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100 Years ago....

Kronstadt rebels crushed by Trotsky

Mar 17, 1921

Trotsky, acclaimed by the sailors of Kronstadt as their revolutionary leader in those heady months of 1917, today ordered a picked Red Army force to storm the naval base and crush an inti-Bolshevik insurrection by those same soldiers.

After an artillery bombardment, the Bolshevik troops, with white sheets over their uniforms, advanced across the frozen bay, to be met by a storm of fire from the sailors. The ice broke and wave after wave of white-sheeted attackers perished in the freezing sea.

The sailors, most of whom are country boys, have been demanding better treatment for peasants and free elections to city soviets. But Trotsky called them "blinded" and acted before the spring thaw would have enabled the base to get supplies from friendly Baltic countries. The sailors were finally crushed after a night-long battle in a blizzard. Many fled to Finland, where the American Red Cross is feeding them.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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