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Messages - JamesAPrattIII

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The Hohenzollern / Re: Books on the Hohenzollerns
« on: December 10, 2018, 10:04:52 PM »
errata for the above presentation: it mentions the Dutch King when the Netherlands was ruled by Queen Wilhelmina at the time. The presenter of this also has presentations on the luddendorf offensives and Total war comes to the Fatherland on the German home front in WW I. Which also help explain the german collapse in 1918.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: December 10, 2018, 09:59:08 PM »
page 525 has some Russian blaming Rasputin for helping to stop the Brussilov offensive. Looking through "Austria-Hungary's Last War 1914-1918 Volume 5 pages 130-249  and 340-426 this looks like a really good idea. The Russians were taking heavy casualties for slight gains. There are also reports of trouble in the ranks:

p175 Russian troops "driven forward with blows from whips"
p207 "driven forward with blows"
p387 "Russian artillery firing into their own trenches to force the infantry to advance"
p412 "driven forward by shots from their own batteries"
p415 The Tsar wants to end the offensive 5-6 October but the South-West front still has plenty of reserves and the attacks continue.
p437 instances of refusal to obey orders and outright mutiny in the 4th rifle Division 20th Infantry division and even some Guards regiments

The Hohenzollern / Re: Books on the Hohenzollerns
« on: December 05, 2018, 07:32:52 PM »
The US WW I museum and Memorial has a new presentation that have come out recently this year that deal with the Hohenzollerns:
"The German Army and the Kaiser's Abdication" deals with the actions of some German army officers and units that helped persuade Kaiser Wilhelm II to abdicate

The Stuarts of Scotland / Re: Books/TV/Films about the Stuarts
« on: December 05, 2018, 07:26:01 PM »
The Favorite a movie on Queen Anne has just came out along with the Mary Queen of Scots movie both are getting good reviews

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: December 02, 2018, 04:47:30 PM »
Who is the real Lili
In his book on Rasputin Doug Smith in the famous 8 march 1914 group photo of Rasputin's apartment reply 133 in the Rasputin photo post has Julia Lili von Dehn standing in the doorway in white. The book the Rasputin File has her in the plumed bonnet standing next to the woman in white. This is the photo of her in her wiki bio. Can any one id the real Lili? there should be other pictures of her out there.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: December 02, 2018, 04:30:39 PM » has MG Alfred Knox book "With the Russian Army 1914-1917 volume 1 pages 325-8 has a account of the defense of Kovno. It appears that many of the troops were recently called up , had little or no training, some didn't even have rifles. It was captured in 48 hours of serious attack

Having Fun! / Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« on: December 02, 2018, 04:23:38 PM »
from the Doug Smith Rasputin book the Okharana recorded the following numbers of Moscow license plates 1598, 727, 890 Looks like there weren't too many cars in Moscow at this time 1915.

Some good things about the Model T Ford high wheel base so it could travel over badly rutted roads of the period. Also it was light enough so if one got stuck or broke down it could be towed by a team of horses ect or pushed by people.

On the improvised munitions handbook I have seen it for sale in army surplus shops and a Hastings bookstore. Most of the info has been around for decades.

bomb making in the early 1900s in the US chemistry books had info on how to make explosives. Some Russian revolutionaries learned how to make explosives from French chemistry books. At least two managed to blow themselves up while trying to make explosives.

homemade firearms
I have read that in the decades of the 19502-1970s in the US some big city police departments every year confiscated large numbers of home made firearms or zip guns. Darra Pakistan was and may be still is the center of the firearms trade in the Pakistan Afganistan region . The city has more gun stores than any other city on earth. There the locals make their own firearms with hand tools you can buy in any hardware store in the US. Some firearms are so good a copy that they are hard to tell from the originals.

For Ann the league of WW I aviation historians seminar in Sept 2018 included a presenation on German WW I ace Ernst Udet by Greg VanWyngarden there are also on youtube some film clips of Udet doing some really impressive stunt flying between the wars. just thought you would like to know.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: November 25, 2018, 05:58:14 PM »
Grand Duke Nicholas N's the army commanders reaction: "Kovno has been surrendered without a fight. The commandant has abandoned the fortress and run away somewhere. The fortress troops have fled. The army is retreating. What more can one do in such a situation? It's awful, awful."

page 657 "Anastasia just 16 at the time of his murder" real she was 15

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: November 25, 2018, 05:51:40 PM »
I just finished reading a little while ago the Rasputin book by Douglas Smith. It is a very impressive work uses some ground breaking historical research. It is longer and a slightly more difficult to read book than the works by Roe and Nelpa on Rasputin. There are some flaws with it:

page 136 has Count (later baron) Fredricks real baron (later Count) Fredricks

page 409 the Russians by the spring of 1915 suffered 3.8 million casualties real the Russians suffered in 1914-15 3.8 million casualties.

page 422 "After days of intense fighting on 4 August the fortress of Kaunas in Lithuania, vital for Russia's western defenses, fell to the Germans. The Russians suffered approximately 20,000 casualties and the loss of considerable weaponry. The Russian commader Vladimir Grigoriev, was relived of his duties, put on trial and sentenced to 15 years in prison."

real Kanuas then named Kovno was a outdated fortress which should not have been held but was too imposing to be abandoned. General Grigoriev the commander was aged nearly 70 who was a incompetent who believed the Germans could not be defeated. The garrison was mostly made up of mostly second-line troops and territorials. The Germans brought up all sorts of heavy artillery including 42cm and 30.5cm siege guns. After a inept defense where one Russian fort fired on another still held by the Russians the garrison panicked and fled along with General Grigoriev who was later arrested by the Gendarmes and sentenced to 15 years in jail. As for the 20,000 casualties I would say most or all were prisoners of war. Considerable weaponry was captured.

Rasputin / Re: Is any footage of Rasputin known to exist?
« on: November 16, 2018, 10:44:55 PM »
The Douglas Smith book on Rasputin mentions on page 327 of Rasputin being filmed on 2 occations but neither of the films survived.

One bit of errata for the book "they fought for the Motherland" page 155 mentions "one disabled tank" there were no tanks in Russia at this time. The Russian during this period sometimes called half tracked vehicles Russian tanks. There was one in Petrograd a Allies-Chambers half tracked vehicle converted to an armored car which took part in both the Feb/Mar and Oct/Nov 1917 revolutions. It had a machine gun in a top turret and a 76mm gun sticking out the rear of the vehicle. The landships forum armored car section has some pictures of it.

I have some comments and errata on Dr Laurie Stoff's book "They Fought for the Motherland" and the presentation Russia's Women soldiers:

In some of the pictures it has Russian officers wearing black uniforms starting in 1916 some Russian staff officers started wearing black uniforms or black tunics. They are the same or similar to the uniforms worn by Russian Naval officers and officers of the Russian Military air fleet.

Stoff points out that Maria Bochkareva's memoirs "Yashaka: My Life as a Peasant, officer and Exile" is not too accurate

9-10 july 1917 attack the 1st Russian Woman's Battalion of Death takes only 24 not 100 prisoners and 2 machine guns. They also capture 3 lines of trenches. This seems like  a lot but German defense in depth doctrine of this period the forward trenches were left thinly manned and the main line of resistance was about a mile to the rear. so taking the forwards trenches wasn't to big of a problem. As for the prisoners they were probably either caught in their dugouts and couldn't get out to fight before the Russian were on top of them or manning a forward position(s) that got cut off and surrendered. Being captured by WOMEN was a real shock to a 1917 German hence one of them trying to commit suicide. The next day 10 July they Battalion was hit by a German counter attack and had to retreat. Stoff has 170 Women taking part in this attack and they suffered 2 killed 2 missing and 36 wounded one of the wounded later died. Bochkarva was one of the wounded. Stoff also points out some other units of the Russian army did take part in this attack and did well the 2nd 4th and 7th Siberian Rifle regiments.

The 1st Petrograd Women"s battalion ( a different unit and the defense of the Winter Palace. Have of the 2nd Company of this battalion 137 women and their male officers were sent to defend the palace after some fighting at the outside barracades where one women was killed and one male officer was wounded. The women were ordered back inside the palace were their officers all men told them they were going to surrender which they did and were harassed ect by the reds as they came out. They later joined the rest of the battalion where the other women were "upset" to put it mildly at them surrendering. Some historians over the years have pointed out the women in the palace were afraid to fight. Stoff points out if this were true then why didn't any of them run off like most of the rest of the defenders.

 on 11 Nov 2018 the movie "They Shall not grow Old" will be coming out. It is WW I era film footage colorized ect to where it looks like a modern day movie or WW I re-enactors. Major gripe the tanks are painted green when in real life they were painted "dog poo brown" as they say at the Bovington tank museum. Tou can see trailers on it on

Having Fun! / Re: Getting dressed
« on: November 06, 2018, 04:45:39 PM »
I sort of stumbled on this Beauty beacon the Romanovs how to have a OTMA when young hair style.

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