In Defence of October

Study the lessons of the Russian Revolution

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The Question of the War Ministry

"Manikovsky and Marushevsky are to be arrested immediately."

In view of the fact that General Manikovsky has issued a counter-revolutionary order to the Moscow Military District not to have appointed commanders replaced by elected ones, in view of the fact that General Marushevsky has been conducting negotiations with Dukhonin aimed against the Council and has made a criminal attempt at sabotage during the organisation of a delegation for conducting armistice negotiations,[1]

1) Manikovsky and Marushevsky are to be arrested immediately and not released without the permission of the Council of People’s Commissars[3];

2) a thorough screening of the War Ministry personnel to be started immediately and all unreliable elements among the high command to be discharged;

3) reliable elements from among the commanders of the Lettish rifle regiments to be ordered out at once to Petrograd;

4) one Lettish rifle regiment to be ordered out to Petrograd at once[4];

5) fulfilment of the above measures to be reported daily to the C.P.C.

This decision is not to be published.


[1] The first two paragraphs are in Trotsky’s handwriting.—Ed.

[2] This draft was adopted at a meeting of the C.P.C. on November 19 (December 2), 1917.

[3] After the arrest of General Manikovsky, the general management ’of the War Department was taken over by N. I. Podvoisky, People’s Commissar for Military Affairs, and members of the Com-missariat’s Board B; V. Legran, K. A. Mekhonoshin and E. M. Sklyansky.

On November 30 (December 13) the C.P.C. passed a decision to release Manikovsky and Marushevsky on parole.

[4] On November 25 (December 8), 1917 the 6th Tukum Regiment of Lettish riflemen posted in Valka was ordered to Petrograd, and on November 28 (December 11) it was doing garrison duty in the vicinity of the Smolny and the Taurida Palace.


Source: Marxist Internet Archive.

The February Revolution
Strikes and protests erupt on women's day in Petrograd and develop into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of workers; within 5 days the workers win over the army and bring down the hated and seemingly omnipotent Tsarist Monarchy.
Lenin Returns
Lenin returns to Russia and presents his ‘April Theses’ denouncing the Bourgeois Provisional Government and calling for “All Power to the Soviets!”
The June Days
Following the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the reformist leaders called a demonstration to show the strength of "democracy". 400,000 people attended, the vast majority carried banners with Bolshevik slogans.
The July Days
Spontaneous, armed demonstrations against the Provisional Government erupt in Petrograd. The workers and soldiers are suppressed by force, introducing a period of reaction and making the peaceful development of the revolution impossible.
The Kornilov Affair
Following the July days, the Bolsheviks were driven underground and the forces of reaction were emboldened. This process culminated in the reactionary forces coalescing around General Kornilov, who attempt to march on Petrograd and crush the revolutionary movement in its entirety.
The October Revolution
The Provisional Government is overthrown. State power passes to the Soviets on the morningm of 26th October, after the Bolsheviks’ Military Revolutionary Committee seize the city and the cabinet surrenders.
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