In the literature on the Patriotic War 1812 of the year, the word "partisan" is certainly found. Imagination, as a rule, slips the corresponding picture: a bearded man, hooking on the pitchfork of the French "musia". Such a peasant didn’t know and didn’t want to know any “top” bosses, hence the term “partisan”.
But partisan in those years were called the units of the regular army, designed to act in the enemy's rear and subordinate to the high command. "Partisan" in these units and did not smell. Discipline was iron, they acted on a single plan. In modern terminology for the units of this kind, another name was established - “special forces”.
Of the fighters of the then “special forces”, the most famous are Seslavin, Dorokhov, Vadbolsky, Fonvizin, Prince Kudashev and, of course, Denis Davydov. But now we are talking about another person, whose life, as a contemporary wrote, “was bright and short, like a rapid flash of a meteor in the night sky ...”
His name was Alexander Samoylovich Figner.
The beginning of the Russian branch of the old family was laid by the Ostsee Baron Figner von Rutmersbach, who entered the service of Peter the Great. His son, Samuil Samuilovich, did not inherit the baronial title, and received a truncated surname - just Figner.
He had three sons. He loved the older one, the younger one too, but for some reason, Sasha, for some reason, disliked him and tirelessly pissed him with rods ...
Fulfilling parental will, Sasha went to study in the 2nd (former artillery) cadet corps. In 1805, he received an officer rank, and after a short time he was appointed to a special landing regiment and left with the Senyavin squadron to the Mediterranean Sea. Then sea voyages did not resemble entertaining cruises. Incredible crowding reigned on the sailboats, dampness, “amenities” were the most unpretentious, the quality of the food was very bad. Hence the inevitable diseases that happened to inflict fleets losses comparable to war. The ensign Figner also fell ill. The officer was taken ashore, and later all sorts of accidents threw him to Milan. It was then for the first time that the special talents of the future partisan affected: phenomenal visual memory and rare ability to learn languages. Figner brought his excellent command of Italian to his homeland, and in addition to that, a technical curiosity: the almost silent air gun made of a cane of terrible destructive power ...
In the 1809 year, after almost two years of truce, the next Russian-Turkish war resumed. Figner - at the Danube Theater. Commanding a battery of eight trunks, he participates in many large and small "deeds", including the capture of the Turtukai fortress ... On one of the days when preparations were under way for the assault on the Rushchuk fortress, the question arose of removing the exact dimensions of the fortress ditch. This case was extremely risky. But nothing can be done, someone still needs to go. The officers gathered to throw lots at this occasion, but here lieutenant Fignner cast his vote:
- Gentlemen, do not be obstructed by lot. I'll go.
In the evening, the lieutenant left, and by the morning he returned all smeared with mud and handed the command with a paper with numbers:
- Here you are. Depth, width ... all sizes needed.
He was awarded the Order of St. George 4 degree.
And then there was a severe wound to the chest and a long lying in the hospital ...
Once General Kamensky invited him to his place:
- Do not be offended, Lieutenant, but I will not let you go anymore. You better go home. There you will soon enter into force.
The yard was 1810 year. Figner Sr. was already in the post of Pskov Lieutenant Governor and met his son with open arms:
- Well, Sasha, you're a hero! And here I looked after the bride. Get ready! Right now and go.
- Where-where ... To our governor I will introduce you.
Then the artillery lieutenant and himself got into the habit of driving to the governor’s house. The four daughters of Governor Bibikov were more beautiful to each other; besides, for each loomed a very good dowry.
But trouble happened. On the denunciation of the Petersburg auditor, the governor Bibikov was accused of official abuse and taken into custody. The sovereign's decree: “To recover thirty thousand rubles from Bibikov.”
The amount is huge. The family was waiting for ruin. Brilliant suitors as blown away. Fleeing from shame, the governor's wife and daughters left the city and settled in their village.
Winter evening. Outside frost and impenetrable darkness. And the rest, like Pushkin: “Three girls under the window were spun late in the evening ...” The only difference is that there were four girls.
Somewhere far away the bell rang. Here he is closer, nearer, nearer ... Mother frightened in dismay:
- Lord have mercy! Is there again a courier? Well, they still have to take something from us? ..
But it was not a courier. A slender young man came out of the wagon and, sweeping the snow in the floor of a cavalry cloak, ran up the steps. Knocked.
- Who's there?
- Headquarters Captain Figner. Perhaps remember this ...
The captain entered, bowed:
- Ma'am! Don't be angry ... I understand my unworthiness, and yet I dare to ask you for the hand of your youngest daughter, Olga.
Alexander and Olga got married.
And soon the troops of Bonaparte crossed the River Neman ...
Year 1812, month June. Captain Alexander Figner is back in the ranks, this time the 3-I light company of the 11-th artillery brigade is entrusted to him.
On July 13, a hot affair happened near Ostrovno, where the company suffered heavy losses, then there was a stubborn battle at the Lubensky Crossroads, where the batterymen sometimes fought hand to hand; then, finally, Borodino, where the figner guns also worked quite well ...
On September 1, a military council was held in the village of Fili, in the hut of the peasant Frolov, which Mikhail Kutuzov ended with the words:
- The loss of Moscow is not the loss of Russia.
The generals dispersed. One of them, Alexei Ermolov, also went to his apartment, but on his way a young artillery captain with “George” appeared in his buttonhole.
- What you need? - General asked gloomily.
- Your Excellency! Introduce me to his lordship. I want to stay in Moscow, in peasant clothes, collect information about the enemy, causing him every kind of harm. And if the case is presented - to kill the Corsican.
- Who are you? Call it.
- Artillery captain Figner.
“Good,” Yermolov nodded. - I will report to the brightest.
On September 2, the Russian army, passing through Moscow, was sixteen versts from it, near the village of Panki. That same night, Figner ... disappeared. And the next night, the largest powder warehouse in Moscow took off.
“It is not good,” the captain said later, “that the enemies would load their guns with our gunpowder.”
With this diversion began his Moscow epic.
“Very soon,” the historian wrote, “in the ruins of the flaming capital, the French felt the methodical war of some brave and hidden avenger. Armed parties ... ambushed, attacked the invaders, especially at night. So Figner began to exterminate the enemies with a hundred of his daring bets. ”
“I wanted to get through to Bonaparte,” said Alexander Samoilovich. “But the canal-guard, who was standing on the clock, hit me hard in the chest with a rifle butt ... I was seized and questioned for a long time, then they began to look after me, and I considered it best to leave Moscow.
Soon, under the personal order of Kutuzov, Figner received a small cavalry detachment under him. A little later, such detachments were led by Captain Seslavin and Colonel Prince Kudashev (son-in-law of Kutuzov), the guards. “In a short time,” Yermolov wrote, “the benefit brought by them was palpable. A large number of prisoners were brought daily ... All the reports included detachments of partisans; residents ... themselves taking weaponjoined in droves. The exciter of the villagers to the war, which had consequences for the enemy, can rightly be attributed to the first one to the gunner. ”
Figner's reincarnation ability was astounding. Here he is - a brilliant lieutenant of Murat's corps - freely enters the enemy camp, chatting with officers, strolling between tents ... And here he is - a hunched-over old man who helps himself with a thick stick; and inside the stick - the very airgun, more than once already used ...
“I will go on a journey,” said the captain, leaving for the next reconnaissance in the next guise, in order to then deliver the enemy with a precisely calculated sudden blow.
An English observer at the headquarters of the Russian army, General Wilson, informed his superiors: “Captain Figner sent a Hanover colonel to the camp, two officers and two hundred soldiers, whom he took six miles from Moscow, and, according to the colonel ... killed four hundred people, riveted six guns and blew up six charging crates ... "
This is just one episode, like the dozens.
But the most glorious deed took place on November 28 near the village of Lyakhovo, near Vyazma, when Figner, Davydov and Seslavin, supported by the Cossacks of Orlov-Denisov, forced General Ozhero’s corps to surrender. Kutuzov wrote: "This victory is all the more famous because for the first time in the course of the current campaign the enemy corps laid a weapon in front of us." Put in front of the partisans!
Kutuzov entrusted Fynner himself to deliver the victory report to Petersburg. In the cover letter to the highest name, among other things, there were such lines: "The provider of this ... always differed with rare military abilities and greatness of spirit, which are known not only by our army, but also by the enemy."
The emperor granted the partisan the rank of lieutenant colonel with his transfer to the Guards artillery, appointed an adjutant to his retinue. At a personal audience, he paternally smiled at him and said:
- It hurts you modest, Fignner. Why don't you ask anything for yourself? Or do you not need anything?
The lieutenant colonel looked the Emperor in the eye.
- Your majesty! My only desire is to save the honor of Mikhail Ivanovich Bibikov, my father-in-law. Have mercy on him.
The Emperor frowned.
- Beetle fair your father in law. But if such a hero asks for him ... Okay! As you wish.
Soon the highest decree took place: "In respect of the excellent merits of the Life Guards Lieutenant Colonel Figner, the former Pskov Governor's son-in-law ... under trial, forgivenly forgive him, Bibikov, and dismiss him from the court and all penalties for it."
The Life Guards Lieutenant Colonel was then twenty-five years old. And he had only eleven months left to live.
On October 1, 1813, seven versts from the German city of Dessau, the figner squadron (five hundred people) met with the vanguard of Nei's corps, took an unequal battle and almost all of it lay pressed against the Elbe ...
“Find me Figner.” I want to look at him.
Turned over every dead man, but Figner was not found. Not found him among the wounded. Not found among the few prisoners ...
Russian soldiers for a long time did not want to believe that Figner died:
- Is it that Samoylych was killed? Mischievous! Not such a person ... Well, judge for yourself: nobody saw him dead.
Yes. No one saw him dead ...