Drunken Bolsheviks and the Greatest Hangover in History,
On October 25th, 1917 Bolshevik soldiers and sailors stormed the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, former home of the Russian Czars. Among the wealth and grandeur of the palace, the revolutionaries stumbled upon perhaps the greatest treasure of the Romanov Dynasty; Nicholas II’s personal wine cellar, which housed the largest collection of fine wines, liquors, and cordials in the world.
Having thousands of heavily armed men and civilians in the proximity of the largest cache of booze on the planet was certainly a big problem for Bolshevik officers and politicians. Already Bolshevik soldiers were carting out kegs and bottles, beginning a Bolshevik boozing spree that would quickly get out of hand. At first Bolshevik leaders considered blasting the cellars with high explosives, however it was feared that this would severely damage the palace. Finally Bolshevik leaders ordered the cellars be barricaded and placed under heavy guard while the booze was disposed of. At first the booze was hauled out in crates to be dumped, however convoys tasked with this duty were ambushed by drunken soldiers and civilians. Finally it was decided to simply pour the booze down the drain. This plan failed when people by the thousands gathered around the palace drains with buckets.
Finally, the large drunken Bolshevik mob stormed the Winter Palace a second time, easily overwhelming the guards and overrunning the cellar. Immediately, St. Petersburg erupted into an orgy of drunken rioting and looting. Boozed up Bolsheviks began fighting or having sex in streets. Rape and murder was common, so were brawls and shootouts among heavily armed soldiers. Many people were killed by stray bullets as soldiers fired their weapons into the air in celebration. Martial law was declared and a Bolshevik army was dispatched to gain control over this situation. However, this did little as many of the oncoming soldiers joined in on the fun. After about a month of alcohol induced chaos, the booze ran out, and order was restored in St. Petersburg. The resulting hangover must have been terrible.