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Nasty Little War

by Anna Reid

In the closing months of WW1, with the world exhausted and depleted by a long a brutal war, fifteen nations cobbled together an army of nearly 200,000 men and embarked on one of the most extraordinary and ambitious military ventures of the twentieth century. The Intervention in Russia's civil war was spearheaded by Britain, her colonial forces and allies. It was designed to stop the Bolsheviks in their tracks, reinstate conservative regimes in the Russian Empire and ensure that Germany did not fill the power vacuum which the Russian Revolution had created. Eighteen months later - after a long and bloody conflict between the Reds and the Whites, the execution of the former tsar and his family, and brutal famine - the British, American and French forces marched out again, surrendering to the unstoppable force of Soviet power. They sent thousands of White Russians into exile, and left death, starvation, destruction and mass pogroms in their wake.

Weaving the story together through the diaries, letters, and news reports of many of the participants this is a war of wildly contrasting fronts. A war of private armies and terrible communication, with participants freezing in bunkhouses or gorging on caviar at balls, riding into towns on steam trains or raiding naval bases in speed boats, inventing currencies, fishing for salmon and leading long straggling lines of typhus-infected refugees to safety, as well as bloody fighting.

Few have acknowledged the Intervention since. When the smoke had cleared, Soviet propagandists had a field day with it; mythologizing the arrogance and incompetence of the British alongside their fat and be-medalled White allies. For the two million White Russians who emigrated following the Revolution it was the great betrayal. In Western versions, it was easier to pretend the catastrophe had never occurred. A Nasty Little War sets history straight, peopling the battlefield with unforgettable character as it brings this tragic failure to life.

384 pages.

ISBN: 9781529326772

€ 21.25 

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Date of Publication: 09/11/2023

  
Cover of Nasty Little War - Anna Reid - 9781529326772Trade Paperback

Nasty Little War also appears in these Categories:

History & Politics