World War One

Jitendar Jitanshu

The Bolsheviks’ distrust of the Czech Legion had been growing for months; they were a well-armed, pro-Allied group slowly spreading their way over Russia’s railroads to the east.  After the Czechs took over Chelyabinsk on May 14 following clashes with former Hungarian PoWs and the local Soviet, the Bolsheviks decided to attempt to take care of the problem permanently.  On May 25, Trotsky ordered that “Every armed Czechoslovak found on the railway is to be shot on the spot.”  This opened what amounted to a war between the Bolsheviks and the Czech Legion, and it was not one the Bolsheviks were well-prepared to fight; their power in the east of Russia thin, at best.  Over the following days, the Czechs quickly seized control of multiple cities: Penza, Vladivostok, and Tomsk, among others, followed by Omsk in early June; Bolshevik power in much of Siberia quickly evaporated.