Our Army Attacks from Sky, Water and Shore, and Repulsed Enemy of Siberia


This lithograph depicting a scene from the Russian Civil War shows Japanese forces patrolling the air and water around the city of Khabarovsk, which Japanese and Allied troops captured on September 5, 1918. The city can be identified by the iconic bridge over the Amur River. The plane in the foreground appears to be a Farman MF7, a French plane used for reconnaissance and bombing. The Imperial Japanese Army used MF7s during the Battle of Tsingtao in the autumn of 1914, so it is likely they also were used in the battles in the Russian Far East during the Russian Civil War. The MF7 is remembered for having been the first documented aircraft to have been shot down in aerial combat. This is reported to have occurred during the siege of Tsingtao, when the pilot of a German plane brought down a Japanese MF7 with his pistol. 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