Sunday, November 11, 2018

The War to End All Wars

The War to End all Wars that ended 100 years ago today did not end my grandfather's war. As Tsarist Russia collapsed into revolution and civil war, my grandfather, Vasilly, a Tsarist Cavalry Captain of Engineers, joined up with the anti-Bolshevik White Army to continue fighting for another two long years.

Grandfather is the dapper officer right front with the cavalry boots. The rather tall man in the center of the first photo is Baron Pyotr Wrangel, the last White Army general.

Grandfather right front again. Presumably these officers are Baron Wrangel's command staff.

Wounded in combat in the Crimea on the southern front grandfather found himself in a field hospital. There he met a charming White Army nurse named Maria. The rest, as they say, is history.

With the collapse of Baron Wrangel's army in 1920, Vasilly and Maria fled with their baby daughter Vera, my aunt, to Constantinople. As the War for Independence engulfed Turkey they fled again to Belgrade in the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia, where my dad, Vasilly Junior, was born in 1922.

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