Overture with War Drums

CHAPTER XI from The Great Conspiracy: the secret war against soviet Russia
None of the incidents or dialogue in The Great Conspiracy has been invented by the authors. The material has been drawn from various documentary sources which are indicated in the text or listed in the Bibliographical Notes.

A VIOLENT storm was brewing beneath the seeming calm of the middle nineteen-twenties. Enormous colonial and semi-colonial areas of the earth stirred with new hopes of freedom by the example of the Russian Revolution, were awakening to nationhood and threatening to upset the whole topheavy structure of colonial imperialism. . . .

The storm broke in the spring of 1926. Revolution flared in China where a united front of Kuomintang and Communist forces overthrew the corrupt Peking dictatorship, the puppet regime of Western imperialism, and established a Free China.

The event was heralded by an outburst of horrified and desperate anti-Soviet propaganda throughout Asia and the Western World. The Chinese Revolution, representing the upsurge of hundreds of millions of oppressed peoples against foreign and domestic oppression, was violently attacked as the direct outcome of a "Moscow plot."

The Emperor of Japan promptly expressed his willingness to serve as a "bulwark against Bolshevism" in Asia. Encouraged by the Western powers, Japan prepared to intervene in China to put down the Revolution. The Japanese Prime Minister, 'General Tanaka, submitted to the Emperor his famous secret Memorial outlining the ultimate aims of Japanese imperialism: -

In order to conquer the world, we must first conquer China; all the other Asiatic countries of the South Seas will then fear us and capitulate before us. The world will then understand that Eastern Asia is ours. . . . With all the resources of China at our disposal; we shall pass forward to the conquest of India, the Archipelago, Asia Minor, Central Asia and even Europe. But the first step must be the seizure of control over Manchuria and Mongolia. . . . Sooner or later we shall have to fight against Soviet Russia. . . . If we wish in the future to gain control over China, we must first crush the United States. (1)

In March 1927, the Chinese war lord and notorious Japanese puppet, Chang Tso-lin, staged a raid on the Soviet Embassy in Pelting, and announced he had discovered evidence of a Bolshevik plot against China. It was the signal for the launching of the Chinese counterrevolution. Encouraged by Japanese and Anglo-French offers of subsidies, arms and recognition, the Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-she', suddenly broke the united front and attacked their revolutionary allies. A massacre followed. Thousands of Chinese workers, students and peasants suspected of liberal or Communist sympathies were seized in Changhai, Peking and elsewhere and shot or imprisoned in concentration camps and tortured to death. Civil war swept China.

But the Chinese Revolution had unleashed the latent freedom movements throughout Asia. Indonesia, Indo-China, Burma and India were seething. Seriously alarmed, the imperialists looked to Japan to protect them from "Bolshevism." At the same time, in Europe, the General Staffs again dragged out of their pigeonholes the old plans for the anti-Bolshevik crusade and the general assault on Moscow.

At the international diplomatic conference at Locarno, throughout 1925-1926, the Anglo-French diplomats had been feverishly negotiating with Germany for joint action against Soviet Russia.

The British Tory spokesman, the Right Honorable W. C. A. Orinsby-Gore, in a speech at Manchester on October 23, 1924, had put the issue at Locarno in clear and unmistakable terms: -

The solidarity of Christian civilization is necessary to stein the most sinister force that has arisen not only in our lifetime, but previously in European history.

The struggle at Locarno as I see it is this: Is Germany to regard her future as bound up with the fate of the great Western powers, or is she going to work with Russia for the destruction of Western civilization? The significance of Locarno is tremendous. It means that, so far as the present Government of Germany is concerned, it is detached from Russia and is throwing in its lot with the Western party.

In France, Raymond Poincaré, the French Premier, publicly advocated a combined military offensive of the European powers, including Germany, against Soviet Russia.

In Berlin, the German imperialist and anti-democratic press announced that the hour had come to smash Bolshevism. After a series of conferences with Reichswehr generals and industrialists close to the Nazi Party, General Max Hoffmann hastened to London to submit his famous Plan to the British Foreign Office and to a select group of Tory members of Parliament and military men.

On the morning of January 5, 1926, the London Morning Post published an extraordinary letter signed by Sir Henri Deterding. In this letter, Deterding proclaimed that plans were afoot to start a new war of intervention against Soviet Russia. Deterding declared:

. . . before many months, Russia will come back to civilization, but under a better government than the Czarist one. . . . Bolshevism in Russia will be over before this year is; and, as soon as it is, Russia can draw on all the world's credit and open her frontiers to all willing to work. Money and credit will then flow into Russia, and, what is better still, labor.

A well-known French journalist of the Right, Jacques Bainville, commented in Paris: "If the President of the Royal Dutch has given a date for the end of the Soviet regime, it is because he has reason for doing so. . . ."

On March 3, 1927, Viscount Grey told the British House of Lords: "The Soviet Government is not in the ordinary sense a national government at all. It is, not a Russian Government in the sense that the French Government is French or the German Government German."

On May 27, 1927, British police and secret service agents raided the offices of Arcos, the Soviet trading organization in London. They arrested the employees and searched the premises, breaking into files and strongboxes and even drilling holes in the floors, ceilings and walls in search of "secret archives." No documents of an incriminating nature were found; but the Morning Post, the Daily Mail and other anti-Soviet papers published wild stories of "evidence" of Soviet plots against Britain allegedly uncovered by the Arcos raid.

The British Tory Government broke off diplomatic and trade relations with the Soviet Union.

That same summer, raids were made on Soviet Consulates and other official agencies in Berlin and Paris. In June, the Soviet Ambassador to Poland, V. I. Voikov, was assassinated in Warsaw. Bombs were hurled into a Bolshevik Party meeting in Leningrad. .(2)

Marshal Foch, in an interview with the London Sunday Referee on August 21, 1927, clearly indicated the direction in which all this violence was heading.

"In February 1919, in the early days of Leninism," stated Foch, "I declared to the Ambassadors' Conference meeting in Paris that, if the states surrounding Russia were supplied with munitions and the sinews of war, I would undertake to stamp out the Bolshevik menace once and for all. I was over-ruled on the grounds of war-weariness, but the sequel soon showed I was right."

To Arnold Rechberg, one of the leading promoters of the Nazi movement in Germany, Marshal Foch sent a letter, saying: -

I am not foolish enough to believe that one can leave a handful of criminal tyrants to rule over more than half the continent and over vast Asiatic territories. But nothing can be done so long as France and Germany are not united. I beg you to convey my greetings to General Hoffmann, the great protagonist of the anti-Bolshevist military alliance.

The stage was set for war.


(1) The Tanaka Memorial, later to be known as Japan's Mein Kampf, was written in 1927 and first came to light in 1929 after it was bought from a Japanese agent by Chang Hsueh-liang, the Young Marshal of Manchuria. The China Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations published the documet in the United States and exposed it to the world.

(2) Simultaneously, Trotsky's opposition movement inside Soviet Russia, was preparing to overthrow the Soviet Government. An attempted Trotskvite Putsch took place on November 7, 1927. A number of Trotsky's followers were arrested and Trotsky himself was exiled. See page 205.

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