MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Events



Czeckoslovak Insurrection of 1918

A counter-revolutionary revolt of the Czechoslovak Army Corps organised by the Entente imperialists with the active participation of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries.

The Czechoslovak Corps was formed in Russia prior to the Great October Socialist Revolution from Czech and Slovak prison-ers of war. After the establishment of Soviet power in Russia the president of the Czechoslovak National Council, Tom‡i Masaryk, proclaimed the Corps part of the French army, and representatives of the Entente raised the question of its evacuation to France. The Soviet Government agreed to send it to France through Vladivostok on the condition that it surrendered its arms. But the counter-revolutionary commanders of the Corps violated the agreement with the Soviet Government and at the end of May 1918 began an insur-rection against Soviet power. The governments of the U.S.A., Britain and France supported the insurrection. French officers took part in it openly. Acting in close contact with the whiteguards and kulaks, the Czechoslovak Corps seized a large part of the Urals, the Volga area and Siberia, everywhere restoring bourgeois rule. Whiteguard governments were formed in the occupied dis-tricts, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries participating—the so-called Siberian Government in Omsk, the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly in Samara and others.

Soon after the outbreak of the insurrection, on June 11, the Cen-tral Executive Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist groups in Russia issued an appeal to the soldiers of the Corps in which it exposed the counter-revolutionary nature of the insurrection and called upon Czech and Slovak workers and peasants to suppress the revolt and to enrol in the Czechoslovak units of the Red Army. About 12,000 Czech and Slovak soldiers fought in the ranks of the Red Army.

In autumn 1918 the Red Army liberated the Volga area. The Czechoslovak revolt was finally suppressed in 1919 when the Kolchak revolt was crushed.