Kindall, Sylvian G. American soldiers in Siberia

Автор: Kindall, Sylvian G.
Место издания: New York
Год издания: 1945
Ключевые слова: ,

В книге «Американские солдаты в Сибири» офицера армии США Сильвиана Г. Киндалла рассказывается о его опыте службы в составе американских экспедиционных сил в Сибири в 1918-1920 годах. Сибирские экспедиционные силы были вовлечены в гражданскую войну в России в районе Владивостока и вокруг него в конце Первой мировой войны после Октябрьской революции. Тщетность и неподготовленность миссии очевидны на протяжении всей книги, как и глубокое презрение автора к японским войскам, которые были замечены в неоднократных актах насилия против безоружных граждан.

Заявленные президентом Вудро Вильсоном цели отправки войск в Сибирь были как дипломатическими, так и военными:

  • спасти 40 000 человек Чехословацкого легиона, пытающихся пробиться по Транссибирской магистрали во Владивосток;
  • защитить большое количество военных грузов и железнодорожного подвижного состава, которое Соединенные Штаты отправили на российский Дальний Восток в поддержку военных усилий предыдущего российского правительства на Восточном фронте;
  • необходимость «поддержать любые усилия по самоуправлению или самообороне, в которых сами русские могут быть готовы принять помощь».

INTRODUCTION (excerpt): The book itself is a personal narrative, dealing almost entirely with events which I took part in myself, or saw with my own eyes, or heard about directly from others. Being a personal narrative, it cannot aim at being a history of the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, nor is it intended in any way as constituting the views of our government upon any phase of the Siberian adventure. At the same time, it is believed that the experiences of all who served in Siberia were so similar on the whole that a narrative from any one person should give a fair picture of what many others saw and did there, and the impressions which they formed.

lt must be admitted that many of us arrived in Siberia expecting to find there a cruel, frost-blasted land, with sleighs bounding from dark forests chased by packs of hungry wolves, polar bears riding around on chunks of ice, and salt mines deep underground where exiles toiled at forced labor — all as pictured in the old geography of our schooldays. But left there with memories of a country of great natural beauty and potential wealth, resembling in these particulars and many others the region of our West. We arrived there, too, I regret to say, considerably misled by insidious propaganda about the Russian people, the sources of which probably will never be completely uncovered. But left there, most of us, I am glad to believe, filled with appreciation of the hospitality and the general decency of the Russian people.

Above all, we learned in Siberia about the courage and endurance of the Russian soldier, and sometimes said that, given good arms and equipment, probably no one could surpass him as a fighter. As recently as four years ago when the Wehrmacht, one hundred and seventy divisions strong, started clanking its way across the Ukraine, one heard on every hand our war soothsayers predicting that Russia could last only three or four months. Some were even putting the time down to six weeks. But events have discredited these prophets. True, all were not so recklessly sure of their crystal balls as to risk decisive statements, and it is not difficult now to find individuals who seem to think that they must have believed all along that Hider was having a little trouble with his precious intuition when he decided upon an invasion of Russia.

But I like to remember that four years ago it was only from among persons who had served in the Siberian expedition that I heard unequivocally the prediction that the Russians would be able to withstand the first great shocks of the invasion of their homeland, and ultimately would give the Germans the mauling of their lives.

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