Question by Vanilla.: Can someone explain what exactly happened during the October Revolution in Russia in year 1917?
I’m doing a history paper; the websites all have different information, and it’s very confusing :/ Please help!
Answers and Views:
Answer by Spellbound
The October Revolution was a much more organised affair than the February Revolution. Lenin had learnt his lessons well.
The aborted Bolshevik takeover in July of that year had taught him the need to act swiftly and what targets to attack. The Bolsheviks had also stepped up their political campaigns within the Army and amongst the workers of Petrograd, Moscow and other major cities across the Empire. Lenin said on the night of the October Revolution that the moment may slip away from them unless they acted decisively and acted now. He ordered the Milrevkom (the Military Revolutionary Committee) of the Petrograd Soviet to take control of the central post office (vital for telegraph / telephone and postal communications), key police stations and key junctions in the city – then he ordered the Provisional Government’s headquarters – the Winter Palace – to be stormed.
The main events leading up to he seizure of power by the Bolsheviks:
The April these – Lenin outlines his aims and a programme for the Bolsheviks to take power.
The July Days – 3rd – 7th July. Strikes in Petrograd cripple the city. The Bolsheviks try to impose their leadership on the strikes. The strikes are brutally put down – Lenin goes into hiding, many Bolsheviks arrested.
The Kornilov Affair Late August early September – General Lavr Kornilov, the commander-in-chief of the army attempts to march an army to Petrograd. The Provisional Government release the Bolsheviks and ask Lenin and the Bolshevik Red Guards to help prevent the attempted coup; the Red Guard were given arms by the government. Kornilov is seen off as his cossacks desert him.
September & October – strikes in much of the country, especially in the important industrial areas: Petrograd, the Donbas, Moscow, Baku and the Urals. Peasant uprisings increasing, and becoming increasingly violent, with manor houses burnt and their occupants lynched.
Bolshevik agitation increases – they are leading the strikes, taking over the key posts on many soviets, and, in the army and navy, their influence is getting stronger – especially in the island fortress of Kronshstadt. By October, many garrisons issue proclamations saying that they do not recognise the authority of the Provisional Government.
October 25th 9:45pm – the Battleship Aurora, stationed in Petrograd, fires a single blank shot. This is the signal that Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko has been waiting for – he leads his men to the Winter Palace – the home of the Provisional Government. The palace is guarded by a women’s’ battalion, some cadets and some cossacks. By 2am, with very little bloodshed they had secured the building – the Provisional Government fled – and the next day Lenin took office as the Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, the new, Bolshevik, head of government.
The October Revolution by Roy Medvedev
The Russian Revolution by Sheila Fitzpatrick
Read all the answers in the comments.
Give your own answer to this question!