Although the fundamental importance to the Bolshevik leadership of preserving the existence of their dictatorship had precluded the possibility of setting up and organising a national army to fight a defensive war, the same prior claim of self-preservation demanded that the Revolution should be able to defend itself. Within the ranks of the Party leadership itself a bitter struggle raged over the ratification of the peace treaty with the Central Powers. 1 Taking one road of desperation, tentative approaches were made to the Entente on the question of their attitude if the Germans resumed hostilities in Russia.