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Messages - DanlScott

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Thanks for the heads up, Robert.  It's also available from Schiffer Books, and not too hefty a price tag.  Maybe I'll buy myself an early Christmas present.  :D

I know this is a late reply, but perhaps this will help others wondering about the book.

"Uniforms of Imperial & Soviet Russia in Color, As Illustrated by Herbert Herbert Knotel, 1907-1946", published by Schiffer Military History is a picture book of watercolors illustrating various eegiments fom Nicholas II's reign, including quite a few (most?) of the guards regiments (but not all of them).  They are very detailed depictions.  The only text are identifications of the rgiments, and rank and uniform type (parade, service, etc.).  Half the book is devoted to Soviet uniforms.  Despite the lack of text, it's a beautiful book, IMHO, worth the price.  What was revealing to me was the wide range of uniforms used throughout the Russian army.  Standardization apparantly was a concept lost on them.

Also, there is a companion book "The Kaiser's Army in Color, 1890-1910" which is just as nice.

Mike Blake, I believe, is referring to "Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army" by Boris and John Mollo, which illustrates teh history of the army the 300 years of Romanov rule.  It DOES have written descriptions at the back to correspons with each uniform illustrated.  Do to the breadth of its scope, it doesn't show too many regiments from each reign.  And, I'm sad to say, the illustrations aren't as good as "Army uniforms of World War I" by Andrew Mollow and Pierre Turner, another excellent book.  Unfortunately, both of these little gems are no longer in print.

I just looked this ook up on Amazon; I can't believe it's selling for $529!!!  I was fortunate to buy from Amazon long time ago, when it was on clearance for about $12.   For me, the main appeal is the collection of family snapshots.

Nicholas II / Re: why not marrying a russian?
« on: October 13, 2009, 10:39:59 PM »
GV, to answer your question directly, yes he could have married a Romanov princess as long as she wasn't his first cousin.  His bride had four criteria to meet: 1) she had to be of equal rank (royal); 2) she had to be Russian Orthodox; 3) she couldn't be a first cousin (this was a church rule - although GD Cyril and Ducky violated this when they were married); and 4) had to have the consent of the Tsar.  Thus, Grand Duke Alexander married Grand Duchess Xenia, and Grand Duchess Olga married Peter of Oldenburg.  However, the other thing to consider was the prestige of the bride.  Rarely were royal matches of the time love matches, and it wouldn't have been considered much of a match for the heir to the Russian Empire to marry some backwater princess from the bottom of the royal social ladder.  Although not from  major country, the hessian royal family was illustrious and well connected.  And, although his parents didn't approve of her, Alexander III knew his time was running out and his son was ill prepared to rule.  He figured if Nnicholas married the woman (Alix0 he loved, it would have some comfort for him.

BTW, many would disagree with me, but the marriage rules above concerned only Romanov grand dukes and princes, not the Tsar.  Alexander II married his mistress, a non-royal Russian aristocrat, and there is anecdotal evidence he was considering making her empress and their children grand dukes and grand duchesses.  As autocrat, he had supreme power; who could stop him?

You could be correct, Daniel, but looking through "Uniforms of Imperial & Soviet Russia in Color" all the atillery officers wore cavalry swords (with guards).  The majority of these, who have the same style uniform, apear to be wearing shashkas (without guards), and some are wearing gorgets; they could be from a grenadier regiment.  They may also be engineers (the Caucasion Engineer Battalion has the same uniform style, but the image I have doesn't show the sword hilt). 

Did any other army of the time have such varied uniforms?  The cost of producing all these must have been tremendous.

The Windsors / Re: The Coronations in XX-XXI cent.
« on: March 30, 2009, 10:39:03 PM »
As an American, i have to say that you Brits know how to put on the pomp and circumstance, and some of us certainly enjoy watching it - provided you guys pay for it.  From what little I have observed, I would hazarrd to guess that the Royal Establishment will try to make Charles' coronation as big an event as the previous coronations, and it will follow as closely as possible the previous coronations; after all, tradition is one of the monarchy's cornerstones, isn't it?  I think the the one big factor that will affect the "size" of the coronation will be the cost.  What will the economy be like, and how much will the taxpayers tolerate spending on it.  The flak over windsor Castle, the Civil List, and  the Queen's taxes are proof that it's no longer business as usual.

Having Fun! / Re: Your Top 10 of Boring Royals
« on: March 30, 2009, 09:52:51 PM »
I am surprised so many find the Empress Alexandra boring.  She may not always be very likeable, but her story is fascinating.  Here was a lady who knew little, but thought she knew much; was convinced she was always right, when everyone else told her otherwise; had an obsessive reliance on Rasputin; dominated her husband and henpecked him with disastrous advice; even after her fall, continued to delude herself.  She may not have caused the revolution, but she certainly helped to hasten it.  And, besides her personality, there's the events of her life: the early death of her mother; her arrival in Russia and marriage coinciding with Alexander III's death andd funeral; Khondyka Field; Bloody Sunday and the 1905 Revolution; WWI, and the Russian Revoltion and her husband's abdication.

I'd have to agree with the assessment of Xenia Aalexandrovna.  Yes, she was under house arrest in the Crimea, and had to flee aboard a British warship, but she was really just along for the ride.  Besides being the mother to a large brood, she seems to be reknowned mainly for playing the victim and living off the largesse of the Windsors.

The Empress Augusta Viktoria (Dona) - what can one say about her, other than she was born, married Wilhelm, and died.  Oh, yes, I've read that she was always wearing hideous hats (picked out by her husband).

D@mn!  I was nearly finished with a lengthy post when my finger grazed a key and it disappeared!  One more try....

I meant to type 1917, not 1970.

Lisa, we are in agreement that it was illegal for Nicholas II to abdicate for his son, but he did, and it wa accepted.  Given the events at the time, I doubt the niceties of the law were utmost in the people's minds.  Besides, he was an autocrat (even after the constitution of 1906 he was still autocrat), all laws were derived from him.  There was no one higher, so, if he had the backbone to impose his will, he could change the fundamental laws or any other law he desired.  The family might be consulted, but their permission wasn't necessary.  Did not Peter I and Paul I not change the laws of succession?  Did not Alexander III change the laws to define who was a GD and who was a prince?

As to the succession and the point at which the heir becomes tsar, I back-up my previous arguments from the following excerps from the aforementioned Statesman's Handbook (I've tried to find the complete succession laws, but to no avail):

It is permissible to abnegate the rights to the throne, provided only no complications in the succession to the throne arise. Whereupon, when the abnegation is proclaimed and made law it may not be withdrawn.  This has to do with removing oneself from the succession, not actually succeeding to the throne or refusing it after ascending it.

The heir ascends the throne immediately after the death of his predecessor, but he begins to reign only on coming of age. The heir is held at be of age at 16 years, earlier than the subject (21), as is likewise the case for other European states.  This is very clear to me that accession is IMMEDIATE, and does not stipulate that the new Tsar declares himself first.

The new Emperor publicly proclaims his accession to the throne by means of a special manifesto. In the manifesto the lawful heir, if he already exists, is announced.  This simply states that the new tsar will declare his ascention to the people.  The important point here is that the next in line is established.  Also note that this refers to the "new emperor" and not grand duke - if he is not sovereign before declaring him(her)self so, he wouldn't be addressed as the "new emperor."

Finally, upon the death of Alexander I, it wasn't that Russia was without a tsar, but rather that no one knew WHO was the tsar.  Constantine had renounced his rights to the throne after contracting a morganatic marriage while governor of Poland.  But the enigmatic Alexander I never shared this tidbit with anyone, not even their younger brothers.  Upon learning of Aalexander's death, Nicholas proceeded to have Constantine proclaimed emperor and the troops swear their loyalty to him (Constantine).  He didn't wait first for a declaration of accession from Constantine.  Once again this was one of those extraordinary times, with an autocrat who is above the law, and does not play by the rules that everyone else believes to be in force.

I think it is important to keep in mind that the Revolution was an extraordinary time, and the rules were tossed up in the air.  As has been mentioned, Nicholas II legally couldn't abdicate for his son, but he did, and it was accepted (why wouldn't it be accepted; Nicholas was an autocrat, so could change the laws as he saw fit, provided he had the backbone to do so).  Was Michael tsar for an hour?  Yes...and no (IMHO).  Nicholas DID pass his powers on to his brother and "bless him on his accession to the throne..."  and later Nicholas sent a telegram addressed "To His Majesty Emperor Michael."  Upon arriving at Petrograd from Pskov, Shulgin proceeded to proclaim the accession of Tsar Michael II.  I've also read that elsewhere in Russia Michael's accession was also proclaimed, and Nicholas's portrait was replaced with Michael's.  Clearly, many people believed Michael to be tsar immediately upon Nicholas's accession.  Also, Nicholas and others referred to Michael's "proclomation" as his abdication.  Clearly, Nicholas believed his brother to be the next Tsar of Russia.  Furthermore, in his proclamation declaring himself empreor, Kyril stated "The Russian laws of Succession to the throne do not permit the Imperial Throne to remain vacantafter the death of the previous Emperor..."  I would think if anyone knew the laws of succession it would be Nicholas II and Kyril.

On the other hand, those were extraordinary times.  Clearly, the provisional government did not want to acknowledge him as the new tsar.  Yet, they wanted him to renounce it (if he wasn't tsar already, what was he renouncing?).  The result was his proclamation, which states " the will of my brother, who has transferred to me the Imperial Throne of all the Russias..."(emphasis mine) but then goes onto state that he will not assume supreme power uless it is the will of the people.  It seems to me, he is stating "the imperial power has already devolved on me, but I will not excercise it unless the will of the people."  This was almost universally hailed as his abdication.

BTW, according to at least two of my books, Nicholas DID sign two abdication manifestos.  The first one was prepared before his discussion with Federov concerning Alexis's illness:

Nicholas and Alexandra, Massie, Robert K.: A form of abdication, prepared at Alexeiev's direction and forwarded from Headquarters, was produced.  Nicholas signed it, and the document was dated 3 p.m., March 15.  The throne had passed from father to son, as prescribed by law.  His Imperial Majesty Tsar Aalexis II, aged twelve, was Autocrat of all the Russias.

The Fate of the Romanovs, King and Wilson:  The succession laws of 1970 ditated that the throne should go to Alexei.  In the early afternoon of March 2, 1917, this is exactly what Nicholas did, abdicating for his twelve-year-old son...Having signed the manifesto, the former emperor could do nothing but wait....changed his mind, abdicating a second time, for himself and for Alexei.  (sorry for condensing it, but did not feel like copying the entire paragraph plus, but that is the gist of it).


Here is a photography of Count Wladimir Freedericks in his court uniform around 1900. I think he looks very "chic" indeed !!

That looks like the crown Prince (later King Gustav V) of Sweden

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York Pt II
« on: May 25, 2008, 11:44:04 PM »
But how can you expect her to "fade away" when so many obviously still pay attention to her?  Without the demand, there wouldn't be a supply.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York Pt II
« on: May 25, 2008, 10:44:06 PM »
Just stumbled on this thread - how amusing.  Being an American, Sara Ferguson doesn't even appear on my radar screen (however, I think I saw her in a few weightwatchers commercials.  Whatever).  What i can't understand though is why so many people who apparently can't stand her pay so much attention to her.  Just an observation from an outsider.

Ella's execution had nothing to do with the succession.  She was a member of the imperial family and the Orthodox church.  By that time, the Bolsheviks had started their war of terror on enemies of the revolution - this included the imperial family and the aristocracy and other "priveliged" classes, who they felt had oppressed the masses.  The Orthodox Church had also been discredited by many Bolsheviks, seeing it as an accomplice with the old regime.  The fact that Ella was one of the few Romanov women to have been killed doesn't mean she was particularly singled out, but that the other women were fortunate to have escaped before they shared the same fate.

Is it true that Anastasia took Jemmy into the room with her? Recently, I heard that was just a rumor. Also, why didn't Aleksey bring Joy with him? I mean, it's good he didn't. At least someone survived, even if it was a dog. The Romanovs were woken up in the middle of the night, and told to get dressed. That usually means you're going somewhere. Why wouldn't Aleksey bring Joy with him?

Another thing, why was Joy half blind? Maybe instead of killing her, someone kicked her in the face or something?  :-\

Yes, Anastasia was carrying Jemmy in her arms while she and the family were led down to the basement. Of course, Aleksei was being carried by his father and I can only suppose they thought Joy was following them.

In all the accounts I've read about the execution, none of the three dogs are ever mentioned as being brought down into the basement.  Nor is Aanastasia holding Jemmy accounted for in any descriptions of the eecutions themselves.  In fact, in "Fate of the Romanovs" it is specifically pointed out that the dogs were left upstairs.  The family was told they were being taken to a safer place due to disturbances in the town; given that they didn't bring bring any luggage, I speculate they knew they were going to the basement or some other place temporarily, and so thought they would return to their dogs shortly (OR, they knew this was the end).  Ortina apparently was killed while the bodies were being removed from the basement; a guard saw him and bayonetted the dog before throwing him into the back of the Fiat.  It would seem Jemmy, as well as Joy, survived the night.  The fact that his body wasn't discovered during the first investigation, but only much later, can lead circumstantially that Jemmy lived, was found, then "sacrificed" for political reasons.

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