The site takes its name
from an alleged quote of Winston Churchill, on Armistice Night 1918,
when he said something to the effect of:
"The war of the giants has ended; the wars of the pygmies have begun."
Russia was hardly a "pygmy", but for all his rudeness Winston did
correctly foresee the numerous smaller wars that followed the break up
of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Turkish empires.
for the site
I have become very interested in all of the wars that immediately
followed WWI, but particularly the
Russian Civil War and related conflicts, such as the Freikorps campaign
in Latvia and the Soviet-Polish Campaign of 1920. At first I didn't
think there was very much on them in English and French, but then I
realised that the problem was rather that much of it was inaccessible.
A primary reason for this site then
is to provide material that is not
normally accessible, either because
it was published in some obscure journal or not in English, or both. I
have decided to concentrate on written
material rather than pictures, since I can't do everything I might like
you want a general history then I recommend reading a good book on the
subject (see the reading list), since many of the web-sites out there
are immensely unreliable. The Russian Civil War campaigns took place in
extremely varied political and military conditions and there is no way
they can be summarised quickly: sadly, the answers won’t all
be in a couple of Ospreys.
A keen wargamer, I could not resist a small section showing my models
and what I do with them. However, I do not want the site to become a
toy-soldier centred exercise – there are other sites that
cater for this for the Pygmy Wars period.
In particular, I have a fondness for the Kriegsspiel method of gaming
(see gaming by e-mail
in which the players are not all-knowing, all-seeing "Helicopter
Generals" but have to work with late and incomplete information
– it’s not reality, but it’s a far closer
approximation than most table-top gaming.
Once I had the site up, it seemed only natural to add material on my
other gaming interests, but the Russian Civil War remains my primary
I would like to add
I have a section on the Freikorps wars in Latvia, a
subject very poorly treated in English, which I would like to expand. I
would really appreciate any help from someone who can assist with
Latvian (or Lithuanian).
I would also like to write up something on the
Basmachis some time.
Anyone with material they think would suit the site is welcome to send
it to me, remembering that I have elected to avoid it becoming
predominantly picture-based, either of period photographs or toy
This site was constructed using
the free html editor NVu
The maps were drawn using the free drawing package GIMP
The pdf's were converted using the free OpenOffice
I would like to thank my lovely wife for directing me to all three of
without which the cost of the software would have prevented me from
ever attempting this site.
I decided to pay a small fee for the
privilege of avoiding advertisements, but 50Megs also offer free
hosting, so anyone looking at a similar project should know that cost
is not an issue.