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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
Posted (edited)

I am the author of this new release from Helion and Company.

 

I would be pleased to respond to any enquiries. Families of servicemen who served in Russia 1918-20 provided a wealth of material and were critical in the production of this book.

 

Why should such a remarkable event as the two-year campaign by the British Government to militarily defeat the Bolsheviks (later known as the ‘Soviets’) on Russian soil be virtually forgotten today?

 

From August 1918-July 1920 – initially in an attempt to restore a ‘White Russian’ Government to power, which would recommence hostilities on the Eastern Front after Lenin’s Revolutionary Bolsheviks signed a peace agreement with the Central Powers (considered a great betrayal by Britain and France) – the British Government sent troops, ships and the most modern planes and tanks in the British arsenal to fight the Red Army on the ground in Russia.

 

When I first developed an interest in the campaign some years ago, asking around British military history circles, few knew anything at all about the British campaign in Russia after the First World War, which seemed bizarre, given the significance of the Secretary of State for War – Winston Churchill – pursuing an undeclared war against the first leader of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. The ultimate victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War – and the establishment of the Soviet Union – would shape most of the 20th century, so why should this fascinating and important period of British military history be so neglected and forgotten?

 

Churchill’s Secret War with Lenin: British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20 is the culmination of more than 15 years of research, including trawling through many thousands of pages from National Archives in the UK, Australia and Canada, as well as many diaries, photographs, letters and unpublished private papers generously donated by families of servicemen from across the Commonwealth (particularly the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand). Without the generous contributions of family members whose relatives served in Russia, the book would not have been possible.

 

The highlight of my research into the campaign was meeting with Mrs Victoria Christen (née Pearse) – the daughter of Sergeant Samuel George Pearse VC MM, an Australian ‘North Russia Relief Force’ volunteer killed in action in August 1919 and awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Victoria was born after her father’s death and, at the private presentation of the VC to Pearse’s widow in 1920, Queen Mary nursed baby Victoria – remarking how sad it was that the little girl should have to grow up without her father.

 

Readers may be surprised to learn that the last British servicemen to be killed by the German Army during the First World War met their fate in the Baltic in October 1919 – almost a year after the Armistice. In fact they were not soldiers at all, but nine Royal Navy sailors of the cruiser HMS Dragon struck by shells fired by German ‘Iron Division’ troops ashore in Latvia, who considered the Armistice to apply to the Western Front only and not themselves in the Baltic.

 

Readers may also be surprised to learn that the first Soviet submarine kill in history was a Royal Navy destroyer – HMS Vittoria – which was sunk by torpedoes fired from the Soviet submarine Pantera in the Baltic Sea in 1919, or that the RAF and Red Air Force fought each other in the skies over Russia, or that the last Canadian and Australian soldiers to be killed in action in the First World War met their fate in North Russia in 1919 (many months after the Armistice). It is likely that readers will never have heard that the first tanks to capture Stalingrad were British crewed Tank Corps Mark V’s albeit it was June 1919 and the city was still named ‘Tsaritsyn’ or of the more than a hundred British and Commonwealth servicemen from all three services (including a VC recipient) who were held as POWs by the Soviets in Moscow. It is also a little-known fact that the bodies of nearly a thousand British and Commonwealth servicemen who died fighting the Soviets remain buried in Russian soil.

 

Immediately after withdrawal in mid-1920, the British Government attempted to cover up their involvement in Russia by classifying all official documents relating to the campaign under the ‘50 year’ rule. By the time the files were quietly released decades later, there was very little public interest.

 

Churchill’s Secret War with Lenin fills a huge gap in the knowledge of modern British and Commonwealth military history. Imagine if the British attempt to overthrow the Bolsheviks had been successful and there had never been a Soviet Union… the ramifications would have been enormous, and the world we live in today would be very different indeed.

 

Foreword written by the grandson of Sgt. S.G. Pearse, VC, MM, 45th Royal Fusiliers late AIF, Killed in Action (posthumous Victoria Cross), 29th August 1919, North Russia.

Hardcover, 576 pages.

 

UK/Europe: available direct from publisher: http://www.helion.co.uk/churchill-s-secret-war-with-lenin-british-and-commonwealth-military-intervention-in-the-russian-civil-war-1918-20.html

 

North America: available from Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/ChurchillS-Secret-War-Lenin-Commonwealth/dp/1911512102

 

Australia: available from Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Churchills-Secret-War-with-Lenin-Damien-Wright/9781911512103?ref=grid-view&qid=1497803200553&sr=1-1

also Angus & Robertson: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/churchills-secret-war-with-lenin-damien-wright/p/9781911512103?gclid=CILSi6nhx9QCFYcDKgodWfcDjQ

also Booktopia: http://www.booktopia.com.au/churchill-s-secret-war-with-lenin-damien-wright/prod9781911512103.html?source=pla&gclid=COXr_MLhx9QCFZITvQodxxMNbQ

 

Depending on your location if you search online you might find the best price + postage for you. Try bookfinder: https://www.bookfinder.com/

 

I would be pleased to respond to any enquiries.

 

Sample pages below.

 

 

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Acknowledgements 1.jpg

Acknowledgements 2.jpg

page 40.jpg

page 150.jpg

page 181.jpg

page 271.jpg

page 333.jpg

page 334.jpg

Page 473.jpg

Edited by wrightdw

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Steven Broomfield

Bl**dy Helion. Yet another fascinating book at a price I can afford.Mrs Broomfield is going to be writing a Letter.

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593jones

Get her to write it on cardboard, then it will be a stiff letter!  (Sorry!!)

 

It's a fascinating subject.  Does anyone know if the servicemen buried in Russia are commemorated in any way?  Would the CWGC be involved in any way?

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KONDOA

A very interesting subject. I was in Russia last year and was fascinated to learn of various foreign brigades that were also involved and their use of the Trans Siberia Railway to attack from the East.

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ForeignGong

Just ordered my copy and can't wait for it to arrive.

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Len Trim

My paternal  grandfather, surname Trim, was a Royal Marine and amongst other places served at Zebrugge and was one of the men on the ballot for the VC. He also served in Russia in 1919 and was wounded there. Some time after that he had an easier posting in the Black and Tans!

Len

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wrightdw
18 hours ago, 593jones said:

It's a fascinating subject.  Does anyone know if the servicemen buried in Russia are commemorated in any way?  Would the CWGC be involved in any way?

 

CWGC maintains cemeteries at Murmansk, Archangel (Arkhangelsk) and Vladivostok.

 

A large number of British servicemen who died during the Eastern Baltic operations are commemorated at CWGC Brookwood (UK) and those that died during operations in the Crimea 1919-20 commemorated at the Haidar Pasha Memorial (Turkey)

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wrightdw
7 hours ago, Len Trim said:

My paternal  grandfather, surname Trim, was a Royal Marine and amongst other places served at Zebrugge and was one of the men on the ballot for the VC. He also served in Russia in 1919 and was wounded there. Some time after that he had an easier posting in the Black and Tans!

Len

 

Hi Len, do you have any more information on your Grandfathers service in Russia?

 

The following RM units served ashore in N. Russia:

 

Murmansk:

6th Battalion, Royal Marines
Royal Marines Field Force North Russia (HMS Glory III)

 

Archangel:

Detachment (94 officers and men) Royal Marines Field Force North Russia (Russian Allied Naval Brigade)
Royal Marines Landing Party Dvina River

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Steven Broomfield

Fascinating. Definitely on my forthcoming birthday list.

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593jones

Thanks, I shall definitely be buying the book.

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James A Pratt III

Looks interesting will read one day

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MartH
Posted (edited)

I got back from Le Mans to find this waiting. It looks mouth watering. Most of the topics are ones I have had an interest in for years, and even knew some of the participants. 

 

I am intrigued to see what Finnish sources where used. 

Edited by MartH
Typo

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wrightdw

A North American member tipped me off to https://www.bookfinder.com/

 

Copies can be obtained cheaper than from Amazon directly through the above link.

 

I actually don't have a copy myself yet as the book was printed in UK late last week and I am in Australia, looking forward to seeing it myself!

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Len Trim
On 19 June 2017 at 17:32, wrightdw said:

 

Hi Len, do you have any more information on your Grandfathers service in Russia?

 

The following RM units served ashore in N. Russia:

 

Murmansk:

6th Battalion, Royal Marines
Royal Marines Field Force North Russia (HMS Glory III)

 

Archangel:

Detachment (94 officers and men) Royal Marines Field Force North Russia (Russian Allied Naval Brigade)
Royal Marines Landing Party Dvina River

Sorry to take so long to reply. According to my grandfather's Certificate of Service he served in Russia 1st June 1918 to 5th June 1919. It states that he was wounded in N. Russia on 3rd May 1919. For those dates he was in the headquarters of Glory 111.

He was a Sergeant at the time. Full name Arthur Earnest Trim.

Len

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paulgranger
12 hours ago, wrightdw said:

A North American member tipped me off to https://www.bookfinder.com/

 

Copies can be obtained cheaper than from Amazon directly through the above link.

 

I actually don't have a copy myself yet as the book was printed in UK late last week and I am in Australia, looking forward to seeing it myself!

Not to undermine your financial rewards for the book, but  through Dagwood Books, which is an off-shoot of Helion, via Amazon, it's cheaper than the best Bookfinder recommendation by about £5.00.

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MartH

I am confused Daqwood books is listed on Bookfinder as the best price.

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paulgranger
12 minutes ago, MartH said:

I am confused Daqwood books is listed on Bookfinder as the best price.

Hmmm. Well, I just checked  Bookfinder and Dagwood wasn't listed at all. Best price was £20.27 from Blackwell's via ABE Books.

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wrightdw
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Len Trim said:

Sorry to take so long to reply. According to my grandfather's Certificate of Service he served in Russia 1st June 1918 to 5th June 1919. It states that he was wounded in N. Russia on 3rd May 1919. For those dates he was in the headquarters of Glory 111.

He was a Sergeant at the time. Full name Arthur Earnest Trim.

Len

 

Hi Len, that means he was a member of the "Royal Marine Field Force North Russia" (HMS Glory III).

 

94 officers and men from the RMFFNR were detached to serve at Archangel and down the Dvina River from August 1918.

 

The RMFFNR was withdrawn in June 1919 after a full 12 months in North Russia, longer than any other unit to serve ashore in North Russia other than the SYREN training mission.

 

Your grandfather was wounded during General Maynard's "Railway Offensive" advance down the Murmansk-Petrograd Railway towards Lake Onega. The date indicates he was wounded during the capture by French and Canadian troops of the town of Maselga.

 

I am sure that will be of interest!

 

 

 

 

page 27.jpg

Edited by wrightdw

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Neill Gilhooley

Excellent subject Damien, good work.

Anything on John Morrison Dalziel? An apprentice dentist, he joined 9th Royal Scots as a Private, was wounded three times, commissioned into 3rd Royal Scots, attached 2/10th Royal Scots, killed on 14th November 1918.

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Len Trim

Absolutely fascinating.

As I have said I have his Certificate of Service. Most of it is a list of 'ships' he served in and the dates. Where this actually was in terms of 'boots on the ground' I unfortunately have no idea.

 

Len

 

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wrightdw
46 minutes ago, Neill Gilhooley said:

Excellent subject Damien, good work.

Anything on John Morrison Dalziel? An apprentice dentist, he joined 9th Royal Scots as a Private, was wounded three times, commissioned into 3rd Royal Scots, attached 2/10th Royal Scots, killed on 14th November 1918.

 

Hi Neil,

 

Dalziel is mentioned on page 148-149 and the annotated Roll of Honour (Appendix I).

 

A number of British, US and Canadian troops died in the defence of the village of Tulgas on the Dvina River during the period 11-14 November 1918.

 

87 officers and men of 2/10th Royal Scots died in North Russia, they were the stalwarts of the advance down the Dvina, August-September 1918 and holding the winter defence line during the Red Army offensives of October and November 1918.

 

 

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MartH
2 hours ago, paulgranger said:

Hmmm. Well, I just checked  Bookfinder and Dagwood wasn't listed at all. Best price was £20.27 from Blackwell's via ABE Books.

 

Your cookies are messing up bookfinder I just bought through them another copy for my Aunt via Dagwood at £18.31 including postage.

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Neill Gilhooley
16 hours ago, wrightdw said:

Dalziel is mentioned on page 148-149 and the annotated Roll of Honour

Thank you very much, looking forward to reading it.

What I have is here: https://neillgilhooley.com/9th-royal-scots/index/

Neill

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RFT
Posted (edited)

Have just purchased 'Churchill's Secret War With Lenin' from Dagwoods (Amazon) at £18:31 including p&p.

Am particularly interested in the campaign in south Russia.

 

 

Edited by RFT

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17tankman

Do you have any information on Lt Clarence Raymond Wentworth Knight RAF?

Thanks

17tankman

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