Inventory of the United States Army American Expeditionary Forces records

Finding aid prepared by Sarah Giffen West, 2006
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 1998, 2006
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: United States Army American Expeditionary Forces records
Date (inclusive): 1917-1920
Collection Number: XX546
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder (1.8 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Intelligence reports, news summaries, bulletins, orders, instructions, memoranda, proclamations, and miscellany, relating to military operations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France and Siberia during World War I and the Russian Revolution
Creator: United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces


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Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives .

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], United States Army American Expeditionary Forces records, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Historical Note

American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was the U.S. military force in Europe during World War I. Although a division commanded by General John J. Pershing was sent to France in June 1917, most of the AEF was manned as a result of passage of the Selective Service Act (40 Stat. 76) by the U.S. Congress on 18 May 1917, creating the Selective Service System. The Act gave the president the power to draft soldiers. The system eventually inducted 2.8 million men of the total 3.6 million men who served in the military from September 1917 to November 1918.
American Expeditionary Force (Siberia)
In July 1918 President Woodrow Wilson decided to intervene in Russia and ordered eight thousand AEF troops to Siberia to protect U.S. supplies along the Trans-Siberian railroad. Chaos and uncertainty prevailed in Russia at this time. The Russian tsar had been overthrown by the revolution led by Alexander Kerensky in February-March 1917 (eventually to be ousted by the Bolsheviks in November 1917), raising Wilson's hopes for democratizing Russia and spreading capitalism. After the fall of the tsarist government the U.S. recognized the Russian Provisional Government, providing it with money and aid. Railroad officers, skilled technicians under the Russian Railway Service Corps, and railway equipment were sent to assist in operating the Trans-Siberian railroad. Control of the railroad was extremely important because it served as the only major logistics and communication line across Russia. The eastern port of Vladivostok held more than $1 billion of supplies and material that had been sent to Russia as support for that country's eventually unsuccessful war effort. Both the French and British actively pressed Wilson to send troops to Siberia to create diversions on the Eastern front that could lessen German and Austrian troop strength on the Western front.
Commander of the U.S. forces in Siberia was Major General William S. Graves, a training officer in California. Graves' orders (an aide memoire drafted by Wilson) instructed him to facilitate the safe exit of the forty-thousand-man Czech Legion from Russia, guard the nearly $1 billion worth of American military equipment stored at Validvostok and Murmansk, and help the Russians organize their new government. The first troops arrrived in Vladisvostok in August 1918 and Graves followed in September. Japan also sent seventy thousand troops to protect supplies and communication and destablize the Russian government as a means to acquire Siberian and Manchurian economic resources. Conditions were extremely chaotic along the railroad as a result of the Russian civil war. An agreement to operate the railroad was reached by the Allied governments participating in the Siberian intervention in November 1918. It was implemented in April 1919. Three countries, Japan, the United States and China, were given a sector of the railroad to guard.
The end of World War I in November 1918 did not mean homecoming for the AEF forces in Siberia. Wilson wanted to pursue a "wait and see" policy until the Paris peace conference concluded before deciding which of several Russian governments to recognize and whether to withdraw the AEF from Vladisvostok.
The AEF spent two years in Siberia hampered by larger Japanese and Cossack forces, unclear and incomplete instructions, and Graves' own commitment to strict political neutrality. The eventual defeat of White Army forces by the Bolshevik Red Army led to demands from the U.S. Congress for complete withdrawal of American troops. The AEF forces left Siberia beginning in March 1920; Graves left with the last troops on April 1, 1920. The American Expeditionary Force (Siberia) served under combat conditions longer than any force involved in World War I and was the first and only American military unit sent to Russian soil.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Soviet Union -- History -- Allied intervention, 1918-1920
Siberia (Russia) -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns -- France


Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces (Siberia). Intelligence Section


Official newspaper summaries

box 1, folder 1

May 1919

Scope and Contents note

Taken from Echo, Golos Primorya, Dalny Vostok, Dalnevostochnoe Obozrenie, Russian Daily News, Russky Economist, Vestnik Manchuria, Sviet (Svet), Golos Rodini, Amurskoe Slovo, and others. Also includes anti-Bolshevik poster drafts with handwritten edits, extract from an inquiry by French Captain F. E. Paris, Red Cross memorandum, overseas and local press reports from USS Albany and USS Orleans, and Field Censorship Regulations Memorandum No. 4
box 1, folder 2

June 1919

box 1, folder 3

July 1919

box 1, folder 4

August 1919

box 1, folder 5

September 1919

box 1, folder 6

October 1919

box 1, folder 7

November 1919

box 2, folder 1

December 1919

Scope and Contents note

Taken from Svobodny Krai, Echo, Golos Rodini, Russky Economist, Dalnevostochnoe Obozrenie, Dalny Vostok, Osaka Asahi, Novi Put, and others. Also includes memorandum from the Japanese Publicity Bureau, Vladivostok, Siberia; The News Summary (F. W. French, publisher), Vladivostok memoranda; newspaper summaries from USS Albany and USS South Dakota; Note to the Diplomatic Representative of Japan in Siberia from the Temporary Government in the Far East; U.S. Naval Intelligence Office Newspaper Summary
box 2, folder 2

January 1920

box 2, folder 3

February 1920

box 2, folder 4

March 1920

box 2, folder 5

April-May 1920


Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces (France)

box 3, folder 1

"Questions for the Examination of Prisoners, etc.," Army War College, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. War Department 1917 September

Scope and Contents note

Includes Memorandum No. 34, Headquarters, 30th Division, 1919 February 19, and unidentified address by division commander
box 3, folder 2

Reports, bulletins, and brief histories of enemy divisions, Intelligence Section, General Staff, Headquarters, AEF.

Scope and Contents note

Consists of intelligence reports on German army and positions
box 3, folder 3

"Instructions for the Intelligence Service of an Infantry Regiment," Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. War Department 1918

box 3, folder 4

"Instructions for Intelligence Duties, Second Army," Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. War Department 1916 September 20

box 3, folder 5

"Summary of Intelligence Reports (information about the enemy)," 2nd Section, General Staff, Headquarters, Second Army, AEF 1918 October-November.

Scope and Contents note

Also contains 90th Division, AEF, Plan of Defense, handwritten and corresponding typed notes on enemy observations; U.S. Signal Corps telegram with instructions to cease all hostilities due to Armistice signing, 1918 November 11
box 3, folder 6

General information, Intelligence School, Third Army

box 3, folder 7

Bulletins, 2nd Section, General Staff, First Army Corps, AEF 1918 May-August.

Scope and Contents note

Includes intelligence summaries and notes on recent fighting
box 3, folder 8

Memorandum, Headquarters, 29th Division, AEF 1919 January 10

box 3, folder 9

"Summary of Intelligence," Headquarters, 92nd Division, AEF 1918 September 1

box 3, folder 10

Charts and maps pertaining to AEF activities in Western Europe

Scope and Contents note

Includes AEF distinctive cloth insignia, enemy order of battle
drawer I03

Charts and maps pertaining to AEF activities in Western Europe (continued)

box 4, folder 1

Ration card and postcards

box 4, folder 2

Chart depicting silhouettes of common German planes

drawer I03

Chart depicting silhouettes of common German planes (continued)

box 4, folder 3

Memoranda on organization and logistics

box 4, folder 4

AEF and German telephone directories

box 4, folder 5

Post-surrender documents

box 4, folder 6

15 point map

drawer I03

15 point map (continued)

box 4, folder 7

Summary of Information, 2nd Section, General Staff, General Headquarters, AEF 1919 January 11

box 4, folder 8

Memoranda, 2nd Section, General Staff, General Headquarters, AEF

box 4, folder 9

Programme of Fourth of July fete

box 4, folder 10

War Department Circular No. 6 1919 January 6

box 4, folder 11

Memoranda, Statistical Division

box 4, folder 12

"Second Course, 1918 March-June," Army General Staff College, AEF 1918 May