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Trotsky, Leon


Subject History » Military History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631168485.1994.x


(1879–1940) Trotsky was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein of Jewish parents in the southern Ukraine. Trotsky attended school in Odessa and in Nikolaev, where he became involved in revolutionary activities. Imprisoned in 1898 for these efforts, Trotsky became a Marxist while incarcerated. Exiled to Siberia in 1900, he escaped and subsequently fled abroad to London. There he joined Lenin and other Russian revolutionaries in producing Iskra , the Russian Marxist newspaper. When the Russian Social Democratic Party split into Bolshevik and Menshevik wings, Trotsky chose the latter, a move that separated him from Lenin until 1917. Trotsky returned to Russia during the revolution of 1905, where he was arrested and exiled to Siberia for life as a result of his activities. Trotsky again escaped, and spent the next seven years mostly in Vienna. He covered the Balkan Wars in 1912–13 as a war correspondent, an occupation that he took up again during the First World War. In 1916, the French authorities expelled him for his anti-war activities, and Trotsky fled to America. In 1917, he returned to Russia, where he played a major role in the Bolshevik revolution, temporarily patching up his relations with Lenin. Trotsky was responsible for the negotiations with the Germans that led to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. At this point, Trotsky was made Commissar for War, and was the man who founded the Red ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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