With the glory of Russia.
With the glory of Russia.
270 years ago, 16 September 1745, was born the great Russian commander, count, His Serene Highness, Field Marshal General Mikhail Kutuzov. Name Kutuzov forever inscribed in Russian history and the military chronicle. His whole life was devoted to serving Russia. Contemporaries unanimously noted his exceptional intelligence, brilliant military and diplomatic talents and love of country.
Start the service. War with Turkey
Michael Illarionovich Kutuzov was born 5 (16) September 1745 of the year in St. Petersburg. The Kutuzov family belonged to the famous families of the Russian nobility. The Kutuzov family believed that the progenitor of the “husband is honest” Gabriel, according to the legends of the ancient genealogies, who left “Prus” to Novgorod to rule Alexander Nevsky in the 13th century. His great-grandson - Alexander Prokshich (nicknamed Kutuz) - became the ancestor of the Kutuzovs, and Kutuz’s grandson - Vasily Ananiyevich (nicknamed the Hole) was the Novgorod mayor in 1471 and the ancestor of the Golenischevs-Kutuzovs.
The father of the great commander was Lieutenant-General and Senator Illarion Matveevich Golenishchev-Kutuzov. He served thirty years in the Engineering Corps and became famous as an intellectual with wide knowledge of military and civil affairs. Contemporaries nicknamed him "reasonable book." Michael lost his mother (Anna Illarionovna) in infancy and was brought up under the supervision of one of their relatives.
Michael was trained, as was the custom with the nobles, at home. In 1759, he was sent to an artillery and engineering noble school, where his father taught artillery science. The young man took over the ability of his father. In 15 years he became a corporal, soon he was promoted to captenarmus, in 1760, to conductors, and in 1761, he was released as an engineer-ensign, with an appointment to the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment.
The efficient young man was noticed by the empress and, at her request, was determined by the adjutant of Revelsky Governor-General Prince Holstein-Beksky. After the accession of Catherine II to the throne in 1762, he was granted the rank of captain. At his request, enlisted in the army. He was appointed commander of the company of the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment, which at that time was commanded by Colonel A. V. Suvorov. He received his first combat experience in Poland in 1764, where he beat Polish rebels. In 1767, he was recruited to work in the “Commission on the drafting of the new Code”. Apparently, he was involved as a secretary-translator, since Kutuzov knew French, German and Latin well.
In 1770, Kutuzov joined the army of Rumyantsev, was with the quartermaster-general Baur. He distinguished himself in the battle at the Ryaba Tomb, for which he was promoted to chief quartermaster of the premier-major. During the defeat on Prut Abda-pasha, he commanded two companies and repelled the attack of the enemy. In the battle of Larga, the grenadier broke into the Tatar camp with a battalion. In the battle of Cahul again distinguished himself, was promoted to the Majors. In 1771, under the command of Lieutenant-General Essen, he distinguished himself in the battle of Popeshtach.
However, because of discontent Rumyantsev (denounced Kutuzov) was transferred to the army of Vasily Dolgorukov in the Crimea. Mikhail Kutuzov mastered this lesson well, after this incident he was extremely cautious in words all his life, never betrayed his thoughts. Kutuzov distinguished himself at Kinburn in 1773. In 1774, he headed the advance guard storming the enemy fortification near the village of Shum. Strengthening took. But Kutuzov himself was seriously wounded: a bullet hit the left temple and flew off at the right eye. The wound was considered fatal, but Kutuzov, to the amazement of the doctors, recovered.
The Empress rewarded Kutuzov with the military order of St. George 4 class and sent for treatment in Austria, taking on all the costs of travel. Mikhail Kutuzov visited Germany, England, Holland and Italy, met with many famous people, including the Prussian king Frederick II and the Austrian general Loudon. European doctors ordered to take care of their eyes, not to bore them. After injury, the right eye became poorly visible. Therefore, Mikhail Illarionovich, who loved books, was forced to read less.
After returning to Russia from 1776, again in military service. At first he formed parts of the light cavalry, in 1777 he was promoted to colonel and was appointed commander of the Lugansk Pikiner regiment, which was located in Azov. In Crimea, he was transferred to 1783 in the rank of brigadier with the appointment of a light-regiment of the Mariupol regiment as commander. Served under the command of Suvorov. Using clever and executive Kutuzov in various matters, Suvorov fell in love with Kutuzov and recommended him to Potemkin. Having calmed the unrest of the Crimean Tatars in 1784, Kutuzov received the rank of major general on the idea of Potemkin.
From 1785, he was the commander of the formed Bug Chasseur Corps. Commanding the corps and teaching rangers, Mikhail Kutuzov developed for them new tactical methods of struggle and outlined them in a special instruction. In 1787, during the journey of Empress Catherine to the Crimea, she led in her presence maneuvers depicting the Battle of Poltava. He was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 2 degree. When a new war broke out with Turkey, he covered the border along the Bug with the hull.
In the summer of 1788, with his corps, he took part in the siege of Ochakov, where in August 1788, during the Turkish raid, was again severely wounded in the head. Again, all desperate for his life. The bullet struck the cheek and flew to the back of the head. Kutuzov not only survived, but also recovered in military service. "It must be assumed that fate appoints Kutuzov to something great, for he survived after two wounds, deadly according to all the rules of medical science," wrote Masot, the chief medical officer in the army. The Empress marked Kutuzov with the Order of St.. Anne.
In 1789, Kutuzov protected the bank of the Dniester and the Bug, participated in the capture of Hajibey, fought at the Causeni and in the storming of Bender. In 1790, he guarded the banks of the Danube from Ackermann to Bender, did searches for Ishmael, was awarded the Order of St.. Alexander Nevsky. During the storming of Ishmael, he commanded one of the columns. Having exhausted all possibilities for the speedy capture of the fortress, he sent Suvorov news of the impossibility of defeating the enemy. Tell him, ”replied Suvorov,“ that I pledge his commandant Ishmael! ”They took the Turkish fortress. Kutuzov asked Suvorov to explain a strange answer. "God have mercy, nothing," said Suvorov, "nothing: Suvorov knows Kutuzov, and Kutuzov knows Suvorov, and if Ishmael had not been taken, Suvorov would not have survived, and Kutuzov too!"
Praising Kutuzov’s courage, Suvorov wrote in a report: “By showing himself a personal example of courage and fearlessness, he overcame all the difficulties he had encountered under strong enemy fire; I skipped over the palisade, warned the aspirations of the Turks, quickly took off onto the shaft of the fortress, mastered the bastion and many batteries ... General Kutuzov walked on my left wing; but it was my right hand. " Suvorov said about Kutuzov: "Clever, clever, cunning, cunning ... No one will deceive him."
After the capture of Ismail Kutuzov, he was promoted to lieutenant general, rewarded 3 degree with George and was appointed commandant of the fortress. In 1791, Kutuzov repulsed the attempts of the Turks to repel the fortress, made searches abroad, in June 1791 defeated the Turkish army at Babadag with a sudden blow. In the Machinsky battle, the command of Repnin Kutuzov delivered a crushing blow to the right flank of the Turkish army. “Kutuzov’s quickness and stewardship surpasses all praise,” Repnin wrote. For the victory at Machin, Kutuzov was awarded the Order of George of 2 degree.
Directly from the banks of the Danube, Kutuzov moved to Poland, where he was in the army of Kakhovsky and the attack in Galicia contributed to the defeat of the troops of Kostyushka. The Empress summoned Kutuzov to Petersburg and gave him a new assignment: he was appointed ambassador to Constantinople. Kutuzov perfectly proved himself in Turkey, won the respect of the Sultan and the highest dignitaries. Kutuzov surprised those who saw him only as a warrior. During the triumph of Yassky Peace, the Empress rewarded Kutuzov 2000 souls and made him Kazan and Vyatka Governor-General.
In 1795, the empress appointed Kutuzov commander-in-chief over all ground forces, flotilla and fortresses in Finland and at the same time the director of the Ground Cadet Corps. Mikhail Illarionovich entered the narrow circle of persons who made up the empress’s chosen society. Kutuzov did a lot to improve the training of officers: he taught tactics, military history and other disciplines.
Portrait of M. I. Kutuzov by R. M. Volkov
Reign of paul
Unlike many other favorites of the Empress, Kutuzov managed to stay on the political Olympus under the new Tsar Paul I and remained close to him until the very end of his reign. It must be said, even during the reign of Catherine, Kutuzov tried to maintain good relations with her son Pavel, who lived in isolation, in Gatchina.
Kutuzov was promoted to general of infantry, with the rank of chief of the Ryazan regiment and the head of the Finnish division. He held successful negotiations in Berlin: for two months in Prussia, he managed to attract her to the side of Russia in the struggle against France. Kutuzov was appointed commander-in-chief of the Russian forces in Holland. But in Hamburg I learned about the defeat of the Russian troops and was recalled by the emperor to the capital. Paul granted him the order of St. John of Jerusalem and the Order of St. Apostle Andrew. He received the rank of Lithuanian military governor and led the army assembled in Volyn. Pavel was pleased with Kutuzov and said: "With such a general as Kutuzov, Russia can be calm."
Interestingly, Kutuzov spent the evening on the eve of the death of Empress Catherine in her company, and also talked with him the evening before the murder of the sovereign Pavel. The conspiracy against Emperor Paul passed by Michael Illarionovich. For the last two years, he almost never visited St. Petersburg - he served in Finland and Lithuania. He saw the discontent of the aristocracy and the guards officers, but no one had initiated Kutuzov into a conspiracy. Apparently, everyone saw that the emperor of all the generals highlights Kutuzov. Apparently, Kutuzov understood that England was behind the conspiracy, it was not for nothing that in the future he tried not to go along the lines of British politics.
Board of Alexander. Napoleon Wars
Emperor Alexander Kutuzov did not like. But Alexander was always careful, did not make any sudden movements. Therefore, Kutuzov did not immediately fall into disgrace. With the accession of Alexander I, Kutuzov was appointed by the Petersburg and Vyborg military governors, as well as by the civil affairs manager in the said provinces and by the inspector of the Finnish Inspectorate. However, already in the 1802 year, feeling the emperor’s coldness, Kutuzov referred to his illness and was removed from his post. He lived in his estate in the peas in the Ukraine, was engaged in farming.
However, when Alexander dragged Russia into a war with France, they remembered Kutuzov. He was assigned to one of the armies sent to Austria. The war was lost. The Austrians overestimated their forces, engaged in battle with Napoleon before the approach of the Russian troops and were defeated. Kutuzov saw the mistakes of the Austrian military-political leadership, but had no opportunity to influence the allies. The Russian troops, who hurried to the aid of the Austrians and were severely exhausted, had to go back urgently. Kutuzov, leading successful rearguard battles, in which Bagration became famous, skillfully slipped away, avoiding being surrounded by superior French forces, commanded by the most famous commanders of Napoleon. This march entered the history of military art as a wonderful example of a strategic maneuver. The feat of Kutuzov was marked by the Austrian Order of Maria Theresa of the 1 degree.
Russian troops were able to connect with the Austrians. Kutuzov led the Allied army. However, the emperors Alexander and Franz, as well as their advisers, were with her. Therefore, unity of command was not. Contrary to the will of Kutuzov, who warned the emperors from the battle and proposed to withdraw the army to the Russian border, so that, after the approach of the Russian reinforcements and the Austrian army from Northern Italy, to launch a counteroffensive, it was decided to attack Napoleon. Alexander, under the influence of his advisers, imagined himself a great commander and dreamed of defeating the French. 20 November (2 December) 1805 the Austerlitz battle took place. The battle ended with a heavy defeat for the Allied army. Kutuzov was wounded, and also lost his beloved son-in-law, Count Tizengausen.
Emperor Alexander, realizing his guilt, publicly did not accuse Kutuzov and awarded him the Order of St. 1806 in February. Vladimir 1 degree. However, behind the scenes, others were blamed on Kutuzov. Alexander believed that Kutuzov deliberately set him up. Therefore, when the second war with Napoleon began, in alliance with Prussia, the army was assigned to the decrepit Field Marshal Kamensky, and then Benningsen, and Kutuzov was appointed the military governor of Kiev.
Kutuzov lived in Kiev until 1808, when, after the death of Michelson, the war with Turkey was commissioned to lead the sick and elderly Prince Prozorovsky. He demanded an assistant Kutuzov. However, due to disagreements between the generals (the assault on Brailov, started contrary to Kutuzov’s warnings, he was recaptured with great losses, and Prozorovsky blamed for the failure on Kutuzov) in June 1809 of Kutuzov was sent to Vilno by the military governor. Kutuzov was completely satisfied with his stay in "his good Vilna".
Victory on the Danube
A new war with Napoleon was approaching. Trying to quickly end the war with Turkey, Alexander was forced to entrust this business to Kutuzov, who knew the Danube theater and the adversary perfectly well. The war was unsuccessful for Russia and dragged on. Instead of hitting the enemy's manpower, our troops engaged in the siege of fortresses, dispersing forces and wasting time. In addition, the main forces of Russia were preparing for battles on the western border. Only relatively small forces acted against the Ottomans on the Danube.
Already changed several commanders, but there was no victory. Ivan Mikhelson died. Aged Alexander Prozorovsky acted unsuccessfully and died in a field camp. Bagration fought skillfully, but due to discontent Alexander left the Moldavian army. Count Nikolai Kamensky was a good commander, but was recalled to guide the 2 army on the western borders of Russia. He was already sick and dead.
Thus, Kutuzov was told to go and solve the case with the Ottomans, which his four predecessors could not decide. At the same time, the situation has significantly deteriorated compared to previous years. Encouraged by the longstanding rather successful struggle, the weakness of the Russian troops in the Danube Theater, seeing that Napoleon was soon attacking the Russian empire, the Turks did not think to give in, on the contrary, they themselves were preparing a big offensive. And Kutuzov had only about 50 thousand tired troops to defend a vast region. Of these, only 30 thousand could be used in a decisive battle.
However, Kutuzov deceived the enemy. First he attacked the enemy. In the Ruschuksky battle of 22 on June 1811 of the year (15-20 of thousands of Russian soldiers against 60 of thousands of Turks), he inflicted a heavy defeat on the Ottomans. Then he faked a retreat (after retreating after the victory!) Lured the enemy's army to the left bank of the Danube. Kutuzov laid siege to the Ottoman army at Slobodzeya. At the same time, Kutuzov sent General Markov’s corps across the Danube to attack the Ottomans remaining on the south bank. Russian troops defeated the Turkish camp, captured the enemy artillery and turned the guns on the main camp of the Grand Vizier Ahmed-yeah across the river. The Ottomans fell into complete encirclement. The Vizier was able to escape. Soon in the encircled camp, famine and disease began, thousands of people died. As a result, the remnants of the Ottoman army capitulated.
The emperor rewarded Kutuzov with a title of count. Kutuzov forced Turkey to sign the Bucharest peace treaty. The port ceded to Russia the eastern part of the Moldavian principality - the territory of the Prut-Dniester interfluve (Bessarabia). The border between Russia and Turkey was established along the Prut River. It was a major military and diplomatic victory that improved the strategic situation for the Russian Empire by the beginning of World War 1812: the Ottoman Empire left the alliance with France, the security of the south-western borders of Russia was ensured before the start of the war with Napoleon. The Moldovan (Danube) army was liberated and could take part in the fight against the French.
Napoleon was furious: "Understand these dogs, these fools of the Turks, who have the talent to be beaten and who could have foreseen it, expect it!" He did not know that in a year Kutuzov would do the same with Napoleon’s all-European "Great Army" .
The destruction of the "Great Army" of Napoleon
Victory on the Danube did not change the attitude of Emperor Alexander to Mikhail Kutuzov. Alexander even wanted to take away his victor’s laurels, sending a new commander-in-chief, the mediocre admiral Chichagov, to the Moldavian army. However, Kutuzov had already managed to win and make peace with Turkey. He passed the command of Chichagov and went to his estate in the Volyn province, the village of Peas, having no appointment.
Learning about the entry of enemy troops into Russia, Kutuzov considered it his duty to arrive in the capital. Conscious of the merits of Michael Illarionovich, he was assigned to command over the troops in St. Petersburg. In July, he was elected head of the Petersburg militia, and then of the Moscow militia. Kutuzov said: "You have decorated my gray hair!" Diligently he was engaged in the militia, as a simple general. Arriving in the capital, the emperor elevated Kutuzov to princely dignity, with the title of Serene Highness and appointment to the State Council. A few days later, Kutuzov was appointed commander-in-chief of all the troops operating against Napoleon. In fact, this appointment was forced, under the pressure of the popular will.
11 August 1812 Kutuzov left St. Petersburg. 17 (29) August Kutuzov received an army from Barclay de Tolly in the village of Tsarevo-Zaymishche, Smolensk Province. When he examined the army, they saw an eagle in the clouds. The shelves thundered: “Hurray!” The troops happily met the glorified commander.
Kutuzov, seeing that the enemy has a great superiority of the enemy in forces, and practically no prepared reserves, kept the strategy of Barclay. The retreat of the Russian army was perceived by the army and society, who were accustomed to the victories of Rumyantsev and Suvorov, but it was the only sure way out in the current situation. Napoleon was carried away by the pursuit and destroyed the army. The actions of Kutuzov, although they are often contrary to the expectations of the army and society (as well as England), led to the actual death of the Great Army. At the same time, Kutuzov retained the combat capability of the Russian army, avoiding unnecessary bloodshed.
The battle of Borodino was one of the greatest manifestations of the spirit of the Russian army. Kutuzov accepted responsibility for leaving Moscow: “The loss of Moscow is not the loss of Russia: here we will prepare the destruction of the enemy. Responsibility is upon me, and I sacrifice myself to the good of the fatherland. ” The death of the ancient Russian capital only strengthened the morale of the army and heightened people's hatred for the invaders. Kutuzov secretly made the famous flank Tarutinsky maneuver, moving the army towards the beginning of October to the village of Tarutino. Caught south and west of Napoleon’s army, Kutuzov blocked his path of movement to the southern regions of Russia. He strenuously strengthened the army and diligently fomented a popular war. Napoleon waited in vain for peace envoys, and then he was forced to flee.
Murat was defeated in the Battle of Tarutino, Napoleon was unable to break through to the south in the bloody battle of Maloyaroslavets. The defeat at Vyazma, the battle of Red ended the disorder of the Great Army. Only an accident saved Napoleon on the Berezina. There is an opinion that Kutuzov deliberately let Napoleon go to maintain a counterbalance to Austria and England. Art Kutuzov, Russian weapon, popular war, famine and Russian expanses destroyed the pan-European army. 10 December 1812 Kutuzov welcomed Emperor Alexander in Vilna, laying French flags under his feet. “I could call myself the first general, before whom Napoleon runs, but God humbles the proud,” wrote Kutuzov.
After the Battle of Borodino, Kutuzov was promoted to field marshal general. After the victory over Napoleon Kutuzov was awarded the Order of St.. George 1-th degree, becoming the first in the history of the Order of the full St. George Cavalier. Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov was granted the name Smolensky.
Kutuzov was opposed to the continuation of an active war with Napoleon, but was forced to lead the foreign campaign of the Russian army. In January, 1813, the Russian troops crossed the border. The cities surrendered one by one. The Austrians and Prussians no longer wanted to fight for France. The remnants of the French troops were defeated. For three months, three capitals were occupied and the territory to the Elbe was liberated. Konigsberg was busy, she surrendered to Warsaw, Elbing, Marienburg, Poznan and other cities submitted. Our troops laid siege to Torun, Danzig, Czestochowa, Krakow, Modlin and Zamost. In February, 1813 took Berlin, in March - Hamburg, Lübeck, Dresden, Lüneburg, in April - Leipzig. The alliance with Prussia was renewed, the commander-in-chief of the Prussian army Blücher submitted to Kutuzov. Kutuzov was greeted in Europe: “Long live the great old man! Long live Grandpa Kutuzov! "
But the health of Field Marshal was undermined by hard work to the glory of the Fatherland, and he could not see the final victory of the Russian army ... The outstanding Russian commander Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov 16 (28) of April 1813 in Poland died, remaining in memory of the descendants of the legendary in many ways a mysterious figure.
Military Council in Fili. A. D. Kivshenko, 1812