In 1919, the new governments of the besieged Baltic states appealed desperately to the Allies for assistance. A small British flotilla of light cruisers and destroyers were sent to help, under the command of Rear Admiral Sir Walter Cowan. They were given no clear instructions as to what their objective was to be and so Cowan decided that he had to make his own policy. Despite facing a much greater force, Cowan improvised one of the most daring raids ever staged by the British Navy. He succeeded with devastating effect; outmanoeuvring his enemies, sinking two Russian Battleships and eventually freeing the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
FREEING THE BALTIC 1918-1920
The British Campaign in the Baltic 1918–20 was a part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The intervention played a key role in enabling the establishment of the independent states of Estonia and Latvia but failed to secure the control of Petrograd by White Russian forces.
During the course of this campaign, coastal motor boats sank one Bolshevik battleship and a cruiser at Kronstadt naval base. Augustus Agar received the Victoria Cross for for the attack on Kronstadt naval base and the sinking the cruiser Oleg.
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