The tsar’s final address to the army (1917)

In March 1917, shortly after his abdication, Nicholas II delivered this final address to the Imperial Army:

Army headquarters, March 21st 1917

“I appeal to you for the last time, my beloved troops. After the abdication of myself and my son, all the authority has passed into the hands of the Provisional Government, formed by the State Duma. So may God help them to lead Russia on the way to prosperity and glory.

You, my valiant troops, God help you to defend our country against the cruel foe. For two and a half years you have daily and hourly borne on your shoulders the heavy burden of war. Much blood has been shed, many efforts have been made and the day is near when Russia, closely united to her gallant allies in their common aspiration to victory, will break the resistance of the enemy.

This war, unprecedented in history, must be continued and brought to a victorious end. Anyone who dreams of peace at the present moment is a traitor to his country. I know that every honest soldier thinks so. Go on fulfilling your duty; stand to guard your glorious fatherland; obey the Provisional Government and your chiefs. Do not forget that all disorder, all weakening of discipline, are assets for the foe.

I firmly believe that the love for your great country is, and ever will be, alive in your hearts. God will give you his blessing, and St. George, the Victorious, will help you to triumph over the foe.”

Nicholas