TimelineMaps

Follow us through the World War I centennial on Follow wwitoday on Twitter

Nicholas II

Russia's Tsar Nicholas II displays an icon to some of his kneeling troops.
Text:
La Guerre
Nicolas II présentant une icône sacré à ses troupes avant la bataille.
Si.e.E   AHK Paris
The War
Nicolas II presenting a sacred icon to his troops before battle.
Si.e.E   AHK Paris

Russia's Tsar Nicholas II displays an icon to some of his kneeling troops.

Image text

La Guerre

Nicolas II présentant une icône sacré à ses troupes avant la bataille.

Si.e.E AHK Paris



The War

Nicolas II presenting a sacred icon to his troops before battle.

Si.e.E AHK Paris

Other views: Larger, Larger

After defeat in the Russo-Japanese war and the subsequent Revolution of 1905, Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia, instituted political reforms and created the elected assembly the Duma, but had retreated from reform by 1914.

His only son and heir to the throne was a hemophiliac, a condition that ran in the family of his German wife. Blaming herself, the Tsarina sought solace in religion, and became close to Rasputin, a Russian monk who exercised increasing influence at court.

As war threatened on June 29, 1914, Nicholas II approved Russian mobilization. Hours later, after receiving a telegram from Kaiser Wilhelm, Nicholas changed his order to partial mobilization, a distinction the German high command did not consider a difference. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1.

On August 21, 1915, with Russia's defeat in the Gorlice-Tarnow Offensive, Nicholas took command of the Army. The offensive had created an estimated 10,000,000 refugees as Russia lost an area the size of France. Russian casualties included over 750,000 prisoners, 150,000 dead, and 683,000 wounded. Anti-war protests followed, and Bolshevik anti-war propaganda was distributed within the army.

France requested a Russian offensive to ease the 1916 German siege of Verdun. General Aleksei Brusilov, responded with his Offensive, a victory that cost Russia 1,000,000 casualties.

The 1918 February Revolution deposed the Tsar who renounced the throne on March 15. The provisional government arrested the family, and sent them to Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains shortly before the October Revolution.

On July 16, 1918, the Czech Legion was a day from Yekaterinburg, alarming the Ural Executive Committee. On July 17 the Tsar, Tsarina, four daughters, son, and a maid were shot and bayoneted to death by order of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow.

July 17, 1918

Russia

Roles held by Nicholas II

Role Start Date End Date
Head of State