World War One: American Troops in Northern Russia September 4, 1918–August 5, 1919

PRIOR to the collapse of Russia in 1917, vast quantities of military supplies had been assembled in the northern part of that country at the ports of Archangel and Murmansk, the latter being an open port the year round though north of the Arctic Circle. The Supreme War Council believed that Allied troops should be sent to secure these ports for the use of the Allies and to save the supplies located there.

The British Government, through its Ambassador at Washington, urged American participation in the undertaking. As a result the War Department on July 23 directed the Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces to send three battalions of infantry and three companies of engineers to join this Allied venture. The 339th Infantry, 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers, 337th Field Hospital and 337th Ambulance Company, all of the 85th Division, were designated. They sailed from England, and arrived in Northern Russia on September 4.

THE 332d Infantry Regiment, 83d Division, with attached medical and supply units, was sent to the Italian front in July 1918 in response to urgent requests from the Italian Government. Its principal missions were to build up Italian morale and to depress that of the enemy by creating the impression that a large force of Americans had reached that front and was preparing the year round though north of the Arctic Circle. The Supreme War Council believed that Allied troops should be sent to secure these ports for the use of the Allies and to save the supplies located there. Consequently an Allied force under British command was dispatched by sea and on August 3, 1918, seized the city of Archangel and drove the Bolshevik troops to the south of that place.

Operating under British command, this small American contingent was soon split up in isolated detachments protecting, with Allied troops and Russian volunteers, the vital points on the railroads and rivers which were the main avenues of approach to the coast. The Americans were spread out over a front of 450 miles and in some places were as great a distance as 200 miles from their main base at Archangel. The American soldiers soon participated in the fighting, their first casualties occurring on September 16 in the general area to the south of Obozerskaya. During their service in Russia the American troops conducted many small operations under arduous conditions, the normal hardships of warfare being intensified by the deep snow, intense cold, darkness of winter in the Arctic Zone and the long lines of communication, which were in constant danger of being cut by the enemy. During January 1919 the Bolsheviki launched an offensive northward between the Dvina River and the railroad, forcing the evacuation of Ust-Padenga, Shenkursk and Shegovari after heavy fighting. This caused the Allies to establish a new line of defense, and in garrisoning it the American forces became more widely dispersed than before. In March severe fighting developed around Bolshie-Ozerki and on May 1 a long-threatened attack in the vicinity of the Vaga River, 18 miles southeast of the town of Bereznik, was beaten off.

During April 1919 the American 167th and 168th Railroad Transportation Companies joined the expedition, operating mainly in the Murmansk region. After performing valuable service they were returned to France three months later.

The American soldiers began to be withdrawn from the forward positions late in May 1919. They were assembled at Archangel and soon thereafter sailed for France, being replaced by British troops newly arrived from England and by Russian soldiers. On August 5 the headquarters of the American force in Northern Russia was officially closed. In the opinion of the senior American officer the expedition was not particularly well managed and his troops were subjected to needless hardships. More than 400 casualties were suffered by this small American force, most of them occurring after the fighting had ceased on the Western Front. In spite of this, however, and the trying nature of their service, the American units performed their duties with great fortitude and bravery.


SOURCE: American Armies and Battlefields in Europe; United States Army Center of Military History
CONTRIBUTOR: Frances Thompson


Napoleonic Wars: Chronology 1814

Events of 1814 leading up to Napoleon’s banishment to the Island prison of Elba.

1 January: Blücher crosses the Rhine River
4 January: Napoleon rejects Allied peace terms
25 January: Napoleon leaves Paris to join his Army
29 January: Napoleon captures Brienne. Murat declares for the Allies
1 February: Battle of La Rothière
7 February: Napoleon again rejects Allied peace terms
10 February: Olsufiev routed at Champaubert
11 February: Sacken and Yorck defeated at Montmirial
14 February: Blücher defeated at Vauchamps
18 February: Battle of Montereau. Schwarzenberg withdraws.
26 February: Augereau advances on Geneva
27 February: Wellington beats Soult at Orthez. Schwarzenberg defeats Oudinot at Bar-sur-Aube
1 March: Treaty of Chaumont; Allies pledge no separate peace. Blücher checked at river Ourcq
3 March: French surrender Soissons
7 March: Napoleon wins Battle of Craonne
9 March: Napoleon is checked at Laon
13 March: Napoleon captures Reims
19 March: Peace negotiations at Châtillion finally broken off
21-22 March: Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
25 March: Battles at Fère-Champenoise
27 March: Napoleon routs Winzingerode
30 March: Battle of Montmartre: Paris capitulates
4 April: Marmont’s corps defects to Allies
12 March: Napoleon abdicates unconditionally
13 April: Napoleon attempts suicide, but recovers
4 May: Napoleon disembarks at Elba


SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15; BY James Lawford
CONTRIBUTOR: Martin F. Elkins

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Nob. 17th: BEST DAYS BY ACTIVITY



This Day In History for Nov. 17th: The Luxor Massacre (1997)

The Luxor Massacre (1997)

The Luxor massacre was the killing of 62 people, mostly tourists, on 17 November 1997, at Deir el-Bahari, an archaeological site and major tourist attraction across the Nile from Luxor, Egypt.

It is thought to have been instigated by exiled leaders of al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya, an Egyptian Islamist organization, attempting to undermine the July 1997 “Nonviolence Initiative”, to devastate the Egyptian economy[2] and provoke the government into repression that would strengthen support for anti-government forces.[3] However, the attack led to internal divisions among the militants, and resulted in the declaration of a ceasefire.[4] In June 2013, the group denied that it was involved in the massacre.[5]


Deir el-Bahari is one of Egypt’s top tourist attractions, notable for the spectacular Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, an 18th dynasty pharaoh known also as Djeser-Djeseru.

In the mid-morning attack, six gunmen killed 58 foreign nationals and four Egyptians.[6] The assailants were armed with automatic firearms and knives, and disguised as members of the security forces. They descended on the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at around 08:45. They killed two armed guards at the site.[6] With the tourists trapped inside the temple, the killing went on systematically for 45 minutes, during which many bodies, especially of women, were mutilated with machetes.[6] A note praising Islam was found inside a disemboweled body.[7] The dead included a five-year-old British child, Shaunnah Turner, and four Japanese couples on honeymoon.[8][9]

The attackers then hijacked a bus, but ran into a checkpoint of armed Egyptian National Police and military forces. One of the terrorists was wounded in the subsequent shootout and the rest fled into the hills where their bodies were found in a cave, apparently having committed suicide together.[10]

One or more al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya leaflets were reportedly found calling for the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman from U.S. prison,[11][12] stating that the attack had been carried out as a gesture to exiled leader Mustafa Hamza,[13] or declaring: “We shall take revenge for our brothers who have died on the gallows. The depths of the earth are better for us than the surface since we have seen our brothers squatting in their prisons, and our brothers and families tortured in their jails”.[14]


Most of the 58 victims were foreign tourists. Switzerland was the hardest hit, with 36 of its citizens killed. The youngest victim was a 5-year-old British child.

Nationality Number of victims
 Switzerland 36[15]
 Japan 10
 Great Britain 6
 Germany 4
 Egypt 4[16]
 Colombia 1
 France 1
Total 62


Following the attack, then president Hosni Mubarak replaced interior minister General Hassan Al Alfi with General Habib al-Adly.[17] The Swiss Federal Police “later determined that bin Laden had financed the operation”.[18]

The tourist industry in Egypt in general and in Luxor in particular was seriously affected by the resultant slump in visitors and remained depressed until sinking even lower with the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the 2005 Sharm el-Sheikh attacks, and the 2006 Dahab bombings.[citation needed]

However, the massacre marked a decisive drop in Islamist terrorists’ fortunes in Egypt by turning public opinion overwhelmingly against them. Terrorist attacks declined dramatically following the backlash from the massacre.[18] Organizers and supporters of the attack quickly realised that the strike had been a massive miscalculation and reacted with denials of involvement. The day after the attack, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya leader Refa’i Ahmed Taha claimed the attackers intended only to take the tourists hostage, despite the immediate and systematic nature of the slaughter. Others denied Islamist involvement completely. Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman blamed Israelis for the killings, and Ayman Zawahiri maintained the attack was the work of the Egyptian police.[19][20]

See also


  1. Jump up^ “In free Egypt, Jihad leader says time for gun is over”. Reuters UK. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  2. Jump up^ “Fearing the worst”. Al-Ahram Weekly. 5 May 2005. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  3. Jump up^ Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), pp. 256–7
  4. Jump up^ el-Zayat, Montasser, “The Road to al-Qaeda”, 2004. tr. by Ahmed Fakry
  5. Jump up^ “Egypt’s Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya denies involvement in 1997 Luxor massacre”. Egypt Independent. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  6. Jump up to:a b c Napoli, James J. “Egyptian Government Continues to Blame West for Ills After Luxor Massacre”. Washington Report. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  7. Jump up^ Phil Day – Massacre in Luxor – 3 of 7. 24 June 2009 – via YouTube.
  8. Jump up^ “At Ancient Site Along the Nile, Modern Horror”New York Times. 19 November 1997. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  9. Jump up^ “At a Swiss Airport, 36 Dead, Home From Luxor”New York Times. 20 November 1997. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  10. Jump up^ Wright, Lawrence, The Looming Tower, (2006), pp. 257–8
  11. Jump up^ Mannes, Aaron (2004). Profiles in Terror: The Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7425-3525-1.
  12. Jump up^ United States of America v. Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a/k/a “Abu Omar,” a/k/a “Dr. Ahmed,” Lynne Stewart, and Mohammed Yousry, Defendants. No. S1 02 CR. 395(JGK). 24 October 2005.
  13. Jump up^ “Terror in Egypt”. ADL. January 1998. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  14. Jump up^ “Bloodbath at Luxor”. The Economist. 20 November 1997. Retrieved 1 January2016.
  15. Jump up^ “Switzerland closes inquiry into Luxor massacre”Swiss Info. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  16. Jump up^ “Terror in Egypt”. ADL. January 1998. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Rana Muhammad Taha; Hend Kortam; Nouran El Behairy (11 February 2013). “The Rise and fall of Mubarak”Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  18. Jump up to:a b Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), p.258
  19. Jump up^ Wright, The Looming Tower, (2006), p. 293
  20. Jump up^ “Egypt tries to understand the Luxor massacre”. BBC News. 1 December 1997. Retrieved 2 May 2014.

Daily Inspiration for November 17th: Honoring All Experiences

Honoring All Experiences


It is important when pain comes our way to honor the experience, as it is usually a great teacher.

Honoring the experiences we have in our lives is an invaluable way to communicate with life, our greatest teacher. We do this when we take time at night to say what we are thankful for about our day and also when we write in a journal. Both of these acts involve consciously acknowledging the events of our lives so that they deepen our relationship to our experiences. This is important because it brings us into closer connection with life, and with the moment. Only when we acknowledge what’s happening to us can we truly benefit from life’s teachings.

It is especially important when pain comes our way to honor the experience, because our natural tendency is to push it away and move past it as quickly as possible. We tend to want to brush it under the rug. Yet, if we don’t, it reveals itself to be a great friend and teacher. As counterintuitive as it seems, we can honor pain by thanking it and by welcoming it into the space of our lives. We all know that often the more we resist something, the longer it persists. When we honor our pain, we do just the opposite of resisting it, and as a result, we create a world in which we can own the fullness of what life has to offer.

We can honor a painful experience by marking it in some way, bringing ourselves into a more conscious relationship with it. We might mark it by creating a work of art, performing a ritual, or undertaking some other significant act. Sometimes all we need to do is light a candle in honor of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve learned. No matter how small the gesture, it will be big enough to mark the ways in which our pain has transformed us, and to remind us to recognize and value all that comes our way in this life.



The Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, November 17th


The Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, November 17th

Claire Petulengro, Astrologer

From The Astrology Room


ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)
Who seeks shall find and you have done a very good job of pretending you are acting as the consummate professional when you and I know you have actually been sticking your head in the sand. Taking time out for yourself has to be your number one priority today.

TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)
I can see that you’re getting bored with a situation which you only ever intended to be temporary, even though it has ended up as a permanent fixture of late! You’re an original my friend, so don’t pretend to be anything but. Life is waiting, go live it!

GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)
We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. That is exactly why you have to get away from the many negative influences who are affecting you at this time. To allow others to think they can control your life will be your biggest regret this week Gemini.

CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)
Do you really know or even understand what you are thinking lately Cancer? Many astrologers would say that you are walking through life blindfolded. I just think you are living in the past and finding it hard to move on. Remember who you were and still are to proceed.

LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)
You know Leo, it is really not possible to go forward while looking back. Once you acknowledge this fact, you will soon see where you were going wrong and who you need to keep away from. An ex is on your mind for all the wrong reasons. Don’t give in.

VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)
Dramas which are affecting your life at this time are proving harder to deal with than you first thought. Have you not taken into account the fact that you have refused to accept outside help? Make yourself a priority if you expect others to my friend.

LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)
Don’t be so afraid to take on some extra responsibilities this week. I see and you would too, if you took a moment out of the emotional roller coaster ride you have been on, that you are more than capable and ready to take things up to the next level. What are you waiting for?

SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)
An argument which you had hoped to avoid, looks to be inevitable. You realise that a certain person is not going away until you have spoken to them. Things you buy at this time tell others whether you have earnt your confidence in relationships or not. Ring now to hear how keeping secrets is not an option.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)
What you thought to be plans with friends, could turn out to be only an idea by the time this month comes to a close, so be careful of what you say to others or you could end up embarrassed when your plans don’t come to fruition. Letters bring great relief this week.

CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)
The actions you are thinking of taking will affect a lot more people than you first thought, but this does not seem to have changed your plans or your mind for what you now know must be said and done. Travel plans are subject to change but are well worth the hassle.

AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)
If you read too deeply into what other people say, then you are going to end up red faced and disappointed. Take a moment to count the many positives in your life as I know there are many. Being true to who you are is the best path to happiness.

PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)
Try to focus more on the past than you are the future. It is what can give you the most satisfaction in life. Your element of water helps you to make peace with your past and those who are no longer around, you feel more connected with them than you ever did before.


For Claire’s in-depth horoscope for this week, call 0905 072 0237
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European Headlines: 11-17-2018

GERMANY (DW) Angela Merkel finally faces critics in Chemnitz; The German chancellor has defended her refugee policy on a trip to Chemnitz, three months after anti-immigrant riots shook the city. Debating with locals, she first had to explain why it took her so long to visit.

(DW) CIA thinks Saudi Prince ordered Khashoggi killing: report; According to a US media report, the CIA has high confidence that the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi came from the highest level. Meanwhile a little-known news outlet published photos supposedly showing his dismemberment.

(DW) Germany mulls sending migrants back to Syria; Germany’s Interior Ministry is considering resuming deportations to Syria despite the still-volatile situation in the war-torn country. Violent criminals among Syrians should be repatriated, German conservatives say.

(DW) Brexit, lies and anarchy; Resignations, a potential leadership challenge and a dogmatic prime minister battling to save her Brexit deal have plunged London’s political world into chaos. DW’s Barbara Wesel says the lies are coming home to roost.

(DW) Brexit: EU cautions Britain against seeking to renegotiate draft deal; British Prime Minister Theresa May is fighting for her political life and approval of a draft Brexit deal. European Union leaders show very little appetite for reopening talks on the deal if she fails on either front.

(DW) AfD donation scandal deepens as party conference kicks off; The far-right AfD reportedly knew about donations from a Dutch foundation earlier than previously thought. Leading party member Alice Weidel is already facing an investigation over another questionable donation.

(DW) UK austerity policies ‘punitive, mean-spirited and callous’ says UN expert; The United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Professor Philip Alston, has published his initial report on the UK. Child poverty is a ‘social calamity and economic disaster.’

(DW) Russian intelligence used blackmail to try hacking UK visa system; A Russian IT expert was threatened by FSB agents and forced to use his position to provide information on a firm that processes UK visas, according to investigative group Bellingcat and Russia’s The Insider website.

(DW) How Volkswagen is gearing up to be an electric car leader; The German auto giant’s board has approved plans to spend €44 billion over the next five years to overhaul its plants for electric vehicle production. DW explores where the money will be spent.

(DW) EU calls on Turkey to release 13 people arrested for links to Gezi Park protests; The 13 people arrested were reportedly accused of trying to create “chaos and mayhem” and overthrow the government. More than 50,000 people have been arrested in Turkey since a failed coup attempt in 2016.

(DW) Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia: Did justice take too long? ; The conviction of former Khmer Rouge leaders for genocide is a symbolic human rights victory. However, the legal process has been criticized as being marred by corruption and delays. Ate Hoekstra reports from Phnom Penh.

FRANCE (France24)’Yellow Vests’: from left to right, French political parties struggle to respond; In the face of the “Yellow Vests” movement, French political parties find themselves walking a fine line: they need to be supportive of demonstrators without fully backing them, all the while keeping sight of their environmental goals.

(France24) UN rights expert warns Brexit could push more Brits into poverty; Britain’s impending divorce from the European Union could drive more people in the UK into poverty unless the government takes action to shield the most vulnerable, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights warned Friday.

(France24) UK PM Theresa May names junior minister new Brexit secretary; British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday promoted a largely unknown junior health minister, eurosceptic Stephen Barclay, to be her new Brexit secretary.

(France24) A fledgling party emerges from the ashes of the French left; Between Macron and Mélanchon a wasteland at the left of the political spectrum has been up for grabs. The latest pretender, a party launched by an essayist, an environmentalist and a leftist economist, has just held its first meeting.

(France24) White House studying Turkey’s demands to expel Gulen, says US report; The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to expel US-based Muslim cleric and Turkey foe Fethullah Gulen to convince Ankara to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a US network.