Caesar's Civil War: Rome in 66 Days
January 10, 49 BC The Roman general Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, along which the northern border of Italy passed. The law ordered the disbandment of the legions on the border, but Caesar moved forward, effectively declaring war on Rome.
Gaius Julius Caesar, from a minor noble family, became consul in 59 BC. Together with the commander Gnaeus Pompey and the wealthy politician Mark Crassus, they entered into an alliance called the First Triumvirate, essentially dividing the Republic into three. Pompey was given command in Spain and Libya. Crassus was given the east - a five-year command of Syria, and Caesar left for Gaul for war. Crassus unsuccessfully attacked the Parthian Empire and died at the Battle of Carrhae. The triumvirate became an alliance between Caesar and Pompey.
Caesar's Gallic campaigns, on the contrary, proved to be very successful - detailed reports of his exploits came to Rome along with offerings to allies and gifts to the plebs. The commander quickly became the favorite of the people. The nobility and the Senate, on the contrary, saw Caesar's growing ambitions and popularity as a threat. He did not share the enthusiasm for the numerous victories of Caesar and Pompey, who at that time ruled as the only consul, enjoying the social life of the capital.
Caesar's Gallic powers expired on March 1, 49 BC. In the Senate, he was increasingly accused of abuse of power and violations of the law committed as consul. Caesar asked to be allowed to run again in absentia for consuls: the Romans who held political positions were not prosecuted. In 50 B.C. already Pompey himself ordered Caesar to hand over his armies and return to Rome to stand trial.
Caesar responded by suggesting that Pompey should disarm at the same time. The Senate overwhelmingly supported the initiative: 370 votes to 22. But Pompey refused, and this essentially left Caesar no choice. Returning to Rome without an army would cost him not only his political career, but, most likely, his life.
Returning to Rome without an army would have cost Caesar not only his political career, but his life.
Caesar crossed the Rubicon and entered the war with the phrase "Ālea iacta est" ("The die is cast"). He wrote that he was doing this rei publicae causa ("for the sake of the state"). The commander repeatedly emphasized the undesirability of losses among the soldiers - both in his army and in the enemy army. In addition, he insisted that he always tried to negotiate peace, so as not to shed the blood of fellow citizens at all, exposing the war, thus imposed on him.
Pompey's army was not as experienced and trained as the Gallic legions. Caesar knew that time was on his side, so the march on Rome was swift. Pompey fled from Italy to Greece, followed by many senators. The capital, left without leadership, surrendered to Caesar. Only 66 days have passed since the beginning of the war. A year later, at the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar finally defeated Pompey, despite the numerical superiority of the latter's army.
Played into the hands of Caesar, including his popularity in the army. In Picenum, the soldiers of Pompey, demoralized by the advance of the Caesarian troops, refused to obey the commanders. At Auximum, many Pompeians left the camp before the battle began: some returned home, while others joined Caesar. In Alba, nine Pompeian cohorts left their praetors. Caesar spared Pompey's supporters, realizing how such mercy affected his political image.
Played into the hands of Caesar, including his popularity in the army
Having ended the wars, Caesar celebrated five triumphs (the so-called special Roman holidays at which the city honored the military leader who returned with a victory): four within a month, with an interval of several days - over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus and Africa, and one - after victory over the sons of Pompey. In the Pontic triumph, Caesar displayed among the exhibits of the procession a three-word inscription: "I came, I saw, I conquered," indicating the speed with which the war was ended. In the first weeks of 44 B.C. Caesar was declared "dictator for life".
Similarities: Caesar also went on a campaign against a man with whom he had previously been associated with friendly sympathies and political interests. The reason for his rebellion was also the threat of prosecution from the state authorities. The speed of his legions and their training were initially at a higher level than those of their opponents.
Differences: Caesar's opponents, not having the means to defend the capital, chose to leave it. All the armies in Rome at that time were private, the republic did not have a state army, and military power, in principle, remained concentrated in the hands of a group of aristocrats.
One Hundred Days of Bonaparte: "Salvation" of France
On February 26, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte left the island of Elba in a small flotilla of six ships, on board the brig "Fickle". On March 1, the exiled emperor landed in France. Cannes and Grasse surrendered to him without any resistance.
Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of the French state in 1800 and by 1807 controlled an empire that stretched across Europe. In 1812 he was defeated in Russia, ceded Spain to the Duke of Wellington, and was eventually forced to abdicate on 6 April 1814 to go into exile on the tiny island of Elba in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
After the defeat of Bonaparte, opponents actively replicated the image of the "Corsican cannibal" - a bloody despot who acted only out of personal selfish interests. The anti-Napoleonic myth was formed, among other things, by the new monarchical power. The suppression of freedom, the spirit of despotism, the craving for conquest - Napoleon was reminded of everything. The writer Benjamin Constant, who stood at the origins of European liberalism, criticized Napoleon in the pages of his work The Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation in Their Relationship with European Civilization. Constant did not even call the disgraced emperor by name, using only the pronoun "he". A brochure by F.R. de Chateaubriand "Bonaparte, the Bourbons and the need to join our legitimate princes for the happiness of France and Europe", according to Louis XVIII, brought him more benefit than an army of 100,000.
But the Napoleonic propaganda machine was not idle either. Even on board the brig Fickle, everyone who could read and write was forced to copy two proclamations prepared by Napoleon for the army and for the people of France. The appeal to the army was more exciting than the appeal to the people - Napoleon ordered every man to throw off the white colors of the royal family and return to the tricolor cockade of the French revolutionaries. The reason for his return, Napoleon called the rule of the Bourbons, leading the country to disaster. "I have decided to return to France, to save this glorious people who do not deserve to be humiliated."
Napoleon called the reason for his return the rule of the Bourbons, leading the country to disaster.
The Bourbons really failed to build any stable state. Russia forced the French monarchy to adopt a constitution, believing that power would not last at all without it, but even the constitutional monarchy, still living according to the system of the Napoleonic apparatus (for example, neither the organization of ministries, nor the structure of the army, nor the financial system have changed), no longer could satisfy France. The Bourbons and their supporters, the ultra-royalists, sought to return the lands and property to their former owners, oppressed the Napoleonic aristocracy and the peasantry, returning the country to the feudal system. In addition, having no need to maintain personnel, they fired many officers and transferred them to half pensions. The militarywas annoyed even by the white banner introduced by the Bourbons instead of the tricolor, which was during the revolution and under Napoleon.
In an official report published on March 26 in the newspaper Le Moniteur universel, which Napoleon positioned as the official government publication, the return of the emperor was explained as follows: "The Emperor, informed ... that the glory of the army was humiliated, decided to change the status quo." Napoleon emphasized that he was not offered any resistance on his way to the capital. On March 25, in another address to the army, he separately emphasized the non-violence of his "mutiny": "Not a single drop of blood was shed."
In the government press, Napoleon was called the "fatal foreigner", "usurper", "Moloch", "Corsican barley". They wrote that his army during the Italian campaign consisted of gangs of convicts and mercenaries recruited from Toulon bandit groups. Louis XVIII in a decree declared Napoleon Bonaparte "a traitor and a rebel." The Journal des Débats, a Parisian literary and political journal, portrayed Napoleon as a foreigner to the French nation, emphasizing the Italian spelling of his name and his connections to Poles, Neapolitans, and Piedmontese. Bonaparte was portrayed as alien to the human race as a whole. He was described as Attila, Genghis Khan, Nero, "a maniac who fell into a rage, into dementia", and a cannibal.
But the people of France seem to think otherwise. Napoleon advanced inland without meeting resistance. The regiments sent to defend Grenoble went over to his side. The Bourbons sent Marshal Ney to oppose Napoleon, promising to bring him "a prisoner in an iron cage." On March 10, nine days after landing, Napoleon entered Lyon. Cries of "Long live the Emperor!" rumbled through the air. Marshal Ney, who arrived in Lons-le-Saunier to arrest Napoleon, assessing the mood of his soldiers,turned to them: “Soldiers! The Bourbon cause is lost forever. The legitimate dynasty that France has chosen for itself ascends the throne. The emperor, our sovereign, must henceforth reign over this beautiful country.
On March 20, Louis XVIII and the court fled to Belgium, while Napoleon returned to the Tuileries Palace. Paris greeted her emperor with such violent joy, with which she had not met before, after the most high-profile conquests.
Paris greeted the emperor with such violent joy, with which it had never met before, even after the most high-profile conquests.
Napoleon insisted on liberalization, which persuaded former opponents, most notably Benjamin Constant, to take the side of the rebel. Constant was “ordered” by the “Additional Act to the Constitutions of the Empire” - a list of liberal amendments to the constitution. He agreed , hoping to influence the spirit of the Bonapartist regime. He removed, in particular, preliminary censorship and lowered the electoral qualification.
Despite Bonaparte's attempts to appease Europe, Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia rejected all proposals for negotiations. The Napoleonic era finally ended with the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was forced to abdicate for the second time on June 22. On July 8, Louis XVIII came to the throne. From the general amnesty, he excluded "all traitors and perpetrators of the second accession of Napoleon." Marshal Ney was shot.
A hundred days decided the fate of Napoleon, this time doomed to irretrievable exile. They also worsened the fate of France, now forced to pay indemnities and suffered territorial losses. But in itself, the return of Napoleon quickly grew into a mystical myth: the emperor was never completely defeated.
Similarities: The Mutiny was originally more focused on the military. Among the goals of the mutiny were postulated the "salvation" of France and the restoration of the prestige of her army. Napoleon spoke of the need for change and noted the peaceful nature of his intentions. He enjoyed a certain popularity among the people and used propaganda materials in the press to strengthen his position.
Differences: Napoleon was still an exiled emperor, and not an ordinary commander, and certainly not a sponsor of a private army. In France, Napoleon was supported, among other things, by powerful political forces. Having formally won his revolution, Napoleon nevertheless lost a large-scale war - from the very beginning, his return was not considered by the coalition of opponents as an internal affair of France, but was also considered a threat to peace and order in Europe.
March on Mussolini's Rome: revenge of the "mutilated victory"
On October 27, 1922, the armed detachments of the National Fascist Party, called the Blackshirts, marched on Rome, demanding that power be transferred to them in the country. Prime Minister Luigi Facta was preparing to declare a state of emergency in Italy, but King Victor Emmanuel III rejected it. On October 29, he asked protest leader Benito Mussolini to head the government.
The Fascist movement was born in Italy in March 1919, four months after the end of the First World War. Its backbone was made up of former employees of the privileged military units - Alpini, Alpine shooters, and Arditi, attack aircraft. In the parliamentary elections of 1919, the party (then still the "National Union of Struggle") did not receive a single mandate, but by the autumn of 1922, after being transformed into the National Fascist Party, it had more than 300 thousand members.
The military and the majority of the right were united by their disagreement with the results of the Paris Peace Conference, which ended the First World War. The young ambitious politician Benito Mussolini, who served during the war as a bersagliere, a shooter in one of the most elite formations of the Italian army, wanted power for himself, and for Italy - a rebirth under the leadership of a hard hand. When the government disbanded the Arditi in 1918, he reorganized them into gangs of men in black shirts who terrorized political opponents throughout the country. Close in spirit to Mussolini was the military pilot and politician Gabriele D'Annunzio, who postulated the thesis of a "mutilated victory", according to which Italy did not receive enough after the First World War. D'Annunzio and Mussolini discussed several times the possibility of a joint march on Rome to seize political power.
The Fascist National Party meanwhile grew stronger. In early October 1922, she announced the existence of her own armed forces by publishing the charter of the Fascist militia. And at the end of October 1922, during a mass party rally in Naples, Mussolini addressed his supporters with the words: “The time has come for the fascists to take control of Italy. It will either be handed over to us voluntarily, or we will march on Rome and seize it ourselves.” The delegates gave the leader a standing ovation and shouted "A Roma!" ("To Rome! To Rome!").
The march began at dawn on 28 October. To equip a motley army of 26,000 men, the Blackshirts raided armories and even took antique firearms from museums. The Nazis marched on Rome with shotguns, muskets, powder pistols, golf clubs, scythes, garden hoes, sticks of dynamite and table legs. Trains, horses, wagons, trucks, vans, bicycles, and even a racing car with a machine gun mounted on it were used for transportation.
The Nazis marched on Rome with shotguns, muskets, scythes, garden hoes, sticks of dynamite and table legs.
When Mussolini gave the order to mobilize his more or less armed forces, the government began to work out measures of resistance. The military was ordered to keep Rome from being attacked, but to give some freedom to the revolutionaries in the provinces. They destroyed roads and railroad tracks, forcing the Blackshirts to advance on foot. The army defending Rome consisted of 28 thousand people, 86 artillery pieces and 15 armored cars. She controlled bridges and city gates. At first, Victor Emmanuel III intended to declare a state of emergency throughout the country, but the order was soon canceled: he did not want to take responsibility for the civil war. Perhaps the king also feared that the soldiers would refuse to fire on the Nazis. In many Italian cities the army fraternized with the Blackshirts.
On October 30, the king asked Mussolini to head the government. The fascist legions entered the capital triumphantly without meeting any resistance. November 1 Mussolini ordered them to return home. The retreating columns marched past the Quirinal Palace. The king, his new prime minister and minister of war, General Diaz, viewed them from the balcony. Victor Emmanuel even remarked: "Mussolini saved the nation." The Roman population as a whole shared his views. The city was in a festive mood. Italy felt that fascism was better than frightening anarchy and bloodshed at home.
Similarities: Martial law has not been declared in the country. Significant armed forces were not actually thrown against the marchers. The protest was largely peaceful, with few casualties. Right-wing political forces participated in the rebellion, the main backbone of which was the elite military units that proved themselves in the last war. The military destroyed the roads to slow down the advance of the rebels.
Differences: Mussolini was aimed at full participation in the political life of the country, his ambitions exceeded the simple delivery of demands to the government. The conspirators did not put forward claims specifically to the army. Король не проявил достаточной решимости для борьбы с фашистами и не стал обвинять их в предательстве и нарушении законов.
Корниловский мятеж: угроза справа
В конце августа 1917 года Верховный главнокомандующий русской армией Лавр Корнилов попытался установить в Петрограде военный порядок. В день выступления 28 августа генерал обратился к народу: «Русские люди! Великая родина наша умирает. Близок час ее кончины. Вынужденный выступить открыто — я, генерал Корнилов, заявляю, что Временное правительство под давлением большинства советов действует в полном согласии с планами германского генерального штаба и одновременно с предстоящей высадкой вражеских сил на рижском побережье, убивает армию и потрясает страну внутри». Инцидент скоро стали называть «корниловским мятежом».
В марте 1917 года именно Корнилов от лица Временного правительства объявил императрице Александре Фёдоровне об аресте царской семьи. Как и многие военные, он поддерживал существовавший строй, хотя и не был радикальным монархистом. Реставрировать рухнувшую монархию Корнилов не собирался. Не желал он и личной власти. Его мятеж в некотором смысле был вынужденным и, с его позиции, неизбежным.
Мятеж Корнилова в некотором смысле был вынужденным и, с его позиции, неизбежным
Революция почти прекратила военные действия на фронте. Началась «демократизация», обеспеченная приказом № 1 Петросовета и «Положением об основных правах военнослужащих». Они сильно ограничивали влияние офицеров и давали значительные льготы нижним чинам армии. Авторитет офицеров падал, солдаты не слушались. Генерал Михаил Алексеев уже в мае отчитывался в столицу: «Развал внутренний достиг крайних пределов, дальше идти некуда. Войско стало грозным не врагу, а Отечеству». 18 июля Корнилова назначили Верховным Главнокомандующим Русской армии. Он сразу выступил с принципиальными предложениями: введение смертной казни среди тыловых частей, милитаризация транспорта и заводов, расширение власти офицерства.
14 августа Корнилов приехал в Москву на Всероссийское совещание. При его появлении черносотенцы и прочие правые политические силы устроили стоячие овации. Речь Корнилова, в которой, в частности, звучало: «Целым рядом законодательных мер, проведенных после переворота людьми, чуждыми духу и пониманию армии, армия была превращена в безумнейшую толпу, дорожащую исключительно своей жизнью», — задела Керенского, как и авторитет генерала. Он заметил: «После Московского совещания для меня было ясно, что ближайшая попытка удара будет справа, а не слева».
22 августа Корнилову передали просьбу Керенского направить в Петроград Третий кавалерийский корпус для введения в столице военного положения. Убежденный в том, что защищает Временное правительство от угрозы большевистского мятежа, Корнилов дал соответствующие указания.
Дальнейшие события до сих пор остаются запутанными: 24 августа к Корнилову приехал Владимир Львов, назвавшийся «представителем» Керенского, и хоть тот не давал ему никаких полномочий, предложил Корнилову установить диктатуру якобы с санкции Временного правительства. После чего отправился в Петроград и, встретившись с Керенским, назвался «парламентером» от Корнилова и выставил от его лица ультиматум «передать всю власть военную и гражданскую в руки верховного главнокомандующего». Между Керенским и Корниловым состоялся запутанный телефонный разговор, после которого из-за абстрактности формулировок оба посчитали себя обманутыми.
28 августа, после экстренного заседания правительства, Корнилова сняли с должности «с преданием суду за мятеж». Корнилов, получив телеграмму за подписью Керенского, оскорбился и только тогда заявил, что принимает на себя всю полноту власти. Он призвал армию и народ спасти Россию: «Предпочитаю умереть на поле чести и брани, чтобы не видеть позора и срама русской земли. Русский народ, в твоих руках жизнь твоей Родины!»
Корнилова поддержали генералы Деникин и Клембовский, а также Союз офицеров и многие другие. Керенский, в свою очередь, обратился к большевикам, которые начали проводить агитацию против Корнилова и формировать рабочие отряды. Десятки тысяч винтовок раздали большевистской Красной гвардии. Проигрывающему Корнилову предложили бежать из Ставки. В ответ на предложение одного из офицеров, если нужно, умереть за него, Корнилов ответил: «Я не хочу, чтобы пролилась хоть одна капля братской крови». Генерал Алексеев, чтобы остановить кровопролитие, согласился арестовать Корнилова, хотя вины за ним не видел, подчеркивая: «Корнилов не покушался на государственный строй».
В октябре 1917 года большевики захватили власть. Керенский, по сути, поспособствовал этому, обратившись к ним за помощью во время корниловского мятежа. Корнилов бежал из плена. В декабре он вместе с Алексеевым и Деникиным возглавил борьбу с большевиками, вступив в командование белой армией.
Керенский поспособствовал захвату власти большевиками, обратившись к ним за помощью во время корниловского мятежа
Сходства: Мятеж инициировали в военной среде, среди целей мятежа обозначили спасение в первую очередь армии и положения на фронте. В вину правительству мятежники ставили намеренное ухудшение ситуации в России. Фактором, во многом способствовавшим восстанию, стало тотальное взаимное недопонимание всех участников конфликта.
Отличия: На сторону Корнилова перешли многие командующие армией, авторитет его в войсках остался непререкаем. По итогам мятежа Корнилова всё же арестовали. В целом мятеж отличала большая сумбурность, отчасти обусловленная сложным, невнятным положением в стране.