The years of bitter fighting in the east, the Treaty ofBrest-Litovsk thrust upon Russia and that of Versailles fastened upon a defeated Germany, had produced a new and confused situation. The origins and course of the early contacts between Germany and Soviet Russia remain, as yet, covered in obscurities and contradictions. A plurality of purposes and the activities of numerous groups each following self-contained interests showed markedly on the German side; at an early stage Soviet Russia embarked upon the road which forked repeatedly into revolution or Realpolitik. With the collapse of German military power in 1918 - in which Bolshevik propaganda lent some of its demoralising aid - the prospect for revolution in Germany seemed especially bright. Karl Radek arrived in Berlin in December 1918 and was at once much impressed by what seemed to be a general and genuine movement of revolution by the workers against the government. * Moscow had substantial justification for nurturing its high hopes for the triumph of Bolshevism in Germany. The German military, however, assisted by the internal divisions in the German revolutionary movements

itself, put paid to these ambitions in the early weeks of 1919, when the Freikorps units systematically and effectively routed out and destroyed the insurrectionists with artillery, machine-gun, mortars and even flamethrowers.2 There German forces were combined into the Provisional Reichswehr, and while they were evidently adequate to maintain that kind of internal order which crushed out street-fighting rebels, in the mind of Quartermaster-General Wilhelm Groener they had yet another potential role to play.