North Russia Campaign
Overview
 
The North Russia Intervention, also known as the Northern Russian Expedition, was part of the Allied Intervention in Russia after the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. The intervention brought about the involvement of foreign troops in the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 on the side of the White movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

. The northern campaign lasted from the final months of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1918 through to 1919.
In March 1917, a number of events occurred which changed the dynamics of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.
Encyclopedia
The North Russia Intervention, also known as the Northern Russian Expedition, was part of the Allied Intervention in Russia after the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. The intervention brought about the involvement of foreign troops in the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 on the side of the White movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

. The northern campaign lasted from the final months of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1918 through to 1919.

Reasons behind the campaign

In March 1917, a number of events occurred which changed the dynamics of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Following the abdication of Russian Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 and the formation of a provisional democratic government in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the U.S. entered the war. The U.S. declared war upon the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 (and later upon Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

). The Russian provisional government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

, led by Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

, pledged to continue fighting the Germans on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War I)
The Eastern Front was a theatre of war during World War I in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. The term is in contrast to the Western Front. Despite the geographical separation, the events in the two theatres strongly influenced each other...

. In return, the U.S. began providing economic and technical support to the Russian provisional government so they could carry out their military pledge.

The Russian offensive of June 18, 1917 was crushed by a German counteroffensive. The Russian Army was plagued by mutinies and desertions. Allied
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 war material still in transit quickly began piling up in the already well-stocked warehouses of Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 (Archangel) and the ice-free port of Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

.

The Bolsheviks, led by Vladmir Lenin came to power in October 1917, established a communist government
Communist government
A communist government can refer to:* The government of a one-party communist state* The communist government of a multi-party state...

 and five months later, they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 with the Germans, which formally ended the war on the Eastern Front. This allowed the Germans to begin redeploying troops to the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

 where the depleted British and French armies had not yet been bolstered by the American Expeditionary Force
American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces...

.
Coincidental with the Treaty, Lenin personally pledged that if the Czechoslovak Legion would stay neutral and leave Russia, they would enjoy safe passage through Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 on their way to join the Allied forces on the Western Front. However, as the 50,000 members of the Legion made their way along the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

, only half had arrived before the agreement broke down and fighting ensued in May 1918. Also worrisome to the Allies was the fact that in April 1918, a division of German troops had landed in Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, creating fears that they might try to capture the Murmansk-Petrograd railroad, the strategic port of Murmansk and possibly even the city of Arkhangelsk.

Faced with these series of events, the leaders of the British and French governments decided that the western Allies needed to begin a military intervention in North Russia. They had three objectives that they hoped to achieve with this intervention:
  1. prevent the Allied war material stockpiles in Arkhangelsk from falling into German or Bolshevik hands,
  2. mount an offensive to rescue the Czechoslovak Legion, which was stranded along the Trans-Siberian Railroad and
  3. resurrect the Eastern Front by defeating the Bolshevik army with the assistance of the Czechoslovak Legion and an expanded anti-communist force drawn from the local citizenry.


Severely short of troops to spare, the British and French decided to request that US President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 provide U.S. troops for what was to be called the North Russia Campaign or the Allied Intervention in North Russia. In July 1918, against the advice of the US War Department, Wilson finally agreed to a limited participation in the Campaign by a contingent of U.S. Army soldiers that was hastily organized into the American North Russia Expeditionary Force, which also came to be known as the Polar Bear Expedition
Polar Bear Expedition
The Polar Bear Expedition was a contingent of about 5,000 U.S...

.

International Contingency

The British 6th Battalion Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 Light Infantry (RMLI) was scratched together from a company of the Royal Marine Artillery and companies from each of the three naval port depots. Very few of their officers had seen any land fighting. Their original purpose had been only to deploy to Flensburg
Flensburg
Flensburg is an independent town in the north of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Flensburg is the centre of the region of Southern Schleswig...

 to supervise a vote to decide whether Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 should be German or Danish. Many of the Marines were under 19 years old; it would have been unusual to employ them overseas. Others were ex-prisoners of war who had only recently returned from Germany and had had no leave.

So, there was outrage when on short notice, the 6th Battalion was shipped to Murmansk, Russia, on the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

, to assist in the withdrawal of British forces. Still not expecting to do any fighting, the battalion was ordered forward under army command to hold certain outposts.

Forces included:
  • A British Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     Flotilla of over 20 ships - including 2 Seaplane Carriers, HMS Pegasus
    HMS Pegasus (1917)
    HMS Pegasus was an aircraft carrier/seaplane carrier bought by the Royal Navy in 1917 during the First World War. She was laid down in 1914 by John Brown & Company of Clydebank, Scotland as SS Stockholm for the Great Eastern Railway Company, but construction was suspended by the start of the war...

     and HMS Nairana
    HMS Nairana (1917)
    HMS Nairana was a seaplane carrier of the Royal Navy. She saw service during the First World War.Laid down by William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton, Scotland for the Australian firm Huddart Parker, Nairana was launched 21 June 1915, however construction had been halted...

  • Approximately 8,000 United States Army soldiers
  • 14 Battalions of British Commonwealth troops – Canadian Brigade and Australian Infantry,
  • 2,000 French, Colonial
    French Colonial Forces
    The French Colonial Forces , commonly called La Coloniale, was a general designation for the military forces that garrisoned in the French colonial empire from the late 17th century until 1960. They were recruited from mainland France or from the French settler and indigenous populations of the...

     & Engineers,
  • 1,000 British-Serbian and Polish Rifles were assigned to assist Admiral Kolchak’s
    Aleksandr Kolchak
    Aleksandr Vasiliyevich Kolchak was a Russian naval commander, polar explorer and later - Supreme ruler . Supreme ruler of Russia , was recognized in this position by all the heads of the White movement, "De jure" - Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, "De facto" - Entente States...

     White Guard forces in the north and make a junction with his Siberian forces (Czechoslovak Legion) near Kotlas
    Kotlas
    Kotlas is a town in the southeast of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia, situated at the confluence of the Northern Dvina and Vychegda Rivers. Administratively, it is incorporated as a town of oblast significance . It also serves as the administrative center of Kotlassky District, by which it is...

    .
  • A British Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     contingent comprising Airco DH.4 bombers, Fairey Campania
    Fairey Campania
    |-See also:-Bibliography:*Taylor, H.A. Fairey Aircraft since 1915. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-370-00065-x....

     and Sopwith Baby
    Sopwith Baby
    -See also:...

     seaplanes along with a single Sopwith Camel
    Sopwith Camel
    The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter introduced on the Western Front in 1917. Manufactured by Sopwith Aviation Company, it had a short-coupled fuselage, heavy, powerful rotary engine, and concentrated fire from twin synchronized machine guns. Though difficult...

     fighter.

Opposing this international force was the Seventh and Eighth Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

; The "Army of the North West"; which was poorly prepared for battle in May 1918.

The North Russia Front

The lines of communications south from Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 were the Northern Dvina
Northern Dvina
The Northern Dvina is a river in Northern Russia flowing through the Vologda Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast into the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. Along with the Pechora River to the east, it drains most of Northwest Russia into the Arctic Ocean...

 in the east, Vaga River
Vaga River
The Vaga is a river in Totemsky, Syamzhensky, and Verkhovazhsky Districts of Vologda Oblast and in Velsky, Shenkursky, and Vinogradovsky Districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left and the biggest tributary of the Northern Dvina River. The length of the river is . The area of its basin...

, Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 Railway, the Onega River
Onega River
The Onega is a river in Kargopolsky, Plesetsky, and Onezhsky Districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. The Onega connects Lake Lacha with the Onega Bay in the White Sea southwest of Arkhangelsk, flowing in the northern direction. The discharge at the source is and at the mouth is . The river is ...

 in the west, and the Yomtsa River
Yomtsa River
The Yemtsa or Yomtsa is a river in Plesetsky and Kholmogorsky Districts and in the town of Mirny of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left tributary of the Northern Dvina River. It is long, and the area of its basin...

 providing a line of communication between the Vaga River and the railway in the centre.

This campaign saw the first ever coordinated aerial and naval bombardment and amphibious landing in wartime, namely the bombardment of the battery at Mudyug Island, Arkhangelsk, before its capture. The [Soviet Air Forces|Red Air Force] was still in its infancy with an assortment of World War I aeroplanes. The Allied occupation of Arkhangelsk itself took place on 2 August 1918.

In September 1918, the Allies took Obozerskaya, around 100 miles south of Archangel. During the attack the RAF provided air support to the advancing Allied infantry, conducting bombing and strafing runs.

On August 28, 1918 the British 6th Royal Marine Light Infantry Battalion was ordered to seize the village of Koikori (Койкары) from the Bolsheviks as part of a wide offensive into East Karelia
Republic of Karelia
The Republic of Karelia is a federal subject of Russia .-Geography:The republic is located in the northwestern part of Russia, taking intervening position between the basins of White and Baltic seas...

 to secure the British withdrawal to Murmansk. The attack on the village was disorganized and resulted in three men killed and 18 wounded, including the battalion commander who had ineffectually led the attack himself.

A week later, B and C companies, led this time by an army major, made a second attempt to take Koikori, while D company was involved in an attack on the village of Ussuna. The British were again repulsed at Koikori; the army officer was killed and both the company officers wounded. D company was also beaten off by Bolshevik forces around Ussuna, with the death of the battalion adjutant, killed by sniper fire.

The next morning, faced with the prospect of another attack on the village, one company refused to obey orders, and withdrew themselves to a nearby friendly village. Ninety-three men from the battalion were court-martialled; 13 were sentenced to death and others received substantial sentences of hard labor. In December 1919, the Government, under pressure from several MPs, revoked the sentence of death and considerably reduced the sentence of all the men.

On September, with the Allied withdrawal already going on, a British detachment was sent by sea to Kandalaksha
Kandalaksha
Kandalaksha is a town in Kandalakshsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located at the head of Kandalaksha Gulf on the White Sea, beyond the Arctic Circle. Population: 40,564 ; -History:The settlement has existed since the 11th century...

 to stop sabotage operations carried out by Finnish Bolsheviks
Red Guards (Finland)
The Red Guards formed the army of Red Finland during the Finnish Civil War in 1918. The combined strength of the Red Guard was about 30,000 at the beginning of the Civil War, and peaked at 90,000-120,000 during the course of the conflict....

 against the railway there. The British party was ambushed even before landing and suffered heavy casualties. Consequently, the unopposed Bolsheviks destroyed a number of bridges, delaying the evacuation for a time.

Advance along The Northern Dvina

A British River Force of eleven Monitors
Monitor (warship)
A monitor was a class of relatively small warship which was neither fast nor strongly armoured but carried disproportionately large guns. They were used by some navies from the 1860s until the end of World War II, and saw their final use by the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.The monitors...

 (HMS M33
HMS M33
HMS M33 is an M29-class monitor of the Royal Navy built in 1915. She saw active service in the Mediterranean during World War I and in Russia during the Allied Intervention in 1919...

 and others), minesweepers
Minesweeper (ship)
A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines. Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.-History:...

, and Russian gunboats was formed to use the navigable waters at the juncture of the Rivers Vaga River
Vaga River
The Vaga is a river in Totemsky, Syamzhensky, and Verkhovazhsky Districts of Vologda Oblast and in Velsky, Shenkursky, and Vinogradovsky Districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left and the biggest tributary of the Northern Dvina River. The length of the river is . The area of its basin...

 and Northern Dvina
Northern Dvina
The Northern Dvina is a river in Northern Russia flowing through the Vologda Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast into the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. Along with the Pechora River to the east, it drains most of Northwest Russia into the Arctic Ocean...

. Thirty Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 gunboats, mines, and armed motor launches took their toll on the allied forces.

The Allied troops, led by Lionel Sadleir-Jackson
Lionel Sadleir-Jackson
Brigadier General Lionel Warren de Vere Sadleir-Jackson CB, CMG, DSO & Bar, FRGS was an officer of the British Army who served in the Second Boer War and the First World War with distinction before taking command of the North Russian Relief Force which supervised the withdrawal of allied troops...

, were soon combined with Poles and White Guard
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 forces. Fighting was heavy along both banks of the Northern Dvina
Northern Dvina
The Northern Dvina is a river in Northern Russia flowing through the Vologda Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast into the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. Along with the Pechora River to the east, it drains most of Northwest Russia into the Arctic Ocean...

. The River Force outflanked the enemy land positions with amphibious assaults led by American Marines together with coordinated artillery support from land and river. The Lewis Gun
Lewis Gun
The Lewis Gun is a World War I–era light machine gun of American design that was perfected and widely used by the British Empire. It was first used in combat in World War I, and continued in service with a number of armed forces through to the end of the Korean War...

 proved to be an invaluable and effective weapon because both sides were only armed with the Standard Issue Russian rifle of World War I, the Mosin-Nagant
Mosin-Nagant
The Mosin–Nagant is a bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle invented under the government commission by Russian and Belgian inventors, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations....

.

Soldiers were inactive in the winter of 1918, building blockhouses with only winter patrols sent out.

Setbacks for the Allies

Within four months the Allies’ gains had shrunk by 30 – 50 km along the Northern Dvina
Northern Dvina
The Northern Dvina is a river in Northern Russia flowing through the Vologda Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast into the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. Along with the Pechora River to the east, it drains most of Northwest Russia into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Lake Onega
Lake Onega
Lake Onega is a lake in the north-west European part of Russia, located on the territory of Republic of Karelia, Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast. It belongs to the basin of Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and is the second largest lake in Europe after Lake Ladoga...

 Area as Bolshevik attacks became more sustained. A steady withdrawal was made from September 1918. Fierce fighting took place on Armistice Day
Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...

 1918 – the Battle of Tulgas
Battle of Tulgas
The Battle of Tulgas was fought between Allied and Bolshevik troops on the Northern Dvina River. It took place on the day the armistice ending World War I was signed, November 11, 1918, and is sometimes referred to as the "Peace Day's Bloody Battle"...

 (Toulgas); The Kurgomin-Tulgas line the final defensive line in 1919. Trotsky as Commander in Chief of the Red Army personally supervised this task on the orders of Lenin.

The Bolsheviks had an advantage in artillery in 1919 and renewed their offensive while the Vaga River
Vaga River
The Vaga is a river in Totemsky, Syamzhensky, and Verkhovazhsky Districts of Vologda Oblast and in Velsky, Shenkursky, and Vinogradovsky Districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left and the biggest tributary of the Northern Dvina River. The length of the river is . The area of its basin...

 was hurriedly evacuated.

The furthest advance south in the conflict was a US Mission in Shenkursk
Shenkursk
Shenkursk is a town and the administrative center of Shenkursky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Vaga River. Municipally, it is incorporated as Shenkurskoye Urban Settlement of Shenkursky Municipal District. Population:...

 on the Vaga River
Vaga River
The Vaga is a river in Totemsky, Syamzhensky, and Verkhovazhsky Districts of Vologda Oblast and in Velsky, Shenkursky, and Vinogradovsky Districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left and the biggest tributary of the Northern Dvina River. The length of the river is . The area of its basin...

 and Nizhnyaya Toyma
Nizhnyaya Toyma
Nizhnyaya Toyma may refer to:*Nizhnyaya Toyma , a village in Kirov Oblast, Russia*Nizhnyaya Toyma River, a tributary of the Northern Dvina...

 on the Northern Dvina
Northern Dvina
The Northern Dvina is a river in Northern Russia flowing through the Vologda Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast into the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. Along with the Pechora River to the east, it drains most of Northwest Russia into the Arctic Ocean...

 where the strongest Bolshevik positions were encountered. Allied troops were expelled from Shenkursk
Battle of Shenkursk
The Battle of Shenkursk, in January of 1919, was a major battle of the Russian Civil War. Following the Bolshevik victory at the Battle of Tulgas, the Red Army's next offensive action was against the Allied garrison of Shenkursk; located on the Vaga River...

 after an intense battle on 19 January 1919.

The River Force Monitors made a final successful engagement with the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 gunboats in September 1919. The Allies then withdrew to prevent the Bolsheviks from carrying out the same tactics on the retreating Allied Forces.

Withdrawal of British troops

An international policy to support the White Russians and, in Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

's words, "to strangle at birth the Bolshevik State" became increasingly unpopular in Britain. In January 1919 the Daily Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

 was echoing public opinion when it exclaimed, "the frozen plains of Eastern Europe are not worth the bones of a single grenadier".

In February 1919, two sergeants from the British Yorkshire Regiment
Yorkshire Regiment
The Yorkshire Regiment is one of the largest infantry regiments of the British Army. The regiment is currently the only line infantry or rifles unit to represent a single geographical county in the new infantry structure, serving as the county regiment of Yorkshire covering the historical areas...

 were court-martialled and given life sentences for refusing to fight. From April 1919, the inability to hold the flanks and mutinies in the ranks of the White Russian forces caused the Allies to decide to leave. British officers at Shussuga had a lucky escape when their Russian gunners remained loyal. The allies were forced to retreat.

Archangelsk Railway

Minor operations to keep open a line of withdrawal against the 7th Red Army as far south as Lake Onega
Lake Onega
Lake Onega is a lake in the north-west European part of Russia, located on the territory of Republic of Karelia, Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast. It belongs to the basin of Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and is the second largest lake in Europe after Lake Ladoga...

 and Yomtsa River
Yomtsa River
The Yemtsa or Yomtsa is a river in Plesetsky and Kholmogorsky Districts and in the town of Mirny of Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia. It is a left tributary of the Northern Dvina River. It is long, and the area of its basin...

 to the east took place along the Arkhangelsk Railway with an Armoured Train being manned by the Americans. The last major battle fought by the Americans before their departure took place at Bolshie Ozerki from March 31 through April 4, 1919.

The Baltic

The Royal Navy's Baltic Squadron hemmed in the Bolshevik Baltic Fleet
Baltic Fleet
The Twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet - is the Russian Navy's presence in the Baltic Sea. In previous historical periods, it has been part of the navy of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union. The Fleet gained the 'Twice Red Banner' appellation during the Soviet period, indicating two awards of...

 at the Kronstadt
Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...

 Naval Base, Petrograd (St. Petersburg ). Daring attacks were made by Coastal Motor Torpedo Boats (HM Coastal Motor Boat 4) based at Koivisto Sound, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, 50 km away, supported by RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 bombing raids against ships moored in the inner harbour of Petrograd slipping past the defensive screen of Bolshevik destroyers. Bolshevik minefields accounted for more losses of British naval units. Augustus Agar
Augustus Agar
Captain Augustus Willington Shelton Agar, VC, DSO, RN was a noted Royal Navy officer in both World War I and World War II and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.In...

 led the British small boats in the attacks.

See also

  • British Campaign in the Baltic 1918–1919
  • American Expeditionary Force Siberia
    American Expeditionary Force Siberia
    The American Expeditionary Force Siberia was a United States Army force that was involved in the Russian Civil War in Vladivostok, Russian Empire, during the tail end of World War I after the October Revolution, from 1918 to 1920....

  • Aunus expedition
    Aunus expedition
    The Aunus expedition was an attempt by Finnish volunteers to occupy parts of East Karelia in 1919, during the Russian Civil War. Aunus is the Finnish name for Olonets Karelia...

  • Estonian War of Independence
  • Polar Bear Expedition
    Polar Bear Expedition
    The Polar Bear Expedition was a contingent of about 5,000 U.S...

  • Viena expedition
    Viena expedition
    The Viena expedition was a military expedition in March 1918 by Finnish volunteer forces to annex White Karelia from Bolshevist Russia. It was one of the many "kinship wars" fought near the newly independent Finland during the Russian Civil War...

  • Australian contribution to the Allied Intervention in Russia 1918–1919
    Australian contribution to the Allied Intervention in Russia 1918–1919
    The Russian Civil War began after the provisional government collapsed and the Bolshevik party assumed power in Russia in October 1917. The principal fighting occurred between the Bolshevik Red Army and the forces of the White Army, being a group of loosely-allied anti-Bolshevik forces...


Books

  • At War With The Bolsheviks, Robert Jackson, London 1972
  • Forgotten Valour: The Story of Arthur Sullivan
    Arthur Percy Sullivan
    Arthur Percy Sullivan VC was a banker, soldier, and an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Early life:Arthur Percy Sullivan was born on 27 November 1896, at...

    VC. Peter Quinlivian, Sydney, 2006
  • Churchill's Crusade: The British Invasion of Russia 1918-1920, Clifford Kinvig, London 2006, ISBN 1 85285 477 4.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK