Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Operation Edelweiss




The German advance from May to November 1942.


Operation Edelweiss (German: Edelweiß), named after one of the best-known European mountain flowers,  was a German plan to gain control over the Caucasus and capture the oil fields of Baku during the Soviet-German War. The operation was authorised by Hitler on July 23, 1942. The land forces, accompanied by 15,000 oil industry workers, included 167,000 troops, 4,540 guns and 1,130 tanks.

On August 21 a Nazi flag was installed on Mount Elbrus, the highest point of the Caucasus. The German offensive was stopped by the Red Army in September, partly due to severe drain of German personnel to support the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad.



Monday, June 28, 2010

Maude Fealy - Hamlet

 
Maude playing Ophelia in Hamlet

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Princess Maria Day !



Today is the birthday of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanova, nicknamed 'Mashka'. She was the third daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife tsaritsa Alexandra. Her middle name Nikolaevna means daughter of Nicholas. In the julian calender then used in Russia, she was born June 14th. Maria grew up into a pretty, romantic, kindhearted, fun-loving girl. She was artistically talented, and noted for her fine sketches. From an early age, she felt a great interest in the lives of soldiers, and experienced a number of innocent crushes on officers she met at the palace and on family holidays.



Following the 1917 revolution the imperial family were arrested and they ended up at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. At first, she seemed blissfully ignorant of her danger. With her warm disposition she attempted to befriend the guards, many of whom were actually sympathetic to the imperial family (one smuggled in a cake for Maria's nineteenth birthday). She talked with them about their families, showed them photos from her albums, and told of her hopes for a new life in England after her release. On July 17, 1918, the imperial family was massacred, by forces of the Bolshevik secret police, in the cellar room.

Letters of Maria from Exile


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Casper van Wittel - View of the Arch of Titus in Rome


Casper van Wittel a.k.a. Gaspar van Wittel a.k.a Gaspare Vanvitelli: View of the Arch of Titus in Rome. Painted in the 1710s. Located in a private collection.

He died in 1736 in Rome, and was buried left of the main altar in the Chiesa Nuova o Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Princess Anastasia Day !


Today is the birthday of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova. She was the fourth daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife tsaritsa Alexandra. Her middle name Nikolaevna means daughter of Nicholas. In the julian calender then used in Russia, she was born June 5th.

She was the family clown and everyone laughed at Anastasia's sarcastic jokes. Anastasia was quite a very talented actress and photographer. She loved taking pictures with her own Brownie Kodak camera. When World War I broke out, Anastasia played balalaika, accompanied by Maria on the piano, for the wounded soldiers. During the night of July 16-17, 1918, forces of the Bolshevik secret police murdered the last Tsar, his wife and children in the cellar of the Ipatiev House.

Letters from Anastasia


Waterloo Day


Waterloo Day is June 18, the date of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the UK, it is remembered and celebrated each year by certain regiments of the British Army, in the same way that the Royal Navy celebrates Trafalgar Day (21 October).


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Queen Sophie Day !


Princess Sophie of Württemberg, Queen of the Netherlands (17 June 1818 – 3 June 1877) was the first wife of King William III of the Netherlands. She was born in Stuttgart, her parents were King William I of Württemberg and Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, the fourth eldest daughter of Tsar Paul I. Sophie and William were first cousins as their mothers were sisters. She married the later King William III in 1839.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nilsson Day !


Today is the birthday of Harry Nilsson (1941-1994). This American singer songwriter pianist guitarist made music under the name Nilsson. He was creative, versatile and full of humour.

For more info see the outstanding site For The Love Of Harry.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Amersfoort Day !


Amersfoort gained its city rights at June 12, 1259. The charter stated the right to have a market, propose taxes and build a city wall. Map by Joan Blaeu, 1649. Click for a huge enlargement...

photos (summer)photos (winter)


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Princess Tatiana Day !


Today is the birthday of Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna Romanova. She was the second daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife tsaritsa Alexandra. Her middle name Nikolaevna means daughter of Nicholas. In the julian calender then used in Russia, she was born May 29th.


Since both Olga and Tatiana are heroines in Eugene Onegin, an classic poem by Alexander Pushkin, it is probable that they are named after those chartacters.

Letters from Tatiana

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