Attempts to overthrow the Bolsheviks who seized power began almost from the first days. Kerensky himself fled to Pskov, where he persuaded the Cossack troops under the command of General Peter Krasnov to speak at Petrograd.
In Petrograd itself, on the night of October 26 (November 8), right-wing socialists from the Petrograd City Council and Pre-Parliament established their own Committee to Save the Homeland and the Revolution headed by Right Socialist-Revolutionary Abram Gots in opposition to the Military Revolutionary Committee. He distributed anti-Bolshevik leaflets, called for sabotage of government workers. The anti-Bolshevik committee also supported armed resistance to the Bolsheviks in Moscow and Kerensky’s attempt to recapture Petrograd.
October 29 (November 11) The Committee to Save the Motherland and the Revolution raised the first anti-Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd itself, the center of which was Mikhailovsky Castle (where the cadets of the Nikolaev Engineering School were located). Georgy Polkovnikov, dismissed from the post of commander-in-chief of the military district, declared himself commander of the “salvation troops”. He forbade his order to all military units of the district to execute orders of the Revolutionary Command. For some time, the military managed to recapture the telephone station and disconnect Smolny from communication, arrest part of the commissar of the Revolutionary Command and begin disarming the Red Guards. But without outside support they were doomed, and two days later the Bolsheviks suppressed this uprising, although the clashes were bloody and with the use of artillery. On both sides, about 200 people died.
Kerensky fled to the location of the headquarters of the Northern Front in Pskov, hoping to find support from the military. However, all attempts by Kerensky to organize a movement in Petrograd, at least some group of troops, met with resistance from the front commander, General V. A. Cheremisov. Cheremisov led his game, hoping to take the post of supreme commander, and took a "neutral" position, not wanting to link his future with the losers. He refused to remove parts from the front to suppress the uprising in Petrograd and declared that he did not guarantee the security of Kerensky himself. He then gave the order to the troops to load themselves into trains for movement on Petrograd, then canceled it, not wanting, in his words, “to interfere in Petrograd bother.”
Then the former head of the Provisional Government tried to persuade the Cossacks to oppose the Bolsheviks in Petrograd. The Cossacks listened reluctantly, as they remembered that Kerensky had only recently been destroyed by the speech of General Kornilov. Thus, the historian of the Russian revolution N. N. Sukhanov N. N. wrote: “... A characteristic scene occurred. Kerensky extends his hand to the story-telling officer, who stretches out before him. The officer continues to stand stretched out, with his hand under the visor. Kerensky puts on the look: "Lieutenant, I give you my hand." Lieutenant reports: "G. Supreme Commander, I can’t give you a hand, I am a Kornilovist ”... Perfect phantasmagoria! Kerensky goes to revolutionary Petersburg at the head of the troops that he recently recently declared rebellious to him. Among their commanders, there is no man who would not despise Kerensky as a revolutionary and ruin of the army. Did not the Bolsheviks reflect and defame these troops two months ago this restorer of the death penalty, this executor of the Kornilov program, this organizer of the June offensive? ”
However, Krasnov decided to support Kerensky. He promised to hand over three more infantry and one cavalry divisions to the general, which is about to fit. Kerensky appointed Krasnov commander of the "army" going to Petrograd. In the evening of October 26 (November 8), Cossack units (about 700 people in total), stationed south of Pskov, loaded into the cars and departed in the direction of Petrograd. Only an extremely insignificant part of the Red Army 3 Corps (1 of the Don and Ussuri divisions) acted because part of the corps was scattered over a large area. Moreover, in Pskov itself, the echelons with them tried to detain the revolutionary-minded soldiers. Peter Krasnov later recalled: “There are hundreds of weak, 70 people. ... Less shelf normal state. And if we have to dismount, throw away one third of the horses - there will remain the combat force of the entire 466 man - two wartime companies! Army commander and two companies! I find it funny ... Playing with the soldiers! How she is seductive with her lush titles and phrases. ”
Peter Nikolaevich Krasnov (1869 - 1947) was born in St. Petersburg, a native of the nobles of the Don Cossacks. His family was one of the most famous on the Don. He studied at the Alexander Cadet Corps and Pavlovsk Military School. In the year 1890 enlisted in the Life Guards Ataman regiment. In 1892, he entered the Academy of the General Staff, but a year later he returned to his regiment of his own free will. In 1897, he was the head of a convoy of a diplomatic mission to Addis Ababa (Abyssinia). Being an observant person, he kept daily records that were published in the booklet “Cossacks in Africa: Diary of the convoy commander of the Russian imperial mission in Abyssinia in 1897-1898.” In 1901, he was sent by the Minister of War to the Far East to study the life of Manchuria, China, Japan and India. He wrote fiction and articles on military theory. During the boxing uprising in China and the Russian-Japanese war - war correspondent. In 1909, he graduated from the Cavalry Officers' School, and in 1910, he was promoted to colonel, commanded by 1 Siberian Cossack Yermak Timofeyev by a regiment on the border with China, in the Semirechensk region. From October 1913 of the year - the commander of the 10 Don Cossack General Lukovkin Regiment, who was on the border with Austria-Hungary, at the head of which he entered the First World War. He fought bravely. In November, 1914 was promoted to major general and appointed commander of the 1 Brigade of the 1 Donskoy Cossack Division. From May 1915 of the year - the commander of the 3 brigade of the Caucasian native horse division, from July 1915 of the year - head of the 3 of the Don Cossack Division, from September - head of the 2 of the Combined Cossack Division. At the end of May 1916, the division Krasnov one of the first to start Lutsk breakthrough armies of the Southwestern Front (Brusilovsky breakthrough). 26 May 1916 of the year in the battle of Vulka-Galuzinskaya seriously wounded by a bullet in the leg. The commander was not bad, he always took care of his subordinates, so the Cossacks loved and appreciated him. After the February revolution, Krasnov did not take part in politics. In June, 1917 was appointed head of the 1 Kuban Cossack Division, and in August, commander of the 3 Horse Cavalry Division. He was arrested during the Kornilov speech, but then released.
On October 27 (November 9), the Cossacks landed in Gatchina (40 km south of Petrograd), joining there with another two hundred soldiers loyal to the Provisional Government who arrived from Novgorod. In Gatchina, there were thousands of “red” soldiers before 1,5, but at the sight of the Cossacks disembarking from the coaches, they had exaggerated ideas about their numerical superiority, and they began to take weapon. The Cossacks did not know how to protect such a number of prisoners, what to feed them and simply dismissed them to their homes. But Krasnov's forces were still counted in several hundred fighters. Later he recalled: “To go with these forces to Tsarskoye Selo, where the garrison numbered 16 000, and further to Petrograd, where it was near 200 000, no tactics allowed; it would not be the madness of the brave, but simply stupidity. ”
October 28 (November 10) in the evening after a small exchange of fire, Krasnov’s squad nevertheless occupied Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin). At the same time, there was virtually no battle, everything was reduced to negotiations with the garrison of Tsarskoye Selo, the "red" soldiers were either disarmed or retreated. But further, despite the favorable situation in the capital (the anti-Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd), Krasnov could no longer advance and gave the troops a rest. October 29 (November 11) Krasnov did not take active actions, remaining in Tsarskoye Selo and waiting for reinforcements. The headquarters of the commander-in-chief, led by Dukhonin, tried to help Kerensky. But most of the summoned troops refused to execute the order, supporting the Bolshevik party, or took the position of "neutrality." The 13 and 15 of the Don regiments of the 3 of the cavalry corps were simply not released from Revel on the orders of the local revolutionary committee. Near the 900 Junkers, several artillery batteries, and an armored train joined the Kerensky-Krasnov squad. A total of "white" were able to put about 5 thousand people, about 20 guns and armored train.
Kerensky, apparently, still imagined himself a great ruler, and thought that when he saw it, the masses would immediately run after him. But here his illusions were finally broken. The officers and the Cossacks, not seeing reinforcements, cursed him. To the rebels joined the famous revolutionary, SR-terrorist Boris Savinkov. He suggested that Krasnov arrest Kerensky and head the movement himself. Krasnov refused. Then they proposed the formation of a government to a prominent Marxist and socialist GV Plekhanov, who at that time lived in Tsarskoe Selo. But the results of the negotiations did not give positive results. Savinkov went to the headquarters of the Northern Front, but even there he was failing.
The Bolsheviks, meanwhile, ordered the railway workers to stop the movement of troops in the capital. The order was executed. October 27 (November 9) The Military Revolutionary Committee ordered the combat readiness of the Petrograd garrison, put forward revolutionary regiments, detachments of Red Guards and sailors to Tsarskoye Selo and Pulkov. On the night of October 27–28 (November 9–10), the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) and the Soviet government created a commission led by V. Lenin to lead the suppression of the rebellion. Squads of sailors were summoned from Helsingfors and Kronstadt to Petrograd. In the event of a breakthrough in Petrograd, Lenin ordered the Baltic ships to enter the Neva fleet. On October 29 (November 11), Lenin and Trotsky visited the Putilov factory, where they examined guns and an armored train prepared to fight the Kerensky-Krasnov troops. At the call of the Bolsheviks, thousands of Red Guards from Putilovsky, Pipe and other plants came out in defense of the revolution. Trotsky then departed for Pulkovo Heights, where he directed the construction of fortifications. About 12 thousand fighters had to defend them. The Reds were divided into two detachments: Pulkovsky, led by the commander of the 2nd Tsarskoye Selo reserve regiment, Colonel Walden, the sailors were commanded by P.E. Dybenko; Krasnoselsky, which was headed by F.P. Khaustov and V.V. Sakharov. The commander of all the troops near Petrograd was appointed the Left Revolutionary Colonel M. A. Muravyov, his assistants were V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko. On the same day, the Military Revolutionary Committee sent about 20 thousand people to create the Zaliv-Neva defensive line. They built barricades, erected wire fences, dug trenches, and were ready at any moment to support the troops that were at the forefront.
On the morning of October 30 (November 12) in the morning Krasnov's troops, with the support of artillery and armored trains, launched an offensive in the area of Pulkovo. The revolutionary troops withstood the onslaught, and in the evening they themselves launched a counteroffensive. The “Reds” had a large numerical advantage, but the Cossacks gained an advantage in artillery. At the same time, the Cossacks suffered small losses, while among the Reds the losses reached 400 people, but they continued to attack. By evening, the Cossacks began to run out of ammunition, the reinforcements promised by Kerensky did not appear. The Bolsheviks pulled up naval artillery, began to beat at Tsarskoe Selo. During the artillery bombardment, the regiments of Tsarskoye Selo garrison were panicked and summoned. They demanded to stop the fight, threatening to strike from the rear. At dusk, the sailors began to bypass the flanks of the Cossacks and Krasnov ordered to retreat to Gatchina. The Cossacks entered into negotiations with the revolutionary soldiers and sailors and concluded a truce. During negotiations with the Cossacks, Dybenko jokingly suggested that they "exchange Kerensky for Lenin."
On the night of October 31 (November 13), Trotsky, who was on the defensive line at Pulkovo, telegraphed to Petrograd: “Kerensky’s attempt to move the counter-revolutionary forces to the capital of the revolution received a decisive rebuff. Kerensky retreats, we advance. Soldiers, sailors and workers of Petrograd have proven that they can and want with arms in their hands to affirm the will and authority of democracy. The bourgeoisie tried to isolate the army of the revolution, Kerensky tried to break it with the power of the Cossacks. Both suffered a miserable collapse ... Revolutionary Russia and the Soviet government have the right to be proud of their Pulkovo detachment operating under the command of Colonel Valden. "
The 31 of October (13 of November) continued negotiations on the terms of the truce, and the Cossacks agreed to extradite Kerensky to the Bolsheviks, on the condition that they were allowed to go to the Don. Upon learning of this, he immediately escaped by car from the location of Krasnov's troops. Kerensky transferred his authority to the supreme commander Dukhonin and fled to the Don. He arrived in Novocherkassk, but the ataman Kaledin refused to cooperate with him. On November 1 (14), parts of the Bolsheviks entered Gatchina. Cossacks disarmed and soon released.
The Cossacks in this period retained their combat capability, but did not want to fight the Bolsheviks. For the most part, they wanted to end the annoying war and simply return home. The Cossack units began to leave the Petrograd, Pskov, Novgorod and other provinces in echelons and went to their native Cossack regions. “Everything rushed uncontrollably to the Don, but not to Kaledin, to fight against the Bolsheviks, defending Don’s freedom, but going home to their villages to do nothing and rest, not feeling and not understanding the terrible shame of the nation,” Peter Krasnov himself later recalled .
General Krasnov himself surrendered, but was soon released under the "honest word of an officer that he would no longer fight against Soviet power." A little later he went to the Don, where he became one of the leaders of the local white Cossacks. In May 1918, Krasnov was elected ataman of the Don Cossacks. Having established allied relations with Germany and disobeying A. I. Denikin, who was guided by the Entente, he launched a struggle against the Bolsheviks at the head of the Don Army. Krasnov created the Great Don Army and headed for the creation of an independent state.
Thus, besides the performance of the Krasnov-Kerensky detachment, the battles in Moscow as a whole, the Soviet government established itself throughout the country peacefully. Only the Cossack regions refused to submit to the new government. But the Cossacks themselves did not want to fight, they wanted to return to a peaceful life. In provincial towns and villages, October (as well as February) passed almost unnoticed. The power of the county and provincial government commissioners was so weak that nobody had taken it seriously before. In many places, diarchy persisted for several months. In parallel, the Soviet organs and the City Dumas worked. The last Dumas dispersed only in the spring of 1918.