This third volume in Michael Kettle's series on Allied intervention in the Russian civil war, begins at the point when small-scale Allied intervention in Bolshevik-overrun Russia had failed, but had succeeded in covering the formation of some anti-Bolshevik White groups sympathetic to allied aid.
Written on a panoramic basis which includes detailed documents from both sides, Kettle reveals what each side's leadership had to face as the Russian kaleidoscope constantly changed. Kettle argues that British intervention was doomed to failure and that the White Russians became expendable British pawns in a temporary forward holding position, designed to contain the Bolshevik inferno within Russia. The strategic and military miscalculations of British medium intervention thus prolonged the Russian civil war, and caused a further 14 million Russian deaths. Using Churchill's previously unpublished, last papers and recently available French documents, Kettle provides a fascinating and in-depth analysis of the `Archangel Fiasco'.
`Kettle's narrative is voluminous … Kettle is good on British agents such as Sidney Reilly and Captain George Hill, (to) whose reporting he gives high marks. His account of the macabre French debacle at Odessa is gripping. The story of Admiral Cowan's singular naval war in the Baltic displays Kettle's fine points as a former war correspondent, and conveys just the right touch of confusion and mayhem … Kettle's series is formidable…' - Wesley K Wark Times Literary Supplement
`Michael Kettle catches churchill at his silliest and most destructive in this massively researched monumental study of the arrogance and ignorance with which Western Powers responded to the Russian Revolution.' - Owen Dudley Edwards The Scotsman
`It is a sorry tale of military ineptitude and divided counsels, and Michael Kettle unfolds it with meticulous authority.' - John Vincent Sunday Times
`Intervening in civil wars is tricky. of this, there is good evidence in Michael Kettle's book … This is a labour of enormous scholarship - Norman Stone The Times
`… is a labour of enormous scholarship, a life's work… ' - The Times