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Major General Frederick C. Poole, Royal Army, to British War Office

S E C R E T.


From:     General Poole, Archangel.

To:       War office.

Despatched 12.20 a.m. 12th August 1918.

Received 7.50 a.m. 12 August 1918.

Clear the Line.

E.251 August 11th.

          Very urgent. I have received no news of despatch of either the British battalion which was due to arrive middle of August or of Italian and American battalions.1 I most strongly urge you to expedite despatch of all these. I have counted on their arrival up to time stated and my plans will be interfered with if there is any hitch. I am quite cheerfully taking great risks but it will be a pity if delays in despatch which could be overcome should be allowed to spoil our realization of promising chance of a hugh success.

          Please send me urgent reply giving me definite dates.2


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Note below close: “P.T.O.”

Footnote 1: American reinforcements number 4,600 men from the 339th Infantry did not reach Archangel to support efforts to reclaim Allied war material until September 1918. Henry P. beers, “U.S. Naval Forces in Northern Russia (Archangel and Murmansk) 1918-1919,” (Office of Record Administration, Navy Department, 1943), 14.

Footnote 2: The War office responded the same day: “Approximate dates of arrival are British Battalion at Archangel August 28th, Italian Battalion at Murmansk,September 7th, American Contingent strength 4,800 at Archangel September 14th.” See, War office to Poole, 12 August 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.