Author Topic: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917  (Read 89505 times)

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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #195 on: March 28, 2015, 05:30:08 PM »
I got the book "The Murder of Rasputin" by V.M. Purishkevich his "diary" of the murder by ILL. Some points of interest:

It seem the train carried some automobiles on it marked in large red letters with Purishkevich's motto Semper Idem or Wem. One of them was used by Dr Lazovert to drive Prince Yussopov to pick up Rasputin and take him to the Moika Palace to be murdered. The day before the Doctor painted out the motto with Khaki paint and put up the top of the vehical to make it stand out less. After Rasputin was killed the car driven by Dr Lazovert drove GD Dimitri p and Lt Sukhotin  wearing Rasputin's coat and hat back to the Red Cross train at Warsaw station.

Purishkevich also writes in this book about equipping this train for its trip to the front right after the murder. He claims to have made a request for linen from the Empresses linen storehouse in the Winter palace and that his request was rejected. I don't know if this really happened but this guy had a real hatred for Alexandra in his book. He also didn't like the Maria P the elder Kyril or Boris. Note this "Diary" was most likely written in South Russia sometime in 1918.

I hope this of some interest/use.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #196 on: April 07, 2015, 05:50:49 PM »
I think you and others have mentioned and it shows up in many photos Alexandra and her daughters wearing Egret and other birds plumes and feathers in their hats. Many well to do and not so well to do Women of the WW I period did so. Well back then you had to kill the birds to get the plumes which really thinned out the populations of certain birds. Result laws were passed banning the killing of these birds ect and Federal game Wardens were set up to enforce them.

In the references of Rasputin's wiki bio # 254 has online the book "The Russian Diary of an Englishman Petrograd 1915-1917" Where there is some info on Russian hospital trains mainly Maria P the elders

Osprey has books on Armored Units of the Russian Civil War White and Allied, and  Armored Units of the Russian Civil War the Red Army both by D Bullock and R Deryabin which does have some information on Armored trains used during this period.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #197 on: April 20, 2015, 04:34:31 PM »
There is a book "The Story of a life" by Konstantine Paustovskii who has a wiki bio. He did work on a Russian hospital train during WW I and the book does deal with this.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #198 on: June 16, 2015, 12:37:51 PM »
some errata for reply 78 on Zeppelins:
the ZV it appears the whole crew was taken prisoner according to some sources written at the time. Reports of the commander being killed came in later accounts. In 1917 one of the crew managed to escape from a Siberian prison camp and made it back to Germany. It appears the commander and one of the crew were shot and killed by Russian border guards while trying to cross the Siberian/Chinese border. Most of the rest of the crew died in captivity do to starvation.

As for the ZXII bombing Lida on 1/13 September 1915. It seems the ship bombed Grand Duke George Mikhalovich's train and killed about 20 people. He reported this to Nicholas who wrote Alexandra avout this on 4/17 September 1915.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #199 on: August 11, 2015, 04:45:32 PM »
more errata on the Russian Military air fleet order of battle for the battle of Tannenberg. This is from a 1993 letter written by A Blume I got from a archive:

Russians:
1st army 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 20th KAOs most likely attached to the corps of the same number II, III, IV, and XX corps
2nd army 1st, 13th, 15th, 21st corps in 2nd army I, VI, XIII, XV, XXIII

This is from a translated part of the book "Wings of Russia" by Viacheslav M Tkachev he was the commander of the 20th KAO. He goes on to say the 1st and 15th KAOs were well trained , but had poor equipment and facilities. He also states these two armies were supposed to have a total of 40 aircraft, but probably had a few less. He goes on to state during the time frame 9-12 (OS)/22-25 (NS) August 1914 reconnaissance flights were flown and German troop movements were spotted and they were reported but the reports were either ignored or not passed on.

Tkachev later became the head of the Russian Military Air Fleet form June to December 1917. He then joined the White army in South Russia and was the head of the White Air force in the Crimea April to November 1920. He was evacuated from there and went to live in Yugoslavia. There in 1944 he was arrested by the NKVD and jailed for 10 years. After his release he was allowed to write his memoirs and died in 1965.

Blume's books on the Russian Military Air Fleet have problems. First of all he was dying when he wrote them and they were published after his death. Some with some knowledge on this subject should edited them but this was not done.

I should also point out in August 1914 the Air Services of all sides still had a lot to learn. reconnaissance reports were sometimes ignored or the information was not passed on to the people who needed them in part do to poor communications. There were also times when airmen failed to spot the enemy because they hid in the woods. It also didn't help that sometimes poor trained aircrew wrote reports based on conjecture and not on their observations.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #200 on: October 10, 2015, 02:49:48 PM »
In reading through a copy of the "Nicky-Sunny Letters"  Alexandra writes on 11 Sep 16 that Olga's sanitary train was bombarded and damaged but no casualties. Any one know the date or location? If so I might be able to track down the offending unit. I think this could most likely Olga A.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #201 on: November 17, 2015, 05:39:57 PM »
errata it was Olga As sanitary train that got bombed if anyone can find out the date and location I possibly may be able to identify the unit that did it.

In other letters by Alexandra:

28 August (OS)/ 10 September (NS) 1915 she mentions Maria Ns hospital train train coming under attack

21 November 1914 (OS)/ 3 December 1914 Alexei's  hospital train came under attack again. If it was in the Warsaw area do to bad weather it was only bombed once in November by the ZIV on 24/25 November 1914. This same Airship bombed Insterberg in September 1914  mentioned in "Education of a Princess" by Maria p the Younger

You may also be interested Griff in a book that just came out:
"Russian Sisters of Mercy and the great War" by Laurie S Stoff which is on Amazon and looks good from the reviews. The author also wrote "They Fought for the Motherland " on the Women's battalions in the Russian army

I hope this is of some use or interest.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #202 on: December 27, 2015, 06:40:37 PM »
I have some information on the 6th Siberian Rifle Division that contained the 21 Siberian Rifle Regiment of which Alexandra was honorary Colonel of from a posting I made on the great war forum eastern front section:
the 6th SRD is mentioned several times in the new book Clash of Empires Prit Buttar
It is also mentioned in the book "With the Russian Army volume I Alfred Knox on archive.org
the reply even mentions a Russian language 1925 account of the 6th SRD in the battle of Lodz

I hope this of some use.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #203 on: January 03, 2016, 06:55:56 PM »
I found out more on Cpt V.M. Tkachev he was awarded the Order of St George 4th Class for a 12/25 August 1914 recon flight in the Lubin area on the Austrian front so he was not in command of the 20th KAO at this time

General Brusilov reported to GD Alexander M on 13 September 1914 (NS) that he was "short of aircraft" and "The pilots reconnaissance work is indispensable."

While the Austrian official history doesn't mention their air service at all. it some Austrian Generals were listening to their airman's reports 1Lts R. Holkeka and H. Kostrba were both awarded the Militarveraienstkreuz 3rd class for their reconaissnce information during the Battle of Komaron 26 August-1 September 1914

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #204 on: February 27, 2016, 09:40:35 PM »
This is from the book "Collision of Empires":
It mentions a recon flight of FFA 14 during 30 August 1914 NS over the Mlawa area. this is most likely where the hospital train Tsarevich Alexei was and the I corps which this unit was a part of was the closest unit to Mlawa. so it most likely flew over the hospital train Tsarevich Alexei on the 29th.

It seems on 27 August 1914 during the battle of tannenberg a Russian aircraft landed and reported to the Russian XIII corps at Allenstein that there was a large force of Infantry marching down the road from Wartenberg to Allenstein. The Corps commander thinking the troops were the Russian VI corps sent the pilot back with dispatches to deliver to this unit. The plane took off and no more was heard of it. The troops it sighted belonged to the German I Reserve corps!

There is another reference in the book of a Russian aircraft reporting German troop movements.

It seems the Russians weren't the only ones shooting at their own aircraft. on 20 August 1914 at the battle of Gumbinnen there is an account of German soldiers shooting at one of their own aircraft before realizing it was one of their own. the firing panicked some supply troops who rode off to the rear in disorder. There is account of German battalion panicking during the battle of Tannenberg according to Max Hoffman's book "The War of Lost opportunrties.
".  On the other side of the hill for  a good part of the battle of Tannenberg  a good part of the Russian 2nd Army was short of food, out of communication with headquarters, and often lost.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #205 on: May 19, 2016, 02:19:07 PM »
The top scoring ace of WW I Baron Manfred Von Richthofen did serve on the Russian front for brief periods before he became a fighter pilot. See his book "The Red Air Fighter" on archive. org. He does mention in 1916 when he was a bomber pilot bombing rail yards at Manjewicze during the fighting around Kovel. I wonder if one of the IF sponsored hospital or sanitary trains were in the area?

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #206 on: October 10, 2016, 03:30:05 PM »
the westernfrontassociation.org has a youtube video "No task to Great VADs in the Great War" by the late Sue Light of Scarletfinders.org. It deals with British Nurses during WW I it is interesting to compare photos in this video with those of yours.

Will have more on the German air service and the battle of Tannenberg one day.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #207 on: March 07, 2017, 11:57:15 AM »
This is from 1939-Militar-Wochenblaff Nr9 pages 541-544:
"The Tatigleit der flueger der Deutchen 8 Armee von und Mahrend Der Schacht bei Tannenberg" by Obltn Baron Von Loementern: the Germans had 36 aircraft:

8th Army FFA 16
I Corps  FFA 14
XX Corps FFA 15
XVII Corps FFA 17

Fest FA Knoigsberg, Graudenz, Lotzen

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work July 1914 - February 1917
« Reply #208 on: June 19, 2017, 03:32:42 PM »
griff If want to know about Baracca the book "It Aces of World War I and their aircraft" by Roberto Gentilli Antonio Iozza and Paolo Varriale has a chapter on him. It includes his combat report on his last victory and a photograph of the victim on the ground. This is a excellent book on this subject written by 3 aviation historians who know their subject. King VE3 and other royals make appearances.