Author Topic: N. P. Sablin  (Read 19804 times)

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Offline spoofs

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2014, 03:54:03 AM »
And do try to get your hands on the Ten Year... book.  It really is a treat!

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2014, 12:39:32 PM »
blessOTMA was kind enough to post some photos from Sablin's book in another thread a few years ago.

1908

1909

1910


1912, Sevastopol, Crimea



The book has over 200 photos so one does not need to know Russian to fully appreciate the book although reading the wonderful anecdotes from "Romanov Sisters" it makes me wish I could.

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2014, 02:09:40 PM »
Much appreciated Maria Sisi  (and blessOTMA). I'm assuming the actual photos in the book are even better than they appear on my computer screen.
Rodney G.

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2014, 04:10:28 PM »

...On the Booksearch feature on the main AP site Sarushka does a writeup on it. That's where I got my info...


To save others the time, here is the link mentioned above:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=105
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2014, 04:15:22 PM »
A little help here please with clarification on this. This thread is about Nilolai Pavlovich Sablin , commander of the Imperial yacht Standart 1906-1914, Imperial Family intimate, and who had a notable friendship with Olga . Apparently he wrote a brief memoir of this period, though curiously it is little read or cited by few experts here , which is surprising since it should be a goldmine of IF lore and anecdotes. Perhaps it has something to do with his bailing out on Nicholas and the family, 3/9/1917.

As mentioned in an earlier posting above, Goul’s own memoirs in Russian, published in Paris, contain a chapter with N. P. Sablin's account concerning his service on the Standart.

For the record, it takes up only seven printed pages. It covers the period from 1906 to 1910.

And those who have seen the N. P. Sablin papers at Amherst tell me that they are disappointing.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 04:17:09 PM by Inok Nikolai »
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2014, 04:23:19 PM »
So I guess my question is a general one: What do we know of Nikolai Vasilievich Sablin, the story of  the book's  whereabouts and publication history, and , mainly, what does he have to say about Imperial Family life on Standart? I understand the photos on it are pretty good and I would imagine his anecdotes about the Romanovs would be as well. So what's the story on NV?

[Perhaps a new, separate thread should be started on N. V. Sablin?]

A) Concerning your inquiries posed above, the Editor’s Introduction to “Ten Years on the Imperial Yacht Standart” addresses most of them.

The editor, M. E. Malevinskaya, is the Deputy Director of the Russian State Archive of the Navy (RGAVMF). She first came across N. V. Sablin’s memoirs in the early 1990s, and even then she was already considering publishing them in order to make them available to the general public. She began preparing them for publication in 1994, but much research remained to be done before they were ready.

The memoirs themselves had first appeared in print between 1947 and 1953 in issues of the Russian-language periodical “Naval Memoirs” (Morskie Zapiskie), published in New York. Copies of these issues are to be found in the RGAVMF. The archive also has a file of documents relating to N. V. Sablin from 1879 to 1920, several of his diaries, and a large collection of his photographs — many of which appear in the present book.

As for N. V. Sablin himself, his is a tragic tale, as are so many of those from that period of upheaval.

N. V. Sablin was born in St. Petersburg in 1880. Upon graduating from the Naval Cadet Corps, he began his naval career in 1901. In December of that year he was part of the crew sent to Philadelphia to take command of the new battleship Retvizin. While in the USA, the crew visited Niagara Falls, and one of his photographs captures them standing near the frozen waterfall.

N. V. Sablin took part in the Russo-Japanese War, fighting in battles on land and sea.  He was wounded in the head by shrapnel from an artillery shell.  After the fall of Port Arthur, he was taken prisoner and was detained in a POW camp at Matzyama, Japan, from December 1904 to January 1906. While still in the camp, he wrote in his diary on January 1, 1906, the following entry: “What to say of the year that is past? May God grant that another such one not occur again in my life.” (To which the editor of the present book poignantly comments: “Our author was all of 25 years old, and at that moment did not know that to his lot would fall even worse trials.”)

In May of 1906, having returned from captivity, he was appointed to the Garde Équipage and assigned to the Standart. In 1911 he married; he and his wife had a son and daughter.

After the Revolution, like so many others, he simply sought to survive, to support his family in one way or another.
He was arrested for the first [!] time in August of 1918, but released the same day.  In October of 1919 he was arrested again and held until December. By January 1920 his situation was critical: he had been retired from the service, arrested twice, evicted from his apartment, his possessions were ‘requisitioned’, his mother had died, and he had no means of livelihood. Later that year his daughter died too. Eventually, with the aid of the British vice-consul to Finland, he escaped to Romania.

Once in freedom, he, like so many patriotic Russian military men and monarchists, joined several of the anti-Bolshevik White Russian organizations in Bucharest, and he took an active part in the ongoing struggle against the Soviet Union.

(Apparently N. V. Sablin wrote his memoirs during this period in Romania.)

As WW II was coming to an end, the Soviet counter-intelligence agents of “Smersh” (Death to Spies) in Europe arrested him and forcibly repatriated him to the USSR. There he was tried for “crimes against the Soviet Union” and sentenced to 20 years in a corrective labor camp. At this time N. V. Sablin was already 65 years old.

(Thus, when his memoirs were being printed in New York, the author himself was sitting in the Gulag.)

After Stalin’s death in April of 1953, Sablin appealed to be ‘rehabilitated’, but his plea was ignored. Finally, in October of 1954, he was released for reasons of poor health, and in May of 1955, he was handed over to the Romanian authorities. It would have seemed that this 74-year-old man could now live in peace after all that he had been through. But in March of 1958, he was arrested again, this time by the authorities of (the now Communist) Romania, and sentenced to 20 years in a strict regime prison for “treason against the state”, with an additional sentence of 8 years in a corrective prison for his “actions against public order”. Having received a combined sentence of 28 years, this 77-year-old man ended his days in a Romanian prison. Nicholas Vasilievich Sablin died of heart failure on January 20, 1962.

Vechnaya Pamiat!

A further note: When the editor of the present volume was preparing the text for publication, she had already decided to use N. V. Sablin’s own photographs as illustrations. Much to her surprise, she came upon a letter of his from 1938 to someone in Paris, informing him that he was sending his memoirs and a packet of photographs to be published there. Thus, exactly 70 years later, M. E. Malevinskaya was able to fulfill N. V. Sablin’s intentions — reuniting his photos with his text!

B) As for anecdotes, as others have mentioned above, Helen Rappaport does reproduce quite a few of them in her recent book “Romanov Sisters” (q.v.).
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 04:27:34 PM by Inok Nikolai »
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Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2014, 05:03:40 PM »
Well, Inok Nikolai, this is beyond remarkable. I mean both Nikolai Vasilievich himself and the story of his eventual book and photographs seeing the light of day in our time. Unreal.

It was evident that his memoirs couldn't have been published in the Soviet Union during his lifetime or its lifetime for that matter. It's overwhelmingly likely that they were published during his interlude of freedom in Romania as you note. Even so, their appearance in a New York Russian-language periodical and subsequently being rediscovered by a dedicated archivist a half century or more later is almost too good to be true.

I can't add anything meaningful to your sketch of NV's estimable, heroic life and suffering. Other than to again wish it were better known to the  world at large. And especially, in this regard, insofar as the role  of Nikolai Vasilievich's namesake NP Sablin has superseded in  prominence his lesser known fellow Standart officer.

In this regard, Helen Rappaport's Romanov Sisters does NV a service, mentioning him by name a few times and relating his   IF anecdotes hitherto not really  known. I'm still reading it carefully, and it's enjoyable and usually easy to identify them as originating from Nikolai Vasilievich Sablin. RIP.

Thanks for your fine touching response, IN
Rodney G.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: N. P. Sablin
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2015, 02:54:22 PM »
This is from the book "Diary of the Commander of the Russian Imperil Guard"  which has a short bio of NP Sablin with some errata from me:
Educated at the naval Academy. Took part in the China Expedition (1900-1901) served on the Cruiser Almaz during the Russo-Japanese War. this was the only cruiser to make it to Vladivostok.  With the 14th Equipage of the Fleet took part in the Punitive Expedition in the Baltic Provinces 1905-6. Transferred to the guard Equipage in 1906. Officer of the Imperial yacht Standart. Appointed Fligel-Adjutant 1912. Senior officer of the Standart 1912-1915. Attached to His Majesty's Military Chancellery 1912-1917. CO of the detached Battalion of the Guard Equipage November 1915-15 June 1916. CO of the Standart 1917. With the exception of the period in 1915-1916 when he commanded the Guarde Equipage at the front he spent the entire war in the Emperor's suite. left Russia after the revolution and settled in France where he died.