, our
troops, left without ammunition, were obliged to retreat. As regards the
troops on the Southern Front, who had reached the gates of Lvov and were
pressing the Poles hard, they were forbidden by Trotsky, that ill-famed
"chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council," to capture Lvov. He
ordered the transfer of the Mounted Army, the main force on the Southern
Front, far to the north-east. This was done on the pretext of helping
the Western Front, although it was not difficult to see that the best,
and in fact only possible, way of helping the Western Front was to
capture Lvov. But the withdrawal of the Mounted Army from the Southern
Front, its departure from Lvov, virtually meant the retreat of our
forces on the Southern Front as well. This wrecker's order issued by
Trotsky thus forced upon our troops on the Southern Front an
incomprehensible and absolutely unjustified retreat -- to the joy of the
This was giving direct assistance, indeed -- not to our Western
Front, however, but to the Polish gentry and the Entente.
Within a few days the advance of the Poles was checked and our
troops began preparations for a new counter-offensive. But, unable to
continue the war, and alarmed by the prospect of a Red
counter-offensive, Poland was obliged to renounce her claims to the
Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper and to Byelorussia and preferred
to conclude peace. On October 20, 1920, the Peace of Riga was signed. In
accordance with this treaty Poland retained Galicia and part of
Having concluded peace with Poland, the Soviet Republic decided
to put an end to Wrangel. The British and French had supplied him with
guns, rifles, armoured cars, tanks, aeroplanes and ammunition of the
latest type. He had Whiteguard shock regiments, mainly consisting of
officers. But Wrangel failed to rally any considerable number of
peasants and Cossacks in support of the troops he had landed in the
Kuban and the Don regions. Nevertheless, he advanced to the very gates
of the Donetz Basin, creating a menace to our coal region. The position
of the Soviet Government at that time was further complicated by the
fact that the Red Army was suffering greatly from fatigue. The troops
were obliged to advance under extremely difficult conditions: while
conducting an offensive against Wrangel, they had at the same time to
smash Makhno's anarchist bands who were assisting Wrangel. But although
Wrangel had the superiority in technical equipment, although the Red
Army had no tanks, it drove Wrangel into the Crimean Peninsula and there
bottled him up. In November 1920 the Red forces captured the fortified
position of Perekop, swept into the Crimea, smashed Wrangel's forces and
cleared the Peninsula of the Whiteguards and the forces of intervention.
The Crimea became Soviet territory.
The failure of Poland's imperialist plans and the defeat of
Wrangel ended the period of intervention.
At the end of 1920 there began the liberation of Transcaucasia:
Azerbaidjan was freed from the yoke of the bourgeois nationalist
Mussavatists, Georgia from the Menshevik nationalists, and Armenia from
the Dashnaks. The Soviet power triumphed in Azerbaidjan, Armenia and
This did not yet mean the end of all intervention. That of the
Japanese in the Far East lasted until 1922. Moreover, new attempts at
intervention were made (Ataman Semyonov and Baron Ungern in the East,
the Finnish Whites in Karelia in 1921). But the principal enemies of the
Soviet country, the principal forces of intervention, were shattered by
the end of 1920.
The war of the foreign interventionists and the Russian
Whiteguards against the Soviets ended in a victory for the Soviets.
The Soviet Republic preserved its independence and freedom.
This was the end of foreign military intervention and Civil War.
This was a historic victory for the Soviet power.