The North Russia intervention, also known as the Northern Russian expedition, the Archangel campaign, and the Murman deployment, was part of the Allied intervention in Russia after the October Revolution. The intervention brought about the involvement of foreign troops in the Russian Civil War on the side of the White movement. The movement was ultimately defeated, while the Allied forces withdrew from Northern Russia after fighting a number of defensive actions against the Bolsheviks such as the battle of Bolshie Ozerki. The campaign lasted from June 1918, during the final months of World War I, to October 1919.
The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, came to power in October 1917 and established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Five months later, they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, which formally ended the war on the Eastern Front. This allowed the German army to begin redeploying troops to the Western Front, where the depleted British and French armies had not yet been bolstered by the American Expeditionary Force.
An international policy to support the White Russians and, in newly appointed Secretary of State for War Winston Churchill’s words, “to strangle at birth the Bolshevik State” became increasingly unpopular in Britain. In January 1919 the Daily Express was echoing public opinion when, paraphrasing Bismarck, it exclaimed, “the frozen plains of Eastern Europe are not worth the bones of a single grenadier”.
From April 1919, the inability to hold the flanks and mutinies in the ranks of the White Russian forces caused the Allied Powers to decide to leave.
The British War Office sent General Henry Rawlinson to North Russia to assume command of the evacuation out of both Archangel and Murmansk. General Rawlinson arrived on August 11. On the morning of September 27, 1919, the last Allied troops departed from Archangel and on October 12, Murmansk was abandoned.