Well, Kornilov’s Revolt was a wild ride, huh?
Thanks to the Provisional Government of the Duma’s vacillations (read: Kerensky trying to appease/appeal to the right-wing of the country; namely the Kadets and Officer’s groups of the military), a man called General Kornilov was given ever-greater authority – and ever-greater indications – that the way was open for a military dictator. Following a monumental fudge of communication, alongside a fair amount of counter-revolutionary plotting and subterfuge, Kornilov was essentially told “you can have Petrograd if you want” whilst Kerensky was told “it’s okay, you’re going to be in charge, but Kornilov’s going to be your ever-useful, plug-in-and-play-despot”.
Kerensky panics and reaches out to the Soviets, Bolsheviks, and Menshaviks – all the while still claiming that he has got to be the head of a 6-man “Directory” (dictatorship), in order to save the country from collapse.
It’s all boggling. I don’t know whether to laugh or be stunned at the cojones Kerensky has.
Anyway, now the best bit of August. For various reasons; events transpired; stuff happened [I‘m not telling you exactly because of SPOILERS if you’re going to read the book]; but essentially Kornilov’s Revolt was halted without ever a shot being fired. All a big storm in a teacup? Not exactly.
In one staggeringly inspirational scene we see a train carrying regiments of Kornilov’s crack-offensive shock troops, the Cossacks, halted and essentially General Assembly’d into giving up their coup. Delegations of soviets, worker’s unions and everyday citizens trudged over the Russian tundra to philosophize the hell out of the soldiers until they said “hey, I guess you’ve got a point.”
You couldn’t make this stuff up.