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Messages - Kurt Steiner

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The thing is, if the IF has to be saved, it needs two facts:

-To take them all out of Russia.
-To do it ASAP before the Boksheviks are in power.

So, more or less things goes on like that... -let me add that most of the ideas here expressed are inspired in a solution suggested by a friend of mine some time ago, along with some other ideas about what may had happen during the Great War.

On March 1917, after several strikes that almost stop the country, the government cannot rely on its own tools, for the units of the army sent to disperse the marchers had mutinied, joining the striking workers. Nicholas II, aware of the extent of the crisis, attempts to journey to Petrograd to bring order to the empire, but he ends stranded at Pskov, the headquarters of his North West Front commander, General Ruzsky. The Duma  urges the Tsar to abdicate, endorsed by many generals, Ruzsky included. Aware that the army would not remain loyal to his rule, the Tsar accepts the inevitable and abdicated the throne on 13th March 1917 on his brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich.

But he hesitates, thinking that he needs the popular blessing to rule by a popular mandate. This is not to be, for the Duma has opened negotiations with the Petrograd Soviet. Lvov and Kerensky are able to dissuade a reluctant Mikhail from replacing Nicholas. Unsure of Mikhail’s intentions and overestimating the strength of the Romanov dynasty, the Soviet agreed to allow Nicholas’ family safekeeping at Tsarskoe Selo, and remarkably, immunity from trial for Nicholas. In return, the Soviet received their essential demands: the establishment of a republic and that the Soviets acquire control of the armed forces, communications and transport. On 15th March, the Provisional Government is established with Prince Lvov at its head.

In London, Lloyd George is unsurprised at Nicholas’ abdication, and welcome the end of the Romanov dynasty’s rule in Russia as a positive manifestation for the Allies.  Meanwhile, the former Tsars makes a number of requests to the new government in Petrograd, asking for free passage to Tsarskoe Selo, permission to reside at the Alexander Palace until his children recover from measles and a free pass from Tsarskoe Selo to Romanov-on-Murman, on the Barents Sea coast. Generously, the government accepts, yet a circulating rumour that the Romanovs are planning to restore the monarchy threatened to destroy these arrangements. The Soviet demands that Nicholas and his family are detained at Tsarskoe Selo, and the government complies. Worried because the the safety of the erstwhile Tsar is far from assured, the Foreign Minister sends a telegram to London pleading that the Romanovs are given asylum in Britain.

The next day, the British government met to discuss the affaire. Concluding from the plea that Nicholas’ life is in danger, it is agreed to offer the Romanovs asylum in England for the duration of the war, on condition that the government in Petrograd forwarded funds for the family’s upkeep. The Provisional Government’s gives its consent for the moving of the Romanovs to England. However, George V raises concerns over the possibility of Nicholas being granted safe haven in Britain. Preferring Switzerland or Denmark as a home for his deposed cousin, he expresses his doubts about the wisdom of a move to Britain. Concerned for the future of the throne in Britain, the King is not inclined to be associated with an autocrat married to a German. His apprehension is accentuated by the reply of the government, stating blandly that the invitation had already been made.

to be continued...

 Alexei Poutziato, Joseph Veres, Heino Tammet, Vassili Filatov...  who's next?


Imperial Russian History / Re: Why did Russia go to war in WW1?
« on: February 10, 2007, 01:29:11 PM »
Thanks for your kind comment, Bev! And thanks too for the correction, James1941!

Russia was just as imperialistic as any of the other great powers. She was not the innocent party to anything. Russia had instigated and probably backed the overthrow and murder of King Alexander and Queen Draga in 1903 because he tried to maintain good relations with Austria. Russia wanted someone in Serbia who would follow her lead in the Balkans in opposing Austrian ambitions. The result was a new dynasty in Serbia allied to Russian interest, and a terroistic organization, The Black Hand, that worked hand-in-glove with the Russian secret service, to create an unstable situtation in the Balkans where Russia might find fruitful fishing. Russia's interest in Serbia in 1914 wasn't because poor, little old Serbia was being picked on by bad old Austrias but because Serbian defeat would eliminate a useful ally in the Balkans. It wasn't altruistic panslavism that motivated Russia but good old fashioned power politics.

Indeed. In 1914 no one really cared for poor Serbia or poor Belgium. The real reason was to "solve" the old feuds, so to speak, and to achieve the goals that each nation had -some wanted to rule the Balkans, some other bigger colonial empires and so on. In fact, all that they achieved was their eventual doom.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Why did Russia go to war in WW1?
« on: February 10, 2007, 10:39:55 AM »
Russid has no other option but to go to war. As it has been said, Russia was modernising at fast pace, and couldn't offend her foreign investors and allies.

Also, the tsar continued the traditional expansionist polices of Russia in order to advance its power in East Asia and in the Balkans, and, as we all know, Austrian and Russian interests in the Balkans led to disputes and, finally, to war. This problem was not new. Bismarck had suffered it, when the Austro-Russian rivarly  threatened Bismarck's efforts to keep ties with both Austria and Russia after the events of 1876, when  the treaty of San Stefano (1878)  established the independence of Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, and granted independence to a large Bulgaria including most of Macedonia. Bulgaria would be under Russian domain. Russia was also awarded Batum, Kars and other Turkish lands in the Caucasus.

Thus, this treaty increased Russian power in the Balkans, and therefore threatened Austria. Britain also feared (and were threatened) by the advance of Russian power toward the eastern Mediteranean sea, by the way, but that's another question.

So Bismarck attempted to prevent a major war so in the Treaty of Berlin (1878) the independence of Serbia, Montenegro, and Romaina was confirmed, it also recognized Russia's acquistions. Austria had the right to occupy and administer the Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (but NOT allowed to annex them). Apparently, the crisis was over with the Three Emperors' League. However in 1879, the Dual Alliance was created by Bismarck involving Germany and Austria, to provide mutual aid to eacher other in the event either nations was attacked by Russia. Anyway, in 1881 Bismarck was able to restore an alliance with Russia and revived the Three Emperors' League, but it was a fragile enterprise due to the ever-lasting Austro-Russian dispute over the Balkans which caused, in 1887, the Russia broke with the Three Emperors' League. But Russia wanted to keep ties with Germany and so they signed the Reinsurance Treaty of 1887. This treaty provided neutrality in case either partner was at war unless German attaked France or Russia attacked Austria. Germany had no intentions of attacking France -at that moment.

But, alas! Bismarck was dismissed as Chancellor iin 1890 and the Germans did not renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, as  Germany believed that the governments/politics of France (revolutionary, republican) and Russia (autocratic) were so different that in no way an alliance would form (France would remain isolated).

In 1894 the Franco-Russian Alliance is created in secret. That makes a "funny" situation, as this new (and unexpected) alliance threatens Britain, which was the main rival if both France and Russia in the Mediterranean Sea and Asia. And things go worse for London when, around the 1890's, the British and German ties slowly ended, as Germany was becoming interested in an overseas empire and to establish a powerful navy. Thus, the German attitude scares Britain, and London realizes of its own isolationsm, so to remedy this in 1902, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was created, directed primarily against Russian expansion in Asia. Even though France and Britain had colonial disputes, France believed Germany was a greater threat than Britain. So in 1904, the Entente Cordiale is created..

And to get it all worse and crazier, here you have the crisis of 1905, when due to the complex system of alliances Britain, Russia, and Italy supported France against Germany, whose only support came from Austria. Germany tried to disrupt this alliance by provoking a crisis over Morocco, as it was thought that Russia (after getting beaten by the Japanese in the Ruso-Japanese war) would not support France... So, Britian would only give symbolic support... However Germany fails and the ties between Italy, France, Britain, and Russia drew closer. Meanwhile, the Russian defeat in 1905 has a "positive" result: Japan's victory over Russia reduced British fears of Russian imperialism in Asia. So, in 1907, we have the Anglo-Russian Entente, which helps to create the Triple Entente -Britain, France, and Russia- to combat the Triple Alliance -Germany, Austria, and Italy-.

In 1908 Austria proclaimed the annexation of Bosnia and Herzeogovina and Russia get's angered, as was Serbia who also had future interest in anexing Bosnia and Herzeogovina. Germany supports Austria and Russia has back down in 1909 in the face of the German-Austrian threat.

And again, more troubles in 1912-1913: The First Balkan War, the Balkan League (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece) vs Turkey. The defeated Turks lost all its territory in Europe except the area adjacent to the Turkish straits and  Russia supports Serbia's demand for access to the Adriatic Sea while Austria supports the creation of Albania (to end Serbia's expansion). Albania is formed amd Serbia demands part of Bulgarias share of Macedonia as compensation for having been denied access to the Adriatic. Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Romania, and Turkey joined to defeat Bulgaria. Bulgaria under the Treaty of Bucharest forced Bulgaria to cede territory to Romania while Serbia and Greece gained most of Macedonia.

And then, Franz-Ferdinand is murdered... The miracle would have been to keep Russia out of the war...

The Final Chapter / Re: Did Nicholas have to abdicate?
« on: February 10, 2007, 09:48:40 AM »
I'm not far enough along in my reading of Giles MacDonogh's The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II to say for certain, but I wonder that parallels may be drawn between Nicholas' experience and that of Wilhelm.  Wilhelm did not abdicate voluntarily: someone apparently announced that he had, and by then it was too late for him to do aught but comply.  Had Nicholas refused to abdicate, I speculate something similar might have occurred.

I fully agree. Both the Tsar and the Kaiser found themselves in the worst moment without an army to rely on -at least Wilhelm was near the Dutch border...-.

I believe that had it not been for the spontaneous occurances that led to the February Uprising in 1917, the Tsarist Government would have stood a chance of retaining power. For instance, the conclusion of an honourable and conditional peace with the Central Powers before February 1917 would have prevented the chaotic sequence of events that followed.

The problem is the Great War, to summarize. I think that we all agree in this point. Although certainly very different to the economies of Western and Central Europe (who embraced gradual free market policies, as opposed to the "closed economy" of Russia), the Russian Empire was on a path to reform and modernisation. Alexander III abolished serfdom and encouraged economic self-sufficiency.  He also proposed the formation of a consultative chamber in the "Ukaz Plan" but was, most unfortunately, assassinated before such a measure could be initiated. Consequently his son, Alexander III, cancelled the "Ukaz Plan" and strengthened the position of autocratic rule. And Nicolas II followed this path.

And his ministers didn't help either. Nicholas II may have been ill-suited to autocratic rule, but it was the ministers of the Imperial State Council who presented the highest obstacle to constitutional reform. Nicholas' inner circle of ministers were from the "old school" of thought - much more suited to the reign of Alexander III than Nicholas II.  Nicholas should ideally have answered to the pleas of the moderates in the Duma (Kadets, Octobrists) and not repealed the October Manifesto by issuing the Fundamental Laws of 1907, but the obstacle of the Imperial State Council proved to be too high.

Perhaps the golden opportunity to reform and "westernise" Russia into a true constitutional monarchy and to avoid the future nightmare was the October Manifesto. Had the tsar lept his promises of concessions made in that Manifesto, perhaps we could have there the foundation upon which a Constitutional Monarchy could have been built. However, the Fundamental Laws of 1907 effectively curbed the influence of the Duma upon Russian politics. The only slim chance he had was to prepare to the Great War and what followed was to recognize that the failed revolution of 1905 was a wake-up call, but he did not get it. Russia was going downhill since the 19th century – perhaps since Alexander II was murdered. What happened in teh end was the logical conclusion of this process, alàs...

The Final Chapter / Re: Would ANY country have offered sanctuary?
« on: February 08, 2007, 06:54:08 AM »
Alfonso XIII was linked with the British Royals and the IF through his wife, Victoria Ena de Battenberg, who was a cousin of the Tsarina Alexandra and a granddaughter of Victoria. The king tried during the whole war to keep his relationship with the United Kingdom, even if Spain was neutral then. He even created a department to help those affected by the war -this department help to send back to their country 70,000 civilans and 21,000 soldiers, and it organized 4,000 visits to several places -in both sides, IIRC- where prisoners were kept. The king tried to help even in the Edith Cavell's affiare, but to no avail.

One the Tsar abdicated, Alfonso XIII, who had suffered some attacks against him since the very beginning of his life- send a note to the new Russain ambassador expressing his worry about the RomanovsR and asking him to transmit it to the new Government. This was done about March 1917. Later on he contacted with the British ambassador in Spain, sir Arthur Hardinge, ato gather information about the situation of the Romanovs.

Summing up, the King had the intution that nothing was being done and, as George V asked vaguely his letter, he began to negotiatie on his own with the Kings of Sweden and Norway to find some kind of arragement to send to one of his harbours a Spanish ship -the cruiser Carlos V- to carry the IF to Spain. This offer was also send to the Russian government. It seems that both Christian and Haakon helped a bit -they were also linked by blood and marriage to the Romanov family, IIRC-. Also, IIRC, the king of Sweden proposed to London to send something similar to give asylum to the Romanov, but the Foreign Office called absurd and preposterous the whole attempt.

The cruiser Carlos V in 1898 at Port Said

On his own, Alfonso XIII wrote several times to Victoria of Battenberg, sister of Alexandra, to gather more information about it. Once I saw, a piece of news that a Spanish newspaper, the ABC, published on August that the Alexandra and her daughters were going to be send to Spain.. Alaàs, I didn't tought -to my shame- to keept a copy of it -however. I'm sure that the archives of the newspaper would kept it-,

AFAIK, Alfonso XII contacted even with the Kaiser and the Pope, who also offered to help.

In the end, nothing came of it and all the efforts of our king were futile, but you know how we, Spaniards, are.  ;) ;D

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga's Regiment and Military Duties
« on: February 06, 2007, 03:28:25 AM »
thank you. i'm still puzzled i mean like so a group of people fight for the imperial family. and each of the family has a group of soldgers.

IRRC, it all comes from the Middle Ages, when each king/queen needed a corps of loyal soldiers to protect him or her from their enemies. Just for instance, Harold II had his own guard with him at Hastings, 1066, and all of them died aroudn him to protect him in the final debacle, once William broke through his lines.

Oh, by the way, my great grand-father was a member of the Halberdiers of the Royal Guard of Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Nicholas II / Re: regimental cards
« on: February 06, 2007, 02:46:38 AM »

Nicholas II / Re: Photos of Nicholas II
« on: February 05, 2007, 06:41:12 AM »
One that depicts the Tsar in a quite different way -that is, not the glamorous one, the oficial one, etc- but, from my point of view, that is simply outstanding, as we see him as a common human being, a father with his children.

The more I see and learn about him, the bigger my admiration and fascination about him becomes. I'm in love with this family, I can't help.

I just regret it's so painfully small that makes so hard recognizing him and the little children.


Nicholas II / Re: Imperial Anthem
« on: February 04, 2007, 04:04:03 PM »
You are most welcome.
If you haven't done so, scroll down and find the section of songs which use the theme from God Save the Tsar. One is Hail, Pennsylvania (I think). It is the fight song for the Univ. of Pennsylvania, in the U.S., and also a state song. It is really amusing to listen to the very American words to this tsarist hymn.

I've missed that part. I'm not going to do that mistake twice ;D

Nicholas II / Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II
« on: February 04, 2007, 04:00:01 PM »
i don't think wilhelm 2nd had an untrained army... i think his was the most trained of all!  :-\

I meant the Russian army, sorry.

Perhaps not. They did lose.

Technically, when the war was over, Germany was still fighting in enemy ground and the Allies were slowing their pace. Of course, had the war went on, Germany would have been utterly defeated. But Germany was fighitng almolst single-handed against half of the world.

Nicholas II / Re: Photos of Nicholas II #2
« on: February 04, 2007, 04:22:38 AM »
I had read that the handkerchief that Nicholas pressed to his wound he received in Japan was preserved and that they had tried to use the blood on the  handkerchief when it came time to try to do the DNA testing on the bones

IIRC correctly, Mstislav Rostopovich helped economically Pavel Ivanov to travel to Japan in order to study the handkerchief. Alàs, it was to dirty, and the blood present there could not prove anything at all. A pity.

Here's a link to a photo of Nicholas II in a rickshaw during his nearly fatal visit to Japan while Tsarevich. Wonder how world history would've changed if the would-be assassin had succeeded?

If you don't mind a bit of iddle thinking, I would like to suggest a possible twist in history, had happened what you suggest. Please, if I make a mistake in the following lines, don't hesitate to correct me, please.

If Nicholas dies, his brother George would inherit only three years after this. However, he dies before the end of the century of TB.

Then we get Michael, but will he have gone for a Morganic marriage at that point, or would his elevation in the line end up causing him to find a more suitable marriage? As, IMHO, he wass quite a pragmatic man, I suppose that he would have married for the country. Natalya would be keept as a mistress and George would proberly become a semi-important figure in the Governmeant or army - well in the future

What about immediate consequences? Anything now different in the Japan/Russia relationship? Could this lead to a Russian punitive mission? In my opinion, honour would demand it; I'm not quite sure how it would go or the effects, because the oppisition to the Government was still quite disorganised, so I don't think that we would have some premature Bloody Sunday and all the rest.

And of course, do we get a Russo-Japanese War? It seems likely we'd either have an earlier conflict over the assassination itself, or none at all, as Michael strikes me as a much more reasonable monarch. However, if we have war, there is no trans-siberian railroad, so Russia has to fight a looooooonger supply lines. Japan gets bloodied at Dalien but if they can crush the Russians at sea, they are going to win.

Nicholas II / Re: Imperial Anthem
« on: February 04, 2007, 04:15:54 AM »
go to a wonderful website for a tremendous selection of Russian anthems and songs that can be played:

Indeed, it's simple awesome. I'm speechless. Thank you very much for posting this link, James.

Nicholas II / Re: How Would History Have Rated Nicholas II
« on: February 04, 2007, 04:11:46 AM »
Nicholas II was the leader of Russia. The soldiers who died in World War I did so under his command. Hence, it is correct to say that he "let millions go to their deaths". In fact, it was worse than that. He let them fight a twentieth century war with hopelessly inadequate weapons, inadequate supply lines and leadership in the field that lead soldiers into mass slaughter. It doesn't really matter if the soldiers --- each and every one? And this is determined through . . .? --- believed in their Tsar. Their Tsar had an obligation to protect his soldiers and he failed.  Miserably. That's not an opinion, it's an objective fact. He was certainly not alone in his ineptitude --- Wilhelm II, Franz Josef and the constitutional governments of England and France in 1914 were nothing to write home about, either. As for the Hague Convention --- it was a noble, if ineffective, effort.

As you say, the same can be said about Wilhelm II, Franz Josef and the rest. It is not a question that he was guilty because he just let them go. The main problem was that no one had the slightest idea of what was going to happen in WW1 -after all, all was going to be over by Christmas'14-.

If the Tsar failed to his soldiers, the same can be said about Wilhem II or George V or Franz Joseph. Those who died at the Somme or at Passchendaele were wasted in the same way that those butchered at the Mansurian Lakes or at Tannenberg.

To make it short, they all fought a 20th century war as if they were fighting in the 19th century.

Forum Announcements / Re: New Users say Hello Here and ONLY HERE!
« on: February 03, 2007, 04:09:12 PM »
Well, here I am. Dunno what to say, so, I'll be not quite original...

I came across this excellent forum just by sheer luck -as it uses to happen with me and internet ;D- and I'm still greateful because I've been accepted.

Well, what can tell about myself... I'm from Barcelona, Spain. I'm an old boy -33 yo, 34 next March-, and I have always been attracted by history since I was a little child. My interest about the Romanov cames from a very twisted road, so to speak. Summarising, I would say that it began when I was a child and saw "Anastasia" with those wonderful actores, Ingrid Bergmann and Yul Brinner- and, of course, I fell in love with Anastasia/Bergmann. This may be the beginning, but it's not really so simple.

I've been interested in history, as I've told you before, but I cannot tell you exactly which period is my favourite. I love 20th century history -up to 1945, more or less-, for instance, but also the Middle Ages, the XVI/XVII and the XIX Centuries, well, it's a mixture of all this. Thus, let me go straight to the point. As a child I was very interested about World War Two -as you may have imagined by now, I'm a strange bird ;D but who cares... not me ;)-. Then I began to discover some pieces of the history of my family, and got attracted too by the Spanish Civil War -it happens, at least if your family is fighthing in both sides one against the other- but my attraction about WW2 never died. And one day, I thought "How came WW2?" And I began to study World War 1. And, of course, the Romanov history came to me, and I "recovered" my old "love", so to speak -Yes, Anastasia is of special interest for me, along with the Tsar and the Tsarevich-. The attraction about the Imperial Russia is one of my "weak" points, I must confess.

Such was my interest about World War One, I should add, that when I started my PhD, I devoted myself to the Literature of the WW1 -oh, BTW, I've studied English Philology, I forgot to say it, methinks-, but never I allowed myself to forget the Romanovs. And, oddily enough, in a peak point of my a reborn interest about the Imperial Family, I found this forum.

Coincidence? I don't think so, but who knows.

Finally, some words about my nickname. One of my favourite actors is Michael Caine, who played the role of Kurt Steiner in "The Eagle has Landed". So, there you have it. I should add that I'm very interested in almost evertyhing about Germany and its history and literature because one of my great grandparents was German -from München, actually-, but I guess that adding anything else about him would make this post toooooooooo long.

So, to finish, here I am, in case you may need me. I hope that I will be able to help to rise the level of this forum even if it's just a bit, but don't doubt that I'll do my best. For me it's an honour to have been accepted and I won't betray those who have trusted me.

Best wishes to all

PD: I tend to write too much, as you may have guessed, and I never know where to stop... ;D

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