Why Did the Allied Forces Oppose the Bolsheviks?


Quick Answer

Allied forces opposed the Bolsheviks during the Russian civil war because Allied leaders feared that Bolshevik victory would open the door for a stronger German presence in Eastern Europe. The Allies offered limited aid to the White Army, which opposed the Bolshevik Red Army.

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Full Answer

There was some concern among Allied forces about the ideologies of the Bolsheviks, but the primary issue was that the Russian empire would be weakened or toppled and would no longer be able to support the effort against Germany. Russia was a vital part of the Allied battle against German expansion on the eastern front, and the Allies knew that a civil war would weaken Russia's ability to defend its territory. By 1917, Russia had already experienced devastating losses fighting against Germany, and confidence in its leader, Tsar Nicholas II, had plummeted. When Nicholas II stepped down in March of 1917, it opened the door for the Bolsheviks to step in.

The Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, took power in April of 1917 and immediately vowed to withdraw Russia from conflict against Germany. Despite their interest in suppressing the Bolsheviks, the Allied forces were reluctant to send a heavy military presence against the Red Army and withdrew in 1919. The White Army was also aided by several groups of anti-communist Cossacks. However, the aid was not enough, and the disorganized White Army was defeated in 1921.

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