Their plan was not to attack the bank itself, but a car carrying money from the post office to the bank, which was to pass through the main city square.
A major armed robbery in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, took place on June 26, 1907. The organizers of the robbery were high-ranking Bolsheviks, among them Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Joseph Visarionovich Stalin. The robbery was committed with the aim of raising money for revolutionary activities. About 20 Bolsheviks, including Stalin himself, gathered in Tbilisi’s main square on the morning of the day of the robbery. Their plan was not to attack the bank itself, but a car carrying money from the post office to the bank, which was to pass through the main city square. When the carts arrived, the robbers shot at them and threw bombs at the horses and guards. There was real chaos. As the square was full of passers-by, as many as 40 people were killed and 50 others were injured in the explosions and shootings. Stalin’s role in the attack itself is not exactly known, as there are many contradictory reports, from personally attacking a car to that he watched from the sidelines smoking a cigarette. The leader of the attack was a revolutionary named Kamo, a friend of Stalin and a colleague from the Orthodox seminary.
A total of about 341,000 rubles was stolen, which would be worth almost $ 3,500,000 today. The problem was that most of the money was in large bills, the serial numbers of which were known to the police. That is why the Bolsheviks could not use money in Russia just like that. They tried to exchange large banknotes at various European locations, but even that led to a series of arrests. The leader of the Kamo attack himself was arrested, but pretending to be insane, he escaped prison. It is interesting that the Russian Social Democratic Party was angry with its Bolshevik members for committing the looting and massacre of so many people (at that time the party was divided into Mensheviks and Bolsheviks). The violent actions of the Bolsheviks damaged the reputation of all the Social Democrats in Europe.