Today is a day of great significance for me: having been summoned to see Sir Green at the embassy I received a message from him that will determine my immediate future. See more
I have been commissioned by His Majesty the King of Great Britain to serve, together with two of my comrades, on the Mesopotamian Front. What exactly I will be doing there I am not sure. I am told this will become clear on arrival to the headquarters of the Mesopotamian Army, which I shall travel to by way of Shanghai, Singapore, Colombo and Bombay.
I went to the English envoy to Tokyo, Sir Green, and told him my thoughts on the situation, announcing that I do not recognise the present government, and I see it as my duty, as one who represents the former government, to honour our promise to the allies. See more
I consider Russia’s obligations towards the allies to be my own, as a representative of Russia’s military command. I consider it essential, therefore, to honour these obligations to the end, and I do not want to withdraw from the war; even though, under the Bolsheviks Russia has agreed to peace. Therefore, I asked him to communicate to the English government that I wish to join the English army on any terms whatsoever. I impose no conditions; I only ask to be given the opportunity to play an active part in the campaign.
Sir Green heard me out and said: “I understand you completely, I understand your position; I will pass this message on to my government and ask you to wait for an answer from the English government.”
On the day of my departure, I received news about a Bolshevik coup in Petrograd. Apparently, Kerensky fled, the government is overthrown, and the Soviets are in control of the city. See more
I had read multiple similar "sensations" in American newspapers before, so I thought nothing of it. Besides, it was impossible to trust the American press.
Once the maneuvres were over, I decided it was time to go home. I was deeply disappointed, as I wanted to continue my combat action, but I could see that Russians were treated negatively. See more
Personally, I had never encountered such attitude, since I was the guest of the nation and I was on a reciprocal mission similar to the one that took place in Russia, and that was greeted very warmly. Nevertheless, I could see that American attitude to Russia was very negative and it was hard to stay there.
I’ve not been seen with anyone for all this time I’ve spent in New York, because from morning till night we’ve spent all our time at the academy doing our work. I was commissioned to work on some purely technical issues, and I’ve been occupied with this. See more
When I finished work, I received an invitation from the Naval ministry to get acquainted with the American fleet and directly participate in their maneuvers in the Atlantic Ocean.
On the very first days of the official receptions, after exchanging visits, I clarified that the plan regarding the American naval offensive in the Mediterranean Sea had been abandoned. See more
Executing the plan was impossible, for American troops were being transferred to the French front; and, launching a new expedition on Turkey, in the Dardanelles, would be completely impossible, even though military circles were saying that it would have major significance, since capturing Constantinople and taking Turkey from the coalition would mark the beginning of the end of the whole war. Nevertheless, carrying this out was impossible, since the whole transport system was busy transferring troops to the French Front.
Upon our arrival in Halifax, we were met by a naval officer—naval agent Mishtovt, who told us that in Montreal, we would be met by representatives of the Naval Ministry of the United States, that a special wagon has been prepared for us, that we are here as guests of the American nation, and that we need worry neither about lodging, nor about transportation, for the American government has taken all this upon itself. See more
Thus, in total comfort, we traveled to New York and to Washington. Upon our arrival in Washington, I made a visit first thing to our ambassador, Bakhmetyev, and to the naval minister, to his assistant, to the minister of foreign affairs, to the minister of war… In a word, to all those figures I would run into later on.
I've just returned from the deck. It's a beautiful summer day, waves have calmed down, there are a cloudless sky and an almost full moon. I've been thinking about you, about Helsingfors, about the Black Sea, where I walked on the deck just like now, about the Gulf of Riga, about meeting you in Helsingfors. Everything has changed, only your dear, gentle image has remained the same, just as important to me as before. See more
I can see it so clearly tonight, on this quiet moonlit night at the ocean. Can it be true that you used to be so close to me, walked with me for hours, I was near you and kissed your hands, and today I estimated the distance between us - about 3000 miles, but it's getting larger with every spin of the screw. It will be around 4500 in Washington in a straight line and about 5000 of an actual way. It's been a month since I've received your last letter.
This evening, after supper, I walked about the deck for a long time, thinking of our navy, of you, and of the dark, unknown future. The night is hazy. See more
From time to time there is rain, and from time to time a full moon glances out from behind the clouds, and then it becomes entirely bright, and the outlines of the Irish coast come into view. It is odd to be at sea without taking part in a campaign, the signaling and the maneuvering, but what can one do. Sweet Anna Vasilievna, what are you doing this evening? You are most likely still in the countryside, and autumn is beginning where you are, too—it is possible that the weather is exactly as it is here. How badly I want to be able to see you sometimes. I can only remember the past, those days when I did see you, and dream about those that “someday, perhaps” may come to be.
Forgive me for the courage with which I decided to send you a few things that one can no longer find in Russia and which, perhaps, will be useful to you. I know that you will be angry with me, but forgive me with you kindness and grace for giving me the pleasure of thinking about you, about your lovely hands that gave me so much happiness. See more
I can not vouch only for time, since the mail does not exist nowadays. I would have asked you to provide me with the required numbers and measurements, since I only have one of your gloves, the number of which I was guided by. I think that you will not condemn me, since it is now impossible to get the most necessary things in Russia, and maybe I could be happy to serve you. I will point out things like shoes, linen, fabrics, etc. I apologise for the packaging - we have to send things to the embassy in a hurry with a valise, and I do not have anything around me except for a leather box, and I’m afraid that you will get some mixture, which for, just in case, I do not want to condemn my ability to pack parcels.
It is my third day in London. I wait in constant expectation of my departure for America. My impressions after leaving Russia and especially in England and London have been very unhappy. You experience something like shame when you see order and convenience of the sort that has lost all representation in your homeland. See more
And London is even in the range of aerial attacks, which turn out to be much more serious than the press makes them out to be. The Germans are striving to attack City, the central banking and commercial region, and have managed to cause some damage there.
The skirmishes which were taking place in Petrograd led to a clash between the Bolshevik districts and the Cossacks. The only really serious incident was near the Liteiny Bridge. See more
It was at this time that I was just leaving the house of acquaintances on Shpalyernaya Street, so although I did not directly witness the fighting, I heard the gunfire and saw the retreat of the sailors down Shpalyernaya. Altogether there was nothing so horrendous on the streets throughout this time, not during the day or at night.
One had the distinct impression that soldiers taken from the front could have freely suppressed the uprising, as they would not have encountered any difficulties in so doing. The groups from Kronstadt who came after the skirmish simply came to loot, drink, and then head back again on boats to their bases. The impression created was one of an disorganised armed protest of an utterly ridiculous character.
There was a time, I wanted to go to the front and be assigned to command a heavy battery, but I decided to give up this idea after the disgraceful offensive at the southwestern front. After that, in light of it being impossible to wage war in Russia yet saw it necessary for the war to continue, a group of officers asked me to form a legion of volunteers and take it to France. See more
I considered this idea at first, but then I learned about the attitude toward Russian units abroad thanks to their disgraceful behavior on the French front and their refusal to fight and participate in the struggle. When I received information that a Russian name in France was akin to a reviled race, I, of course, decided to not count on such work as I had considered before.
I had a top secret conversation of the highest importance with U.S. Ambassador Root and USN Admiral Glenon. The result was my decision to accept a role in the proposed operations of the American Navy. The matter immediately took on a feeling of extreme resolve, and I will depart in the very near future for New York. See more
And thus I have become something like a mercenary, offering another country my military experience, my knowledge, and, if necessary, my head and my life to boot. Everything has been decided, and I have no doubts as to what I must do.
I am going far away, most likely for a long time; to speak of the distant future is, of course, impossible for now.