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Revolution In Danger by Victor Serge

By Victor Serge

Upon his arrival in Petrograd in 1919, Victor Serge—the nice chronicler of the Russian Revolution—found a society approximately shattered via civil battle. In those essays he sketches a portrait of the darkest hours confronted via the fledgling revolution, protecting the hot regime opposed to its critics.

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These were all that remained of the 27 officers and 1,082 men the regiment had on strength three weeks before, at the time it was encircled. And now the calamity began .. The Soviets were now awake and on the alert; the attackers had failed to achieve general surprise. More searchlights were switched on, signal flares were fired and wild firing began. Suddenly there was fighting everywhere. The Soviets spotted the main body of the 72nd Infantry Division, which was following close behind the 105th Regiment.

Restlessly men and vehicles stream from the north into the village and then south into the assembly areas. The difficult task of regrouping in preparation for the attack must be completed by late evening. A masterpiece of orders unfolds. The question of whether or not all of the deadlines can be met remains open. There are many gaps in the lines of communication, the distances are great, the roads terrible, able to support only one-way traffic for motor vehicles, namely through the village. The enemy gives us no respite.

The main street remains blocked. A load voice roars in the midst of this confusion. Everything begins to move, pushed along from the rear. A column of twelve artillery pieces is wedged in the mass. A Leutnant on horseback calls for the 1st Battery. All of its guns are to be blown up at once. I can't understand the reason why, and I also do not know where his battery is. He tells me that he has seen several officers of the corps headquarters I am seeking. For the second time I go into several packed houses.

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