The Military Writings of

Leon Trotsky

Volume 1, 1918

How the Revolution Armed

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These writings were first published in 1923 by the Soviet Government. They were translated by Brian Pearce. Annotation is by Brian Pearce. Footnotes are from the original Russian edition. Transcribed for the Trotsky Internet Archive, now a subarchive of the Marxists’ Internet Archive, by David Walters in 1996 with permission from Index Books/Trade Union Printing Services, 28 Charlotte St, London, W1P 1HJ.


Introduction to the on-line version

This five volume collection of Leon Trotsky’s military writings are a major contribution to Revolutionary Marxism. Trotsky was Commissar of Military and Navel Affairs for the newly formed Soviet Republic. In this capacitiy he lead the organization of the Red Army and Navy. This workers’ and peasants’ army, the first regular army of a workers’ state, was to immediately face its first conflict with Imperialism and it’s Russian representatives in 1918. The five volumes represents the sum total of Trotsky’s articles, essays, lectures and polemics as the leader of the Red Army. Some of the writings here were given at Red Army academies, at Bolshevik Party meetings and at national and local soviets. These writing represent official Soviet policy in general and Bolshevik Party positions specifically. All the writings represent Trotsky’s thoughts in reaction to the events as they were transpiring around him from 1918 through 1922: war, revolution, counter-revolution, all without the calm reflection a historian, for example, would have enjoyed in writing about such events with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. These are the writings of a revolutionary under the actual gunfire of counter-revolution, often times written on the armored train Trotsky used to command the Red Army during various campaigns of the Civil War.

This on-line version consists of everything available from the printed Russian and English editions with the exception of the color maps showing the various stages of the Civil War, which were to fine in detail reproduce for the World Wide Web. I have tried to keep chapters under 130k to facilitate downloading from the Web. Each chapter listed under the table of contents below is followed by the size of each chapter in parenthesies. – David Walters


1. Author’s Preface: Through Five Years (13.6k)

2. Introduction: The Path of the Red Army (31.9k)

The Spring of 1918

Organizing the Red Army

The Military Specialists and the Red Army

30. The Communist Party and the Red Army (39.7k):

The Civil War in the RSFSR in 1918

31. The First Acts of Intervention by the Allies (27.6k):

32. The Czechoslovak Mutiny (69.2k):

33. The Fight for Kazan (76.3k):

34. The Revolt of the Left SRs, July 6-8 1918, in Moscow (124.8k):

35. The Red Army in the Civil War (128.9k)

36. On Various Subjects (En Route) (34.3k)

37. The Civil War in the RSFSR and the International Revolution (110.1k)

38. Chronology of the Most Important Military Events (18.1k)

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Last updated on: 20.12.2006