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Military events of 1914. In memoirs and estimates of officers of "A heavy cavalry" of the Russian imperial guard

UDK 94(471.083





In article the specifics of perception by officers of "a heavy cavalry" of the Russian imperial guard of military events of 1914 — the beginning of 1915 are considered. In the center of research interest there are major sociological and sociometric components playing a crucial role in formation of paradigms and "behavioural codes" of the Guards cavalryman. At obvious readiness for war as effective fighting unit, the Guards "heavy cavalry" was not prepared for it in the psychological plan. It caused enormous losses of the first days of war that in turn led to the serious psychological break which generated slow, but irreversible outflow of an aristocratic component from a Guards cavalry (outflow not only to the back, but also abroad), the apathy which developed into indifference in relation to war and the fate of the monarch and the monarchy. The romantic aura around a cavalry (first of all Guards) as type of military forces which was an obvious anachronism in war of cars and metal was destroyed.

Today the problem of studying officers of the Russian army in the period of Nikolay's government 11 attracts a keen interest of representatives of various industries of modern socio-humanistic knowledge. Close attention of historians is paid to one of the most significant segments of the Russian military vehicle of the beginning of the 20th century — imperial guard. A long period the research of imperial guard was conducted in the general context of the analysis of military capacity of the Russian Empire. Even such recognized masters of national military history as P.A. Zayonchkovsky, L.G. Beskrovny, K.F. Shatsillo, A.G. Kavta-radze and some other researchers considered guard in the general context of history of the Russian military vehicle. At the present stage attempts of allocation of guard in a separate research object or its analysis as a self-sufficient segment of the Russian military elite are made. In this plan S.V. Volkov, V.V. Serebryannikov, E.S. Senyavskaya, E.Yu. Sergeyev, E.I. Chapkevich's researches, etc. are indicative. But the analysis of specific features of service in Guards regiments, features of daily occurrence, an attributive component remains still open subject. Close attention is drawn by the analysis of paradigms of officers-guardsmen and also consideration of features of psychomental space.

The offered article is directed to detection of the contents of the general reactions (reflections) of representatives of officer corps of the most prestigious part of guard, "a heavy cavalry", to events of 1914. This subject is extremely important not only for understanding of specific reactions to war of the Guards officer-cavalryman, it allows to track process of demarcation of "old army" of pre-war time from the army undergoing difficult process of the evolutionary withdrawal pains caused by war up to the identification of the main vectors of degradation of the Russian military vehicle and processes which caused the crash of the empire. The analyzed space becomes more volume in the context of the general analysis of the main indexes defining quality of a Guards "heavy cavalry" of the pre-war period.

Among memories of World War I the Guards memoirist holds a specific place. Let's focus on memoirs of officers of "a heavy cavalry" of the Russian imperial guard. It is necessary to understand so-called kirasirsky regiments as "a heavy cavalry" — l. Model year. Kavalergardsky Eya Velichestva Monarchess Empress Maria Fiodorovna, l. Model year. Horse, l. Model year. Kirasirsky his Imperial Velichestva and l. Model year. Kirasirsky her Imperial Velichestva polki1. At a boundary of X1X-XX of centuries the cuirassiers lost the former value and were regiments of so-called "dragoon type". But they continued to make the powerful traditional attributive component of the Russian monarchy originating in A.D. Menshikov's leyb-regiment and a number of dragoon regiments of an era of Pyotr of I2. By the beginning of World War I "the heavy cavalry" was a part of 1 Guards cavalry division including three cavalry crews (the 1st, 2nd "kirasirsky", the 3rd Cossack) and the 1st division of l. Model year. Horse artillery. In structural terms each regiment of "a heavy cavalry" was divided into four squadrons — the first was registered "patronage" or a leyb-squadron, the third "shtandartny", the others had serial number of the 2nd and 4th. Besides, in regiments there was a so-called "not front team". The count A. Ignatyev remembered: "All regiments were chetyrekheskadronny structure" 3.

From the beginning of war by a widespread rule obligatory existence of "a spare squadron" became. In a number of regiments (in "a heavy cavalry" in l. Model year. Kirasirsky I.V. Egoy to a regiment — the chief shtabs-captain A.P. Corwin-Verzhbitskiy4) there were machine-gun teams and teams of "weak-willed horses". Vilensky point of "weak-willed horses" in 1914-1915 was "watched" by the officer of l. Model year. Kavalergardsky regiment major general count G. G. of Mengden5. And the team of weak-willed horses in Luga was headed by the shtabs-captain of l called from a stock. Model year. Kavalergardsky regiment

A.G. Chertkov6. An obligatory component of a regiment was "the team of communication".

Formally we can divide memoirs of officers-guardsmen into two big groups: group of official and informal memories. Regimental stories and pathetic articles descriptions of the military and post-war period often of obviously propaganda character for the editions calculated on general public concern the first. Regimental stories differed in the patriotic concept. By the beginning of the 20th century their study was included into training of both ordinary structure, and Guards officers. They continued to be published by separate Guards associations even in emigration. We can carry memoirs, memoirs and correspondence to the second group. In them intimate assessment of events of war which officers-guardsmen happened to endure is hidden. Certain impact on the nature of this group is had:

1) an interval of writing of memoirs (the war period (the beginning - sack-mination-accident) — the post-war period (even within one author these memoirs differ);
2) political addictions of officers-guardsmen;
3) age of authors of memoirs;
4) parameter - "radical or not radical" the officer and a row other

Specified "intimate subjectivity" does each reminiscence unique and being of essential value. Without pressing in mechanics of the source study analysis, we will note that in the lump of Guards memories of war of reminiscence of guardsmen-cavalrymen hold a specific place.

1 Names of regiments are given in relation to 1914
2 Markov (colonel). History lb. Model year. Kirasirsky Eya Velichestva regiment. SPb., 1884.
3 A. Ignatyev. Fifty years in a system. M, 2002. Page 65.
4 In the same place. Page 27.
5 Russian State Military and historical archive (further RGVIA). T. 3545. Op. I. 408.
6 In the same place.

On the basis of the analysis about 40 different names of memoirs it is possible to draw the following conclusions. The first - desire of authors to write about anything, except actually war. Even such original memoirist as G. Goshtovt, constantly takes away the reader from a war subject, plunges into memories of peaceful life, does extensive retreats of philosophical character, describes the fate of the relatives and companions regardless of war. In a word, war for the author is the routine which is on the background. The exception is made by the fragments devoted to the death of certain colleagues, but also they look not absolutely convincingly. Practically all descriptions abound with the high pathetics which is not allowing authors to resort to a conscious reflection. One more characteristic feature is the deepest pessimism of most of authors. The general A. Skalon, the prince F. Yusupov, the count Sumarokov-Elston, the baron F. Von-Taube, V. Shevich, introduce frankly apocalyptic sketches and conclusions in a text field of the memoirs. A refrain the subject of "lostness", "proklyatost" and "death" sounds.

It should be noted that the analysis of memoirs of Guards officers of the period of Great war shows their extreme heterogeneity in estimates of nature of war and in a difference of reactions of officers to fighting. Already by the end of 1914 "bravado" and "patriotic waste" of the first weeks of war (as an example: G. Benois as follows described psychological state of the regiment before sending to the front: "officers swaggered, cheerfully shouted that supposedly war in 6 months will come to an end, and they will return with a victory" 7. The grand duke Andrey Vladimirovich wrote that parts of the Russian army apprehended war "with big rise, but without excess boasting" 8) are replaced by shock, fear, and then apathy. G. Goshtovt notices that to Kaushen we treated war as to "harmless sport" 9. Near Kaushen kavalergarda and the konnogvardeyets lost the killed and wounded of 14 officers and 438 soldiers. "After fight near Kaushen — G. Goshtovt writes — with his numerous victims, there came the change - more serious and thoughtful relation" 10.

On the increased pessimism and the apathy which is traced on all piece of descriptions of war of "the poslekaushensky period" (even several years later after its termination in emigration), a number of factors affected. It is about "a psychological context" of memoirs — it allows to define "the text of an act" of the Guards officer of the period of Great war. Let's specify the major parameters:

a) age parameter;

b) confessional — a national factor;

c) origin factor (so-called aristocratic parameter);

d) misunderstanding of the purposes of war owing to political apathy and aristocraticness;

e) blind trust to "fathers commanders" and followed after this disappointment in the highest command structure of guard and the empire;

e) the weak readiness to real war generating existential feeling of vulnerability and helplessness.

Age parameter. By the beginning of war the officer corps of "a heavy cavalry" underwent a number of significant changes, first of all, rapid "rejuvenation". So, group of Guards youth at the age of 19-24 years in l. Model year. Kavalergardsky made the shelf 26 people, i.e. 50.9% of the total number of officers of a regiment. If to add group of officers aged from 25 up to 29 years to them — 12 people, they will make 74%11. In Horse guard the situation was not better. By the beginning of war the regiment had considerable shortage — in its ranks there were only 27 people (by the beginning of the 20th century there was a superset — 31 people: total number 62 people — the staff list kirasirsko-

7 G. Benois is forty three years old in separation / / the Scope. 1967. No. 10. Page 75.
8 Military diary of the grand duke Andrey Vladimirovich Romanov (1914-1917). M, 2008. Page 50.
9 Goshtoft HECTARE. Diary of the cavalry officer. SPb., 1914. Page 120.
10 In the same place. Page 121.
11 RGVIA. T. 3545. Op. 1. 408.

go shelf 31 persons). From them in an age piece 19-24 years were 5 people, i.e. 18%; in an age piece of 25-29 years — the 11th persons. In total this group made 59%12.

The situation and in the second kirasirsky crew was similar — in l. Model year. I.V. Kirasirsky Eya to a regiment this group made 74%. In l. Model year. Kirasirsky I.V. Egoy she was 61% that generally situations not menyalo13. Average age of the officer of a "heavy" kirasirsky division by the beginning of World War I equaled to 26-27 years, at the same time 3/4 officers had no combat experience at all. The general A.I. Spiridovich noted: "The guard was in a fine state for peace ceremonial time, but not for war".14 enormous losses of the first months the wars which are giving rise to pessimism result From here. It is remarkable that the percent of losses at kavalergard and semenovets by the beginning of 1915 was identical — on 37% of the killed and ranenykh15.

Confessional — a national factor. At the first stage of war there was a paradoxical situation: certain Guards shelves were staffed more than for thirty percent with German officers including German Protestants. In Horse guard the average value reached a point in 13%16, in l. Model year. I.V. Kirasirsky Eya exceeded 16% (6 officers of Lutheran and evangelic and Lutheran religion) 17. To a regiment there was also one Catholic officer — N.N. of Abakanovich18. The considerable percent of German Protestants was from Ost-Zeya. It should be noted that in 1880 the decree limiting arrival of Germans, natives of Germany and Prussia on the Russian military service as officers was issued. In this case the parameter of the so-called "the Russified Germans" is not considered. It is about the Germans of the second and third generation on the Russian service who accepted Orthodoxy. It is possible to give statistics of l as an example. Model year. I.V. Kirasirsky Eya a regiment — from 1903 to 1914 through a regiment there passed 14 officers of orthodox religion having the revealed German roots.19 Question about as far as they were already "not Germans" and still "not Russians" is very difficult. As practice shows, considerable part of them perceived itself Germans on the Russian service. And they served the tsar ("Throne"), but not Russia, and most of them frankly admitted it.

The following a little funny case which occurred in East Prussia deserves attention: at the beginning of August, 1914 l. Model year. The horse regiment stopped on a lodging for the night in the village of Ingladen, a part of officers of a regiment lodged on the extreme farm at two "very young not lobes". These "not lobes", being extremely kind, in everything sought to please officers of a regiment. Then the colonel von-Wal, wishing to respond with courtesy to courtesy, as well as it befits the guardsman, decided to present them all gathered officers. Further colonel Kozlyaninov vspominayet20: "Polkovnik von Wal..., colonel Gartman, count Benkendorf, baron Wolf, baron Bugg, baron Ungern-Shternberg, von-Renteln, baron Wrangel, to von Struwa, Gaul, baron Tornau". The surprised not lobes, hearing all German surnames, exclaimed: "Aeg e1e e1p pyu^ es^e Rievep!" 21

12 In the same place. T. 3543. Op. 1. 3152.
13 In the same place. T. 3547. Op. 1. 139.
14 A.I. Spiridovich. Great war and February revolution (1914-1917). Memoirs. Minsk, 2004. Page 338.
15 The general statistics of losses of 1914 see: Zaytsov of A. Semenovtsa in 1914 Paris, 1936; Zvegintsov of V.N. Kavalergarda in Great and Civil war. T. 1, 2. Paris, 1936.
16 RGVIA. T. 3543. Op. 1. 3152.
17 In the same place. T. 3547. Op. 1. 139. L. 19.
18 In the same place. T. 3543. Op. 1. 128. L. 16.
19 In the same place. Op. 1. 126, 128, 139.
20 S.S. Beloselsky-Belozersky, kN. History lb. Model year. Horse regiment. T. 3. Paris, 1964. Page 124.
21 But they are not the true Russians (German).

As in the majority of prestigious Guards regiments the considerable percent was made by Germans, they had to be at war against compatriots, including against relatives (for example, to surnames Ungernov or Manteyfelya). Officer of l. Model year. The Semenovsky regiment Pavel Shostakovsky noted: "To a regiment of 17 German barons whose relatives served in Prussian guard" 22. After the begun Germanophobia received legal base in September, 1914 (for example, the Moscow town council admitted on September 9 the resolution on the termination of reception of citizens of the states which are at war with Russia for work to bodies upravleniya23 that was immediately postponed for "orthodox Germans"), there is a rapid washing away of the "German" element including from household troops. The most part of "Germans" - konnogvardeyets of a pre-war appeal successfully endured war and it appeared abroad in the European armies including armies the Nazi of Germany — barons G.K. Bugg-af-Boo and G.G. Knorring.

Origin factor (so-called aristocratic parameter). After death of a number of representatives of the highest aristocracy in the first battles of war its began "compulsory outflow" from the operating household troops. Princes, counts, barons whose in 1914 in the Kavalergardsky regiment there were 31%24 sons, in Conn — 37,5%25, in l. Model year. I.V. Kirasirsky Eya — 14%26 (also regiments of the 2nd Guards cavalry division — first of all l were not in this plan an exception. Model year. His hussar Velichestva and l. Model year. Ulansky Eya I. Velichestva) sought to remove children from the battlefield, and they managed it quite successfully. Addressed to the emperor applications on suspension of use of imperial guard, especially "old guard" and, first of all, a Guards cavalry in fighting as "there is a direct destruction of color of the Russian officers" 27 went. Thereof the considerable number of the "pre-war officers" who are especially titled is transferred to the back, and the guard appears in a reserve of the Main Command.

Process was urged forward by two extreme cases which took place to "the most favourite" the grand dukes serving in l. Model year. Conn and l. Model year. Hussar it

V. regiments. The grand duke Dmitry Pavlovich in the first weeks of war "was easily contused by an artillery shell and under it killed a horse", and the prince of imperial blood Oleg Konstantinovich — a l cornet. Model year. Hussars, died in Vilno 27.IX.1914 28 that caused the real shock in royal family. The situation was aggravated also with the fact that he died on hands at the father and mother. The grand duke Konstantin Konstantinovich personally pinned the St George's Cross to it rubashke29.

Process of outflow became irreversible after defeat of Narevsky army of the general from a cavalry A.V. Samsonov near Tannenberg whom retreat of the 1st army of the general P.-G followed. K. von Rennenkampfa from East Prussia. After that interest in war was gone. In the majority of memoirs the subsequent events of 19151917 are displayed very schematically. "The Guards youth" of wartime in the memoirs almost at once switches to events of Civil war (it is possible to give memoirs of the cuirassier baron as an example Rosen - Schild - Paulína). War disappears from descriptions, and pictures of rear or foreign life begin.

22 P.P. Shostakovsky Put to the truth. Minsk, 1960. Page 47.
23 L. Gatagova. Chronicle of excesses. The German riots in Moscow in 1915//the Homeland. 2002. No. 10. Page 19.
24 RGVIA F. 3545. Op. 1. 408.
25 In the same place. T. 3543. Op. 1. 3152.
26 In the same place. T. 3547. Op. 1. 139.
27 A.I. Spiridovich. Great war and February revolution (1914-1917). Memoirs. Minsk, 2004. Page 338.
28 Gabriel Konstantinovich, conducted. kN. In Marble Palace: From the chronicle of family. SPb. — Düsseldorf, 1993. Page 190.
29 State Archive of the Russian Federation (SARF). T. 660. Op. 1. 65. L. 33-34.

It is remarkable that in September, 1915 during Sventsyansky break on Klyavny-Shesholi sector of the front when approach of a division of the general Beckman began, the major general E.K. of Arsenyev30 took away the 2nd crew of the 1st Guards cavalry from under Skemyan without fight. After Arsenyev all horse group of the lieutenant general N.N. of Kaznakova31 left, having bared the front about forty versts long. From the beginning of fighting the general N.N. Kaznakov still three times as it was noted in reports, "lost contact with the opponent". Naturally such it is not accepted to write about events. The question is reasonable — whether the specified generals of "The highest rating" were afraid? Later such "rating" for Stokhod was received by the general from a cavalry, the general aide-de-camp V.M. Bezobrazov. The fact that "having ruined" once again foot guards is remarkable, the general managed "to save" a cavalry, and was afraid of it rather to touch.

In this plan memoirs of another, however, of the indirect participant of the specified events — the general from a cavalry A.A. Brusilov are very indicative: "The commander of Special army general aide-de-camp Bezobrazov was the person honest, firm, but mind limited and incredibly stubborn. His chief of staff, the count K.N. Ignatyev, did not know staff service at all, about service of the General Staff did not know though he graduated at the time from academy of the General Staff with honors... The commander of the 1st Guards case grand duke Pavel Aleksandrovich was the noble person, personally, certainly, brave, but in military science resolutely understood nothing. The commander of the 2nd Guards building Raukh, the person clever and knowing, possessed one shortcoming, enormous for the soldier: his nerves did not take out shots..., it lost presence of mind and lost an opportunity to dispose" 32. Thus, A. Brusilov points to obvious degeneration of command of of the vardeysky Case and expresses the point of view that the imperial guard is an obvious anachronism.

Misunderstanding of the purposes of war owing to political apathy and aristocraticness. During fights the considerable percent of "pre-war personnel officers" — qualitatively other material, than officers of "wartime" was beaten out. Definitions of these groups are considerably opposite: some — "apolitical gimpers" and others — "patriotic intellectuals". In the first case the aristocrat for whom his Homeland is his service, in the second — the person with pronounced political beliefs — from right-monarchic to revolutionary-democratic. Even in 1917 "not radical guardsman" preobrazhenets S.V. Militsin noted this political apathy for the colleagues and subordinates: "Are indifferent to political affairs. A little they touch questions of the fate of the homeland" 33. The nature of war by many guardsmen was not understood. Owing to what there was a feeling of its senselessness that it is accurately traced in the majority of memories.

The weak readiness to real war generating existential feeling of vulnerability and helplessness and also blind trust to "fathers commanders" and followed after this disappointment in the highest command structure of the empire. At the general rather to an appreciation of readiness of the Russian cavalry to war the level of readiness of "a heavy cavalry" was regarded as low. It was connected with routine ways of preparation of the regiments which are deployed in the capital (l. Model year. Kavalergardsky and l. Model year. Horse regiments), to conducting combat operations (there was no possibility of field classes; a considerable part of time was eaten by numerous guard, etc.). Temporary emergence in guard of "progressive" generals, to similar P.A. Lechitsky, I.I. Mrozovsky or A.A. Brusilov, could not correct the general situation. In

30 rgvia. T. 3549. Op. 1. 197. L. 19.
31 S. Panchulidzev. Collection of biographies of kavalergard. 1826-1908. SPb., 1908. Page 299.
32 A.A. Brusilov. My memoirs: Memoirs. Memoirs. Minsk, 2002. Page 246-247.
33militsyn S.V. From my notebook (Last days of the Preobrazhensky Regiment)//the Archive of the Russian revolution published by G.V. Gessen. T. 2. M, 1991. Page 214.

fighting the "heavy cavalry division" conducted by the Khan Nakhichewangsky got involved in due form "dudergofsky tactics": again "bluntly" and again "big blood".

As it was already noted, after defeat in East Prussia the conscious outflow of a part of officers from a "bloodless" Guards cavalry began (as wrote most of officers — "are exhausted", "exhausted", "bloodless", "the breast is squeezed by pain and melancholy", "catastrophic decrease of horse structure", "the horse structure", "irreplaceable losses of officers", etc. is strongly exhausted). It is remarkable that in memoirs literature the death of officers and a case of horse structure, too "aristocratic origin", is described in one-serial epitetakh34. "The heavy cavalry" suffered losses of the first months of war on an equal basis with all other army: ".ofitser bore more bloody victim, than soldiers, and at the same time gave up in captivity much more difficultly" 35.

Quality "not to be given under no circumstances" many officers from the general to the private showed. So, about the native of l. Model year. The Pavlovsk regiment the general aide-de-camp Dmitry Georgiyevich Shcherbachev (the commander of "summary group" during the first Russian revolution) wrote: "In 1917 its rate was in Yassakh, to arrest it the commissioner Rochel with 24 sailors was directed. Shcherbachev said that Bolsheviks traitors of the Homeland, Rochel snatched out a revolver and shot twice, but missed. Shcherbachev hit it with a stack on a face and disarmed..." 36. Mental sets had certain impact on high sacrifice and "purely Guards". In the majority of memoirs the formula was beaten: "We have to sell in case of need perhaps more expensively the life and to give nobody the honor" 37. Considerable losses led to the fact that the fighting capacity of the Guards regiments which were involved in fights of the first months of war was actually brought to naught. As the prince Beloselsky-Belozersky, by October, 1914 "remembered... the fighting capacity of the 1st crew by this moment came down almost to zero... Some regiments wounded in Kavalergardskom and Conn there were 150 — 200 people" 38.

Summarizing the general maintenance of Guards memoirs, it should be noted the fact that practically all prestigious Guards shelves showed in the battlefield examples of improbable dedication and courage. Obvious is the fact that the Guards officer understood war as business of the honor or disgrace, without reckoning with an emotional and psychological factor. Success was regarded as adequately fulfilled duty, defeat — as disgrace. No matter how the service was understood — whether it was calling or purely careerist installations were solved, the Guards officer "was completely shipped" in culturally caused, traditionally grouped idealistic space of its categorical imperatives defining his mentality and forming the sign code of his behavior. This situation was substantially caused by the traditional and ritual nature of the basis of formation of the microcultural (subcultural) environment both a single regiment, and all Guards case. Thus, the concept of "officer honor" was perceived by most of Guards officers extremely obostrenno39.

As the note it should be noted that the full commitment of guard in World War I as it is paradoxical, served Russia extremely negative service. Considerable losses of the officers formed of hereditary

34 Losses of horse structure near Kaushen were 54 horses. To the middle of October, 1914 only the Horse guard lost 25% of horses.
35 N.N. Golovin. Military efforts of Russia in World war//the Military and Historical magazine. 1993. No. 2. Page 54, 65; No. 4. Page 27.
36 GARF. T. 5853. Op. 1. 48. M / f. 3. L. 149.
37 A.A. Lampe, background. Way of true. Paris, 1960. Page 250.
38 S.S. Beloselsky-Belozersky, kN. History lb. Model year. Horse regiment. T. 3. Paris, 1964. Page 162.
39 Goshtoft. Diary of the cavalry officer. SPb., 1914. Page 18-19.

go the nobility, disqualification of officer corps against the background of a rupture of traditional ties because of destruction of continuity of generations owing to enormous rotation of staff in the conditions of war, at last, the "dilution" of officer corps which began since 1916 at the expense of extremely politized intellectuals was led to degradation of the Guards case, than forces of the secret opposition which took shape by 1916 which is closed with group of general-staff officers did not fail to use. The guard which lost the former reference points, to crown it all also torn off from the emperor, was not able to prevent long growing ripe, but after all unexpectedly arisen accident that, in effect, caused the crash of all of "the old world".



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of The article deals with peculiarities of perception by the officers of & #34; heavy cavalry" of the Russian emperor&s guards of the military events in 1914-1915. Major sociological components that play the main role in forming the world view of the cavalrymen are in the center of the research.

While being prepared to war, the & #34; heavy cavalry" was not ready to it psychologically. It caused huge losses of the first days of war. That in turn resulted in serious psychological breakdown, which gave rise to irreversible outflow of the aristocratic component from the cavalry (outflow not only in a rear, but also abroad) and indifference to war and to fate of monarch and monarchy. A romantic halo around the cavalry as sort of troops (first of all of the guards) was blasted; cavalry proved to be obvious anachronism in war of machines and metal.

Joan Marshall
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