Anzacs In Arkhangel: The Untold Story of Australia and the Invasion of Russia 1918-19
Hardie Grant Books, $35 pb, 285 pp
The Great War fractured the Europe of its day, and the ripples of the calamity it represented continued to be felt years after the formal hostilities ended in November 1918. Former combatants carried their experiences throughout the rest of their lives; some found it difficult to ‘let go’, while others who had seen little or nothing of the war at first hand felt compelled for various reasons to experience the untidy aftermath of conflict where this continued to play itself out. Russia, in the aftermath of the October Revolution, was one such venue.
The tangled story of the Western intervention in the Russian Civil War is broadly known in outline, though there remains still no really good account of this curious episode in its full, multinational dimension. That small numbers of Australians found themselves in Russia as part of the British effort to throttle Bolshevism in its cradle is also generally known, and Michael Challinger acknowledges the various authors (this one included) who have written about it.