What was the effect of the Russian Revolution on World War I?
The Russian Revolution had the effect of putting an end to the major arena of fighting on the Eastern Front in World War I. It temporarily helped the Germans by freeing up troops, but this advantage did not do the Germans much good. Therefore, the revolution did not really end up making much of a difference in the outcome of the war.
Throughout WWI, the Germans were fighting a two-front war. They were fighting against France and England in the west and against Russia in the east. This meant, of course, that they had to divide their military strength between the two fronts. In 1918, the Bolsheviks concluded the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Germans. Now, the Eastern Front no longer existed for the Germans. They could take their troops from that front and throw them into the Spring Offensive that started a few weeks later on the Western Front. This helped the Germans to some degree. However, the help that came from bringing the troops from the Eastern Front was negated by the influx of American troops since the US had finally started to get its military fully involved in the war by that time. Even with the movement of troops from the Eastern Front, the German offensive failed and the Germans lost the war.
Thus, the Russian Revolution did not change the outcome of the war. It changed some of the details of how the war played out, but it did not change the ultimate outcome.
Russia's horrific losses on the Eastern Front were a significant factor in precipitating the Revolution. After the Revolution, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk brought Russia's conflict with Germany to an end. Germany was able to re-commit troops and resources from the Eastern Front to France and Belgium. By this time however, the United States had entered the war on the side of Britain and France, more than compensating for the loss of Russia
It can also be concluded that the Russian Revolution helped end the war because had Russia not had the Revolution Germany would not have focused all of its powers on France which then would not have led an end even had the Americans joined because there would still be soldiers on the Eastern Front.
The Russian Revolution had another effect in the medium term, From 1918 onwards all European countries, the U.S. and Japan were 'haunted by the spectre of Bolshevism'. In some countries it even became a complete obsession ...