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 Catherine the Great 
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Peter the Great was a man of tremedous intelligence and intellectual curiosity. He was fascinated by England and Holland, travelled in Europe as you know, and even got to work as a workman in Zaamdan, Holland due to his passion for the naval army.

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Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:15 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Which is where he gleaned his considerable knowledge of ship construction. You've no doubt seen his boathouse next to the Peter and Paul cathedral where he housed the yacht he built?

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:54 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Or at least where it was stored in memory of him...

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:55 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
I can't remember which, as indeed it seems strange to have a boathouse which is not right next to the water! :)

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:56 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Yes, he was interested in England and Holland precisely due to his passion for ship construction.He even spoke Dutch quite well -which was an original choice for a Russian, especially as he spoke neither Latin nor Polish, nor any other foreign language.

The original architecture of Saint Petersburg was modelled on Dutch cities. It does not leap to the eye any longer, since the city was much changed later on, under Elizaveta Peterovna's and Ekaterina's reigns, who decided to abide by the Rococco style. As far as the navy is concerned, Peter the Great designed his own navy upon his visit to Holland and England, and, as I wrote, went so far as working in Zaamdan. This was especially important as Russia did not have a navy, nor did it have access to the sea, before the war against Sweden -which was the original purpose of the construction of Saint Petersburg, as you know. Interestingly, the access to the sea remained a constant concern in Russian foreign policy.

England played a great role in Peter's life as well, one of his greatest generals and closest friends was a Scot that had been compelled to flee the UK due to his catholic faith.

I can't say about Saint Peter and Saint Paul, because I did not stay long enough in Saint Pertersburg to visit it.

Interestingly, there is in Moscow a statue of Peter the Great standing on a ship -a hint at his "Great embassy" -his travel throughout Europe.

There is an excellent Russian/Sovietic film about the Great Embassy I really advise you to watch if you are interested in his reign : "at the beginning of the glorious deeds" ("v natshale slavnykh del").

I am also reading currently Pushkin's Peter the Great's Negro, which tackles Peeter's policy of sending talented youg men to study abroad.

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:21 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Here is the statue I mentioned.


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27 Moscova Monument Pierre le Grand 1997.JPG
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Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:10 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
He also worked at Tilbury docks in London :)

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:33 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
One could almost call him the docker Tsar! :)

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:34 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
baron de batz wrote:
He also worked at Tilbury docks in London :)



I have not read it in an extensive biography written by and English man, so I doubt the veracity of this claim.

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
Not extensive enough it seems...

A century and a half later, Tsar Peter the Great sailed to London as part of ...
technology, and spent time at Tilbury docks, studying shipbuilding. ...

blogs.fco.gov.uk/.../russian-british-naval-co-operation-over-the-ages/

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Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
baron de batz wrote:
Not extensive enough it seems...

A century and a half later, Tsar Peter the Great sailed to London as part of ...
technology, and spent time at Tilbury docks, studying shipbuilding. ...

blogs.fco.gov.uk/.../russian-british-naval-co-operation-over-the-ages/


It is written that he studied there and spent time at the docks. In Zaamdan, he spent more than a month under an incognito working with the other men. I do not think he did so in England, i.e I do not think that he worked there at all. There is no denying that he modelled his navy on British patterns as well and that his trip aimed at studying naval construction.

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Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:28 am
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
In your last sentence you seemed to have convinced yourself that I was right! :)

I read and can confirm that he studied and learnt shipbuilding at Tilbry docks as well, the same process as at Zaamdam. It was on the job learning.

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Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
baron de batz wrote:
In your last sentence you seemed to have convinced yourself that I was right! :)


I read and can confirm that he studied and learnt shipbuilding at Tilbry docks as well, the same process as at Zaamdam. It was on the job learning.


I think you went round the bend due to intense Knox reading with all the overanalyzing of every word, in their given context, psychological gestures betraying guilt and all the like ! :lol: I wrote the contrary. In the sentence you quoted, there is no evidence that he worked there as he did in Zaamdan. I have no doubt he visited the docks and learnt a lot there, I do think the circumstances and the work undertaken were not quite the same as it was in Zaamdan, where he actually worked in the same conditions as other workers for several days, his identity being discovered later on. He travelled to England after he visited Holland, and I think at that time he did so under his real identity, and therefore could not go and work amongst the workmen.

Now you will agree that it is pretty childish argue about whether or not he came to England under an incognito and worked on the docs, or simply learned and studied naval construction there. After all, this is but a trivial point. You think he did. I think he did not. And indeed, I may as well be mistaken and you may as well be right. I can lend you the biography I read, but it is more than 700 pages long and quite technical.


I therefore suggest we move on.


What I was amazed at is the invasion of Russia by Charles XII, and the subsequent defeat that followed. How reminiscent of Napoleon and Hitler. I cannot grasp why, in Russia, the Napoleonic invision is always compared to the Hitlerian one (which strikes me as absurd), but the Polish and Swedish ones are glossed over.

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Last edited by Ludy on Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
But there are obvious parallels...the routes taken and the scorched earth policy of the Russian defenders, as well as the fact that both leaders were advised against it and both under-estimated the difficulty of fighting through a Russian winter.

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Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:22 pm
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Post Re: Catherine the Great
I agree, but I think that comparing Napoleon to Hitler entails implications of a certain kind in terms of ideology... whereas a comparison with Charles XII would seem more neutral.

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Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:04 pm
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