The Polish–Soviet War was fought by the Second Polish Republic, Ukrainian People's Republic and the proto-Soviet Union over a region comparable to today's westernmost Ukraine and parts of modern Belarus. Poland's Chief of State, Józef Piłsudski, felt the time was right to expand Polish borders as far east as feasible, to be followed by a Polish-led Intermarium federation of Central and Eastern European states, as a bulwark against the re-emergence of German and Russian imperialism. Vladimir Lenin saw Poland as the bridge the Red Army had to cross to assist other Communist movements and bring about more European revolutions. By 1919, Polish forces had taken control of much of Western Ukraine, emerging victorious from the Polish–Ukrainian War; the West Ukrainian People's Republic, led by Yevhen Petrushevych, had tried to create a Ukrainian state on territories to which both Poles and Ukrainians laid claim. In the Russian part of Ukraine Symon Petliura tried to defend and strengthen the Ukrainian People's Republic but as the Bolsheviks began to win the Russian Civil War, they started to advance westward towards the disputed Ukrainian territories, causing Petliura's forces to retreat to Podolia.
By the end of 1919, a clear front had formed. Border skirmishes escalated following Piłsudski's Kiev Offensive in April 1920; the Polish offensive was met by a successful Red Army counter-attack. The Soviet operation pushed the Polish forces back westward all the way to the Polish capital, while the Directorate of Ukraine fled to Western Europe. Western fears of Soviet troops arriving at the German frontiers increased the interest of Western powers in the war. In mid-summer, the fall of Warsaw seemed certain but in mid-August, the tide had turned again, as the Polish forces achieved an unexpected and decisive victory at the Battle of Warsaw. In the wake of the Polish advance eastward, the Soviets sued for peace and the war ended with a cease-fire in October 1920; the Peace of Riga was signed on 18 March 1921, dividing the disputed territories between Poland and Soviet Russia. The war determined the Soviet–Polish border for the Interbellum. Poland gained a territory of around 200 kilometers east of its former border, the Curzon Line, defined by an international commission after World War I.
Much of the territory allocated to Poland in the Treaty of Riga became part of the Soviet Union after World War II, when the common border was re-defined by the Allied Powers in close accordance with the Curzon Line. The war is known by several names. "Polish–Soviet War" is the most common but other names include "Russo–Polish War of 1919–1921" and "Polish–Bolshevik War". This second term is most common in Polish sources. In some Polish sources it is referred as the "War of 1920". There is disagreement over the dates of the war; the Encyclopædia Britannica begins its article with the date range 1919–1920 but states, "Although there had been hostilities between the two countries during 1919, the conflict began when the Polish head of state Józef Pilsudski formed an alliance with the Ukrainian nationalist leader Symon Petlyura and their combined forces began to overrun Ukraine, occupying Kiev on 7 May." The Polish encyclopaedia Internetowa encyklopedia PWN, as well as Western historians such as Norman Davies, consider 1919 the starting year of the war.
The ending date is given as either 1920 or 1921. While the events of 1919 can be described as a border conflict, only in early 1920 did both sides engage in all-out war, the conflicts that took place in 1920 were an inevitable escalation of fighting that began in earnest a year earlier. In the end, the events of 1920 were a logical, though unforeseen, consequence of the 1919 prelude; the war's main territories of contention lie in present-day Belarus. After a period of internecine wars and the Mongolian invasion of 1240, these lands became objects of expansion for the Kingdom of Poland and for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the first half of the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Kiev and land between the Dnieper and Daugava rivers became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1352 Poland and Lithuania divided the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia between themselves. In 1569, in accordance with the terms of the Union of Lublin between Poland and Lithuania, some of the Ukrainian lands passed to the Polish Crown.
Between 1772 and 1795, much of the Eastern Slavic territories became part of the Russian Empire in the course of the Partitions of Poland. After the Congress of Vienna of 1814–1815, much of the territory of the Duchy of Warsaw transferred into Russian control. After young Poles refused to be conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army during the uprising in Poland in 1863, Tsar Alexander II stripped Poland of its separate constitution, forced Russian to be the only language spoken, took away vast tracts of land from Poles, incorporated Poland directly into Russia by dividing it into ten provinces, each with an appointed Russian military governor and all under complete control of the Russian Governor-General at Warsaw; as World War I ended, the map of Central and Eastern Europe changed drastically. Germany's defeat rendered Berlin's plans for the creation of Eastern European puppet states, including one in P
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Butyrka prison is a prison in the Tverskoy District of central Moscow, Russia. It was the central transit prison in Tsarist Imperial Russia. During Soviet times, it held many political prisoners. Butyrka remains the largest of Moscow remand prisons. Overcrowding continues to be a problem. In December 2018, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service announced that it will close the prison, as well as Moscow’s Krasnaya Presnya prison; the first references to Butyrka prison may be traced back to the 17th century. The current building was erected in 1879 near the Butyrsk gate on the site of a prison-fortress, built by the architect Matvei Kazakov during the reign of Catherine the Great; the towers of the old fortress once housed the rebellious Streltsy during the reign of Peter I, on hundreds of participants of the 1863 January Uprising in Poland. Members of Narodnaya Volya were prisoners of the Butyrka in 1883, as were the participants in the Morozov Strike of 1885; the Butyrka prison was known for its brutal regime.
The prison administration resorted to violence anytime the inmates tried to protest. Its famous inmates include the influential revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Russian revolutionary Nikolay Bauman, the founder of the KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky. During the February Revolution, the workers of Moscow freed all the political prisoners from the Butyrka. Following the October Revolution, Butyrka remained a place of internment for political prisoners and a transfer camp for people sentenced to be sent to the Gulag. During the Great Purge, about twenty thousand inmates at a time were imprisoned in Butyrka. Thousands of political prisoners were shot after investigations. Prominent political prisoners included the writers Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Yevgenia Ginzburg. Varlam Shalamov notes in one of his tales, that the Butyrka is hot in summer, he says that, with the collapse of the Soviet regime, overcrowding has become a real issue. Most of these people are politically unreliable subjects from the Caucasus.
Since epidemics are a problem, the wardens try to fill cells with people with AIDS, or with tuberculosis. Moreover, inmates are brought to the tribunal in overcrowded police vans, so that healthy inmates are exposed to tuberculosis. Butyrka has its own slang: the wardens are called "menti", the inmates "patzani", to take drugs is "vmazatsia"; the word "khuy" is used profusely. On a lighter note, television has been allowed since 1995. Fabijan Abrantovich, Catholic priest and a pro-independence activist from Belarus Anna Abrikosova, nun of the Dominican Order and prominent figure in the Catholic Church in Russia Andrei Amalrik, Russian historian and famed dissident during the 1960s. One of the most prominent refuseniks in the Soviet Union, he has been Speaker of the Knesset since 2013 Blessed Leonid Feodorov and reputed bishop of the Russian Greek Catholic Church Rashid Khan Gaplanov and Finance Minister of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Yevgenia Ginzburg, author of Journey into the Whirlwind and Within the Whirlwind.
Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian anarchist Vladimir Mayakovsky, poet Leopold Okulicki, Polish general, last commander of the Armia Krajowa, killed in Butyrki in 1946 Konstantin Päts, president of the Republic of Estonia when it became occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 Yevgeny Polivanov, Soviet linguist and polyglot, executed in 1938 Yemelyan Pugachev, pretender to the Russian throne and leader of a Cossack insurrection in 1773-1774 Varlam Shalamov and soviet dissident.
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favouring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and anti-democratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and non-ideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies; the Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920.
Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war civilians; the Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen. Many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war. Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia and Poland—were established as sovereign states, with their own civil wars and wars of independence; the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917.
Provisional Government was unable to solve the most pressing issues of the country, most to end the war with Central Powers, was overthrown by the Bolshevik wing of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in the late 1917. From mid-1917 onwards, the Russian Army, the successor-organisation of the old Russian Imperial Army, started to disintegrate. In January 1918, after significant Bolshevik reverses in combat, the future People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, Leon Trotsky headed the reorganization of the Red Guards into a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in order to create a more effective fighting force; the Bolsheviks appointed political commissars to each unit of the Red Army to maintain morale and to ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it had become apparent that a revolutionary army composed of workers would not suffice, Trotsky instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army; the Bolsheviks overcame opposition of rural Russians to Red-Army conscription units by taking hostages and shooting them when necessary in order to force compliance the same practices used by the White Army officers.
The Red Army utilized former Tsarist officers as "military specialists". At the start of the civil war, former Tsarist officers comprised three-quarters of the Red Army officer-corps. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers. While resistance to the Red Guard began on the day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the instinct of one party rule became a catalyst for the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime. A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces aligned against the Communist government, including landowners, conservatives, middle-class citizens, pro-monarchists, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists who still had grievances and democratic reformists voluntarily united only in their opposition to Bolshevik rule, their military forces, bolstered by forced conscriptions and terror as well as foreign influence, under the leadership of General Nikolai Yudenich, Admiral Alexander Kolchak and General Anton Denikin, became known as the White movement and controlled significant parts of the former Russian Empire for most of the war.
A Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno; the Black Army, which counted numerous Jews and Ukrainian peasants in its ranks, played a key part in halting Denikin's White Army offensive towards Moscow during 1919 ejecting White forces from Crimea. The remoteness of the Volga Region, the Ural Region and the Far East was favorable for the anti-Bolshevik forces, the Whites set up a number of organizations in the cities of these regions; some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers' organizations in the cities. The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917, they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik governmen
Polish Land Forces
The Land Forces are a military branch of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. They contain some 65,000 active personnel and form many components of European Union and NATO deployments around the world. Poland's recorded military history stretches back for hundreds of years – since the 10th century, but Poland's modern army was formed after 1918; when Poland regained independence in 1918, it recreated its military which participated in the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921, in the two smaller conflicts. Right after the First World War, Poland had five military districts: Poznań Military District, HQ in Poznań Kraków Military District, HQ in Kraków Łódź Military District, HQ in Łódź Warsaw Military District, HQ in Warsaw Lublin Military District, HQ in Lublin; the Polish land forces as readied for the Polish–Soviet War was made up of soldiers who had served in the various partitioning empires, supported by some international volunteers. There appear to have been a total of around 30 Polish divisions involved.
Boris Savinkov was at the head of an army of 20,000 to 30,000 Russian POWs, was accompanied by Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Zinaida Gippius. The Polish forces grew from 100,000 in 1918 to over 500,000 in early 1920. In August 1920, the Polish army had reached a total strength of 737,767 people. Given Soviet losses, there was rough numerical parity between the two armies. Among the major formations involved on the Polish side were a number of Fronts, including the Lithuanian-Belarusian Front, about seven armies, including the First Polish Army; the German invasion of Poland began on 1 September 1939, the Wehrmacht seized half the country despite heavy Polish resistance. Among the erroneous myths generated by this campaign were accounts of Polish cavalry charging German tanks, which did not, in fact, take place. In the east, the Red Army took the other half of the country in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Following the country's fall, Polish soldiers began regrouping in what was to become the Polish Army in France.
Both the Polish Armed Forces in the West and the Polish Armed Forces in the East, as well as interior forces represented by the Home Army had land forces during the Second World War. While the forces fighting under the Allied banner were supported by the Polish air force and navy, the partisan forces were an exclusive land formation; however the army operational today has its roots in the surrogate force formed in support of Soviet interests during the establishment of the People's Republic of Poland after the Second World War. Two Polish armies, the First Army and the Second Army fought with the Red Army on the Eastern Front, supported by some Polish air force elements; the formation of a Third Army was begun but not completed. The end of the war found the Polish Army in the midst of intense organisational development. Although the implementation of the Polish Front concept was abandoned, new tactical unit and troop types were created; as a result of mobilisation, troop numbers in May 1945 reached 370,000 soldiers, while in September 1945 440,000.
Military districts were organised in liberated areas. The districts exercised direct authority over the units stationed on the territory administered by them. Returning to the country, the Second Army was tasked with the protection of the western border of the state from Jelenia Gora to Kamien Pomorski, on the basis of its headquarters, the staff of the Poznan Military District was created at Poznań; the southern border, from Jelenia Gora to the Użok railway station was occupied by the First Army. Its headquarters staff formed the basis of the Silesian Military District. In mid-1945, after the end of World War II, the Polish Army, as part of the overall armed forces, the People's Army of Poland, was divided into six districts; these were the Warsaw Military District, HQ in Warsaw, the Lublin Military District, HQ in Lublin, the Kraków Military District, HQ in Kraków, the Lodz Military District, HQ in Lodz, the Poznan Military District, HQ in Poznan, the Pomeranian Military District, HQ in Torun and the Silesian Military District, HQ in Katowice, created in the fall of 1945.
In June 1945 the 1st, 3rd and 8th Infantry Divisions were assigned internal security duties, while the 4th Infantry Division was reorganised for the purpose of creating the Internal Security Corps. The rule was that military units were used against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, while the Internal Security Corps was used to fight the armed underground independence; however army units fought the underground resistance, vice versa. The culmination of the UPA suppression operation was the so-called'Wisła Action' which took place in 1947. At the same time demobilisation took place. On 10 August 1945 a "decree of the partial demobilisation" of the armed forces was issued; the next demobilisation phase took place in February and December 1946. One of the most important tasks facing the army after the war was national mine clearance. Between 1944 and 1956 the demining operation involved 44 engineering units or about 19,000 sappers, they cleared mines and other munitions in a cle
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove