The Red Army's defeat in the Battle of Warsaw in August 1920 was a significant moment in the early history of the Soviet state. Any hopes Soviet leaders might have entertained of exporting their revolution beyond the borders of the former Russian Empire were dashed at Warsaw. Western observers were as amazed as they were relieved at the remarkable reversal of fortunes that took place In the Soviet-Polish War in mid-August 1920. Up to that point it seemed certain that Poland would be overrun by its larger Soviet neighbour, leaving eastern and central Europe vulnerable to the armies of Communist Russia. Those who have studied the Battle of Warsaw are in agreement that the Red command badly mishandled the final stages of the march on Warsaw. Much of the controversy surrounding the Red Army's debacle at Warsaw focused on the actions of Joseph Stalin, the future Soviet dictator.