“Detroit ‘Polar Bears’ in the Land of Lice and Snow: The American Soldier Experience in North Russia, 1918 – 1919”
This thesis examines the experience of American soldiers serving in North Russia in 1918 – 1919, an expedition often referred to as an offshoot of World War One. It bases its conclusions by utilizing the comprehensive Polar Bear Expedition Collections archive at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library. The thesis uses this extensive primary source base to identify common themes and describe the soldier experience in a confused and ultimately failed military intervention. This focus on a relatively unexplored military mission places the thesis in a larger genre which examines the experience of American soldiers on the ground. It also readjusts the standard twentieth century American interventionism timeline.