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PhilB

British Generals and the Russian Campaign

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PhilB

The book I`m reading ( Ken Follett, Fall of Giants - admittedly not a factual history) suggests that the British forces were sent to Russia to support the White Russians without the approval of either parliament or the generals. Is it known what the attitude of the British High Command, RAF and Admiralty actually was?

The British forces employed were:-

 

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James A Pratt III

There are a number of books on this intervention see the book section

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PhilB

Thanks.

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wrightdw

Check out my book on the campaign in my signature. You can preview by clicking on the cover image at the amazon link. I include a full order of battle as an appendix.

 

Essentially the first British troops sent to Russia were a party of Royal Marines and sailors from HMS Glory and HMS Cochrane despatched to Murmansk in North Russia to protect the ice-free port form German troops in Finland. The first battles fought by British troops in Russia in March-May 1918 were against German allied White Finnish troops.

 

Relations with the local soviets was initially tense but cordial however the British resolved the diplomatic uncertainty when they attacked and occupied the Soviet held White Sea city of Archangel/Arkhangelsk in August 1918. Thereafter the British pursued a war against the Soviets in Russia however the objective was always to reopen the Eastern Front which had been closed since the November 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

 

One of the largest battles fought by British, Canadian and US troops in North Russia was fought on 11 November 1918, the defence of the village of Tulgas on the Dvina River against Red Army troops attacking from the forest wearing white smocks as camouflage against the snow. The men did not learn of the Armistice on the Western Front until the following day.

 

After 11 November 1918, there no longer being any objective to reopen the Eastern Front, the British policy was exclusively the overthrow of Lenin's Bolsheviks (later known as Soviets) from power which Winston Churchill (who became Secretary of State for War in January 1919) was a huge proponent in spite of reluctance amongst his parliamentary colleagues to become embroiled in the Russian quagmire having just been through the most brutal conflict in human history up to that time.

 

It is a very interesting although little known part of British military history.

 

My book is about British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Indian military operations in Russia and experiences of the individual soldiers, sailors and airmen rather than the political side of things.

 

 

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James A Pratt III

Look up on wiki "The Russian Civil War" and you will find many books on this subject

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PhilB
Posted (edited)

Thanks, gents. As you say, a little known part of our history.

It doesn`t seem to appear in the Official History of WW1?

Edited by PhilB

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