Edited by Neil Carey
Presidio Press, 1997
Martin Vitz, Reviewer
|American Soldiers Back from Patrol in Northern Russia|
In this review there isn't space to attempt to sort out the reasons why Great Britain, the U.S., Canada, and other countries sent troops to Murmansk, Archangelsk, Siberia, and South Russia after the Bolshevik coup and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
What makes this book especially unusual and fascinating is that it is an enlisted man's story by a very atypical enlisted man for the times. At age 25 Donald Carey was older than most of his fellow soldiers and far better educated. A farm boy who graduated from Olivet College, he taught school for three years before being inducted in May 1918. Most of those in the 339th Infantry Regiment of the 85th Division were young, from urban backgrounds and, often, recent immigrants, including many from Eastern Europe and Russia. Carey was not interested in serving as an officer and shouldering that responsibility, but he was a good Christian and a "good soldier." During his entire period of service he kept notes which, after the war, he expanded into this "War Diary" which is actually a comprehensive memoir as the title indicates. Fortunately, his son Neil took time to edit and publish it with the addition of some contemporary newspaper clippings, notes, and maps to help the reader.
Originally presented in Relevance: Journal of the Great War Society, Spring 1998.