Sending Lenin back to Russia to start a revolution is usually touted as a good idea by the Germans, since it helped to knock Russia out of the war. But the Great War was still lost for Germany, the territorial gains in the East were only temporary. Also, in the long-term, Germany was plagued by revolutions at home, behind the front lines, even while WWI went on and also even longer-term, by an industrialized Bolshevik enemy.

Were there any long-term benefits from sending Lenin back to Russia.

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    Can you really gauge the quality of investment if it was made by one entity (German Empire), and the consequences were felt by another (Nazi Germany)? One could say that German Empire was immune to long-term consequences since it was long dead by then. Nov 13, 2017 at 10:14
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    I am pretty sure that this question has already been asked. Nov 13, 2017 at 14:32
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    If it is a different question, then please update the question to address the difference. (Comments are ephemeral and get deleted, and people research the question should not need to read the comments to understand the question. The question should stand on its own). The question is currently closed as opinion based - you may want to edit the question to take out opinion words like "seems" ... "feels" and to clarify what kind of authoritative answer you seek. Good Luck
    – MCW
    Nov 13, 2017 at 15:36
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    Last attempt. 1) You still haven't described how this question is different from the referenced question. 2) "do you think" is an explicit request for an opinion. All answers are therefore equally valid. I'm not trying to be a jerk here; I'm trying to help.
    – MCW
    Nov 13, 2017 at 16:32
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    @user1095108 I'm pretty sure that German revolution in 1918 had much less to do with Russian communists (who at the time were way too busy fighting a civil war of their own, and by the end of 1918 controlled about 1/4 of Russia's territory) than it had with war weariness. Nov 15, 2017 at 3:39

1 Answer 1


No,it didn't, or at least shouldn't have backfired on Germany if Germany had played its cards right.

First, when Lenin started a revolution, it took Russia out of World War I and solved the immediate problem.

Second, Lenin made the Peace of Brest-Litovsk ceding large parts of "Russia" including the future Poland, Baltic States, Belarus, and large chunks of the Ukraine. It was such a favorable deal that Germany should have made peace in the West, by offering to evacuate France and Belgium, just to enjoy her new gains in the East.

Third, when the Soviet Union became Communist, she became a "pariah" nation to the West. That meant that after World War I, Germany was able to secretly test tank and air tactics on Soviet soil, with the cooperation of the Soviets, following the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo. They had an implicit, if not explicit alliance that Hitler initially "honored" and formalized (in 1939), before turning on the Soviet Union in 1941.

Under the so-called Heartland Theory in vogue in the early 20th century, "whoever" (Germany or Russia) controlled eastern Europe would dominate the "heartland" of "World Island" (the Eurasian land mass). Under Brest-Litovsk, Germany dominated the heartland; under Rapallo, Germany and the Soviet Union together could dominate world island, through their joint control of the heartland. From there, it was only one step to dominating the world. That was a large opportunity set to be gained from sending Lenin to Russia.

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    – T.E.D.
    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:54

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