Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Churchill'S Secret War with Lenin British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20 by Damien Wright

Churchill'S Secret War with Lenin British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20


Churchill'S Secret War with Lenin British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20 by Damien Wright

After three years of great loss and suffering on the Eastern Front, Imperial Russia was in crisis and on the verge of revolution. In November 1917, Lenin's Bolsheviks (later known as 'Soviets') seized power, signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers and brutally murdered Tsar Nicholas (British King George's first cousin) and his children so there could be no return to the old order. As Russia fractured into loyalist 'White' and revolutionary 'Red' factions, the British government became increasingly drawn into the escalating Russian Civil War after hundreds of thousands of German troops transferred from the Eastern Front to France were used in the 1918 'Spring Offensive' which threatened Paris. What began with the landing of a small number of Royal Marines at Murmansk in March 1918 to protect Allied-donated war stores quickly escalated with the British government actively pursuing an undeclared war against the Bolsheviks on a number of fronts in support of British trained and equipped 'White Russian' Allies. At the height of British military intervention in mid-1919, British troops were fighting the Soviets far into the Russian interior in the Baltic, North Russia, Siberia, Caspian and Crimea simultaneously. The full range of weapons in the British arsenal were deployed including the most modern aircraft, tanks and even poison gas. British forces were also drawn into peripheral conflicts against 'White' Finnish troops in North Russia and the German 'Iron Division' in the Baltic. It remains a little known fact that the last British troops killed by the German Army in the First World War were killed in the Baltic in late 1919, nor that the last Canadian and Australian soldiers to die in the First World War suffered their fate in North Russia in 1919 many months after the Armistice. Despite the award of five Victoria Crosses (including one posthumous) and the loss of hundreds of British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and airmen, most of whom remain buried in Russia, the campaign remains virtually unknown in Britain today. After withdrawal of all British forces in mid-1920, the British government attempted to cover up its military involvement in Russia by classifying all official documents. By the time files relating to the campaign were quietly released decades later there was little public interest. Few people in Britain today know that their nation ever fought a war against the Soviet Union. The culmination of more than 15 years of painstaking and exhaustive research with access to many previously classified official documents, unpublished diaries, manuscripts and personal accounts, author Damien Wright has written the first comprehensive campaign history of British and Commonwealth military intervention in the Russian Civil War 1918-20.


An extraordinarily detailed account of the actions by British and Commonwealth troops as part of the multi-national involvement in northern and southers Russia from 1918 to 1920. * Miniature Wargames * This book is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in the conflict. * Army Rumour Service * The result of fifteen years of research, this impressive book sets the record straight and puts this conflict in the public domin where it belongs. It is a scholarly and yet far from dry publication. It fills an important gap and is very highly commended. * Britain at War Magazine * Superb account of the little-known involvement of Royal Marines as they engaged the new Bolsheviks (Soviets) immediately after the Russian Revolution. * Books Monthly * This book should be required reading for politicians before committing troops to any further conflict...I really cant recommend this book highly enough if you are interested in military history in general, or Britain's smaller and forgotten conflicts. The author spent 15 years researching the book and this shines through into an incredibly detailed account of the actions in Russia during this period. Highly Recommended. * *

About the Author

Damien Wright traces his lifelong interest in military history back to his early childhood when he was shown a photograph of his Grandfather in Australian Light Horse uniform and allowed to take his medals to school for show and tell. His interest in the British campaigns in Russia were first piqued in his teens when reading a chronological list of Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross which showed two seemingly anomalous decorations for 'North Russia 1919' listed separately from the First World War awards. Some further digging revealed both Australian VC recipients, one of whom was a fellow South Australian, had volunteered to serve in the same unit of the British Army. Further research proved difficult, so little had ever been published and the campaign seemingly largely unknown and ignored. The product of many years of exhaustive research, Churchill's Secret War with Lenin is his first book.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

15th June 2017


Damien Wright

More books by Damien Wright
Author 'Like for Like'


Helion & Company


576 pages


First World War
Social & cultural history

20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

If you LOVE reading then you will love LOVEREADING! It's a 'novel' idea. Seriously though I could not recommend them enough.

Rebecca Whymark

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville