Orlando Figes Quotes (Author of A Peoples Tragedy)
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Russia entered the first world war with the largest army in the world, standing at 1,, soldiers; when fully mobilized the Russian army expanded to over 5,, soldiers though at the outset of war Russia could not arm all its soldiers, having a supply of 4. Though Tsar Nicholas wished to lead the Russian Army into battle personally, he was persuaded otherwise and instead named his uncle, the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich, Commander in Chief. After weeks of loses, the remaining German Eighth Army led by Ludendorf , left their defensive positions and marched between the advanced positions of both Russian armies. Within four days of fighting, bogged down in lakes and swamps, the Russian Second Army was defeated. Samsonov shot himself.
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By the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forced to give up its territorial gains from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This discontent strengthened the cause of the Bolsheviks, a radical socialist group led by Vladimir Lenin that was working to harness opposition to the czar and turn it into a sweeping revolution that would begin in Russia and later, he hoped, spread to the rest of the world. The February Revolution broke out in early March or February, according to the Julian calendar, which the Russians used at the time ; Nicholas abdicated later that month. In early November, aided by the Russian military, they were successful. An armistice was reached in early December and a formal cease-fire was declared December 15, but determining the terms of peace between Russia and the Central Powers proved to be far more complicated.