Starting of the Head-Quarters of the Combined Army in Siberia


In this lithograph depicting a scene from the Russian Civil War, Japanese military officers are shown conversing with their counterparts from the American, British and Canadian forces. The caption notes that this meeting marked the establishment of the headquarters of the combined army in Siberia. Although all external military forces operating in the theater had headquarters in Vladivostok, it is not clear whether the images in the lithograph depict a headquarters in that city. It is possible that the joint headquarters shown was located in or near Khabarovsk, which Allied forces captured from the Bolsheviks on September 5, 1918. The city then became a staging ground for further excursions into Siberia — both westward towards Blagoveshchensk and northward to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. Between August 1918 and October 1922, the Imperial Japanese Army participated in the “Siberian Intervention,” an attempt by the Allied powers of World War I to support White Russian forces against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War (1917–22). Soldiers from nine countries participated in the intervention, which began in August 1918. While the United States and the United Kingdom withdrew their forces in 1920, the Japanese army remained in the Russian Far East and Siberia for another two years. More than 70,000 Japanese troops participated in the fighting. To support the action of the Japanese military, in 1919 Tokyo-based publisher Shōbidō Co. Ltd. produced a series of patriotic lithographic prints depicting various scenes from the campaign entitled “The Illustration of the Siberian War.”

Last updated: November 14, 2017