The Red Army’s “Perm Catastrophe” and Iron Felix’s Terror Strategy Development

Ilia Ratkovsky

Abstract


The article examines the circumstances of the “Perm catastrophe” in 1918. The author focuses on the consequences of the military defeat of the Third Red Army at Perm, revealing the main role of Ya. M. Sverdlov in F. E. Dzerzhinsky and Stalin’s secondment to Vyatka. The result of this trip was the strengthening of Yakov Sverdlov’s position, an important circumstance being Felix Dzerzhinsky’s replacement by Yakov Peters. The article reveals the role of Joseph Stalin and Felix Dzerzhinsky in the investigation of the “Perm catastrophe in 1918” and their work in Vyatka and Glazov. In addition to arrests, they carried out numerous mobilization activities in the region which led to the stabilization of the Eastern Front. White terror in Perm Region had a great impact on Felix Dzerzhinsky’s radicalization of attitudes. First of all, it was his attitude to the officers that changed, with him regarding officers as the main threat to the Soviet system. It resulted in his frequent orders to execute former army officers during his time as Chairman of the Cheka (Emergency Committee).


Keywords


1918; F. E. Dzerzhinsky; J. V. Stalin; Ya.M. Sverdlov; Ya. Kh. Peters; “Perm catastrophe”; white terror

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2016.2.161

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