SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES: February Revolution: On February 23, 1917 women in the streets of St. Petersburg filled the streets demanding bread, calling on factory workers to join them. Bolshevik, Menshevik and Socialist revolutionaries were hard at work stirring an already simmering pot. Soldiers fired at first into the crowds, but later refused to continue, arresting their officers instead. Nicholas II commented in his diary: ‘All around me I see treason, cowardice and deceit’.
The July Days: Bolshevik propaganda was calling for an end to the War. The garrison at St. Petersburg, already being called Petrograd, mutinied in favour of the Bolsheviks. The revolutionaries were in a fix; they did not wish to seize power yet because they thought the bid would be unsuccessful, but if they did nothing the support of the dissident soldiers and workers would be lost. On the 4th July they tried to take control of a movement they could not control.
The October Revolution was the actual Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia. Kornilov had attempted to set up a military dictatorship and failed. By September the Bolsheviks had a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, and soon afterwards in Moscow. Lenin returned from exile, but he knew that the October Revolution was not the end of the Bolshevik Revolution but the beginning.