The United States Intervention in North Russia - 1918, 1919: The Polar Bear Odyssey

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This volume examines the largely-unknown ‘Polar Bear’ odyssey – the North Russian Expeditionary Forces (made up mostly of soldiers from Michigan) who, along with some other Allied forces, went on fighting in the Russian arctic – supporting the Russian White Army fighting against the Russian Red Army after the war was over. It examines the panic that the Bolshevik Revolution caused in the Allied camp, the pressure that President Wilson received from the British to participate in the intervention, the reaction in Detroit, the local Red Scare, and the aftermath of the soldiers and the political ramifications.


“Roger Crownover has written a profound study of the origins of the Cold War. His book adds an essential chapter to the still unknown military and political history of the twentieth century and how the two major superpowers of the Cold War became embroiled in conflict as early as 1918 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. . . . Crownover’s study is essential reading for anyone interested in US foreign affairs. He explains with ample supporting documentation what has become a pattern of US engagement in undeclared and even unrecorded foreign wars throughout the twentieth century. . . . In Michigan, home of most of the doughboys still fighting in the arctic north of Russia, the meaning of the whole adventure was carried back to the front pages and the front porches of post-war America. . . . The story of the Polar Bears is an extraordinary chapter in American history here told in a most scholarly and readable account.” – Dr. Marvin Surkin, Union Institute

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Prologue; Preface; Foreword
1. Russia’s Decision
2. The Polar Bears and the Sacrificial Commitment
3. Detroit’s Reaction
4. The Red Scare at Home
5. A Sad and Tragic Ending
6. The Epitaph: Still No Answers
Appendix A – Aide Memoire
Appendix B – Chronology
Notes; Bibliography; Index

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