American troops march through the streets of Vladivostok, Russia in
August 1918 as Japanese marines stand at attention at the right.
The Bolshevik Revolution toppled Russia’s government in October
1917. Immediately several anti-Bolsheviks factions (referred to
as the White Russians) united to resist the Communist takeover. In March
the following year the Bolshevik’s signed a peace treaty with Germany
and dropped out of the World War I. The civil war continued and by the
summer of 1918 engulfed the entire country.
In August 1918 the United States joined Britain, France, Italy, Serbia,
Canada and Czechoslovakia and Japan in sending troops to support the
anti-Bolsheviks. A force of 5,000 Americans landed in the Murmansk-Archangel
area in northern Russia while another 10,000 landed at Vladivostok, Siberia.
Armistice Day, November 11 – the day that ended World War I -
found the American troops stationed near Archangel in pitched battle
with the Bolsheviks and fighting for their lives. Casualties were heavy.
America withdrew her troops from the Archangel area in June 1919 and
from Siberia in April 1920. The anti-Bolsheviks fought on but finally
succumbed to the Communists in 1921.
References: Salisbury, Harrison, Black Night, White Snow: Russia's Revolution,