1 August 1914 ~ Russia Declares War
The battle’s been lost, the war is not won
An addled republic, a bitter refund
The business first flat earthers licking their wounds
The verdict is dire, the country’s in ruins
Providence blinked, facing the sun
Where are we left to carry on
The subsequent reforms and rebuilding were far from complete, but as workers and land-hungry peasants rallied to the Russian flag and marched off to fight against the Central Powers, the initial auguries for both war and national unity were not bad.
National unity, however, could only be built on victory and, in that regard, Russia’s hopes were dashed early in the Great War. At Tannenberg and the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, in 1914, Russia lost two entire armies (over 250,000 men).
This failed Russian advance into East Prussia did disrupt Germany’s Schlieffen Plan and thus probably prevented the fall of Paris, but it also signalled the beginning of an unrelenting Russian retreat on the northern sector of the Eastern Front. By the middle of 1915 all of Russian Poland and Lithuania, and most of Latvia, were overrun by the German army.
Fortunately for the Russians, they did better in 1916. The supply of rifles and artillery shells to the Eastern Front was vastly improved, and in the Brusilov Offensive of June 1916, Russia achieved significant victories over the Austrians - capturing Galicia and the Bukovina - and she was also more than holding her own in Transcaucasia, against Turkey.
However, the country’s political and economic problems were greatly exacerbated by the war. Many factors - including the militarisation of industry and crises in food supply - threatened disaster on the home front.
Added to this cocktail were rumours that the tsarina, Alexandra, and her favourite, the infamous Rasputin, were German spies. The rumours were unfounded, but by November 1916 influential critics of the regime were asking whether Russia’s misfortunes - including 1,700,000 military dead and 5,000,000 wounded - were a consequence of ‘stupidity or treason’.
This was a rabble-rousing exaggeration, but certainly the outdated strategies of Russia’s General Staff had cost hundreds of thousands of lives, while the regime seemed careless of such appalling losses.
Food riots, demonstrations and a mutiny at the Petrograd Garrison in February 1917 forced Nicholas II to abdicate as war still continued.
Oh, Olga would never have married any of them. They were all neither non-Russians, got married before her married age, or were partyboys. I think Olga would have married for love to a Russian man, like Olga Alexandrovna.
Olga Nikolayevna A L P H A B E T ♥ M ~ is for Marriage Prospects
With the release in the last year of The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution by Helen Azar and Four Sisters, we know Olga had at least eight suitors in her life.
Starting row one:
- Prince Christopher of Greece: The son of King George, he fell in raptures with Olga in 1914 whilst visiting his sister Maria at their home Harax near Livadia Palace.
- Prince Carol of Romania: Considered am atch for Olga, the Romanians visited Russia in 1914 but the princess was unimpressed with future Carol II. The Russian returned the visit to the Romanian royal family in summer of 1914, but Olga said before she arrived ni Rmania, “I am a Russian and mean to remain a Russian”.When Carol visited in early 1917, Olga said in her diary that preparing for the ceremony “made me angry”.
- Prince Arthur of Connaught: In 1913 “sussed out” Olga as a potential bride.
- Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich: Maria Pavlovna made a formal proposal on behalf of her son to Olga. Alix cried at the latter, and rejected the proposal.
- Prince John of Russia: He felt affection for young Olga at Alexei’s christening; some years later he made a proposal, which was rejected.
- Prince George of Greece: Brief rumours linked Olga to this heir of the Serbian throne.
- Prince Edward of Wales: The Queen Victoria entertained hopes of marriage between Edward and Olga.
- Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia: Was considered a great match for Olga in late 1912 and 1913. But his party ways and his aloholism as well as reports of his criticism of Rasputin and romantic affair with Felix Yusupov even reaching the isolated Empress Alexandra of Russia, the marriage was rejected.
Mark Antony Dies on 1 August 30 BCE
In 41 B.C. Antony began an affair with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, who had been Caesar’s lover in the last years of his life. The queen gave birth to twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, but Antony was forced to return to Rome to deal with the aftermath of his wife and brother-in-law’s failed rebellion against Octavian. The Senate pushed for conciliation between the triumvirs, pressing the recently widowed Antony to marry Octavian’s sister Octavia Minor in 40 B.C.
In 37 B.C. the Triumvirate was renewed. Antony returned to Cleopatra and fathered a son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. The lovers grew more public in their relationship, participating in deification ceremonies where they took the roles of the Greco-Egyptian gods Dionysus-Osiris and Venus-Isis. More provocatively, they paraded their three children and Caesarion (Cleopatra’s son by Julius Ceasar) in costumes as legitimate royal heirs, flaunting Roman law’s refusal to acknowledge marriage with outsiders. Politically, Antony grew more and more entwined with the Egyptian kingdom, having turned to Cleopatra for help following his failed expedition against the Parthians in 36 B.C.
Meanwhile Octavian grew in strength, eliminating Lepidus from the triumvirate on a pretext of rebellion. In 32 B.C. Antony divorced Octavia. In retaliation, Octavian declared war, not on Antony but on Cleopatra. The fighting occurred in western Greece, where Antony had superior numbers but fell time and again to the brilliant naval attacks of Octavian’s general Agrippa. After their combined forces were defeated at Actium, Antony and Cleopatra’s remaining ships made a desperate flight back to Egypt, pursued by Agrippa and Octavian.
As Octavian entered Alexandria, both Antony and Cleopatra resolved to commit suicide. Antony, thinking his lover already dead, stabbed himself with a sword but was then brought to die in Cleopatra’s arms. Cleopatra was captured but managed to kill herself via a poisonous snakebite. After Antony’s death his honors were all revoked, his statues removed. Cicero, Antony’s great rival in the senate, decreed that no one in the dead general’s family would ever bear the name Mark Antony again. Octavian was now emperor in all but name. Three years later he was granted a new honorific, Augustus, and ruled Rome for the next four decades.