Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 19181920

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Potomac Books, Inc., Nov 30, 2003 - History - 352 pages
In July 1918, as the carnage of World War I continued, President Woodrow Wilson deployed U.S. troops to join other Allied forces in civil war-ravaged Russia. Ostensibly a mission to guard czarist military supplies and the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the true purpose of the Allied intervention was to help topple the nascent Bolshevik government.

Dispatched to some of the most remote regions of the Russian wilderness-from the frigid port city of Archangel to Lake Baikal to Vladivostok-the U.S. troops encountered fierce resistance from Red Army units, partisans, and peasants. Using previously classified official records and the letters and diaries of Americans who served there, Robert L. Willett describes the suffering of the hundreds of American soldiers who fought and died in subzero conditions, both in combat and from disease. Expertly researched and provocatively written, this book is the first to describe in detail the experiences of the American doughboys who fought in this little-known campaign-a tragically misguided military action that established a legacy of distrust that defined U.S.-Soviet relations for the next seven decades.
 

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Contents

Force BArchangel
10
The 339th Takes Shape
17
The Americans Land in Archangel
24
The Railroad Front
31
The Omega Front
48
The EmtsaSeletskoye Front
60
The Dvina Front
75
The Vaga Front
90
General Graves Arrives in Russia
177
Life in Siberia
191
Spring Comes to Siberia
205
The Battles Begin
218
The Suchan Valley
232
Elsewhere in Siberia1919
239
The American Red Cross
251
The Exodus1920
257

The Pinega Front
102
In Archangel
113
The Murmansk Railroad Companies
131
The Withdrawal
139
Aftermath
149
Vladivostok and the Navy
162
The AEFS Assembles
165
The Early Days in Siberia
171
Conclusions
265
Epilogue
268
Notes
271
Selected Bibliography
305
Index
311
About the Author
327
Copyright

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Page xx - Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening in Russia?
Page xxxii - to the Russian people in their endeavor to regain control of their own affairs, their own territory, and their own destiny. It is the hope and purpose of the Government of the United States to take advantage of the earliest opportunity to send to Siberia a commission of merchants, agricultural experts, labour
Page xxxii - advisors, Red Cross Representatives and agents of the Young Men's Christian Association accustomed to organizing the best methods of spreading useful information and rendering educational help of a modest sort, in order in some systematic manner to relieve the immediate economic necessities of the people there in every way for which opportunity may
Page xxxii - accustomed to organizing the best methods of spreading useful information and rendering educational help of a modest sort, in order in some systematic manner to relieve the immediate economic necessities of the people there in every way for which opportunity may
Page xxxii - open. The execution of this plan will follow and will not be permitted to embarrass the military assistance rendered in the rear of the westward-moving forces of the CzechoSlovaks. Department of State
Page xxxi - needed by Russian forces and to render such aid as may be acceptable to the Russians in the organization of their own
Page xxxii - It is the hope and purpose of the Government of the United States to take advantage of the earliest opportunity to send to Siberia a commission of merchants, agricultural experts, labour
Page xxxi - For helping the Czecho-Slovaks there is immediate necessity and sufficient justification. Recent developments have made it evident that that is in the interest of what the Russian people themselves desire, and the Government of the United States is glad to contribute the small force at its disposal for that purpose. It yields, also, to the judgment of the Supreme Command in the matter of establishing a small force

About the author (2003)

Robert L. Willett is a military historian and the author of two well-received books on the American Civil War, One Day of the Civil War: America in Conflict, April10, 1863 (described by Publishers Weekly as "cleverly conceived and consistently engrossing" and The Lightning Mule Brigade: The Story of Streight's Raid. A resident of Cocoa Beach, Florida, he has traveled extensively in the Russian Far East as a member of the Citizens Democracy Corps.

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