on: Today at 09:36:14 PM
Started by Kalafrana - Last post by edubs31
The Prince releases his grip and closes his eyes as the scene shifts to later in the evening. Still in a daze and clearly fatigued he rolls over to his right to see a screaming man being frantically worked on by a doctor and two medics. Then rolling onto his left side he witnesses a dying officer being given his last rights by a priest. Finally moments later he is approached by a soldier, medic and and Prince Dolgoruky...
Prince Dolgoruky (leaning over his wounded younger friend): Mikhail Mihailovich, can you hear me? It's me...Vasily. Vasily Dolgoruky. Do you understand?
Cantacuzene (coming to and slowly responding): Dolgoruky?
Prince Dolgoruky: Yes, yes we are here to help. We are going to move you now...(turns his attention to the doctor and medic). Can we lift him?
Doctor: Yes, but quickly. He's exhausted enough to fill little pain while lying down but the wound will cause great discomfort for him once moved.
Prince Dolgoruky (turning his attention to the medic): Alright. Assist me with him. We'll pry loose his bed and carry him to my room. He'll be more comfortable there.
The three men join together in lifting and carrying the Prince as he lets out a moan. The scene shifts briefly to him being given additional doses of brandy and morphine as the lead surgeon is shown preparing to operate on the wound. The scene then cuts away to the next morning and a somewhat improve Prince Cantacuzene is conscious, if weak, and placed onto a peasant cart where his solider servant and belongings have already been loaded on...
The camera moves in behind of the departing cart heading towards the nearest train station before shifting to Petrograd. Arriving at the train station Cantacuzene is helped out and down a ramp where his wife Julia Dent Grant rushes to his side. The two are shown embracing...
Julia Grant (tears streaming down her face): Oh my darling, my treasure. You are home!
Prince Cantacuzene (smiling while streched): Still in one piece my dear.
Julia Grant: Yes, you'll soon be healed. I'll take great care of you my love.
Prince Cantacuzene: I love you with all my heart.
The Prince is then carried away and an assistant trailing the medical team is stopped by the Princess...
Julia Grant (grabbing the arm of the assistant): Excuse me. What is the prognosis?
Assistant (caught off guard): Pardon me your highness?
Julia Grant: You heard what I said. What has the doctor told you of my husband.
Assistant: Well he's not certain. There are some tests that need to be conducted still.
Julia Grant: He will live, yes?
Assistant: Yes we are optimistic. Barring any sort of infection of course.
Julia Grant: And how long will the recovery be?
Assistant: Again there is still much we do not know yet your highness...
Julia Grant (interrupting): Give me your best guess.
Assistant (after a pause): Alright. The Prince's wounds are serious. He has been shot through the liver. Fortunately we have sufficiently stopped the bleeding and surgery has greatly reduced the threat of his wounds being terminal. But he'll likely be an invalid permanently and there is no chance of taking up his career again on the front.
Julia Grant (mildly amused): You obviously do not know my husband very well.
Assistant: I am sorry madame but you asked only for my opinion.
Julia Grant: Then let me share with you mine. If my husbands lives he will walk and ride again. And if he's healthy enough to ride nothing will keep him from returning to his duties and the front.
Assistant (bowing): I hope for the best your highness and that God may grant him strength and a speedy recovery.
Julia Grant (dismissively): Thank you.
The Assistant and Princess hurry themselves to return to the side of the invalid prince as the camera focuses in on them from behind. The scene then fades and cuts away.
on: Today at 09:36:02 PM
Started by Kalafrana - Last post by edubs31
- Austrian guards are standing post outside the main entrance of the Fortress at Przemysl, desperate to defend it from the approaching Russian army.
- Austrian soldiers are shown hurriedly digging trenches surrounding the fortress and connecting strands of barbed wire.
- The Russian Third Army is shown launching a full scale attack on the fortress with little success. Their advances are rebuffed and on the smoke filled battle field several fall to their deaths while others are forced to dig in and secure their positions rather than advancing.
- From within the town hospital beds are shown filled with wounded soldiers and civilians suffering from various illnesses. Teenaged girls hired as nurses with zero medical experience are shown being fondled by wounded officers. Some choose to double as prostitutes and they can be seen leading hobbled men into private quarters to satisfy the solider's sexual desires.
- A wealthy Polish woman speaking to her friend while walking down the street of a relatively safe neighborhood explains the following...
Woman #1: The Jewish women in basements rip you off the worst. The Jews are taking their shop signs down in a hurry, so that no one can tell who owns what.
Woman #2: Yes I've seen it.
Woman #1: They've all got so rich off the backs of those poor soldiers, and now of course they all want to run away!
Woman #2: Horrible people they are. I sometimes hope the town will fall to the Russians. Purge Przemysl of it's dirty Jews. The Cossacks won't hesitate to whip them into submission and drive them away.
Woman #1: Yes, such lamenting and despair. They'll hide in cellars and crawl on all fours like rats. But the Cossacks will get to them there too!
- The woman are shifted away from and German troops, who have since arrived, are then shown ordering civilians away from the fortress and town of Przemyśl. The people are suffering from food shortages and racial tension and carry with them bags filled with food and precious belongings.
- Under the direction of General Andrei Nikolaevich Selivanov the Russians seek to starve out the garrisons by pounding the fortress with heavy artillery at a distance. Walls crumble and smoke and dust fills the air nearly choking those Austrian and German troops hunkered down in the trenches below.
- During one battle a Russian officer, Prince Mikhail Cantacuzene, is shown leading three squadrons firing upon the enemy. He fires his rifle and then is shot through the liver. Collapsing but conscious he is helped back to his feet where a fellow soldier pleads to take him to care. Cantacuzene ignores the request and tells the soldier to "get back into the fight". Continuing to perform his duty alongside of his soldiers and officers who stave off the Austrian advance the Prince finally beings to slump down to the ground from exhaustion and blood loss. He is then shown being carried away from the front lines and has his wound dressed by a medic who proceeds to place the wounded officer on his horse and carries him away.
- Arriving sometime later and several miles behind enemy lines Cantacuzene is carried into a hut where the regimental commander was installed. He is stretched out next to other wounded soldiers in a small orchard where straw had been laid out in lieu of available beds. Shouts of pain and suffering can be heard as the Prince is left alone and looks around in a semi-conscious daze...
Medic (standing over the ailing Prince): Sir, sir can you hear me?
Cantacuzene is able to fix his eyes on the medic, nods and says "yes" in response...
Medic: You've been shot but we have slowed the bleeding. The head surgeon will not be arriving until this evening. You'll need to hold out until then. I'll be back shortly to fix your dressings and bring you some water.
The medic turns to head out quickly and tend to other patients when he is grabbed on the forearm by the right hand of Cantacuzene...
Cantacuzene (speaking slowly and in great pain): My men. Are they still fighting?
Medic: Yes sir I believe so.
Cantacuzene: I was with them. Then I was taken away.
Medic: Yes you fell unconscious and were rescued from the front.
Cantacuzene: Tell them...tell them to forgive me for abandoning them.
Medic: But sir you were shot, and were losing a great deal of blood.
Cantacuzene: Tell them!
Medic (sighing): Alright. But please rest now. Your men need you to live and regain your strength.
on: Today at 09:35:15 PM
Started by Kalafrana - Last post by edubs31
Brusilov: Thank you for telling me that. It's the sort of insight a high ranking officer is unable to access alone. Have a seat and join me for a cigar won't you?
Serge Stepanovich (taking a chair across the desk): Thank you I'd be delighted to.
Brusilov (lighting Serge's cigar and then his own): Preposterous isn't it?
Serge Stepanovich: Well the men have great respect for you sir. They speak only in the strictest of confidence.
Brusilov (chuckling): No I was referring to this war. This ridiculous and insane war. Don't you agree Serge?
Serge Stepanovich: I suppose so. Of course we all have our duty. Isn't that how you're able to keep so level headed sir?
Brusilov (starring and nodding): Yes, I suppose so as well. It's the duty of a general to win battles, and the responsibility of any man in uniform to support their government. But it's the people of Russia that concern me. The Tsar took a great gamble getting us involved in this war. He has the support of the people for now. But the longer the fighting continues and the more sons who return from the front in coffins, the more the country will lose its stomach for fighting.
Serge Stepanovich: Yes sir.
Brusilov: We must have victory, total victory, but not at any and all cost. So long as men like Sukhomlinov head the War Ministry our chances of that are greatly reduced.
Serge Stepanovich: It seems there are many who dislike the War Minister. Is it more to do with his character or the execution of his responsibilities?
Brusilov: Both I'd say.
Serge Stepanovich (amused): I see sir. Are there any examples you could share with me?
Brusilov (leaning back in his chair): In 1878 in our battle against the Ottoman Turks he claimed to not have read a field manual in twenty-five years. That of course was a curious revelation given that he was only around thirty years old at the time, but the message was clear. Two years ago after preparing a mobilization plan during the Siberian crisis he left with his wife to vacation in the French Riviera.
Serge Stepanovich (looking astonished): Before his work was completed?
Brusilov: Oh yes. I believe his exact words were, "a mobilization does not have to be conducted by a war minister in person"...(grinning sarcastically). Of course little has changed. Thus far into our current conflict reservists have been reporting to their depots that there are only two .299 inch rifles for two in every three men. Others were not issued boots. The Grand Duke Nicholas has been railing against that in particular and one can only hope his influence over the Tsar will be enough to ensure Sukhomlinov's days as War Minister are numbered.
Serge Stepanovich (shaking his head in disgust): Signals units have no wire for field telephones and communications are being forced onto the radio. God only knows how many of our messages are being intercepted by German intelligence.
Brusilov: Frightening isn't it?
Serge Stepanovich: Yes...terribly so!
Brusilov: I spoke with General Karavaev the other day.
Serge Stepanovich: Chief of Artillery?
Brusilov: Yes, that's right. He claims to have recently warned Sukhomlinov that Russia would soon be placed into a situation where we would be forced to sue for peace for lack of munitions. Two and a half months into the war and we are already instructing certain units not to fire at the enemy unless absolutely necessary.
Serge Stepanovich: And what did the Minister say to the General's charge?
Brusilov (amused): "Go to the devil and quiet yourself" he shouted!
Serge Stepanovich (after a pause): After hearing that I'm not certain who to fear more. Our German and Austrian enemies or the judgement and character our own War Minister.
Brusilov: And I am not certain who to despise more. The enemy from within is always more dangerous than the enemy from without.
As Brusilov finishes his sentence Serge Stepanovich nods his head and stares away, taking a puff from his cigar. The General does the same as the scene quickly cuts away and slowly fades into a series of battle scenes from Przemysl...
on: Today at 09:34:38 PM
Started by Kalafrana - Last post by edubs31
October 21, 1914 - Petrograd
Our next scene begins with Nicholas again leaving for the front after a brief return home. We see him waving to Alexandra and his children from aboard the imperial train as it begins to depart. He then slips into the doorway and much to the Empress's sadness quickly vanishes from view. Her words narrate a brief series of hospital clips involving both herself and her daughters in the form of a letter written to her departing husband...
Alexandra (voice narrates): "I feel so sad seeing your lonely figure standing at the door. It seems so unnatural your going off alone. Everything is strange without you, our center, our sunshine. I gulped down my tears and hurried off to the hospital and worked hard for two hours...Now Olga and Tatiana are at their aunt Olga's Committee. Before that Tatiana received Neidhardt alone for half an hour with his report. It's so good for the girls and they learn to become independent and will develop them more having to think and speak for themselves without my constant aid. I'm quite proud of them both. Especially Tatiana, who has within her a natural sort of gift for this type of work."
Cutting away we quickly pick things back up in the office of General Brusilov who is penning a diary entry recapping the day's events. The Siege of Przemysl is underway and while he writes his voice narrates a series of clips depicting the ensuing battle...
Brusilov (voice narrates): "After hardly three months of war the greater part of our regular, professional officers and trained men have vanished. Left behind are only skeleton forces which must be hastily filled with men wretchedly instructed who were sent to me from the depots. I've sensed the professional character of our forces disappearing and the army becoming more and more like a sort of badly trained militia. The men sent to replace casualties generally know nothing except how to march. Many can not even load their rifles and, as for their shooting, the less said about it the better. Such people can not really be considered soldiers at all."
- A disheveled and somewhat disgruntled looking regiment is inspected by a rather concerned looking General Brusilov.
- Scenes of soldiers carrying on in laughter around an evening fire one moment. The next they are angry and being separated from trading punches by officers and fellow soldiers.
- At a shooting range two soldiers are being focused in on and shouted at by officers as the struggle to correctly load their riffles.
- Brusilov looks on displeased during target practice as one shot after another from a row of new soldiers misses its mark badly.
Focusing back in on Brusilov's office he is shown finishing up his writing when he hears a knock at the door. It's an adjutant dropping off a report to his General...
Brusilov: Come on.
Serge Stepanovich (entering the room): Good evening General.
Brusilov: Good evening Serge Stepanovich.
Serge Stepanovich (handing over paperwork): Your evening report sir.
Brusilov: Yes thank you...more dispiriting news I'm certain.
Serge Stepanovich: It's from Petrograd. I believe they are sending additional reinforcements.
Brusilov: Little good it's doing us I fear. The drafts arriving from the interior of Russia have not the slightest notion of what the war had to do with them. Time after time I ask my men in the trenches why we were at war. The inevitable senseless answer is that a certain Archduke and his wife had been murdered and that consequently the Austrians had tried to humiliate the Serbians. Practically no one knew who these Serbians were and they are equally doubtful as to what a Slav is.
Serge Stepanovich: Yes I've also overheard such conversations.
Brusilov (after a pause and shaking his head while reading): The fact of the matter is many of these men are unfit for duty. They are bodies, nothing more, and what's more they are unhappy to serve. Why Germany should want to make war on us because of the Serbians none of them can say. They have never heard of the ambitions of Germany and do not even know that such a country exists in many cases.
Serge Stepanovich: I was speaking yesterday with a farm agent from Smolensk who served in the rear garrisons. He heard peasant soldiers commenting to each other around a fire in the evening where they were drinking water and dividing up their bread rations. One man said, "We are Tambov men. The Germans will not get as far as that. I know nothing of Russia. I am an Orthodox Christian and devoted to my Tsar. That is why I fight. To defend my village, not the Empire." Another man responded, "What devil has brought this war on us? We are butting into other peopleís business." Another said, "It is the German Kaiser who started the war." Then another replied, "All of the Kaiserís and Kingís and Emperorís are to blame. They all started it together. We have talked it over among ourselves. If the Germans want payment, it would be better to pay ten rubles a head than to kill people." Another soldier followed with, "Yes, is it not all the same what Tsar we live under? It cannot be worse than under a German one.Ē"Another replied, "Let them go and fight themselves. Wait a while and we will settle accounts with you."
The General stares silently into space, shaking his head and then turning his attention back to the adjutant. He has a curious grin as though both bewildered and amused...
on: Today at 02:58:02 PM
Started by clockworkgirl21 - Last post by Jen_94
Day 3: My favorite tiara is of Romanov origin, but it now belongs to the Hesse family. It's made from diamond ears of wheat that were on one of the gowns in Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna's trousseau; she married Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel in 1844 , but died only six months after her wedding, and most of her jewels remained in Russia. Sometime in the early 1900s, her husband's second wife, Princess Anna of Prussia, had the ears of wheat from her gown into the tiara, which is now the family's traditional wedding tiara. Just a bit of history for anyone unfamiliar with the story
That is simply beautiful. I like Tiaras!