Table of contents
  1. A Scotman in Russia
  2. The First Steps
  3. Russian Military Flying Schools
  4. The Imperial All Russia Aero Club
  5. General Baron Kulbars & Aviation
  6. The Imperial Russian Technical Society
  7. The Prototype of the Zeppelin
  8. Contruction, Aviators & Workmen
  9. Famous Russian Flying Men
  10. I.I. Sikorsky
  11. Foriegn Aviators in Russia
  12. Heir Fokker's Russian Lady Pilot
  13. Just Before the War
  14. Aerial Russia & the British Press
  15. Aviation & the Russian Press
  16. By Way of Conclusion

Introduction

I am persuaded that a close rapprochement between Great Britain and Russia, both now and after the war is won, is not only necessary for the well-being of both nations but is also essential to the continued equilibrium and progress of the whole of Europe. The British unfortunately have in the past known little and cared little about Russia. The Russian Empire has remained a mystery, and even now, when the two nations are bound by a most cordial friendship and are fighting a great war in loyal alliance, the large British public remains absolutely ignorant concerning the realities of the vast Empire of the Czar.

In order to understand my country it is absolutely necessary to live there, to learn the Russian language, and to enter the intimate eddies of Russian life. Nevertheless the Russians are really an casy people to understand. They are free from any kind of hypocrisy. They arc characteristically straightforward and frank, and they are extraordinarily eager to welcome the stranger and to reveal to him, with an almost childish confidence, their feelings, their dreams, and their thoughts. Yet Russia remains a " terra incognita." Even the Germans, who practically covered Russia with an industrial net and who for many years had a predominating influence on Russia's economic development, had a very limited understanding of the Russian character. Germany certainly had learned all there was to learn concerning the rapid progress of the Russian army, and before the war the army was unquestionably held in high respect in German military circles. Great Britain, however, knew nothing of the new spirit that has inspired the Russian army since the Japanese War. There was indeed  considerable surprise in Great Britain at the successful advance of the Russians during the first period of the present war. Our success was enthusiastically acclaimed by our friends, and one heard in London loud eulogies of the strength of the Russian army and of the skill of its leaders. Soon, alas! there came a reaction. The British began to reconsider their first high opinion of their new Allies, and their hesitation was the direct result of their lamentable ignorance of Russia - now we can see how wrong they were.

For centuries the Russian people have had a warm admiration for Great Britain. Despite all political friction, British visitors to Russia have always found a most cordial welcome, and I am sure that all British residents in Russia would agree that, if the rapprochement between the two greatest Empires in the world has been unduly postponed, it was certainly not the fault of the Russians. The instinctive Russian sympathy with the British is well illustrated by the career of my friend Mr. Chessborough J. H, Mackenzie-Kennedy.  Mr. Mackenzie-Kennedy has spent the ten best years of his life in the development of the science of aviation in my country. His achievements made an important portion of the story I have to tell, and the fact that a Scotsman is so largely concerned with aerial Russia appears to me to be a happy augusy for a permanent entente between the two peoples.

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