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wrightdw

Churchill's Secret War WIth Lenin: British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20

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wrightdw

An article I contributed to about the 'Sherwood-Kelly' affair in North Russia and a few pages from my book with the full text of the Kelly letter.

 

Click on the image and it will open in a new window. If you click on the image a second time it will zoom in.

 

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28070926_839930372880063_156958160821389

 

Edited by wrightdw

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2ndCMR

We know why the Germans were so keen to get Lenin and friends into Russia, with a few million in gold to tide them over, but why our side was so keen to get people like Trotsky there is rather a mystery.

 

I suppose if Field Marshal Lord Ironside's diaries ever do manage to get back to the publishers more or less in one piece, we might learn a few things about "north Russia" in 1919.  Along with the answer as to why his highly promising career came to such a sudden and unexplained end in 1940.

Edited by 2ndCMR

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Uncle George
On 18 March 2018 at 06:03, 2ndCMR said:

 ... the answer as to why his highly promising career came to such a sudden and unexplained end in 1940.

 

According to a biographical sketch by Brian Bond (in 'Churchill's Generals', edited by John Keegan, 1991), Ironside had been hampered as CIGS by the "loose structure of decision-making through a plethora of committees with ill-defined responsibilities which were lacking in co-ordination and direction from the top". Bond quotes AJP Taylor: 'Few men had been less successful as CIGS, and none has been more conscious of it."

 

Bond tells us that in 1940 Ironside "welcomed the change to a job more to his liking - Commander-in Chief Home Forces". However, Ironside's plans for the country's defence against invasion were "severely criticised" by Hankey and the Vice Chiefs of Staff, who described his plan as "completely unsound" and "nothing short of suicidal". Ironside faced further criticism from the Chiefs of Staff, and from senior commanders such as Montgomery, Auchinleck, and Brooke. Brooke had taken over Southern Command, and seems to have had Churchill's ear: "Brooke seized his opportunity when showing Churchill the south coast defences to convince the Prime Minister that a change of Home Forces Commander was needed and that he was the man for the job. Two days later Ironside's supersession by Brooke was announced."

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wrightdw

Ironside's diaries are in possession of his son who is now in his 90's. He is aware of their significance and I am sure has made arrangements for them after his passing.

 

On a separate note I thought I would post an article I wrote on Vassily Prootkovsky, an ex-Imperial Russian Army officer who enlisted as a Private in the Slavo-British Legion, an attempt by the British to create a 'Foreign Legion' of White Russian troops under British officers. Prootkovsky was personally awarded the Military Medal in North Russia by General Ironside. After the Red Army took Archangel he fled to the White Russian emigre community in Shanghai and in the late 1920's to Australia where he worked as a merchant seaman. Prootkovsky hated the Soviet regime and advocated for its overthrow from Australia. After Hitler invaded the Soviet Union Prootkovsky's anti-Soviet activities brought him to the attention of Australian military intelligence. Soviet Russia was now an ally and Prootkovsky was suspected of being a Nazi-sympathiser. In 1942 he was interned and not released until June 1944.

 

It is a very strange case of a Russian recipient of the British Military Medal and WW2 medals for service with the Australian merchant navy being interned during WW2 as a suspected Nazi.

 

You can click on the image (it will open in a new tab/window) and then click again to enlarge the text.

 

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Edited by wrightdw

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Salvmantle

While waiting in Malta to be demobbed, my father Anthony Jaques Mantle, then aged 19, was asked to volunteer to fight in the Southern Russian Campaign, following his service as a pilot with the RAF in the Adriatic.

 

He travelled overland to Petrovsk aerodrome and flew from there, but was captured by Bolsheviks when the plane he was piloting crash-landed the wrong side of the border with Russia. He spent the next ten months in Moscow as a prisoner of war.

 

I'm looking forward to reading your book!

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2ndCMR

That was a very interesting article and his fate was similar to that of so many other non-communist Russians who along with all the other indignities, privations and separations they had to endure, were forced to endure what was probably the most bitter thing of all: to watch the stupid, vicious, ignorant and gullible of the Western World fawning over a regime which would have gladly destroyed them all if it could have.

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wrightdw
On 3/27/2018 at 08:10, Salvmantle said:

While waiting in Malta to be demobbed, my father Anthony Jaques Mantle, then aged 19, was asked to volunteer to fight in the Southern Russian Campaign, following his service as a pilot with the RAF in the Adriatic.

 

He travelled overland to Petrovsk aerodrome and flew from there, but was captured by Bolsheviks when the plane he was piloting crash-landed the wrong side of the border with Russia. He spent the next ten months in Moscow as a prisoner of war.

 

I'm looking forward to reading your book!

 

Your father was a DH9 pilot with 221 Sqn., RAF based at Chechen Island near Petrovsk on the Caspian Sea. His observer was 2nd Lieut. H. Ingram on 16th June 1919 when he was shot down by Red AIr Force pilot D.N. Shchekin. Both your father and Ingram were taken prisoner and held as POW's in Moscow (with about 100 other British POW's captured fighting the Soviets in Russia) until release in a Prisoner exchange the following year.

 

 

Mantle.jpg

Mantle 2.jpg

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josquin

Damien,

Lt. H. Ingram, Lt. Mantle's observer in 221 Squadron, is 2nd Lt. Harry Ingram, who was born on 22 May 1896, at Norton Canes, Cannock, Staffordshire.

He was promoted from Cadet to Observer Officer (2nd Lt.) on 30 August 1918, was posted to 62 Wing 22 October 1918, to 222 Squadron 31 January 1919,

and to 221 Squadron 2 March 1919.  Shortly after his repatriation from Russia, he was demobilized on 26 June 1920.  He died in 1980, at Birmingham.

Anthony Jacques Mantle, born 17 December 1899, died in Durham, in 1988 (registered in 4th Quarter).

Sources:  Ingram's AIR 76 Officer's Service Record;' London Gazette for 29 June 1920; BMD Death Registry.  Your book is exemplary--distinguished in

every respect and by any standard.

Regards,

Josquin

Edited by josquin

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wrightdw
On 3/31/2018 at 08:11, 2ndCMR said:

That was a very interesting article and his fate was similar to that of so many other non-communist Russians who along with all the other indignities, privations and separations they had to endure, were forced to endure what was probably the most bitter thing of all: to watch the stupid, vicious, ignorant and gullible of the Western World fawning over a regime which would have gladly destroyed them all if it could have.

 

Something very strange happened in the west that despite the decades long Cold War and knowledge of the brutality, repression and mass murder by communistic regimes, since the fall of the Soviet Union western culture and society (particularly the generation born or grew up after the Cold War) has become increasingly ignorant of the horrors that communistic ideologies have wrought on humanity.

 

Some degree of Marxist thought has become increasingly established in our education system (particularly at the University level) which has carried over to public institutions and even into the corporate world.

 

Schools educate children about the horrors of Nazism however education and knowledge about the brutality and repressions of the Soviet Union or other communist regimes seems severely lacking. That so many young people who were born after or grew up after the Cold War can be so utterly ignorant about Communism is very concerning indeed.

 

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wrightdw
On 3/31/2018 at 20:26, josquin said:

Damien,

Lt. H. Ingram, Lt. Mantle's observer in 221 Squadron, is 2nd Lt. Harry Ingram, who was born on 22 May 1896, at Norton Canes, Cannock, Staffordshire.

He was promoted from Cadet to Observer Officer (2nd Lt.) on 30 August 1918, was posted to 62 Wing 22 October 1918, to 222 Squadron 31 January 1919,

and to 221 Squadron 2 March 1919.  Shortly after his repatriation from Russia, he was demobilized on 26 June 1920.  He died in 1980, at Birmingham.

Anthony Jacques Mantle, born 17 December 1899, died in Durham, in 1988 (registered in 4th Quarter).

Sources:  Ingram's AIR 76 Officer's Service Record;' London Gazette for 29 June 1920; BMD Death Registry.  Your book is exemplary--distinguished in

every respect and by any standard.

Regards,

Josquin

 

Thanks for the additional information Josquin,

 

'Your book is exemplary--distinguished in every respect and by any standard.'

 

That is probably the best feedback I have had about my book, thank you kindly!

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2ndCMR
On 4/9/2018 at 19:40, wrightdw said:

 

Something very strange happened in the west that despite the decades long Cold War and knowledge of the brutality, repression and mass murder by communistic regimes, since the fall of the Soviet Union western culture and society (particularly the generation born or grew up after the Cold War) has become increasingly ignorant of the horrors that communistic ideologies have wrought on humanity.

 

Some degree of Marxist thought has become increasingly established in our education system (particularly at the University level) which has carried over to public institutions and even into the corporate world.

 

Schools educate children about the horrors of Nazism however education and knowledge about the brutality and repressions of the Soviet Union or other communist regimes seems severely lacking. That so many young people who were born after or grew up after the Cold War can be so utterly ignorant about Communism is very concerning indeed.

 

You are absolutely right, but the process has gone on so persistently for so long that most fail to notice.   Anyone who examines the record will find what a vile, misanthropic and frankly evil person he was.  "We will destroy everything and on the ruins we will build our temple", as Lenin put it.   Only a fraction of Marx's correspondence and writings have ever been published; apparently the rest might not be suitable for public consumption.

 

This however, is a subject for some other forum.

Edited by 2ndCMR

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wrightdw

Article published on militaryhistorynow.com:

"Britain’s Forgotten War — 10 Surprising Facts About the 1918 Russia Intervention"

 

https://militaryhistorynow.com/2018/09/04/britains-forgotten-war-10-surprising-facts-about-the-1918-russia-intervention/

Edited by wrightdw

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wrightdw

I have just learned that I have been awarded the 'Tamplin Prize' (named after Major John Tamplin, MBE, 1927-2015) by the Prize Committee of the Orders and Medals Research Society for my article 'Shackleton's Men in the Arctic: Polar explorers and Arctic warfare in North Russia, 1918-19' (viewable on the previous page of this thread) which was published in the OMRS Journal last year. The prize is to recognise the best first time contributor to the Journal and comes with a cheque for £200.

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MBrockway
9 hours ago, wrightdw said:

I have just learned that I have been awarded the 'Tamplin Prize' (named after Major John Tamplin, MBE, 1927-2015) by the Prize Committee of the Orders and Medals Research Society for my article 'Shackleton's Men in the Arctic: Polar explorers and Arctic warfare in North Russia, 1918-19' (viewable on the previous page of this thread) which was published in the OMRS Journal last year. The prize is to recognise the best first time contributor to the Journal and comes with a cheque for £200.

 

Well done Damien and well deserved - congratulations!

 

Mark

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seaJane

Hear, hear - many congratulations!

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stiletto_33853

Congratulations Damien

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Carter1919

Hi Damian, I have just ordered your book as a Christmas present for my Dad. His father went out to Northern Russia and I'm just trying to find out as much information as I can about his Father, my Grandfather.  His name was George Carter (no middle name)  and lived in Hampshire, he belonged to the King Royal Rifleman Corps and I believe that his service number was 12473 (not sure if this changed when he went out to Russia as I believe it then became No 1 special company KRRC). He came back from Russia but didn't really tell my father much apart from being in Pine forests and the snow coming up to his waist. If anyone could give me some more information about him it would be greatly appreciated.

IMG_0379.JPG

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MBrockway

You have mail :)

 

Damien - I have sent the KRRC Chronicle report on No 1 Special Coy that I sent yourself a while back.

 

Mark

 

Edited by MBrockway

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MBrockway

Rfn Carter went out on 24 Aug 1915 to join 8/KRRC in the field.

 

He also served with 17/KRRC (British Empire League)

 

Here's his British War & Victory Medal roll entry ...

1447824753_12473CARTERRfnGeorge-BWVMroll.jpg.a4b83b29576eae889afc0fd5a12f0557.jpg

 

He appears to have enlisted into the KRRC as a standard Regular on twelve year terms of service (seven years with the Colours and five years on the Reserve) rather than as a Duration of War volunteer.  Enlistment was approximately April 1915.

 

You'll see also that he was an Acting Corporal at the Armistice.

 

Mark

 

PS The correct title for the regiment is the King's Royal Rifle Corps rather than Rifleman Corps.

Edited by MBrockway

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MBrockway

I should add that if George did indeed enlist for 7+5 in Apr 1915, then his service record may have survived - see the link I've sent you in PM.

Mark

 

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wrightdw
On 17/11/2018 at 03:40, Carter1919 said:

Hi Damian, I have just ordered your book as a Christmas present for my Dad. His father went out to Northern Russia and I'm just trying to find out as much information as I can about his Father, my Grandfather.  His name was George Carter (no middle name)  and lived in Hampshire, he belonged to the King Royal Rifleman Corps and I believe that his service number was 12473 (not sure if this changed when he went out to Russia as I believe it then became No 1 special company KRRC). He came back from Russia but didn't really tell my father much apart from being in Pine forests and the snow coming up to his waist. If anyone could give me some more information about him it would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

You won't be disappointing with my book, I have quite a bit on the operations of KRRC and Middlesex Regiment 'Special Company's' in North Russia, Murmansk Command.

 

The KRRC 'Special Company' was formed specifically for service in North Russia and consisted of three KRRC platoons and one platoon from the Rifle Brigade. These men were drafted (i.e. ordered) for North Russia and were not volunteers.

 

The saw a fair bit of action May-September 1919 and eraned a swag of decorations. A number of Special Company men who could ride were formed into a combined Rifles/Middlesex 'Mounted Infantry' company.

 

Plenty more in my book.

 

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James A Pratt III

Daimen I got and read your book and found it very good reading but there are some flaws in it:

p294 battleship Fox the ship was a cruiser

p296-7 medium Mk A Whippet at Archangel real form Ospry Armoured units oif the Russian Civil war 2 Medium Mark Bs were sent to Archangel. When the British left they handed over to the Russian Mk V 9085 and Medium B 1613. The Whites sabotaged them and dumped them in the Dvina river where the Reds salvaged them and used them.

p307 the Battleship Petropavlousk was not hit during the CMB attack the torpedos ran other the ship and hit the quay. see wiki and the book "Russian and Soviet battleships"

p344 the U13 was not rammed and sunk by the battleship Zealandia it was lost by accident see the uboat.net

p383 the middle aircraft is a HF 30 most likely Russian made.

p393 you have HMS Marlborough evacuate the Tsar's family from Odessa real they were evacuated from Yalta in the Crimea

p398 Medium Mk b picture used by Denikin real Denikin did not get any Medium Bs this is the one from Archangel

p421 aircraft being crushed by a tank the book "Gone to Russia to fight" says the only source on this is the book "Last Train Over Rostov bridge" which is mostly fiction

p429 Collishaw commanded the RAF at El Alemain real he commanded the RAF in the desert during the 1940-41 period

p415 on his false claim about downing a Albatros over south russia in reading numerous books and spending a lot of time on the following sites;

theaerodrome.com

12oclockhigh.net

combinedfleet.com

lets just say there are a lot of false claims,extreme over claims ect in both world wars

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Keith_history_buff

I have found it to be a very interesting read, and certainly a niche subject. I would be of the opinion that when a book like this is published for the first time, that it does prompt persons doing parallel research to come forward with new sources which sometimes overturn the "established thought". It is for the general good when such a book stimulates further research and the sharing of new information. 

I daresay there is a paradox for an author and a first edition of a history book to say "If I had known about the existence of x, I would have..." yet it was the publication of the book that resulted in source x being unearthed. 

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wrightdw

Thanks for your replies James, in a project of the length and breadth of my research and a 576 page book there will unfortunately always be errors, editing and proof reading hopefully reduces these errors to a minimum however some will always slip through. I welcome any feedback on corrections. The second print run has nearly sold out, there will be an opportunity to make corrections before the third run goes to print.

 

p294 battleship Fox the ship was a cruiser

      Fox is listed as a Cruiser in Appendix VIII 'His Majesty’s Ships, North Russia, March 1918–October 1919', missed in the proof read that she is shown as a battleship on page 294, the only battleship to serve in North Russia was HMS Glory at Murmansk.

 

p296-7 medium Mk A Whippet at Archangel real form Ospry Armoured units oif the Russian Civil war 2 Medium Mark Bs were sent to Archangel. When the British left they handed over to the Russian Mk V 9085 and Medium B 1613. The Whites sabotaged them and dumped them in the Dvina river where the Reds salvaged them and used them.

      The Mk V on display at Arkhangelsk is 9303, Other than the four Mk V's, the other two tanks landed were 'B''s, correction in next print run. I have also included a very rare photograph of a Mk V and Medium 'B' of the North Russia Tank Detachment under Major John Bryan below. The Mk V on the right is 90##. I wish I had a higher res copy. Major Bryan wrote an article in the Tank Corps Journal in 1920 about the operations of the British tanks in North Russia.

 

Arkhangelsk-9303.jpg
angl-tank.jpg

 

p307 the Battleship Petropavlousk was not hit during the CMB attack the torpedos ran other the ship and hit the quay. see wiki and the book "Russian and Soviet battleships"

      Thanks for this. I had read on a naval forum there was now some doubt that Petropavlovsk was struck however I had not read any compelling evidence in print, I will look up McLaughlins book although it looks to be quite rare, amazon has copies from $495! Admiral Cowan's report om the raid, Lieut. Gordon Steele's VC citation, Agar's 'Baltic Episode', Bennett's 'Cowan's War' and numerous other sources all state Petropovlavsk was struck by torpedoes.

 

p344 the U13 was not rammed and sunk by the battleship Zealandia it was lost by accident see the uboat.net

      Extracted from a biography of Admiral Cowan, looks to be apocryphal.

 

p393 you have HMS Marlborough evacuate the Tsar's family from Odessa real they were evacuated from Yalta in the Crimea

      You have misread the sentence: "On the eve of the French evacuation of Odessa in April 1919, the remnants of the Russian Royal Family were whisked away from Yalta on board battleship HMS Marlborough (Captain C. D. Johnson,RN)."

 

p398 Medium Mk b picture used by Denikin real Denikin did not get any Medium Bs this is the one from Archangel

      Correct, unit return for Tank Corps in South Russia shows only Mk V's and Medium 'A' Whippet

j-Taganrog-Staff-Nos.jpg
 

p421 aircraft being crushed by a tank the book "Gone to Russia to fight" says the only source on this is the book "Last Train Over Rostov bridge" which is mostly fiction

      Aten's book is quite embellished, the events described by Aten at Novorossiysk could be apocryphal, it is not mentioned by Collishaw in 'Air Command' or Jones in 'Over the Balkans and South Russia'.

 

p429 Collishaw commanded the RAF at El Alemain real he commanded the RAF in the desert during the 1940-41 period

      Reference to El Alamein extracted from his Canadian biography. Thanks for the tip, will remove reference to El Alamein in next print run.

 

p415 on his false claim about downing a Albatros over south russia in reading numerous books and spending a lot of time on the following sites;

      Regarding false 'kill' claims, there were certainly credible/confirmed air-to-air encounters between RAF and Red Air Force over South Russia, 'C' Flight (Kuban Group) DH9/A's were credited with shooting down Red aircraft on 25 July and 20 August and damaging Red Nieuport's on 25 August and 16 September 1919. It is the 'B' (Camel) Flight kills which attract contention. No less than four kills in Russia are attributed to Rowan 'Bill' Daly, DSC who would receive the DFC for service in Russia (http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/daly.php).

 

Thanks for your notes and corrections James.

 

 

 

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