The Whites in the East were to find themselves in a bind, as were the emerging White Army in northern Russia under General Yudenich: White Armies were dependent solely on foreign aid, specifically in the form of equipment. This equipment was contingent on successful advances into the teeth of superior numbers against an enemy who was only able to defeat himself. However these advances, pursued on the basis of a rational military logic were unable to overcome an insuperable division of numbers and superior equipment was never able to address this disparity, which in turn would mean that the Whites would be left with an impression of incompetence that belied the facts. The trap for the Whites was that in pursuing all this their armies were handicapped by severe problems of leadership, and in the case of "civil" government by rejecting any such thing and thus fatally weakening any claim to government outside the reach of their arms.
Thus, in 1918, as the Red Army, slowly growing in size and skill, was to begin its first use of Blocking Detachments to begin providing discipline to bolster its superior numbers, was to begin drives east, a group of Don Cossacks was to push to the Volga River and the city of Tsaritsyn, where the Bolshevik Commissar, Stalin, was to be instrumental in the ultimate triumph of superior Bolshevik numbers and logistics against the Kossacks, this providing one of the reasons 1st Cavalry Army soldiers would escape Stalin's purges.
In the East the attempted All-Russian government linking the Right and Left was to begin to crack under the strain of a Social Revolutionary civilian government paired with reactionary generals. When the General commanding the professional core of the AFSR, Aleksyeev, died of a heart attack, his successor, Denikin, would wind up securing his predecessor's victories, which destroyed an entire Red Army and won one of the greatest triumphs of White Arms during the War, and as Kolchak deposed his civilian overlords in the wake of a Bolshevik advance that saw the Red Army reverse one gain made by the Whites and capturing another big city of the Eastern government, the Russian Civil War's pattern was set:
Local nationalist movements in Finland and the Baltic States would successfully break off from overall Russia. The Whites were stuck on the periphery, tied to foreign aid, and thus committed all along to doing too much with too little. The Bolsheviks had the best overall position and always numerical superiority and developed an increasingly able and disciplined leadership under first Trotsky and then Kamenev. The result of these twin realities was compounded by the superiority of both Bolshevik Terror and Bolshevik exploitation of White political mistakes would be the triumph of Soviet arms, but White superiority in terms of leadership and equipment would mean that in 1919 the Soviet state faced its gravest crisis in its overall history, when the Finns and Baltic states broke off, and Yudenich, Denikin, and Kolchak began joint offensives. The problems both sides would face in Ukraine, seen in the emergence of Right-Wing Ukrainian nationalism, the brief-lived Makhno Army, and the White and Bolshevik all-Russian forces were a hint that as in the Great Patriotic War and aftermath the USSR's problems with Ukraine would be a continual theme of its early history.
For all this 1918, with the first large-scale fighting in the south and a Red Tide rolling in the east was just the prelude. The war and the fate of the 20th Century were decided in the next year......