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Military attaché to the Russian Imperial Army

The book featured here was written by a major-general in the British Army, who was a military attaché to the Russian Imperial Army in the First World War. His perspective is conservative, viewing the Bolshevik coup d’état as the work of ‘a handful of fanatics’ who had managed to convince the masses that their dreams would be fulfilled.

His insights into maintaining the momentum of revolutionary zeal, a problem that has hindered many revolutionary movements, are notable, however, and are explored in his observations on the activities of Red Army troops at the end of 1917.

One day the guard on the Winter Palace broke into the Imperial Cellars and got drunk. The orgy here lasted several days, successive guards, after much shooting, arresting their predecessors, only to get drunk in turn themselves.

Following the flooding of the cellars to stop this practice,

“The freest army in the world” turned its attention to private cellars … the Left Press wrote that this cellar-looting was the result of bourgeois propaganda, which was of course nonsense. It was simply the result of removing all control from armed men, of continuing to feed them, and of giving them nothing to do.

Temporary Executive Committee of the Executive Duma, including its leader Kerensky, and soldiers in the Liteini Prospekt in St Petersburg, with text on facing pageTemporary Executive Committee of the Executive Duma, including its leader Kerensky, and soldiers in the Liteini Prospekt in St PetersburgThe images reproduced here show members of the ‘Temporary Executive Committee of the Executive Duma’, including its leader Kerensky, meeting in the period between the two revolutions; and soldiers in the Liteini Prospekt in St Petersburg.

The text on the facing page documents some of the mutual suspicion, disinformation and propaganda spread between Russian and German troops, as it became clear that the Russian Revolution would see the end of Russia’s involvement in the First World War, and that Germany would have the upper hand in negotiations, as a yet undefeated power.

In this exhibition


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