What role did the British play in the fall of tsarism and the events of the Civil War?
Slightly less than a century ago, the Russian Empire, which had waged the most grueling war in its stories, could not resist any more internal enemies. It was traditionally believed that both the February and October revolutions were beneficial to Germany, which hoped to disarm its rival on the Eastern Front (it was not by chance that the Germans in a sealed train sent Vladimir Ulyanov-Lenin to Petrograd). The Anglo-American allies, in theory, should have condemned the rebels, who are shaking the Russian boat. However, at the end of 1916, it became obvious that the Kaiser Empire was losing the war, and in London and Washington they began to think about how to prevent the Russians from reaping the fruits of the common victory.
Why didn't the British shelter Nika's cousin?
In this sense, the fate of the last Russian tsar, who was refused asylum by his English relatives, is very curious. In March, 1917, the ex-emperor Nikolai Romanov was arrested and sent under heavy guard to Tsarskoye Selo. The ministers of the Provisional Government, who ruled Russia after the February Revolution, hoped to send him to England. After all, there was a very warm relationship between the Russian autocrat and the British king. They were cousins to each other and looked like two drops of water. There are letters in which George V swore to Nicholas in eternal friendship and loyalty. However, when a friend needed help, the English monarch only threw up his hands. “We cannot give him asylum,” he wrote to Prime Minister Lloyd George, “I categorically object to this.” Why, it is asked, cousin George has refused a shelter to the adored cousin Nika who besides was his ally in the First World War?
As Vladimir Lavrov, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explains, “It was a legitimate sovereign who could well become a consolidating center, gather under his banners supporters of the revival of a powerful great Russia. The United Kingdom was not interested in this turn of events. On the contrary, the British dreamed that Russia, as a great power, as a competitor, ceased to exist. ” “The king is a symbol of a united, powerful Russia,” said Prime Minister Lloyd George to his cabinet colleagues, “to him in secret agreements we promised to transfer the straits and Constantinople, and it would be the height of insanity to accept him in Britain, thus contributing to the restoration of the Romanov dynasty ".
For a long time, the British were afraid that the Russians would seize the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles and block their communication with India, which was considered the "main pearl" in the crown of the British Empire. “In the event of our victory in this war, Downing Street would have to accept the fact that the Russians would nail a shield at the gate of Constantinople,” said Andrei Sakharov, director of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. - And England did everything to exclude Russia from the number of victorious powers. In this sense, the position of London was distinguished by enviable consistency. As early as the 18th century, Catherine the Second said: “The Englishwoman shits.” And it should be noted, "Englishman shit" is always behind the scenes.
Battleship Explosion and Rasputin's Murder
At the beginning of 1915, at the very moment when, in the secret agreements, the British promised to transfer Constantinople to the Russians, they themselves attempted to seize the Black Sea straits. However, the so-called "Dardanelles operation" failed. A year later, the Russians began to plan their own, “Bosporus operation,” for which a special Black Sea division was formed, staffed by experienced soldiers - all of whom were cavaliers of St. George. The fleet also strengthened: the large battleship "Empress Maria" was launched - the flagship that would finally strengthen Russia's position on the Black Sea. However, in October 1916, the battleship sank as a result of the explosion of the powder cellar. What caused this incident? Not so long ago, the English historian Robert Merid dug up interesting data: the lieutenant of naval intelligence, John Haviland, who served in Russia during the First World War, immediately after the explosion returned to England as a lieutenant colonel, emigrated to Canada and was killed at the end of 20-s Russian emigrants. So, as a result of a study of photo archives, it turned out that Haviland and the battalion commander Voronov, who disappeared on the eve of the tragedy, are one and the same person. And consequently, the legendary story described in the novel “Dirk” is directly connected with geopolitics: the British did everything possible to prevent Russia from seizing the straits.
In December, 1916, this time in St. Petersburg, another important event occurred, to which London was directly related. It is about the murder of the all-powerful old man, a friend of the royal family Gregory Rasputin. Attacks on him in the Entente countries are called by many the information war of the West against Russia. And now no one doubts that the first director of the Secret Intelligence Bureau, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, gave the order to eliminate Rasputin, and a British officer Oswald Rainer made a control shot in the forehead of the old man. In the documentary “Who killed Rasputin?”, Which recently appeared on the BBC, it says that Russian conspirators, such as a graduate of Oxford University, Felix Yusupov, were only obedient tools in the hands of London. The day after the murder, on the front page of The Times, a photo of the Yusupov couple with the signature “Saviors of Russia” was printed. “Rasputin was a kind of talisman for the Romanov dynasty,” writes British researcher Richard Cullen, “and, having eliminated him, the British expected to weaken their main geopolitical rival.”
The first "color" revolution
It was possible to prevent the victory of Russia and deprive it of its rightful trophies only by blowing up the country from the inside. And the British, according to contemporaries, made every effort to throw off the king from the throne and bring the liberals to power, who in London were considered to be people absolutely controlled. “The February revolution, of course, can be called the first“ color ”revolution,” says Vladimir Lavrov, “because foreign powers, primarily Great Britain, played a huge role in its organization. There are memories of the English consul, who met with Prince Lvov, the future chairman of the Provisional Government, and discussed with him how to overthrow the regime. ”
The English Ambassador George Buchanan was constantly playing a double game, building close relations with the opposition groups from moderate Octobrists to the extreme left Socialist-Revolutionaries behind the back of the Russian court. In St. Petersburg, it was even rumored that he had met with the radical socialists and attended revolutionary meetings, putting on a fake nose and beard. In general, the British did not care at all what forces to provide support, so long as these forces opposed the existing regime. (Apparently, this is the traditional pattern of behavior of Anglo-Saxon diplomats working in Russia.)
“On the eve of the revolution, the British embassy turned into a hotbed of propaganda,” Princess Olga Paley wrote in 20 in the journal Revue de Paris, “it was here that the future ministers of the interim government gathered, it was decided to abandon the legal ways of struggle. And it is not surprising that when Prime Minister Lloyd George learned about the fall of tsarism, he rubbed his hands and said: "One of the British goals of the war has been achieved."
Of course, the Provisional Government was completely satisfied with the UK. “The fevralists were very comfortable for the English people,” notes Andrei Sakharov, “they were close to them in their political spirit, dependent and obedient, without any claim to sovereignty.” Liberal ministers instantly abandoned all secret agreements, forgetting and thinking about seizing the Black Sea straits. But the tsarist generals in April 1917 of the year planned to launch the “Bosphorus operation”: the army, located in Romania, was just waiting for the go-ahead. But did not wait.
Wall Street and the October Revolution
Ideally, the British would like to divide the former Russian Empire into several parts. “We need a weak Russia,” they said. Their allies in the United States also dreamed of the same. "Russia is too large and homogeneous," wrote Colonel House, adviser to President Woodrow Wilson, "it must be reduced to the Central Russian Upland ... We will have a blank sheet of paper on which we plot the fate of Russian peoples." It was the American protege who, according to some sources, was the last chairman of the Provisional Government, Alexander Kerensky. “Kerensky assured his patrons in the United States that he agreed to dismember Russia,” noted Russian writer Mark Aldanov, a contemporary of those events, “and no one doubted that, under the most democratic sauce, the country would divide up so that it would remain one fifth of the territory ... ”Recall that in October 1917 of the year from the city of Petrograd, seized by the revolution, Kerensky fled by car to the United States Embassy. What is it? Just a coincidence? Many researchers are surprised by the ease with which he transferred power to the Bolsheviks. “He was offered military assistance,” says Lavrov, “but he refused. Although in the middle of summer, as a boy, I beat General Kornilov himself. In the Soviet textbooks they wrote that by the autumn Kerensky had suddenly become inadequate, but was that so? Rather, he simply surrendered power. Another interesting detail: right after the Bolshevik coup in the New York Times, a note appeared on the creation of the Soviet government, which was allegedly headed by Leon Trotsky. What is a journalistic mistake? Or maybe the Americans were preparing for such a turn of events, developing a scenario for the transfer of power from Kerensky to Trotsky? ”
The historian Anthony Sutton in the book "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" claims that the October coup was committed with the money of American bankers. First of all, we are talking about Jacob Schiff - the owner of one of the largest US investment banks Kuhn, Loeb & Co (existed until the 1977 year, when it merged with Lehman Brothers). Schiff prepared an information campaign plan in Russia to, as he put it, “manage the storm”. And in the first place, of course, he bet on Trotsky. Indeed, unlike the cabinet leader Lenin, there was a romantic halo around him: during the 1905 revolution, Trotsky was the chairman of the Petersburg council, then he was convicted to the eternal settlement in Siberia, he fled ... Schiff, along with other representatives of the American establishment, will equip the Russian revolutionary, supply him with money and helps to easily get from New York to Petrograd, despite all the cordons of wartime. According to some sources, Woodrow Wilson himself wrote out Trotsky's passport, and on the journey he was accompanied by the unofficial personal representative of the president, Charles Crane.
Divide and Conquer
It is known that the British took an active part in the Civil War. In March, 1918, they seized the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk railway, formed the so-called Murmansk legion. In August, British torpedo boats made their way into Kronstadt harbor and destroyed several large ships, including the cruiser Memory of Azov and the battleship Andrey Pervozvanny. As a result, the Baltic Fleet, which remained the only force capable of withstanding Britain in the northern seas, lost its combat capability.
But the main task for the British and Americans was to prevent the restoration of the Russian Empire. And although during the Civil War they seemed to be considered allies of the White Guards, no white government was recognized in the West (only the Wrangel government a week before the evacuation). After all, recognition entailed the need to transfer gold assets to Russia and ensure its participation in the post-war world order. For some reason, no one wanted to support the Russian army in Gallipoli, which, it seemed, could easily be used to fight the "bloody Bolsheviks." The British behaved extremely strange. As the writer Alexander Kuprin, who was in the army of General Yudenich, recalls, “the rifles supplied by England were wedged after the third shot. Machine gun belts did not fit the machine guns. The propellers were not attached to the planes. And on the eve of the decisive offensive a steamer loaded with fencing accessories arrived from London. Rapiers and masks instead of rifles and cartridges - what a black English humor. "
According to historians, the British put money in both piggy banks, sponsoring both white and red. Among the Bolsheviks, who were called "demons" in London, there were, strangely enough, quite a few British henchmen. Take at least one of the creators and leaders of the Cheka, Jacob Peters, who before the revolution was married to the daughter of a major English banker Freeman and managed to become his own man in London light. And the representative of the USSR in Persia, Fyodor Rotshtein, who refused all Russian possessions in this country?
The British also supported Admiral Alexander Kolchak, who, with their light hands, became the supreme ruler of Siberia (his work was supervised by British General Alfred Knox, a former military attaché in St. Petersburg). They even allegedly intended to hold a conference on the Princes' Islands, on which the Kolchak government and the Bolsheviks were to divide Russia in half. And although the Bolsheviks reacted to this plan with interest, Kolchak showed his principles and refused to participate in the transaction. Anyway, when our former allies in the Entente drew a new map of the world in 1919, at Versailles, none of them thought about the interests of Russia. Moreover, it was decided to immediately recognize the states that are formed on the territory of the former Russian Empire.