Suryaev V. N. German propaganda as a means of coercing Russia to a separate peace (1915–1917) (.pdf)
The article is devoted to the organization of German propaganda aimed at Russia's withdrawal from the World War I. The author shows why the original strategy of German conduct of the war failed and resulted in Germany fighting a two-front war. The superiority of the Entente over Germany and its allies in military and economic terms impelled the military-political leadership of Germany to make every effort to split the union of Russia, Great Britain and France. A separate peace which was Germany’s aimwas not supposed to end the global military conflict or tolead to a universal democratic peace, but it would only weakenthe opposing military bloc. The author reveals the basic forms of German anti-war propaganda on the Russian front and through specific examples show its destructive effect on moral and psychological potential and combat capability of Russian troops. It is shown that Germany repeatedly probed the possibility of backroom separate negotiations with Russia, but until the fall of 1917, those attempts had been unsuccessful. The Russian leadership had to comply strictly with the commitments on its allies in the Entente, recorded in the relevant international instruments. The author concludes that German propaganda’s efforts played a certain role in the Soviet Russia’swithdrawalfrom the war and its signing of the heavy and unfair Brest peace.
Key words: Germany, war, propaganda, Russian troops, the expansion of the army, separate peace.