Petr Semenovich Saltykov. Apostle of the Russian army

Most of the famous domestic commanders of our country will find out, one might say, “by sight”. One has only to show a portrait, and even the children precisely define: “This is Kutuzov, and this is Suvorov!”

However, Peter Semenovich Saltykov is not guessed "in person". About him we speak rarely. In the silence of the local history museums, he looks at the new generations from portraits - a gray-haired old man with a slightly cunning look. The outstanding military leader of Russia hid from wide fame in thick arches of documents and rescripts, in reputable monographs and in military archives. He lives in the papers as quietly and quietly as he once lived in this world until Kunersdorf struck.

Petr Semenovich was born in 1700 year in the village of Nikolsky (Yaroslavl region) in the family estate of General-in-Chief Semyon Andreyevich Saltykov. Semyon Andreevich was the nephew of Praskovya Fedorovna Saltykova - the wife of Tsar Ivan V, co-ruler and brother of Peter the Great. Peter received an excellent home education and in 1714, he was enlisted as a simple soldier in the Preobrazhensky regiment. In the same year, he, along with a group of young noblemen, was sent by order of Peter I to France to study marine business. Having lived abroad for about twenty years, Saltykov returned to his homeland.

He was not destined to become a naval sailor, by then Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730-1740) had ascended to the Russian throne, and Peter Semenovich was appointed one of the captains of her guard. He spoke out against members of the Supreme Privy Council, becoming one of those who facilitated the return of a limited autocracy in the country. The grace of the Empress Saltykov was elevated to the rank of a real chamberlain, and in 1733, along with his father, was awarded the title of count.

Petr Semenovich remained in the court rank shortly, he decided to devote his life to military service. He was promoted to major general, and in 1734, Saltykov took part in the campaign of Russian troops against the Polish king Stanislav Leschinsky. This campaign was for him the first military school. He commanded a small detachment that was part of the corps of Field Marshal Burhard Minich, who laid siege to the city of Danzig (now Gdansk). In May, French ships landed 1734 troops at 2400 near Fort Weichselmunde to support the Gdansk garrison. However, the Baltic Fleet drove the French ships into the sea, and a detachment of Peter Semenovich blocked the landing on the deserted island of Plat. In early June, the French capitulated, three days later Weizelmünde fell, and two weeks later Danzig surrendered. For successful actions in 1735, Saltykov was awarded the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky.

During the reign of Anna Leopoldovna (1740-1741) Petr Semenovich continued to successfully advance in the service, he was granted the rank of lieutenant-general. In 1741, another Russian-Swedish war began, caused by the desire of the Stockholm Royal Court to return the lands lost during the Great Northern War of 1700-1721. Saltykov at the head of a small detachment was sent to help Field Marshal Peter Lassi, operating in Finland. However, in November 1741, as a result of a palace coup, the throne was occupied by the daughter of Peter I - Elizabeth. Lieutenant-General Peter Saltykov was deprived of all court ranks and dismissed from service. Only after the petition of General General James Keith - a Scottish nobleman in the Russian service - he was returned to the army.

Saltykov fought in Southern Finland, took part in the capture of the fortresses of Nyslot (modern city of Savonlinna) and Fredriksgamn, as well as surrounded by the Swedes near Helsingfors (now Helsinki). In 1743, Peter Semenovich commanded the rearguard of Keith's troops, and then, as part of the expeditionary force, he was sent to the capital of Sweden, Stockholm.

His service colleagues spoke of him as an extremely simple, modest and shy man, in the courtyard, but a patriot to the bone. It is because of this natural simplicity, as well as kinship with Empress Anna Ioannovna, Saltykov did not come to the court of Elizabeth I. Shortly after returning from Sweden, he was appointed commander of the Pskov Division. In 1754, Petr Semenovich was awarded the rank of General-in-Chief, and in 1756 he was sent to Ukraine as commander of the local land-frontier regiments defending the southern border of our empire from the attacks of the Crimeans. He worked hard in this position. They carried out the improvement of the organization of regiments, the construction of fortifications on the border, which ensured a peaceful existence in the southern provinces.

However, the fame of the outstanding Russian commander Peter Saltykov gained during the protracted pan-European conflict that entered into history like the Seven Years War. The Russian Empire, together with Austria, France, Saxony and Sweden, came out against the Prussian kingdom, led by the warlike monarch Frederick II, one of the greatest military leaders in world history. On the side of Prussia was also England and a number of German states: Braunschweig, Hesse-Kassel and Hannover.

The war began with an attack on Saxony in the 1756 year. Frederick's army surrounded the local army, and it quickly capitulated. In the summer of 1757, the Empress of Russia, under heavy pressure from the Viennese court, suffering one defeat after another, gave the order to the Russian army to go on a campaign. Initially, our forces were commanded by Stepan Apraksin, who, after his victory at the village of Gross-Egersdorf, unexpectedly for all took the troops, depriving them of the obtained strategic advantages. For this not fully understood, and today the act of the Empress removed Apraksina from office and brought to justice, and his place was taken by a foreigner Willim Fermor. However, this commander-in-chief turned out to be even worse — he was not very determined, the officers scorned him, and the soldiers hated him, being sure that he was at one with the Prussian king.

The Supreme Conference under the Empress took up the search for a new commander. Elizabeth said to the court: “Enough of foreigners!” However, Rumyantsev was still too young, Chernyshev was in captivity, and Buturlin abused alcohol. The generals went through for a long time, until finally they remembered Saltykov, who had been kept away from the capital's shine and noise in the wilderness of the provinces, in the steppes and forests until now. After talking with him, Elizaveta Petrovna admitted to Mikhail Vorontsov: “Something is very simple .... I'm afraid - where to feed this wolf Friedrich by the tail, understand. "

The appointment of Saltykov in 1759 as commander of the Russian foreign army came as a surprise to many. Compatriots and foreigners talked about him as a very polite, good-natured and courteous man, a great lover to hunt, but until now "did not show the ability to be a combat general, and especially the commander-in-chief." The memoirist Andrei Bolotov, who met with Saltykov in Königsberg, described him in his notes as follows: “A simple old man, gray and small, in a white jacket in a landmilic caftan, without all the pomp and all adornments ..., had behind him no more than two or three people . It seemed strange and surprising to us that we did not understand how such a meaningless, apparently old man can be the chief commander of a great army and fight against the king, surprising all of Europe with his knowledge of military art, agility and courage. ”

It is worth noting that the conditions under which Saltykov had to take the place of commander-in-chief were extremely unfavorable. On the one hand, there were Austrians seeking to take the initiative in their hands, on the other, the Petersburg Conference, created in the likeness of a Viennese gofkrygsrat and willing to lead the Russian army, separated from the capital by a thousand and a half kilometers. According to the instructions received, the actions of the new commander in chief were in a strict framework - it was forbidden to Saltykov to maneuver up the Oder, move away from the left bank of the river, independently launch any offensive operations. And most importantly - without hesitation to take all the proposals and advice of the commander-in-chief of Austrian troops, Field Marshal Leopold Down, who, according to the Russian courtiers, was an excellent combat general. They say that Saltykov tore up this order with the words: “The conference is not at war ... Once trusted, trust to the end. I offer a spoon to my mouth, and advisers from St. Petersburg are shoved under the elbow - they say, I don’t eat it that way! And without your clues, I'll swallow ... The Prussian king is strong because he does not need to be answered before anyone. He did well - glory, did bad - corrected. Nobody tugs at his tail, he has the power to take risks according to the situation. ”

20 June, the very next day after his arrival in the city of Poznan, Petr Semenovich made an inspection of the army - more than 38 thousands of people were put into operation. Although in the northern capital of Russia they did not expect any particular success from the rustic commander, his very first actions struck most of the courtiers. First, the commander personally brought order to the service of the commissaries, adjusting the supply of the lower ranks with all the necessary things and supplies. Secondly, Petr Semenovich began to act only in the interests of the Russian empire, without regard to Vienna, that our windy allies, who were used to fighting by proxy, didn’t like it very much. Third, Saltykov, idolizing simple Russian soldiers, did not disdain to eat from one boiler with them, rose in the middle of the night to bypass the outposts — this led to his authority among his subordinates rising to unprecedented heights. For the first time during the war, the army had a real commander in chief - a stubborn, inflexible, cold-blooded man, not seeking favors at court and putting the interests of the state above everything, not afraid to restructure plans on the go, quickly submitting to the situation in order to subordinate the situation to his will.

In the middle of the summer of 1759, the nearly forty-thousand Russian army (including twelve thousand cavalrymen) under the command of Saltykova advanced from Poznan in the western direction to the Oder River in order to cross it and in the area of ​​Crossen to join the army of the Austrians under the command of Down. This circumstance alarmed Frederick II, who decided to prevent their unification. Initially, against the Russian army, the king sent troops under the guidance of an experienced commander, Count Christopher Don. The Prussian king said to him: “Here (in Bohemia) I turned into a chained dog, a watchman, every movement of this scoundrel Down. Happiness to break the column of Russian I give you. Try to fool them on the march ... ". However, Saltykov was the first to hit the Don echelons, like an experienced swordsman, having managed to surround his forces with a multitude of small, but very painful injections. Russian cavalry hurriedly rushed into Prussian villages and cities, cut through the roads. The beautiful Don mobile troops, hardened in the battles for Pomerania, could not stand it and ran. Trust to the Earl of Frederick II was lost, and he appointed Lieutenant General Karl von Wedel to take his place, who addressed the Russians at the head of the reinforced corps consisting of eighteen thousand infantrymen, ten thousand cavalrymen and over a hundred guns. The occupation by the Prussians of the city of Züllichau stopped the movement of our troops to Crossen, placing before the commander-in-chief the need to take one of two decisions - to continue maneuvering, trying to connect with Down, or attack the Wedel forces.

Early in the morning on July 22, Saltykov, having personally examined the enemy location and the surrounding area, gave an order to bypass the Prussians from the north and take the Krossen road in the area of ​​the village Paltsig, isolating itself from the enemy by a small river flowing in this place. The choice of position indicates how thoroughly Petr Semenovich studied the place of the future battle, and what a true view this general, who had never before led the troops in major battles, possessed a true look. The bypass movement produced by the Russians came as a complete surprise to Wedel, who nevertheless decided to go on the offensive and attack our forces.

On the heights east of Palzig, Russian troops lined up in two lines, and on the flanks that rested against the forest edges, cavalry rose, making a reserve for the commander. Also in short order were equipped with battery positions for artillery. The corps of General Wedel in oblique combat formation - a classic for Friedrich's troops - launched four powerful attacks on the right flank of the Russians and one on the left flank. With iron calm our troops met the Prussian battalions. Each time with artillery and rifle fire, with bayonet counterattacks, they threw the enemy back to their original positions. An attempt by heavy cavalry - the Wedel cuirassiers - to attack the flank also ended in their defeat in hand-to-hand combat. The Prussians had to hastily retreat to the south, their losses in killed and wounded amounted to more than eight thousand people (according to other data, 9-12 thousand). The battlefield remains for our troops, who lost about five thousand people.

In his first major battle, Saltykov showed himself to be a skillful commander. Risking to get around and take the Palzig position, he did not hesitate for a minute in his decision, studied and used the peculiarities of the terrain, took due measures for the secrecy of the dangerous march and speed of movement. He loved to repeat: “War is a military exercise in honor, risk and fearlessness. The one who risks is the one who wins. ” When deploying troops, Petr Semenovich was not guided by routine rules, but only by the requirements of the situation and common sense. During the battle, he showed complete composure, timely giving the necessary orders for the transfer of forces, which ultimately nullified all Prussians' efforts to break the Russian ranks.

For this victory, the empress promised the lower ranks of the semi-annual salary salary, with the payment of which, by the way, the treasury was in no hurry. Saltykov, on the other hand, received only written gratitude from Russia - the victory at home was clearly underestimated. A contemporary wrote: “This victory has produced many consequences. ... Of these, the main thing was that by defeating the enemy our troops cheered up and began to get at the old leader of hope ... they loved him even more, and even with us he became respect.

Our troops continued their movement towards Crossen, where the Austrian army was to expect them. However, there were no allies at the venue. Then Saltykov moved his forces to Frankfurt an der Oder, ordering him to seize this city, which was done. From here there was already a direct road to Berlin. The next day after the occupation of the city, instead of the expected Austrian army, only the twenty-thousandth corps of General Ernst von Loudon approached. The Austrian general who arrived to Saltykov, surrounded by his retinue, immediately demanded that thirty thousand Russian soldiers be handed over to him. Saltykov sighed at this: “You are very modest that you don’t pull the mare out from under me.” Refusing to him, Petr Semenovich sent the commander-in-chief Down a proposal to launch a joint attack on Berlin in order to transfer the war to the inner lands of the Prussian kingdom. But his plan was rejected, the interests of Austria demanded the conduct of hostilities on the territory of Silesia.

Meanwhile, Frederick II, collecting all his forces (48 thousand people and about 200 guns), went on a campaign, deciding to destroy the Allied army (40 thousand Russian and 18 thousand Austrians) in the general battle. Knowing this, Down broke all Vienna directives. His army did not rise in alarm and did not move to help in order to smash Frederick with a single blow. The Russians remained under the walls of Frankfurt an der Oder, far from all supply bases, alone with the Prussian army.

Within two days (August 10-11), Friedrich's army crossed the Oder just north of Frankfurt and headed for the village of Kunersdorf, near which the Allied camp was located. The maneuver of the enemy did not go unnoticed. Petr Semenovich, who is well acquainted with the surrounding area, located his troops on the heights between Kunersdorf and Frankfurt an der Oder. Initially, they stood up to the north, but the Prussian king, upon learning of this, decided to go around them and go in from the rear. Saltykov guessed the enemy's plot and, early in the morning of the battle day (August 12), deployed its forces to the south.

Russian troops occupied three heights - Judenberg, Big Spitz (or Spitsberg) and Mühlberg, which were separated by deep and wide ravines, which had names - Laudonsgrund and Kungrund. Our commander in chief placed the main forces in the center - on the mountain Big Spitz and on the right flank - at the height of Judenberg. The Great Spitz occupied seventeen infantry regiments under the command of Peter Rumyantsev. Here the main part of artillery was concentrated. At the height of Judenberg, the 9 infantry regiments of Fermor and the Austrians of Loudon rose. The left flank — the Mühlberg height — occupied the Golitsyn 5 infantry regiments, staffed by young recruits. The reserve contained 6 regiments of Austrian infantry and all Russian cavalry (over 70 squadrons). The location chosen by Saltykov allowed the reserves to be moved along the front, and the artillery batteries located on the slopes of the mountains had the possibility of a round-up attack. All positions were reinforced by artillery redoubts and trenches, the approaches to the mountains from the north and from the west were hampered by the river and marshland. In addition, the troops were ordered to ignite Kunersdorf in order to prevent the enemy from deploying forces. On the eve of the battle, Saltykov said to Loudon: “I think people do not lie, praising Frederick’s military genius. You can learn a lot from him - a person is shameless, but risky! Mail for happiness for your modest person to fight personally with the King of Prussia! "

The enemy who had come out to Kunersdorf immediately reorganized to attack. Frederick organized his army in two lines of infantry, on the flanks of which the cavalry stood up. The battle began after a three-hour artillery preparation. As expected Saltykov, the first attack of the Prussians, held at twelve o'clock in the afternoon, was aimed at the height of Mühlberg. In addition to the five Russian regiments, there was no one there, the attackers greatly outnumbered the troops of Prince Golitsyn, forced to repel the attack from the flank and from the front under very unfavorable conditions. The defenders of Mülberg stood to death, but in the end were crushed by the onslaught of the Prussians. Friedrich was told that the left wing of the Russians was wrinkled, and the 42 guns and 15 battalions of the Saltykov army no longer exist. Petr Semenovich did not send any support to Golitsyn, he said: “Let us save reserves, sir, the whole battle is still ahead! Golitsyn's soldiers died, but they fulfilled their duty. Eternal memory and low bow from all of Russia! ”

Petr Semenovich Saltykov. Apostle of the Russian army
Alexander Kotzebue. Battle of Kunersdorf (1848)

Having occupied Mühlberg, the Prussians began to prepare for the crossing of the ravine. However, they could not develop success. All attempts to get over Kungrund and break into our positions on the Great Spitz mountain ended in failure. The regiments of General Rumyantsev staunchly repelled the enemy onslaught, timely conducting counterattacks, bayonet strikes, dropping into the ravine of enemies climbing up a mountain: “And the surf began: the wave has come to Svalbard - a rock! Has swum, again went forward - rock! Once again struck, covered in blood, - rock! They threw themselves all over the chest - rock! ”.
King Frederick II ordered the installation of artillery batteries at the height of Mülberg, which began a counter-battery struggle with our gun crews on the mountain Great Spitz. From the fire of the cannons, the enemy troops accumulated on the heights carried great damage. At the same time, the Russian commander-in-chief skillfully supported the forces of Rumyantsev with troops from the reserve, as well as with infantry deployed from the Judenberg mountain. Finally, at the 17 hours of the day, Frederick II brought into the battle the heavy cavalry of the celebrated Frederick Seidlitz. Russian and Austrian cavalry were thrown to meet her, and the royal units retreated, suffering heavy losses. However, the Prussians continued to persevere in attacking our positions.

Meanwhile, the concentration of Russian troops on the mountain Big Spitz grew by the hour. Later in the evening, Petr Semenovich said: “The Prussian king is already fighting with might and main, but we have not started yet…”. After that, the Russian troops launched an offensive, crossed the Kungrund ravine and knocked out the enemy from Mount Mülberg, and then attacked Frederick's army along the whole front. Unable to withstand the onslaught, the enemy infantry turned to flight. The position of the Prussian army became critical. Frederick threw into the battle all that remained with him, including the squadrons of the Life Cuirassier. But the sacrificial attacks of the cavalry did not help out - the defeat was complete. Frederick himself was almost captivated by the Cossacks.

The Prussian army lost over nineteen thousand people wounded and killed, as well as all its artillery (172 guns), banners and a wagon train. During the flight from the battlefield, most of the hired soldiers deserted. The allies lost fifteen thousand people, of which the Russians lost 10863 - the wounded and 2614 - the dead. The battle of Kunersdorf became the crown of the military leader biography of Peter Semenovich. Command and control did not for a moment go out of his hands. Saltykov creatively applied the principles of linear tactics, skillfully and consistently with the course of the battle spent reserves, remained calm, calculating strategist until the end of the battle. And, of course, the interaction and stamina of cavalry, infantry and artillery played a huge role in the battle. New Russian guns - the famous Shuvalov unicorns - showed their advantage over the Prussian artillery. Their fire over the heads of our soldiers became decisive in repelling the cuirassiers of General Seidlitz’s attack. By the way, in a combat situation Petr Semenovich behaved unusually calmly, he curled up in response to requests to take care of himself, and when the nuclei flew past, he joked and waved after them.

For this victory, Elizabeth Petrovna honored him with field marshal rank, Austrian Empress Maria Theresia sent a snuffbox and a ring with diamonds, and the Polish king granted the Order of the White Eagle. For the army, they minted the medal "To the winner over the Prussians". It is interesting that the commander-in-chief himself spoke very modestly about his role, paying tribute to the soldiers and officers: “Nowadays, the imperial majesty has many skillful and brave warriors. I doubt that where so much was ... ".

After the battle, the Russian soldiers found the hat of the Prussian king and delivered it to Saltykov. The old man smoothed out the crumpled fields, slapped his leg, knocking the dust of Frederick's battles and victories out of it, and said: “So-so hat, unpretentious. But it was a hot head covering us, which we have cooled today. ” As a relic of Kunersdorf, this headpiece was later placed in the St. Petersburg Museum of Suvorov.

After Kunersdorf Prussia found herself on the brink of a military catastrophe. It is known that King Frederick, shocked by defeat, wanted to commit suicide. He wrote to Berlin: "Everything is lost, save the archives and the court." However, the catastrophe did not happen - on the further conduct of the war, the allies had major differences. A meeting of the commanders-in-chief of the Russian and Austrian armies took place in Guben at the end of August. Saltykov said that the Russian army was not obliged to bear the brunt of the war on its shoulders, that it was the turn of the down army to act. However, the Austrian side continued to shy away from offensive actions and insisted on using Russian forces as a defense of its borders. Unable to bear it, Petr Semenovich said to Down's face: “My soldiers won two battles. And now we are waiting for you - win at least one. It is unfair that one Russia is washing its blood with blood ... ”. Later, Down said about Saltykov: "What a rude diplomat." Learning of this, Saltykov agreed: “True, the diplomat from me is rude, but a subtle patriot.”

Using the inconsistency in the actions of the Allies, the Prussian army was able to recover from the defeat and led a protracted defense. More Frederick did not accept the battle with the Russian troops, preferring to maneuver. Companions of the same Russian commander noticed his dissatisfaction with the protracted, positional forms of warfare. Shackled by long coordination with Vienna and endless instructions from St. Petersburg, Saltykov was deprived of the opportunity to independently organize major offensive operations. The Russian army, in fact, turned into a giant partisan detachment, roaming the lands of Europe. And all the time, while our troops moved from the city to the city, from the fortress to the fortress, Frederick followed them like a wolf for weakening prey. Pozos, suitable from Poznan, were destroyed by squadrons of Prussian hussars. At that moment, the Prussian king did not even notice the army of Down, although it was much more powerful. Downa King always despised, and Saltykov forced to respect his army and himself. In mid-autumn 1759, Friedrich began to exult - the Russian troops were very hungry. He developed a remarkable plan for the destruction of the Russian army at the crossing of the Oder River. However, Frederick again remained in the cold, by the time his main forces approached, our troops were already on the other bank and the bridges, which had been erected by sappers, were burning down.

Near Glogau, the opponents broke up their camps - directly opposite each other. So they stood, until instead of the provisions promised by the Austrians, an adviser arrived who reported that soon the empress would send money to Saltykov. To this Petr Semenovich answered with historical words: “Thank you! Tell your empress that my soldiers don't eat money! ” And the Russians left Brandenburg. All the brilliant results of the 1759 campaign of the year remained buried. The blame is direct betrayal, envy and inertia of Vienna. Frederick said after the outgoing commander: “Saltykov ... the devil. He so boldly changes his plans, that I do not know every his new decision. It is a pity that we are opponents. ” By the way, while our army was beating to death, Down's troops were capturing the sly of the city at the borders of their country. The Austrians became ill when Frederick turned his attention to them. His victories swept fast: Prussian troops occupied Wittenberg, defeated the Austrians at Torgau, infiltrated Bohemia, plundering local cities and collecting huge contributions from them ...

In December, having deployed troops to the Lower Vistula in apartments, Pyotr Semenovich went to the capital to propose at meetings of the Conference his own plan for the 1760 campaign of the year, which is to wage war regardless of the Austrians. The members of the Conference — Elizabethan grandees, mostly amateurs in military affairs — rejected his plan, which led to the rapid defeat of Prussia, but threatened with complications with Vienna. Politics won out; henceforth, Russian troops became “helpers” for the Austrians. After half a century, the rejected plan of Saltykov lay down on Napoleon's table - the emperor learned to win.

Petr Semenovich returned to the army, deciding to keep it as far as possible, and not to play into the hands of the allies. In 1760, the main Russian forces were moved to Pomerania, and part of the troops Saltykov sent to march on Berlin. September 28 Berlin garrison capitulated. Contribution and prisoners were taken from the city, military enterprises were ravaged. When news of the approach of the main forces of the army of Frederick, our units retreated.
In the fall of 1760, Petr Semenovich entered into another conflict with the Conference, accusing him of setting Vienna against Russia, and quarreling with Vienna indirectly broke relations with Turkey. Pyotr Semenovich just shrugged his shoulders: “Those are on, I’m already to blame for the Turks ...”. In the end, he was removed from his post as commander in chief and recalled to his homeland.

P.S. Saltykov, winner of Frederick II at Kunersdorf, at the Monument "1000 anniversary of Russia" in Veliky Novgorod. Sculptor M. Mikeshin

After the Russian throne was occupied by Peter III (1761 year), the war with Frederick, who was the idol of our emperor, was stopped. In January, 1762 Peter III re-appointed Saltykov commander-in-chief, but hostilities had already ceased. 17 August 1762 Peter Semenovich returned to St. Petersburg, where he was met by Catherine II, who had just reigned on the throne. Two years later, the commander was appointed senator and governor-general of Moscow. The troops of the Moscow garrison obeyed him, which helped Saltykov to cope with numerous robberies and robberies. At the end of 1770, a plague epidemic began in the city. To all petitions of Peter Semenovich to allow permission to take patients to the nearby monasteries, the empress refused. Under her order, Moscow was surrounded by a quarantine line, condemning the population to death. Saltykov did not carry out the orders of Catherine II, which was regarded as the inability of the aged commander to act according to circumstances. His duties were assigned to Lieutenant-General Pyotr Yeropkin, who also failed to cope with the situation. The disease spread throughout the city, by September 1771, the death rate reached nine hundred people a day.

September 14, when dismissed Peter Semenovich went to his estate near Marfino in Moscow, a “plague riot” began in Moscow. Only after the death of Archbishop Ambrose, Saltykov was informed about popular unrest, and he immediately returned to the city. Upon learning of the uprising, the empress blamed Saltykov for it, and in response, Pyotr Semenovich asked for resignation. He did not live long after that. 26 December 1772, Field Marshal General, died on his estate. Having learned of his death, the new Moscow authorities, trying to please the empress, who never had a love for the commander, did not make any orders for the funeral, corresponding to his status and services to the Fatherland. Count Peter Ivanovich Panin, deeply outraged by the like, went to Marfino and was naked. weapons in full dress form, stood at Saltykov's coffin, saying that he would not leave until he was sent to replace the guard of honor. Only this made the leadership of Moscow give the last honors to Peter Semenovich.

The winner of Palzig and Kunersdorf remained in the memory of descendants as the most experienced commander who raised the authority of Russian weapons in Europe. Saltykov successfully combined in himself military talent and love for a simple Russian soldier. It was with Peter Semenovich that the processes of strengthening national principles began in the formation of the military art of Russia, the successors of which can rightly be considered Rumyantsev and Suvorov.

Based on the books: D.N. Bantysh-Kamensky "Biographies of Russian generalissimo and general field marshals" and V.S. Pikul "feather and sword".
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  1. +5
    22 May 2014
    Excellent historical work. Studying the activities of PS Saltykov, I wrote an essay in "VO" - "Responsibility for the Generation." Saltykov's father was M.A. Miloradovich. I have the honor.
  2. +3
    22 May 2014
    The plans for the military campaigns of Saltykov and Suvorov were studied by the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Apparently learned a lot ... hi
  3. +2
    22 May 2014
    At the end of August, a meeting of the commanders of the Russian and Austrian armies took place in Guben. Saltykov said that the Russian army was not obliged to bear the brunt of the war on its shoulders, that it was the turn of the Down Army to act. However, the Austrian side continued to evade offensive operations and insisted on the use of Russian forces as a defense of its borders.
    A very telling example when Russian soldiers were dying for the interests of European monarchies. Unfortunately, the situation has not changed even now that we have not stopped broadcasting from Europe about the security of Europe. Why on earth did she surrender to us? hi
  4. +2
    22 May 2014
    And I remember the portrait of Saltykov in the old Soviet history textbook. It was written about him that it was Saltykov who laid the grains of the main force of the Russian army, later cultivated by Rumyantsev and then Suvorov.
    Indeed, little was written about Saltykov undeservedly, although he defeated, perhaps, the best army in Europe at that time - the Prussian army of Frederick. Although tactically, the Russian army could not beat the brilliant commander Friedrich on the battlefield - the Russian army won the Seven Years' Victory thanks to the unbending will of the Russian soldier, who subsequently admired the Prussian king. In the battle of Kunersdorf, Friedrich lost because of his self-confidence and because he always took risks - it did not work with Saltykov. Well, it’s worthwhile to pay tribute to the excellent Austrian cavalry, which made a significant contribution to the defeat of the Prussians under Kunersdorf (by the way, Pikul tactfully ignored this moment in his novel).
      22 May 2014
      Quote: Prometey
      it is worth paying tribute to the excellent Austrian cavalry, which made a significant contribution to the defeat of the Prussians under Kunersdorf (by the way, Pikul tactfully kept silent this moment in his novel).

      The specified author also has a name and patronymic: Valentin Savvich Pikul and the novel was called "The Pen and the Sword". I didn’t write about the Austrians, so I didn’t consider it necessary. If you are going to write your novel on this topic, you will have "Klava" in your hands.
    2. xan
      23 May 2014
      Quote: Prometey
      Well, it’s worthwhile to pay tribute to the excellent Austrian cavalry, which made a significant contribution to the defeat of the Prussians under Kunersdorf (by the way, Pikul tactfully ignored this moment in his novel).

      You know nothing about the Battle of Kunersdorf. No need to draw conclusions from this article. The Austrian cavalry took part in the defeat of the cuirassier Zeidlitz, when the fate of the battle had already been decided. Friedrich sent a cuirassier to the unsettled deeply echeloned defense of the Russian infantry, literally hoping for a miracle - you can’t use cavalry, including cuirassier, in this way. Friedrich saw his frustrated infantry and the undisturbed infantry of the Russians, and understood that the experienced Saltykov would go on the offensive. As a victim of cavalry, he wanted to buy time to restore his infantry before the already beginning places of the Russian attack. Seidlitz refused to carry out the order, realizing that he was leading to the death of the cuirassier. The king had to personally threaten Seidlitz.
      For some reason, the beautiful Austrian cavalry made a significant contribution to the Russian victories over the Prussians. Why did the beautiful Austrian cavalry not make the same contribution to the Austrian victories, which were practically nonexistent?
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  6. +3
    22 May 2014
    Well, about Saltykov V.S. Pikul wrote well.
  7. parus2nik
    22 May 2014
    About Saltykov was written in the textbook on the history of the USSR grade 7 .. I do not know now they write ...
    And the allies, we always had rubbish .. And we always sought to use Russia in our interests .. the same Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739, where the Austrians were allies .. and entered the war late, and brought about their defeats , the victory of Russian weapons ..
  8. 0
    22 May 2014
    Quote: parus2nik
    And the allies, we always had rubbish .. And always sought to use Russia in their interests .. the same Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739, where the Austrians were allies ..

    In that war, Russia solved its geopolitical tasks - it fought with the Crimean Khanate. So, I must say thanks to the Austrians for pulling the Turks over.
  9. xan
    22 May 2014
    It would be nice for the author of the article to add materials from Casimir Valishevsky so that readers can see how enlightened European historians distort the victories of the Russian army. In their opinion, the Russians won due to the fact that Saltykov obeyed the advice of the Austrian Laudon. And the fact that the Russians constantly beat the Prussians, and the Austrians regularly received lyuli from them, is not safely noticed. They are miserable, small.
    Saltykov is a real commander, and the fact that he did not finally win, so there were fewer Russians on TVD. The Austrians with the Prussians had thousands of army per hundred, and the Russians only 40 thousand. So I had to be on the sidelines.
    The Seven Years War brought nothing for Russia but glory to Russian weapons. Although there the future famous Catherine’s generals learned to win there, and this is not enough.
  10. +2
    22 May 2014
    Here were the people !!!
  11. Larsen
    22 May 2014
    Thank you for the article! Reading about such people there is always a double feeling: both pride and sadness!

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