Essays on the History of the Civil War of 1917-1920


Essays on the History of the Civil War of 1917-1920 is an early history of the civil war that followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The book was written by Anatolii Anishev, a researcher at the Tolmachev Military-Political Academy in Leningrad (present-day Saint Petersburg), and published in Leningrad in 1925. In his introduction, Anishev notes that archival sources relating to the war were in poor condition and that almost no monographs existed. This forced him to rely on articles in White Russian magazines and newspapers, which were biased and unreliable. Many documents produced by the revolutionary side were also biased and overly optimistic. In view of these limitations, Anishev states that his goal is to provide a framework for a more authoritative history to be written in the future. He focuses on highlighting what he sees as the four main stages of the revolution and its aftermath. Stage one, October 1917–March 1918, was marked by the Bolshevik overthrow of the government, formation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russian participation in World War I. Stage two, April–May 1918, saw the emergence of counterrevolution in the south and the offensive by the Czechoslovak legion that swept away Bolshevik control in large parts of Russia. Stage three, June–November 1918, was the high point of war communism, as the alliance of the proletariat and the peasants struggled against the counterrevolution and as starvation spread in the villages. Stage four, November 1918–spring 1920, was marked by the fight of the proletariat, in alliance with the serednyaks (middle-income peasants), against counterrevolution led by the landlords. This final stage saw the elimination of three key White Russian commanders: Admiral Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak, who had established a dictatorial reactionary government in Siberia and who was executed; and Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich and Anton Ivanovich Denikin, White Russian generals who fled Russia and went into exile. The book is preserved in the State Public Historical Library of Russia.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Government Press


Title in Original Language

Очерки истории гражданской войны 1917-1920 гг.

Type of Item

Physical Description

288 pages

Last updated: November 14, 2017