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Americans fighting the Bolsheviks 1918-1919


Custermen
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Most Americans are unaware of that historic time when American soldiers and sailors fought Russian revolutionaries – the Bolsheviks – in north Russia and Siberia.  After Russia gave up territory to exit the Great War, the Allies were worried the Germans would take control of the port of Murmansk.  The Allies decided to send 5,000 American soldiers and 5,000 British soldiers to Russia to keep the Germans or the Bolsheviks from taking the ports of Murmansk and Vladivostok.  The landed at Archangel, Russia in November of 1918 and fought through that winter.  

 

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"Fighting the Bolsheviks" is a a daily record and recollections of Pfc. Donald E. Carey, one of 5,600 American soldiers who fought the Bolsheviks there during 1918 and 1919.  They were part of the 339th Regiment of the 85th Division, who were assisted by the 310th Engineer Brigade and the 310th Medical Brigade.  This book gives a good origin of this operation and provides details of the campaign.  It focuses down to the soldier's level and what it was like to survive in Russia while armed with Russian rifles.  

 Publisher:  Presidio Press 1997
Author: Donald E. Carey
Page Count: 240

 

 

"The Polar Bear Expedition"  

I have not read this book.  It is a more recent publication and seems to cover the campaign in good detail.  
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The 339th Infantry Regiment adopted the name the "Polar Bear Regiment".  
Their DUI crest and that of the 310th Engineers and 310th Medical are the only DUI's have a polar bear in their insignia. 
I think there is maybe one more US unit that displays the polar bear.  

The Americans were armed with the Russian rifles but kept their US-made machine guns.  

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Salvage Sailor

and the classic tome.....

 

The Ignorant Armies by E.M. Halliday, 1960 (1990 Bantam reprint shown below, highly recommended)

 

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