The Russian Soviet Republic

By Edward Alsworth Ross | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII 1
THE ATTACK FROM THE NORTH

THE North Russia expedition was conceived shortly after the making of peace between Russia and Germany. The British General Poole, who had been in Russia and who rivaled General Knox in his non-comprehension of what went on about him there, persuaded the Allied Supreme War Council that it was feasible to re-create an Eastern front against Germany. The idea was to send a large Allied force to Archangel, there meet, reorganize and reëquip the Czecho-Slovaks (who were expected to come out by this port), raise a large North Russian army, and then proceed rapidly south by rail via Vologda, Petrograd, and Riga to threaten the Germans and thereby relieve the pressure upon the Western front. Poole believed that the Bolsheviks would allow such an expedition to pass as they allowed the Czecho-Slovaks to pass. In view of the temper of the Russian masses, his expectation that their Government would allow them to become again embroiled with Germany was childish. But the émigrés, who were ruined unless they could bring about foreign military intervention, portrayed these masses as vehemently anti-German and held in leash only by the kaiser's hirelings, Lenin and Trotsky.

Such was the secret aim of the expedition. Its ostensible aim was the safeguarding of the great quantity of military supplies which the Allies had rushed to Archangel in support of offensives which the Russian army of 1917 refused to make.

____________________
1
In the preparation of this account I have been greatly helped by Captain Moore "History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki" and Albertson "Fighting Without a War."

-185-

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