In particular, did they fight in the territories of modern-day Belarus or Lithuania?

Update: Online sources (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War#Caucasus, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/spotlights/allies.htm, https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/history-of-war/saving-the-war-or-killing-bolshevism-in-the-cradle/, etc) state that troops were deployed in North Russia, the Caucasus and Siberia. Furthermore there was a British naval force in the Baltic as mentioned by @JohnDallman.

However, I've not yet found clear sources indicating the precise actions and movements of British forces (which are typically described as 'muddled and half-hearted'), and in particular, whether the British presence ever extended to the Southern Front.

  • 3
    Google reveals multiple sources that suggest British troops fought near Murmansk, not in Belarus or Lithuania. Wikipedia, GMU - Please do preliminary research and revise the question. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 3 '16 at 11:10
  • @JohnDallman - transform comment to answer. Very good catch! – Mark C. Wallace Nov 3 '16 at 14:59
  • 1
    @MarkC.Wallace it was clear from a number of sources that British troops landed in Northern (and also Far Eastern) Russia, but it wasn't clear to me whether their involvement also extended to the other fronts of fighting. I've yet to find a good source detailing the precise British actions. – Uri Granta Nov 3 '16 at 17:13
  • 1
    Please include those sources - omitting them is asking us to repeat research that you've already done. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 3 '16 at 17:17
  • 1
    @MarkC.Wallace You're 100% right. Updated. – Uri Granta Nov 3 '16 at 18:15

The British troops did not really fight. The British landed in Murmansk with the explicit purpose to prevent the transfer of the allied military supplies previously provided to Russia from being seized by the Germans. In the beginning of 1918 the new communist government of Russia surrendered to Germany, and the Western part of the empire (if not the whole empire) fell into a complete disorder. There was a danger that the allied military supplies stored in Murmansk may fall into German hands.

When in the fall 1918 Germany surrendered on the Western front, and the war ended, the British forces withdrew. There was no real fighting between the British and the Communist government.

The British also had some limited involvement in Transcaucasian republics which became independent for a short period after the 1917 revolution. They also withdrew when Germany was defeated and WWI ended.

Another thing is that Britain supported the whites in the Russian civil war with supplies. This support was very limited, and did not include any British troups, only some technicians. A British tank captured from Denikin's troops still stands on the main square of Kharkiv.

A somewhat similar was the story of American troops landed in the Far East. Their purpose was to prevent Japan from seizing Russian Far East.

Communist historians later called these things "foreign intervention". But there was no organized fighting between British or American troops and the Red army.

| improve this answer | |
  • Brits fought all the way from Murmansk to Arhangelsk to Shenkursk. Some of the time they fought against Red Army, some of the time alongside with it. A very ill-conceived mission it was indeed. – user58697 Nov 7 '16 at 4:12
  • @user58697 can you elaborate? so they did fight? – Evil Washing Machine Sep 24 '18 at 12:43

There's an English-language subtlety here. In English "troops" specifically means land forces, and excludes naval forces.

There was a British naval force in the Baltic supporting the Whites in parts of the Russian Civil War, but they provided sea control and bombardment, rather than troops. They helped establish the independence of Estonia and Latvia, but not Lithuania, as far as I know.

| improve this answer | |
  • I agree with this. I think only the Americans landed in Vladivostok in Eastern Russia. – Doctor Zhivago Nov 3 '16 at 18:25
  • The (updated) links in the question suggest that a small number of Brits did land in Vladivostok. Two of the links even links show the British flag in a military parade there. – Uri Granta Nov 3 '16 at 19:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.