Page 3815

3815 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

journey, repeated attacks were made upon

the Czechoslovak trains at different stations

by forces that were mostly composed of freed

Magyar and German prisoners. One incident of this sort was described by Vladimir

S. Hurban, who brought to America a report

of the retreat for Professor Masaryk, who

had assumed the title of President of the

new Czechoslovak state. The incident

occurred at Irkutsk and was as follows:

"Our train-about 400 men, armed with

ten rifles and twenty hand grenades-was

surrounded by a few thousand Red Guards

armed with machine guns and cannon.

Their commander gave our men ten minutes

to surrender their arms, or be shot. According to their habit, ours began negotiations.

Suddenly there was heard the German

command, Schiessen! and the Red Guards

began firing at the train. Our men jumped

off the train, and in five minutes all the

machine guns were in their possession, the

Russian Bolsheviki disarmed, and all the

Germans and Magyars done away with."

Bolshevist treachery provoked the Czechoslovaks, between Volga and Irkutsk, into

taking the Siberian administration into their

own hands. The Bolshevist troops were

disarmed, and the Czechoslovaks were

greeted as deliverers by the majority of the

Russian population. Anti-Bolshevists took

advantage of the situation and overthrew the

Bolshevist Government. Thanks to the

work of the Czechoslovaks, the Bolsheviki

did not succeed in dominating Siberia as

they had dominated most of European

Russia. Had the Allied Governments', in

the autumn of 1918, acted energetically, the

Bolshevist regime in Russia could easily

have been overthrown, but President Wilson

strongly opposed such a course, and time

was given the Bolshevist Government to

strengthen its position.

Even after his abdication, the Czar did not

lose his patriotic interest in Russia. On

July 2, 1917, he recorded in his diary:

"Before midday came good news about

the beginning of the offensive on the