Operation ArcAngel

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

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    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (4/1/01 8:13:52 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Operation ArcAngel
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    Polishshooter - weren't you going to look up some info on this incursion into Russia with American troops equiped with Moisin Nagants? Just wondering if you ever kicked anything up.
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    Xracer
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    Posts: 102
    (4/2/01 7:41:39 am)
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    Was this the American Expeditionary Force to Russia just after WWI? Operation ArchAngel doesn't ring a bell with me.

    obelix2
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    Posts: 37
    (4/2/01 8:44:15 am)
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    Archangel, or in transliteration, Arkhangelsk: the same port on the White Sea where, twenty-odd years later, many American seaman lost their lives bringing the necessities of war to our Soviet allies, thus earning the eternal gratitude of the Soviet Union. In 1918-19 we also had a small force around Vladivostok, also with no very clear idea of what they were doing there. Communications between the two forces may have been somewhat sporadic. What puzzles me is why the Soviets never got around to renaming the place for some safely dead Bolshevik leader.

    polishshooter
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    (4/2/01 9:17:09 am)
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    This is the little known "invasion" of Russia actually to support the "White Russians" in the civil war against the "Reds" in 1919. It was a multi national expeditionary force.

    There isn't much on it, but I haven't tried too hard either. Sorry!

    What's neat, is we equipped the "doughboys" who went with American made Mosin Nagants that the Czar contracted for from Remington and Westighouse, but the contract wasn't honored after the Revolution in '17.

    The official reason is to make it easier to obtain local supplies of ammo, which may have been a good reason because this expedition wasn't that popular at home, and we didn't want to spend much on supply. BUT in reality it was a Government bailout of these companies who would have been "stuck" with the rifles.

    That's why you can find Mosin Nagants with US Military markings.

    They were NOT rechambered for the '06 cartridge. Ones that were were by private firms trying to sell surplus ones in the sporting market, and should not be fired.

    Interestingly, I read that there was a problem with "sticking bolts" in the American made Mosins in the extreme cold of Northern Russia, that was solved by replacing them with bolts from captured MNs. Apparently the US actions were made to closer tolerances. According to that source, any US MN actually used in the expedition PROBABLY will have a Russian bolt, and any with matching US bolts probably weren't used there.

    I don't know if this is true, and I doubt that many actual MNs from the expedition ever made it back here.

    Sorry, Obelix, but like 'clouder said over there, "so much to know, so little time!"

    obelix2
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    Posts: 38
    (4/2/01 12:40:59 pm)
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    "Military History is long, and Time is fleeting..." -- Longfellow. Damn, I thought he scanned better than that.

    Xracer
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    Posts: 103
    (4/2/01 5:12:54 pm)
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    I've seen some pictures of this operation........all the Americans seem to have been sailors, on land, with rifles. Was this primarily a Navy operation?

    obelix2
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    Posts: 43
    (4/2/01 8:24:58 pm)
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    The first landing, in June 1918, was by about 100 bluejackets from the Olympia (George Dewey's old flag!) But by September the American portion of the force totaled 4-5000 men, centered on the 339th Infantry. There were also Brits, French and Canadians: total force at the beginning of the campaign to topple to Bolsheviks: about 10,000. Total population of Russia: about 180,000,000.

    Quote from an expedition survivor: "But most disheartening of all were the Russian rifles issued to the infantry. They were manufactured in our country...; long, awkward pieces, with flimsy, bolt mechanism, that frequently jammed. These weapons had never been targeted by the Americans, and their sighting systems were calculated in Russian paces instead of yards. They had a low velocity and were thoroughly unsatisfactory. The unreliability of the rifle, prime arm of the infantry, was an important factor in the lowering of Allied morale."

    polishshooter
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    Posts: 157
    (4/2/01 9:52:14 pm)
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    I haven't found many sources on this expedition, let me know some Obelix, I'd like to read more about it.

    You know more than I do on it.

    You know, if those doughboys knew the Arshini conversion factor, from the Czars pace to a President's pace maybe they could've used those sights!

    What I read about the sticking bolts, dovetails with your jamming story, anyway. And ain't it neat that anybody weaned on the '06 would think anything "smaller" as "low velocity?"

    I wonder if maybe they were issued the earlier round nose X54 rounds??? They would have been bigger and slower.

    Didn't the new Spitzers just get issued to the Russian Army prior to the War?

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 46
    (4/2/01 11:23:22 pm)
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    I was bluffing. I have ONE book on the subject: Archangel, the American War with Russia (scholars note: I have no idea how to underline), by "A Chronicler"; A.C. McClurg & Co, Chicago, 1924. If he's wrong, I'm wrong.

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 83
    (4/3/01 12:33:42 am)
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    Still know more about it than I do, Ipso Facto - you're the expert in my eyes!
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 162
    (4/3/01 8:33:24 am)
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    LOL Most of what I had on it I think was from a "Time-Life Books" WWI series one page 'aside' they like to do; the bolt replacement story I think came from a "Letters to the Editor" in an old "Rifleman!"

    So your pair of 2s beat my high J.

    Ain't no bluff if it's attributable!!!

    I don't know how to underline either, the scholars will just have to be happy with the ""; when they tought me to do proper footnotes and sources, there was no 'net, so I think us "old-timers" are excused...

    MY problem is I read so darn much, but I don't take notes when I read. If I get cornered for sources, I usually have forgotten!!! The worst part is if I ever DO write, I'll have to go back and reread and reresearch just to get the sources down that I'll be starting from scratch!!

    I guess that's why I feel uncomfortable calling myself a "Historian." I guess I'm only a "Professionally Trained Buff."

    Xracer
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    Posts: 107
    (4/3/01 4:49:20 pm)
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    Hey Polish...."If you can't flummox 'em with fact, baffle 'em with bullshit." *



    *footnote.....I read this somewhere.
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