Discussions about Russian History > Imperial Transportation

Imperial Hospital Trains

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rgt9w:
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?

rgt9w:
Train sponsored by HIM Empress Marie Feodorovna:

http://stat8.blog.ru/lr/0c12c412222662c7865db61a9a2885c9

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:

http://oldsp.ru/photo/view/11386

Train sponsored by Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna:

http://www.picatom.com/b/1904-1.html

JamesAPrattIII:
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 allworldwars.com 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.

rgt9w:
Thank you for the information!

JamesAPrattIII:
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.

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