Readers Viewpoint 11-6-2019
Honor, remember veterans Nov. 11
To the editor:
Over 100 years ago, on Nov. 11, 1918, the U.S. 339th Regiment – the Polar Bears from Michigan – was part of the Allied interventionalist forces in far northern Russia. In sub-zero weather, waist-deep snow and with days averaging only two hours of sunlight, they launched an offensive in the Battle of Tulgas or the Armistice Day battle to keep open the Murmansk to Archangel railway by relieving an encircled garrison at the strategic town of Tulgas. Not only did the Polar Bears lift the siege, they also defeated veteran units of the Bolshevik 6th Soviet Army sent to fight them. At the time, it was rumored that Leon Trotsky, founder of the Red Army who had a low opinion of Allies troops in Russia, said the Polar Bears fought better than some of the Cossack units that the Bolsheviks went up against.
Even though no more of those 339th veterans are left alive, this Veteran’s Day, let us remember and honor them and all American veterans and their families.
-s- Don Wolf