861.00/6599: Telegram

The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Acting Secretary of State

214. Following from Admiral McCully, Novorossiisk:

“30. March 16, 11 a.m. General Denekine with his staff have arrived in Novorossiisk which will be headquarters. Kuham has moved to Maikop. On March 15th had interview with General Denekine who appeared much depressed and not at all hopeful, explaining all Denekine government funds have been transferred to Batum and my impression is that in spite of the strength and obvious advantages of Crimea General Denekine is opposed to transferring his forces there and contemplates operations against the Greens and occupation of some barricades on east coast Black Sea. The British are violently opposed to this scheme not only on superior advantages of Crimea for defense but also occupation of base on east coast of Black Sea brings area of probable hostilities too close to British [Page 587] sphere of influence and may also involve Georgia. British have gone so far as to warn Denekine that if he persists in this intention they will withdraw half of support and will destroy all their military stores in Novorossiisk of which there is about $50,000,000 worth and will declare operations against Greens unjust. Denekine’s reluctance to go to Crimea may be due to the existing discontent there with his regulators [sic] which involves also Russian naval forces. General Denekine asked if anything could be done in the way of assisting him with hospital ships for his sick and wounded and with food. His quartermaster general states there is at Novorossiisk only five days bread for his forces. Order is now fairly well maintained in Novorossiisk and secured by British troops and reliable Russian forces but there are rumors that his officers have notified General Denekine that he will not be allowed to leave Novorossiisk without his troops. Of naval forces at Novorossiisk there are present British battleship Emperor of India, cruiser Calypso and three destroyers under Rear Admiral Sabean, French cruiser Waldeck Rousseau and one destroyer, Italian cruiser Etna, one Greek destroyer and United States Ship Galway. I am leaving Novorossiisk temporarily to visit east Black Sea ports but will return in case of necessity. McCully.”