Battle in the Baltic
The Royal Navy and the Fight to Save Estonia and Latvia, 1918–1920
Imprint: Seaforth Publishing
304 Pages, 6.1 x 9.1 in, 35 black & white illustrations
- December 2021
- In Stock
This new book by Steve R Dunn describes the events of those two years when RN ships and men, under the command of Rear Admiral Walter Cowan, found themselves in a maelstrom of chaos and conflicting loyalties, and facing multiple opponents – the communist forces of the Red Army and Navy, led by Leon Trotsky; the gangs of freebooting German soldiers, the Freikorps, intent on keeping the Baltic states under German domination; and the White Russian forces, bent on retaking Petrograd and rebuilding the Russian Empire. During this hard-fought campaign there were successes on both sides. For example, the Royal Navy captured two destroyers that were given to the Estonians; but the submarine L-55 was sunk by Russian warships, lost with all hands. Seeking revenge in a daring sequence of attacks and using small coastal motor boats, the RN sank the cruiser Oleg and badly damaged two Russian battleships.
Today few people are aware of this exhausting campaign and the sacrifices made by Royal Navy sailors (three VCs were won), but the pages of this book retell their exciting but forgotten stories and, using much first-hand testimony, bring back to life the critical naval operations that prevented the retaking of the new Baltic countries that Churchill saw as an essential shield against the encroachment of the Bolsheviks into Europe. An uneasy peace prevailed until 1939.
"This is a well-written and very readable account of an important but little-known campaign that still has relevance today...I recommend it highly" - Australian Naval Review
"Battle in the Baltic is a fine tribute to those Briton’s who served in the Baltic between 1918 and 1920, especially the 128 servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice" ~Warships International Fleet Service
"Add in abysmal weather conditions, post-war penny-pinching, war-time minefields, and hot-and-cold political maneuverings and you have one interesting account of an obscure, or at least obscure to me, mini-war." ~Historical Miniatures Gaming Society
"The Royal Navy was critical to the success of Latvia and Lithuania in keeping their independence. This book explains how." ~Seapower