1917 LA ROTTA DEGLI ALLEATI (17)

   

Kerensky, minister of justice for the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the Romanov dynasty, assumed the additional responsibility of minister of war in May 1917. To understand the scope of his new role, the minister set off for the war zone to review the troops and assess their potential for continuing the war. His first stop was at Kamenez-Podolsk where he consulted with the commander of the Southwest Front, General Alexei Brusilov. Together they motored from one end of the front to the other...The officers whom Kerensky met were lumped into three categories: the majority who were confused and unable to lead, a minority who were sabotaging the revolution, and a smaller group who knew how to approach and lead the revolutionary soldier. Kerensky attended many of the political meetings with the soldiers. At one such meeting, while waiting his turn to speak he realized that what the army needed was inspiration. Slogans! When it came time for him to speak he was ready. From the stage he called out to the soldiers(2), "Forward to the battle for freedom" and "I summon you not to feast but to death"(3). Thunderous applause! The slogans had had an effect but Kerensky knew that the battlefront was not the place to begin campaigns of indoctrination. Something more radical had to be done...On 29 June 1917, the Russian army was better prepared than at any time during the war for an offensive. The two main thrusts of the attack were to be on the north and south of the Southwestern Front. In the north, the Eleventh Army was to attack the Austro-Hungarian Second Army at its hinge with the Sdarme. In the south, the Eighth Army was to assault the juncture of the Austro-Hungarian Third and Seventh Armies. While these two operations were going on the Russian Seventh Army would frontally assault the Sdarme with the intention of keeping it from reinforcing their ally either to the north or the south. Although the entire front was nearly 200 kilometers long, the foci were less than 50 kilometers each. Along the whole front Brusilov's staff had arranged 40 infantry and 8 cavalry divisions, mostly of Finnish, Siberian, and Caucasian origins, along with 800 light, 158 medium, and 370 heavy guns(13). Opposing the Russian hordes were 26 infantry divisions, one cavalry brigade, and 988 guns of which only 60 were of a heavy caliber(14). Most of the Russian artillery had recently arrived from Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok and had either Japanese or English markings. Along with the cannon had come more than enough shells both from the allies and Russian factories. Small arms too were in abundance as a result of American and Japanese shipments
....Il 14 maggio il Soviet di Pietrogrado vota ancora per il governo di coalizione. Il 16 arriva Trotsky (dal Canad, ove si trovava internato) e avanti al Soviet fa con un discorso di adesione totale alla politica di Lenin, che il 17 in una lettera aperta al Congresso dei Contadini aveva incitato alla guerra spietata contro la borghesia imperialista e i "social-compromessisti" che la affiancano. Viene formato il governo di coalizione, col socialrivoluzionario di destra Kerensky ministro della giustizia e della guerra. Questi il 20 giugno ordina l'offensiva: Mentre il 19 luglio l'offensiva al fronte fallisce e i tedeschi irrompono a Tarnopol saccheggiandola, scoppia a Pietrogrado l'insurrezione armata, sebbene i bolscevichi tentino di rinviarla. Lenin e Zinoviev sono braccati dalla polizia di Kerensky, divenuto primo ministro, come agenti tedeschi. Molti capi bolscevichi, tra cui Trotsky, vengono arrestati. Il partito ad opera di Stalin nasconde Lenin. E iniziata la terza rivoluzione russa.

   

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