Portrait of Heinrich Veniaminovich Jomini, military gallery of the Winter Palace
History Russia is amazing. Moreover, in some aspects, it is a mirror image of the history of "sworn friends" - the United States. Two countries that have never fought among themselves look at themselves like a mirror for several centuries. Like the United States, the Russian Empire hosted foreigners. At the same time, immigration to Russia both in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries was not as widespread as in the USA, only high-class specialists came to the empire. If now the problem of our country is that it is constantly "leaking brains", then in the past they, on the contrary, only arrived. Peter I also gave a massive start to the influx of foreigners, after which military specialists, industrialists, inventors, scientists, doctors, and representatives of technical professions rushed to Russia en masse.
The British, French, Germans, Swedes, Italians, residents of almost all European nationalities arrived in the empire and became its subjects. Many of them finally Russified and took root in our country. One of such representatives was the prominent military theorist Jomini, Henry Veniaminovich, a born Swiss resident Antoine Henry. The history of this military leader, who was at the origins of the opening of the Academy of the General Staff in our country in 1832, is truly amazing. He managed to fight for Napoleon I, being a participant in the war of 1812, and against the emperor of France, joining the Russian service in 1813. In Russia, Antoine Henri Jomini spent most of his military career in the military until 1855.
Antoine Henri Jomini
Antoine Henri Jomini was born in the small Swiss city of Payerne of the canton of Vaud on March 6, 1779 in the family of the local mayor Benjamin Jomini. In 1796, at the age of 17, he moved to Paris, where for some time he worked as a clerk in a bank until in 1798 he returned home. At this time, in Switzerland, which was dependent on revolutionary France, the Helvetic Republic was proclaimed. Returning to Switzerland, Antoine Henri joined the Ministry of War, receiving the rank of lieutenant. A year later, the young officer commanded the battalion, but the beginning of his military career was overshadowed by a corruption scandal. After being accused of bribes, Antoine Henri Jomini was forced to leave Switzerland for Paris.
In France, Jomini returned to commerce and worked for a while in the well-known Dupont company, which at that time was a major supplier of various equipment to the French army. While in the civil service, Jomini never ceased to be interested in military affairs, studied military sciences, read a lot of thematic literature, and eventually wrote and published his own book in 1804. Antoine Henri's work was entitled A Treatise on Major Military Operations and was a study of the military campaigns of Bonaparte and Frederick the Great.
In the same 1804, Jomini again voluntarily joined the French army. At the same time, his work did not go unnoticed, Napoleon himself appreciated it. The protection of the young military theorist was also provided by the future Marshal of France Michelle Ney. Moreover, the first edition of the Treatise on Large-scale Military Operations was published in three volumes at once and represented a great deal of work that marked the birth of a new military theorist.
Antoine Henri Jomini in the Napoleonic Wars
Antoine Henri Jomini took a direct part in the Napoleonic Wars, fighting in all major campaigns, starting in 1805. So he took part in the Austro-Russian-French war and accompanied Marshal Ney during the defeat of the Austrian army under Ulm. Soon after, Jomini received a post at the headquarters of the 6th Army Corps, and in 1806 he became the first adjutant of the Marshal. For the valor that Jomini showed in the campaign of 1805, Napoleon promoted him to colonel.
The surrender of Ulm, October 20, 1805, painting of 1815
Antoine Henri Jomini also participated in the Russian-Prussian-French war of 1806-1807. Even before the outbreak of hostilities in 1806, Jomini published a new essay, “A Memo on the Probability of a War with Prussia,” outlining his own views on a future war. Napoleon became acquainted with this work of Jomini and appreciated it. A promising officer, the French emperor took to his headquarters.
The young Swiss everywhere followed Napoleon, taking a direct part in two significant battles of the campaign: October 14, 1806 at Jena and February 7-8, 1807 at Preisisch-Eylau. At the battle of Jena, Antoine Henry was in battle formation of the 25th Line Regiment, which attacked the positions of the Russian army near Iserstadt. For this episode, he was noted in the report of the corps commander, and for the campaign of 1806-1807, Napoleon granted Jomini the baron title and awarded the highest award of France - the Legion of Honor.
Then Antoine Henri became the chief of staff of the 6th Army Corps, commanded by his patron Marshal Ney. In this position, Henry was during the campaign of Napoleon I in Spain in 1808. However, he did not stay in Spain for long, and already in 1809 he was seconded to Vienna. By that time, he had already been awarded the rank of brigadier general, and the young officer himself had prepared another work, about which Napoleon personally asked him. Initially, Jomini was to prepare a historical description of the Italian campaigns of the Napoleonic army of 1796-1800, but quickly enough a much more extensive work came out from under his pen, covering events from 1792 to 1801. The work was called "Critical and Military History of the Revolutionary Wars." And already in 1811, Jomini prepared a new full edition of “A Treatise on the Great Hostilities” - a large-scale scientific work of 8 volumes, the publication of which continued until 1816.
The war of 1812 and the transition to Russian service
Together with the army of Napoleon I, Antoine Henri Jomini took part in the Russian campaign of 1812, which was the beginning of the death of the French Empire created by Bonaparte. At the same time, Jomini did not take part in the hostilities. At first he was governor of Vilna, and later the commandant of the Smolensk taken by the French. Despite the rear positions, Antoine Henry provided invaluable assistance to the retreating remnants of the Great Army. Thanks to the information collected by him in advance, it was possible to transport the remains of the army and Napoleon through the Berezina. Crossing the river was conducted above Borisov, which was firmly held by parts of Marshal Udino. Thanks to this decision, part of the French army was able to avoid complete defeat and captivity, while Jomini himself almost drowned and became seriously ill with a fever.
Peter von Hess. Crossing the Berezina
It is curious that Antoine Henri Jomini became the only participant in the Patriotic War of 1812, who fought on the side of the enemy - the French, but at the same time his portrait was subsequently placed on the walls of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, in the famous military gallery.
During the 1813 campaign, Jomini fully recovered from his illness and returned to duty. He met the New Year of the Napoleonic Wars the chief of staff of the 3rd Army Corps, commanded by Marshal Michelle Ney. It is believed that the talent, knowledge of the strategy and tactics of Jomini had a decisive influence on the victory of the French army over the united Russian-Prussian army at Bautzen on May 20-21, 1813. After the retreat of the Allied army to Silesia, the parties signed an armistice agreement until August 1813. At the same time, for this battle, Jomini was introduced to the rank of division general, but for some reason he never received it. It is believed that this was due to the tense relations of Antoine Henri with the chief of the General Staff of Napoleon Louis, Alexander Bertier, a conflict with which Jomini had existed since 1810.
Offended by the misappropriation of the next rank on the day of the ceasefire, Antoine Henri Jomini went over to the side of the anti-French coalition. In Prague, Jomini was accepted into the service by the Russian emperor Alexander I and promoted to lieutenant general. The newly-minted Russian general was included in the retinue of His Imperial Majesty for the quartermaster part (the prototype of the future General Staff). Together with the Russian troops, Jomini took part in the battles near Kulm on August 29-30, 1813, participated in the “Battle of the Peoples” near Leipzig on October 16-19 of the same year. And in the next year’s campaign, he took part in the battle of Brienne on January 29, 1814 and in the storming of Bar-sur-Saint on March 2, 1814. After the end of the war in Europe and the victory of the forces of the 6th anti-French coalition, Antoine Henri Jomini accompanied the Russian Emperor Alexander I to the Vienna Congress.
Creation of the Academy of the General Staff
Until 1824, Antoine Henri Jomini was visiting his new homeland, continuing to work on various military-theoretical works. Finally, the officer moved to Petersburg only in the summer of 1824. After the accession to the throne of Emperor Nicholas I in 1825, Jomini began to live continuously in Russia, finally becoming Heinrich Veniaminovich. In 1826, the emperor granted the Swiss the rank of general from infantry. In Russia, his military-theoretical activities did not stop. Jomini continued to write books, so in 1830 the "Analytical Review of Military Art" was published. And in 1838, the second most important military work, Essays on Military Art, came out of the pen of the now Russian general. The author put this work in the basis of a new course of strategy, which, among other things, he read for the heir to the Russian throne - the future emperor Alexander II.
The building of the Imperial Nikolaev Military Academy in St. Petersburg
While in the Russian military service, Heinrich Veniaminovich Zhomini was involved as an adviser in planning military operations during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 and the Crimean War of 1853-1856. At the same time, during the war with Turkey, Jomini accompanied the emperor on a military campaign and was subsequently awarded the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky. During his service, Jomini was awarded many state orders, including the Order of St. Anna of the I degree and the highest award of the Russian Empire - the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.
The most important achievement of Jomini in Russian military service was the creation in St. Petersburg of the Military Academy of the General Staff, which was opened in 1832. It was an invaluable contribution to the development of Russian military education. Heinrich Veniaminovich Zhomini has been promoting this project since 1826, when for the first time on behalf of Nicholas I he substantiated the idea of creating a Central Strategic School in our country, which was supposed to lead to the unity of principles and methods of teaching tactics and strategy to officers. The grand opening of the Imperial Military Academy took place in St. Petersburg on November 26, 1832 (December 8, according to a new style). Thus, Baron Heinrich Veniaminovich Zhomini forever entered Russian military history as a major military theorist, historian, infantry general, who is one of the authors of the project for creating the Academy of the General Staff.
In service in the Russian army, Jomini remained until 1855, having managed to receive the Order of St. George of the 4th degree in 25 years of continuous service. Already at a respectable age, Heinrich Veniaminovich left the country, which became his second Motherland, and returned to Switzerland, and then moved to France in the town of Passy, where he died at the age of 90 at the end of March 1869. Moreover, in Russia all these years his son, Russian diplomat Alexander Zhomini, who worked for many years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, continued to work, and in 1879-1880 he occupied the post of comrade (assistant) of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire. A famous Russian diplomat died on December 5, 1888 in St. Petersburg.
Henry Veniaminovich Zhomini
At the same time, the contribution made to the military historical case of Jomini was appreciated by his descendants. Among other things, an outstanding military theorist was the first to single out another concept from the concept of “theater of war” - “theater of operations”. Jomini was also the first among military researchers to demonstrate to everyone the difference between the concepts of operational direction and operational line. The military researcher's provisions on the concentration of the main forces in the direction of the main attack and close interaction in the battle of artillery, cavalry and infantry had a very serious influence on the development of all Western European and Russian military thought in the 1889th century. At the same time, the work of Antoine Henri Jomini made a huge contribution to the formation and development of the entire national school of military strategy, especially in the 1898th century. One of his most famous students was General Heinrich Antonovich Leer, who headed the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff in XNUMX-XNUMX.