The First World War brought extraordinary opportunities to those who were or had been professional soldiers. There are few clearer examples of this than the career of Major General Sir Frederick Poole. A retired major in 1914, Poole won rapid promotion on the Western Front as a pioneering artilleryman.
Sent to Russia in 1916 to report on its artillery, Poole carved out a pivotal position for himself there. He was an eyewitness to the Russian Revolution from close quarters in Petrograd and travelled extensively throughout Russia on tours of inspection. As the relationship with the Bolsheviks worsened, Poole was the natural choice to command the successful Allied capture of Archangel in 1918. He subsequently led a mission to Generals Denikin and Krasnov, the leaders of the White Russian forces in southern Russia.
General Sir Frederick Poole is based on Poole’s extensive diaries and his many letters, all previously unpublished. Access to this archive, which also contains many wartime photographs taken in France and Russia, has allowed Henry Poole, General Poole’s grandson, to tell the story of a remarkable soldier from the General’s own perspective.
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