Turmoil Among the Allies
Who Will Fight the War Now?
Special to The Great War project.
(13-18 March) On March15th a century ago, under intense pressure and with no possibility of retaining his crown, Tsar Nicholas the Second of Russia abdicates the throne.
He turns over the monarchy to his son. “I request all to serve him truly and faithfully,” Nicholas declares.
“The war had claimed its first Allied sovereign,” writes historian Martin Gilbert. “The 300-year-old imperial system over which the Tsar had presided was over.”
Will Russia remain with the Allies and continue the fight?
Writes one foreign diplomat in the Russian capital Petrograd,
“Russia is a big country, and can wage war and manage a revolution at the same time.”
On March 17th one hundred years ago, the commander-in-chief of the Russian navy is murdered — shot and killed. “The revolutionary forces were strong and unleashed,” writes Gilbert. “Anti-war fever was intense.”
Nevertheless, the following day Russia’s Foreign Minister announces, “Russia would remain with her allies. She will fight by their side against a common enemy until the end, without cessation and without faltering.”
As the question of Russia’s continued commitment to fighting the war dominates the news from Russia, the news from the U.S. is equally urgent – will the United States enter the war?