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2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

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Old 24 May 2000, 04:14 PM   #1
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Does anyone recall the surrender terms accepted by Lenin and Co. in Jan 1918? Although they did not gain power via popular support, it seems to me that surrender isn't the best way to introduce one's governance to your country. It has been written that Russia was war-weary, so perhaps this move did have popular support. It also may be that Lenin knew what the eventual outcome would be and was just buying time.

At any rate, what did Germany receive in terms of territory and/or concessions from the Soviets? It appears as if the manpower freed up from the eastern front didn't have as much of an effect as the Germans had hoped.

Old 24 May 2000, 06:13 PM   #2
Michael Dailey
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Some of the terms of the treaty of Brest Litovsk:

Russia gives up Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Transcaucasia.. all of these were either incorporated into Germany or became sovereign states under a German protectorate.

The Ukraine was to become an independent republic.

All in all Russia was to give up 750,000 square kilometers of land.

Russia was also to demobilise her army and navy.

The terms, as you can see were quite onerous, but Lenin had little choice as by this time the Russian army had largely demobilised itself.

the figures come from 'The Russian Revolution' by Richard Pipes.


Old 25 May 2000, 03:25 AM   #3
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Interesting enough, most of the terms of Brest-Litovsk are a reality today. Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Esthonia, Poland and Ukraine are independent nations as are some of the other republics of the USSR,

One of the reasons why the freeing of manpower did not play as much as it might have was that the Germans and Austrians kept occupation troops in the East until 1919 in some case and even later in others. Had those million plus troops been called to the West in time for the offense of Spring 1918, it is interesting to consider the possibilities.

Poland and Lithuania as well as Poland and Ukraine fought each other in 1919 and beyond which allowed the reds to get back into a lot of areas Brest -Litovsk had eliminated them.
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Old 25 May 2000, 05:07 AM   #4
Tim Wilson
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Regarding the terms being a "reality," I'd temper that with the realization that the Baltic States were more part of a German protectorate (as has been stated) than truly sovreign. These states were also used as a base by various White Army groups, too, so there was confusion to say the least.

Russia's loss of 15 percent of its territory was also truly onerous, along with the reparations they had to give up in various raw materials.

See John Wheeler-Bennet's _Brest-Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace_ for a really good history of this episode.
Old 26 May 2000, 05:34 AM   #5
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I did not mean to imply that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk wasn't harsh. It was. Germany and Austria, however had more of a fell for what the map of Europe in the east should look like than did the Allies. Please consider Czechoslovakia and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. They no longer exist because the people who were responsible for creating the didn't live there as Austria and germany did. The map of Eastern Europe as created by Brest Litovsk looks a lot more like 2000 than the one promoted by the Allies in 1919. Independent Poland, Lithuania, Esthonia, Latvia, Finland, Ukraine. German protectorates in the Baltic? Sure. That opposed to being subjected to Tsrist Russia must have seemeed refreshing.

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Old 31 May 2000, 04:59 PM   #6
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It is true that before the Great War there was a great export trade of agricultural products from South Russia/Ukraine, but most of these exports travelled from the Black Sea ports in largely British-owned shipping, and railroads in Russia were built to facilitate this trade. So the infrastructure would have presented problems to the extraction of resources for Germany/Austria even had order existed in the area.
Instead, conditions in the area occupied by the Central Powers were chaotic to say the least. In Ukraine a council of social democratic nationalists which had proclaimed independence was chased from Kiev by the Bolsheviks in early 1918. The Reds themselves had to flee the German advance in March after the Ukrainian nationists signed a seperate peace at Brest-Litovsk. This group was itself overthrown by the Germans and a puppet regime set under a former Tsarist general. Meanwhile the countryside swarmed with self-demobilised peasant soldiers returning intent on getting their share of the landlord's estate. Small wonder that very little bread ended up on German tables!
Meanwhile, those soldiers of Hohenzollern and Hapsburg not required to maintain some order in the conquered territories reflected on their likely fate in the battles they faced on the Western Front when their Russian counterparts had established a regime that let them go home. . .


terms, bolshevik, surrender

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