Dunsterforce', named after its intrepid commander, Maj.-Gen. L.C. Dunsterville, was the small, secret expedition, known from its clandestine nature as 'the Hush-Hush army', sent to the Caucasus at the end of 1917 in a bid to nip Russia's Bolshevik revolution in the bud, or at least to forestall any Russian attempt to move south and and export their revolution to British-ruled India. Small and ill-supplied, Dunsterforce made up for its lack of numbers with the personal dash of its commander, (who had already been immortalised in literature as 'Stalky' in Rudyard Kipling's public school tales, 'Stalky & Co' based on Kipling's boyhood with Dunsterville at the United Services College at Westward Ho! in Devon).
Dunsterville's own book has plenty of Kiplingesque derring do as the General and his subordinate officers (who led sub-expeditions) to parley with the Kurdish, Persian and Cossack tribesmen of the vast and mountainous area. In the end, Dunsterforce found itself battling in vain to save the oil rich town of Baku from the Bolsheviks before lack of resources and the fatal disunity among his allies forced the force to withdraw, their mission unfulfilled. This colourful memoir, reflecting the charismatic character of its author, is a key source for anyone interested in what Kipling called the Great Game (the great power rivalry between Russia and Britain) in British intervention in Russia and the history of unorhtodox warfare.
Keywords: history, miltary, war, dunsterforce, allied, battle of baku, reference, russia, russian, soviet union, bolshevik