ONE of the Royal Navy’s forgotten campaigns is to be the subject of a talk in Worcester by a renowned war historian and author.

Steve Dunn will be discussing the Battle of the Baltic, which took place just after the First World War and became known as  Churchill’s secret war with Lenin. It covers events in 1918–19 which were a part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.

The evening is being organised by the Battle of Worcester Society and chairman Richard Shaw said: “For most participants, the First World War ended on November 11, 1918, however the Royal Navy found itself, despite four years of slaughter and war weariness, fighting a fierce and brutal battle in the Baltic Sea against Bolshevik Russia in an attempt to protect the fragile independence of the newly liberated states of Estonia and Latvia.”

The campaign proved unpopular and significant unrest took place among British sailors in the Baltic. This included small-scale mutinies among the crews of HMS Vindictive and Delhi - the latter due in part to the behaviour of Admiral Walter Cowan who took over command of the campaign half way through from Admiral Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair - and other ships stationed in Björkö Sound.

The causes were a general war-weariness, for many of the crews had fought in WW1, poor food and accommodation, a lack of leave, and the effects of Bolshevik propaganda.

Called Operation Red Trek and launched in the wake of the Russian collapse and revolution of 1917, the aims were to stop the rise of Bolshevism, to protect Britain's interests, and to extend the freedom of the seas. The situation in the Baltic states in the aftermath of WW1 was chaotic.

The Russian Empire had collapsed and the Bolshevik Red Army, pro-independence, and pro-German forces were fighting across the region. 

Mr Shaw added: “The RN ships and men 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 and the gangs of freebooting German soldiers, the Freikorps. It should make for a fascinating evening.”

The talk by Steve Dunn, who lives in Barnt Green, near Bromsgrove, takes place in The Studio at The Hive, Worcester at 7.15pm on Wednesday, March 18.

Tickets are £7 for adults; £5 for Battle of Worcester Society members and £3 for students. Tickets can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre; the Battle of Worcester Society on 01905 358640; on the website at: or on the door on the night.