Military Review

Denis Davydov - poet and saboteur

Boltyshev Viktor Nikolaevich. Davydov in the battle at Saltanovki. Xnumx

“Our mother is huge Russia! Will not everything, whether it be found alive or inanimate, on the broad path of a hurricane ... our army, the first in the world in its courage, discipline and structure, be demolished by ashes from the face of the earth?
Even Russia did not rise in its gigantic growth, and woe to its enemies, if it ever rises! ”
Denis Davydov

Denis Vasilievich Davydov, famous poet - partisan, was born on July 16 1784 in the family of brigadier Vasily Denisovich Davydov, who served under the command of A. V. Suvorov. The brightest impression of childhood is a meeting with the legendary commander who predicted the boy: “It will be a military man ...”. Parents gave their son an excellent home education. With the help of his father, he soon joined the military, brilliantly mastered horse riding. But he suffered because he was short, snub-nosed, ugly. In 17 years he already served as a cadet in the Cavalry Guard Regiment, a year later he received the rank of cornet. The officers loved the wit, modesty and charm of the personality of this small-growth military. From 1807, Davydov was appointed adjutant of Prince Bagration. Together with him he took part in battles with the French, the Swedes, the Turks, showing himself to be a desperately brave warrior. By the beginning of the 1812 war, he was already a lieutenant colonel of the Akhtyrsky Hussars, who were in the vanguard of General Vasilchikov's troops.
Just a few days before the Borodino battle, watching the soldiers dismantle his father’s house in the village of Borodino, where his childhood was spent, Davydov suggested the expediency of guerrilla actions behind enemy lines. He borrowed this idea from the Spanish partisans (Guerillaces), whom Napoleon could not defeat until they had joined the regular army. Davydov filed a report with Bagration asking him to provide him with people to create a partisan detachment. Under his beginnings, he received 50 Hussars and 80 Cossacks, and the first began to use guerrilla methods in fighting the enemy.

Denis Davydov - poet and saboteur

It was Davydov’s successes in the partisan struggle that convinced Kutuzov that the people in his deep rear could be beaten by the people, and the commander gave it a wider development. Davydov's outstanding feat was a battle near the village of Lyakhov, when he captured 2 000 soldiers from the unit of General Augereau. Successful actions of the detachment under the command of Denis Davydov led to the liberation of the city of Grodno, for which he was promoted to colonel. It is known that Napoleon fiercely hated Davydov and ordered him to be shot on the spot during his arrest. The Emperor singled out a special squadron in 2 000 riders with 8 chief officers and 1 headquarters officer to capture the first partisan. However, Davydov with his thousandth detachment lured the French into a trap and captured with all the officers.

Davydov fought no less successfully after the border was crossed by the Russian army, differing in almost all the battles in which he took part. So, with the vanguard, he occupied the city of Dresden and was put under house arrest for it, since he acted without an order. All of Europe laid down legends about a brave partisan, and residents of the cities occupied by Russian troops took to the streets to see Davydov. In 1815, he was given the rank of Major General for a battle near Paris, where 5 horses were killed near Davydov, but he nevertheless broke through to the French battery and hacked a servant, deciding the outcome of the battle. He had to fight and later - in 1827, he successfully fought against the Persians, and in 1831 he suppressed the performances of the Polish insurgents. In the same year he received the rank of lieutenant general, and a year later he retired on conditional duty, being in service until his death in the 1839 year.

D.V. Davydov. The painted engraving of M. Düburg according to the original by A. Orlovsky. Xnumx

Davydov described his military adventures in his memoirs “The Diary of Partisan Search for 1812 of the Year” and “Military Notes”, left memories of A.V. Suvorov, N.N. Raevsky, M. Kamensky. But his main work is a unique book, The Experience of the Theory of Partisan Action, published in 1827 year. She entered the military history Russia as the first study of the theory of "small war", created by the Russian author in Russian material.
Davydov was the first to point out that by the beginning of the 19 century, the European armies had become numerous and complex in design, but vulnerable in the area of ​​the rear. And Russia can easily make guerrilla warfare the main state defense policy, because it has two factors that give an advantage over European countries. These factors are the presence of "true" light cavalry - the Cossacks (the Cossacks combined the military art of the East and West, possessing high combat qualities) and the vastness of the territory, giving the opportunity to retreat, evading enemy strikes, as in 1812 year. For the convenience of controlling the partisan detachments, Davydov proposed dividing them into three categories. Detachments of the first category conduct combat operations in the rear of the enemy army, detachments of the second category act on enemy communications, and third category conduct searches on supply lines of enemy troops. Formed and "emergency" party guerrillas as a operational reserve. The main tactical action of the partisans, noted Davydov, should be a sudden attack from an ambush. In addition, Davydov also considered important the choice of a partisan commander, whose role in a guerrilla war is much more responsible than the role of an ordinary officer. The book Davydov still demanded by interested readers.

In his personal life, Davydov was as lucky as in military affairs. He ardently loved his wife Sofia Nikolaevna, who bore him 9 children. The last years of his life the poet-partisan was an exemplary family man, striving from everywhere to his wife and children. He conducted an extensive correspondence, had a huge number of friends, was close to Pushkin, was associated with many Decembrists, who appreciated his political poems, but refused to join the secret society. In the history of Russian literature, Davydov is the creator of the “hussar lyrics”, whose hero is a young military man, who loves a riotous rampage, love adventures, delete my life and at the same time is opposed to personal violence, a free-thinking man.

Demakov Evgeny Alexandrovich. Poet, hussar and partisan Denis Davydov in a circle of fellow soldiers

All those who knew this person noted his unchanging "youth of heart and morals," a cheerful character that infects others, he was always the soul of friendly meetings.

Denis Vasilievich Davydov remained in the memory of the Russian people as a Hero of the Patriotic War, an original author of military notes, a talented poet who enjoyed fame and attention during his lifetime and was not forgotten after his death. It should be noted and another merit Davydova to Russia. It was on his initiative that the ashes of Prince Bagration were reburied in the Borodino field. And by the centenary of World War 26 August 1912, the Akhtyrka hussars regiment was named after Denis Davydov.

Based on materials:
Denis Davydov first Russian saboteur

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. AK-74-1
    AK-74-1 18 June 2012 08: 40
    Great article. Davydov is a true patriot of Russia. In the year of the celebration of the Victory over Napoleon in the Patriotic War of the 1812 of the year, a wonderful and interesting summary of an amazing person. This example is for the military personnel of the Airborne Forces, MP and Special Forces.
  2. Prometey
    Prometey 18 June 2012 08: 40
    Probably the first Russian saboteur still was Ivan Susanin. And I always had a question - why did Davydov ask Kutuzov for permission to launch partisan actions and left the army before the general battle, and not after - did not believe in the possibility of victory?
    1. Yoshkin Kot
      Yoshkin Kot 18 June 2012 11: 51
      stupidity, he simply logically developed the role of light cavalry, which before that had done something similar, but not so far from the core of the army
  3. hauptmannzimermann
    hauptmannzimermann 18 June 2012 10: 16
    I love the bloody fight
    I was born for royal service!
    Saber, vodka, hussar’s horse,
    I have a golden age with you!
    Denis Vasilievich Davydov "SONG".
  4. Prometey
    Prometey 18 June 2012 13: 52
    But what was the practical significance of Davydov's activity? Intercept a couple of convoys with a dozen half-drunk soldiers? Davydov himself admitted that the partisans were powerless against the regular cavalry and especially the infantry. And Davydov himself was recognized only at the beginning of the 1812th century, when an aura of a people's war began to be created around the Patriotic War of XNUMX (before that it was not considered such).
    1. Pedro
      Pedro 18 June 2012 16: 41
      Practical significance - disorganization of the rear of the enemy. By the way, and now it is very important. An example is the Americans in Afghanistan and their supply.
  5. Pedro
    Pedro 18 June 2012 16: 39
    It would be nice to make a film about that war - such as Liberation.
  6. Roman 3671
    Roman 3671 18 June 2012 16: 51
    The hussars first appeared in Hungary in 1458, during the reign of King Matthew Corvin, who gathered a special noble militia to fight the Turks. These formations were completed according to the principle: one person from twenty yards (translated from Hungarian husz - twenty and ar - file). The uniform of the militias was based on the beautiful national clothing of the Hungarians. But behind this "prettiness" was, above all, expediency. A jacket draped over the left shoulder, trimmed with fur (mentia), softened the saber strike, the same function was performed by a dense embroidery of the chest (with cords). The second jacket (dulama) was worn “in the sleeves”. Kushak (the hussar belt), as a decorative part of the uniform, was originally a woven net intercepted by gombes, which could be used to catch fish or birds if necessary.

    At the end of the XVII and the beginning of the XVIII century in France, Austria and Prussia, the hussar regiments were formed as part of the regular cavalry and showed themselves to be very combat-ready military units.

    The first mention of hussars in Russia dates back to the reign of Peter I, at which time the formation of the first regular regiments of the Russian army was going on. The cavalry, as a separate and independent type of army, at that time consisted of dragoon and cuirassier regiments of the “foreign system,” as well as local cavalry and Cossack units. It was Peter I who first made an attempt to organize light cavalry in the image and likeness of European armies. In 1707, with the permission of the tsar, the native of Serbia, Kicic, formed a detachment of 300 people from Hungarians, Moldavians, Wallachians and Serbs, modeled on the hussar regiments of the Austrian army. But during the Prut campaign (1711), this unit was no different, the hussars drank more and went on a rampage than they fought, so at the end of the hostilities they were dismissed. However, the eternal struggle against the invasions of the horse hordes of nomads showed that Russia needs its own light cavalry.
    At that time, the only type of light cavalry was the irregular Cossack regiments, which eternally arose on the outskirts of the Russian state. The first mention in the annals of the Cossacks, as a certain group of the population and the type of army, refers to the end of the XVI century. We are talking about the Don, Tersky, Grebensky and Yaik Cossack troops. These were well-trained horse formations, sworn allegiance to the Russian Tsar.

    Unlike the heavy cavalry, which appeared on the battlefields in large numbers, in ranks and closed ranks, hussars (usually in small detachments) conducted reconnaissance and combat guard, put forward advanced posts, raided and raided enemy lines and communications. These tasks could only be done by equestrians with high individual training both in horseback riding and in the possession of weapons, a desperately bold resourceful initiative.

    Service in the hussars was justly considered more dangerous than in any other parts. No wonder Joachim Murat, a brilliant cavalryman and one of the best marshals of Napoleon, loved to repeat that a real hussar never lives to be 35 years old ...
    Hussars of the Russian Army in the war of 1812
    Hussars - the light cavalry of the Russian Army were intended to carry out the tasks of reconnaissance, combat guard of troops, communications, covering flanks in battle, raids on enemy communications.

    By the beginning of 1812, there were hussar regiments in the Russian Army: 1 regiment in the guard, 11 regiments in the army.

    Hussar Regiment:
    - The regiment commander (colonel) -1.
    Major -1.
    -Battalion commanders (lieutenant colonels) -2.
    - Squadron commanders (captains) - 10.
    - Lieutenants -12 (including treasurer and quartermaster).
    -Cornets -10.
    -Stroyovyh lower ranks (soldiers and non-commissioned officers) -1500.
    -Nestroyevs (orderlies, auditor, priest, churchmen, head healer, battalion healers, paramedics, overseer, squadron barbers, clerks, wagenmeisters, clerk, gunsmith and his students, horse, blacksmith, carpenters, furlites, profos) 113.

    There are two battalions in the regiment. There are five squadrons in the battalion. The squadron has 150 hussars (lower ranks), a squadron commander (captain), 2 subaltern officers (lieutenant and cornet).
    In total, the regiment has 1500 combatant lower ranks, 4 headquarters officers, 32 chief officers.

    The Life Guards Hussar Regiment had not ten but five squadrons and was not divided into battalions.
  7. Vlaleks48
    Vlaleks48 18 June 2012 18: 21
    The article is unambiguous +. I am sincerely proud of what they were and are, real heroes at all times in the Russian army!
    The remarkable thing is that the man-officer once swore allegiance to the sovereign, did not go to treason for friendship!
  8. nirab
    nirab 18 June 2012 18: 22
    Hussar, womanizer, drunkard, rowdy, father of nine children, poet, member of "Arzamas" together with Pushkin and Vyazemsky. A successful, educated landowner - all this is one person - Denis Davydov. On such people the Russian land kept, is and will hold ... His grave is in the Novodevichy Convent. She is one of the few that survived on the territory of the monastery after the barbaric "restoration" in the 30s.
  9. 8 company
    8 company 18 June 2012 22: 25
    As for the "exemplary family man", the author got a little excited, Davydov's love affairs were rumored throughout almost his entire life, but the main thing, of course, is not this, but the fact that this small man had an amazing alloy of courage, daring, extraordinary, non-standard military thinking ... In those years, they did not know such words - "partisan movement," "saboteurs"; so, indeed, given the scale of the actions he organized against the enemy rear, he can deservedly be called the first Russian professional saboteur. By the way, in the Russian headquarters there were many opponents of this kind of actions, they said that it was not suitable for a nobleman to engage in "banditry" with commoners, it was, like, "not noble", well, thanks to Kutuzov for understanding and supporting.
  10. AIvanA
    AIvanA 19 June 2012 07: 00
    Yes, how do you like now to wash someone else’s clothes, and actually why, a person left the brightest mark in Russian history, one of the bricks on which Russia stood, he is still read in his poems, he’s still being taught to fight in his book on the conduct of military operations, By the way, it’s still classified, it’s just that there was a real Russian man who lived his life vividly and fruitfully and thank him and the kingdom of heaven.
  11. baron.nn
    baron.nn 19 June 2012 08: 46
    Russia is rich in unique people! Be it a military man, a poet or an athlete ...