White movement: causes of defeat in the Civil War

Perhaps, the history of the Civil War in Russia is a very instructive page of the tablets of the people's memory. These events remind us of what can not be allowed in any case, for this category of wars is the most senseless, cruel and bloody. Whatever it was, but these events have sunk in the whirlpool of history. But they left behind an impressive number of questions. One of the most interesting and important: "Why did the white movement lose?" The reasons for the defeat of the "whites" can not be described in a few words, since a whole series of factors unfavorable to them led to this outcome.

Instead of joining

Strangely enough, but historically the division of the "red", "white" and "green" during the war was virtually absent. What is the reason for this? In a period when there is a terrible disorder, it is difficult for a person to uniquely adhere to either side. To one "ideological" follower of the monarchy or revolution there is a hundred people "waiting." And this is normal, since such a situation existed at all times and under any power.

It was easy to change the side of the conflict not only singles, but even entire military units! And many went back and forth several times during the war.

The Myth of the "Red Terror"

In many modern sources, one of the most significant reasons for the defeat of "whites" is the "all-consuming red terror", which allegedly "threw at their feet a frightened country." Alas, there was terror. That's just practiced it all parties to the conflict, and it is not worthwhile to look among them "right" and "wrong." In conditions when civil society has collapsed, when there is a critical level of tension, people have nothing to lose, and therefore they easily go to the most extreme measures.

In addition, do not assume that the entire territory of the former Russian Empire suddenly evolved into a burning crucible of revolution: originally red and white were small islands surrounded by entire seas of an absolutely inert peasant mass. It's ridiculous to say, but both red and white (not to mention "muddy green") practiced mass recruitment of supporters abroad. Moreover, the famous "royal officers" sometimes did not want to fight at all. There are cases when officers became waiters in restaurants in Kiev, and worked with all awards. So more served.

Why do we all say this? It's simple. So you understand what a terrible confusion reigned in the first months and even the years of war. There was no "overwhelming superiority" in the strength of the White, this was not the case with the Reds. Most of the population simply wanted to live quietly, quickly changing the "color" in accordance with political realities. So the white movement has undermined? " The reasons for its defeat lie in just a few details.

What does the army need?

Any of the parties, roughly speaking, needed two things: a living force (ie draftees) and bread. Everything else will follow.

Both resources could be taken only in the countryside, only among the long-suffering peasants, who no longer wanted to give anything and no one. Hence the practice of terror, to which both sides resorted, as before them the same instrument was used by the Provisional Government of Kerensky. The consequence was constant peasant unrest, which again was suppressed by all sides of the Civil War, and the most cruel methods.

That is why the "terrible red terror" was not something outstanding. In any case, he did not stand out from the white terror. So the Bolsheviks did not win at all thanks to "force actions". Thus, the causes of the defeat of the white movement were:

  • One-man management;
  • Bad organization;
  • Imperfect ideology.

Here are 3 reasons for the defeat of the white movement. Let's take a closer look at each of these points, each of which hides a whole complex of difficult problems. Each of them could knock down the white movement. The reasons for the defeat lie in the fact that they acted simultaneously.

Once a swan, a cancer and a pike ...

In general, it was much easier to act from the very beginning. They are used to playing in a situation where there are agents of the secret police around, when everyone can betray, but at the same time they need to submit to a single "command center". In the Civil they had to do exactly the same, but under these conditions the Bolsheviks themselves could establish the required rules of the game. They had to maneuver, but it was much easier.

"Effective managers"

But White could work in such tense conditions much worse, and the points of view on what was happening they had several times more. At the peak of the war against the more or less united camp of the Reds, virtually one in a dozen whites fought, and many of their formations conducted an openly opposing policy. Adequacy of what was happening did not add to the slightest degree.

In general, all this mess and "uniqueness" deprived the chances of winning the white movement. The reasons for the defeat lie in the inability to negotiate and in time to eliminate frankly dangerous people. So, for example, the situation with the Entente. At one time, the Bolsheviks were frankly weak, weak and divided, which was bitterly written by Vladimir Ulyanov. It would seem, ask your allies for weapons and shells, taking advantage of the fact that all these orders have already been paid for by tsarism, and solve the problem once and for all ...

Thrown and forgotten

But the same shells decided to ask the Germans. The latter, having lost the First World War, quietly disappeared from the scene, and the "allies" of the Entente, indignant at the behavior of the Whites, were slow to render them effective assistance. In 1919, they preferred to introduce troops of interventionists. For what? And what could the white movement give them? It was easier for them to rip off the riches of Russia individually, and they did not need all this "color of officers" (for the time being).

When the Reds finally formed and were able to conduct effective offensive operations, the interventionists urgently zasobiralsya home, because they did not want to fight at all, and the whites at that time finally disunited, their morale was low, and the goals - are ghostly, like mirages in the desert. Remember, by the way, that one of the reasons for the defeat of the white movement has become, no matter how strange it may seem, a complete lack of ideology.

There are many problems, but there are no solutions ...

In the rear of the white sat dozens of impudent limitrofs, problems with which only the Reds could solve. Moreover, every slightly capable White commander in the rear could be freely hosted by some "ataman", plundering and killing the population, but beyond "warnings and reprimands" the fight with this "freeman" did not go. What kind of unity of command can there be, if the illustrious officers turned out to be completely incapable of basic organizational actions?

In addition, whites quite consciously substituted each other out of immediate interests, they could never agree on at least a simultaneous launch of an offensive, they constantly concluded separate agreements with any local "tsar".

At the same time, they should be given credit for the military side: in most cases, the former officers were more flexible and better savvy in tactics. But over time, a lot of sensible commanders emerged from the Reds, former autocratic experts left for them. The army of "monarchists" more and more resembled one large gang with a predictably low efficiency in battles against line connections. What other reasons exist for the defeat of the white movement in the civil war?

Organizational lawlessness

As for the organization of the rear, it was even more terrible with her (though, much worse). Only Denikin got the 74 tanks from the allies in 1919, at least 148 airplanes, several hundred cars, several dozen tractors, about half a thousand artillery pieces, including heavy samples, several thousand rifles and machine guns, and millions of cartridges to them. Yes, even the tsarist army, freezing in the trenches of the First World War, could only dream of such wealth! So what are the reasons for the defeat of the white movement, when the accumulated mass of equipment could be broken off the front in any place?

Where's all gone?

The lion's share of all good was either stolen and sold ... all the same red, or dead cargo settled somewhere in distant warehouses, and the ancient rifles were sometimes found even in the mid-1940s by the Soviet military during the revisions. So the reasons for the defeat of the white movement are banal theft, slovenliness and selfishness.

The latest howitzers uneducated calculations managed to "kill" in just a couple of weeks. Subsequently, the Soviet commanders recalled that the White had only 20 shells per gun for the whole day because of the complete "looseness" of the material part.

Inexhaustible resource allocation

But in the rear of the whites was a continuous "crunch of French bread": huge money was spent on the furs and jewelry of lovers, in the evenings balls and banquets were arranged. And this is when the troops suffer desperate defeats from the Reds?

Moreover, today it is often possible to read in the novels about a "highly educated white officer" and about "ragged Reds". Perhaps at some time it was so ... Only Colonel Katomin, who ran to the "whites", bitterly noted the abundance of drunken officers and soldiers. "The Reds are impossible ... Any drunk officer will be shot immediately, your morale is extremely high," - that's what he said to his new colleagues. For which he was almost beaten during the performance. Here they are, the causes of the defeat of the white movement. To put it briefly, this is confusion and complete impunity.

And this, to say nothing of the parts of the "unidentified belonging", that they felt themselves in the monarchical rear very freely. Bandits and deserters who "dropped off" from their part of the interventionists and just a gang of Greens - there was no one to cope with them, and nobody wanted to take it. As a result, the rear disintegrated, there was also a complete mess on the fronts. Nobody answered for anything, so the reasons for the defeat of the white movement in the civil war are quite obvious ...

It should also be noted the conditions for the provision of medical care. There are no exact statistics on the extent of medical losses, but it is known that in white medical care the wounded were ... of the worst quality. In memoirs and archival documents, there are repeated references to mass epidemics of typhus, the total absence of normal medical personnel in the troops, the inability to organize a more or less normal hospital, even in the deep rear.


It is commonly believed that the monarchists "with tears in their eyes" recalled "Russia that we lost" and tried in every possible way to revive the monarchy. But this is not so. Yes, there were among the white convinced monarchists, but those stories remember a little. In many respects the reasons for the victory of the Reds and the defeat of the White movement lie in disorder and vacillation, even in the ideological sphere. "Belyaki" could not agree even with each other about the plans for the post-war arrangement of the country, and even "humiliated" and something to explain to their "electorate" and did not want anybody. And at that time, when the Reds created an entire institute of commissars, effectively planting their ideology.

"He said - do it!"

And you should not consider the reds as simple talkers: if they set a goal, they wanted their own. They did this, showing the practical effectiveness of their policies. The monarchists repeated the mistake of Kerensky's "balabol" with his Provisional Government: impracticable promises, blurring ideology, lack of guarantees for the "electorate" - emphasize the reasons for the defeat of the white movement, which you prefer to taste.

While Lenin spoke with his brilliant in simplicity decree, in which he promised bread to the workers, and the land to the peasants, the former tsarist officers and officials competed in wit, discussing another draft of the future legislation. This is what causes the defeat of the white movement.

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