Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography

By David Robin Watson | Go to book overview

16

RUSSIAN INTERVENTION
AND VICTORY

I INTERVENTION IN RUSSIA, 1918

Clemenceau's role in Allied deliberations about the Russian question from November 1917 to the armistice must now be dealt with. 112

Ten days before Clemenceau formed his ministry the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd, ousting the provisional government headed by the democratic Socialist Kerensky, who had sought to keep Russia in the war. This meant a grave crisis for the Allies. The Bolshevik slogan, 'Peace, Land, Bread', indicated that they would extricate Russia from the war, if at all possible, and there was plenty of evidence that the Bolsheviks had been financed and aided by the German government precisely with that end in view. Quite apart from the immediate military effects, the possibility that Germany would be able to build a vast empire in the east was a major danger. The strategic reasons for intervention have been obscured by the idea that it represented an attempt by capitalist governments to overthrow a Socialist régime. Modern studies have made the motives of the Allied governments abundantly clear. Clemenceau's views were no different from those of the British and French. Although he had an extreme dislike of Bolshevik economic and political ideas, and of their methods, it was because the Bolshevik revolution led to the withdrawal of Russia from the war that it incurred his detestation. He always talked of it in emotional language, calling it

____________________
112
On Russian intervention, see R. H. Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations 1917-1921, Vol. I, Intervention and the War (1961); J. Bradley, Allied intervention in Russia (1968); G. A. Brinkley, The Volunteer Army and Allied Interventions in South Russia; D. F. Trask, op. cit., pp. 100-29; C. J. Lowe and M. C. Dockrill, op. cit., II, pp. 304-34; F. S. Northedge, The Troubled Giant, Britain among the great powers 1916-1939 (1968), pp. 46-90; G. F. Kennan, Soviet-American Relations 1917‐ 1920, Vol. 2, The Decision to Intervene (1958), and Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin (1961).

-315-

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Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Georges Clemenceau - A Political Biography *
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations *
  • Acknowledgements 11
  • Part One - Childhood, Youth and the Commune I84i-1871 *
  • 1 - Childhood and Youth 15
  • 2 - The Commune 34
  • Part Two - The Radical Attack I87i-1889 *
  • 3 - Challenger from the Left 59
  • 4 - Clemenceau versus Ferry 81
  • 5 - Boulangism 101
  • Part Three - Defeat and Resurgence I889-1906 *
  • 6 - Panama 117
  • 7 - The Dreyfus Affair 138
  • Part Four - The First Ministry I906-1909 *
  • 8 - Minister of the Interior 167
  • 9 - Clemenceau as Premier 183
  • 10 - Clemenceau as Strike-Breaker 200
  • 11 - Foreign Policy 215
  • Part Five - Opposition I909-1917 *
  • 12 - In Opposition before the War 237
  • 13 - Opposition in Wartime 249
  • Part Six - Pere-La-Victoire I9i7-1918 *
  • 14 - Second Ministry: Domestic Politics 275
  • 15 - Military Strategy 293
  • 16 - Russian Intervention and Victory 315
  • Part Seven - The Peace Settlement and after I9i8-1929 *
  • 17 - The Versailles Treaty 331
  • 18 - The Middle East and Russia 366
  • 19 - Domestic Politics and Last Years 380
  • Part Eight - Conclusion *
  • 20 - Conclusion 397
  • Appendices Sources and Bibliography Index *
  • Appendix I 411
  • Appendix II 414
  • Appendix III 416
  • Appendix IV 417
  • Appendix V 424
  • Appendix VI 428
  • Appendix VII 434
  • Sources and Bibliography 438
  • Index 455
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