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By Paul Robinson

Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov (1856–1929) was once a key determine in past due Imperial Russia, and considered one of its optimum infantrymen. on the outbreak of global struggle I, his cousin, Tsar Nicholas II, appointed him best Commander of the Russian military. From 1914 to 1915, after which back in brief in 1917, he used to be commander of the biggest military on the planet within the maximum conflict the realm had ever noticeable. His appointment mirrored the truth that he was once might be the guy the final Emperor of Russia relied on the main. At six foot six, the Grand Duke towered over these round him. His fierce mood used to be a question of legend. in spite of the fact that, as Robinson’s brilliant account indicates, he had a extra advanced character than both his supporters or detractors believed.

In a profession spanning 50 years, the Grand Duke performed an important position in reworking Russia’s political procedure. In 1905, the Tsar assigned him the obligation of coordinating security and protection making plans for the whole Russian empire. whilst the Tsar requested him to imagine the mantle of army dictator, the Grand Duke, rather than accepting, persuaded the Tsar to signal a manifesto promising political reforms. much less opportunely, he additionally had a job in introducing the Tsar and Tsarina to the notorious Rasputin. many years after the revolution in 1917, the Grand Duke turned de facto chief of the Russian émigré community.

Despite his significance, the single different biography of the Grand Duke was once written through one in every of his former generals in 1930, a yr after his demise, and it's only on hand in Russian. the results of study within the documents of 7 nations, this groundbreaking biography—the first to seem in English—covers the Grand Duke’s whole lifestyles, reading either his deepest lifestyles and his specialist profession. Paul Robinson’s enticing account may be of serious worth to these attracted to global conflict I and army background, Russian background, and biographies of outstanding figures.

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