Historical the significance of the October Revolution (until 1927 even the Bolsheviks called it a coup) can hardly be underestimated; it laid the foundation for a “red project” that made it possible to implement a completely different model of social structure and build a society of social justice.
According to the canonical version, the revolution was made by the Bolshevik party, which formed the Military Revolutionary Committee, organized the overthrow of the Provisional Government, raised the proletariat of Petrograd, created the "Red Guard", which captured the key points of the capital, the Winter Palace and took power into its own hands.
On the other hand, how was the unprepared mass of “party members”, workers and soldiers able to carry out a coup that required careful preparation, staff work, and training of forces and means to carry out such a unique operation? How could a military-industrial complex, where there was only one military officer in the leadership, just a second lieutenant Antonov-Ovseenko, could prepare and successfully carry out such a unique operation?
The coincidence of interests of the Bolsheviks and generals
Clearly, there was another force that was deliberately preparing a coup. Lenin in his note on October 24, 1917 writes: “Who should take power? It’s not important now: let it be taken by the Military Revolutionary Committee or “another institution” ... The seizure of power is a matter of insurrection, its political purpose will be clarified after the seizure. ” Also at the 1st Congress of the Comintern in 1919, he declared: "The October Revolution is a bourgeois revolution." What are these words of Lenin talking about and what “other institution” does he mention?
According to the studies of the Russian historian Fursov and the writer Strizhak, under the unconditional political leading role of the Bolshevik party, the direct seizure of power was carried out by patriotic high-ranking generals of the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army. There is no direct evidence for this; there is a mass of indirect evidence supporting this version.
Why did the tsarist generals enter into a coalition with the Bolsheviks?
October had a backstory connected with February, which ended with the overthrow of the king. Since 1915, four conspiracies have been prepared against the unpopular monarch: the palace, the military, the intelligence services of England (France) and the Masons, who were represented by the State Duma, the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks.
In early March 1917, after the abdication of the tsar, masons seized power in Russia. The State Duma formed the Provisional Government, which began the collapse of the state and the army. “Order No. 1” was published, submission to officers was canceled in the army, and soldiers' committees were created to decide whether to fulfill orders or not. Without discipline, the front began to fall apart, the efforts of the Provisional Government, under pressure from the Allies to carry out the offensive, ended in failure, the government changed four times before October, but all the time it was under the control of England and France, trying to ruin and weaken Russia.
Seeing the impending catastrophe, patriotic officers of the General Staff began to look for a force that could prevent the collapse of the country. They settled on the Bolshevik party, which was gaining strength and influence, in addition, there were contacts with the party leadership through a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) Vladimir Bonch-Bruevich and his brother General Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich, chief of staff of the Northern Front.
The Bolshevik party had two wings: communist internationalists, dreaming of a world revolution, which Trotsky later came to represent, and revolutionaries seeking to change the system in Russia, represented by Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, who also had experience in organizing uprisings and resistance to the authorities.
It should be noted that future coup participants began to arrive in Petrograd after February, Stalin from exile on March 12, Lenin from Switzerland on April 3, and Trotsky from the USA only on May 4, naturally, they did not have time to prepare the uprising. In addition, Stalin and Lenin had disagreements on further ways of fighting and using the army. After negotiations, they agreed and the Military Bureau was created in April in the Central Committee of the RCP (B.), Which was headed by Stalin and Dzerzhinsky.
The generals understood that the country was falling apart and it was urgent to take measures to remove the protégés of England and France from power, end the war and conclude peace, dissolve the decomposed army and form a new one capable of defending the empire. They offered to immediately nationalize the defense and metallurgical industries and begin the rearmament of the army, since twenty years later a new war would begin and Russia should be ready for it. With such proposals, the generals went to the king back in 1916, but he did not support the generals.
Joint action against the Provisional Government and Kornilov
The interests of the generals and part of the leadership of the Bolsheviks coincided, and in May contacts began between them. In June, the Bolsheviks decided on the day of the opening of the 1st Congress of Soviets to start an armed uprising in order to seize power and immediately conclude peace, but the congress forbade them to hold the intended demonstration. The Bolsheviks began to be accused of treason and work for Germany, Lenin had to leave Petrograd, Stalin began to lead the party, he and Dzerzhinsky continued preparations for the uprising.
In early July, the generals warned the Bolsheviks that a provocation was being prepared against them. On July 3, under the leadership of Stalin, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (St. Bloodshed was avoided, Stalin and the head of the Intelligence Directorate, General Potapov, did not allow this. Repressions began against the Bolshevik leadership, they issued arrest warrants for the entire leadership, including Lenin, but these lists did not include the true leaders of the uprising, Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, the generals brought them out of attack.
The August Kornilov rebellion is also quite remarkable, Kornilov was a British protege and, with their patronage and support from the Provisional Government, for several months he advanced from Major General to General-General and became Supreme Commander-in-Chief. The British and Masons promoted him to dictators, so that he was under their control and continued the war with Germany.
The army of Krymov was supposed to attack Petrograd, in which there were practically no Russian divisions, but only Don Cossacks and Caucasians, and British officers drove armored cars.
The troops did not reach the capital. There are still ridiculous legends that the Bolsheviks predicted the Cossacks and they refused to go to Petrograd. In fact, Russian generals did not allow the rebellion. On the command of the commander of the Northern Front, General Klembovsky and the chief of staff of the front, General Bonch-Bruyevich, hundreds of trains of the Krymov army were scattered along eight railways and thrown into dense forests without steam locomotives, food, and fodder.
The Kornilov rebellion was suppressed, the conspirators arrested. But in November, the Kornilovites again declared themselves. Head of the General Headquarters General Dukhonin refused to obey the orders of the Soviet government to conclude peace with Germany, freed the arrested generals and raised a rebellion. A special group of the Intelligence Directorate was sent to headquarters, Dukhonin was killed, but the Kornilovites managed to leave for the Don.
In a situation gathering around Russia and in the presence of a “fifth column” among the generals, a group of generals prepared a secret plan in September with the immediate conclusion of peace with Germany, the demobilization of the decomposed army, the “veil” of 10 corps (half of the officers) being put up against the enemy and the formation new socialist army.
The generals understood that after February the people would not accept their power, only the Soviets could become such a legitimate authority instead of the corrupt regime of the Provisional Government, and they began to assist the Bolsheviks in establishing their control over the Soviets. Through the apparatus of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in September, agitation and pressure began for the convocation of the 2nd Congress of Soviets, which was eventually scheduled for October 20. An armed uprising was also scheduled for this date.
The implementation of the October Revolution
The information that the Bolsheviks will take power on October 20 quickly spread throughout Petrograd, and from October 14 all major newspapers introduced the daily column “To the Bolsheviks' Speech”. In early October, Lenin returned to Petrograd, on October 10 and 16, two meetings of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks took place, at which its members opposed the coup and seizure of power, and Kamenev and Zinoviev published a well-known article that they were against an armed uprising. To dissociate itself from the Bolsheviks and this date, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets postponed the congress to October 25.
The Minister of War, General Verkhovsky, who was in a conspiracy, tried on October 21 to convince the Provisional Government of the immediate start of peace talks with Germany, in response he was dismissed from this post. On the same day, at the meeting of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (b), a Practical Center was created to lead the uprising, headed by Stalin, Dzerzhinsky and Uritsky. It was decided to start the uprising on October 24 and to transfer the seized power to him by the opening of the Congress of Soviets.
What forces carried out the uprising? According to the canonical version, the uprising was led by the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, headed by Trotsky, who led the revolutionary proletariat with 40 thousand armed Red Guards, who carried out the coup. Here one should immediately answer the question: who are the "Red Guards"?
In late April, the Bolsheviks organized security detachments of the "Labor Guard" and were well paid. These detachments quickly took control of the anarchists and renamed them the "Red Guard."
The main backbone of the "Red Guard" was bandits and thieves, rushing into this organization. They had mandates, a gunshot weapon and robbed with impunity in the city. During the Kornilov rebellion, Kerensky distributed “to the people for the defense of Petrograd” 50 thousand rifles, which were mainly in the hands of the gangster “Red Guards”.
The Military Revolutionary Committee created on October 12 by the Petrosoviet, headed by Trotsky, Podvoisky, Antonov-Ovseenko and Lazimir, of which, apart from Lieutenant Antonov-Ovseenko, was not a military officer, could not lead the coup in principle. A well-organized and bloodless seizure of power could only be organized by trained staff officers. The WRC was a screen behind which the Practical Center, under the leadership and participation of Reconnaissance officers, led the uprising.
Subsequently, these officers participated in the formation of the Red Army, and the head of the Intelligence Directorate, General Potapov, remained the chief of intelligence of the Headquarters of the Red Army. Moreover, none of them was injured even during the period of repression in the 30s, Stalin was able to appreciate the staff.
The Military Revolutionary Committee did not dispose of anything; it was sitting, calling for revolution and calling for the gangster "Red Guard", which instead of capturing the main points of the capital under the guise of revolution, robbed the city and population. After the coup, the Cheka forces had to destroy the prolific detachments of the "Red Guards", who were robbing not only Petrograd, but also its surroundings. The bandits were completely eliminated only by September 1918.
Under the leadership of intelligence officers and Dzerzhinsky, from May to October 1917, militants trained in the forests near Petrograd under the program of professional saboteurs. It was they who, in small groups, together with intelligence saboteurs, captured all the key points of Petrograd on October 24, and the commander of the Petrograd military district, Colonels, who was participating in the conspiracy, reported this to Commander Duhonin only on the morning of October 25, when the coup was already carried out.
Special groups quietly mastered the post office, telegraph, train stations. All of them continued to work, wiretapping and separation of unnecessary conversations were simply introduced, and letters and telegrams were censored. At the train stations, the dispatchers were told which echelons should be sent and where, all this was done by specially trained people.
The main task of the uprising was to prevent the opposition of the 200th garrison of Petrograd. It consisted mainly of reserve and training regiments. The soldiers were laid out, did not want to go to the front, they hated Kerensky and scolded the Bolsheviks, and it was easy to keep them in the barracks. For the wars of the garrison, the rebels used the sailors of the Baltic fleet.
Almost all the senior officers of the Ministry of the Sea and the Baltic Fleet Command took an active part in the uprising. Under their leadership, 12 ships were brought into the Neva, including the cruiser Aurora and the destroyer Samson, which covered the Aurora, which was the reserve headquarters of the uprising.
The Aurora cruiser was being repaired at the factory, orders were given to complete the repair by October 20, load the cruiser with coal, oil, ammunition and bring it to the Neva River near the Winter Palace.
How could all this have been organized by the sailor of “Centrobalt” Dybenko and his “sailor”? Such actions on command were performed by dozens of naval officers and hundreds of sailors, led from a single center.
Where was the headquarters of the uprising? Officially, this is Smolny and the Revolutionary Party, which had nothing to do with the uprising. The headquarters should be inconspicuous so that it cannot be liquidated, possess special means of communication and the ability to quickly evacuate to the reserve command post. Such a premises was provided, this building on Voskresenskaya embankment, which housed the counterintelligence of the Petrograd military district and from where it was possible to quickly transfer to the Aurora by motor boat.
Capture of the Winter Palace
Kerensky on October 24 still believed that he had the faithful troops to suppress the uprising, which he expected from the commander of the Northern Front, General Cheremisov, a participant in the conspiracy, who was not going to send anyone to Petrograd. On the morning of October 25, Kerensky held a meeting with the ministers at the General Headquarters and drove off to meet the troops in the car of the US ambassador and never returned to the city. By noon, the ministers moved to the Winter Palace under the protection of the junkers.
Winter defended loyal to Kerensky troops, Cossacks, cadets and women's battalion. After negotiations, almost all of them left the square and the palace. When it got dark, in anticipation of prey, the Red Guard also pulled itself up, and a nervous, languid skirmish began, from which two people died. Two rounds of Aurora anti-aircraft guns were fired, not to start the assault, but to escalate the situation and influence the defenders of the Winter Palace, the artillery of the Peter and Paul Fortress did not open fire, the gunners took a neutral position.
There was no storming of the palace; Dzerzhinsky’s groups and reconnaissance saboteurs entered the palace through the basement and began to clean it. By one in the morning the palace was completely cleaned up, hundreds of frightened officers and junkers were gathered in the lobby and released. The honorable mission of the arrest of the ministers was assigned to the detachment of the Revolutionary Liberation Forces under the command of Chudnovsky to present them to the Congress of Soviets in confirmation of the deprivation of power and the forwarding of the ministers to the Peter and Paul Fortress. When it was all over and the palace was empty, the "storm" of the Winter Palace began, thousands of brutal "Red Guards" rushed to rob the palace. The new government then had to explain for a long time why the palace was looted.
The establishment of the power of the Bolsheviks
The Congress of Soviets began its meeting at 23 hours on October 25, the Bolsheviks were a minority, the Congress did not recognize their coup, the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries left the Congress in protest, giving the Bolsheviks the opportunity to adopt the "Decree on Peace" and create their own government.
On the question of ending the war, Lenin and Stalin were in the minority in the Central Committee and the government. Under pressure from the generals, the convocation of the Constituent Assembly was postponed until January 3, hoping by then to conclude a peace treaty, and negotiations began on December 3.
Given the fact that the Bolsheviks in the Constituent Assembly received only a quarter of the vote, on January 3, 1918, they dissolved the meeting and declared Russia the Republic of Soviets.
Foreign Minister Trotsky was sent to sign the peace treaty, who, fulfilling the order of the USA and England, took the position of “neither peace nor war” and did not sign the treaty, holding German troops on the eastern front. He often contacted Lenin, who replied, "We must consult with Stalin," who was in touch with the generals of the General Staff.
In response, the Germans launched an offensive on February 18, there was no one and nothing to defend Russia with, the Germans freely occupied large territories and without a fight took Narva and Pskov. A military delegation led by General Head of the General Headquarters Bonch-Bruyevich met on February 22 with Lenin and Stalin and convinced them to sign the peace on any terms. The world was signed on March 3 on terms three times worse than in December, and on March 4, the Supreme Military Council was established, headed by General Bonch-Bruevich. Trotsky nevertheless achieved the removal of Bonch-Bruyevich on March 19 and took his place himself and from that moment began to extol himself as the leader of the uprising and the creator of the Red Army.
Who created the Red Army
The fable "Trotsky - the creator of the Red Army" is still imposed. Few people think that the Red Army was created not by the wretched politician Bronstein, but by the efforts of dozens of the best generals of the imperial army and more than one hundred thousand military officers who went through two wars and have colossal experience in military construction. Under the leadership of the General Staff generals, it was they who developed mobilization plans, prepared charters for the combat arms, organized the production of weapons, formed military units and armies, staffed them with officers, developed and led combat operations.
We know from history that the Red Army defeated under the leadership of Trotsky, Frunze, Blucher, Budyonny, Chapaev, second lieutenant (Marshal) Tukhachevsky. But where are the glorious names of the Russian generals and officers who created and led the Red Army? Who remembers the generals Selivachev, Gittis, Parsky, Petin, Samoilo, who commanded the fronts of the Red Army? About Admirals Ivanov, Altfater, Behrens. The German, Razvozov, Zarubaev, who led the naval forces and all the fleets of the Republic?
Generals Sheideman, Cheremisov, Tsurikov, Klembovsky, Belkovich, Baluyev, Balanin, Shuvaev, Lechitsky, Sokovnin, Ogorodnikov, Nadezhny, Iskritsky also served in various positions in the Red Army, future generals were trained by General Anshefa Danilov, Gutor, Zay and the headquarters of the Red Army was created by the efforts of the colonels of the General Staff Lebedev, Vatsetis, Shaposhnikov.
In addition to the Soviet leaders of the Red Army, it is worthless to forget the names of the generals and officers of the imperial Russian army, who defended the Fatherland and made a lot of efforts to form the Red Army, which twenty years later collided with the Nazi military machine and broke its ridge.