Kunikov wrote: Matt H. wrote:
Btw most of the Red Army Commanders were also former czarist officers.
Approximately 50,000. Including the great General Brusilov.
I'm sure Trotsky, his commissars and their revolvers had something to do with that.
Holding families hostage did indeed persuade many to cooperate
I cannot agree with you. There is a modern Russian researcher Kavtaradze who studied the topic of participation of the former Czar officers (actually not only but Temporary government also). You can find more exact figures of his studies in the Russian speaking web. As far as I remember slightly more then 30% joined the whites, slightly less then 30% joined the reds and about 30% completely ignored the participation in the civil war. a bit less then 50% of the military intellectual elite - officers of the General Staff joined the reds. Most of the officers who joined the whites were not professional and got their ranks after the February Revolution. Famous Czar general Bonch-Bruevich one of the heads of the czar defense security intelligence participated in the subjection of the rebels of some General Staff officers against the reds. And he wrote about that in his memoirs that he was glad that those were not real military elite but the graduators of the Kerenskiy crank up class.
Besides we should not forget that after the February 1917 Revolution the future leaders of the whites seized the power in the Army and in the country. Alekseev became the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Kornilov became the Commander of Petrograd Command so got the supreme military power in the capital in which police forces were dispelled and all prisons wide open. They did not know about the launch of notorious Order No1 but authorized its implementation in the army, so with their authority (Aekseev mostly since Kornilov and Denikin were revolution social climbers) they sponsored the collapse of the army and of the country as a whole. Most of the officers did not forgive them that. We should also keep in mind the purges in the Army under Alekseev command when those who did not agree with the liberals were dispelled.
And when the old army collapsed they announced organization of volunteer white army to continue WW1. Any continuation of the WW1 was a stupid and criminal decision for Russia in those circumstances.
Kolchak supported the Entente reckless adventure to organize anti-German joint Russian-Japanese Eastern front in the Urals. British and French ambassadors sponsored the gathering of officers for that gamble. It actually meant recognition of Japanese occupation of Siberia and German occupation of all Western Russia up to the Urals.
So I can understand why most of officers ignored their attempts.
About the formation of the Red Army. Baron Budberg recalled that he visited the General Staff HQ in Petrograd some time in December 1917. And his colleagues told him that Lenin, Trotskiy and Krylenko (warrant officer and the last Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Old Army) came to the General Staff the day before and ordered them to work out the trends of organization of the new (red) army. Czar General Bonch-Bruevich recalled that Lenin offered him to head the red army but he refused as he was not neither a worker nor a peasant.
The SOVNARCOM (Council of Peoples Commissars) formed the All-Russia Collegiums on Organization of RKKA (red army). The board included Krylenko, Yurenev and N. M. Potapov. The latter was a Czar general and the head of the Czar Military Intelligence who voluntarily joined bolsheviks.
Yes, I agree that Trotskiy used families hostage system but it does not give the full picture.
If we speak about the future fate of those supreme Czar military officers then some of them peacefully died before the Stalin purges (like admiral Altfater the founder of red navy, colonel Kamenev and others) some were purged by Stalin (like brilliant Czar colonel Svechin or general Rackel) but some peacefully died after all the purges (like the above Bonch-Bruevich and Potapov). Czar General Staff colonel Shaposhnikov became one of the supreme Soviet officers and the main Stalin's military advisor.
In 1943 Stalin ordered to form Military Commission or envisaging the terms of the future German capitulation. The Commission included Czar Colonel Shaposhnikov and Czar general count Ignatiev (another intelligence officer) among the others. .