USSR withdraws from the War

U.S.S.R. Backstory

The U.S.S.R was one of the first countries to pull out of the Allied forces, and it wasn’t that far apart from when the U.S. joined the war. Russia’s withdrawal was due to exhausted forces in an already prolonged World War I. Peace talks were already ongoing but stalled due to disagreements in the Brest-Litovsk Peace Talks, resulting in Bolshevist Foreign Minister Leon Trotsky to walk away from peace negotiations.

The U.S.S.R. was forced to vastly rethink its stance on the peace terms when German forces continued to advance into Russian territory, almost immediately after peace talks became inconclusive. Russia also faced the danger of even an even harsher peace settlement if they didn’t negotiate the original terms, something that fellow comrade Lenin warned about. February 10th 1918 is when the U.S.S.R. officially withdrew from peace talks, only to return to the peace conference on February 18th to revisit terms.

Some misunderstandings over politics and lands were ironed out between both sides, and it was signed on March 3rd 1918.


Germany & Austria Backstory

German Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling knew he had Russia in a tight position, and proposed an advantageous peace settlement in favor of the Germans. The treaty was so varied in its language and gave up so much that Bolshevist Foreign Minister Leon Trotsky was insulted and left the peace talks. Germany expected as much and had men at the ready to march, using intimidation against the U.S.S.R. which could no longer defend itself.

The signing of the treaty was a huge victory by the Germans, and their reactions showed as much. Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin shared the same feelings, and declared that the war in the East had ended. However in his official reaction, he went on in length to talk about the U.S. President. With the treaties in place in the east, Czernin pointed out peace as an option to other countries that they have tried to negotiate with.

Why Did the U.S.S.R. Withdraw From the War?

Their forces were no longer able to participate, and they had suffered heavy losses up to this point. Germany had the superior position, and their upper hand allowed them to sign a peace treaty that the U.S.S.R. would only consider if it was a last option. Had the U.S.S.R. not returned to peace talks, then the advantage would have been twice as costly.

Who Was Affected?

The U.S.S.R. was heavily effected, losing a lot of ground and morale in the country. Three separate treaties were signed for Petrograd, Ukraine, and Rumania. The war was officially over for Russia.

Germany scored a major victory, and was able to pull back some of its troops for other areas of World War 1. But the real winner in the deal was that it allowed Germany to approach the platform as a country willing to negotiate peace treaties rather than prolong World War 1. The speech by Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Czernin illustrated that point, giving the country a major psychological edge.

This turned into an important turning point in the war, even if it was already nearing the end.

Names to Remember

Lenin, also known as Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born in 1870. He was an important part of the peace talks, and a respected Russian communist revolutionary and politician. It was his urging that pushed Bolshevist Foreign Minister Leon Trotsky back into peace talks with Germany, preventing an even more unfair treaty.

Important Facts

Here are some important things to remember about U.S.S.R. withdrawing from the war.

  • Bolshevist Foreign Minister Leon Trotsky considered the treaty unfair to the U.S.S.R.
  • German troops were at the ready to march on Russia if they declined the treaty
  • Three separate treaties were signed for Petrograd, Ukraine, and Rumania
  • The treaties were duly signed on March 3rd 1918
  • The Germans scored a major victory with the signing and gained an advantage in war


Germany was in the perfect bargaining position, and if it hadn’t been for Lenin then things would have gotten considerably worse. With Russia’s forces being completely drained, Germany could have completely taken over. Trotsky did made a tough decision that preserved Russia’s culture, and saved the country.