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Author Topic: US Forces in Russia  (Read 13225 times)
Alan65
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« on: 17 November 2008, 02:53:42 »
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A postcard from the series of Japanese published cards showing the US forces in Vladivostok. 




another a bit more close-up.
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the_13th_redneck
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« Reply #1 on: 24 March 2010, 17:23:05 »
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Very interesting!
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Koen
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« Reply #2 on: 24 March 2010, 20:03:58 »
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Very interesting!


indeed, Alan's postcards give us some good insight in how the world looked these days.... thx for that  salute
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the_13th_redneck
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« Reply #3 on: 25 March 2010, 03:09:05 »
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As I suspected, they are not US Army, but US Marines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Eastern_Front_in_the_Russian_Civil_War
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Alan65
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« Reply #4 on: 25 March 2010, 05:55:57 »
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This wikipedia article is a little more complete in listing the US Army units which fought in Eastern Russia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Expeditionary_Force_Siberia
I don't know if the men pictured in these two card images are Marines or not (perhaps the 13th redneck recognizes something about their uniform), but the US Army definitely supplied the bulk of the US forces which served in Siberia from 1918 to 1920/1.

The first US units came from the Philippines--they were closest and cheapest to send.  Later, many of the men/units were from California, Oregon and Detroit.  There's a monument in Detroit to the 'Polar Bear' unit.
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Alan65
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« Reply #5 on: 25 March 2010, 06:01:49 »
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Hey, here's a recent find; doubly interesting as my wife is at a library conference this week.
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MontyB
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« Reply #6 on: 25 March 2010, 06:54:14 »
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Man that is a bleak landscape
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We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
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« Reply #7 on: 25 March 2010, 11:12:26 »
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I guess I've always associated the campaign cover with the US Marines.
But the US Army has also worn it before.
Urgh.  Who knows.
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Alan65
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« Reply #8 on: 27 November 2012, 22:13:01 »
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It's been a while since I've found any new postcards showing the Russian Civil War.  Well, the drought is over!  Pictured above is a view of Spasskoe (Spaskoi ?) Siberia, and US military forces.  The caption says it's a "view of the garrison from Copeck Hill."  I certainly don't really see much that is a military camp; I think the garrison refers to the 6-8 soldiers seen. 
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MontyB
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« Reply #9 on: 27 November 2012, 22:27:48 »
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To be fair I don't see much of a hill either.

Seems an unusual title really.
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We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
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« Reply #10 on: 27 November 2012, 22:48:22 »
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when I try to find/locate anything related to Spasskoe I get directed towards the Ukraine....?

"Spasskoye" seems to be a placename with around 5 locations in different 'provinces' in the East / old USSR and 3 in Siberian provinces: Omsk, Kraj Primorski and Sacha

stumbled upon http://www.rossica.org/v_gallery/_pdf/Imperial_Military_Censorship/Military%20Censorship%20in%20Imperial%20Russia%20Frame%204.pdf

you see on cards that Spasskoe is Spasskoye

<a href="http://www.rossica.org/v_gallery/_pdf/Imperial_Military_Censorship/Military%20Censorship%20in%20Imperial%20Russia%20Frame%204.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.rossica.org/v_gallery/_pdf/Imperial_Military_Censorship/Military%20Censorship%20in%20Imperial%20Russia%20Frame%204.pdf</a>
« Last Edit: 27 November 2012, 23:00:22 by Koen » Logged
Alan65
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« Reply #11 on: 28 November 2012, 06:28:13 »
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OK, this postcard shows more of the 'garrison' part of the Spasskoye garrison.  (Koen, I'm going with your spelling; as soon as I saw it, it all came back to me.  I think it's in Omsk.)
Notice the detail on the 'towers' in the picture above that show on the left edge--they're similar to the details on this building.  I'm pretty sure its; the same one and if we were to look off to the right from where the camera man is taking this picture, we'd see Copeck Hill in the distance.  It appears that this building has a bid wooden fence (protective wall in all likelihood) around it; there's a gate (I'll show you in another postcard soon) on the right of this image behind where the boy and man with legs spread is standing.  Must have been the barracks and/or HQ area.  I assume these are US troops.  No caption and no writing on the back unfortunately.  More to follow!
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Alan65
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« Reply #12 on: 29 November 2012, 03:25:17 »
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And in this image, the cameraman has stepped forward and turned slightly to the right and is looking through the gate mentioned in the above picture.  Inside 'the compound' we see soldiers (again, I assume US troops) lined up.  Notice the people outside the fence on the right are numbered; unfortunately, there is nothing on the back of this postcard so without the letter or piece of paper, we cannot identify them.
The building appears to be the same as the one in the first two images above based on the detail work in the facade and the wooden fencing.  So, I can safely id this as US troops in Spaskoye Siberia.
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Koen
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« Reply #13 on: 29 November 2012, 22:10:37 »
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did you read the pdf file?

was it turned into a POW camp afterwards? the compound and surroundings in your postcards seem 'cleaner' than in the pdf file...what would be logic seen the difference between garrison and POW camp
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Alan65
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« Reply #14 on: 30 November 2012, 00:40:42 »
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Hi, Koen

I started to read the file and have saved it for later research.  It appears to me to be a paper on censor markings and the workings of POW mail in Russia during WWI.  I believe this Spasskoye is the one here https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&authuser=0 (based on Robert L. Willett's Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, p.181, where Willett lists, by company, the locations of the 31st IR, US Army.  If this is correct, these men would be from Co. F or G.



These two images show the same US soldier in Siberia. In the top one, he stands in front of a sign that reads "Huh? supplies for sale".  It reminds me of the markets I saw in Russia in the 1990s!  It looks like a lot of what's for sale is food-related with the bottles on the counters and piles of bread(?) visible on the right.  The second image shows the soldier standing with two Russians. There's a sign above him but I can't make the first letters out at all.

This postcard shows US troops going onto a ship.  They're not carrying too much equipment so this isn't necessarily an embarkation, leaving the port.  This card came with the other five and has a number in the lower right corner like the other 2 shown above so I believe it shows US troops in Siberia. (there's no writing on the back but the wear/soiling pattern is the same on the back; notice the tape on the edge, too.)  If this is the 31st IR, the troop transport ship in the background could be the USAT(?) Sherman [Willett uses this name for the ship, but I can't find any internet info on it.]
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Alan65
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« Reply #15 on: 30 November 2012, 00:49:53 »
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did you read the pdf file?

was it turned into a POW camp afterwards? the compound and surroundings in your postcards seem 'cleaner' than in the pdf file...what would be logic seen the difference between garrison and POW camp



I forgot to mention in the above post:  the fence looks like very recent construction--too new to be a PoW camp before the US troops got there and I'm not sure that Austro-Hungarian troops would have been shipped so far east during WWI--to costly, using up railroad equipment, etc.--so I'm not sure this Spasskoye is the one that had the PoWs.

edit: while searching for PoW camps in Siberia, I found this article about the 31st IR. Much of it is exactly what's in Willett's book. http://31stinfantry.org/Documents/Chapter%202.pdf
scroll down to the third page for the list of places the various companies of the the 31st IR stayed. (it's next to the picture of troops marching)
« Last Edit: 30 November 2012, 00:58:14 by Alan65 » Logged
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