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Tsardom to Communism
1.1 - The impact of the First World War on Russia
|When did Russia declare war (in the First World War)? On who?
|In August 1914, Russia declared war on Germany and on Austria-Hungary.
|When Russia declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in August 1914, what did this mean for Russia?
|That it was faced with fighting two huge Europe-based empires on what became known as the Eastern Front.
|What was happening on the Western Front (in the First World War)?
|Germany was fighting a range of allies headed by France and Britain.
|How prepared was Russia to fight in the First World War?
|Russia's army was huge (over 6 million men in 1914), but Russia lacked industry and had a system of government that was inefficient and corrupt.
|In Russia, what was it assumed the war would be (as a result of the lack of industry and inefficient and corrupt government)?
|Who was the Minister of War in Russia at the time of the First World War?
|What was Sukhomlinov, the Minister of War, told about arming the soldiers?
|That 6.4 million men had to share 4.6 million rifles.
|As well as Sukhomlinov being told that 6.4 million men had to share 4.6 million rifles, what were the other issues with the Russian army in the First World War?
|Soldiers were to limit themselves to 10 bullets a day. Military uniforms were also in short supply, with many soldiers not being properly equipped with winter uniforms. The army commanders were nobles, often with little relevant military experience.
|To begin with, what was an issue with Russian communication in the First World War?
|To begin with, Russian military orders were not even sent in code and the Germans found it easy to interpret secret messages.
|What happened as a result of the Russian military not sending messages in code at the beginning of the First World War?
|It told Germans of the Russian positions and helped to explain why the Russians suffered military defeats.
|Initially, what was there in Russia that was vital to their war effort (in the First World War)?
|Much patriotism; Russians were fighting to defend their homeland against the Germans and Austrians. Patriotism was often linked with religious fervour, with the priests playing an important role in ensuring support for the war.
|What could Russia sometimes do in the First World War? However, what could they not do?
|Russia could sometimes win victories over Austria-Hungary, but could not achieve the same success against Germany.
|Give an example of Russia being defeated by Germany in the First World War. What happened as a result of it?
|In August and September 1914, Germany defeated Russia at the Battles of Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes. Russia suffered over a million casualties. After this, the German armies advanced deep into Russian territory.
|What did the Tsar decide to do in regards to the First World War? When?
|In 1915, he decided to take over personal control as Commander-in-Chief of the armies.
|What was wrong with the Tsar making himself Commander-in-Chief of the armies in 1915?
|This was potentially disastrous as his indecisive character made him totally unsuitable. Any defeats would be seen as his personal responsibility, and it meant leaving Alexandra (a German princess) in charge at the capital.
|By the time the Tsar left to become Commander-in-Chief of the armies, what was the capital (in which he left Alexandra in charge) called? Why?
|Petrograd, to make it less German-sounding.
|What did the Russians do in 1916 (in regard to the First World War)?
|They launched a major offensive against Austria led by General Brusilov.
|When did the Russians, led by General Brusilov, launch a major offensive against Austria?
|What happened when the Russians, led by General Brusilov, launched a major offensive against Austria in 1916?
|After initial advances, the Russian armies were forced to retreat, and another million Russians were killed or wounded. By the end of 1916, the Russian army was totally demoralised and near mutiny; some soldiers deserting their posts.