First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Historical Tours', 'WWI Uniforms, Flags', 'WWI Memorials, Museums', 'Living WWI Veterans'.

From Victoria to Vladivostok: Canada's Siberian Expedition, 1917-19 by Benjamin Isitt
In "Canada's Siberian Expedition" history professor Benjamin Isitt explores one of the strangest episodes in Canada's World War One adventure. In 1918, 4,200 Canadian soldiers were shipped, in the wake of the Russian revolution, from Victoria to Vladivostok to fought the Bolsheviks.
(timescolonist.com)

Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915 by Graydon A. Tunstall (book review)
The Carpathian campaign of 1915 - called the Stalingrad of the World War I - pushed the troops of Austria-Hungary and Russia into fierce winter combat, as the Habsburg forces tried to save 130,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers under the siege in Fortress Przemysl.
(powells.com)

Russian submarine hunts the last czars' hoard of gold from the depths of a Siberian lake
Legend has it that a series of railway wagons filled with gold sank into a lake in Siberia during the chaos of Russia's civil war. Now, researchers, exploring the depths by submarine, may have located the lost gold. As Bair Tsyrenov guided his Mir submersible up a slope, a shimmer of gold was seen in the headlights, 400 meters below the surface of Lake Baikal. First the ship's 3-man crew discovered "steel girders that looked like railway bridges." Then they spotted the "bars with a particular golden radiance," Tsyrenov reports. Experts think that the finds might be the gold taken by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak.
(spiegel.de)

British servant murdered by the Bolsheviks alongside last tsar has his name cleared
He had devoted his life to serving his master, and even in the face of certain death that loyalty never wavered. Yet for 90 years, Brian Johnson, killed by Bolsheviks in Russia, was labeled an "enemy of the people". As valet to Michael Romanov, brother of Tsar Nicholas II, Johnson had known he faced execution as the 300-year-old dynasty was wiped out in 1917. Michael asked his servant to escape to Britain, but Johnson refused. On June 12, 1918, both were shot by a mob. As Johnson lay dying, the wounded Michael went to his aid, begging the execution squad: "Let me say goodbye to my friend." Soon, he too was dead. Now the Kremlin has rehabilitated Johnson and the members of the Imperial Family.
(dailymail.co.uk)

History's Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks
Right at the beginning of "History`s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks," Sean McMeekin reminds that on the eve of the First World War Russia was an impressive power on the rise. It was the world's largest exporter of food and it had Europe's largest strategic gold reserves. The Russian ruble was fully exchangeable, and personal savings were growing at a rapid rate. McMeekin leaves no doubt that it was the Bolshevik Revolution's destructive power that dragged the country down and doomed it to decades of poverty and terror. Within a short time, Russia's riches were plundered and evaporated into thin air.
(truthdig.com)

Remains of last Tsar's son - murdered by Bolsheviks - identified
Russia said that scorched remains found in a pit belonged to Tsar Nicholas II's only son and his daughter, 90 years after the Bolsheviks dismayed the world by murdering the last Tsar. Genetic tests and bullet wounds confirmed that the remains included those of Tsar Nicholas's 13-year-old heir, Prince Alexei, came as hundreds of Russians crowded a church built on the site where the family was executed by Bolsheviks. Nicholas II, staged by the Soviets as a failure, is regarded by many Russians today as a martyr and presented as a symbol of the imperial glory which many now seek to recapture.
(reuters.com)

Operation Kronstadt by Harry Ferguson - Mission of 2 Victoria Crosses
The mission began as the most hazardous rescue operation in the history of British Intelligence - and ended in a successful Royal Navy raid on the most heavily defended fortress in Western Europe. "Their cool, disciplined, daredevil gallantry turned what the outside world would have called a forlorn hope into a legitimate operation which met with far greater success than I had ever hoped," said Admiral Walter Cowan about the men of the Coastal Motor Boats who assaulted the Soviet Fleet in the Gulf of Finland on August 18, 1919 - two Victoria Crosses were granted for the action.
(dailymail)

Warsaw 1920: Lenin's Failed Conquest of Europe by Adam Zamoyski
The Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920 as a prelude to conquest of Europe is so little discussed by historians that Adam Zamoyski refuses to call it the Polish-Soviet War. Coming so soon after World War I, it has been neglected by everyone except the Poles, and Zamoyski admits that "the events of 1920 seem not only irrelevant, but quaint". Lenin wanted to conquer Poland to create a revolution in Germany; And even more: he wrote to Stalin advising an attack through Romania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, to provoke revolution in Italy. Stalin replied that "it would be a sin" not to try.
(telegraph)

The treaty that saved Soviet Russia: the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk   (Article no longer available from the original source)
90 years ago Soviet Russia, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which marked a change from agreements of the 19th century in that the Germans set humiliating terms on the government of Vladimir Lenin. Russian losses were perceived by the Western allies as a sign of what would happen if Germany emerged victorious. Thus, the Paris Peace treaties imposed harsh penalties on Germany. For the Russians, the treaty was the fulfillment of the Bolsheviks' promise to pull themselves out of the war. Awful losses and acute hunger had caused the collapse of the Russian monarchy a year earlier.
(themoscowtimes)

October 1917: Lenin versus Marxism, the Bolsheviks and the Soviets
On November 7, 2007, Russia will mark the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution - no longer an official holiday. It is time to recall the real, not mythical, history of that period. Paradoxically Vladimir Lenin had to overcome Marxism and the resistance of the Bolshevik Party and the workers', peasants' and soldiers' deputies before he was able to launch the Oct 25, 1917 attack against the Government entrenched in the Winter Palace. ... Future Red Army commander Mikhail Frunze opposed Lenin. Some memoirs imply that a number of Bolsheviks claimed that Lenin had lost his mind abroad and pushing the party toward an abyss.
(rian)

Nicholas II, the Last Russian Emperor
Nicholas II (18681918) from the Romanovs dynasty was the last Russian Emperor, aka Bloody Nicholas because of the tragic events on his coronation day and the notorious Bloody Sunday as ill omens of the impendent tragic future of the country, and Nicholas the Martyr due to the execution of him and his whole family by Bolsheviks. ... The former Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky recalled that once on his visit to Moscow he asked Yakov Sverdlov: "And where is the tsar?" - "That`s over. Shot down. We decided it here. Lenin believed we could not leave them a live banner, especially in such complicated circumstances".
(russia-ic)

A bravery medal after volunteering to fight the Red Army in Russia
Stuart Davies knew his father's father served in World War I but not that he signed for more action after the 1917 revolution. But the papers with Arthur Davies' 1920 Military Medal were stolen. He now wants to discover exactly why he received the medal: "We know that it was for bravery in the field." Local authority's chief executive Ian Miller is an amateur military historian and recognised one medal as from the Archangel campaign, when Britain sent troops to the anti-Bolshevik "white" forces in Russia. "He transferred to the Royal Fusiliers, which ... was a battalion which had served in the Russian campaign in 1919. Some refused to go. He volunteered."
(bbc)

Russians & Ukrainians in the Canadian Expeditionary Force
What role was played by Ukrainians in the Canadian Army during World War I? The Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) fought in France & Flanders, in battles at Ypres, Passchendaele, the Somme, Hill 70 & Lens, Mount Sorrel, and Vimy Ridge. Do you know a descendant of a Russian or Ukrainian man who served in the CEF during the First World War, also known as the Great War? Since 2003, research has been undertaken about men from Ukrainian and other regions of Imperial Russia who enlisted in Canada. Contact and interviews of descendants of these veterans is needed for a forthcoming book.
(russiansinthecef)

Anti-Bolshevik general to be reburied in Moscow with full honors
A Russian general who fought against the Bolsheviks in the 1918-1920 Civil War will be reburied with full military honors in Moscow. Vladimir Kappel, who died at the end of the war while his army was retreating under a Bolshevik onslaught in Russia's Far East, will be laid to rest in the Donskoy Monastery's cemetery - a year after the reburial there of another anti-Soviet general, Anton Denikin. Kappel's remains were discovered at a rundown Orthodox church cemetery in Harbin, a Chinese frontier city where tens of thousands of Russian emigres found refuge in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.
(rian)

Posters of the Russian Civil War, 1918-1922
Posters of the 1918-1922 Russian Civil War.
(digitalgallery)

1917-1921: The Ukrainian revolutionary Makhnovist movement
The Makhnovists: The history of the revolutionary movement in the Ukraine at the time of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The revolution in the Ukraine was a libertarian, anarchist revolution, and the peasants fought both Bolshevik domination and Tsarist reaction. Historians have failed to record the military genius of Nestor Makhno and the heroic deeds of his comrades in the Revolutionary Insurrection Army of the Ukraine. If the Makhnovists are mentioned at all they are referred to as "bandits" or bizarrely as part of the right-wing "Kulak" movement. But if truth is the first casualty of war, then the history of war must be a pack of lies.
(libcom)

The Kronstadt Uprising of 1921
The story of the Kronstadt revolt, compactly told, a decisive moment in the Bolshevik counter-revolution. Since this pamphlet was written Israel Getzler's book Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy has appeared. Getzler studied the Russian archives to determine the truth of the Bolshevik claim that the social composition of Kronstadt had changed greatly since 1917. He found that 75.5% of the sailors were drafted before 1918. Over 80% were from Great Russian areas, 10% from the Ukraine and 9% from Finland. According to Getzler, "the veteran politicised Red sailor still predominated in Kronstadt at the end of 1920."
(libcom)

Seversky - Aviation pioneer and WW1 Combat Pilot   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Alexander Prokovief de Seversky (1894-1974) was born into privilege in pre-Soviet Russia and entered a military school at age 10. His father had owned an airplane and taught him to fly it. In 1914 Lt. Seversky was assigned to an Imperial Navy warship when WWI began. He became a naval combat pilot in 1915. On his first combat sortie, against a German destroyer, enemy gunners shot him down. The bombs that were hanging from his plane's wings exploded in the crash. He lost a leg, but returned to aerial combat in July 1916 and became Russia's top World War I ace with 57 combat missions, 13 German planes shot down.
(Peter Benesh )

Kyrgyz Mark 1916 Anti-Russian armed revolt   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Dozens gathered on Bishkek's central Alatoo Square to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 1916 anti-Russian armed revolt that was suppressed with great loss of life. The uprising was triggered by Russia's attempts at drafting non-Slavs into the army as part of its war efforts against Germany during World War I. Anti-Russian riots took place throughout most of Central Asia. Some historians believe up to 150,000 were either killed by Russian forces or died while attempting to flee. Although the Urkun uprising was directed against Tsarist Russia, marking the 1916 event was forbidden under the Soviet Union.
(rferl)

Arming ivan -- Russian small arms of WWI
During the Great War, the Russians violated the first rule of a gunfight: have a gun. The fighting on the Eastern Front in the early days of WW1 was performed in open order, columns and close order regimental line formations. The well equipped frontline regiments of the Russian army that took the field in 1914, carried a variety of different rifles. The standard issue model was the battle proven, Model 1891 Three-Line Rifle, better known to the casual collector as the M91 Mosin-Nagant. It is an interesting field of study with a tremendously wide range of weapons, both modern and obsolete, having been issued to front line units.
(findarticles)

Russia`s First World War. A Social and Economic History
The First World War is Russia`s "forgotten war". After the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, the memory of the war was subsumed into the history of the revolutionary process. The war was a difficult subject for the new rulers of Soviet Russia, since they viewed it as an expansionist conflict, embarked upon by Russia as an inevitable consequence of their imperialist ambitions. Despite the death of some two million Russian soldiers, the Bolshevik regime concentrated on the events of 1917 in their historical treatment of the period, seeing the war as almost incidental to the triumphal progress of the revolutionary movement.
(history-ac)

Czechoslovak legions formed in Russia, Italy and France   (Article no longer available from the original source)
More than 100 graves and a mass grave with remains of Czechoslovak legionaires will be accessible to the public at the military cemetery in Vladivostok. Czechoslovak legions were formed in Russia, Italy and France during World War I. Their members were Czechs and Slovaks who were taken prisoner by the Allies or deserted the Austro-Hungarian forces. They became entangled in the civil war in Russia against their will. It is estimated that up to 50,000 Czechs and Slovaks passed through Russia in the years 1918-20. More than 4000 soldiers have never returned.
(praguemonitor)

The American Expeditionary Force, North Russia
The U.S. Army's 339th Infantry, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers and the 337th Field Hospital - in all, 143 officers and 4,344 enlisted men who were later known as "The American Expeditionary Force, North Russia" - were struck by Spanish Flu at sea while on their way to Arkhangelsk. There it joined the Allies, a coalition of forces that included British, French, Canadian, Italian and White Russian troops involved in operations against Bolsheviks. The 1918 influenza supposedly originated at Fort Riley, it followed US troops to the trenches of Europe, claiming in just 6 months far more lives than were lost over the entire 5-year course of WWI.
(masslive)

Russian Academy May Consider Lenin Burial
A Russian history institute and its parent organization have apparently split over whether Vladimir Lenin's corpse should remain on display in Red Square a dispute that reflects nationwide ambivalence over the Soviet founder's historic role. Lenin's body has been on display in the mausoleum just outside the Kremlin since 1924. President Vladimir Putin said in 2001 he opposed the removal of Lenin's body because it might disturb civil peace.
(newsmax)

War and Revolution in Russia: The Eastern Front 1914 - 1921
Russia signalled her withdrawal from World War One soon after the October Revolution of 1917, and the country turned in on itself with a bloody civil war between the Bolsheviks and the conservative White Guard. By 1921, after a period of great unrest, the Bolsheviks triumphed in Russia, and largely reunited the old empire (formally constituted as the USSR in 1923). The repercussions of the events that took place on the Eastern Front, from 1914 to 1921, however, would have a profound impact upon world history for the remainder of the century and beyond - although it was the battles of the Western Front that eventually achieved greater fame.
(bbc)


See also

'Historical Tours'

'WWI Uniforms, Flags'

'WWI Memorials, Museums'

'Living WWI Veterans'.