Author Topic: Some errata for the final chapter  (Read 25913 times)

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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2015, 05:43:39 PM »
I believe some people have wondered how Alexei Trupp an ex-officer ended up as a footman. In reading the article "The Tsarist Officer Corps 1881-1914 Customs, Duties, inefficiency" by John Bushnell in the book "The Russian Imperial Army 1796-1917: Roger Reese and the book "The End of the Russian Imperial Army" by Alan Wildman. One finds the Russian Imperial Army officer corps had a fairly high attrition rate even in peacetime. It was do to officers getting into debt, drunkenness, womanizing dueling and wild behavior. Which ment the officer either had to resign or was thrown out of the army. The officer corps also had a fairly high suicide rate. The Russian Military Air Fleet from 1913 ton1917 had at least 7 officers commit suicide.
 Trupp may have had to leave the army do to one of the above problems, most likely debt of family fiscal problems. Being unemployed he got a job with the Imperial household. Trupp was a Lithuainian catholic and by his name he may have been of Baltic German and since there were a number of Baltic Germans in the Imperial household so it is possible they could have helped him get a job with them. Also note pre WW I the Baltic Germans were considered to be one of the most loyal minorities in the Russian Empire. In the Communist era this sort of behavior continued. The was widespread drunkenness in the Red army's officer corps between the World Wars.

Offline Превед

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2015, 06:04:11 PM »
Trupp was a Lithuainian catholic and by his name he may have been of Baltic German and since there were a number of Baltic Germans in the Imperial household so it is possible they could have helped him get a job with them. Also note pre WW I the Baltic Germans were considered to be one of the most loyal minorities in the Russian Empire.

Baltic Germans lived first and foremost in what is today Estonia and Latvia and were Protestants. Lithuania had never belonged to the German Crusader Orders nor its towns to the Hanseatic League, the origin of the Baltic German settlements, but had belonged to the Polish Crown and had first and foremost a Polish elite. But I'm sure there were exceptions.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 06:17:43 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2015, 06:15:41 PM »
Bingo!
Trupp was born in what is today Eastern Latvia, in the then Vitebsk Governorate (village of Kalnagals), which also incorporated parts of Belarus. According to his Latvian Wikipedia article his original Latvian name was Aloizs Lauris Trūps. And it seems like Trūps is not an uncommon Latvian name. He probably Germanized it to appear more noble. Due to historical Polish-Lithuanian influence, Catholics are more common in Eastern Latvia (Latgale) than in the rest of the historically Protestant country.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 06:32:08 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2015, 05:53:15 PM »
Thanks for the info.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2015, 06:36:57 PM »
Escape from the house of special purpose could it have been done. This is how I think might have been able to do it.  Nicholas and Alexandra tell OTMA and the remainder of the entourage to get to work winning over the guards and use them to pass messages to the nuns who pass the messages to the officers at the staff college. A escape plan is hatched. All or most of the guards on the 2 to 8am shift are in on the escape. The officer of the guard is knocked out by a rifle butt and tied up and gagged. The IF and their entourage slip out of the house unobserved. They meet up with officers from the staff college who have horses waiting for them the family mounts up and escapes to White controlled territory by a pre-reconed route. The IF lives.

This is before Yurovsky shows up and upgrades the security.

If this was tried the odds makers would say the IF had two chances Slim and None and Slim just left town.

First of all you have to win over enough guards on the 2 to 8 am shift to make this possible without alerting their leaders and the local URS who are on the lookout for escape attempts. Then there is the chance one of the guards might let slip something about the escape. Then there are the officers at the Staff College. Some were planning a rescue operation. While these men were brave they are also being watched by the URS.  They also could say or do something that could give the plot away. As for the prisoners there are 12 of them Alexei can't walk and Alexandra can barely walk.  If they are told to get ready and the officer of the guard is taken out without making too much noise they still have to get out of the house without disturbing the guards who live and sleep there. Then they have to get to the Staff college officers with the horses without attracting attention at around 3am or so in the morning. I don't think the Staff college officers would have access to any motor vehicals.  once mounted Nicholas who was an excellent rider could hold Alexei and ride. AOTMA could also ride. They are also going to need Dr Botkin who I am not sure about his riding ability. They are also going to have to have some officers to guide and escort them.  As for the rest of the entourage they, with the guards and some officers are going to have to get away on foot.
  Meanwhile back at the house At 6am the new officer of the guard shows up and wonders where the other one is and where are the rest of the guards. He sounds the alarm and the chase is on the IF with luck might have a 2 or 3 hour heads start at the most and the Cheka will be coming after them in cars and trucks and could overtake them unless some blocks the road or the IF takes a path impassable for motor vehicals. Meanwhile back in town the Cheka and the Reds are going to go a witch hunt for anyone who they thought might have had a hand in the escape and shoot them. If caught I done think the Cheka will show any mercy on any of the escapees and the people who helped them.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2015, 01:09:21 AM »
Hello James

I would say slim at best. Getting the family out is only Stage 1. The rescuers would then need to have a plan either to conceal them until the White troops arrived, or to convey them eastwards via the Trans Siberian. Difficult, as the hunt would be up as you describe, Alexei was unable to walk and the family would not agree to splitting up. They were, of course, split into two groups for the journey from Tobolsk, but that was forced upon them, and I doubt that Alexandra in particular would agree to do it again.

But James, your escape plot has the makings of a lovely piece of fiction! The family get as far as the outskirts of the town, after trouble with horses etc. a bit like the flight to Varennes.

Ann

Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2015, 07:45:50 PM »
Could the  White  Army have  Overtaken the House   I Know they were in the city  the the week after the killing     so    were there enough men

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2015, 06:38:52 AM »
The problem is that the family were killed when they were precisely because the Czech Legion were approaching Ekaterinburg.

It would be possible, in theory, to hide the family close by the Ipatiev House until the Czechs arrived, but this would be a very risky strategy.

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2015, 06:13:54 PM »
Ann
 I am glad you liked my escape plot I have some more details. Nicholas and Alexandra knew about the failed escape of Louis XVI and family to Varennes. They will try and not make the same mistake . The IF and the people with them will ride as fast as they possibly can. They have the advantage that during the Russian Civil War in Siberia most of the troops were deployed near the rail lines. So if you go several miles away from the rail lines the only troops would be a few outposts and patrols. If one of the staff officers or local guards picked out a good route they would avoid them. It also would be helpful if a few of the officers and local guards found ways to slow the pursuing reds down by blocking the road. It also might help if someone knew of a path too narrow for cars and trucks or crossed a river too deep for them but fordable for horses. It might also help if someone laid a boobytrap or two along the road behind them.
 One mistake Louis XVI and family made according to some accounts is a failure to put a energetic officer in charge of the escape party. No doubt Nicholas will seek the aid of one of the staff officers on this escape. It also should be pointed out while Alexandra had problems walking she could ride a horse fairly well and was able to put up with the trip with Yakovlov along with Nicholas, Maria and Botkin. As for OTAA Olga appeared tried and sad all the time but I don't think this will slow her down Taitana  seems in good shape and Anastasia being in captivity didn't bother her at all and I believe she was a good horsewomen. Alexei Nicholas as I said before can ride and hold on to him. If necessary Nicholas and others can dismount and take turns carrying him on foot. Most likely they will run into some local Siberians who will help them. They have a tradition of doing this. The villages could give them and their horses food and drink, possibly a fresh horse or two and give the Reds chasing them wrong directions to go. I hope this is of some interest.

Offline starik

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2015, 10:12:00 PM »
Another big mistake during the flight to Varennes was the coach that was chosen. It was big and expensive and attracted attention. That led to the postmaster looking real close at the king and recognizing him. Travelling incognito is problematic for royals in the details. For the Romanovs, four daughters and a young son in your party is a dead giveaway, just for one example. I should also add that Louis assumed he was still popular among the people and that it was only Paris that hated him. Perhaps among the crowd at Varennes that surrounded the coach there were sympathizers, but to what avail?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 10:22:58 PM by starik »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2015, 01:41:00 PM »
James

Thank you.

You make some good points (you always do!).

Obviously the family will insist that Dr Botkin and the servants must escape with them. As a former Colonel, Trupp will be accustomed to riding, and probably Botkin too, but what about Kharitanov and Anna Demidova? There is also Leonid Sednev. Nicholas and Alexandra will certainly want Botkin with them, because of Alexei, but perhaps they can be persuaded to allow the others to go off with a couple of other loyal officers, and lie up in the city. After all, none of them is very recognisable, and only Trupp (military bearing) is likely to stand out in a crowd (the ideal place to hide him will be at the staff college, of course - fortunately one of the escape plotters is the same size and can lend him a uniform which fits).

I wonder whether being on a horse, even a quiet one, is going to set off another bleeding attack for Alexei. Otherwise, the major practical point, once everyone is clear of the house is that the family are going to have to split up. Nicholas and Alexandra will insist that Alexei and Botkin must stay with them, but maybe the girls can be persuaded to split into two pairs and each pair can go off with one or two officers.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2015, 04:04:22 PM »
As for Alexei they are just going to wrap him up and pad him as best they can and he will have to ride with his father who was an excellent rider. I know this is risky but the family has no choice.

I didn't include Trupp with the horseback party because I don't think the Officers or Guards would be able to get that many horses. The IF and Botkin  need to go the remaining mounts are needed for officers with combat experience in the Cavalry or Infantry and local guards who know the area. I was going to put Trupp in charge of the other 3 servants. You might call them the TKDS group they will head out on foot with one or more of the local guards and can either hide out in the woods until the Whites arrive or walk out on foot or a mixture of both. Trupp being physically strong will be needed to help the others.

If they go through a village or meet some locals the IF will be recognized. Some of these people may not be big fans of the tsar but most of them will by now despise the Bolsheviks do to their food confiscation policies. Most likely the locals will assist the IF in some way if they encounter them and recognize them. Note in Siberia the locals had a history of helping people on the run until the 1930s.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2015, 10:15:07 PM »
I am not sure how far the IF will have to travel to reach the White lines and safety. I believe the Czechs and the Whites were attacking  Ekaterinburg from the South. The house of Special purpose is on the North side of town. I am not sure how far to the West the would have to travel to either reach other White forces or detour around the Reds and meet up with the Czechs and Whites coming up from the South. At least one account I have read the Czechs didn't know the IF was in Ekaterinburg.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2015, 06:32:32 PM »
I am going to try and explain again Sophie "Iza" Von Buxhoeveden's actions and why she did what she did when she was with the IF in Siberia. I would say she was a good family friend, a loyal lady in waiting, a woman of good morale caliber, a title noblewoman, and a ultra devoted monarchist. She would have gone to Tobolsk in August with the IF but had to undergo surgery. She travels there during the December 1917/January 1918 period with her old scots maid and a Lett female servant in a country that is in chaos and ran the risk of being robbed, raped and murdered. This and traveling with the OTAA group to Ekaterinberg shows real devotion and makes any of the accusations of disloyalty in the book Fate of the Romanovs very unlikely.
 I would say that in early 1918 Sophie probably thought the Bolsheviks wouldn't last very long and did not realize what sort of government they were going to be. This was the view of many Russians. She also sincerely believed that Russia would someday be a monarchy again. There were more than a few Russians who also thought this. Also after arriving in Siberia she complains in her book about the lack of news she was getting. So was in the dark as were the IF and many other Russians. I would say there were periods in Siberia where she may have been at a loss on what was going on. I would also like to point out the Russian Civil War which was in the process of breaking out in early-mid 1918 many people thought the Bolsheviks were going to lose until late 1919 when the White armies were defeated and in retreat on all fronts. When you look at it the Bolshevik hold on power throughout 1918 was very weak and I don't even think they thought they were going to win.
 Post Russian Civil war many educated Russians both in Russia and in exile thought that communism was just a temporary thing and didn't believe it was permanent until the end of WW II. I wonder when in exile Sophie finally gave up on Russia ever becoming a monarchy again.
I hope this is of some interest

Offline starik

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Re: Some errata for the final chapter
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2015, 11:26:21 AM »
Often overlooked is the fact that the Whites were not fighting to restore the monarchy - only to defeat the Bolsheviks. The Romanovs were finished no matter who won. Also, Siberians had a history of helping people on the run - from the Tsar.