“Let Papa plan not war, for with the war will come the end of Russia and yourselves, and you will lose to the last man.”
Grigory Rasputin; telegram to Anna Vyrubova, July 30, 1914.
“Batiushka. I write you while in pain and stretched out in a hospital bed. Dear friend, I will say again a menacing cloud is over Russia. Lots of sorrow and grief. It is dark and there is no light to be seen. A sea of tears, immeasurable, and as to blood? What can I say? There are no words. The horror of it is indescribable. I know they keep wanting war from you evidently not knowing that this is destruction. Heavy is God’s punishment. When he takes away reason that is the beginning of the end. Thou art the Tsar Father of the People, don’t allow the madmen to triumph and destroy themselves and the people. They will conquer Germany, and what about Russia? If one then thinks very hard, there has not been a greater sufferer since the beginning of time. She is all drowned in blood. Terrible is the destruction and without end will be the grief.”
Grigory Rasputin; telegram to Tsar Nicholas, July 30, 1914.
We thus get the following summary:
COLONIAL POSSESSIONS OF THE GREAT POWERS
(Million square kilometers and million inhabitants)
|Total for 6 Great Powers||40.4||273.8||65.0||523.4||16.5||437.2||81.5||960.6|
|Colonies of other powers (Belgium, Holland, etc.)||9.9||45.3|
|Semi-colonial countries (Persia, China, Turkey)||14.5||361.2|
|Total for whole world||133.9||1,657.0|
V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
"We shall not escape war now! Germany is obviously evading the mediatorial intervention for which we asked her and all she is after is to gain time to complete her military preparations in secret. In these circumstances I don’t think Your Majesty can postpone the order for general mobilization any longer."
The Tsar was deadly pale and replied in a choking voice
"Just think of the responsibility you’re advising me to assume! Remember it’s a question of sending thousands and thousands of men to their death!"
" Neither your Majesty’s conscience nor mine will have anything to be reproached with if war breaks out. Your Majesty and the Government will have done everything to spare the world this terrible visitation. But now I feel certain that diplomacy has finished its work. We must henceforth think of the safety of the empire. If Your Majesty stops our preliminary mobilization all you will do is to dislocate our military organization and disconcert our allies. The war will break out just the same at Germany’s appointed time – and will catch us in hopeless confusion. "
After a moment’s reflection the Tsar said in a firm voice:
"Sergei Dimitrievitch, ring up the Chief of Staff and tell him I order general mobilization."
Sazonov went down to the hall of the palace where the telephone cabinet was and transmitted the imperial order to General Janushkevitch.
It was exactly four o’clock.
Maurice Paléologue- An Ambassador’s Memoirs