Sophomore Kyle Duchynski was recently selected for an Introductory Seminars Excellence Award for his project, “The Forgotten Fight: The Failings of the Allied Intervention in Siberia.” Awarded to Stanford freshmen or sophomores annually, the award honors exceptional projects completed in an introductory seminar. Duchynski completed his project the 2017-2018 introductory seminar, “The Soviet Union and the World: Views from the Hoover Archives” (HISTORY 23N), taught by Stanford history professor and Hoover fellow Norman Naimark and Anatol Shmelev, Robert Conquest curator for Russian and Eurasian collections at Hoover.
Based on primary research conducted at the Hoover Archives, Duchynski’s paper argues that while the Allied Intervention ostensibly accomplished its intended objectives of protecting Allied war material and evacuating the Czech Legion, the intervention was overall a failure. Documents from the time illustrate a host of reasons behind the failure, from a war-weary public to competing ulterior motives among Allies to Allied soldiers’ preference for entertainment over fighting the Bolsheviks. The 100th anniversary of the Allied Intervention is fast approaching, and what its failure has to teach us about the perils of foreign intervention remains as relevant today as ever before.