1. memory-of-the-romanovs:

    2 August 1914, Russia, St. Petersburg, the Winter Palace.

    The Russian Tsar Nicholas II comes to the balcony in person to read the declaration of War. The Russian empire declares the war on Germany.

    Imperial  Manifesto

    «BY the Grace of God, We, Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc., etc., etc., proclaim to all Our loyal subjects:

    Following her historical traditions, Russia, united in faith and blood with the Slav nations, has never regarded their fate with indifference. The unanimous fraternal sentiments of the Russian people for the Slavs have been aroused to special intensity in the past few days, when Austria-Hungary presented to Serbia demands which she foresaw would be unacceptable to a Sovereign State.

    Having disregarded the conciliatory and peaceable reply of the Serbian Government, and having declined Russia’s well-intentioned mediation, Austria hastened to launch an armed attack in a bombardment of unprotected Belgrad.

    Compelled, by the force of circumstances thus created, to adopt the necessary measures of precaution, We commanded that the army and the navy be put on a war footing, but, at the same time, holding the blood and the treasure of Our subjects dear, We made every effort to obtain a peaceable issue of the negotiations that had been started.

    In the midst of friendly communications, Austria’s Ally, Germany, contrary to our trust in century-old relations of neighborliness, and paying no heed to Our assurances that the measures We had adopted implied no hostile aims whatever, insisted upon their immediate abandonment, and, meeting with a rejection of this demand, suddenly declared war on Russia.

    We have now to intercede not only for a related country, unjustly attacked, but also to safeguard the honor, dignity, and integrity of Russia, and her position among the Great Powers. We firmly believe that all Our loyal subjects will rally self-sacrificingly and with one accord to the defense of the Russian soil.

    At this hour of threatening danger, let domestic strife be forgotten. Let the union between the Tsar and His people be stronger than ever, and let Russia, rising like one man, repel the insolent assault of the enemy.

    With a profound faith in the justice of Our cause, and trusting humbly in Almighty Providence, We invoke prayerfully the Divine blessing for Holy Russia and our valiant troops.

    Given at Saint Petersburg, on the second day of August, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fourteen, and the twentieth year of Our reign.


    (via history-in-pictures)

  2. memory-of-the-romanovs:

    2 августа 1914 года: Николай II объявил о войне с Германией.

    1. Императорская семья выходит из Зимнего дворца на набережную в направлении яхты «Штандарт», после чтения манифеста об объявлении войны.

    2. Император Николай II и члены императорской фамилии на катере «Петергоф» перед отплытием на императорскую яхту «Штандарт».

    August 2, 1914: Russia declares the war on Germany.

    1. The Imperial Family comes out from the Winter Palace on the waterfront in the direction of the yacht “Standart”, after reading the manifesto.

    2. Emperor Nicholas II and his family on a boat “Peterhof” before sailing the imperial yacht “Standart”.

    (via history-in-pictures)


  3. "Хороший день, в особенности в смысле подъема духа. В 11 час. поехал с Мари и Анастасией к обедне. Завтракали одни. В 2¼ отправились на “Александрии” в Петербург и на карете прямо в Зимний дворец. Подписал манифест об объявлении войны. Из Малахитовой прошли выходом в Николаевскую залу, посреди которой был прочитан манифест и затем отслужен молебен. Вся зала пела “Спаси, Господи” и “Многая лета”
    Сказал несколько слов. При возвращении дамы бросились целовать руки и немного потрепали Аликс и меня.Затем мы вышли на балкон на Александровскую площадь и кланялись огромной массе народа. Около 6 час. вышли на набережную и прошли к катеру через большую толпу из офицеров и публики. Вернулись в Петергоф в 7¼. Вечер провели спокойно."
    — из дневника императора Николая II от 20 июля 1914 (2 августа 1914 г. по н.ст.)

    (Source: history-in-pictures)

  4. mirrormirrorworldworld:

    Amundsen, the first man to the South Pole.

  5. gedenkenbrauchtwissen:

    Witold Kiezun pictured during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising (left) and last year (right).  (source)

    (via lord-kitschener)

  6. kittenmeats:

    “Maniac” (1934) - Dwain Esper

    (via wahnwitzig)

  7. houghtonlib:

    Happy 195th birthday to Herman Melville! This page from his manuscript for Billy Budd shows extensive revisions, including new passages he affixed to the manuscript with straight pins (removed in a thorough conservation treatment of the manuscript in 2001).

    Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. Papers.

    MS Am 188 (363)

    Houghton Library, Harvard University

  8. thar-cionn:

    Members of the Irish Citizen Army outside the original Liberty Hall, beneath a banner which reads “We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland.” Taken shortly after the outbreak of the First World War

  9. grand-bazaar:

    1908 Turkmenistan - Meditation in Trans-Caspia

  11. Barricade with a Polish flag at 52 Marszałkowska street.
    "Szare Szeregi" - Polish Scout Postal Service during the Warsaw Uprising
    Jewish prisoners of the Nazi/German Camp on Gęsia Street, liberated in August 5, 1944 by Polish soldiers from Battalion "Zośka"
    Group of Polish soldiers from Battalion "Czata 49" in Wola district inspect English Anti-tank weapons "PIAT".
    German POW’s taken in PAST-a building in a courtyard of a townhouse on Zielna street.
    Polish barricade on the Napoleon Square, built around a German tank destroyer captured by the Home Army.
    Polish insurgents during a moment of rest in the Main Post Office at Napoleon square.
    Polish medical unit at 9 Moniuszki Street on August 5, 1944.
    German bombing of the Old Town and North Śródmieście district from Żelazna and Żytnia street intersection.
    Ruins of the Old Town Market Place after the Warsaw Uprising, 1945.


    1944 Warsaw Uprising [outside Poland often mistaken with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which took place a year earlier, in 1943] - the major World War II operation held by the Polish resistance Home Army (in Polish: Armia Krajowa, AK), a tragic 63-day struggle to liberate the Polish capital city from the Nazi Germany, undertaken at the time when the Allied troops were breaking through the Normandy defenses and the Red Army, following the instructions gave by Stalin to cut off the Polish insurgents from the outside help, was stationed at-hold at the other bank of the Vistula River, 20 km from Warsaw.

    The massive losses, counted to around 150,000 - 200,000 deaths (mostly civillians killed in mass executions), 600,000 - 650,000 expelled people (of whom around 150,000 sent to Nazi/German labour and concentration camps) and c. 93% of the city left in ruins, make it one of the largest battles fought by ill-equipped combatants and civillians, result of the Nazi Germany planned destruction of Warsaw.

    Operated by the Polish resistance army and being remembered as a struggle of the hundreds of thousands inhabitants of the Polish capital city, the Warsaw Uprising was a heroic fight of the Poles but not of the Poles only. Numerous representatives of other nationalities had joined the Polish units in the name of the old Polish motto: “for our freedom and yours. Among them were foreigners living in Warsaw before the war, single soldiers escaped from the POW camps, refugees from the forced labour in Germany, even a few deserters from the Nazi and Soviet armies. Of the well-documented, the most numerous were Slovak, Hungarian and French volunteers, few Belgian, Dutch, Greek, British and Italian people, one Romanian, one Australian and one Nigerian. Vast majority of the 348 Jews deported from the Netherlands, Greece, Germany and Hungary, who had been held in “Gęsiówka" (the Nazi/German concentration camp at the Gęsia street in Warsaw), joined the Home Army as well after being liberated by the Polish insurgents. Slovaks forming the Platoon 535 were the only foreigners entitled to fight under their own banner and uniforms, as the organization collaborating with the Home Army since 1942, long before the outbreak of the Uprising [x].

    Informative websites:

    All pictures via Wikimedia Commons.

  12. unsecolobreve:

    1 August 1914: frontpages

  13. mediumaevum:

    Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - August Calendar Page

    Father Sun keeps rolling in his carriage, bringing us to the month of Leo. The rich are enjoying a nice outing to show off their falconry skills to the ladies, while the workers are busy with the harvest, and relaxing in the river. 

  14. walsgrave:

    - Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (1967)

    (via lord-kitschener)

  15. historicalfirearms:

    The Crowds Gather: The Reaction to War

    The photographs above depict the crowds which gathered in the major cities of Europe as war was declared across the continent.  With the ink on declarations of war still drying jubilant crowds took to the streets fired by patriotic fervour to celebrate the beginning of what they believed would be a short, sharp war. 

    On 1st August 1914, German army officers took to the streets to read out the Kaiser’s mobilisation order, crowds quickly gathered to listen - many of them no doubt members of Germany’s Reserve, Landwehr and Landsturm.  With the declaration of war crowds began to gather across Berlin, one focal point was at the residence of the German heir to the throne Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Duchess Cecilie in Unter den Linden.  In the photograph above the crowds can be seen cheering the couple as they wave from a balcony.  Another photograph from Unter den Linden shows jubilant crowds carrying portraits of the Kaiser and Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph.  The fourth photograph shows Kaiser Wilhelm himself addressing crowds from a balcony of the Berliner Schloss.  He did this several times during the first days of the war telling the citizens gathered below that:

    "A fateful hour has fallen for Germany.  Envious peoples everywhere are compelling us to our just defence. The sword has been forced into our hands."

    The most famous photograph to be taken of crowds gathered in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was taken in Munich and shows a buoyant crowd at the Odeon Platz - the photograph which was later used in Nazi propaganda during the Second World War purportedly features a young Adolf Hitler among the crowd. 

    Similarly, large crowds of thousands of people also took to the streets of the capitals and cities of the allied nations.  In Britain the attitude towards possible involvement had initially been mixed with many preferring the country to remain neutral.  When news of the invasion of Belgium reached the British people the enthusiasm for war grew.  While there was significant anti-war demonstrations held in the days preceding the declaration of war they were vastly outnumbered by the crowds who took to the streets to celebrate.  In the next photograph crowds of boater hat waving men congregated in Trafalgar Square.

    In the seventh photograph we see a thick crowd gathered outside Buckingham Palace cheering King George, Queen Mary and the Prince of Wales who, like the Kaiser in Berlin, greeted the crowds from a balcony following the Declaration of War on 4th August.

    In St Petersburg many people gathered expectantly outside the Winter Palace in the days leading up to the declaration of war, the photograph above shows the crowd gathered on 28th July when the Tsar ordered a partial mobilisation against Austria-Hungary.  In France Parisians gathered with tricolours flying to wave off reservists leaving for their muster depots from the Gare de Paris-Est train station. 

    Interestingly what is a clear common thread between all of photographs from across europe is the constant presence of the boater hat.  At the time it was the fashion across Europe for boaters to replace the ubiquitous bowler hat in the summer months. 

    Image Sources:

    Berlin Image One Source

    Berlin Image Two Source

    Berlin Image Three Source

    Berlin Image Four Source

    Munich Image Source

    Trafalgar Square Image Source

    Buckingham Palace Image Source

    Russia Image Source

    France Image Source

    (via lord-kitschener)