In February 1919, Churchill’s volunteers…

…arrived in Siberia to support Admiral Kolchak’s White Army.  Lyddon Morley deployed to Irkutsk with ten soldiers to help train the Russian soldiers, but he was not allowed to make any changes to the syllabus until he “donated” 15,000 sets of British uniform to the 8th and 14th Siberian Rifle Divisions.

Meanwhile other British soldiers from the Middlesex and Hampshire Regiments guarded the trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway and repulsed many attacks by bandits and Bolsheviks…

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Prinkipo Proposal

At the Paris Peace Conference, US President Woodrow Wilson proposed a ceasefire in Russia and a  gathering of all the civil war contenders and Allies on Prinkipo Island, in the Sea of Marmara, on 15 February 1919.

The Bolsheviks accepted, offering terms but not a ceasefire.  However, the White Government in Omsk, led by Admiral Kolchak and encouraged by Marshal Foch and Winston Churchill, refused to participate.

While Prime Minister David Lloyd George and President Wilson were both absent from Paris,  Foch and Churchill, believing the Soviet government to be weak, proposed a military expedition to Russia, but French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, refused to support the scheme.

How different it would have been if the Allies had not underestimated the support for the Bolsheviks, or the logistic challenges of sustaining military operations in far-away places such as Omsk.

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