The history of Azerbaijani–British relations date back to the British expedition was sent from Baghdad to Baku in 18 January 1920, to prevent Azerbaijan's valuable oilfields falling under the control of Germany and the Ottoman Empire. Nicknamed the Dunsterforce, it was commanded by General Lionel Dunsterville. The Dunsterforce arrived in Baku in August 1918. After the Battle of Baku, the Dunsterforce withdrew to Persia in September 1918. The Dunsterforce remained in Baku until 1920, when the Bolshevik advance made it impossible for them to stay. During this time, de facto diplomatic relations existed between the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and the British Empire through the British High Commissioner in the Caucasus, which located in Tbilisi.