U.S. Government Newsreel: Japanese Relocation

Milton Eisenhower (narrator) When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, our
west coast became a potential combat zone. Living in that zone were more than 100,000
persons of Japanese ancestry. Two-thirds of them American citizens. One-third aliens.
We knew that some among them were potentially dangerous. No one knew what would happen among
this concentrated population if Japanese forces should try to invade our shores.
Military authorities therefore determined that all of them, citizens and aliens alike,
would have to move. This picture tells how the mass migration
was accomplished. Neither the Army nor the War Relocation Authority relish the idea of
taking men, women and children from their homes, their shops and their farms. So the
military and civilian agencies alike determined to do the job as a democracy should – with
real consideration for the people involved. First attention was given to the problems
of sabotage and espionage. Now, here at San Francisco for example, convoys were being
made up within sight of possible Axis agents. There were more Japanese in Los Angeles than
in any other area. In nearby San Pedro, houses and hotels occupied almost exclusively by
Japanese were within a stone’s throw of a Naval airbase, shipyards, oil wells. Japanese
fishermen had every opportunity to watch the movement of our ships. Japanese farmers
were living close to vital aircraft plants. So, in the first step, all Japanese were required
to move from critical areas such as these. But of course, this limited evacuation was
a solution to only part of the problem. The larger problem – the uncertainty of what
would happen among these people in case of a Japanese invasion – still remained. That
is why the commanding general of the Western Defense Command determined that all Japanese
within the coastal area should move inland. Immediately, the Army began mapping evacuation
areas and, for a time, encouraged the Japanese to leave voluntarily. The trouble for the
voluntary evacuees soon threatened in their new locations. So the program was quickly
put on a planned and protected basis. Thereafter, the American citizen Japanese and Japanese aliens
made plans in accordance with Army orders. Notices were posted. All persons of Japanese
descent were required to register. They gathered in their own churches and schools, and the
Japanese themselves cheerfully handled the enormous paperwork involved in the migration.
Civilian physicians made preliminary medical examinations. Government agencies helped in
a hundred ways. They helped the evacuees find tenants for their farms. They helped businessmen
lease, sell, or store their property. Now this aid was financed by the government,
but quick disposal of property often involved financial sacrifice for the evacuees. Now the actual migration got underway. The
Army provided fleets of vans to transport household belongings, and buses to move the
people to assembly centers. The evacuees cooperated whole-heartedly. The many loyal among them
felt that this was a sacrifice they could make in behalf of America’s war effort. In small towns as well as large, up and down
the coast, the moving continued. Behind them they left shops and homes
they had occupied for many years. [background music] Their fishing fleets were impounded and left
under guard. Now they were taken to race tracks and fairgrounds
where the Army almost overnight had built assembly centers. They lived here until new
pioneer communities could be completed on federally owned lands in the interior. Santa
Anita racetrack, for example, suddenly became a community of about 17,000 persons. The Army
provided housing and plenty of healthful nourishing food for all.
The residents of the new community set about developing a way of life as nearly normal
as possible. They held church services – Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist.
They issued their own newspaper, organized nursery schools, and some made camouflage
nets for the United States Army. Meanwhile, in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming,
and elsewhere, quarters were being built where they would have an opportunity to work and
more space in which to live. When word came that these new homes were ready, the final
movement began. [background music] At each relocation center, the evacuees were
met by an advance contingent of Japanese who had arrived some days earlier and who now acted
as guides. Naturally the newcomers looked about with some curiosity. They were in a
new area, on land that was raw, untamed, but full of opportunity. Here they would build
schools, educate their children, reclaim the desert. Their own physicians took precautions to guard
against epidemics. They opened advanced Americanization classes for college students, who in turn
would instruct other groups. They made a rough beginning at self government.
For awhile the Army would guard the outer limits of each area. Community life and security
within were largely up to the Japanese themselves. They immediately saw the need for developing
civic leaders. At weekly community meetings citations were given to the block leaders
who had worked most diligently. Special emphasis was put on the health and care
of these American children of Japanese descent. [background music] Their parents, most of whom are American citizens
and their grandparents, who are aliens, immediately wanted to go to work. At Manzanar they built
a lathe house and began rooting guayle cuttings. The plants, when mature, will add
to our rubber supply. At Parker, they undertook the irrigation of
fertile desert lands. Meanwhile, in areas away from the coast and
under appropriate safeguards, many were permitted to enter private employment, particularly
to work in sugar beet fields where labor was badly needed. Now, this brief picture is actually the prologue
to a story that has yet to be told. The full story will begin to unfold when the raw lands
of the desert turn green, when all adult hands are at productive work on public lands or
in private employment. It will be fully told only when circumstances permit the loyal American
citizens once again to enjoy the freedom we in this country cherish, and when the disloyal,
we hope, have left this country for good. In the mean time, we are setting a standard
for the rest of the world in the treatment of people who may have loyalties to an enemy
nation. We are protecting ourselves without violating the principles of Christian decency.
And we won’t change this fundamental decency no matter what our enemies do. But of course,
we hope most earnestly that our example will influence the Axis powers in their treatment
of Americans who fall into their hands.

What is Lightning Lab GovTech? Enabling Rapid Innovation in Government

What we’ve actually got is we have a GovTech accelerator running right now across the street. So Brett is gonna take
us there and we’re gonna go check it out. Alright, so this is Johnny. Kia Ora Jacob, welcome to Lightning Lab
GovTech, come on in ae. So this is our space here in Wellington for
Lightning Lab Govtech 2018. We’ve got 12 teams working out of here
the next three months which we’re pretty excited about. So we’ve got four themes
here at Lightning Lab GovTech and all of the core projects fit loosely into one of those themes the first one is looking at social. So how do we look after people in
New Zealand who are most vulnerable. Second is our environment really important. Third element is looking at the community and making sure that our
community is inclusive and no one sort of gets left behind and the fourth area
we’re looking at is Digital Inclusion. and can we meet one of the teams. Yeah course. We’re part of BFC Digital and we are from Ministry of Social Development and our focus for this project is focusing on people in financial trouble and providing access for them to our products and services that are currently avaliable. Going to get financial help for the first time is a bit like going to the
dentist. You leave it too late and it’s got to be really hurting before you go. We’re here at Lightning Lab GovTech to maybe think up solutions to make it easier for people to connect. So in closing the Lightning Lab GovTech
is about building a better public sector in New Zealand. We think we’re in a
really unique spot to lead this space globally and what we’re doing here at Lightning Lab GovTech is about creating better faster and stronger public sector. Through doing breakthrough innovation. You want to find out more check out www.llgovtech.co.nz.

Murphy’s Law Enforcement Music Video

When you’re rolling down the highway with a hot cappuccino and then you swerve and almost spill it
on your new pair of chinos, you’re like “Whoa! That was close, man
these khakis are primo.” And while you’re feelin’ kinda lucky
you might hit the casino Hold up, wait a minute,
now it’s on! First we’re here, then we’re there
now we’re gone! You have the right to remain silent and blah blah blah Here’s some piping hot justice, for breakin’ Murphy’s Law. Let’s say you throw a birthday party for your five-year-old daughter, and then you stand in the vicinity beside her piñata. Well, section seven Murphy’s Law clearly says that you gotta take a hard smack to the sack, heh, nutta’! Hold up, wait a minute, now it’s on! First we’re here then we’re there now we’re gone! When it should’ve gone wrong but it turns out a’ight, you’re breakin’ Murphy’s Law and we’re here to wrong the right, sucka! Perhaps you’re living in an alley in the clutches of poverty, find a hundred dollar bill that might as well be the lottery. Well, according to Murphy, you know it’s gotta be novelty, but the bill is legitimate and your eyes get all watery. Hold up, wait a minute, now it’s on! First we’re here, then we’re there, now we’re gone! Put your hands up in the air and step away from the bill. If it can go wrong, we’re making sure it will! Ahem! Now, did I just witness destruction of US curency? What?!

Political Participation in the Digital Age

Well when we conducted our surveys
right before and after the 2016 presidential election, we were
really interested in finding out who were the most politically
engaged active social media users around political issues. We were
surprised to find that it wasn’t just centered around millennials,
it was 34 percent Baby Boomers being extremely active. Not surprisingly,
a lot of our sample that were extremely engaged were female, and out of
the three percent of our sample that were transgender, they were
three times as likely to be labeled as extremely engaged, which is
really interesting and a testament to the social issues that were
involved in this election. We also found out that the extremely
engaged social media users were not only active online, but they were
engaged with their in-person networks, their friends, family, colleagues,
talking about and sharing about election results and facts and
figures and so that was really interesting for us to learn about.

Charles Ferguson on Nixon: “He didn’t have to do any of this stuff”

Well, the scandal began with the discovery
and arrest of five men in business suits carrying a great deal of cash and a lot of electronics
in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972. But the investigation, initially, of that
burglary and bugging operation turned into an investigation both by law enforcement and,
very importantly, by two journalists, two young crime reporters at The Washington Post
— turned into an investigation of what became, what was unveiled to be, a far wider effort
on the part of the Nixon administration to undermine the Democratic Party and Nixon’s
Democratic opponents in the 1972 election. Now, let’s talk about this, because that
1972 election, he won by a landslide. This was by no means a squeaker. That’s absolutely true. And most people agree that, in fact, he didn’t
have to do any of this stuff in order to win. But he did it anyway. Paranoid. Yes. He was — Richard Nixon was an angry, troubled
man. And he saw enemies everywhere, including where
they didn’t really exist. So, explain what the Watergate break-in was. Well, the break-in had been ordered and authorized
by the former attorney general of the United States, John Mitchell, who had resigned as
attorney general in order to manage Nixon’s re-election campaign. Called? Yes, a very ironic name: the Committee to
Re-elect the President, abbreviated as CREEP. Yes, one couldn’t make that up. So, he’s CREEP’s chief. Yes. And he and several other high-level people
at the Committee to Re-elect the President, acting under constant pressure from Nixon
and his chief aides, started a wide-ranging campaign to investigate and undermine the
Democrats. And, in fact, there were multiple operations,
some managed through the White House, some managed by personal friends of Nixon, some
managed by the re-election campaign, to do many different things. There were infiltrators who were secretly
reporting on what Democratic candidates were doing. Nixon’s strongest potential rival in the
election was Maine Senator Edmund Muskie. Muskie’s driver was secretly on the payroll
of the Nixon campaign and copied and reported documents, records, plans, etc. And there were dozens of such operations,
dozens of them, many of which were eventually revealed after the burglars were caught in
June of 1972. And how does this relate to the Bay of Pigs? Well, the burglars were primarily Cuban Americans who had been recruited by a couple of former CIA agents who had worked with them in regard to the Bay of Pigs and other operations against Castro’s Cuba. And the burglars, in fact, were extremely
honorable, patriotic men who thought that they were doing something for their country
and for their president, and didn’t understand exactly why they had been ordered to do these

Five things Trump and Republicans have blamed for inaction on guns

-I think both Republican
and Democrat are getting close
to a bill on doing something
on background checks. -There’s also been
some discussion about background checks. That’s an issue that’s been
around for a while. There’s a bipartisan bill
in the Senate. -I spoke to Mitch McConnell
yesterday. He’s totally onboard. Congress is looking at it
very strongly, bipartisan. I put in certain parameters,
which you somewhat know about. People don’t realize: We have very strong
background checks right now. -Do you support either
of the House bills that were passed over this year? -Well, I’m not gonna
get into that. -We’ll see if something
can happen, but we would certainly like
to see that happen. Yes. -Will you get backlash
from the NRA, sir? -Maybe, maybe.
It’s alright. -You don’t mind that?
-We have to do what’s right. No.
We’re gonna do what’s right. -Until the White House
gives us some indication of what the president’s
willing to sign, we’re waiting to see
what it looks like. -It depends on whether or not the Democrats
wanna take your guns away. -I wanna know what
the president supports. It’s not unimportant
to my members. -We’re told that your Justice
Department, a couple weeks ago, gave you
a package, legislative package. You might move on it Thursday.
What are you gonna do? -No, we’re not moving
on anything. We’re going very slowly,
in one way, ’cause we wanna
make sure it’s right. Part of the problem that we have
is because of Beto O’Rourke’s statement
about takin’ away guns. Nancy Pelosi is not interested
in guns and gun protection
and gun safety. They’re gonna tie up
our country. We can’t talk about
gun regulation. We can’t talk about anything.

Alabama Democratic Party


Louisville Democratic Party Headquarters vandalized with political graffiti


The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard

Slavery, the treatment of human beings as property,
deprived of personal rights, has occurred in many forms
throughout the world. But one institution stands out for
both its global scale and its lasting legacy. The Atlantic slave trade, occurring from the late 15th
to the mid 19th century and spanning three continents, forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans
to the Americas. The impact it would leave affected
not only these slaves and their descendants, but the economies and histories
of large parts of the world. There had been centuries of contact
between Europe and Africa via the Mediterranean. But the Atlantic slave trade
began in the late 1400s with Portuguese colonies in West Africa, and Spanish settlement
of the Americas shortly after. The crops grown in the new colonies,
sugar cane, tobacco, and cotton, were labor intensive, and there were not enough settlers
or indentured servants to cultivate all the new land. American Natives were enslaved,
but many died from new diseases, while others effectively resisted. And so to meet the massive
demand for labor, the Europeans looked to Africa. African slavery had existed
for centuries in various forms. Some slaves were indentured servants, with a limited term
and the chance to buy one’s freedom. Others were more like European serfs. In some societies, slaves could
be part of a master’s family, own land, and even rise
to positions of power. But when white captains came offering
manufactured goods, weapons, and rum for slaves, African kings and merchants
had little reason to hesitate. They viewed the people they sold
not as fellow Africans but criminals, debtors,
or prisoners of war from rival tribes. By selling them, kings enriched
their own realms, and strengthened them
against neighboring enemies. African kingdoms prospered
from the slave trade, but meeting the European’s massive demand
created intense competition. Slavery replaced other criminal sentences, and capturing slaves
became a motivation for war, rather than its result. To defend themselves from slave raids, neighboring kingdoms
needed European firearms, which they also bought with slaves. The slave trade had become an arms race, altering societies and economies
across the continent. As for the slaves themselves,
they faced unimaginable brutality. After being marched
to slave forts on the coast, shaved to prevent lice, and branded, they were loaded onto ships
bound for the Americas. About 20% of them
would never see land again. Most captains of the day
were tight packers, cramming as many men
as possible below deck. While the lack of sanitation
caused many to die of disease, and others were thrown
overboard for being sick, or as discipline, the captain’s ensured their profits
by cutting off slave’s ears as proof of purchase. Some captives took matters
into their own hands. Many inland Africans
had never seen whites before, and thought them to be cannibals, constantly taking people away
and returning for more. Afraid of being eaten,
or just to avoid further suffering, they committed suicide
or starved themselves, believing that in death,
their souls would return home. Those who survived
were completley dehumanized, treated as mere cargo. Women and children were kept above deck
and abused by the crew, while the men were made to perform dances in order to keep them exercised
and curb rebellion. What happened to those Africans
who reached the New World and how the legacy of slavery
still affects their descendants today is fairly well known. But what is not often discussed is the effect that the Atlantic slave trade
had on Africa’s future. Not only did the continent lose
tens of millions of its able-bodied population, but because most of the slaves
taken were men, the long-term demographic
effect was even greater. When the slave trade was finally
outlawed in the Americas and Europe, the African kingdoms whose economies
it had come to dominate collapsed, leaving them open
to conquest and colonization. And the increased competition
and influx of European weapons fueled warfare and instability
that continues to this day. The Atlantic slave trade also contributed
to the development of racist ideology. Most African slavery had no deeper reason
than legal punishment or intertribal warfare, but the Europeans
who preached a universal religion, and who had long ago
outlawed enslaving fellow Christians, needed justification for a practice so obviously at odds
with their ideals of equality. So they claimed that
Africans were biologically inferior and destined to be slaves, making great efforts
to justify this theory. Thus, slavery in Europe and the Americas
acquired a racial basis, making it impossible for slaves
and their future descendants to attain equal status in society. In all of these ways, the Atlantic slave trade
was an injustice on a massive scale whose impact has continued
long after its abolition.

The Russian Civil War in Early 1919 I THE GREAT WAR

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for sponsoring our episode. It’s spring 1919, and though peace is being
discussed in Paris, the vast expanses of revolutionary Russia are burning. Counter-revolutionary forces are about to
launch an attack on the Bolshevik heartland, small nations are arming themselves for independence,
and the Allies attempt to intervene: eto grazhdanskaya voina v rossii – it’s the Russian Civil
War. Hi, I’m Jesse Alexander and welcome to the
Great War. The civil war raging in the lands of the old
Russian empire in the early months of 1919 was without doubt the biggest conflict in
the aftermath of the First World War. Actually, it was more like several wars going
on at once, because the fighting involved numerous factions: there were revolutionary
Bolsheviks, counter-revolutionaries, independence movements, foreign forces, and peasant uprisings. And not all of them were Russian. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
might have said it best when he wrote: “Russia was a jungle in which no one could say what
was within a few yards of him.” (Lloyd George, 326-327) Let’s start to make sense of this conflict
by asking ourselves this question: how did Russia get be such a mess in the first place? After the October Revolution of 1917, the
Bolsheviks were able to spread out quickly from their base in the main industrial cities
of European Russia. The chaos and disorder meant there was little
resistance to this “triumphal march of Soviet power” (Mawdsley, 14-18 online): The Imperial
army was disintegrating, and the aristocracy had fled. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin even
announced to the Moscow Soviet in April 1918: “It can be said with certainty that, in
the main, the civil war has ended.” (Mawdsley, 21-22). Well, Lenin couldn’t have been more wrong. The forces of the Central Powers advanced
that spring, occupying the western part of the empire. The famous Czech Legion , made up of some
55,000 former Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war, mutinied and turned on the Bolsheviks,
cutting most of Eastern Russia off from Bolshevik power (Volkov). The Allies also decided to intervene, and
sent some 30,000 British, French, American and Japanese troops into the country, in the
far north around the town of ArchAngelsk and in the far east at Vladivostok. The forces of the counter-revolution, led
by former Tsarist generals, began to organize with Allied help. Fierce fighting took place, especially in
the south and east, along the railway lines in what was known as the eshelOnaya voina,
or train war. As 1918 ended and 1919 began, the Civil War
entered a new and more intense phase with the Allied defeat of the Central Powers. German and Austrian troops began to pull out
of the territories they had occupied for most of the year: the Baltics, Poland, Belarus,
Ukraine, and the Caucasus, many of whose people wanted independence. In other parts of the country, the counter-revolutionary
forces were now ready to take the offensive against the Red Army. That was a little refresher of 1918. Now, let’s take a closer look the different
factions at the start of 1919 so we can see just who is fighting whom, and why. Let’s start with some familiar faces, the
Allies. In early 1919, the British, French, Japanese
and Americans had a dilemma on their hands. In theory, now that the Germans were out of
Russia, they had a free hand, but in practice they weren’t quite sure what to do. They had intervened in 1918 to deny the Germans
material and strategic advantages, to support the counter-revolutionaries, and to protect
their economic interests – but now their people wanted peace, and their soldiers did not see
the point of remaining in a foreign and dangerous country once the Great War had been won. But they also desperately wanted to stop the
revolution from spreading and argued among themselves at the Paris Peace Conference about
how best this could be achieved. French General Ferdinand Foch and British
Minister Winston Churchill supported full-scale military intervention – as Churchill put
it, ”After having defeated all the tigers and lions I don’t like to be defeated by
baboons.” But Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Wilson were
not keen on putting more blood and treasure into the Russian mess. They had bigger fish to fry with the Peace
Conference, the establishment of the League of Nations, demobilizing their armies, and
new borders in Central Europe (Leonhard, 504, 508). In the words of Lloyd George: “I would rather
leave Russia Bolshevik until she sees her way out of it than see Britain bankrupt. And that is the surest road to Bolshevism
in Britain.” (Mawdsley, 130). The French, who were worried about recovering
the money they’d lent to Russia before the revolution, did send an intervention force
to southern Ukraine in late 1918 . But other than Foch they preferred a more indirect strategy
of supporting the smaller countries of Central Europe as a so-called cordon sanitaire, a
preventive bulwark stopping the Bolshevik revolution from spreading west. Wilson was also wary, and wrote that “to
be dragged further into the Russian chaos would be fatal.” (Leonhard, 719). The Allies made some attempts at diplomacy
in early 1919 but these failed because none of the warring parties wanted to negotiate,
and the Allies refused to recognize the Bolshevik government. Their approach shifted to an indirect war
against Bolshevism. They would support those fighting the Bolsheviks
but also began a slow withdrawal of their troops starting in the spring of 1919. So much for the Allies who weren’t particularly
sure how to engage but were sure that they didn’t like the prospect of a Bolshevik
Russia. Let’s turn our attention to the Russian
factions. Thankfully, they’re colour-coded, which
makes it a bit easier to sort out. We’ll start with the red faction, the Bolsheviks. Their objective was to consolidate the revolution
and re-establish control over the vastness of the empire that had fallen to pieces . They
also wanted to spread the revolution abroad, especially to Germany . To further this goal,
they founded the 3rd Communist International in March , which most Communist Parties of
Europe attended. This ideological fervour made them many enemies
but allowed them to produce coherent and targeted propaganda. The centres of Bolshevik power were the big
industrial cities in European Russia with large populations of factory workers, like
Moscow and Petrograd. They did have some support among minority
groups and in cities in other parts of the country, but in early 1919 they depended on
the traditional Russian heartland – on March 5 they even moved the capital from Petrograd
to Moscow, which was farther away from enemy troops. In the central zone they controlled, the Bolsheviks
attempted to impose what they called War Communism. This was a policy which saw them forcibly
take food from peasants to feed the hungry Red Army and city workers. They also tried to organize, centralize, and
nationalize the economy and ownership of land and industry. The peasants, who made up the majority of
the population, did not take kindly to these policies and resisted. The Bolsheviks responded by launching what
became known as the Red Terror, to impose control by force of arms. The secret police, known as the Cheka and
led by Felix Dzerzhinsky, tortured and killed thousands of peasants, especially wealthier
kulaki, and middle class “bourgeois”, and regularly took hostages to ensure delivery
of food or labour . Lenin wanted this done so “the people will see, tremble, know,
shout: they [the Bolsheviks] are strangling and will strangle the bloodsucker kulaks.” (Gerwarth, 82). They also set up thousands of prisoner and
labour camps, in addition to running over 21,000 prisons (Mawdsley, 190-191). Unsurprisingly, these atrocities turned much
of the population against them. So, although the Reds dominated the Russian
heartland, most of the important industrial areas and a population of 60 million people,
conditions were still chaotic and their control over the vital food-producing countryside
was fragile at best in the face of fierce peasant resistance (Mawdsley 146, Peeling). The most significant counter-revolutionary
forces were those of the Whites. They were a military-nationalist movement
started by former Tsarist Chief of Staff General Alekseev (who died in 1918), and their members
came mostly from the old officer class of the Imperial Army . They believed in Mother
Russia and abhorred the Bolsheviks – and though they wished for a return to the old
order, if not the Tsar, they lacked clarity of vision and coordination. The Whites faced all sorts of challenges in
their quest to turn back the Red tide of revolution. For one thing, the areas they controlled in
early 1919 were remote and underdeveloped, and they struggled to coordinate their actions
. General Denikin was in command of the Volunteer Army and allied Cossack forces in the North
Caucasus and South Russia. In the East, Admiral Kolchak squashed a fledgling
All-Russian parliament that had been set up in part thanks to the protection of the Czech
Legion, and assumed dictatorial powers from his new capital in the Siberian city of Omsk. In the Arctic, White forces were small, under
direct British influence, and would not play a decisive role in the fighting to come. All three of the White zones were sparsely
populated and had very few factories, which would make raising and equipping armies extremely
difficult. But the Whites had help, in the form of the
Allied intervention forces. Allied troops were present in the same zones
as the Whites, although only in the north did they see significant action against the
Red Army. Once the leftover stocks of weapons and ammunition
ran out towards the end of 1918, the White armies would be supplied by the Allies, especially
the British. Throughout 1919, they would supply the Whites
in the East with as many weapons and ammunition as the entire Soviet zone was able to produce,
allowing the former Tsarist generals to continue the fight (Mawdsley 144). In the South, the British also sent a military
mission to train White troops, and shipped 60 tanks and aircraft manned by British crews
who actually did see combat. (Mawdsley 167). Despite this advantage, White leaders could
not coordinate their military and political goals with each other, or with the Allies,
who were often not even aware of White plans. As Great Russian nationalists, they also had
rocky relations with various minority groups, including the Cossacks fighting alongside
them. And since they were military men, they lacked
expertise and focus on establishing a functional civilian administration and economy. They were missing a vital ingredient that
the Bolsheviks and the regionalists had: a clear and coherent vision they could bring
to the people through propaganda. Their propaganda emphasized the Bolshevik
evil and associated the revolution with the Jewish religion , drawing on previously-existing
anti-Semitism and justifying it as revenge for the Red Terror (Figes, 676-677). As one White put it after the war, “They
shouted ‘Death to the bourgeois.’ And we replied ‘Death to the Yids.’” (Figes, 677). The Whites engaged in a White Terror of their
own, killing and torturing those suspected of Red sympathies. Jews were especially targeted, and though
Polish, Red Army and particularly Ukrainian troops participated, many of the pogroms which
killed between 150,00 and 300,000 people were carried out by White units. (Sumpf, Figes 677, Figes 679, Smele 160) So, on one side we had the red Bolsheviks
that controlled the industrial centers and tried to establish their power through violence
and terror. Their main opponents, the Whites were spread
throughout the vastness of Russia and couldn’t agree on much more than that they wanted to
get rid of the Bolsheviks – through violence and terror. Now, there were some other colourful factions
as well – the Greens were various peasant groups who rose up and revolted against the
Bolsheviks, and the Blacks were an anarchist army based in eastern Ukraine . But, we will
get to them in a future episode because they definitely deserve a closer look. Our final group of factions doesn’t have
a colour. They’re the smaller peoples on the western
edge of the empire who were attempting to form new, independent states. The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania, along with Belarus, Ukraine, and Poland had all declared independence in the
chaos of 1918 and were still fighting to maintain it. The fledgling nations rushed to recruit armies
and establish their borders in the face of hostility from the Bolsheviks, the Whites,
and sometimes each other. The Baltic states were too weak to take on
the Red Army on their own and they relied on outside help, whether from the Finns , remaining
German forces, Freikorps units , or the British Navy in the Baltic Sea (Mawdsley, 122). Others, like the Poles and the Ukrainians,
would end up fighting the Reds mostly on their own. It’s important to note that some people
from these areas, especially from the towns, fought on the Bolshevik side as well, the
most famous being the Latvian Riflemen. To further muddy the waters, the Reds also
set up Socialist governments in each region which were competing with the independence
movements. Alright, so by early 1919 the Russian Civil
War is mostly a war between Reds and the Whites in different regions of the former Russian
Empire, while at the same time smaller nations are trying to establish themselves along the
old border zone between Germany, Austria-Hungariy, and Russia. Now that we have an idea of who was doing
the fighting, let’s take a moment to look at how they fought. The Russian Civil War was not an easy war
to fight. All sides had to deal with huge distances
, poor transportation and communication networks , and a completely wrecked economy. Russia had been absolutely devastated by revolution,
occupation by the Central Powers , and civil war in 1917 and 1918. Industrial production was a fraction of what
it had been during the war, and food was extremely scarce. So scarce that zoo animals were eaten in Petrograd
and in Armenia, the pre-war goat population of around 1 million fell to just 6000 (Figes,
604, Gattrell, 234). Remember the goats. Actual combat was also a little different
than in the Great War . Because of the distances involved, railways were critical for the entire
course of the civil war, and armoured trains were used to project power between the isolated
cities . And just to clarify a popular misconception here: Fighting armoured trains under these
circumstances was not trivial , you couldn’t just blow up the tracks and ambush the train
like in a movie. The railroad wasn’t just your enemy’s
supply route, it was your own side’s supply route once you’d taken out their armoured
train. Tactics also evolved throughout the conflict,
and eventually trains were accompanied by supporting infantry and mounted escorts. Unlike the Western Front, cavalry was quite
important in the wide open spaces, and a horse-drawn machine-gun cart known as the tachAnka became
an common source of mobile firepower. There were only a few tanks and airplanes
which the British and French provided to the Whites. In early 1919, the White troops were better
trained and equipped than the Reds, but fewer in number – and they were very officer-heavy. By February the Red Army, under the direction
of War Commissar Leon Trotsky, had grown to half a million men , but many of these were
recently conscripted and poorly trained peasants (Mawdsley, 123). The Reds also struggled to impose a command
structure and discipline, and to integrate former Tsarist officers and political instructors,
known as commissars, into their ranks. Both armies suffered from constant desertions
and fluctuations in morale. Alright, now that we have an idea of the kind
of warfare being waged on the battlefields of the Russian Civil War, let’s look at
how the fighting played out in early 1919. In the North, there were bitter small-scale
skirmishes we reported on in the last episode. The terrain, weather and only a handful of
railway lines made military operations extremely difficult. The Allied forces fought directly against
the Red Army and actually commanded White troops, which was not the case elsewhere even
though Bolshevik propaganda claimed otherwise. The main battles between Whites and Reds would
take place in the South and East though, so let’s turn our attention there. In southern Russia, Cossack forces of the
Don Host and Kuban People’s Republic allied to the Whites overstretched themselves attempting
to take the city of Tsaritsyn (today’s Volgograd) and were routed by Red troops. Their lands would now be subject to a particular
form of Red Terror known razkazAchivanie or de-cossackization, meant to stamp out Cossack
cultural identity and will to fight. This defeat led to a united Cossack and White
command, called the Armed Forces of Southern Russia. Even further south in the Caucasus, the Whites
launched a major offensive against a Red Army that was suffering badly from typhus. The Reds could barely supply their troops
via camel caravan from Astrakhan, some 500km away. Though outnumbered three to one and lacking
supplies themselves, the Whites smashed the Reds, capturing the cities of Grozny, Vladikavkaz
and Piatigorsk. As it would turn out, this was the biggest
single White victory of the war . Two entire Red armies of 150,000 men were destroyed and
about 50,000 prisoners taken . (Mawdsley, 161) After the crushing defeat, Trotsky summed
up the state of the Red Army in the south: “A swollen army, really a horde rather than
an army, has clashed with Denikin’s properly-organized troops and in a few weeks has been reduced
to dust.” (Mawdsley 162) These numbers give us an idea of the scale
of the fighting, which compares to some battles of the Great War. Now, we are going to look East where the Whites
were also fighting as I mentioned earlier. In the East, the White Admiral Kolchak’s
army was in good position to launch an attack westwards. In December 1918 his troops had defeated the
Red Army and took the key city of Perm. The Bolsheviks sent one Joseph Stalin to investigate
the disaster, and he reported that the retreat had been “an absolutely disorderly flight
of an utterly routed and completely demoralized army.” Only 1/3 of the Red troops made it to the
new front line, and there were many desertions. Kolchak therefore sought to make use of his
advantage and attacked again in March, towards the city of Ufa and the Volga river. This would allow him to threaten the Bolshevik
centre of power, and give him better access to new recruits, railway lines, and food sources. (Mawdsley 141)
On this front the Whites actually outnumbered the Reds, but the White troops were inexperienced
and young, and the Red Army had large reserves in its rear and an advantage in artillery. (Mawdsley, 146). At first, the White offensive sliced through
the Red Army and sent it reeling on a retreat of hundreds of kilometres to the West – but
ultimately the offensive came to an end short of its objectives and the Volga remained out
of reach. So, we have skirmishing in the north, both
Red and White victories in the south, and a White advance in the East. Now let’s have a look at the situation in
what had been Western Russia. The retreat of German and Austrian troops
after the November 11 armistice seemed to present a golden opportunity for the Bolsheviks. They were now felt they could strike down
the local independence movements and carry the revolution into Europe as they dreamed
. So despite the weakness of the Red Army, they went over to the attack in January. The Bolsheviks were met by troops loyal to
the new republics , and foreign forces supporting them. In the Baltic, the Red Army first advanced
but then was stopped and partly thrown back by local forces with the assistance of Finnish
and German Freikorps troops, including the famous Eiserne or Iron Division, plus British
naval support. In February, fighting was particularly heavy
as the Reds were halted outside the new Lithuanian capital of Kaunas. Polish and Bolshevik forces also clashed,
at Bereza Kartuska. Each side was advancing into the gap left
by retreating German forces who had kept them apart until now. These skirmishes marked the beginning of a
full-scale Polish-Soviet war, which we will cover in more depth in the future. In Ukraine, Symon Petlura’s Ukrainian People’s
Republic and the allied West Ukrainian People’s Republic had little outside help. French troops based in Odessa and White forces
in the region did not have good relations with the Ukrainians, and neither did the neighbouring
Poles, who also laid claim to the city of Lviv, known as Lwow in Polish. The Ukrainians were driven back and lost their
capital, Kyiv, to the Reds in February. Caught between the advancing Red Army and
rival Poles, in early 1919 the future of independent Ukraine looked grim. To sum it all up, by the late winter of 1919,
the Allied-supported Whites seemed well-established in the south and east, the Reds were stalled
in the west, and the revolution’s outcome was still in doubt. Lenin himself proclaimed: “Our situation
has never been so dangerous as it is now. The imperialists were busy amongst themselves. But now one of the groups has been wiped out
by the group of the English, French, and the Americans. They consider their main task to be to smother
world Bolshevism, to smother its main center, the Russian Soviet Republic.” (Mawdsley, 127) The Allies certainly did want
to defeat Bolshevism, but ultimately it was the clash between Reds and Whites that would
determine Russia’s fate. Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into the
“Russian” Civil Wars, it’s time for our Roundup segment where we take a look at
what else is going on in February 1919. Let’s start in Paris at the Peace Conference,
where on the 7th Italian delegates published a memorandum claiming full recognition of
the terms of the Treaty of London of 1915, which awarded them former Austrian territory,
plus the city of Fiume. The treaty presented a problem for the Allies,
who wanted to give some of the land promised to Italy to the new Yugoslav kingdom – this
would soon turn into one of the most difficult questions of the conference, especially as
the Yugoslavs proposed an extension of their borders on the 18th (Leonhard, 736). On the 13th Japan proposed a racial equality
clause during the League of Nations discussions , but this was rejected after opposition from
the United States and Australia (Leonhard, 693). A French proposal for a League of Nations
Army was also defeated. The next day, Wilson presented the draft text
of the covenant of the League of Nations, which had been prepared in just two weeks. He the left for home to shore up domestic
support in Congress. On the 19th, a French anarchist attempted
to assassinate French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, who survived despite being shot. Turning to other news, on February 6th the
new German Parliament met in the city of Weimar, since Berlin was considered too unstable . The
Majority Social Democrats had won the recent election, while the Independent Social Democrats
suffered a resounding defeat. On the 8th, French General Franchet d’Esperey
joined the Allied occupation forces in Constantinople, and two days later, the city was divided into
British, French, and Italian zones. On the 16th, the new republic of German Austria
went to the polls, which resulted in the election of a Social Democratic government that would
struggle with the borders conflicts to the east with Hungary, and to the south with Yugoslavia
and Italy. And finally, on February 19th, an American
delegation led by William Bullitt went to Moscow to meet the Bolsheviks to discuss pre-war
debt repayment and diplomatic relations. Nothing would come of the mission as the Bolsheviks
refused to repay the debts and Wilson refused to recognize the Bolshevik regime (Leonhard,
719). Those were some of the main developments in
Paris and across Europe in February 1919 – we can already see that just a few weeks into
the Peace Conference the road to a settlement on which all could agree was murky indeed. Alright, two of my main sources for this episode
were Evan Mawdsley’s “The Russian Civil War” and Orlando Figes “A People’s Tragedy”. You can find all our sources for this episode
in the video description, including links to amazon. If you buy through these links, we do get
a small commission which helps support the channel, and of course you can also support
us on Patreon which gets you access to our Patreon Podcast and other perks. We’ve also got some new merchandise available
so give our store a look. I’m Jesse Alexander and this is The Great
War 1919, a production of Real Time History and the only Youtube history channel that
can see more than a few yards in the Russian jungle.