The Other First World War: The Blood-soaked Russian Fronts 1914-1922 [Boyd]


Winston Churchill called it "the unknown war." Unlike the long stalemate of the Western Front, the conflict 1914–1918 between the Russian Empire and the Central Powers was a war of movement spanning a continent. As the whole fabric of society collapsed, German money brought the Bolsheviks to power in the greatest deniable dirty trick of the 20th century, after which Russia stopped fighting, eight months before the Western Front armistice. The cost to Russia was 4 million men dead and as many held as POWs by the Central Powers. All the belligerent powers of the Russian fronts were destroyed: the German, Austro–Hungarian, and Russian empires gone forever, and the Ottoman Empire so crippled that it collapsed in 1922.

During four years of brutal civil war that followed, Trotsky’s Red Army fought the White armies, murdering and massacring millions of civilians, as British, American, and other western soldiers of the interventionist forces fought and died from the frozen Arctic to the arid deserts of Iran. This is the story of that other First World War.