WWI. THE RUSSIAN FRONT IN 1917

Did the Russian provisional government do better than the Russian Empire in WW1?

When in power, the Russian Provisional Government issued specific decrees which effectively hamstrung and paralyzed the country’s war efforts:
1) The military command was made subject to the elections. i.e. soldiers elected their commanders and voted whether or not they wanted to go into battle.
2) Capital punishment for military crimes was abolished.

These measures virtually paralyzed the Russian Army in the war which could and should have been won by the summer of 1917, and in February 1918 the war was lost without a single defeat on the battlefields, as a result. Though by that time there was neither the Russian Empire nor the Democratic Republic of Russia in place on the world map so that to do the job. There was no way that a Russian Army soldier would be willing to die for those men he never heard about versus the Tsar he had taken an oath: ‘For Faith, the Tsar, and the Fatherland.’

The hardships notwithstanding, by 1917 the Russian Empire had successfully mobilized all its resources and was winning the war on all fronts, as a result. By March 1917, the Russian Army had defeated the Austro-Hungarian forces (1916 Summer Offensive) and was closing on Constantinople (Istanbul). Facing the Russian army’s mounting onslaught, the German armies assumed defensive posture on the Russian fronts for lack of both materiel and personnel resources: following the Great Retreat of 1915, not a single square inch was captured in the subsequent campaign. The Keiser Germany stood no chances to win the war against the fully mobilized Russian Empire, and all people in the need to know knew that damn well. WWI could and should have been finished by May 1917 had it not been for the Coup staged in Russia by the Entente to deny Russia the victory spoils, which was equivalent to a defeat in terms of the British strategies.

Shortly before, during the Entente Conference, the representatives of the Allied Powers challenged the Tsar of Russia and required that he had his country’s governance regime changed and handed over his power and authority to the so-called “Governance Organ.”* Nicholas II rejected and dismissed the claims as wrongful and inappropriate:

*1. The onboarding of Allied representatives with the right to a decisive vote into the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. / “The onboarding of Allied representatives is superfluous, for I do not intend to introduce my own representatives into the Allied armies, with the right to a decisive vote.”

(2) Renewal of the Command Staff of all the armies in accordance with the guidelines from the Allies / “Also unnecessary. My armies fight with greater success than those of my Allies.”

3. Institution of a constitution with a responsible ministry./ “The act of internal administration is subject to the Monarch’s discretion and does not require the instructions of the Allies.”

Britain’s Ambassador to Russia and British Military Intelligence Service officers had been most intimately involved in the March 1917 Coup D’etat which essentially led to the October Revolution.

“Two roads lie before you, sir, and you must choose which one to take. The first will lead you to victory and glorious peace, the second to revolution and disaster. Allow me, your majesty, to implore you to choose the first road.” (Buchanan D.)

“I thank you for what you have said, Mr. Ambassador […] You warn me against the danger of the work of German agents as if working almost in contact with my ministers for the destruction of Russia and to the detriment of my Throne and people. The existence of German spies infiltrating Russia is out of the question. We do not have them. This is a malicious slander of the Russian people by those who are looking for an excuse to do harm to Russia, not shy in choosing the vilest means. But what does indeed take place, and what I know, is that your house is a place of assembly of persons clearly hostile to the State and to Me. Do not object. This labor is utterly vain […] What would the King of England say if My ambassador, Count Benckendorff, were to turn the Imperial Embassy in London into the headquarters of conspirators against England? If,” I will say, “Benckendorff had dared to enter into such communications with the enemies of the Royal authority and the English people by opening the embassy doors to meetings of such, I would have immediately recalled the Count as a person unworthy of being My representative and bearing the title of Count. Make no excuses. I know even more than you suspect…” (“Buchanan’s Visit to Sovereign Nicholas II.”)

Eventually, all members of the Provisional government safely fled the country and lived happily in the ‘New World’ to write their wartime stories as did Alexander Kerensky, for example. They also arrested the Tsar of Russia and sent the Family to Tobolsk to make sure they would get murdered, as it happened on 17 July 1918. The Government of Britain refused to provide asylum since their WWI objectives also included the destruction of Russia both as a Rival Empire and as a country. They wanted him killed lest he remembered the details of the agreements Britain and France had reached with the Russian Empire under Nicholas II in 1915.*

*P. P. Zavarzin, Major-General of the St. Petersburg Police Department, testifies: “The political crisis in Russia in February 1917 was provoked by liberals to overthrow tsarism. Its organizer was the financial-industrial oligarchy, whose goal was to seize power in Russia under the slogans of introducing a constitution and establishing a “people’s government”. The task of this coup was to lead the Russian Empire out of the First World War without the gains it had achieved and without the solution of the Eastern Question promised by the Entente” (Zavarzin P.P. Gendarmes and revolutionaries: Memoirs, Paris, 1930). (The “Eastern Question” refers to the Black Sea straits, which the Allies promised Russia as “the main prize” for participation in the world war.)

P.S. Russia’s Bolshevik Party held 3 out of 6 Congresses in London under the watchful eye of the British Police. Sure enough, they must have known the purposes and objectives of the terrorist organization that Britain was providing asylum and protection before the 1917 Revolutions. British Intelligence Service was involved in the murder of Rasputin (no matter what we may think of him) and which was the first warning shot.

On his part, Nicholas II planned to launch a strategic offensive in the Spring of 1917 which would have incapacitated Ottoman Turkey and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and “The Great War” would have been finished in May 1917. Seeing Imperial Russia with Tsar Nicholas II as a Victor was unacceptable to France, Britain, and the Wall Street bankers. Nicholas II and his family were destined to die during the Revolution; therefore, the Provisional Government sent them from Petrograd to Siberia. The Great War continued another 18 months claiming millions of lives more.

History Writer, WWII