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defections, and ultimately the only defenders

were about a thousand boys and women and

a few men. In all there were about 200

women comprising the second company of

the Battalion of Death. Within the palace

everything was panic and confusion. Everybody was giving orders or issuing counter orders. Even Kerensky rushed wildly about

demanding, "What are we to do?" Through

oversight of the Bolsheviki a telephone line

to the field headquarters was left uncut and

over this appeals were sent out all over Russia to come to the assistance of the old Government, but, as the event showed, to little


In the early morning of November 7,

Kerensky and his adjutant, disguised in the

frock coats and uniform hats of imperial

lackies, secretly boarded a motor launch and

made their escape. The position of those

who remained was hopeless, unless help

should speedily come, for the Winter Palace

was dominated by a great fortress and also

by warships on the Neva. However, the

defenders refused to surrender, and a strange

fight began between the garrison, mostly

poorly armed boys and women, against thousands of soldiers and sailors equipped with

machine guns, armored cars, and artillery.

With a moderation which they did not always

display, the Bolsheviki refrained from using

the heavy guns against the palace, though the

warships fired several salvos but only with

blank cartridges. An attempt was made to

storm the palace, but the defenders, especially the Women's Battalion, resisted valiantly and at one time drove back their assailants in a ludicrous panic. Finally some pieces

of artillery opened against the palace, and, at

two o'clock next morning, the Provisional

Government surrendered. A mixed mob of

soldiers, sailors, and armed hooligans quickly

flooded the whole palace and revenged themselves upon the hapless defenders. Some of

the women soldiers were mistreated; others

were flung over the parapet into the swift

waters of the Neva River. The rest were

marched to the barracks of the Pablovsk