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I think that there was another side to this story. My Russian history professor explained in class that there was a go-between from Kerensky to Kornilov and vice versa who pretty much just screwed things up. He says that Kerensky thought Kornilov wanted to take over the government via a military coup, but Kornilov thought that Kerensky wanted to establish another form of co-leadership government. There was a misunderstanding, which led to Kornilov being thrown out of the government.
There absolutely is another side to this story. See Dr. Pipes of Harvard's "The Russian REvolution" 440-464
Pipes is hardly someone to consult on historical matters. Apart from being an advisor to the Reagan Administration his books are so fiercely anti-Lenin and anti-Communist they are almost propaganda. --Rob Langford 17:27, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
The quote from Richard Pipes should be removed or at least be complemented with a quote from another historian's view on the matter; as there certainly is evidence that Kornilov was planning to remove the Provisional Government and impose military role. Also a special Commission of Enquiry into the Kornilov Affair in 1917 cleared Kerensky of any complicity (not that that's proof he was innocent of any wrongdoing, but highlights the fact that him being behind the whole thing is far but a proven point.
Pipes is an ultra-Conservative politican above all else, not a historian, so his views should always be taken with a pinch of salt. --Kadaveri 10:34, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I have been taught that Kornilov aimed to seize power from the Provisional Government and set up a strong military/dictatorship like government to put down all the Revolution talk. Now I read this arcticle and it's very different and I've got very mixed feelings towards this all. Tis a shame we learn about history when we can't even get it right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 05:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Richard Pipes is certainly an ultra-conservative politician, but his work as a historian is very careful and backed by hard evidence. As a Russian history scholar myself, I believe this version is reasonably accurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 05:47, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Kadaveri, Pipes is no historian, and he barely even counts as a politician. Pipes is nothing more than a walking piece of Cold War propaganda.... and a dickhead as well. I hate him very muchly. Anyway, what I think if Pipes doesn't matter- the point is that there is disagreement over exactly what happened, and Pipes' opinion is stated here as fact. I have added a 'disclaimer' of sorts above it, simply to let readers know that, as Kadaveri said, Pipes should be taken with a grain of salt, which IMHO should remain until someone can provide another historian, preferably not biased by the cold war (someone like Figes maybe). Removing the quote altogether may be a little extreme, but its current position, standing alone without any indication that it may not be 100% fact, seems irresponsible to me, for the sake of readers who take whatever they read as gospel.126.96.36.199 07:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I also feel the Pipe quote should be removed. Its content is questionable and it seems entirely out of place at the end of this article. Why end on such a strongly one sided argument? Also might I say I feel this article should be entirely restructured, stumbling onto it, I was shocked to find such a massive wall of text. Surly headings and so forth could be used to break up the text. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 23:20, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
The Kornilov affair is best understood as a consequence of the Provisional Government's decision to remain in World War One. If they had signed a peace with Germany as Lenin did a year later, and if the army had accepted this decision to leave the war (which is debatable, since many officers like Kornilov were enthusiatic about continuing the war), then the Kerensky's Right faction of the Social Revolutionaries could have decreed a prompt land reform and the break up of the large estates. Because the Provisional Government chose to go on with the war, they couldn't afford to decree such a land reform as they knew this would lead to the abandonment of the army by peasant soldiers who would attempt to go back to their village and claim their own parcel of land off of the big estates. But the army began disintegrating anyway, and this was something which could only be halted by getting out of the war right away.
Kornilov first began by hanging deserters from the army. This makes sense from the point of view of seeking to hold an army together for waging war. But as Peter Kenez points out:
... the General had no understanding whatever of the political difficulties the Provisional Government had to face. A gradual, unannounced return to the pre-revolutionary military order was not enough for him; instead he wanted a radical elimination of the revolutionary reforms in the army. The sudden national prominence, even the hero worship, which he came to enjoy from some circles strongly influenced his behavior...
Not even Kornilov's apologists claim that their hero had an understanding of politics and a coherent political program. Denikin wrote:
"He, the stern and straightforward soldier, deeply patriotic, untried in politics, knowing little of men, hypnotized both by truth and flattery, and by a general longing expectation of someone's coming, moved by a fervent desire for deeds of sacrifice--he truly believed in the predestined nature of his appointment."
There was no dearth of people to advise the general in political matters. In the group of adventurers who took advantage of his political naivete, the most notorious was V. S. Zavoiko, an ex-marshal of the nobility, who continued to play a significant role in Kornilov's entourage during the Civil War. It was Zavoiko who composed Kornilov's orders, manifestoes, and even correspondence; he had a florid style, which the General for some reason greatly admired...
It is not unlikely that in the weeks before the first conspiratorial move, the Commander-in-Chief had made up his mind that it was necessary to suppress the Bolshevik Party, and since he hardly discriminated between the socialist majority of the Soviets and Lenin's party, he wanted to disperse the Soviets too... Lukomskii quotes Kornilov in his memoirs:
"It is time to put an end to this. It is time to hang the German agents and spies, with Lenin at their head, disperse the Council of Workmen and Soldiers' Deputies and scatter them far and wide, so that they should never be able to come together again! ... But now is not the time to speak of it to anyone, for Mr. Kerenskii and especially Mr. Chernov will not consent to my plan, and all will be spoiled..."
... Since Lukomskii was a major participant in the plot it is likely that he wanted Kornilov to appear in the best light. Therefore one reads with skepticism of Kornilov's intention of leaving the Provisional Government alone after the success of the coup... There is evidence that in fact the Stavka was planning the murder of Kerenskii.
... Prince Lvov helped bring the issue out into the open...
Lvov presented Kornilov's demands to Kerenskii on September 8. Immediately after the interview, Kerenskii had a conversation with Kornilov on the Hughes teletape machine. In the course of the conversation, the Prime Minister impersonated Lvov in order to get confirmation that the demands, which Kerenskii rightly considered as an ultimatum, really originated with the Commander-in Chief.
-- Peter Kenez, CIVIL WAR IN SOUTH RUSSIA, 1918, pp. 31-3.
The fact that Kornilov (and other army officers as well) was simply unable to grasp the implications of the formation of Soviets, and how this limited the political options available to a real politician like Kerensky, was the basis for his illusions of a successful coup. Richard Pipes seems to have repeated the same errors as Kornilov, but from a historical perspective. Pipes does not seem to want to grasp that the political realities of the time made Kornilov's bid to abolish Soviets from a conservative anti-revolutionary perspective impossible. If the Provisional Government had signed a peace with Germany promptly, then I think they could eventually have made the Soviets incorporate themselves within some type of revolutionary governmental system and gradually achieved a general stability. This was basically what did occur under the Bolsheviks, albeit against the background of a bloody civil war. But Pipes's portrayal of Kerensky's options and what this actually meant about the Kornilov's aims is way offbase. Pipes is just being an apologist for a man whom the Whites adopted as a hero in retrospect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
The statement that Lenin tried to take power in the July Days is wrong and should be removed. While it's true that Bolshevik propaganda had done a lot to whip people up in a way which led to the July Days, all evidence points to the fact that this event was not planned by Lenin. It caught him by surprise and he was forced to go into hiding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 00:10, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Is there any documentation of Kornilov's actual refection/comments on the event itself? The focus seems to be greatly around Kerensky but since it was Kornilov, through proxy, that instigated and was then arrested for this surely there must be some comments by him. No matter where I search Kornilov's own reflections on the events of August 1917 can't be found. Does anyone know what Kornilov said? -- Secondat of Orange (talk) 04:18, 23 December 2011 (UTC)