Evaluate the role of Leon Trotsky in Bolshevik success in the period 1917-1924.

2345 Words Feb 28th, 2007 10 Pages
Leon Trotsky played a very significant role in the Bolshevik success in the period 1917-1924. According to A.J Koutsoukis , 'his contributions in the years 1917 to 1924 had been second, if not equal to that of Lenin himself. Trotsky played a significant role in establishing Bolshevik control in Russia. He was also very instrumental and one of the reasons for the Red Army winning the civil war. Trotsky was regarded by his supporters as the saviour for his country for his efforts in organising the Red Army during the Civil War. According to historian E.H Carr , 'Trotsky was a great administrator, great intellectual, and a great orator...' but at times was overbearing and lead to his eventual downfall.

Leon Trotsky had a leading role in the
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An army had to be organised supplied and led effectively. As leader of the Supreme Military Council, Trotsky was able to repair the Red army from an undisciplined volunteer force without officers, into a regular army with conscription and severe discipline imposed by former imperial officers, and even those soldiers within the army. Trotsky undertook to conjure an army of noticeable void. The armed forces of the old regime had vanished, and the number of men was extremely low, and unimpressive. From slender beginnings grew the Red Army which, after two and a half years, had five million men under arms. He introduced a regime of Terror, and he created policies for within the army that included 'Anyone who incites anybody to retreat, to desert, or to not fulfil orders will be shot'.

Former officers or 'military specialists' of the Czar regime were invited by Trotsky to act as instructors. Political commissars were appointed to these 'military specialists' to ensure loyalty. As a result of this strict regime, Trotsky was able to create a united force, capable of defeating the disorganised 'white forces', and thus subduing a possible threat to the new communist government. Due to the leadership of Trotsky, the Red Armies were victorious over the Whites. The White Army could never gain the support of the peasantry, but they could have done this by reallocating the land, something which the Bolsheviks had always talked about, "Peace, Bread,
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