Rare Photos of the Romanov Royal Family Found

Life in Russia

inside Anastasia smoking

Tsar Nicholas II appears in a photograph to be teaching his daughter Grand Duchess Anastasia how to smoke.

inside Alexey with JoyAnother picture taken by the emperor dated 1916 shows Tsarevich Alexei – heir to an autocratic throne that would be abolished the following year – posing on a tree in winter with his beloved pet spaniel Joy.

These images of the Russian royal family, captured in photographs taken by the Tsar himself or his children, mostly date from the years of the First World War, and some very soon before the Romanov dynasty crumbled, to be rapidly replaced by Communism.

inside - tatiana with a manFound in a vault in Zlatoust, the album shows the private moments of the royals as the storm clouds gather over a dynasty that had ruled for more than three centuries.

The smoking picture shows the youngest princess Anastasia, then 15, evidently imbibing from a cigarette with every encouragement from the Emperor…

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The Mad Monarchist: The Russian Army in World War I

General Nikolai Ivanoff

Like some other powers, there are a great many misconceptions about the part played by the Russian Empire in World War I. This is true generally but also in regards to the Russian Imperial Army with about the only thing every historian seems to agree on being the courage and endurance of the average Russian soldier. As was not uncommon in those days, but particularly so in Russia, the army also had a special bond with the monarch, Tsar Nicholas II, and many of the misconceptions about Russia and the Russian military necessarily involve the Tsar. In the first place, there is a misconception as to the overall quality of the Russian Imperial Army at the start of the war and a misconception about the part played by the Tsar in, if not starting the war, at least escalating it from a regional conflict into a world war. In some ways, the two are linked as both are often related to the most recent conflict Russia had fought prior to August of 1914; the war with Japan. In both instances, the Tsar was accused of being recklessly aggressive and the army was, in both instances, accused of performing rather poorly. In fact, the opposite is true. In East Asia, just as Russia had earlier taken up the role of defending China, and so gain an ice-free port on the Pacific, so too did Russia move to defend the Han Empire of Korea from the Japanese. As master of the vastly larger power, in land, population and resources, the Tsar was confident that Japan…

Continue reading: The Mad Monarchist: The Russian Army in World War I.