Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Olga Nicholaievna => Topic started by: Janet Whitcomb on April 08, 2004, 06:20:40 PM

Title: Olga's pistol
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 08, 2004, 06:20:40 PM
It has been mentioned on this website that "Olga carried a concealed revolver on her within the Alexander Palace and later in Tolbolsk. Captain Koblinsky had to plead with her to give it up before they were transferred to Yekaterinburg."  What is the original source of this information?

Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: BobAtchison on April 08, 2004, 08:44:28 PM
I have that in the site.

I'll look up my original source.  Koblinsky had to plead with Olga to give it up.  Nicholas gave it to her at some point.

Bob
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: David Newell on April 11, 2004, 06:10:52 PM
I have read that some where too. I'm sure it was in Tobolsk that she gave it up.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: jackie3 on April 12, 2004, 07:15:08 PM
I wonder if Olga knew how to shoot it. She was reputed to be a good horsewoman, anyone have any idea of her marksmanship? And if she was given the gun by Nicky or someone else was it because she asked for it or did all the children get one of their own?

I wish she had been allowed to keep it. And put it to some good use in the "House of Special Purpose".
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 12, 2004, 08:18:41 PM
Precisely, Jackie. I have to wonder how Olga acquired it and how (or if) she had learned how to use it.  And also, what "chutzpah" she had to hold on to it for so long! I can't picture the seven Romanovs and their retainers "shooting it out" in the manner of the O.K. Corral, but everyone I've mentioned this matter to has said, "Too bad she didn't get to keep and use it."

Her father, with his fatalistic passivity, would be the last person to recommend taking action against their captors. I have to think that Olga had an inkling of what was coming and somehow, perhaps early on during their initial captivity, managed to secret the gun away.  Brave woman! With her courage, sensitivity, humor and compassion, she would have made an excellent Tsarina, or at the very least served as an invaluable assistant to her brother.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: jackie3 on April 13, 2004, 05:38:59 PM
Quote
Brave woman! With her courage, sensitivity, humor and compassion, she would have made an excellent Tsarina, or at the very least served as an invaluable assistant to her brother.


I totally agree. I've said on the "Imperial Succession" board that I truly believe if there had been no WWI and the monarchy had not fallen then Olga would have replaced GD Michael as Potential Regent for Alexis if he ever managed to succeed. Especially since unlike his other family members (including Michael) Nicholas could have counted on Olga not to conspire against the throne.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Kareena on May 08, 2004, 02:11:25 AM
This story of Olga carrying a gun.  I would love to know what the source is on this.  It's certainly a dramatic claim!  Does anybody know, or is it a Romanov "urban myth".  Is it backed up with any real evidence?
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Belochka on May 08, 2004, 02:26:57 AM
Yes indeed. I doubt that Olga would ever compromise her sisters by concealing any type of weapons let alone a gun.

This is absolutely unbelievable!

:o
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: BobAtchison on May 08, 2004, 09:57:23 AM
Once when I met Vladimir Soloviev, the Attorney General of Russia and the head of the committee on the investigation of the remains he showed me the Sokolov dossier that Stalin had - I have mentioned that meeting before.  Afterwards we had a long talk about what he had found in his research through unpublished materials.  I asked him if he could tell me somethings he had learned about the members of the family that surprized him.  One thing he told me was the story of the small gun Olga carried.  He said, if I remember correctly but this could be wrong, she had it in her boot and she had been given the gun by her father.  He said Koblynski begged Olga to give it to him in Tobolsk.  Later I found this in writing - but I haven't been able to relocate it.
 
Bob
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: nerdycool on May 08, 2004, 02:35:56 PM
If it was given to her to help ward off sexual harassment, then all I can say is that it is too bad that she had to give up the gun in Tobolsk. She could have really used it to protect her and her sisters on the train to Ekaterinburg...
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on May 09, 2004, 12:55:33 AM
I am thinking that, given the particularly strong bond Nicholas had with his eldest daughter, along with his respect for her intelligence and sense of responsibility, he responded to her expressed fears by trusting her with a gun.

By the time they were on board the Rus, Olga apparently did not have the gun, so I believe it likely that she reverted to her intelligence and courage as a weapon against any ill intent toward her sisters and herself.  The emotional toll it would have taken on her, though, is another story . . .  
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Belochka on May 13, 2004, 02:46:37 AM
I do not know if I am throwing in a new cat among the pigeons here but I was staggered by the revelation on this thread that Olga may have been given a weapon.

This caused me to search through my references and this is what I did find.

The citation comes from the Deposition given by Colonel Kobylinsky in Ekaterinburg between April 6 - 10 1918 by the Investigating Magistrate for Cases of Special Importance of the Omsk Tribunal.

.... "On one occassion (at Tsarskoe Selo) they (the First Regiment) saw the Tsarevitch carrying a small rifle. This rifle was a model of the standard infantry rifle, presented to the Tsarevitch by some munitions works. It was absolutely harmless ... The trouble was started by the Second regiment ... to avoid violence he took the rifle from the Tsarevitch ... Gillard and Tegleva told me the story ... and that the Tsarevitch was crying. I ordered the rifle to be given to me, and when I got it I took it apart, and in this way I smuggled it back to the Tsarevitch."

This incident is also mentioned in Gilliard's Diary (p 230) for the date Sunday June 10 1917. He adds that this toy gun was only then played with in his room.

No further references were made about this toy gun which I could find.

Could this be the item to which others here are refering to?

;)

Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: BobAtchison on May 13, 2004, 11:24:30 AM
I was told she kept it in her boot so it was small.

Bob
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: livadiarose on June 23, 2004, 07:30:10 PM
If anyone has the book "The Private World of the Last Tsar" by Paul and Beatrice von Grabbe and turns to page 61 there is a photo of Olga in Mogilev, and she appears to be carrying a gun.

If anyone else cares to take a look, let me know what you think. I could be mistaken, but that's what it looks like to me.

Alia
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Lanie on June 23, 2004, 07:33:11 PM
Oh, wow, I didn't even notice anything was there hiding amongst her sweater (not the blanket..!).  I don't know if it's a gun.  Maybe it is, but why would she carry one around at Mogilev?  Hmm.  Looks like it could also be one of those cigarette cases to me.  And it's nice to see you around, Alia! :D
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Belochka on June 23, 2004, 08:51:46 PM
Sorry livadiarose ...

... all I can see is a small purse and what look like a pair of gloves with a tiny spheroid shaped finish. There is a second glove placed below which has the same sized balls - of which I can see three. The item immediately below the pair of gloves is a bracelet which is on Olga's arm which seems to sit at the edge of her sweater.

There is absolutely no suggestion of any weapon. I strongly doubt that had she ever carried a weapon, and were that the case, she would never compromise herself in this way.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on January 29, 2005, 10:56:43 PM
What's up with this? I was just like  :o
okay, here's an excerpt from one of Anastasia's leters to her father:
"We all have pistols now and we like to shoot them very much. in the venings after dinner we go to play in the corner room with olga, maria,alexey and i hide from each other and then shoot each other in the darkness, but alexey is sometimes scared and does not enter the room..."

:o :o :o :o :-X

were they really all that obnoxious they playd with guns?
??? :o
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: ferngully on January 31, 2005, 05:43:21 AM
maybe they played with them like kids play with toy/water guns now?
selina                xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Janet_W. on February 15, 2005, 08:17:49 PM
I am sure these would have been toys. I doubt very much that anyone would have allowed the Imperial Children to have actual guns, much less play with them.

The firearm described by Bob in an earlier post was a different matter, given to Olga by her father when she had attained considerable maturity, and very likely as a palliative to her own anxieties.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Georgiy on February 16, 2005, 02:15:59 PM
They had toy guns, and during the war, the Empress complained in a letter to the tsar about how noisy the children and their guns were. However, after the revolution, I imagine Olga would have had a real gun, if the story of her being armed is true.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: La_Mashka on March 31, 2005, 03:17:11 PM
I think Nicholas gave Olga the gun to calm her down.

She must have felt very insecure of the situation, of the war, o possibly being assaulted or killed, and so maybe the gun worked... like a pacifier works on a baby...

Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Margarita Markovna on June 18, 2005, 10:48:09 AM
It's very possible.

I recently saw a play in New York called OTMA. It's historical fiction, but it was based on actual events. Olga had stolen a gun and finds out in the play that it's just a lighter.

I know it's just a play but it was based on real events and gives me reason to believe she was armed at some point.
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Abby on June 18, 2005, 07:11:21 PM
She had a gun with her when they were on board the Rus, I think.
I don't blame her!
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: IlyaBorisovich on June 20, 2005, 04:29:17 PM
Quote
She had a gun with her when they were on board the Rus, I think.
I don't blame her!


Actually, she gave up the gun before they left Tobolsk.  It's unfortunate that she didn't have it aboard the Rus.  I don't know if Rodionov would've wanted to take the rap for killing any of them there and then, so her being armed might have made a difference.

Ilya
Title: Olga and the gun
Post by: markjhnstn on June 26, 2008, 09:46:47 AM
Recently i read something here about Olga having a revolver in her possession at Tsarsloe selo and tobolsk until Kobylinsky persuaded her to give it up just before they left for ekaterinburg. This is a new piece of information for me. I cannot recall reading anything about this before. Anyone have any further info??
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: amartin71718 on June 26, 2008, 09:50:39 AM
Nicholas gave it to her, I know that.
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: Sarushka on June 27, 2008, 07:57:04 AM
Bob Atchison heard this story from Vladimir Soloviev. Here's the original post about it:

Once when I met Vladimir Soloviev, the Attorney General of Russia and the head of the committee on the investigation of the remains he showed me the Sokolov dossier that Stalin had - I have mentioned that meeting before.  We had a long talk about what he had found in his research through unpublished materials.  I asked him if he could tell me somethings he had learned about the members of the family that surprized him.  One thing he told me was the story of the small gun Olga carried.  He said, if I remember correctly but this could be wrong, she had it in her boot and she had been given the gun by her father.  He said Koblynski begged Olga to give it to him in Tobolsk. Later I found this in writing - but I haven't been able to relocate it.

Like Bob, I'm sure I also found this story in writing elsewhere, but I haven't been able to track it down again. So to my knowledge, Bob's post is the only Western source for that information.
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: markjhnstn on June 27, 2008, 08:00:46 AM
Thanks. Very interesting. I recall that Pavel Medvedev had a pistol stolen at the Ipatiev house. I wonder if one of the IF could have stolen it?
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: nena on June 27, 2008, 08:20:16 AM
I've only heard that some guns were found in Ipatiev - pretext to murders, I can say?!
So, it might be, IF tried to escape, and they killed them. - I think it wasn't real reason....... :(
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: Sarushka on June 27, 2008, 08:25:02 AM
Thanks. Very interesting. I recall that Pavel Medvedev had a pistol stolen at the Ipatiev house. I wonder if one of the IF could have stolen it?

It seems unlikely to me. There's certainly no mention of it in Alexandra's diary, and I don't think the tsar mentioned it either. The theft is reported in the guard duty book on June 14 (NS).
Title: Re: Olga and the gun
Post by: mikeycoleman on June 27, 2008, 01:22:30 PM
Olga has a small pearl handled snubnose formerly owned by Catherine the Great in the play OTMA.  It turns out to be a cigarette lighter.

Mikey
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: blessOTMA on October 12, 2009, 08:52:00 PM
I think this is an interesting topic. Seems to me if the Czar did give Olga a fire arm ...it was just further proof of his great respect for her. He had to completely trust she would not use it unless necessary. Nicholas was in a way transferring a good  bit of authority to Olga. She's was been deputized in the situation in a way, almost as a son would be.

This giving her a gun, imo, seems connected to their spending many hours  together in his study going over where and how everything  went wrong.(wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall for those talks! )  Nicholas seems to be transferring some of the male/ proactive  authority over to her as if she were a son. The gun is a symbol of that . I think those who say she wasn't much use after the war because of nerves are missing the mark ( pardon the  pun)  Her parents put Olga and Tatiana both in charge when they left Tobolsk . While Tatiana was called " the governess,"   the big pair was ever a leadership  team . I have only read of Olga not be able to deal with war wounds after a while. I don't fault her for that ....not everyone can deal with them.  But otherwise I have never  read of her not doing what was asked of her and more.


 
Title: Re: Olga Armed
Post by: Kalafrana on October 13, 2009, 07:36:53 AM
If it was a revolver small enough to be concealed in a lady's boot, it must have been very small and so of limited effect. I have seen and handled (though not fired) a Browning automatic pistol of the type said to have been used on Rasputin. It is almost small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and the bullet is smaller than a .22. Certainly it would go nicely into a lady's evening bag, though it's protective value would be quite low (quite different from a Webley .455, which would take the back of someone's head off at close range, and also seems to have been used on Rasputin).
Title: Olga's pistol
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on March 17, 2011, 12:12:03 PM
I read somewhere that Nicholas had given Olga a pistol and showed her how to use it about the time they were placed under house arrest at AP.  It said that she kept it hidden in her boot.   This got me wondering if any mention had ever been made in any historical accounts about the Tsar and Tsarina being concerned with possible sexual molestation against their daughters while they were in captivity.   It seems to me that would have been of great concern to them, especially during those weeks that Tatiana, Olga and Anastasia were separated from them when N&A/Maria were first sent to Ekaterinburg.    Please forgive me as I'm a newbie  and not nearly as well read on the Romanovs as most of you here.   I did do a search to see if there may be a thread somewhere on this topic, but I found none.   
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 17, 2011, 01:52:59 PM
I often wondered if the Tsar gave his eldest daughter the pistol so she would feel better generally... as you would give a child a teddy bear. If he wanted it to be about protection and someone shot, I believe he might have given it to Tatiana ! lol! But when your life is no longer governed by  rules that made up your world,  and you and your family are imprisoned...I can see the attraction....particularly for someone of strong emotions  However they were never going to shoot anyone...it would be utterly pointless .I don't see the Tsar giving it to her if he thought she would. ..but as their imprisonment  deepened , it must of felt good to think about that gun in the boot . But I also see it as the Tsar passing on an adult authority to Olga....a right of passage as well.  She was allowed to keep it quite late.
But was asked/begged to give it up before leaving for Ekaterinburg and agreed ...and a good thing too  , the children   and their things were thoroughly searched upon arrival. Olga's pistol would have been found...and then it would pose a danger only to its owner...
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Holly on March 17, 2011, 05:16:32 PM
Here are a couple of threads on Olga and the gun:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=1323.0
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=11406.0

There doesn't seem to be a solid source on the story of Olga receiving a small pistol that was kept in her boot besides word of mouth and Bob Atchinson being told the story himself. I'd be interested to know what book you read this in.

Regarding any threat of sexual assault on the Grand Duchesses, I'm sure it was something that was thought about at least once but I don't think it was any 'great concern'.

Here's another thread on that subject:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4360.0
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=11810.0
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=1282.0

Hope that's helpful.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 17, 2011, 06:30:23 PM
Great links Holly!

Here is Bob's post about it  that Sarushka re-posted 
awhile back  when it came up before. Undoubtedly it's in your links ....but I  found it via Google.

Sarushka:

Bob Atchison heard this story from Vladimir Soloviev. Here's the original post about it:

Quote from: BobAtchison on May 08, 2004, 07:49:38 AM

Once when I met Vladimir Soloviev, the Attorney General of Russia and the head of the committee on the investigation of the remains he showed me the Sokolov dossier that Stalin had - I have mentioned that meeting before.  We had a long talk about what he had found in his research through unpublished materials.  I asked him if he could tell me somethings he had learned about the members of the family that surprised him.  One thing he told me was the story of the small gun Olga carried.  He said, if I remember correctly but this could be wrong, she had it in her boot and she had been given the gun by her father.  He said Koblynski begged Olga to give it to him in Tobolsk. Later I found this in writing - but I haven't been able to relocate it.




Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on March 17, 2011, 08:13:15 PM
Holly, thank you for the links.   They were very helpful and informative.   I have been trying to locate where I read about the pistol, but haven't found it yet.   I know for sure it is somewhere on the APsite - I just read it this past week.   As soon as I find it I will post it here. 

I also want to thank you for giving me the info in a friendly, courteous manner.   When I read some of the threads you sent the links for, I was somewhat appalled at some of the nasty, impatient posts by some.   I find it a little humorous that given the fact that this entire site is dedicated to the story of the brutal assassination of an entire family that some on this forum are "put off" by a discussion of rape.     
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Holly on March 17, 2011, 09:32:12 PM
Holly, thank you for the links.   They were very helpful and informative.   I have been trying to locate where I read about the pistol, but haven't found it yet.   I know for sure it is somewhere on the APsite - I just read it this past week.   As soon as I find it I will post it here. 

I also want to thank you for giving me the info in a friendly, courteous manner.   When I read some of the threads you sent the links for, I was somewhat appalled at some of the nasty, impatient posts by some.   I find it a little humorous that given the fact that this entire site is dedicated to the story of the brutal assassination of an entire family that some on this forum are "put off" by a discussion of rape.     

You're very welcome! Yes, any sexual sort of discussion regarding the GDss is usually met with such expressions of being "put off". Although many find it preposterous, it's a question that comes up often.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 18, 2011, 01:15:05 AM
okay I couldn't resist...anyway if the Tsar gave Olga a gun and presumably  shooting lessons ...it most likely was during the war, perhaps at HQ.
( Which I can  easily see happening as almost an  amusement ) . Because we know there was no Romanov target practice going on at AP during captivity...even Alexis 's toy gun was taken away. So I would say if Olga was given a gun by the Tsar and more , given lessons, it was earlier than 1917 and  not in response to the fear of assault. The info says she had a hidden gun, but not when she received it . However it is certainly possible she was given the gun in 1917 without lessons...lord knows
 (http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/Romanov%20postings/olgashoots.jpg)
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 18, 2011, 02:02:03 AM
 I find it a little humorous that given the fact that this entire site is dedicated to the story of the brutal assassination of an entire family that some on this forum are "put off" by a discussion of rape.     
Oh dear I have to disagree....imo the site is dedicated to the family, rather than how they died... though that is certainly part of their story of course  . And  surely  a  discussion  and speculations of rape is always "off putting" whatever the context.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: voyageroffreedom on March 18, 2011, 08:27:40 AM
Annie thank you for posting your drawing of Nicholas and Olga, it's beautiful<3.
Whether Nicholas gave Olga the pistol before or after the captivity, I think it was a gift to show his respect to her for becoming an intelligent and responsible adult, it’s a gift that shows he trust her, he knew that Olga will never misused it.  And if Nicholas gave the pistol during captivity, I don’t think he gave her hints that she could use it against the guards if she found herself in a dangerous position, he knew taking actions against the captors will put his family in greater danger and risk. And I don’t think Olga would ever use it to shoot someone, let’s not to forget during her nursing days, they assigned her with office work because she couldn’t handle seeing the wounds, that’s show how sensitive and emotional person she was, so imo she couldn’t hurt anyone with that gun, she would live in a great guilt.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 18, 2011, 11:33:40 AM
nie thank you for posting your drawing of Nicholas and Olga, it's beautiful<3.
It's fun...I can see Olga being quite good at it. She was fine housewoman and  she looked pretty handy with at axe in Tobolsk!
Quote
.... so imo she couldn't hurt anyone with that gun, she would live in a great guilt.
That's why I suggest TN a better candidate  as bodyguard! lol! Or Marie ! But I think it's forgotten how many people were around them all the time even in capvity...hoards...in Siberia they just didn't have their retainers about , their retainers had servants as well. I believe tea time was just the family in the Tsar's study due to this....snatching some privacy . It was at the end there were few people ...i worry about then more than other times
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Condecontessa on March 18, 2011, 10:23:28 PM
If the Tsar taught Olga to shoot a gun, how no one else noted it in their memoirs. Spiridovitch, for instance, would have known and seen it would he?
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 18, 2011, 11:02:33 PM
If the Tsar taught Olga to shoot a gun, how no one else noted it in their memoirs. Spiridovitch, for instance, would have known and seen it would he?
That's a good point. He may have simply given it to her. The information was in the  Sokolov dossier that Stalin had...but who told Sokolov?
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sarushka on March 19, 2011, 09:30:07 AM
If the Tsar taught Olga to shoot a gun, how no one else noted it in their memoirs. Spiridovitch, for instance, would have known and seen it would he?
That's a good point. He may have simply given it to her. The information was in the  Sokolov dossier that Stalin had...but who told Sokolov?

Or it may be an indication that the gun was given to her after the start of the revolution.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on March 19, 2011, 08:52:20 PM
It's said Olga  after her recovery from the measles spent time with her father in his study discussing what went  wrong.
That would be a good time and place if he did indeed gave her a pistol   after the Feb revolution...frankly I can see her ask him for it as he ponders what to do with it .... if one had been hidden away or was just there... What to do with it would be a question because just showing it to the guard  in order to turn it in, would cause a good deal of mayhem, and no doubt a search generally ... Since using it would not be a question, lessons would not be needed...I wonder if  it was even loaded?  ..but now I'm weaving a story
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: LondonGirl on August 28, 2011, 08:44:39 PM
Not unlikely. But if it could be concealed in a boot - how many rounds could such a small gun have realistically held?? Not much use really most likely even if it had remained with her.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on August 28, 2011, 09:08:04 PM
Indeed. I think the benefit was psychological . It could not have a practical use...a modern assault rifle couldn't hold enough rounds to be of use. Its benefit  was a feeling in the hand , a thought in  the mind rather ,  than of use. What we find  comforting isn't always practical . I think I would find it comforting in that situation....even knowing it would never  be used...but it was there. How much better  that is than being the same fix without it . It was  a talisman of freedom and self determination even as they were lost in real terms . If indeed the story is true. But the detail that Olga gave it up  only when  Colonel  Kobylinsky pleaded with her to  do so , rings true . It  seems a detail a made up story would not  have .   
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sunny on August 29, 2011, 06:21:46 AM
Indeed. I think the benefit was psychological

Yes, i agree. A pistol like that (whose bullets where smaller than a 22) can hurt only if you use it on a person who's very near to you, something like a gladius, the short sword ancient roman soldiers used in battle, which was meant to be only used in a hand - to - hand fight. If you've read Millennium trilogy, by Larsson, you probably know there's a carachter who is shot in his head by a Browning but not only survives, but after healings, has no further problems - he was shot from far away.
So, i agree - the pistol was not meant to be a real protection, but a psychological one. A sort of placebo.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on September 01, 2011, 03:11:48 PM
If it's true Olga was given a gun, I agree it was probably just for her own peace of mind. TMA didn't seem to have the same problems with anxiety as Olga did, but they were just as likely to be assaulted, so why not give them all guns if it was for protection? Olga would have a more difficult time protecting all 4 of them with just one small gun. But it's also true that hiding 4 guns would be a lot more trouble than just one. Also, why did Nicholas tell Kobylinsky anyway? 

As for Olga having the gun during the execution, I doubt it would have made a difference. One young woman, even with a pistol, wouldn't stand a chance against a dozen men trained to fire weapons.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on September 01, 2011, 06:51:54 PM
Indeed and by the time Kobylinsky asked Olga to give the pistol  up,  it was posing  a far greater threat to the family than any use it could have had....even as a comfort. The time for such games was at an end. The best possible out come at that point happened:  The gun is given to Kobylinsky, who cared for the family and who would not use the discovery of a  gun as a reason to tear the family's rooms apart at the very least ...almost any other means of discovery and confinstation would have done so and more . lt would  not have gone well if the gun was found in  Olga's things when they were searched upon  arrival in Yekaterinburg. Of course things  didn't go well  any case, but they didn't know that for certain . What was certain, is the gun posed a great danger to the family at this point. The family was grateful to Kobylinsky for his months of kindness. Olga could not lightly shut her ears to Kobylinsky's   reasoning  and his  emotional appeal and she  was moved to give up the gun. When Olga received it from her father was an important moment and so was when she gave it over. If Nicholas told Kobylinsky about it , it could be a case where  he realized the need for  its removable...but didn't want to ask  his daughter to give it back...and what would he do with it? It had to go into Kobylinsky's keeping anyway.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sunny on September 02, 2011, 01:53:23 AM
I have a question about when she "gave" Kobilinskij the gun.
Kob. was dismissed on 28 april/11 May. Rodionov arrived only 3 days later, 1/14 May. I haven't found wether Kobilinskij remained unofficially till the 1/14... but anyway: so we have to assume Olga gave the gun BEFORE 11 May or in those 3 days between Kob's dismissal and Rodionov arrive.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on September 02, 2011, 12:22:41 PM
good detective work Sunny! ...actually if Nicholas telling Kobylinsky bout the gun  when Kobylinsky went to Olga...( and I would think it would be, ) ...then it would have to before even Nicholas left Tobolsk. Kobylinsky would treat this info like hearing of a lighted fuse...and would I believe, act instantly to get the gun , this ticking time bomb, out of the family's hands.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sarushka on September 02, 2011, 03:33:33 PM
...actually if Nicholas telling Kobylinsky bout the gun  when Kobylinsky went to Olga...( and I would think it would be, ) ...then it would have to before even Nicholas left Tobolsk.

I disagree. If Nicholas thought it necessary for Olga to give up her pistol prior to his departure for Ekaterinburg, why wouldn't he have asked her for it himself instead of deferring to Kobylinsky? IMO, Olga would have been much more receptive to this request coming from her father than from Kobylinsky, no matter how sympathetic he may have been.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: blessOTMA on September 02, 2011, 10:08:10 PM
Didn't Nicholas have a habit of letting others impart unpleasant information and not liking confrontation....family members not excluded. I actually think it shows a respect for Olga....allowing her to handle the situation in her own way with  Kobylinsky and without being told what to like a child. She decides to hand over the gun , she isn't told to by either men. That is  due Kobylinsky's kindness as well, when he pleads his case and does not order her to hand it over  , as he well could have . In this way the benefits of the gun remain intact even as the gun is given up. ( that is ,a a sense of self determination remains  ) In any case the story says  Kobylinsky went to Olga to retrieve the gun and not her father. Are you saying  Kobylinsky learned of it another way once Nicholas was gone and that is why he went to Olga about it instead of Nicholas?

If Nichloas told him,  then I can see  Kobylinsky  saying it must be put in his keeping. He knew what such a discovery by someone else would mean. His health was being ruined by trying to keep the guards calm, a moment to moment  challenge as it was .  Nicholas hesitates about what to do,  Kobylinsky says, " Sir, I will see to this". It has to go to Kobylinsky in any case. Nicholas looks at him and nods. Whether Nicholas told  Kobylinsky because he felt the gun was now a danger...or he had come to see  Kobylinsky as a something like  Dr. Botkin  figure and simply confided in him is an interesting topic . I rather think it was the increasing danger the  possession of the gun posed and the problem of what to do with it. Getting the gun  from Olga was only half the problem.  Kobylinsky seeing to it was the answer
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sarushka on September 03, 2011, 08:06:13 AM
The way I see it, it's more likely that Nicholas felt compelled to clue Kobylinsky in after the kerfuffle with Aleksei's toy rifle at the AP. That incident showed Nicholas how the guards would react to their being armed, as well as illustrating Kobylinsky's sympathy for the family. Although Nicholas isn't known for his foresight, I have a hard time imagining that he would not have at least briefly reconsidered his decision to arm Olga after seeing the Second Regiment throw such a fit over a toy rifle. The wisest (and also characteristically passive) thing to do would be to confide in Kobylinsky and let him decide when/if it was appropriate to confiscate the pistol.

If you're curious about how I imagine the actual relinquishment of the gun playing out, see chapter 35 of The Lost Crown (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=124).
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sunny on September 04, 2011, 06:20:31 AM
Quote
If you're curious about how I imagine the actual relinquishment of the gun playing out, see chapter 35 of The Lost Crown.[/quote

It's what i've done indeed, Sarah; thank you. I was inly wondering wether there's some historical sureness about it, of wether it is only speculation. I mean: the one in The lost crown is your personal view, but since i'm dealing with the "gun problem" myself, i just wished to have my ideas clearer to make up my own view; of course not simply yours, or i'm going to copy you - that would be unaccetble for me, even if i think your novel is one of the best r ones one can find. Hope i've well made me understood!
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sarushka on September 04, 2011, 09:10:36 AM
I was inly wondering wether there's some historical sureness about it, of wether it is only speculation. I mean: the one in The lost crown is your personal view, but since i'm dealing with the "gun problem" myself, i just wished to have my ideas clearer to make up my own view; of course not simply yours, or i'm going to copy you - that would be unaccetble for me, even if i think your novel is one of the best r ones one can find. Hope i've well made me understood!

It's speculation.

Details regarding Olga's gun are sketchy at best. This is Bob's original quote, and it's all the information we have:

Once when I met Vladimir Soloviev, the Attorney General of Russia and the head of the committee on the investigation of the remains he showed me the Sokolov dossier that Stalin had - I have mentioned that meeting before.  Afterwards we had a long talk about what he had found in his research through unpublished materials.  I asked him if he could tell me somethings he had learned about the members of the family that surprized him.  One thing he told me was the story of the small gun Olga carried.  He said, if I remember correctly but this could be wrong, she had it in her boot and she had been given the gun by her father.  He said Koblynski begged Olga to give it to him in Tobolsk.  Later I found this in writing - but I haven't been able to relocate it.

I also thought I'd seen this story confirmed in writing elsewhere, but I've never been able to relocate it either. Kobylinsky does not mention it in the deposition he made for Robert Wilton's Last Days of the Romanovs (http://books.google.com/books?id=YxIEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false).
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sunny on September 04, 2011, 10:00:27 AM
Thanks sarah. Me too, i'm quite sure i've read about the pistol elsewhere, when i didn't know this site, so is another source; but i can't find it now, either. So, i'll try to guess and speculate on my own!
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 17, 2011, 01:01:39 PM
Hello everybody this is my first posting on this site. I am a ex-military/history major guy who knows something about firearms. I think Olga's pistol could be a Browning 25 auto (AKA 6.35mm). i have an old firearms book that mentions the Czarist Secret police geting some when they first came out in 1906.  It is rather small and could fit easily into her boot. If not this it could be some other type of .25 or .32 small automatic pistol.  I know browning pistols were quite popular in Europe during this time period and the Tsar could have got hold of one from one of his bodyguards.
 Sadly I don't think it would have done Olga a whole lot of good if she had still had it on 17 july 1918 when she and the rest of her family were murdered. Olga had had a nervous breakdown while working as an nurse and was still emotionaly fragile. Her last weeks alive she was very depressed and had lost alot of weight. She gets to watch her mother and father shot dead in front of her with very little warning. She is on the floor arms around Tatiana crying. Olga has a few minutes to compose herself enough to get the pistol out of her boot before the Chekists come back in to finish the surviors off. If she remembered how to operate the pistol. There is no record of her or her sisters ever firing one. Olga has no more than a few seconds to aim and fire it at Petr Ermakov before he is on top of her. Emerkov is an ex-con with 9 years in prison behind him. he is also wired up on hate/vodka/adrenilin as high as he can get. Olga would have had on her a Browning 25.auto which has a 6 round magazine. this is a very weak pistol cartridge. There are numerous examples of men in Emerkov's state who have been shot several times with more powerfull rounds and it did not even make them blink. So with a whole lot of luck Olga might have been able to wound him and he might have died of complications some weeks later.  Also right behind him is Yakov Yurovsky who is armed with a Mauser c96 pistol who calmly shot and killed Tatiana. He could have shot and killed Olga with no real effort.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Sarushka on September 17, 2011, 03:08:34 PM
Are these the proper model?

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/th_l1_pistols_kassnars_baby_browning_psp25_auto__50200.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/?action=view&current=l1_pistols_kassnars_baby_browning_psp25_auto__50200.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/th_521BVPL.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/?action=view&current=521BVPL.jpg)

I found them listed online as "baby Brownings," and no wonder. It is, in its own morbid way, kind of cute. These were the best photos I could find that give a sense of its size.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Kalafrana on September 18, 2011, 05:37:20 AM
I would agree with James (welcome, James!). While researching my as yet unpublished novel about Rasputin I visited the museum of the British Army Small Arms School Corps and handled a baby Browning and its ammunition. It does, indeed, fit comfortably into the palm of a hand and the rounds are tiny (just slightly larger than .22), and .22 rifle cartridges carry much more propellant, so are more powerful. You would have to be very lucky to do much damage with one! At the time of the 20 July 1944 plot, at least one German General (I need to look up which one) shot himself in the head with something similar, and lived (as did Unity Mitford, though she was brain-damaged). The standard Nagant revolver used by the Russian Army is a vastly more substantial weapon, and the .455 Webley used by the British then is larger still (and its ammunition is virtually 'dum-dum' in its effect, i.e. it mushrooms.

Ann
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 19, 2011, 11:35:17 AM
Being a firearms guy I would like to state the following:
The 455 Webley round fires a big slow moving bullet while it is a effective manstopper it does not move fast enough to expand like a dum dum or hollow point.

25 auto: fires a 50 grain bullet at 760 fps (feet per second)
Nagant M-1895: 7.62mm/32 caliber 103-105 grain bullet 892 fps
While the M-1895 is somewhat more powerfull than the 25 auto it is not a great manstopper either. There is an artical on the net from the American handgunner  magazine by David M Fortier "Comrade Nagants revolver No Wonder the Soviet Union Fell Apart" which if you can find it provides a good desrciption on what its like to fire ect the M-1895.

I think the German General who tried to commit suicide and only ended up blinding himself after the 20 July 44 plot may have been using a 32 auto/7.65mm or 380 auto/9mm kurz

For more firearms information you might want to log on to Gun & Game
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 19, 2011, 11:44:37 AM
Yes, Sarushka that does look like the proper model

Kalafrana, believe it or not one day hopefully soon I plan on making a posting on the handguns possibly used to shoot Rasputin. I think one was a Browning and the other was a Savage. Both were automatics.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Kalafrana on September 19, 2011, 12:39:03 PM
There has been a suggestion that a Webley was used on Rasputin to finish him off, and I've used that in my novel.

I think I may have read the article on the Nagant you allude to. As I understand it, the main problem is that it is awkward to load and unload. The Webley is self-ejecting, which makes life much easier. My fictitious hero has lost an arm in the war (his motivation for getting involved in the plot), so needed to find the easiest pistol for him to use.

Ann
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 26, 2011, 02:33:37 PM
Ann
 In reading the Raspution section on this forum he appears to have been shot with a 455 Webely lead bullet. I would say a 265 Gn 690 fps round nose one. If your hero has one arm you need to get a Webley revolver and see how he can break it open with a artificial limb. I would recommend being a agent he carry one with a 4 inch barrel with a round pistol grip. Besides the inet you might want to get the book "The Webley Story".
PLEASE no hollow point or dum dum  ammo. The British stopped using these rounds in the early 1900s do to the Hague convention and from what I have red took some really bad PR before they did so. These 455 Webley rounds in real life did not expand or mushroom because they were too slow 690 fps. In order for a hollow point bullet to reliably expand it needs to be going over 1200 fps.
 The other handguns mentioned used on Rasputin were a baby Browning 25 auto as described above and a Savage. The Savage auto pistol was made in 32 auto and 380 auto calibers. There is some good information on the net on these pistols, including a site dedicated to them. There are also books "10 shots Quick" and Savage Automatic Pistols". There was I believe at least one artical on thses pistols in an US gun magazine either "The American Rifleman" or "Guns and Ammo". Beside firearms websites like gun & game there is also a US talk radio program Tom Gresham gun talk. Finally, Savage Arms is still in business you may want to contact them.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: Kalafrana on September 27, 2011, 03:37:27 AM
James

Thanks for all that. The SASC museum have been extremely helpful and sorted practicalities out for me. The pistol expert I talked to was old enough to have trained on the .38 revolver, for which the British Army drill when breaking it open was to knock the barrel against your thigh while pressing the catch down with the right thumb. He also recommended that the hero should  use the quick loader which was available in 1914-18, though not issued, and using his belt to hold the revolver when needed. He said he had once served with a one-armed Colonel who took part in shooting competitions using a Luger with a drum magazine, but his batman did the loading!

Fear not, I have no plans for dum-dums!

Incidentally, my ex-husband used to go shooting with a Smith & Wesson .455 before they were banned in this country, and used to make his own ammunition, which involved heating up bits of lead over a gas ring and re-using the spent cases.

Ann
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on September 27, 2011, 06:49:42 PM
Ann
Gald to be of help. I am not sure if a quick loader was around at this time. you might want to make a posting on the Great War Forum. Sticking a pistol in your belt in the small of your back would be a could place to carry a conceled weapon under one of the long heavy coats of the period. Good thing Rasputin was killed in the wintertime. To bad about your ex-husband losing his pistol. Lucky for me I live in the US and they haven't been banned. I wish you luck on your book.
Title: Re: Olga's pistol
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 05, 2011, 05:02:08 PM
Ann
In doing some more reading there was a Prideaux speedloader available commercialy back then. they are very rare today so I don't think they were made in vast numbers back then.

JW
In your posting #4 you mention the gunfight at the OK Corral. Well, Virgil Earp who was at this fight owned and may have used a S&W Model No 3 revolver in it. This type of handgun was also the Russian Armys standard handgun for many years and one of them was used by the Cheka kill team to kill the IF.

Just thought yu would both like to know.