The Russian Civil War, 1918–1921

An Operational-Strategic Sketch of the Red Army’s Combat Operations

The first English translation of an official Soviet history of the Russian Civil War first published in the late 1920s. It has been translated and edited by Richard W. Harrison, who supplied numerous endnotes, mostly of a biographical character, for the non-specialist reader.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Casemate Academic
Editor :
A S Bubnov, S S Kamenev, M N Tukhachevskii, R P Eideman
Contributor(s) :
Richard W Harrison
Illustration :
48 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781952715044
Pages : 552
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The Russian Civil War was one of the most fateful of the 20th century's military conflicts, a bloody three-year struggle whose outcome saw the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime within the former Russian Empire. As such, it commands the attention of the military specialist and layman alike as we mark the one hundredth anniversary of the war's end.

This work is the third volume of the three-volume Soviet official history of the Russian Civil War, which appeared during 1928-1930, just before the imposition of Stalinist orthodoxy. While the preceding volumes focused on the minutiae of the Red Army's organizational development and military art, this volume provides an in-depth description and analysis of the of the civil war's major operations along the numerous fronts, from the North Caucasus, the Don and Volga rivers, the White Sea area, the Baltic States and Ukraine, as well as Siberia and Poland. It also offers a well-argued case for the political reasons behind the Bolsheviks' military strategy and eventual success against their White opponents.

And while it is a certainly a partisan document with a definite political bias, it is at the same time a straightforward military history that manages to avoid many of the hoary myths that later came to dominate the subject. As such, it is easily the most objective account of the struggle to emerge from the Soviet Union before the collapse of the communist system in 1991.

About The Author

Richard W. Harrison earned degrees from Georgetown University, where he specialized in Russian Area Studies. He later earned his doctorate in War Studies from King’s College London. He spent several years living and working in post-communist Russia and has taught Russian History and Military History at the US Military Academy at West Point.

Dr Harrison lives with his family near Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


Translator’s Introduction
1: The External and Internal Political Situation. The Theatres of War
2: The October Period of the Civil War
3: The German Occupation and the Beginning of the Intervention
4: The 1918 Summer and Autumn Campaign on the Southern Front and the Northern Caucasus
5: The German Occupation and Revolution. The Internal Condition of the Sides and the Development of Their Armed Forces
6: The Strategic Plans of the Sides’ Commands for 1919. The Campaign on the Southern and North Caucasus Fronts at the End of 1918. The Beginning of the Struggle on the Ukrainian Front
7: The Civil War in the Baltic States, on the Western Front and the Approaches to Petrograd
8: The 1918–1919 Winter and Spring Campaign on the Eastern Front. The Northern Front
9: The Ufa Operation. The Red Armies’ Forcing of the Urals Range. The Pursuit of the White Armies in Siberia
10: The 1919 Spring and Summer Campaign on the Southern Front
11: The Orel Operation
12: The Pursuit of the Enemy and the Caucasus Front’s Operation
13: The External and Internal Political Situation at the Beginning of 1920. Relations Between Soviet Russia and Poland. The Preparation by Both Sides for Continuing the War
14: The White Poles’ Ukrainian Operation. The Battle of the Berezina. The Red Armies’ Counter Maneuver in Ukraine
15: The General Battle in Belorussia. The Pursuit of the Polish Armies in Belorussia and Ukraine
16: The Preparation of the Operation along the Vistula
17: The Establishment of the Front’s Cooperation
18: The General Battle on the Vistula and Wkra Rivers
19: The 1920 Campaign on the Crimean-Tavria Front
20: Operations along the Lower Dnepr and the Kuban’
21: The Elimination of Wrangel
Appendix: The 1920 Campaign in Bukhara


"...the only work of its kind in English that provides a detailed overview of the conduct of the Russian Civil War and war with Poland from the Soviet perspective. This makes it an essential reference work for anyone trying to understand the flow of those wars on the battlefield. We must be grateful to Richard Harrison for making it accessible to Anglophone readers."

- Michigan War Studies Review

"Harrison’s smooth translation presents a highly readable narrative, reinforced by 66 pages of chapter endnotes that attest to the throughness of the original Russian creators’ research and add to readers’ understanding of this detailed work of a complex subject."

- Over the Front

"This work is very detailed in laying out all the elements of the conflict without blaming anyone for defeats or entering into heroic."

- Roads to the Great War

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