The Can’t Make This Up History Podcast

The Polar Bear Expedition with James Carl Nelson

July 9, 2019

Remember the time the United States invaded Russia? No? Well you're not alone. Few people know that the two superpowers of the Cold War at one point actually did participate in so-called "hot" war. In fact, even Presidents Nixon and Reagan gave speeches in which they claimed the US and Russia had never been in a direct confrontation. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

My guest today is James Carl Nelson, a former staff writer for The Miami Herald who has since written extensively on the American experience in World War I. He joins me from Minnesota via Skype to discuss his latest book, "The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America's Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919." Jim and I discuss the reasons the Allies thought it necessary to intervene in the Russian Civil War, the experience of the AEF - North Russia (or the polar bears as they became known) during their nearly year long campaign in Russia near the arctic circle, and what lessons this "strange little war" has for us living 100 years later. 

After the show, head over to www.cmtuhistory.com to check out the show notes and extra resources.