What Is The Red Army?

The Red Army (Krasnaya Armiya) was the common name for the Russian National Army from 1918 to 1946, known also by the abbreviation RKKA (Workers and Peasants Red Army ). The Red Army was founded in 1918 to defend the Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Republic during the Russian Civil War. On April 22nd, 1918, the Soviet government deemed mandatory military training for workers and peasants that were not employed as temporary workers, and this was the beginning of the workers-peasant Red Army.

The Soviet army was founded during the war (1918-25) by Trotsky as a commissar to save the Bolshevik revolution from the Russian civil war. In its early history, the Russian Imperial Army and Navy became raped after the outbreak of the 1917 Revolution and the Council of People’s Commissars formed the Red Army on a voluntary basis. During the civil war, Trotsky himself lived in an armored train, traveling from one front to another, monitoring progress, meeting officers, and giving rousing speeches to Red Army soldiers.

The Bolsheviks raised the Red Army Workers “and Peasants” (often abbreviated as the Red Army) to oppose the army confederations of various groups known as the White Army, their opponents in the Russian Civil War. Leon Trotsky, War Commissar, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army of Workers and Peasants on March 13, 1918. The Red Army was founded because it was needed to fight the “White Army” in the civil war. Merged with the Polish-Soviet War in 1919-1921, it controlled the Russian Soviet Socialist Federal Republic, which reached as far as Central Poland in 1920, but suffered defeat and ended the war.

On June 12, Mikhail Nikolaevich Tukhachevsky, the first deputy commissioner of the war, and seven other generals of the Red Army were found guilty of conspiring to betray the Soviet Union to Japan and Germany and were shot dead. The effects of the purges manifested themselves during the 1940 Winter War when the Red Army was forced to perform poorly against the smaller Finnish army and during the German invasion of 1941 when German defenders were able to crush Soviet defenders with inexperienced Soviet officers. The effects of the purges were most obvious in the heavy defeats that the Soviet army suffered in the first months of the war when a corps of young commanders emerged to lead the country to victory in World War II.

On February 23rd, 1918, the Soviet Republic announced the Red Army’s first victory over the Germans in the final days of the Russian campaign in the First World War. The Red Army under Erich Wollenberg was founded and trained in the middle of the civil war and built up as a revolutionary defensive force for the world’s first workers’ state. During Stalin’s great purge of Soviet society, the army leadership was purged with the aim of purging the army of unreliable elements and lower officers.

For much of the civil war, political fighting institutions in Partizanshchina (independent local forces in the Red Army who refused to recognize central control) were eliminated by firing guerrilla commanders and disbanding their units. The subordination of the Red Army to the ruling party and the different backgrounds of its commanders deprived its officer corps of autonomy, cohesion, and identity. These weaknesses reinforced its vulnerability to Stalinist purges, and they were reflected in the military defeats suffered by the emerging Soviet state at the beginning of World War II.

After the reorganization of the Red Army following the Finnish war and revision of the commissary system in July 1941, Stalin was faced with the need to make changes in his command. The Soviet plan for post-war reconstruction announced and outlined in Moscow on 22 August 1943 stipulated that nine military schools should train boys between the ages of 8 and 17 to become officers in the army. Leon Trotsky, the war commander, was forced to recruit a large number of soldiers from the old Russian army.

Trotsky countered the problem of a competent and reliable officer corps by mobilizing former officers of the Imperial Army. By the end of the twenties, there were only a handful of officers of the Imperial Army in the corps, and new military schools trained the young recruits. In the end, the Red Army, as it was called, numbered more than 1.1 million officers and men. Access to the schools was limited to those recommended by the Communist Party to ensure that the army would be loyal to future officers. In the years before the Civil War, 50,000 such officers served the Soviet cause. They remained loyal to the cause as political officers, referred to advisers, and were assigned units.

Following the Soviet troops’ defeat and the death of 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet troops in the Battle of Berlin between 16 April and 2 May 1945. The initial anger of 1945 had evaporated, but sadism had become more pronounced. This sense of supremacy persisted, and it was an indirect result of the humiliation of its soldiers at the hands of their commanders and the Soviet authorities as a whole. Each unit had commanders as well as political leaders.

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