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  #141  
Old 01-04-2011, 06:57 PM
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British plan to rescue the Tsar

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Originally Posted by AGRBear View Post
More on Captain Stephen Alley:

British spies in plot to save tsar - Times Online

>> From The Sunday Times
October 15, 2006
British spies in plot to save tsar
John Crossland

A NEWLY discovered diary has uncovered a plot by the British secret services to rescue the last tsar and his family from the house in Ekaterinburg where he was imprisoned by the communists and later executed.

The diary of Captain Stephen Alley, second in command of the British intelligence mission in Petrograd — now St Petersburg — shows he positioned four undercover agents ready to extract what he called “the valuables” — the deposed Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian imperial family — from the House of Special Purpose where they were held.

The diary also includes a sketch map drawn by Alley of the house and its surroundings.

It used to be believed that Britain had abandoned the tsar, his wife Alexandra — a granddaughter of Queen Victoria — and their children. But in recent years evidence has emerged that both King George V and the government of David Lloyd George were willing to rescue the family. No evidence has previously come to light, however, of the advanced stage that preparations had reached.

Alley’s diary was found accidentally by his descendants in a trunk of his papers and will be featured in Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren, a documentary to be shown on Channel 4 in December.

The diary shows that, after they had been sprung from custody, the tsar and his family were to be taken by train to Murmansk and then shipped to safety by the Royal Navy.

On May 24, 1918, Alley, who was employed by MI1 (c), part of what became MI6, wrote to the War Office in London naming the six Russian- speaking officers he wanted to carry out the rescue. He asked London for a grant of £1,000 a month (about £25,000 today) due to “increased requirements for intelligence purposes”.

Andrew Cook, the historian who has examined the papers for the documentary, believes Alley’s telegrams to London may have been intercepted, leading the Bolsheviks to reinforce defences around the tsar’s prison. “At the first hint of a rescue the whole family would have been shot,” he said.

Alley’s apparent reluctance to activate the plot led to his sacking and recall to Britain. He worked for MI5 in the second world war and died in 1969 at the age of 93.

He always kept his work secret, even from Beatrice, his wife. Anthony Summers, author of The File on the Tsar, said: “She told me that when she asked her husband what he did, he would say, ‘Sometimes I will go away for a night and sometimes for a year, and I won’t be able to tell you where I am, but I’m working for the king.’ She thought he was going for dirty weekends.”<<
The Plan may have been put into action!
My Great Grandfather Walter Downing (adopted British name) Was one of the party put together to rescue the Tsar and Family in 1918. He originated from Odesa in the Ukraine escaping the pogroms of 1905 settling in Great Britain.
It is a well told story within our family. According to him the party did make it to Yekaterinburg but a Day to late, according to him their party witnessed the un-buried bodies and Identified all the Romanov Family remains, hence he always poo pooed the stories of Anastasia Nikolaevna's survival.
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  #142  
Old 01-04-2011, 08:16 PM
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Did he ever write any memoirs or anything?
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  #143  
Old 01-05-2011, 01:17 PM
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I just finished reading a biography of Queen Alexandra and according to the author it was King George V, not his government, who initially declined to grant asylum to the royal family, despite the request for asylum coming from the provisional government. do you think both King and Government had a change of mind after the Romanovs were moved to Ekaterinburg?
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  #144  
Old 01-05-2011, 07:33 PM
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I heard that too in various other bio.s. Am wondering if they are painting history kinder for George and make the government the scape goat. Given the time, and the situation, Revolution was rather rife everywhere. Even in America we had a big communist organization in the state of NY.
Communist Party USA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Yes, I realize it's Wiki )
I don't blame George for not wanting to take the Romanovs as he never dreamed they would all be brutally executed. However, it would have been nice for him to help make provisions for them to leave and go some where else. Of course you had Alexandra and Nicky flatly refusing to leave and making sure their children did not either thus they shared their brutal fate.
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  #145  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:13 PM
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You are right, Russo. Hindsight is 20/20. But, I do think George was frightened of rocking the baot and putting his tail out front. There was revolution in the air. Nicky and Alix were both short sighted in everything they did.
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  #146  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:16 PM
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I think there were a lot of factors involved.

George was scared that revolutionary fever would spread to England, and how many thrones were lost following WWI? And I really don't think that they thought the Lenin and crew would kill the Tsar and his family. I think everyone just assumed that like the Kaiser, he would leave Russia and live somewhere else. It was just a matter of time. Its hard to think strategic when you don't know the mind of your enemy. I mean up until that point every recent monarchy (ie. Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc.) that had been deposed either 1) left their homeland or 2) stayed in the country with or reduced power and money. Who knew Russia would be different?
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  #147  
Old 01-05-2011, 11:43 PM
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I agree but when you consider that Russia was England's ally, you can imagine the government and the monarch would be willing to take the former leader into the country or at least shelter them for a while. The royals in England all shed their German titles and honors due to the country's mood which was anti-German but was there seriously talk to throw the lot out as well? No. I think George was more worried than his ministers about what may happen and he decided to deny asylum. If he ever reconsidered this decision, it was too late to rescue the Romanovs. It was his decision to say no and after he discovered what happened to his cousins, we now see his prompt decision and haste to save the Greek royal family by sending a warship to Greece which in turn brought Phillip to England.
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  #148  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:46 AM
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Yes, and it wasn't just the House of Windsor who would be affected. A revolution would cause suffering among the whole nation. Some see George V's reluctance to shelter his relatives as safe-guarding his own throne for selfish reasons; but surely he realized the effect that safeguarding the Romanovs would have on his whole country. Communist-led riots would have been the least of it.


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George was scared that revolutionary fever would spread to England, and how many thrones were lost following WWI?
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  #149  
Old 01-08-2011, 09:59 AM
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i can understand george v, he feared revolution. times were harder back then.
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  #150  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHarris View Post
The Plan may have been put into action!
My Great Grandfather Walter Downing (adopted British name) Was one of the party put together to rescue the Tsar and Family in 1918. He originated from Odesa in the Ukraine escaping the pogroms of 1905 settling in Great Britain.
It is a well told story within our family. According to him the party did make it to Yekaterinburg but a Day to late, according to him their party witnessed the un-buried bodies and Identified all the Romanov Family remains, hence he always poo pooed the stories of Anastasia Nikolaevna's survival.
I am greatly interested in your story.

You voiced that Walter Downing was his adopted name and that he originated from Odessa. Can you tell us more.

See my forum:
RomanovsRussia
RomanovsRussia :: Login

Thank you.

AGRBear
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  #151  
Old 01-28-2011, 07:36 PM
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I have always understood that it was King George who wanted the offer recinded, but would not make a proclamation (or whatever it was he would have to do), thereby making Lloyd George and his govt. the scapegoat.
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  #152  
Old 01-28-2011, 09:26 PM
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I, belive, you are correct. It is always easier to make a government , rather than a person the scapegoat.
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  #153  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:33 PM
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I'm surprised to read some misinformation here, but the facts are well known. Lloyd George's government offered the Tsar and his family asylum in the UK, but this was overruled by Buckingham Palace. George V opposed the idea of a rescue mission because it was not militarily feasible.
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  #154  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:38 PM
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Please cite the misinformation and let us know where you got your information. Thank you.
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  #155  
Old 03-29-2011, 07:03 AM
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The only misinformation was that some people seemed to believe it was the government rather than the King who did not want the Romaovs in the UK.

Quite a lot of this was covered in Kenneth Rose's biography of George V which was published in 1983. George was not upset to learn of the death of Alexandra because he had never liked her, but he did write in his daiary, "But those poor innocent children!". George realised that Nicholas and his wife were bound to be executed when the Bolsheviks moved the family into exile, he just didn't realise the five children would be killed as well.

It does seem entirely out of character but you have to see things from the King's position in 1917. There had been a rebellion in Ireland and looked to be another if conscription was introduced there. Aside from Russia, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire were also on the brink of collapse. Ideally Britain could have fought to reinstate a constitutional monarchy with Nicholas' brother Michael as the Tsar, but he was killed before the family.
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  #156  
Old 03-29-2011, 07:13 AM
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I just read that in the Kenneth Rose book as well.

I wouldn't say that George V didn't like Alexandra but he definitely thought she was teh cause for a lot of her problems in Russia.

Didn't the British government also try to find a place for them to go (i.e. another country). They did look at other options. The books also mentions the anti monarchy feelings that were going on (i.e. the anti German feelings and the communist party). So there was a legitimate fear. Plus the King hated Lloyd George (and the feeling was mutual) so I think they didn't mind placing the blame on him.
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  #157  
Old 03-29-2011, 07:44 AM
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Yes that is correct, Lord Stamfordham suggested somewhere in mainland Europe would be more suitable. France declined to accept the Romanovs since the war was still raging there.

Since George V was still alive, Lloyd George had to amend his 1934 memoirs to suggest it was Kerensky's provisional government that had made it impossible for the Romanovs to go into exile in Britain.
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  #158  
Old 04-01-2011, 09:03 AM
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If George V was the impediment to the Romanovs entering England, did this cause him to send British warships to rescue his Aunt Minnie from the Crimea? As a way to atone or to insure that others would get out safely?
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  #159  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:57 PM
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I am not all to sure where the Imperial Family would have gone if they did escape. Initially they were given asylum in England, but that was later denied. I'd have to do some research to put the particulars together on that.
There have been things written, which make for fun discussion, but have mostly been discredited.
The Imperial Family was offered asylum, but George V interfered and prevented the offer from being carried through. It was for the sake of PR, to avoid associating with anything/anyone German and the Empress was a Princess of Hesse, a German principality. At the time it was WWI and the British were up in arms over anything or anyone German.
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  #160  
Old 07-05-2011, 12:26 PM
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But did king George v die resenting not saving cousin Nicky and his family I mean they were family and because of him they were kept prisoners and executed
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