Microfilm of reports, studies, memorandums and other records from the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I), 1917-23, record group 120 in the National Archives.
Creation of Historical Files
The Historical Branch, War Plans Division, 1918-21, and its successor, the Historical Section of the Army War College, 1921- 42, created the Historical Files of the AEF, North Russia. These historical units collected, preserved, indexed, and published documents of historical value relating to the American effort in World War I. In the course of its duties the Historical Branch began collecting and classifying documents of the North Russian intervention about 1920. The first page or cover sheet of many of the documents in this series bear the stamp "HISTORICAL BRANCH" and immediately below the stamp the file designation "57" and another number. The Historical Section of the Army War College continued to add to the Historical Files of the AEF, North Russia, during the 1920's and 1930's. The records comprising the Historical File came from two major sources: Headquarters of AEF, North Russia, and the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff. In addition, records from several other War Department agencies are included in the series reproduced on this microfilm publication.
The present arrangement of these documents is according to the so-called War Department historical decimal classification scheme, a filing system devised by the Historical Section of the Army War College, which despite its name lacks certain basic elements of a true decimal classification system. According to this scheme each file designation consists of two numbers separated by a hyphen. The number before the hyphen, the master number, represents the organizational entity to which the document was assigned; the number following the hyphen, the subject number, denotes the subject matter of the document. For example, the report of the Chief Surgeon of AEF, North Russia Jonas R. Longley, on the work of the Medical Department in North Russia bears the file designation "23-43.8." The number "23" is the master number for AEF, North Russia, and "43" is the subject number for the Medical Department. The number "43.8" is the designation for Medical Department history and reports. A descriptive list of folder contents and their file designations follows these introductory remarks.
None of the documents reproduced on this microfilm publication are now security-classified, but at one time or another many of them were. Some documents were classified as secret or confidential at the time of their creation and had security-classification markings stamped, typed, or written on them. The Adjutant General's Office reviewed the security classification of this entire series in March 1947 and marked each folder, file cover, or document with a rectangular stamp "CLASSIFICATION CANCELLED" or "CLASSIFICATION CHANGED TO CONFIDENTIAL." Between 1947 and 1970 National Archives and Records Service (NARS) staff members reviewed and declassified a few documents as a result of specific requests made by researchers. The remaining documents were declassified in preparing this microfilm publication.
Description of Records
Among the records included in this series are the following: reports of officers of the American Military Mission to Russia concerning the morale, efficiency, and operations of the AEF, North Russia; compilations of correspondence and issuances of Allied Headquarters and of Headquarters, AEF, North Russia, documenting conditions and events occurring in the Archangel-Murmansk area; British daily and weekly intelligence summaries pertaining to military and political affairs in Russia, Siberia, Germany, and Eastern Europe; and strength reports and returns, orders of battle, and maps and charts showing the strength and deployment of Allied and Bolshevik troops in North Russia.