Colonel Strutt's Daring Royal Mission: The Secret British Rescue of the Habsburg Family, 1919
Colonel Strutt’s Daring Royal Mission: The Secret British Rescue of the Habsburg Family, 1919
Four Empires were extinguished by the Great War 1914-18 - the Ottoman, German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian. This is the story of the rescue of one of these Imperial families - the Habsburgs, who might well have suffered the fate of the Romanovs without the intervention of one British officer sent in secret by King George V of England.
In January 1919, Lt. Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt, laden with medals and decorations, was on his way home from the Eastern Front when he was waylaid and ordered to Austria. He was irate when he learned the nature of his mission and tried to refuse. How could they ask him to give aid to the enemy he had just spend four miserable years fighting? To his great surprise he was to change his mind when he met and became enthralled by Zita Empress of Austria-Hungary. Thereafter, he was hers to command despite the danger to his life and career.
Fortunately for us he kept a diary of the next three months which was lodged in the Royal archive at Windsor where it lay forgotten for the next 70 years. This is one of the great adventure stories of the Great War and Col. Strutt deserves to be better known.
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