Prince Paul is featured educating an honored visitor on one of the finer points of 

​European geography.

Once at home again, we enjoyed registering the St. Petersburg Archives' Gul'kovskii documents

into a large easily findable bibliography. Kindly see below.

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

​Having diligently reviewed the extensive personnel file of the Squadron Grade Dragoon officer under consideration, we were, most surprisingly, unable to find any documents stipulating his promotion to either Major or Lieutenant Colonel.

Still, we were extremely delighted to recognize his advancement to the exalted rank of Colonel in August 1880 under the auspices of the generosity of Czar Alexander II, who reigned from 1855-1881. Obviously, under the leadership of this Czar, intelligent, brave and enduring officers could, in their hearts of hearts, count on promotional justice being visited upon them.

It must have been an experience of special significance to Colonel Gu'kovskii that he was placed in command of a regiment, he had already served in as a Lieutenant.

This is also particularly noteworthy, since all Lifeguard Colonels, although they wore Colonel's insignia on their epaulettes, were via established protocol regarded and treated like Major Generals. This was surely because of the high trust and confidence the Czar maintained for them. Another reason definitely is that Lifeguard regiments were assigned extraordinary duties in representing the Czar and his government.

Colonel Gul'kovskii's Lifeguards Dragoon regiment belonged to the Second Guards Cavalry Division with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fontanka. But our Colonel's Dragoon regiment was stationed in Old Peterhof. Its duties included, for all practical purposes, that this regiment did not just possess the responsibility for safeguarding the paradise-style palace complex of Peterhof and its Imperial family but also to be prepared to receive, accommodate and protect crowned heads of states and their family members, when they arrived for state visits on their luxurious yachts, which were nearly always anchored in the Gulf of Finland, right at the doorsteps of Peterhof.

Needless to say, a quite lavish lifestyle like that was rather expensive, while Colonel salaries were rather humble in sum. Colonel Gul'kovskii's access to funds to defray these enormous expenses came from his extensive estate Gulkovo (See map below), merely a few hours from Peterhof away.  

This also financially supported non-commissioned officers and lower-ranking Dragoons (including their spouses and children, provided they had permission to be married), engaged in personal and house service to their regimental commander.

Colonel Gul'kovskii, who possessed an unblemished reputation for justice and fair play, was beyond the above regularly called upon to preside over higher echelon military court marshals, from where he dispensed justice and discipline.

From Peterhof, Colonel Gul'kovskii witnessed the coronation and accession to the Russian Throne by Alexander III, who reigned from 1881-1894.

The astute observer will obviously recognize that the duties and responsibilities of Colonel Gul'kovskii nearly paralleled those of a non-sovereign Duke, something that must definitely have been in the DNA of this accomplished Senior Field Grade Officer.

It may be assumed without prejudice that the nobleman Gul"kovskii enjoyed his Peterhof assignment beyond all others.   

While visiting Peterhof a second time, we were able to locate the Billets of the Dragoon Lifeguard Regiment. And we enjoyed being guests at a palace-style restaurant and conference center, which, quite clearly, served yesteryear the Dragoon officers as a club.        

The Gul'kovskii family was spared the agony of leaving Suvalki and the many friendships they had cultivated there over the years. They all most assuredly celebrated this happy occasion at the smaller of the two Officers Open Messes at the outskirts of  the city that had become their permanent home. (1)

Lt. General Gul'kovskii, alone in his capacity as Governor General had, for all practical purposes, functioned very much like a reigning Prince on behalf of his Imperial Monarch.

Another reason why the Gul'kovskiis were most likely appreciative for the opportunity to remain where they had taken up roots, was their reasonable proximity to their other exceedingly large agricultural estate of Gulki, located in what is today Belarus (2).

Lt. General and Governor General Nikolai Nikolaevich Gul'kovskii was happily married to Zinaida Alexandrovna Kavalskii, the beautiful daughter of Czarist-Russian Cavalry hero Lt. General Egop Kavalskii. Their marriage was blessed by the birth of daughter Marii on 19 May 1873 and son Nikolai on 10 July 1874.

The fate of the Gulk'kovskii family and their offspring during and after the Russian Revolution could not be credibly determined by us.

As a recognized God-loving family, their immortality and hopefully future lives rest in the gentle hands of our Great Creator.

Kindly notice Prince Paul wearing his Imperial Vietnamese General dress uniform on which he wears, ​

​among other decorations, for the first time, the Grand Placa Imperial Orden Hispanica de Carlos V.

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​At the end of 1877, the Russians crossed the Balkan Range and following victorious battles at Sofia, Plovdiv and Sheinovo (See image above), the Turkish Army was crushed and shattered. A preliminary peace treaty was signed in the small town of San Stefano near Constantinople on 3 March 1878, making provisions for an autonomous Bulgarian state.

Captain Gul'kovskii had gallantly participated in all major battles of the war, frequently being in the advance of his army, when contact with the enemy was made. At Sheinovo, while engaged in sword-to-sword fighting with enemy cavalry, he was shot several times in his right leg by opposing infantry. He was rescued and brought to medical attention by a few of his own Dragoons, who were engaged in battle next to him. We may take already the literary liberty to reveal at this time that the good Captain never completely recuperated from these wounds of war for as long as he lived.

Captain Gul'kovskii's valor in the face of the enemy earned him the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stanislas with Swords, the Order of St. Anne with Swords for Bravery in Action and the Iron Cross of Rumania.

While convalescing, he authored Imperial Russia's official history of the Russo-Turkish War and was praised by the Czar personally for his military and literary achievements.       

​1., 2., 3.

​While assigned to His Majesty's Life Guards Dragoon Regiment, basically from 1867 until 1874, Lieutenant Gul'kovskii experienced service as a Platoon Leader and Staff Officer on battalion level, attending to personnel -, security-, plans and operations- and logistics administration, giving him basic unit experiences at the squadron and battalion levels.

In 1874, he was appointed to serve at the Imperial Court as one of the Aides-de-Camp to the Czar, at this time Alexander II. This was an exceedingly important and prestigious assignment, allowing him to get to know all the important personages who had business with the Czar. This allowed him to make and retain friends and acquaintances at all levels of government and geographic administrations.

In the year 1875, he was accorded the opportunity to serve on the Imperial Army Staff  in the rank of a First Lieutenant. This represents a most unusual advancement, because, normally, such prestigious assignments are reserved for accomplished Senior Captains (in Czarist Russia: Staff Captains) or Majors. We may assess by these facts that First Lieutant Gul'kovskii was a man of high intellect and vast military knowledge far beyond that of his average contemporaries.

The flag featured below is the official standard of  the Russian Czar.  

1.

​2.

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

​Although, Major General Gul'kovskii did not participate in the actual conquest of Eastern Lithuania (at that time still part of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth), he definitely ended up administrating the greater Suvalki area as a result of the strategic accession schemes of Austria, Prussia and Russia.

Historical and personal Gul'kovskii documents attest to the fact that he administered the greater Suvalki domain after its conquest with prudent generosity and justice.   

We bid our distinguished readers farewell by inviting them to take a look at the last resting place of the Imperial Russian Family, interred on the Island of Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg.

Below that, Heide and Paul invite you to visit the Venice of the North, as St. Petersburg is also known, at your own earliest convenience. We guarantee: You shall not be disappointed. 

2) Color rendition of Life Guard Dragoon uniforms

GUL'KOVSKII COAT-OF-ARMS INFORMATION

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​2.

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

Our Ultimate Conclusion

with regard to the personal and professional life of General Nikolai Nikolaevich Gul'kovskii

came unexpectedly to us during our July 2017 visit to Bulgaria.

In this country, the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878

​remains unforgotten and is manifested in at least two respectable monuments. Kindly see below.

C O N C L U S I O N

While imaginatively as well as actively working for an enduring peace in, around and far afield from Berlin (The photographs provided below express only a small token of the total amount of efforts extended toward this lofty purpose, 1., 2., 3.), a not too distant relative of this author, Captain Nikolai Petrovich Gulkovski (Please note the precise spelling of this name - the last "i" has been dropped from the family name as it no longer is in possession of aristocratic status in the former Soviet Union.), worked equally diligently and hard in this direction.

Doing what he could, he presented to his American counterparts a portrait of a most valuable, highly cultured and sophisticated human being, who was noteworthy of trust, admiration and the utmost of respect as a private person as well as a military professional, obviously contrary to stereotypical expectations. Please note the abstract of the U.S. Military Mission in the Soviet Sector dossier provided below, 4. and 5.

 There is absolutely no doubt in the author's military mind that Captain Nikolai P. Gulkovski is a direct descendent of General and Governor Nikolai N. Gul'kovskii extensively researched above. Even knowing the Captain only by his reported characteristics in a formerly classified American Military Intelligence dossier, both authors of this historical treatise are truly elated about the fact that this ancestral research has netted such a wonderfully surprising result.


The principle researcher of this historical treaties never did meet Captain Gulkovski; however, it is not totally unlikely that he looked a little bit as depicted in picture 6.


This was definitely worth it, because it clearly shows, we are closer and more connected to one another in this world than we have previously been brave enough to think.   

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

After his graduation from the Nikolaiyev Cavalry Academy in St. Petersburg, Lieutenant Gul’kovskii entered His Majesty’s Life-Guards Dragoon Regiment in the year 1867. Very much like all other Life Guards Regiments, this Dragoon unit belonged to the absolute elite of the Russian Imperial Army. For those individuals not aware of what "Dragoons" means, please be informed that they are mounted Infantry who can fight as either Cavalry or Infantry. For that reason, a Field Commander may use them as reinforcements in either a fast-moving advance or in stationary defense. This also makes Dragoons ideally suited for important object protection, such as bridges, railroad stations, government buildings and palaces. This particular Dragoons Life Guard Regiment was stationed as well in St. Petersburg as part of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, which, in turn, belonged to the 2nd Guards Cavalry Division. Regarding the pictorial presentations below:

1) Lithography of the Imperial Life Guards Dragoon Regiment from the year 1859

​5.

The documents utilized above were obtained from the St. Petersburg Military Archives also located on the St. Peter and Paul Fortress island, pictures below.

General Nikolai Nikolaevich Gul’kovskii was born on 9 October 1849. He was baptized in the Russian Orthodox faith and a son of a noble man from the Moscow province.

He received his formative military education at the Nikolaiyev Cavalry Academy, which was part of a military educational institution known as His Imperial Highness’s Corps of Pages. The Corps was an institution of  very high standards, which prepared Pages for duty at the Imperial Court and which graduated officers for service in the Armed Forces of Russia. A small percentage of graduates entered the diplomatic or Imperial civil service. Not few became physicians and scientists (1). This was a matter of personal choice, each cadet/page (2) being free to decide, which career he wished to embark upon. ​

CoA

​Suvalki Province

​6.

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

​4.

​2.

One cannot say farewell to St. Petersburg without mentioning that this wonderful city on the Baltic Sea, in relative close proximity to Finland and Sweden, is actually and primarily a maritime town that provides all the facilities necessary to sustain a very complex and multi-echelon Naval and Maritime Academies establishment. Please observe the photograph below, taken in front of the Hermitage.

​Frequently, one cannot help but have the impression that the best in life has just passed, not realizing that an even better existence is waiting for an individual just around the corner.

In 1886 Colonel Gul'kovskii was transferred to Suvalki (previously of Lithuania) to take charge of the Second Imperial Life Guards Dragoon Regiment "Her Majesty Maria Feodorovna," which was part of the Second Cavalry Division also stationed in Suvalki.

This particular assignment is for us historians of special significance for two reasons:

1) Czarina Maria Feodorovna was the wife of Czar Alexander III who reigned from 1881-1894 and the mother of Czar Nicholas II, who was brutally murdered, alongside all of his immediate family members, by the Bolshevists on 17 July 1918 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

2) This particular Life Guards Dragoon Regiment was newly formed in 1809 and, for practical reasons, wore the coats of the Lithuanian Life Guards Infantry Regiment: dark-green guards tunics with red collars, cuffs and plastrons. The Dragoon Guards wore the same helmets as the Cuirassier Guards.

Commencing with June 1897, while still nominally in charge of the Second Imperial Life Guards Dragoon Regiment, Gul'kovskii, now formally promoted to the rank of Major General, took command of the Second Cavalry Division, part of the Second Imperial Army Corps deployed in Suvalki.         

(Gul'kovskii Coat-of-Arms)

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

Crowns are much more than those who are entitled to wear them.
They are a symbol for the entirety of a cultural whole and the idea
of enlightened statesmanship.

​Suvalki emerged as the city and area of destiny to General Gul'kovskii, as we will see a little bit later on.

For the time being let it suffice that Suvalki, which intermittently had belonged to Lithuania or Poland during its previous history, was considered a strategic area of prominent importance to the Russian Empire. Consulting the 1809 Duchy of Warsaw map provided below, it will become obvious why it had become a relative easy prize for Czarist forces to capture it.   

by


H.M.S.H. Prof. Dr. Paul W. Prince Gulgowski-Doliwa

and

H.M.S.H. Dame Heide Princess Gulgowski-Doliwa

The Duke and Duchess of Lower Silesia-Glogau

​While recuperating from his dreadful war injury and authoring the official history of the last war with pre-imminent Russian participation, Captain Gul'kovskii was placed in charge of the entire complex of Imperial stables in St. Petersburg. Here he supervised the breeding of pedigree horses for deployment in light cavalry, heavy cavalry, Dragoons and horse-drawn artillery, very much in the tradition of Prince Orloff's efforts in that direction. Needless to say, our war hero must have enjoyed this responsibility abundantly.

Having visited in St. Petersburg for a prolonged period of time, we can attest to the fact, that the city of Peter The Great is well ornamented with a platitude of magnificent horse statues of all classifications.


​Imperial Horse Stables located in St. Petersburg. Remnants thereof we had the pleasure of recognizing during our stay there as well.  

​1.

CoA

​House of Romanov

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​From this moment in time on, things began to slide down the hill with ever increasing speed:

On 1 February 1907, the commander of the Second Imperial Army recommended Lt. General Gul’kovskii to be accorded the rank of General of Cavalry (1).

On  9 February 1907, both, the Czar and the Minister of War approved the above recommendation (2).

However, probably effective 1 January 1908, Lt. General Nikolai Nikolaevich was honorably retired from military service with all entitlements pertaining to him. Well, what had happened? At this time, we can only speculate that the good General would have loved to assume higher responsibilities in St. Petersburg, Moscow or any other metropolitan area of glamour and renown, which, regrettably, was not materializing for him. Accepting a transfer to anywhere in the Trans-Caucasus regions was most likely disagreeable to him. Hence, he decided to retire (3). His impressive array of decorations are listed under (4).

The coat-of-arms of the Imperial Russian Noble Dynasty pertaining to the Gul'kovskii family is registered in the Armorial General of The Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Poland (1798-1908).

The Gul'kovskii coat-of-arms shown below was authorized for utilization in the Russian Empire on 22 March 1802. 

Monument in honor of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who defeated the Ottoman Empire during the years 1877-1878, unidentified location.

Readers of  Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy's "War and Peace" were undoubtedly made aware of the 19th century Russian military modus operandi: During times of peace, army and naval chiefs of staff "raided" line units and naval vessels-of-war for outstanding and highly talented officers, so they could make themselves shine in the eyes of their own superiors. While the Russian nation was at war, the opposite phenomenon would prevail. Now senior combat arms commanders of units alerted to fight on the battle line, would visit armed forces headquarters and administrative centers to "highjack" all capable officers of whose excellent professional reputation they were positively aware.

As a result of these actions, Dragoon Officer Gul'kovskii was immediately promoted Captain and Commanding Officer of the Second Squadron of his home regiment, enabling him to serve his nation in its war against the Turks, 1877-1878. Russia fought in this war to assist in gaining independence for Bulgaria, which resulted in success. Captain Gulkovskii's participation in this conflict was characterized by continued bravery and uncompromised honor. His leadership style was guided by high intelligence but never by thoughtless recklessness in battle. 

​4.

THE GULG(K)OVSKII DYNASTY OF CZARIST RUSSIA

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​1.

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

Evaluating all records, we arrived at the calculated conclusion that Major General Gul’kovskii was promoted to Lieutenant General and advanced to Second Cavalry Corps Commander sometime between 1899 and 1900. A garrison change was not involved for him, because the Second Cavalry Division served also as the cadre base for the Corps. Still, his promotion was more than merited since he was also elevated to be the Governor General for the entire Province of Suvalki, effective October 1905. He probably presided over these two important functions out of an impressive building complex that serves today as a Russian Orthodox monastery.

Obviously, Suvalki could not favorably compare itself with Peterhof; however, General Gul'kovskii seemed to have been happy there. Undoubtedly, in Suvalki he evolved to be the "biggest fish in the pond," enjoying his Czar-given unchallenged authority in the entire area. Besides, as an equestrian the countryside surrounding this small town must have been a great treat for him, allowing him to be close to God and nature. 

​Impressive monument at Mount Shipka, Bulgaria

​3.