American Expeditionary Force Siberia in 1918: "AEF in Siberia" pt1-2 US Army The Big Picture
more at http://quickfound.net/links/military_news_and_links.html
"VIGNETTE OF THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE WHICH VISITED RUSSIA FOLLOWING WORLD WAR I - THEIR MISSION AND ACTIVITIES WHILE IN THE USSR."
NEW VERSION in one piece instead of multiple parts, and with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRG0D7-Dr1Y
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8xb_KY4ksA
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
The American Expeditionary Force Siberia (AEF Siberia) was a United States Army force that was involved in the Russian Civil War in Vladivostok, Russian Empire, during the end of World War I after the October Revolution, from 1918 to 1920.
President Woodrow Wilson's objectives for sending troops to Siberia were as much diplomatic as they were military. One major reason was to rescue the 40,000 men of the Czechoslovak Legions, who were being held up by Bolshevik forces as they attempted to make their way along the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Vladivostok, and it was hoped, eventually to the Western Front. Another major reason was to protect the large quantities of military supplies and railroad rolling stock that the United States had sent to the Russian Far East in support of the prior Russian government's war efforts on the Eastern Front. Equally stressed by President Wilson was the need to "steady any efforts at self-government or self defense in which the Russians themselves may be willing to accept assistance." At the time, Bolshevik forces controlled only small pockets in Siberia and Wilson wanted to make sure that neither Cossack marauders nor the Japanese military would take advantage of the unstable political environment along the strategic railroad line and in the resource-rich Siberian regions that straddled it.
Concurrently and for similar reasons, about 5,000 American soldiers were sent to Arkhangelsk (Archangel), Russia by President Wilson as part of the separate Polar Bear Expedition.
The American Expeditionary Force Siberia was commanded by Major General William S. Graves and eventually totaled 7,950 officers and enlisted men. The AEF Siberia included the U.S. Army's 27th and 31st Infantry Regiments, plus large numbers of volunteers from the 13th and 62nd Infantry Regiments along with a few from the 12th Infantry Regiment.
The U.S. troops were equipped with M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles (BAR) and Auto 5 shotguns/trench clearers, M1903 Springfield rifles and M1911 .45 caliber pistols, depending on their duties.
Although General Graves did not arrive in Siberia until September 4, 1918, the first 3,000 American troops disembarked in Vladivostok between August 15 and August 21, 1918. They were quickly assigned guard duty along segments of the railway between Vladivostok and Nikolsk-Ussuriski in the north.
Unlike his Allied counterparts, General Graves believed their mission in Siberia was to provide protection for American-supplied property and to help the Czechoslovak Legions evacuate Russia, and that it did not include fighting against the Bolsheviks. Repeatedly calling for restraint, Graves often clashed with commanders of British, French and Japanese forces, who also had troops in the region and who wanted him to take a more active part in the military intervention in Siberia.
Logistic problems and casualties
The experience in Siberia for the soldiers was miserable. Problems with fuel, ammunition, supplies and food were widespread. Horses accustomed to temperate climates were unable to function in sub-zero Russia. Water-cooled machine guns froze and became useless.
The last American soldiers left Siberia on April 1, 1920. During their 19 months in Siberia, 189 soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia died from all causes. As a comparison, the smaller American North Russia Expeditionary Force experienced 235 deaths from all causes during their 9 months of fighting near Arkhangelsk.
There were special court cameramen and photographers who captured the daily life of the Romanov family. The Company of von Gun filmed the Tsar, and with the permission of the Ministry of the Court, showed these films in movie theatres beginning in 1907. Before the February 1917 Revolution, the von Gun Company was the main provider of the Tsar's chronicles in the Russian film industry. After 1907 other filmmakers were permitted to film the Royal family, including A. Drankov, V. Bulla (the elder), Khanzhonkov Company, Pate Company, and others. Before the beginning of World War I a newsreel became popular capturing military parades, holidays, reviews and drills. Many are devoted to the Fleet. They document everyday life of the Baltic Sea and Black Sea squadrons. Some of the newsreels document the fire of the Maly Theatre in Moscow, mass gymnastics, auto and motor races, zoos and animal preserves, and the life of peoples of the Russian Empire. The objects of filming were political and cultural figures, the construction of warships, the Moscow flood, the testing of new agricultural equipment and the oil industry in Baku. There are also films showing the towns of Russia, etc. During World War I, cameramen captured events on all fronts. Before 1915, the exclusive rights to film battles belonged to the Film Department of the Skobelev Committee. The Skobelev Committee of the Assistance to the Wounded Soldiers of the General Staff was founded in November 1904 as a public organization. By the order of the Scobelev Committee many cameramen filmed the events of the World War I, such as Englishman Arcol (representative of Pate Company, filmed on South-Western and Caucasus fronts), cameramen E.D. Dored (represented American companies) and P.V. Ermolov, (filmed events on Caucasus front); P.K. Novitskiy (Gomount Company), N.M. Toporkov, K.E. von Gan, A.K. Gan-Jagelskiy, made filming in the General Headquarters. Other cameramen such as: A. G Lemberg, S, Zebel, Trushe, etc. also worked at the fronts. Cameramen filmed the war not only on the fronts but also from the rear. Since the first month of the war until 1917 the Scobelev Committee produced about 70 newsreels. From 1914 to 1915 cameramen of the Scobelev Committee produced 21 series of the newsreel "Russian Military Chronicle". The materials of this newsreel were used many times for the separate films made by Scobelev Committee and other film companies. Read more at: http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/rao/archives/rgakfd/textind10.html