The Russian civil war was one of the major events of the last century,
leading to the establishment of the Soviet Union. After the First World War the
British Government, with the full backing of Secretary of State for War Winston
Churchill, sent British forces to help the White Russian armies end the
Bolshevik Revolution. In 1918–1920 the RAF sent 221, 266 and 47 Squadron to
fight alongside General Denekin in South Russia.
The RAF launched attacks on Red Army troops, ships and aircraft, and dropped
bombs on Grozney, Astrokhan and Tsaritsin (Stalingrad), which was captured by
British tanks 23 years before Hitler’s army was destroyed there. Many of the RAF
men were experienced and battle-hardened pilots, having fought on the Western
Front against the German Air Force; the Red Air Force soon learned the quality
of their opponents.
With the overall collapse of the White Forces in South Russia, the British
were forced to make an honourable withdrawal in 1920. The contribution made by
the RAF aircrews to the White Russian cause was nonetheless great, and out of
all proportion to their numbers.
This is the first book focusing on the 1918–1920 RAF campaign in South Russia
ever to be published, and presents a fascinating insight into an almost unknown
period in RAF history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Smith was born in Lancashire and left school aged 15 to start an
apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery. After working in construction for 20
years he spent the next 20 years teaching in various Further Education colleges
in the London area. Between careers he was awarded a BA in History &
Philosophy at North London University, and an MA in War Studies at Kings College
London. He now works as a Clerk of Works for a large surveying company.
He has a lifelong interest in the RAF and military aviation, brought on by
reading Biggles from an early age.
192 PAGE SOFTCOVER 50 MONO IMAGES