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Messages - Kurt Steiner

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Imperial Russian History / Re: Who Betrayed Nicholas II?
« on: September 23, 2012, 05:23:25 AM »
About the "mutinious" Imperial Russian Army. The mutinies of 1917 weren't limited to Russia. The French and the Italian armies suffered from large-scale mutinies in 1917. More than fifty French divisions on the Western front took part in unathorised demonstrations of varing intensity after the failed Nivelle Offensive. Most of them simply refused to return go back to the frontline; part of the Second Italian Army surrendered without a fight at Caporetto later that year.

In both cases Allied authorities blamed pacifist and Bolshevik propaganda for promoting rebellion, but, in fact, the mutinieers were more concerned with personal safety and comfort. The soldiers weren't too keen to attack when victory seemed impossible and slaughter was more than possible. Even the British had their own mutiny at Etaples in September 1917! Of course, the circumstances were quite different to the Russian ones. Or not? The British muttiniers complained about the poor conditions at a local camp.

The disintegration of the Russian army, in some sense, reminds me of the fate of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces. In both cases, but specially in the Imperial Russian army, it was fuelled by terrible physical conditions, militar failure and a chronic shortage of supplies (specially acute in the Russian case, to which I would had a shortage of good NCOs and officers). The only difference, the one which mattered in the end for both Empires -at least for a while- is that while Vienna had an Ally to back up (well, or to dictate her what to do) her -Germany-, Russia was isolated from her allies, which could not help her in the right way.

The Imperial Army betraying the Tzar? The soldiers were tired of war and of being wasted. The officers hardly could keep their units under control -or t hey simply couldn't and got shot. If the Army rejected the Tzar it was due to the fact that they had lost their faith in Nicholas II.

An interesting reading about this is John Erickson's book The Soviet High Command 1918-1941. It gives a good picture of how remnants of the Imperial army became part of the Red Army.

Having Fun! / Re: What Ifs or Alternate Histories
« on: February 07, 2011, 06:11:29 AM »
Had Alexander II survived to the assassination attempt opens an interesting window of opportunity. Without his death, the reform movement wouldn't suffer such a great setback. He could have implemented the draft of the Duma that he was preparing, 24 years in advance and without a revolution to force it. Perhaps this would had opened the way to a constitutional monarchy.

Had he lived to be, let's say, 80 years old, he may outlive tsarevich Alexander (what a pity) and he may have time to prepare his grandson Nicholas to be the next Czar, who may turn away from his autocratic ideas.

The same goes for Germany. If Frederich III doesn't die from lung cancer, he might turn Germany into a constitutional monarchy. The problem here would be to keep Kronprinz Wilhelm at bay and away from Bismarck...

Here, in Catalonia, no one paid too much attention to that claim related to María Martí and the few comments I heard about her grandson, from people that know him (to which degree I can't tell, I'm sorry), are not quite nice. Apparently, he has some dellusions of grandeur and, judging from what I've heard, he has lost his marbles, poetically speaking. The last thing I read about that guy was a funny thing: he claimed that he was the rightful heir to some of the titles of SAR Felipe de Asturias, and made such a fuss explaining why those titles belong to them that made me the impression that he had not the slightest clue about the topic he was talking about.

A sad thing, from my point of view.

The Tudors / Re: New Showtime series about the Tudors
« on: October 01, 2008, 07:05:59 AM »

Forgive me for this silly joke, but can't help ;)

When I clicked the link and saw Britney Spears, during the second I failed to see that it had nothing to do with The Tudors, my heart got paralized. "Brittney? Catherine Howard?".

Horrifying idea. About the JRM rumour, I guess that it may have to do with the moment when Henry begins to change his aspect -what the frog, he should have looked not quite "younger" even in Season II- and grow fat. Well, who knows...

In my case, since Anne Boleyn was off, I lost a bit of interest on the issue, I must confess.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: September 28, 2008, 07:01:30 AM »
As I understood, Anne was more than witty. She was clever, intelligent, with a good measure of cold calculation, which doesn't mean she never made a mistake, of course.. However, even if this sounds a bit contradictory, her passion was what doomed her, as it has been stated before.

The Tudors / Re: New Showtime series about the Tudors
« on: September 27, 2008, 03:09:55 AM »
If one forgest the slips here and there (uncle Courtenay is makes me grin, can't help, I'm a bit evil), it's a wonderful work. It's not a history book. If you want history, real one, you go to a libray. But, as entertainment, very visual, very appealing and attractive, it's first class.

And, hey, what the frogg. Some people may have learnt some pieces of history ;D

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: September 27, 2008, 03:06:20 AM »
Well, I'm back. I've finished Mrs Ives' book and I agree. It's excellent. I must say that my impressions and ideas about Anne Boleyn have changed as I've discovered a very different person -more active, more "alive", so to speak- that I thought she was. If before reading the book I was fascinated by Anne, now it's a bigger affaire, so to speak.

However, as all the good things, this reading has its bad side, of course. Even if the book more than 450 pages long -if you include footnotes-, to me it's a bit "short". Ok, it's a joke. I'll ahve to reread it again, because I stil lwant more. Now the real negative point. It's neither Mr Ives' fault nor the book, let's make it clear. After reading how the coup against Anne was prepared, staged and carried out, I cannot avoid feeling a great distaste for Henry VIII -he wasn't my favourite English king before, but now even Shakespeare's murderous Richard III seems to be a kinder fellow than Henry- nor a deep disliking of Cromwell. Ok, Anne wasn't a saint herself, but the whole affair of the funeral and getting rid of those who were on Henry/Cromwell way, well, it's sickening.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: September 10, 2008, 04:11:41 AM »
After you read it maybe you could share one description of Anne Boleyn. I have read She was witty but I would like to find an example of it! :)

I'll do it, I promise. I'm just in the beginning of the 2nd Chapter, which deals about her European education. The style of Mr Ives is simply outstanding.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: September 09, 2008, 05:46:23 AM »
I agree. The so-called "seduction" scene is pitiful, to be polite. It's, in short, a quite irregular film, with some good moments, but, all in all, not quite remarkable.

Oh, by the way, I must confess that I'm awfully happy. Why? Because, after barely two weeks waiting, I finally got my copy of Mr. Ives' The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. Just to good to be true to me, so I cannot skip looking at the book to be sure I'm not dreaming. Silly, but true.

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: August 25, 2008, 05:56:31 AM »
Some months ago I began the book and I couldn't stand it. Gregory uses too much gossip and to few history books, to put it midly.

Some weeks ago I saw the film. It gave me the same impression that the book caused me. Also it all looked so unreal, so out of context so, in a few words, so false that I can only say "if it could have been worse, I don't dare to imagine how". Catherine Scott Thomas, as it is usual, was superb, the only thing about the film I can cheer about.

The Tudors / Re: New Showtime series about the Tudors
« on: August 24, 2008, 05:02:36 AM »
BTW, who is this "Elizabeth", Katherine of Aragon's maid, who hung herself? I am not even sure if she was the one who hung herself, it seemed that way, but wasn't very clear. If it wasn't her, then who was it who hung herself? And why?

In the series Elizabeth Darrell hangs herself directly after Katherine's death. A poetical license, I would guess...

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: August 20, 2008, 07:29:02 AM »
The Tudors has it's own thread, methinks...

The Tudors / Re: Anne Boleyn
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:40:10 AM »
By the way, how many pregnancies had Anne after Elizabeth? IIRC, at least two (July 1534 and January 1536). Am I missing something?

The Tudors / Re: New Showtime series about the Tudors
« on: August 17, 2008, 05:14:24 AM »
All my fault! How can I doubt the veracity of such a high quality work of art, that makes Henry Fitzroy to die at the age of 3!!!

Well, at least they didn't turn him into a vampire... Wait, another serie already did that...

That black sense of humor of mine...

The Tudors / Re: New Showtime series about the Tudors
« on: August 16, 2008, 08:15:59 AM »
Oh! And don't tell me... both Lestat and Edward Cullen come to avenge the death of Thomas Cromwell! ;-)

Actually, Lestat was busy searching for the Vera Ikon in Canterbury, and got late to avenge no one...

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