Cold Blooded Murder
For the next two months, the Legion fought against the Reds, quickly establishing themselves as the most cunning and powerful army in Siberia. They confiscated trains and equipment and successfully won each battle against the Russians. They were incredibly brave and daring, and won the admiration of the allied forces around the world. The Red Army, although over three times larger in number, was poorly organized and losing ground to them.
As they fought off the Red Army, the Legionnaires were still attempting to make their way east to Vladivostok along the Trans Siberian Railway, where they planned to board ships that would circumnavigate the globe via the United States, and deposit them on the Western front of the battle of WWI. As the first men arrived into port, however, they discovered there were no ships, and no current plans underway to send any. The Legion was still stuck in Russia, and many of the men who had reached port, not knowing what else to do, turned around and went back to fight. With a common enemy between them (the Bolsheviks), the Legion made an uneasy partnership with the White Army, feeling, I guess, that the enemy of their enemy was their friend.
With the aid of the Legion, the White Army was soon gaining power in the Civil War. The Czar and his family, initially kept as prisoners by the Bolsheviks near St. Petersburg, were transported past the Ural Mountains, and taken to the town of Ekaterinburg in the spring of 1918. The seven members of the Romanov family, their servants and doctor were confined to the house of a successful local merchant, Ipatiev, whose home had been commandeered by the Bolsheviks as a prison for the royal family.
On July 16, 1918, both royal captives and their captors could hear the shots in the distance as Legion forces advanced closer to town. The Bolsheviks, fearing that the White Army would free the family and reinstate the Czar into power, went to the Czar’s room late that night, and ordered the family and their servants to get up. The five children and their parents quietly washed and dressed themselves, then made their way downstairs to the cellar, the Czar leading the way with his young son, Alexei, aged 13, the heir to the thrown; his wife, Alexandra and the four daughters (Olga, 22; Tatiana, 21; Maria, 18; and Anastasia, 17) following closely behind. Shortly after 1am, a dozen men with guns, including the leader, Commandant Yurovsky and 7 Cheka (the infamous Russian Secret Police), wordlessly entered the room where the parents and Alexei sat in chairs, and the daughters and the others stood behind them. No one cried or said a word as the dozen men raised their guns in unison and fired several times, executing them in cold blood. But did they all die?
The Legion pictures in this blog are linked to the http://www.pamatnik.valka.cz/novy/en/fotogalerie-dobova.php site. The Czar pictures are from http://www.1st-art-gallery.com and http://holness.www8.50megs.com/children.jpg.