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Devious Distortion and Disinformation
Even over 100 years after this horrific event, disinformation and distortion obscure many facts. Wikipedia has the audacity to entitle this event: “Execution of the Romanov Family”! How the brutal and sadistic murder of not only Czar Nicholas II, but his wife, Alexandra and their five children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei, could be described as an “execution” defies belief.
“Injustice, arrogance, displayed in the hour of triumph will never be forgotten or forgiven.”
– Lloyd George, 1919
“Those three all-powerful, all-ignorant men… sitting there carving continents with only a child to lead them.” – Arthur Balfour
German Victories on the Eastern and Southern Fronts
After defeating the Italians at Caporetto and the defeat of Romania and Russia, in early 1918, a million German soldiers had been released to join their comrades on the Western Front for the last great German offensive of the war.
By April 1918, Ludendorff’s armies were back on the Marne River and Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig was issuing his order: “With our backs to the wall… each of us must fight on to the end… Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement.”
America Upsets the Balance of Power in Europe
In the end, the Americans proved decisive. By spring 1918,300,000 American soldiers were in France; by summer, 1,000,000. With fresh American soldiers moving into the front lines at 250,000 a month, German morale sank.
On October 5, 1918, Prince Max of Baden sounded out President Wilson on a peace based on the Fourteen Points he had laid out in January. Three days later, Wilson asked Prince Max if Germany would accept the points. On October 12, Prince Max gave assurances that his object in “entering into discussions would be only to agree upon practical details for the application” of the Fourteen Points to a treaty of peace.
Throughout the English speaking world, the 11th November is observed as a Remembrance Day to solemnly recall the end of hostilities of World War One at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In time, it has come to be observed as a Memorial Day for all who died in both World Wars and in other subsequent conflicts.
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28 June marks the anniversary of the assassination that sparked the First World War.
A Disastrous Date
On 28 June 1914, the heir to the throne of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Frans Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Considering the catastrophic consequences, it is remarkable how little is generally known about that fateful day and what led up to it. Security personnel and bodyguards can learn no end of lessons of what not to do from the catalogue of security failings of that day.
Violent and Volatile
First of all, the scheduled visit of Archduke Frans Ferdinand to Bosnia, was published as early as March. Sarajevo was a volatile cosmopolitan, half-oriental community of 42,000 people. For hundreds of years it had been under Ottoman-Turkish-Muslim rule. The Austrians had liberated Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Ottoman-Turkish Empire in 1878. In 1908, the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were incorporated formally into the Austria-Hungarian Empire.