Petrograd 1917


Map Code: Ax01064

Events in Petrograd in 1917 had the benefit of a full-dress rehearsal. In 1905, a series of famines and military humiliation in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05) led to revolution, including the first emergence of the Petrograd Soviet. By the fourth year of World War I, the same catalysts were in place to a heightened degree. On March 8, 1917 (February 23 according to the Julian calendar, then being used in Russia), a general strike spread from the Putilov factory; the garrison ordered to suppress the revolt changed sides, and the tsar, forced to abdicate, was placed under house arrest. In the resultant vacuum, a hastily formed provisional government vied with the Petrograd Soviet (formed of radical representatives of soldiers and workers). The provisional government led by Alexander Kerensky, faced an attempted counter-coup by General Kornilov, the new Armed Forces Commander: it was repulsed only through the intervention of the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky. Wresting control of the Soviet, the Bolsheviks seized the Winter Palace and took over the government.

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