Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: JamesAPrattIII on March 22, 2013, 03:15:16 PM

Title: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 22, 2013, 03:15:16 PM
Books on the Russian Civil War:
Civil War in Siberia, John P. Smele is an excellent book on the the Russian Civil War in Siberia. For people who have read LDR, FOTR, and File on the Tsar this book gives you the big picture on whats going on.
Civil War in South Russia 1918 Peter Kenez
Civil War in South Russia 1919-1920 Peter Kenez  are 2 volumes are good accounts of the Russian Civil war in South Russia
The White Armies of Russia George Stewart older book on the White armies
The White generals R Luckett on the white leaders
The Fate of Admiral Kolchak a bio of the White leader
White against red The Life of General Anton Denikin  Dimitry V. Lehovich a bio of one of the main white leaders
The Ignorant Armies E.M. Hallidy the US intervention in North Russia
The Midnight War Richard Goldhart on the allied intervention
The Day they Almost Bombed Moscow Chris Dobson and John Miller on the Allied intervention
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 22, 2013, 03:38:46 PM
books on WW I and other wars:
Caucasian Battlefields A History of the Wars on the turco-Caucasian Border 1828-1921 W.E.D. Allen and Paul Muratoff A fine book on this subject. Note GD Dimtri P was sent to the persian front after his involvement in killing rasputin this book tells of what was happening there
The End of the Russian Imperial Army (2 volumes) Allen K Wildman a good account a how and why the Russian army fell apart after the Febuary 1917 revolution
The foe Within William C Fuller a good account of the spy hysteria that helped bring down the Russian Empire
Other wars:
Mutiney Amid Repression John Bushnell deal with the Russian armys reaction to the 1905 Revolution
General Alexei N Kuropatkin the leading Russian army commander in Manchuria during the R-J War wrote a couple of books his military experiences ect after this war you can log on to them on his wiki bio. Note they are books written by a staff officer for fellow staff officers and may not be for everyone.
Russias military way to the west Chris Duffy deal with the Russian army of the 1700s and the wars it fought
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on April 15, 2013, 08:46:07 PM
On archive.org there is "MY Empress: 23 years of Intamate Life with the Empress of all the Russias from her marrige to her day of Exile" by Marta Mouchanow according to Ron Moe in "Prelude to the Revolution the Murder of Rasputin" this book was written by Alexandra's chief maid Madelene Zanotti before the IF left for Siberia. If you are interseted in AF I recommend this book.
not online
"The Northern Wars 1558-1721" Robert Frost A heavy duty history book of the wars in Northern Europe and Russia
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: historyfan on April 15, 2013, 09:40:48 PM
The Guns Of August by Barbara Tuchman is an exploration on the origins of WWI.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on April 16, 2013, 08:12:42 PM
According to other posts on this site that i missed Moe is wrong when says Zanotti wrote My Empress.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 02, 2013, 07:37:44 PM
The site allworldwars.com has a number of sites dealing with Russia the ones dealing with the Russo-Japanese war and WW I include:
"The Life of Admiral Togo" bio of the Japanese Admiral who destroyed the Russian Fleet at tsushima
"Horse guards Commorative manual 1730-1930" a history of the Russian Horse Guards regiment. GD Dmitri Ps regiment
"War of lost Opportunities" Max Hoffman The memoirs of the German officer who was the number 3 later number 2 man who ran the german war in the East 1914-1918
Luddendorf's Own Story Volume 2 1917-1918 Volume 2 of German General Erich Luddendorf's war memoirs
Russo-Japanese war photo gallery by Victor Bulla lots of R-J war pictures from one of the leading Russian photograghers of the period
Libau to tsushima Eugene Politovsky an account of the Russian Baltic fleets voyage to the pacific by one of the men of the fleet who did not survive
The German Airforce in the Great War Georg Paul Neuman a history of the German air force in WW I

Archive.org
"Revolutionary days Princess Julia Cantacuzene
With the Russian Army 1914-1917 Volume 1 Alfred Knox (no volume 2)
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 06, 2013, 06:44:18 PM
Daily life in Russia under the last Tsar Henry Troyet A fictional Englishman's view of 1903 Russia
Before the Storm Sophia Buxhoeveden I guess she dropped the Von somewhere. This her other book besides the 2 she wrote that are on the APTM. It's about her life in Russia pre WWI
In Wars dark Shadow W. Bruce Lincoln about Russia pre WW I (note this author has written several books on Russia. Warning he despises Nicholas and Alexandra
The Romanovs                 "         "
Passage Through Armagedon "    "
He has written others that I haven't read

Prologue to the Revolution Michael Chernivsky Minutes of the meetings of the Coouncil of Ministers July-September 1915 This is from the notes of a man who was at the meetings of the Council of ministers during this period and what was discussed and said
Documents in Russian history F.D. Goldman This book contains a number of documents in full dealing with Russia during the WW I period it has in full Durnovos 1914 memo to the Tsar warning him against going to war, Milikov's Stupidity or treason speech and Purishkevich's anti-Rasputin speech to name a few.
The Russian revolution and the Baltic Fleet Evan Mawdsley deals with the role of the Baltic Fleet in the 1917 Revolutions
Nationalizing the Russian Empire Eric Lohr deals with the problem of nationalizism in Russia during WW I and the deportations , and property sezures that went along with it.

In the American historical Review Vol 86, 1981 there is an article by John Bushnell "The Tsarist officer Corps 1881-1914: Customs , Duties, Inefficiency" which is a accurate portrayal of the officer corps of the Russian army pre WW I. Lets just say it wasn't very good.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on August 08, 2013, 04:04:12 PM
Nice reading list , James. There are so many more.

Denikin's autobiography is worthwhile. So is W. Bruce Lincoln's  Passage Through Armageddon, though I read it some time ago. Of the Imperial Family's intimates , Sophie Buxhoeveden's two books you referred to both give some sense of the chaos of the Civil War/Revolution ,especially  from a bourgeoise's perspective, though she's no great writer.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 06, 2013, 03:20:09 PM
Some online reading:
Guttenberg press book selection has a number of books on WW I and other wars

On the Great war forums Russian front section on 29 April 2010 posting there is a online book "Yesterday; The Memiors of a Russian-jewish lawyer by Oscar o Gruzenberg, he was one of the leading lawyers in pre-1917 Russia

Archives.org:
Red Russia (1906) and Russia Today (1915) John Foster Fraiser an English travel writers view of Russia in 1905 and 1915
The Duel Alexander Kudrin a 1905 best selling Novel in Russia. A less than flatering view of the Russian army and it's officers

chic lit:
When the Prussians came to Poland Laura De Turszynowicz
An English Wife in Berlin Princess Evelyn Blucher
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on September 07, 2013, 01:00:05 PM
chic lit:
When the Prussians came to Poland Laura De Turszynowicz
An English Wife in Berlin Princess Evelyn Blucher

This latter, James, may give a new twist to the conventional view of chick lit (chiclet?, chicklet?).
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 03, 2013, 04:21:57 PM
A typo it should be chick lit
Autocracy Under Siege Security Police and the Opposition in Russia 1866-1905 & The Watchfull State Security police and the Opposition in Russia 1906-1917 both by John Daly both excellent books on how the Russian security police operated during the last decades of the Tsars.
Thou Shalt Kill Revolutionary Terror in Russia 1894-1917 Anna gelfman another fine book dealing with terrorism and terrorists in Russia during this period
Young Stalin Simon Montefiore a fine book on the future dictator joseph Stalin's early life to the Bolo seizure of power in late 1917 and his career as a crime boss/revolutionary
Mannerhiem The years of preparation J.E. O. Screen this a bio of the future leader of Finnland as a guards cavalry officer in the Russian army.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on October 03, 2013, 06:03:23 PM
The Anna Gelfman book is excellent. I recommend it.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: historyfan on October 03, 2013, 08:35:53 PM
I've recently read Friendly Fire: The Secret War between the Allies, by Lynn Picknett. Focuses on Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Very interesting, and in a lot of cases, enlightening.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 18, 2013, 07:02:14 PM
Some more:
Imperial Russian Field Uniforms and equipment 1907-1917 John Somers, plenty of pictures of the Russian army of how it was dressed and equipped
Uniforms and equipment of the Czarist Russian armed forces in WW I: A Study in Period Photograghs Spencer A Coil, Has lots of pictures of the Russian army during the WW I period. It includes a number of family pictures so you can see how people dressed back then
The Russian Army in the First World war Nic Cornish A good but not great book on the subject.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on November 01, 2013, 07:59:16 PM
I have a few more:
Tattered Banners Paul Rodzianko, memoirs of the nephew of Duma leader Rodzianko before during and after WW I. He is the Rodziako mentioned in the APTM online book "Left Behind"

"The Revolt of 1916 in Central Asia" Edward d Sokol This is about the only book in English that deals with the 1916 revolt in Central Asia that broke out in mainly because the Tsarist government tried to conscript the locals into non-combat labor units.

Article "The Imperial Russian Life Guards Grenadier regiment 1906-1917: The Disintagration of an elite unit" David R Jones Military Affairs magazine (Now the Journal of Military History) October 1969. On how and why the Guards grenadier regiment went from an elite unit to a mob.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on November 08, 2013, 08:14:39 PM
Not a book but on the Aerodrome.com they have a posting on FA 27 flickr.com has a section "Der Vormarsch Der Flieger Abteilung 27 in Der Ukarine" Which contains a number of pictures of this unit in the Ukarine/South Russia in 1918. Includes pictures of Kiev, Rostov, Sebastopol, Yalta that some of you might find of interest.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 18, 2013, 02:52:21 PM
Some others:
The Russian Imperial army 1796-1917 Roger Reese editor is a series of articals by historians on the Russian imperial army during this period> It includes David Jones article on the Life guards grenadier regiment and John Bushnell's article of the Russian armys officer corps
Between War and Revolution The Russian General Staff February- July 1917 Robert Feldman deals with the Russian armys high command and how it coped with the February 1917 revolution and it's aftermath. Let's just say they had some real problems.
Romanov Autumn Charlotte Zeepov contains a number of short one chapter bios of a number of the lesser Romanovs and what happened to them includes GDS Maria P (the elder), GD Dimtri P and his father GD Paul A , GD Serge A (Ella's husband) and others. Note : the book mentions the Italian Liner Rex being stopped by a U-boat in the early part of WW II. I don't think this incident happened.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 07, 2014, 02:56:31 PM
More books:
"The Court of the Last Tsar" Greg King errata The Guare Equapage was formed in 1810 not 1867 and OTMA's regiments were regular line units not Guards units.
"The Fall of the Romanov's " Mark D. Steinburg & V.N. Karustled deals mainly with the IF post abdication period includes diarys ,letter and telegrams
"In the land of the White Death" Valerian Albanov a book written in 1917 that deals with a disaster of a Russian artic expedition

archives.org
War and Revolution in Russia 1914-1917 Basil Gurko memoirs of the general who for a brief period was Russian army chief of staff
"Survival Through war and revolution in Russia Dimitri F White Memoirs of a Russian naval officer
Germany and Revolution in Russia 1915-1917 Documents From the Archives of the german Foreign Ministry" Ed ZAM Zelman How the Germans aided the Russian Revolutionaries in WW I all in documents
Yashka my Life As Peasant, Excile and Soldier Maria Bochkareva memoirs of Russias most famous female soldier of WW I
Memoirs of Life in Old Russia ivan Stenbock-Ferman memoirs of a Count
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 06, 2014, 04:51:24 PM
Rasputin and the Jews, Dleia Colon deals with Rasputin efforts to help the Jews ect which is probably the real reason he was so hated ect.
Easter in Kishinev, Edward H Judge a short but excellent book on the Kishinev pogrom and the events leading up to it and anti-Semitism in Russia
Fontanka 16 Charles Aredo and Serge a Stepoed a good book on the tsarist secret police
The socialist Revolutionaries and the Russian anti-war movement 1914-1917 Michael Melacon a fine book on ths SRs and other groups and how their anti-war efforts helped bring down the Russian empire
archive.org has "Last days of the Romanovs" by George L Tleberg and Robert  Wilton 1920 not to be confused with the more recent book of the same name. Telbergs section has the tesemony of several witnesses in volved with the last days of the IF. The Wilton part some people will find offensive this man does not like Germans Bolsheviks and jews. He is covered in the book "File on the Tsar"
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: geglov3 on June 07, 2014, 01:54:53 PM
1915. Памятная книжка комитета ЕИВ ВК Татьяны Николаевны для оказания временной помощи пострадавшим от военных бедствий. Издана к 3 мая 1915 года., 226 стр., 25,66 Мб., PDF.

1915. Memorial book Committee EIV VC Tatiana Nikolaevna to provide temporary assistance to victims of military disasters. Published May 3, 1915., 226 pages, 25.66 MB., PDF.

http://book-olds.ru/BookLibrary/00206-Vedomstvo-Imperatritsyi-Marii/1915.-Pamyatnaya-knizhka-komiteta-EIV-VK-Tatyanyi-Nikolaevnyi-dlya-okazaniya-vremennoy-pomoschi-postradavshim-ot-voennyih-bedstviy.html
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Petr on June 08, 2014, 01:10:49 PM
The book by Anthony Kröner on General Peter N. Wrangel. It is entitled "The White Knight of the Black Sea" and was published by Leuxenhoff Publishing, the Hague, Netherlands, ISBN: 978-90-72922-07-6.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 02, 2014, 05:09:58 PM
Some more books sometime require a strong stomach to read:
"The Red Terror in Russia" Sergey P Melgovnov
"The Cheka Lenin's Political Police" George Legget
"The Black Book of Communism"

The German government has also put a lot of document, picture and film clips from WW I online this is from the Axis history forum's WW I section:
http://ersterweltkrieg.bundesarchive.de
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on August 04, 2014, 12:05:32 PM
Read them all, James. Leggett's book especially is a devastating revelation and critique of the Cheka.  A virtual must-read for those interested in the immediate post-Revolution period, and especially for anti-communists. As one of the latter, I can't say I was surprised by some of the revelations of Cheka practices and membership, but still... The Cheka truly did attract some of the most sadistic and often psychopathic specimens of the radical left. Even Chekists themselves  not infrequently feared and loathed  many of their number.

And if photos  reveal the soul or character of their  subjects (or lack thereof) a lot of  these Chekists were the lowest of the low, truly brutish , grotesque. Looking at some of the photos in Leggett, one can almost feel the terror they inspired.

 It's really saying something when Iron Felix (Dzerzhinsky) is among the more principled , humane , members of your organization. Remarkable, but true.

Well written book, too, bye the bye.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 04, 2014, 12:52:19 PM
Another great book is "Russia's First World War: A Social and Economic History " by Peter Gatrell. I had to read it during my undergrad and always found it quite interesting
(http://i.imgur.com/iMx0AUP.jpg)
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 18, 2014, 05:10:54 PM
Gatrell's book is on one of my earlier posts. He also wrote the book "A Whole Empire Walking" dealing with refugees in Russia during WW I

S.A. Melgovnov's book "The Red Terror in Russia" is online at paulbogdanor.com in the section left wing blood baths. I just found this out from the axis history form some weeks after I got the book by interlibrary loan
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 18, 2014, 09:25:00 PM
Gatrell's book is on one of my earlier posts. He also wrote the book "A Whole Empire Walking" dealing with refugees in Russia during WW I
Sorry - Couldn't find it, that's why I posted it. My bad.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 27, 2014, 06:49:18 PM
I stumbled upon in Amazon.com the new book "Grand Duke Nicholai Nikolaevich Supreme Commander of the Russian Army" by Paul Robinson. This is a bio of GD NN which looks quite good.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 15, 2014, 04:31:40 PM
Some other books:
On the Tsarist PM Peter Stolypin:
Reminiscenes of my father peter A Stolypin, Maria Petrovona (Stolypina) Von Bock (His oldest daughter memoirs)
Peter Arkon'evich Stolypin Practical Politics in Late Tsarist Russia Mary Schaeffer
P.A. Stolypin Abraham Ascher

The Russian Civil war online at hathitrust.org or go to Admiral Alexander Kolckaks wiki bio
The White Armies of Russia George Stewart
America's Siberian Expedition 1918-1920 betty Miller

other:
Young Stalin Simon Sebag Montefiore the early life until late 1917 of future soviet dictator joseph Stalin. or Stalin as crime boss

Austria Hungary's last War 1914-1918 www.comroestudio.com/StanHanna the 8 volume Austro-Hungarian official history written between the world wars on line in both german and in English. For those of you who like real heavy duty historical reading from the Austrian rose-colored glasses view of WW I
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 24, 2015, 02:24:53 PM
two more:
Pogrom Anti Jewish violence in Modern Russian History John D Klein & Shlomo Lambroza deals with the Pogroms of 1881-3, 1903-6 and 1919 and the conditions on why they happened.
Civil Rights in Imperial Russia Olga Crisp & Linda Edmonson deals with the rights of the press, crime, women's rights, property rights, the police ect in the last decades of the Tsars
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 09, 2015, 06:32:25 PM
more on archive.org:
Features and Figures of the Past V.I. Gurko
Recolections of a Foreign Minister Alexander Isvolsky
Paul Mikiukov  a leader in the Duma and noted historian has 3 of his books online also see his wiki bio
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 17, 2015, 06:59:58 PM
Diary of the Commander of the Russian Imperial guard 1914-1917 Vladimir M Bezobrazov
This is the wartime diary of the man who commanded both the Guards corps and the Guards army. he is usually described as stubborn and does come out this way. he also met a almost who's who of Imperial Russia during the war. There is also a section of notes where there are short bio's of a lot of these people and their fates.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 14, 2015, 06:17:53 PM
War in the East A Military history of the Russo-Turkish war 1877-78 Quintin Barry A good history of this war with plenty of drawing pictures and paintings.
On archive.org "The Literary history of the War 10 volume 1919 by Francis Whitney Halsey

New books that I haven't read that have just come out:
German Ascendent: Eastern Front 1915: Prit Buttar
The Russian Army in the Great War David Stone
The End of Tsarist Russia Dominic Lieven
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 01, 2015, 03:08:36 PM
Some memoirs:
The story of a Life Konstantin Paustovsky
The grinding Mill Prince A. Lobanov-Rostovsky
Secret Service on the Russian front Max Wild (Memoirs of a german intelligence officer)
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Inok Nikolai on June 01, 2015, 04:23:46 PM
War in the East A Military history of the Russo-Turkish war 1877-78 Quintin Barry A good history of this war with plenty of drawing pictures and paintings.
On archive.org "The Literary history of the War 10 volume 1919 by Francis Whitney Halsey

New books that I haven't read that have just come out:
German Ascendent: Eastern Front 1915: Prit Buttar
The Russian Army in the Great War David Stone
The End of Tsarist Russia Dominic Lieven

Is the book by Dominic Lieven cited above the same as: "Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia"?
Are they different editions of the same book?

It got a good review in the Spectator on May 30th:
http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9539272/all-might-have-been-well-had-nicholas-ii-only-listened-to-a-tiny-cosmopolitan-elite/
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 25, 2015, 01:59:35 PM
I don't know if these are different books or are the same book with different titles one for the US and one for Europe.

Other books of interest:
Two Lives One Russia Nicholas Danilov A US reporter jailed by the Soviets in 1986 whose great grandfather was a Decemberist. Whose life he discusses. He was also the Grandson of Y Danilov Quartermaster General to the GD Nicholas N in 1914-15.
Russian Democracy's Fatal Blunder Louise Erwin Heenan discusses the failed Russian 1917 Kerensky offensive and why is was such a disaster for the Provisional government . Outdated but still has some interesting parts.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Inok Nikolai on June 25, 2015, 05:04:05 PM
I don't know if these are different books or are the same book with different titles one for the US and one for Europe.

Other books of interest:
Two Lives One Russia Nicholas Danilov A US reporter jailed by the Soviets in 1986 whose great grandfather was a Decemberist. Whose life he discusses. He was also the Grandson of Y Danilov Quartermaster General to the GD Nicholas N in 1914-15.
Russian Democracy's Fatal Blunder Louise Erwin Heenan discusses the failed Russian 1917 Kerensky offensive and why is was such a disaster for the Provisional government . Outdated but still has some interesting parts.

Well, I did notice that one book has already been published and the other is to come out this fall.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 26, 2015, 05:18:00 PM
reviews and errata for books on the Lusitania:

Lusitania by greg King and Penny Wilson
I speed readed this book and have the following errata on it:
Depth charges Page 149 didn't come into service until January 1916
The merchant ship Thordis did not ram and sink a U-boat it did ram and bend the periscope of the U-6
Page 168 mentions the Battleship Princess Royal escorting the Lusitania. There is no mention of the Princess Royal which was  a battlecruiser sighting the Lusitania in the ships logs on navalhistory.net
page 281 mentions Flight Sub Lt Hugh Allan being shot down and killed by AA fire on 6 July 1917 in reality according to the great war forum he was killed in a flying accident in Sopwith Pup N6i81

Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania Erik Larson

Page 61 mentions a U-boat crew going ashore on a Island off Scotland to kill a goat. I doubt that happened
page 78 Destroyer Magdenburg the ship was a light cruiser
page 81 mentions a 31 jan 1915 9 Zeppelin raid on Liverpool reality On 31 Jan 1916 Liverpool was the target for 9 Zeppelins but none reached it do to the weather
page 129 mentions the Lusitania picking up mail from the HMS Bristol, Essex and Caronia. Looking through the logs on navalhistory.net the first two ships never went  near the Lusitania. The Carona does mention meeting the ship in her log but no mail transfer was mentioned . A man on the Lusitania did take the last picture of the Lusitania before she was sunk.
Page 143 mentions a French Dreadnopught (battleship) there were no French battleships anywhere near this ship
the book mentions snice this is a Russian history site that 71 of the passengers were Russian and 2 were from Finnland. The site Lusitania.net has the crew and passenger list and who died or survived.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on July 20, 2015, 06:26:15 PM
An article not a book by me in Over The Front magazine 30-1 Spring 2015 "Attack on the Slava" deals with the German air attacks on the Russian Battleship Slava during WW I.  lets just say the ship was a real bomb magnet. note I started working on this article before I even knew about this site. consider it my contribution to Russian history.

other articles I have in OTF

23-1 Spring 2008 "B-boats vs L-planes in the Adriatic" This is about the British B-class submarine operations in the Adriatic during WW I who had a number of run in with Austrian L-series seaplanes. One submarine the B-10 was damaged beyond repair during an air attack by them.

20-1 Spring 2005 "The Mexican punitive Expedition" deals with the US 1st Aero Squadron during the Pershing Punitive expedition into Mexico in 1916.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 10, 2015, 06:40:33 PM
I stumbled across this book in a store: Nicholas And Alexandra The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia" Robert Timms  contains lots of picture paintings, drawings done by members of the IF, pictures of pages of diaries, pictures of pages of photo albums ect
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 13, 2015, 04:41:33 PM
Robert Conquest recently died he is best known for the books "The Great Terror" on the purges of the late 1930s and "Harvest of Sorrow" On the famine/ genocide of the early 1930s in the USSR. They were ground breaking books in there day and are still worth reading.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 26, 2015, 10:02:26 AM
"The Russian navy in War and Revolution 1914 up to 1918" H Graf
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 26, 2015, 10:27:15 AM
Not a book but in the axishistoryforum.com First World War section there is a posting Romainian campaign (1916-1919) contains information and articles on the Romanian campaign of 1916.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 31, 2015, 05:51:51 PM
George Keenan 1845-1924 (not the later US diplomat of the same name) wrote a number of books on Tsarist Russia. The most famous was" Siberia and the Exile System" which is online with the others on his wiki bio.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Inok Nikolai on November 02, 2015, 09:14:21 AM
George Keenan 1845-1924 (not the later US diplomat of the same name) wrote a number of books on Tsarist Russia. The most famous was" Siberia and the Exile System" which is online with the others on his wiki bio.

FYI: The diplomat's grandfather and the above George Keenan, the explorer, were cousins.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on November 02, 2015, 02:00:41 PM
George Keenan 1845-1924 (not the later US diplomat of the same name) wrote a number of books on Tsarist Russia. The most famous was" Siberia and the Exile System" which is online with the others on his wiki bio.

FYI: The diplomat's grandfather and the above George Keenan, the explorer, were cousins.
The name is Kennan, not Keenan, as above.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 01, 2015, 06:22:48 PM
Here are a some books I recently finished:
The last Tsar by Serge S Oldenburg this is the first political history of Nicholas II reign by a Russian Nationalist Conservative Historian written in the 1930s. It's dated but I found it informative. It shows Nicholas II reign in a different light. It also has a index and biography section of many of the lesser people of this period.

Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra the Complete Wartime corespondece of letters and telegrams  Joe T Fuhrman  It has all the surviving letters and telegrams between Nicholas and Alexandra and a usefull index

Oldenburg points out some facts of interest:
Anna Vyrubova has Rasputin telegraphing the Tsar: "Let Papa not plan war, for with the war will come the end of Russia and yourselves and you will lose to the last man."
Oldenburg has Rasputin telegraphing "Do not worry too much about war. When time comes, an end will have to put to it but that time is not yet and your suffering will be crowned".

Then the man Nicholas writes to Kokovstov as "...a man fresh for work." isn't Goremykin Kokovstov was also the Finance minister as well as the Prime minister. The man Nicholas is talking about is Peter Bark who is the new Finance minister.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 02, 2015, 03:28:13 PM
This is some errata for Fuhrman and the Nicky-Sunny letters ect:

Alexandra 2 Oct 14 King Albert's (of Belgium) Villa was bombed by the German Airship ZIX

Alexandra 19 Nov 14 mentions Warsaw being bombed at night do to bad weather the German Airship ZIV bombed Warsaw on the night of 24/25 Nov 14

Nicholas 3 mar 15 can't go to Lomza do to German aircraft that's where the Guards Corps was.

Alexandra 8 may 15 on the Jewish refugees It was Grand Duke Nicholas N that ordered their deportation not his chief of staff Yanushkevich

Nicholas 4 Sep 15 Lida was bombed by the German airship ZXII

Alexandra 14 Sep 15 asks about Capt Vyazemsky and Cmdr Svinyin being killed. Vyazemsky was the Captain of the Battleship Slava and Svinyin was the balitc Fleet Gunnery officer both were killed when the Slava was hit by a german bomb see my article "Attack on the Slava" on a earlier reply.

Alexandra 15 Jan 16 Alexandra is upset a Zeppelin attacked Rezhitsa this was the LZ86 which attacked the rail yards there on the night of 4/5 Feb 16 NS Alexandra 10 Feb 16 letter  NS
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 03, 2015, 04:52:54 PM
I screwed up on the last line Alexandra's letter was 15 Jan 16 (28 jan NS) The only Zeppelin raids on Rezhitsa were by the LZ86 on 4/5 Feb and 27/28 Apr 1916. I can't find any record of a Zeppelin raid in January 1916, but there is not that much written on Zeppelin operations in the East. It possibly could have been the LZ85 which was the only other airship operating in this area at this time. There again it could have been a German aircraft flying at night. The city was around 50 miles from the front or someone thought they saw or heard something. Note the raid of 27/28 April did no damage.

and now for the Danilov's
General YN Danilov the Black was GD Nicholas N's Quartermaster General

General NA Danilov the Red, He had red hair was Chief of supply for the NorthWestern front

General AV Danilov the White was the Commander of the Kronstadt Fortress

There is mention of a pilot named Ivan Orlov  He was the son of General Alexander A Orlov who died in 1908. Ivan Orlov became a 5 victory ace before he was shot down and killed in 1917.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on December 04, 2015, 03:42:15 AM
The Danilovs!

As a parallel, the Royal Navy at about the same time had four Admirals named Nicholson, respectively known as:

Black Nick - very dark

White Nick - very fair

Thumby Nick - he was missing a thumb

Cami Nick - he had an eye for the ladies


Then there was Admiral Sir Sydney Fremantle, son of Admiral Sir Edmund Fremantle, and known throughout the Navy as 'My boy Syd', as that was how his father referred to him.


Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Превед on December 04, 2015, 08:40:37 AM
Cami Nick - he had an eye for the ladies

Cami? What word is this?
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on December 04, 2015, 10:31:42 AM
Short for camiknickers - a variety of ladies' underwear.

Goodness, Preved, this is the first time you have admitted to being at a loss over a word!

Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Превед on December 04, 2015, 02:31:27 PM
Short for camiknickers - a variety of ladies' underwear.

Goodness, Preved, this is the first time you have admitted to being at a loss over a word!

I looked it up, got "mosque" in Turkish and had to give in. Vintage lady's undergarments is not my fetish of choice, as you might have glimpsed from other posts. :-)
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on December 05, 2015, 12:30:18 AM
Nor mine.

But camiknickers are a slightly jokey item over here - quite frequently referred to in comedies, 'There she was in 'ear camiknickers'.

Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 10, 2015, 02:57:32 PM
I am glad some people found my book  errata interesting

Another book I found:
Northern Underground Episodes of Russian Revolutionary Transport and communications through Scandinavia and Finland 1863-1917 Michael Futrell as the title says it deals with the smuggling of Propaganda, arms money ect to Russia via Finland and Sweden written in 1962 not the greatest book in the world but still interesting.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 15, 2015, 05:10:09 PM
In flipping through Fuhrman's bio of Rasputin it appears he sent both telegrams and others at this just before WW I broke out.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 03, 2016, 07:24:56 PM
Ritualized Violence Russian Style The Duel in Russian Culture and Literature Irina Reyfman for those interested in dueling in Russia
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 27, 2016, 05:02:56 PM
Two books I recently read:

Collision of Empires Prit Butter an account of the 1914 battles in the east. A very good read on the subject.

Prelude to Blitzkrieg Michael b Barres a good account of the 1916 Rumanian campaign. The only real I have with it is the author calls Kampfgeswader 1 (Combat Wing 1) Fighter Squadron 1 . This unit was mostly equipped with 2 engine bombers and is the unit that bombed Rumanaia mentioned in Queen Marie's memoirs "Ordeal the Story of my Life" in archive.org
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Nemos on March 07, 2016, 12:57:39 AM
Собрал в один файл PDF Именной список убитым, раненым и без вести пропавшим нижним чинам №№ 1-1000
Gathered in a single PDF file name list of killed, wounded and missing the lower ranks №№ 1-1000

http://book-olds.ru/BookLibrary/00926-Spiski-ubityih-i-ranenyih-v-Velikoy-voyne/1914.-Imennoy-spisok-ubityim-ranenyim-i-bez-vesti-propavshim-nizhnim-chinam.-%E2%84%96-001-100-ili-%E2%84%960001-1000.html
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 21, 2016, 03:26:20 PM
I also recently found the book "A Lifelong Passion" Andrei Maylunas & Sergei Mironenko which is made up of mainly of diaries, letters, ect of Nicholas and Alexandra and the people around them.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Maria Sisi on March 21, 2016, 05:42:07 PM
"A Lifetime Passion" is fantastic even if it is heavily cut up.

I read the authors original manuscript was for THREE volumes! Oh if only it could be published as a special edition, it would be completely worth the price.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 23, 2016, 01:23:57 PM
"A Lifetime Passion" is fantastic even if it is heavily cut up.

I read the authors original manuscript was for THREE volumes! Oh if only it could be published as a special edition, it would be completely worth the price.
[/quote

Well worth reading and looking at indeed.It helped fuel my Romanovphilia.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on April 08, 2016, 09:57:45 PM
Here's another  I recently read:

"They Fought For the Motherland" Laurie Stoff about the Russian armies Women's units in WW I and what they really did Here are notable points:

The 1st Russian Women's battalion of Death and an account of it's one and only action. The Units commander Maria Bochkareva a brief bio of her and her memoirs which includes things that didn't happen and doesn't include things that did happen as well as distorting things that did happen.

The 1st Petrograd Women's Battalion of Death which is a different unit from the one mentioned above and it's defense of the Winter palace during the October 1917 Revolution.
 
accounts of the other Women's units and their fates. As well as accounts of women serving in the Russian army before the 1917 revolutions.

errata:
P28 mentions women flying in combat this may not have happened.

P155 mentions a "disabled tank". There were no tanks in Russia at this time. There was in Petrograd at this time the one and only Allies-Chalmer half tracked armored car. The Russians sometimes called half tracked armored cars "half tanks' or Russian tanks" There is a film clip of this vehicle which also took part in the Feb/mar 1917 revolution in the PBS/BBC documentary "The Great war 1917 Mutiny where it shows the rear tracked part of the vehicle and the 76.2 mm gun pointing out the rear.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on April 23, 2016, 07:26:05 PM
Another book:
Russian Motor vehicles The Czarist Period 1784 to 1917 Maurice A Kelly A fairly good book on a rare topic early Russian Motor vehicles. Some of these vehicles appear in photos and film clips of the IF.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 18, 2016, 02:13:50 PM
books on archive.org:
My Life here and there Julia Cantacuzene
Revolutionary Days        "         "

Inside the Russian Revolution

The Blue Steppes
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 19, 2016, 02:13:19 PM
also on archive.org:

The Red Air Fighter by Baron Manfred Von Richthofen the top scoring ace of WW Is book written during the war. He did spend some time in the East before he became a fighter pilot.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 24, 2016, 01:36:50 PM
Narodniki Women Margaret Maxwell is about Russian female revolutionaries their backgrounds and fates.

Russian-American Relation in World War I Benson Lee Grayson this book as the title says with Russian-American relations with Russia during WW up to the fall of the monarchy from a US point of view. It also has a chapter on US Russian relations pre WWI. This book shows how the last two US Ambassadors to Russia  G.T. Marye and D.R Francis performed. Note these men are both briefly mentioned in the book "Nicholas and Alexandra" Note: Marye was so popular with the Russian he was decorated by Nicholas!
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on June 25, 2016, 05:18:14 AM
Hello James

All these sound interesting.

If I remember correctly, Richthofen flew as an observer on the Eastern Front before training as a pilot. I think he was also on the Eastern Front with his regiment for a time.

Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 27, 2016, 12:45:57 PM
Yes Richthofen did see some brief action at the start of the war in August 1914 against the Russians before his regiment was transferred to the West. He did fly on the eastern front for a few months as an observer in 1915. Then his unit was transferred back to the West where he underwent pilot training. His unit was sent back to the East where he was recruited as a fighter pilot and went back to the West. Read "The Red Fighter" or one of the several bios of him for more info.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 15, 2016, 04:47:20 PM
A new book on the Czech legion: "dreams of a Great Small nation" Kevin J McNamara
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: NicolasG on August 16, 2016, 04:09:29 AM
A new book on the Czech legion: "dreams of a Great Small nation" Kevin J McNamara

In a book of 331 pages (not including index and bibliography) Admiral Kolchak is mentioned in 5 (!!!) of them. It seems that the Czechs have to be the heroes, so the author decided that the least it was said about how the handed Kolchak to the revolutionaries to get safe passage for them and the loot they had gathered, the better.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 14, 2016, 12:42:55 PM
An other fairly new book I found out about be haven't read yet:
Imperial Apocalypse The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire"
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 03, 2017, 09:35:02 PM
another book that I just finished with "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" How Wall Streeter helped the Bolsheviks after they gained power and before this how the US helped Trotsky get back to Russia.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: NicolasG on January 05, 2017, 05:12:05 PM
On archive.org

"With the Die-Hards in Siberia", by Colonel John Ward, who served as a British officer attached to Kolchak's army during the Russian Civil War.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on January 07, 2017, 10:26:14 AM
Going to a different empire which collapsed as a result of WW1, 'The Fall of the Ottomans' by Eugene Rogan is extremely good, and filled some major gaps in my knowledge.

Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 12, 2017, 04:51:45 PM
I found a new book on the Wall Street Journal book review that looks good: "The House of the Dead Siberian Exile under the Tsars " Daniel Beer
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 13, 2017, 09:40:10 PM
For Ann

In 2016 a bio of Robert Von Greim was published in Germany according to theaerodrome.com book section. I believe you asked me about him. It looks like it might be a good one but its in German only.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Kalafrana on January 14, 2017, 02:39:47 PM
Many thanks for the info.

Let's hope it will be translated into English.

Ann
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 20, 2017, 02:34:44 PM
Another book I just finished "Histories Greatest Heist The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks" Sean Mcweekin  How the Bolsheviks were able to stay in power by selling the loot they took from the Romanovs, upper and middle classes foriegners, the church ect and the people in the west who helped them launder and sell it.

Romannovholics might want to know the crown Alexandra wore at her wedding was sold at Christies in 1927
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 09, 2017, 04:03:59 PM
books mentioned by Helen Rappaport in the Wall Street journal in last month that are in archive.org:

The Red heart of Russia Bessie beatty
Donald Thompson In Russia Donald Thompson
Runaway Russia Florence Macleod Harper

not on archive .org The Dissolution of an Empire Meriel Buchanan but two other books by her are there
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: amelia on March 09, 2017, 04:22:49 PM
The dissolution of an empire is a very good book


Eva McDonald
(Amelia)
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 13, 2017, 07:53:08 PM
Two more books of interest:
A Sentimental journey Memoirs 1917-1922 Viktor Shklovsky revolution  and civil war memoirs by a future Soviet writer. He was in Petrograd when the feb/mar revolution broke out.
Artillery in the great war Paul Strong & Sanders marble dealing with the artillery of all the major armies of WW I and how well they performed or in the Russian case how they often failed to perform.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 19, 2017, 07:29:25 PM
not books but photos of Russia taken by the Germans mostly during WW II go to:

axishistory.com forum section life in the third reich and weimer republic a posting Civilian Life in occupied Soviet Union photos and documents lots of pictures in color and black and white

missinglynx.com Allied vehicles section 5 may 2017 posting period east front color pictures from http/dambiev.livejournal.com

looking at some of these photos I would say in many of them they were scenes the IF would have seen and would have been familiar with.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on August 26, 2017, 03:46:41 PM
Invasion: The Conquest of Serbia 1915 Richard L Dinardo a short book on the Central powers campaign that over ran Serbia in 1915. The author has a presentation on the book on youtube as well as a presentation on his earlier book Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign 1915.
Invasion comments and errata:
The book My Diary in Serbia by Monica Stanley mentioned is on both archive.org and guttenberg.org The book Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice Charles l Callwell is also no archive.org
casualties Invasion has the Austro-hungarian army suffering 2.5 million casualties fighting the Russians in 1914 the Austrian official history "Austria-Hungary's last war has 730,880
The book mention Halberstadt aircraft but only 12 were at the front 31 Oct 1915 out of 1024 aircraft
the book mentions the Germans and Austrians having 150-200 aircraft and the French having 30 aircraft A Bulme's history of the Serb airforce has the germans and Austrians  with 40-60 aircraft vs 10 French and 3 Serb aircraft

East Central European Society in WW I Bela K Kiraly and Nandor F Dreiszieger is a number of articles on Austria-Hungary and the states surrounding it during WW I

Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 01, 2017, 03:30:35 PM
Russia's Last gasp by Prit Buttar a good account of the 1916 battles in the East. the only things bad about it is he is weak on what's going on in Petrograd political scene (he needed to spend some time on this site) and he calls future Field Marshall Friedrich Paulas a major when he was a captain.

Sir Paul Dukes book "Red Dusk and The Morrow" is in archive.org deals with his time as an agent in Petrograd during the Russian Civil war.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on October 03, 2017, 10:30:51 AM
in archive.org:
Official History (Navy and Military ) of the Russo-Japanese War
Epitome of the Russo-Japanese War
Lectures of the Strategy of the Russo-Japanese War

all pre WW I histories of the R-R War

Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice Charles L Callwell pre WW I on how to fight an insurgency includes Russian operations in the Caucusus and Central Asia
The Bear Went over the Mountain lester Grau Soviet counter insurgency operations in Afganistan 1980s

Ann one you might like:
Wolfram Von Ricthofen Master of the German Air War" A fine bio of him
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 09, 2018, 07:15:49 PM
Osprey "The Imperial Japanese navy of the Russo-Japanese War"

archive.org:
"The Adventures of Dunsterforce" about a British force in the Caucuses in 1918
The World Crises The Eastern Front Winston Churchill's account of the war on the Eastern front it was on archive.org  a few weeks ago but I can't find it there now.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 09, 2018, 05:19:40 PM
Russia in War and Revolution General William V Judson's accounts from Petrograd 1917-1918 edited by Neil V Salzman A account of the head of the US military mission to Russia 1917-1918 Judson's letters, diary entrys and official reports of someone "Caught in the Revolution"
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 17, 2018, 05:55:04 PM
Remembering a Forgotten War Serge Petroff is on the Russian Civil war in Siberia 1918-1920.
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 08, 2018, 12:03:46 PM
Two historical presentations on youtube:

The Rising Spirit of the Revolution by Mark Steinberg who helped write the Fall of the Romanovs

Mobilizing the Russian nation Patriotism and Citizenship in the First World War Melissa Stockdale who has a book of the same title and has written a bio of Duma leader Paul Miliukov
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 10, 2018, 12:59:03 PM
A new presentation on youtube in the National WW I Museum and Memorial:
"Revolution: The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk" by Dr David Stone who has written other books on Russia and has a bio of Trotsky in the works
Title: Re: Books on the Russian Civil War WWI and other wars
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 16, 2018, 03:41:07 PM
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION by Sean McMeekin   

History as conservative agitprop. McMeekin is out to demonstrate that the Bolsheviks came to power because of a small, organized coup d'etat that had little to no popular support. They were helped by Imperial Germany's support (d'uh, although McMeekin assigns a far greater role to the Kaiser in World War I than Wilhelm's generals and governments did; McMeekin keeps having the emperor making decisions that impact policy. Surely not by 1916?), the general ineptness of Kerensky and Rodzianko, and the lack of commitment by the Allies to overthrowing the regime during 1919-1920. All of this makes sense, and he tells the story briskly. Where he lost me was the description of Russia in February, 1917. The military was confident that the army was going to overwhelm the Central Powers on every front, the soldiers were not disaffected after three years of horrendous losses, military supplies were plentiful, there were no real food shortages in Petrograd, all, in fact, was going well when the Tsar was toppled by Rodzianko. McMeekin begins the story with Rasputin's murder and the semi-hysteria about the staretz that gripped the Russian aristocracy, who blamed him and the Tsarina for the "inevitable" collapse of the autocracy. Once Rasputin is safely tucked under the ice in the Neva, events cascade, and before you know it, Nicholas II is forced to abdicate. McMeekin finds this ironic, as Rasputin had famously advised Nicholas not to take the empire into World War I.

A lot of this flies in the face of what we know about Nicholas and Alexandra. They were wilfully stupid people, and that is putting it mildly. Nicholas wound up undercutting every competent minister he ever had, zestfully aided in this by his wife and her faith healer. During the war he went to Stavka and assumed "command" of the army. In practice, this meant he was blamed for every defeat the Russians suffered. Meanwhile, Alexandra wrote reams everyday to him demanding appointments for hacks because Rasputin recommended them. No autocracy could survive this level of executive incompetence. I had the impression that because what followed Nicholas II was so much worse than the imperial system for the vast majority of Russians that McMeekin turns Romanov rule into a false positive. The fact is that imperial autocracy collapsed extremely quickly. And while it is interesting speculation about the capabilities of Russia's armies in 1917, they did not, in fact, want to continue fighting. The moment a central government in Petrograd loosened its hold on the General Staff, the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary virtually ended.

McMeekin is entitled to be bitter about the Allied response to Nicholas' overthrow. The Russian Empire had bought the West precious time against the Central Powers by sacrificing millions of soldiers. And yet the Entente was always embarrassed by the alliance with an absolute autocracy, and prematurely rejoiced after the February Revolution.

McMeekin cherry picks his facts in support of his thesis, which is simplistic (he draws a straight line from Bolshevism to Bernie Sanders) and fails to account for the undeniable support communism picked up from Russians after the October overthrow (which really was a small coup, he is dead right) and subsequent chaos. There were a number of interesting nuggets of information in the book: the Okhrana, or Tsarist secret police, was infinitely smaller than the Bolshevik equivalent, theCHEKA. Lenin had a taste for luxury, negotiating an extreme sum with Rolls Royce for parts for the limousine he used, commandeered from Grand Duke Michael. The level of invective directed at the government by the Duma was unbelievably open during late 1916/early 1917. No one, not even Lenin, was in complete control of anything. Indeed, it was left to Stalin to consolidate the Revolution for what it was --- a naked power grab. But much like the French Revolution, the Russian spiraled out of control until it ended once again . . . in autocracy.