Wednesday, December 07, 2005

American troops in Russia

Perhaps few Americans realize that an American Expeditionary Force (AEF) landed in northern Russia and Siberia from 1918-1919.

Brief background on the conflict can be found here or here. Pictured at right: AEF soldiers standing over dead Bolsheviks.

Why were they in northern Russia? (Murmansk & Archangel)
A) to help the White armies fight the Reds in Russia's Civil War
B) to intercept war munitions (>$1 billion) shipped to pre-Bolshevik Russia from falling into German hands
C) Eventually both- with over 400 Americans dying from various causes
Answer is C

Why were they in Siberia?
A) to deter German POWs inside Russia from stirring up trouble on the eastern front
B) to help a Czechoslovak Legion of 35,000 troops cut off from the eastern front escape Siberia (Czechoslovakia had just been 'created' with President Wilson's help).
C) to deter the Japanese from extending their influence into Russia's far east
D) to lend support to White Admiral Kolchack against the Bolsheviks
E) All of the above (initially B, though culminating in D)
The Answer is E

However, more interesting sites include
----this photo album of the US Army in Archangel
----how northern Russian residents viewed the Allied invasion
----A site with photos of the Siberian expedition
----A University of Michigan site with maps showing how the intervention proceeded

Recommended Reading:
The Decision to Intervene: Soviet-American Relations 1917-1920, Vol. 2


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For further reading about the American Intervention in North Russia, I would also modestly recommend "The “Polar Bears” of World War One - Remembering the Allied Intervention in North Russia".

Mike Grobbel

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The University of Michigan Bentley Library has recently digitized their entire AEF North Russia collection. These diaries, letters, photos, maps, newspaper clippings, etc. can be viewed at their new Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections website.

Mike Grobbel

12:10 AM  

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