The Willy-Nicky Telegrams
The Russian Imperial Romanov family and all those who chose to accompany them into .. Diary entry of Tsar Nicholas II, referring to the constant tightening of German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach made repeated enquiries to the .. Boris Yeltsin and his wife attended the funeral along with Romanov relations. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in , both Austrian military leaders saw the assassination as an excuse for a quick war with . The Willy-Nicky correspondence does show a relationship between the two monarchs and perhaps Wilhelm did feel some guilt in privately, but.
Am sending Tatischev [a Russian diplomat] this evening with instructions. I hope from all my heart that these measures won't in any way interfere with your part as mediator which I greatly value. We need your strong pressure on Austria to come to an understanding with us.
Wilhelm responded almost immediately: Best thanks for telegram. The whole weight of the decision lies solely on you[r] shoulders now, who have to bear the responsibility for Peace or War. The next day, on July 31, Wilhelm sent a second telegram: On your appeal to my friendship and your call for assistance began to mediate between you and the Austro-Hungarian Government.
While this action was proceeding, your troops were mobilized against Austro-Hungary, my ally. Thereby, as I have already pointed out to you, my mediation has been made almost illusory. I have nevertheless continued my action. I now receive authentic news of serious preparations for war on my Eastern frontier. Responsibility for the safety of my empire forces preventive measures of defense upon me. In my endeavors to maintain the peace of the world I have gone to the utmost limit possible.
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The responsibility for the disaster which is now threatening the whole civilized world will not be laid at my door. In this moment it still lies in your power to avert it. Nobody is threatening the honor or power of Russia who can well afford to await the result of my mediation. My friendship for you and your empire, transmitted to me by my grandfather on his deathbed has always been sacred to me and I have honestly often backed up Russia when she was in serious trouble especially in her last war.
The peace of Europe may still be maintained by you, if Russia will agree to stop the military measures which must threaten Germany and Austro-Hungary. At about the same time, Tsar Nicholas sent this telegram: I thank you heartily for your mediation which begins to give one hope that all may yet end peacefully.
It is technically impossible to stop our military preparations which were obligatory owing to Austria's mobilization. We are far from wishing war. As long as the negotiations with Austria on Serbia's account are taking place my troops shall not make any provocative action. I give you my solemn word for this. On August 1, the tsar telegraphed again: I received your telegram. Our long proved friendship must succeed, with God's help, in avoiding bloodshed.
Anxiously, full of confidence await your answer. Print this page 'The old world in its sunset' What Winston Churchill once described as 'the old world in its sunset' had never been captured more brilliantly than at the funeral of King Edward VII in May This was the occasion of the celebrated Parade of Kings, when over 50 royal horsemen - a swaggering cavalcade of emperors, kings, crown princes, archdukes, grand dukes and princes - followed the slowly trundling coffin through the streets of London.
Here was a moment of supreme monarchical glory. Republican envoys, no matter how powerful the countries they represented - even France or the United States - were firmly relegated to the end of the procession. Who, seeing this collection of royalty clattering by, could doubt that the institution of kingship was flourishing? Nothing could better have symbolised the extraordinary early 20th-century flowering of European monarchy than this spectacular parade.
Instead of diminishing in number, royal thrones had multiplied, and the second half of the 19th and the early years of the 20th centuries had seen the setting up of half a dozen new monarchies, so by the year of Edward VII's death there were more monarchs in Europe than there had ever been. Without counting the rulers of the kingdoms and duchies that went to make up the German empire, there were 20 reigning monarchs - with a crowned sovereign in every country except France and Switzerland and even France had restored the monarchy four times in the 19th century.
Whatever the powers of these rulers - whether they were autocrats as in Russia, or virtually powerless constitutional monarchs as in Great Britain - their prestige and position remained almost intact.
Few of those watching, or taking part in, Edward VII's funeral could have imagined that this blaze of splendour marked, not a royal high noon, but a royal sunset.
The French Revolution, a century before, had taught them a lesson. Because the burgeoning middle classes had demanded legal constitutions, the monarchs had granted them. Where there had been a clamour for extended suffrage, they had agreed to it. By assimilating new ideas, monarchies had to some extent converted themselves into symbols of democracy; the leaders of these same monarchies, however, remained stubbornly blind to the gradually spreading republican and revolutionary movements taking root in their countries.
Cousins at War
Queen Victoria was sometimes called the Grandmamma of Europe Rendering them unassailable or so they fondly imagined was the fact that the monarchs of Europe were all closely related. Queen Victoria was sometimes called the Grandmamma of Europe, and there was hardly a Continental court that did not boast at least one of her relations.
During World War One there were no less than seven of the old Queen's direct descendants, and two more of her Coburg relations, on European thrones. This rebellion was violently suppressed by a detachment of Red Guards led by Peter Ermakov, which opened fire on the protesters, all within earshot of the tsar and tsarina's bedroom window.
The authorities exploited the incident as a monarchist-led rebellion that threatened the security of the captives at the Ipatiev House.
Filipp Goloshchyokin arrived in Moscow on 3 July with a message insisting on the Tsar's execution. The basement room chosen for this purpose had a barred window which was nailed shut to muffle the sound of shooting and in case of any screaming. A coded telegram seeking final approval was sent by Goloshchyokin and Georgy Safarov at around 6: The intention was to park it as close to the basement entrance as possible, with its engine running to mask the noise of gunshots.
The Nagant operated on old black gunpowder which produced a good deal of smoke and fumes; smokeless powder was only just being phased in. He took a Mauser and Colt while Ermakov armed himself with three Nagants, one Mauser and a bayonet; he was the only one assigned to kill two prisoners, Alexandra and Botkin. Yurovsky instructed his men to "shoot straight at the heart to avoid an excessive quantity of blood and get it over quickly. Yurovsky sent them to the Popov House for failing "at that important moment in their revolutionary duty".
One of the last known photographs of Tsar Nicholas II's daughters. While the Romanovs were having dinner on 16 JulyYurovsky entered the sitting room and informed them that the kitchen boy Leonid Sednev was leaving to meet his uncle Ivan Sednev, who had returned to the city asking to see him; Ivan had already been shot by the Cheka. Eugene Botkinto awaken the sleeping family and ask them to put on their clothes, under the pretext that the family would be moved to a safe location due to impending chaos in Yekaterinburg.
Nicholas asked if Yurovsky could bring two chairs, on which Tsarevich Alexei and Alexandra sat. A few minutes later, an execution squad of secret police was brought in and Yurovsky read aloud the order given to him by the Ural Executive Committee: Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you.
The Empress and Grand Duchess Olga, according to a guard's reminiscence, had tried to bless themselves, but failed amid the shooting. Yurovsky reportedly raised his Colt gun at Nicholas's torso and fired; Nicholas fell dead, pierced with at least three bullets in his upper chest. The intoxicated Peter Ermakovthe military commissar for Verkh-Isetsk, shot and killed Alexandra with a bullet wound to the head.
He then shot at Maria, who ran for the double doors, hitting her in the thigh.
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Alexey Kabanov, who ran out onto the street to check the noise levels, heard dogs barking from the Romanovs' quarters and the sound of gunshots loud and clear despite the noise from the Fiat's engine. Kabanov then hurried downstairs and told the men to stop firing and kill the family and their dogs with their gun butts and bayonets.
When they stopped, the doors were then opened to scatter the smoke. The wall had been torn apart in search of bullets and other evidence by investigators in The double doors leading to a storeroom were locked during the execution.
The executioners were ordered to proceed with their bayonetsa technique which proved ineffective and meant that the children had to be dispatched by still more gunshots, this time aimed more precisely at their heads. The Tsarevich was the first of the children to be executed. Yurovsky watched in disbelief as Nikulin spent an entire magazine from his Browning gun on Alexei, who was still seated transfixed in his chair; he also had jewels sewn into his undergarment and forage cap.
Execution of the Romanov family - Wikipedia
Olga sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Maria and Anastasia were said to have crouched up against a wall covering their heads in terror until they were shot down.
Yurovsky himself killed Tatiana and Alexei. Tatiana died from a single bullet through the back of her head.
The execution lasted about 20 minutes, Yurovsky later admitting to Nikulin's "poor mastery of his weapon and inevitable nerves". Yurovsky saw this and demanded that they surrender any looted items or be shot.Part 2 - Kaiser Wilhelm - The First World War & The Innocence of Kaiser Wilhelm & Tsar Nicholas
The attempted looting, coupled with Ermakov's incompetence and drunken state, convinced Yurovsky to oversee the disposal of the bodies himself.