Churchill's Abandoned Prisoners

Churchill's Abandoned Prisoners

Author
Rupert Wieloch
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
'Churchill's Abandoned Prisoners' by Rupert Wieloch is about fifteen members of the British Army who were captured during the Russian Civil War. Wieloch was Director of Defence Studies for the British Army so has a good pedigree for a successful military history career - this is his second book.

The book tells the tale of an eclectic group of officers and soldiers who were serving in various roles in the Far East in support of the White Army during the Civil War. Deep inside Russia, their speed of escape, hampered by the weather, the general chaos of the situation and the utter capitulation of the White Army, was overtaken by the speed of the Red Army advance. They found themselves in the unusual position of being prisoners of war whilst their government at home was trying to establish diplomatic and trade links with the newly established communist regime, their captors. As such they were an inconvenient truth and the establishment effectively abandoned them for the 'greater good'.

The story draws upon the accounts of several key members of the group; fascinatingly, one of the fifteen turns out to be a young Captain Horrocks, later to be Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks, Commander of XXX Corps during Op MARKET GARDEN.

This is a tale of British pluck in the face of adversity: the fifteen were only caught because they had remained until the last to ensure everyone else got away. Abandoned by their country, they were left to make the 3500 mile epic journey west, via prisons in Moscow. This is a fascinating account of a relatively unknown conflict which has drifted out of public consciousness following the overwhelming tragedy of WW1. It is published in March and will be available on Amazon; a good holiday read come the summer.

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