Author Topic: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI  (Read 24860 times)

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Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2009, 05:20:07 AM »
It will take me some time to find the sources that say that Nicholas did more walking and playing dominoes at Stavka, but I also know that is what I have read.
I have read exactly the same thing in Nicholas II and the tragic end of the Romanovs by Henri Troyat, and also, according to Troyat, he spent whole days reading.
I hope that this is not all Henri Troyat wrote about Nicholas' days at the Stavka. One only has to read Nicholas' diaries for these years and his letters to Alexandra to see that that he did find time for a walk almost every day, often played dominoes or other games in the evenings at the Stavka, and occasionally had a day off, but that this is only part of the story: Nicholas also went to see his troops and received a lot of people almost every day - from various generals and other military men to officials and ministers. And a large part of his reading consisted of heaps of papers about the state affairs of the day. Nicholas most certainly did not laze about all day.  
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 05:22:26 AM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2009, 07:46:19 AM »
Actually this is not all that H.Troyat wrote about Nicholas II's days at Stavka, fortunately he mentioned all you have correctly said too, in the long chapter about the time that the Tsar spent at Stavka.

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2009, 08:09:20 AM »
Thank you for the information. I didn't remember, having read Troyat's biography of Nicholas II years ago, in the 1990s.

By the way, Henri Troyat's "Daily Life in Russia under the Last Tsar" is an interesting and very readable book too. Among other things, it presents spending power information for various sections of the population in Russia and some Western European countries.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 08:16:31 AM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2009, 08:42:15 PM »
Thank you for another addition to my reading list!  This does sound interesting.

Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2009, 08:43:10 PM »
It will take me some time to find the sources that say that Nicholas did more walking and playing dominoes at Stavka, but I also know that is what I have read.

I have read exactly the same thing in Nicholas II and the tragic end of the Romanovs by Henri Troyat, and also, according to Troyat, he spent whole days reading.

Yes but, reading what?  I read it was state papers, not pleasure reading.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2009, 09:15:46 PM »
Quote
....find the sources that say that Nicholas did more walking and playing dominoes at Stavka, but I also know that is what I have read.  In his letters to Alexandra he talks about the days that Alexei was there and how late they slept and how they amused themselves.  Having his son with him was no excuse for not attending meetings and making tactical decisions.

I have read exactly the same thing in Nicholas II and the tragic end of the Romanovs by Henri Troyat, and also, according to Troyat, he spent whole days reading.
I hope that this is not all Henri Troyat wrote about Nicholas' days at the Stavka. One only has to read Nicholas' diaries for these years and his letters to Alexandra to see that that he did find time for a walk almost every day, often played dominoes or other games in the evenings at the Stavka, and occasionally had a day off, but that this is only part of the story: Nicholas also went to see his troops and received a lot of people almost every day - from various generals and other military men to officials and ministers. And a large part of his reading consisted of heaps of papers about the state affairs of the day. Nicholas most certainly did not laze about all day.  

Thank you Helen.

Actually this is not all that H.Troyat wrote about Nicholas II's days at Stavka, fortunately he mentioned all you have correctly said too, in the long chapter about the time that the Tsar spent at Stavka.

I am very glad that at least one English language source has come to light which confirms that certain presumptions made about Nikolai II's activities at Stavka were unfounded suspicions. This was why I was asking for specific references, because I knew that Nikolai II as the Supreme Commander devoted most of his time with matters related to the War: engaging in meetings, receiving foreign Generals and dignitaries and regularily going out into the field to supervise the action at the front. As far as his other responsibilities were concerned, they were not neglected. The Emperor regularily received his Ministers and others from Petrograd who submitted their reports to him.

Perhaps if doubters take the time to view the extensive series of wartime photographs that conclusively prove that Nikolai II was not simply playing dominos, taking walks and avoided making critical military decisions, they will feel more assured.

It would do well to appreciate  that Nikolai II would never have written about sensitive matters in his letters to Tsarskoye Selo. Writing that he spent a bit of quality time with his son should not be taken as anything more than what a father was telling his wife about their son, as would any other military officer in wartime.

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 09:20:05 PM by Belochka »


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #51 on: November 10, 2009, 09:31:13 PM »
It will take me some time to find the sources that say that Nicholas did more walking and playing dominoes at Stavka, but I also know that is what I have read.

I have read exactly the same thing in Nicholas II and the tragic end of the Romanovs by Henri Troyat, and also, according to Troyat, he spent whole days reading.

Yes but, reading what?  I read it was state papers, not pleasure reading.

Nikolai II devoted a considerable part of his day time reading State papers, letters and even newspapers were brought to him.

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RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2009, 07:01:13 AM »
I have read exactly the same thing in Nicholas II and the tragic end of the Romanovs by Henri Troyat, and also, according to Troyat, he spent whole days reading.

Yes but, reading what?  I read it was state papers, not pleasure reading.

According to Henri Troyat's book, he liked to read novels too, for example, in the book is mentioned that in one letter that he sent to the Empress, he wrote that he enjoyed to read "The blue boy" (I don't know if this is the correct translation, in the Italian translation of the book is written, Il ragazzino azzurro).
But, as already said, most of his reading consisted of heaps of papers about the state affairs of the day, letters, and newspapers.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 07:15:39 AM by RomanovsFan4Ever »

Offline matushka

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Re: Alexandra's political power/control during WWI
« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2009, 10:22:14 AM »
The tsar Nikolai had his day at Stavka good organized, and organiyed in such a way he alterned work and rest. Every morning he attended the "doklad" at the Headquaters and, as testified Spiridovitch, he was not only listening, he participated and decided. According the same he had good knowledge of the cards, of the military situation of the moment. Fact is that there was not so many military desaster after Nikolai II took th commandement. The tsar physically needed walk and fresh air and he manage to walk 2-3 hours every day. Probably found he in it new forces and new inspiration for his work. He was reading all the paper himself, one can say it was not necessary and he cold have had a secretary. That is true and my guess is he tried this way to prive other and himself he control personnly all. Anyway, it was his style of work (every ruler has his own style), he did hi daily work and was in course of all. Another thing is that he was in 1916 certainly extremly tired and under pression which, from my impression, is one of the reason for this strange decision of abdication: to tired to fight against treason.
About Alexandra's power, she had no official authority to decide, only Nicolas II decided. But the same Spiridovitch in his work about Great war and revolution of february suggests interesting things. Well, sorry I must deal with the weeping and screaming children... Perhaps Belochka will carry on or someone else.