Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Russian History => Imperial Transportation => Topic started by: rgt9w on February 13, 2013, 02:58:23 PM

Title: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: rgt9w on February 13, 2013, 02:58:23 PM
I am very interested in the hospital trains sponsored by the Empresses and Grand Duchesses.  Were these trains primarily for supplies and transportation of the wounded?  Were they equipped with operating rooms on board?  Who staffed them and roughly how many injured troops did they carry?
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: rgt9w on February 13, 2013, 03:23:36 PM
Train sponsored by HIM Empress Marie Feodorovna:

Consecration military hospital train № 63 Imperial Russian Fire Company in the presence of the President of the Society of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, and honorary member of the Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich. Petrograd. September 7, 1914:

Train sponsored by Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna:
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 01, 2013, 08:26:58 PM
They were staffed by Doctors and Nurses, operations were performed on some of them. The book "Tide at Sunrise has a little on there operations during the Russo-Japanese War. On the site there is a section on Russo-Japanese war photograghs by Victor Bulla. There is an interior photo of GD Maria's (Ps?) train along with 2 pictures of what looks like the Dowager Empress Maria Feds train. One of which is a group photo which includes her (it looks like her to me). The nurses have on the same uniforms as in the first picture of Maria Feds train.  I hope this of some help. I don't have the computer skills to post them here.
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: rgt9w on May 04, 2013, 05:05:53 PM
Thank you for the information!
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 08, 2013, 08:30:20 PM
I have some more information you might find usefull Af On TN, Olga A and Maria P the younger worked as nurses during WW I. I believe in the book "Flight of the Romanov's " mentions Nicholas and Alexandra spent large amounts of their personal fortunes on the war effort. Much of this money was used to equip and supply the hospitals sponsored by Alexandra. Many other well to do Russians also helped sponsor hospitals, hospital trains, red cross work ect. There was a Countess E. Ignatieff who died while working on a hospital train. On the other hand there was a hospital train sponsored by upper class ladies I believe only handled lightly wounded men and was usually too be found in the rear of the guards corps.I think the book "End of the Imperial Russian army" mentions a memoir of a Russian excile who worked on a Red Cross train during WW I.
  Early in WW I the Russian army's medical system often broke down do the massive casualties it had to deal with. However, by the fall of 1916 the army finally had a medical system that could handle heavy WW I level casualties. Sadly, it was this same medical system that enabled Revolutionary and Liberal groups to pass out anti-war and anti-government propaganda which undermined the army's will to fight and support for the monarchy. Even Purishkevich, who helped murder Rasputin, used his red cross train to pass out copies of Miliukov's "Incompetance or Treason speech to frontline troops. Finally, Yurovsky, the leader of Chekists who killed the Imperial family did work as a medical orderly during WW I before the revolution.
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: rgt9w on May 09, 2013, 04:54:10 AM
Thank you for the additional information.
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on May 11, 2013, 05:54:46 PM
The woman in the picture with the staff of the hospital train pictured in Russo-Japanese war photos by victor bulla is GDS Xenia Alexandrovna not maria fed.
the Great war forum has a section on women with plenty of information dealing with nurses go down aways there is an online book "Diary of a Nursing Sister' about a british nurse in France 1914-15 who for awhile worked on a hospital train
Then there is the book "With the Armies of the Tsar' about a british nurse serving in the Russian army
the book "The End of Chivalry" has a chapter dealing with a Russian_American nurse Helen Inanko
Then there is the nurse Ryhmma Mihalovna Ivanova who while serving with the 105th infantry regiment took command of a company and fought off a german attack > She was killed and poustomously awarded the Order of St George 4th class by Nicholas II.
 I hope this is of some interest.
Title: Re: Imperial Hospital Trains
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on June 16, 2015, 08:58:50 AM
Some more information:
The Russians operated 300 according to The Russian Diary of An Englishman in Petrograd 1915-1917 which is online at Rasputin's wiki bio or 450 according to The End of the Russian Imperial Army Alan Wildman hospital trains. I would say many of these were temporary ones just some railroad boxcars marked with red crosses used to transport wounded and sick. Note the Russians sometimes sent wounded to Central Asia even Siberia to recover.

Maria Ps hospital train which also saw use in the Russo-Japanese war was Hospital train No 1. Numbers 2 to 6 where named after Alexandra and OTMA.

In the book A Story of a Life Konsanitn Paustosky  he worked for awhile on Hospital train No 217