by James Carl Nelson

In the brutally cold winter of 1919, 5,000 Americans battled the Red Army 600 miles north of Moscow. We have forgotten. Russia has not.

An unforgettable human drama deep with contemporary resonance, award-winning historian James Carl Nelson’s The Polar Bear Expedition draws on an untapped trove of firsthand accounts to deliver a vivid, soldier’s-eye view of an extraordinary lost chapter of American history—the Invasion of Russia one hundred years ago during the last days of the Great War. 

In the winter of 1919, 5,000 U.S. soldiers, nicknamed “The Polar Bears,” found themselves hundreds of miles north of Moscow in desperate, bloody combat against the newly formed Soviet Union’s Red Army. Temperatures plummeted to sixty below zero. Their guns and their flesh froze. The Bolsheviks, camouflaged in white, advanced in waves across the snow like ghosts.

Interview with the Author

The Can’t Make This Up History Podcast
The Polar Bear Expedition with James Carl Nelson
7/8/19        38 min

The Creative Nonfiction Podcast with Brendan O’Meara
Episode 140 – James Carl Nelson on What It Takes to be a Writer, Jumping into the Action, and ‘The Polar Bear Expedition’
2/22/19        61 min

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