Kornilov Affair

Kornilov was known as a hero after his escape from the Hungarian prisoner of war camp and after his escape he returned to Russia in 1916. He believed that the Petrograd Soviet was responsible for the lack of military discipline. Lavr Kornilov was an Imperial Russia general who was assigned command of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) by the new Provisional Government. His job was the restoration of order and supporter among the troops stationed there this brought him unpopularity in the region. “This attempted putsch was an abysmal failure mainly because of the Soviet’s effective mobilization of workers and soldiers in defense of the revolution. The key defenders were armed workers organized into Red Guards, elements of the Petrograd Garrison, and railroad workers who halted the trains carrying Kornilov’s troops while they were en route to the capital.” (Siegelbaum)

In 1917, the Prime Minister Alexander Kerenski designated Kornilov to become the Commander in Chief of the army. Quickly after Kerenski appointed Kornilov as the Commander and Chief he regretted it because he believed that Kornilov wanted a military dictatorship. Both of these men have mutual lack of trust of each other which causes major problems between them. At the end of August is when Kornilov marched troops into Petetrograd commanding that the government to resign and give control to the Commander in Chief.  

“By August 31, Krymov was dead, having committed suicide, and Kornilov and several associates were under arrest. The main victor in the Kornilov Affair was the radical left, and in particular the Bolsheviks who had long warned of the danger of a counter-revolutionary thrust. Kerenskii’s authority and that of the Provisional Government were severely compromised, and the way now appeared open towards realizing Lenin’s injunction for the soviets to assume ‘all power’.” (Siegelbaum)

There are many different historian opinions about the Kornilov affair. Many believe that the Kornilov affair involved far less scheming and merely arose from a series of misunderstandings. Some struggle that Kornilov’s rebellion attempt was genuine, while others suspect that Kerensky led Kornilov into a trap.

 General Lavr Kornilov 1917

Picture from: http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&show=images&SubjectID=1917kornilov&Year=1917&navi=byYear

Quotes from: Seventeen Moments in Soviet History: http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1917kornilov&Year=1917

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