This book is a very thorough and comprehensive account of the Civil War and Allied intervention that followed the chaotic Russian revolution of 1917 which culminated in the Bolshevik take over. Although written from the perspective of the White counter-revolutionary armies fighting to overthrow Lenin’s new ‘Red’ regime, Stewart is remarkably objective. Generously illustrated with both maps and photographs, this is a big book which attempts – very successfully – to cover widespread theatres of war in the vastest country on earth. The Reds had two huge advantages over their White opponents : they had a unified, single command and they were defending central positions in the heart of Russia – including the capital, Moscow, and the port city of Leningrad [St Petersburg] – against diffuse attacks from different directions. By contrast the Whites were disunited politically, ranging from reactionary monarchists to social democrats and even anarchists – and were fighting in widely different locations – under rival commanders unable to co-ordinate their disparate – and often desperate – attacks. As a result, the more ruthless Reds were eventually able to defeat them piecemeal; and the efforts by the Allies – the US, Britain, France and even Japan – to support them were in vain. This book covers the fighting in Siberia when Admiral Kolchak was the White leader; Ukraine, where General Deniken held sway; the Baltic where General Yudenich threatened St Petersburg, cradle of the revolution; and the Crimea where General Wrangel represented the last forlorn hope of the Whites before he and they were forced into exile.
WHITE ARMIES OF RUSSIA A Chronicle of Counter-Revolution and Allied Intervention
A massive and comprehensive history of the Civil War and Allied intervention in Russia after the 1917 revolution which brought the Bolsheviks to power. Particularly rich in maps and photos, Stewart’s account shows clearly why the diffuse and disunited Whites were no match for the single-minded and ruthless Reds.