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The Race To Save the Romanovs

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I just finished reading the new book "The Race To Save the Romanovs" by Helen Rappaport I must say it is a a fine well written book on as the subtitle says "The Truth behind the Secret plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family". It includes some very impressive research where the author does a good job as a detective tracking down sources and clues. It does a good job at explaining the roles played by King George V and other monarchs in this affair. King Alfonso XIII comes out looking very well. It also provide an update in the roles played by Vasily Yakovlev and others and what they really did. It also deals with the plans of Allied agents and Russian monarchists to rescue the Imperial family some of which can best be described as "hare-brained" as the author would say.

If you go to youtube and look up Helen Rappaport you will find her in presentations discussing this and her other books

Note this is my first book review and now for the errata:

page 57 Louis XVI writing "Rein!" (nothing) in his diary. In a bio of him this was his hunting diary and he didn't go hunting that day

page 93 Norway-Sweden the author says "...must have cross country links.)" and odd statement A 1958 Hammond World Atlas I have shows at least 4 rail lines between the two countries. I would would say all or most were built pre WW I. The Narvik railway was completed in 1903 according to wiki. Some military supplies did get to Russia in WW I via Sweden. Also civilians and some military personel did go through Sweden and Norway during WW I. Note the Duma delagation including Alexander Protopopov went through Sweden in 1916 to England and back.

page 122 1st 3rd and 4th "Rifle Brigade" should be Guards Rifle regiments

page 133 photo th "American Supply Ship" from Janes Fighting Ships of WW I and wiki is the Cruiser Des Moines which left the US for Archangel on 11 April 1919 and returned to the US on 27 October 1919

Page 134 the Sumsky Hussars "an elite Cossack regiment" Hussars are not Cossacks in the Russian Army

page 195 you have Yakovlev being shot in 1928 which looks like a typo for 1938

page 332 the Handley Page V/1500 mentioned was too late for service in WW I see wiki

On King George V one thing we will not know is what his Prime minister Lloyd George said to him about the Romanovs during their weekly meetings. I understand those two did not get along that well when Lloyd George was Prime Minster. If you look at some of Lloyd George's dealing with Field Marshall Haig the British Expeditionary Force commander in France they make him look like a scheming backstabber. So for him to talk King George V out of letting the IF come to England is possible. I also believe Lloyd George made some anti-monarchist remarks when he was younger. So here is KGV the fall of the Romanovs really shocked him, there is talk of a Republic and trouble at in England, and WW I is not going well. So you can see why he would not want Nicholas and Alexandra coming to live in England.

There were plans to get the IF out of Russia via the artic mentioned in this book. There is a book "Under the Black Ensign" RS Gwatkin-Williams on both and that deals with the author experiences up in the Artic during the 1916-1917 period. You can say he was also "Caught in the Revolution".  he mentions the ships operating up there
page 91 in the book The old battleship is the Glory and the cruiser ins the Vindictive.
page 160 mentions British submarines the book identifies them as the E39 and E44 and the author sailed with them back to the artic in April 1917 with his ship the crusier Intrepid and 2 trawlers.

There are plans in the book to get the IF out of Russia by submarine. in real life a British E class submarine would have been really cramped to transport NAOTMAA and Dr Botkin and their bags anywhere except for a really short distance. if the IF did get to Murmansk they probably would have been put on a cruiser for England nothing smaller could have taken them and the baggage and their entourage and their bags to England. Also there weren't that many U-boats operating in the Artic in 1917 and the Royal Navy could read the German U-boat codes. So any U-boat could have been aviaded

Kaiser Wilhelm II is brought up in the book. Some more research should have been done on his role. First of all he was very weak politically in 1918. In fact he is spending his time trying to hang on to his throne. The behind the scenes ruler of Germany is General Erich Ludendorff. Wilhelm II and most of the rest of the German leadership didn't like Lenin and Co at all. They did like the treaty of Brest-Litovsk which was very good for Germany which no other Russian would have signed except Lenin and the Bolsheviks. So the Germans supported Lenin enough for him to hold on to power through out 1918. There was even talk of a German-Bolshevik alliance! There were Germans who did want to oust Lenin and Co but someone always found a way to veto their plans. So Lenin was able to survive and consolodate his power. See "The Russian Revolution" Richard Pipes. As for the German home front in WW I the book "Victory Must Be Ours deals with it. There is also the youtube presintation "Total War Comes to the Fatherland"


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