From Victoria to Vladivostok
Canada’s Siberian Expedition, 1917-19
A highly readable and provocative book that brings to a life a forgotten chapter in the history of Canada and Russia – the journey of 4,200 Canadian soldiers from Victoria to Vladivostok in the wake of the Russian Revolution.
This groundbreaking book brings to a life a forgotten chapter in the history of Canada and Russia – the journey of 4,200 Canadian soldiers from Victoria to Vladivostok in 1918 to help defeat Bolshevism. Combining military and labour history with the social history of BC, Quebec, and Russia, Benjamin Isitt examines how the Siberian Expedition exacerbated tensions within Canadian society at a time when a radicalized working class, many French-Canadians, and even the soldiers themselves objected to a military adventure designed to counter the Russian Revolution. The result is a highly readable and provocative work that challenges public memory of the First World War while illuminating tensions – both in Canada and worldwide – that shaped the course of twentieth-century history.
The story of 4,200 Canadian soldiers sailing from British Columbia to the Russian Far East is told in From Victoria to Vladivostok, a fascinating account by the historian Benjamin Isitt.- Tom Hawthorn
[A] fascinating study of the canadian contribution to the military expedition to Siberia.- Nathan M. Greenfield
Benjamin Isitt’s fascinating study of the Canadian contribution to the military expedition to Siberia designed to crush Lenin’s nascent Communist state punches a large hole in how much of Canada’s chattering class conceives of the country.- Nathan M. Greenfield
Short, inglorious, hugely unpopular at the time and largely forgotten now: most Canadians probably have no idea that, once upon a time, this country invaded Russia . .. Isitt’s extensive analysis of why we were there – mostly trying to deprive revolutionary workers at home of an international beacon – is convincing, as is his ironic conclusion: the blatant class warfare of the expedition did more to incite radicalism at home than it did to suppress it in Russia. Less than six months after the Victoria mutiny, a rising tide of industrial unionism would spark the Winnipeg General Strike.- Brian Bethune
Now the Vladivostok story can be known in detail from the excellent research of Benjamin Isitt, in his new book From Victoria to Vladivostok: Canada’s Siberian Expedition, 1917-19, a fascinating and wide-ranging account.- Stephen Osborne
At a time where our mission in Afghanistan is evolving, and leaders come to grips with the 'Afghanization' of the military effort there; and, where the future of Canada’s and the international community’s involvement in Libya is being widely discussed . .. this book highlights many lessons concerning strategic objectives, one being military intervention, and the necessity for public support for same. Highly recommended.- Colonel Peter Williams