Military Review

Field Marshal Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly

“The injustice of contemporaries is often the lot of great people, but few have experienced this truth as much as Barclay.”
IN AND. Kharkevich

The famous Russian commander was a representative of the ancient Scottish family of Berkeley. In 1621, two brothers from the Berkeley-of-Tolly clan left their homeland and traveled around the world. After years their descendants settled in Riga. In September, 1721 was signed by the authorized representatives of Tsar Peter I, which ended the Great Northern War. By its terms, among other things, Sweden was inferior to Russia Livonia together with Riga. With the new lands and cities under the scepter of the Russian tsar, thousands of new subjects crossed, among whom were representatives of the Barclay clan. One of them, Weingold-Gotthard, born in 1726, subsequently served in the Russian army and retired as a lieutenant. The poor officer, who had no peasants or land, settled in the Lithuanian village of Pamusys. Here in December 1761 (according to other sources, in 1757, in Riga) he had a third son, who was named Michael. Since the second name of his father, translated into Russian, meant “God-given”, later Barclay de Tolly was called Mikhail Bogdanovich.

When the child was three, his parents took him to St. Petersburg. In the northern capital, he lived in the house of his maternal uncle - the foreman of the Russian army, von Vermelen. The uncle did not spare the funds and found excellent teachers for him, and he himself spent a lot of time with his nephew preparing him for service. From an early age, little Misha stood out with a wonderful memory and assiduity, abilities to mathematics and stories. In addition, Barclay's lifelong distinction: directness, honesty, perseverance and pride. In six years, the boy was enrolled in the Novotroitsk Cuirassier Regiment, which was headed by his uncle. Barclay de Tolly began serving at fourteen in the Pskov Carabinierine. His training, by the way, was much more thorough than that of most officers. After two years of impeccable service and persistent study, sixteen-year-old Mikhail received an officer’s rank, and ten years later became a captain. In 1788, along with his commander, General Lieutenant Prince Anhalt Barclay, went to the first theater of hostilities - to Ochakov.

The fortress was surrounded by the army of Potemkin from June 1788, and the general assault began in severe frosts in December. One assault column was headed by Prince Anhalt. His fighters knocked the Turks out of the auxiliary field reinforcement of the retranshement, and then pressed them against the walls. After a fierce bayonet battle, in which Mikhail Bogdanovich was in the front row, the soldiers broke into the fortress. By the way, the moat in front of the citadel, six meters deep, was littered with corpses - the heat of this battle was so incredibly fierce. For the capture of Ochakov, the young man received his first award — the Order of Vladimir of the Fourth Degree, as well as the first staff officer’s rank of second major.

In July, the Southern Army Potemkin 1789 slowly moved to the Turkish fortress Bender. In mid-September, the advance guard of the army, approaching the town of Kaushany, located in 23 kilometers from Bender, attacked the enemy fortifications. The detachment, in which there was a young second, Major Barclay, was commanded by the famous Cossack Matvey Platov. His soldiers scattered the Turks, captured their commander and occupied the Kaushans. A couple of weeks later, Platov, under whose command Mikhail Bogdanovich continued to serve, occupied the Akkerman stronghold. This victory was even more significant - 89 cannons and 32 banners became trophies of Russian troops. And soon Bender was surrendered without a fight. According to the tradition of helping Turkey, her northern ally Sweden rushed. In this regard, in the spring of 1790, Commander-in-Chief Earl Stroganov instructed Prince Anhalt to seize the well-fortified village of Kernikoski, located west of Vyborg. In that battle, Barclay was next to the commander. During the attack, the cannonball severed the prince's leg. Dying, he presented his sword to Mikhail Bogdanovich, who has not parted with her since.

For the difference in the Battle of Kernikoski, Barclay became Prime Minister and ended up in the St. Petersburg Grenadier Regiment. In 1794, he, commanding the regiment battalion, went to Poland, where Vilno distinguished himself during the assault. In the battles against the rebels, Mikhail Bogdanovich deserved the Order of George of the fourth class and the rank of lieutenant colonel. He became a colonel four years later, having received a jäger regiment under his command. By that time professional and moral principles of the future commander had been formed. Coming from a poor family, who had neither profitable land, nor serfs, who lived on a modest salary, Mikhail Bogdanovich cordially treated his subordinates. In his spare time, he preferred to give not guilt, maps, and red tape, but to intelligent conversation, military science studies, and reading. Yermolov left such a review about him: “Before exaltation, he had a state of extremely limited, constrained needs, restrained desires. I used my free time for useful activities and enriched myself with knowledge. In all respects, he is temperate, unpretentious in his condition, out of habit, pulls down flaws without grumbling. The superiority of talents, not being one of extraordinary people, unduly modestly values ​​its good abilities and therefore has no confidence in itself ... ”.

Jaeger regiments were recruited by selected soldiers — riflemen and scouts capable of raiding the enemy rear, rapid bayonet attacks, multi-kilometer crossings. Combat training from the rangers took an important place. In March, 1799 "for the excellent training of the regiment" Barclay de Tolly was promoted to major general, but he did not get a new position, remaining eight years as a regiment commander. By the way, Mikhail Bogdanovich, with his regiment, made the first campaign against Napoleon in 1805, but did not have time to reach the front line - he came along with the order to return to winter apartments news about defeat at Austerlitz. This march of Barclay was the last peace - it was time for long and difficult wars.

Less than six months, as Napoleon launched a new war with Prussia. Russia was also drawn into the conflict. In mid-November, the French crushed the Prussians near Auerstedt and Jena, and the Russians were alone with Napoleon. One of the avant-gardes, advanced to the shores of the Vistula, was commanded by Barclay, and here he fought for the first time with Napoleon’s marshals. The enemy troops, occupying Warsaw and forcing the river, tried to take the Russian forces concentrated at Pultusk into the ring, but their plan was thwarted by Mikhail Bogdanovich, who in the battle of Pultusk led the tip of the right flank of Bennigsen's army. Under his command, five regiments turned up for the first time (Polish Equestrian, Tengin Musketeers and three Chasseurs), who twice went into hostility, preventing one of the best French generals Lanna from breaking the main forces of Bennigsen. For the bravery shown in battle, Barclay was awarded the third class George.

In January, the 1807 Russians from Poland moved to East Prussia. Under Jankov, Landsberg and Gough, Mikhail Bogdanovich in extremely stubborn battles held back the attacks of the main French forces led by Napoleon, allowing the rest of the army to gather at Preisish-Eylau. A curious message from Mikhail Bogdanovich to commander-in-chief Bennigsen: “... With such inequality in power, I would have retreated in advance, so as not to lose the whole force without benefit. However, he asked through the officers that the main part of the army had not yet been assembled, was on the march and had not taken any position. In this reasoning I considered it my duty to sacrifice myself ... ”. This was all Barclay - with his willingness to sacrifice, honesty and courage.

At the end of January, Mikhail Bogdanovich brought his regiments under Preussis-Eylau, where he was attacked by the Soult corps. He repulsed the attack, but he himself was seriously wounded after the explosion. In an unconscious state, he was taken out of the battle and sent to Memel for treatment. Barclay's hand was terribly disfigured - some surgeons insisted on amputation, others offered to conduct a complex operation. At that time, while Mikhail Bogdanovich was under the supervision of his wife, Elena Ivanovna, he came to Memel to visit the Prussian King Friedrich-Wilhelm III, who was here, Alexander I. himself. After learning about the critical condition of his general, he sent his personal physician Jacob Willy, who, having made an emergency operation, took out a fragment of bones from the hand of a military 32. Anesthesia, by the way, was not there at that time, and Mikhail Bogdanovich had to courageously postpone this procedure. Later, the emperor personally visited the general. A conversation took place between them, during which Barclay expressed a number of thoughts to Alexander, which apparently seemed so interesting to the sovereign - after the Tsar's visit, Mikhail Bogdanovich was promoted to lieutenant-general, as well as Vladimir of the second degree.

While Barclay regained his strength, peace was signed in Tilsit. Russia's foreign policy has changed a lot - the war began with Britain, with Austria and with Sweden. In addition, the hostilities did not stop with Persia and Turkey. The number of Russian army exceeded 400 000 people, but each of them was counted. In a similar position, General Barclay could not remain out of work - having recovered, he left for Finland and led the sixth infantry division. In March, his division 1809 made the transition through the Gulf of Bothnia. At the same time, Mikhail Bogdanovich proved to be an excellent organizer, who had managed to competently prepare an extremely risky operation. The soldiers were given additional uniforms, food was also organized, taking into account that the transition on the ice will take place in secrecy, without making fires. All horses were shod with special studded horseshoes, incisions were made on the wheels of the charging boxes and guns so that they would not slide. For two days, the division of Barclay was about a hundred kilometers, without a fight taking the Swedish town of Umea, which led to the surrender of Sweden. In the campaign 1809, one more feature of the commander was revealed - a humane attitude towards the enemy, in particular towards civilians. When the soldiers of Mikhail Bogdanovich entered the territory of Sweden, he issued a military order that sounded like: “Do not mess with acquired glory and leave a memory in a foreign land that the offspring would honor”. For his success in March, 1809 was awarded the title of General of Infantry to Barclay, appointing him at the same time Commander-in-Chief in Finland.

A great war was advancing, and the problems of the country's defense were to be transferred into the hands of a knowledgeable and intelligent professional. At the beginning of 1810, Alexander I removed from his post of War Minister a pedant and hard administrator Arakcheev, appointing Barclay in his place. From the first days of his activity, Mikhail Bogdanovich began preparations for war. First of all, he modified the structure of the army, reducing all of it into corps and divisions, with each corps including troops of three kinds - cavalry, infantry and artillery and, therefore, could solve any tactical task. Barclay paid great attention to the reserves by organizing a reserve of eighteen cavalry and infantry divisions and four artillery brigades before the war. He devoted considerable attention to strengthening the fortresses, but most of the activities at the time of the invasion of Napoleon were incomplete. Despite this, the enemy did not manage to capture the Bobruisk fortress remaining in the rear of the French army. In addition, important foreign policy actions were carried out in the first half of 1812 - at the end of March (thanks to the victories of Barclay) an allied treaty with the Swedes was approved, and in the middle of May (thanks to the victories of Kutuzov) a peace treaty with the Turks. These treaties ensured the neutrality of the two states located on the southern and northern flanks of Russia.

Mikhail Bogdanovich devoted a lot of time and effort to the work on a major military legislative document containing new methods of command and control of troops. This document - the “Institution for the administration of a large active army” - summed up the activities carried out by the military ministry. The Minister of War also conducted a series of measures to organize regular intelligence, which is systemic in nature. At the beginning of 1812, a Special Chancellery was created, reporting directly to the Minister of War, operating in strict secrecy and not appearing in the annual ministerial reports. The work of the Special Chancellery led in three areas - the search and liquidation of Napoleon’s agents, the collection of information about the enemy troops in neighboring countries and the receipt of strategic information abroad. Shortly before the Patriotic War, Napoleon’s General Jacques Loriston gave Barclay de Tolly the following description: “A man of fifty-five years old, the Minister of War, a great worker, a little haggard, has an excellent reputation.”

In the spring of 1812, Napoleon’s “great army” began to slowly move toward the border with Russia. Grandiose masses of troops came into the movement - together with the allies, more than 600 thousand people took part in the march to the east. The total number of the Russian army before the war was also large - 590 thousand people. But unlike Napoleon’s forces, Russian troops, in addition to the western frontiers with Austria, Poland and Prussia, stood on the Turkish border in the Caucasus and Moldova, in Finland, in the Crimea, on the borders with Iran and in the countless garrisons of the country scattered to Kamchatka.

In March, 1812 Barclay left the northern capital for the city of Vilna, where he assumed the rights of commander of the first army, leaving the post of minister of war. In early April, he wrote to the king: “It is necessary for the heads of corps and armies to have drawn plans of operations, which they do not have at this time.” The sovereign did not send any "drawn plans" in response, and meanwhile the war was on the threshold. In mid-April, 1812 Alexander arrived in Vilna and began long meetings in the main apartment. At the center of the discussions was the plan of General Pfoul — a Prussian military theorist in the Russian service. Barclay was against him, but the king remained silent. The ambiguity of this situation was noted in the notes by the Secretary of State Shishkov, who said: “The Sovereign speaks about Barclay as the chief administrator, and Barclay replies that he is only the executor of the tsar’s orders”. Alexander could be understood - he terribly wanted to lead the whole army and win the glory of the winner Bonaparte, but the fear of defeat stopped the emperor from this step. Not daring to become commander in chief, Alexander, worse, did not appoint anyone in his place.

In mid-June, the "great army" began to cross the Neman. The news of this came in Vilna just a few hours later. The sovereign who was at the ball silently listened to the adjutant Barclay and soon sent Mikhail Bogdanovich an order to withdraw the first army to the Sventsians located in 70 kilometers from Vilna. The second army of Bagration was ordered to move to Vileyka. All the next day, Barclay de Tolly sent orders to the commanders of divisions and corps, taking care first of all that no part was cut off by the enemy. By the way, the first army retreated in perfect order, leading rearguard battles, inflicting sudden blows on the enemy and detaining him at crossings. For example, in the first days, the rear guard of the first corps under the command of Yakov Kulnev took a thousand prisoners, and in battle at Vilkomir all day successfully restrained the onslaught of Marshal Oudinot. A participant in this march-maneuver, the future Decembrist Glinka, noted in his diary: “Barclay did not allow himself to be cut off by the slightest detachment, he did not lose a single convoy, not a single cannon.”

However, the matter was complicated by the fact that the emperor constantly intervened in the orders of the commander. Through Mikhail Bogdanovich’s head, he gave many orders that often contradicted Barclay’s instructions. In particular, Alexander, without dedicating anybody to his plans, ordered to accelerate the advance towards the Drissa camp. At the end of June, Barclay wrote to him: “I don’t understand what we will do there with our army ... We lost sight of the enemy, and being imprisoned in the camp, we will be forced to wait for him from all sides”. The king did not respond to the letter, making it clear that his orders are not being discussed. Soon, the first army approached Drissa (now the town of Verkhnedvinsk), but due to the fact that Bagration did not break through to the camp, it was decided to go on. Nevertheless, the short-term presence in Drisse was marked by two important events - in this place the troops were awaited by the first replenishment in the form of nineteen infantry battalions and twenty cavalry squadrons, and the campsite began its work at headquarters. Its organizers, professors of the University of Dorpat, by the decision of Barclay, printed the orders and appeals of the commander to the population and troops, information leaflets and bulletins, appeals to the fighters of the enemy. Subsequently, when the marching printing house was formed a circle of military writers, who became the first historians of the war.

In early July, the army left the camp and headed east. At this time, Alexander left the troops and went to Moscow. Saying goodbye to Mikhail Bogdanovich, he said: “I entrust my army to you, do not forget that I don’t have another one, and let this thought never leave you.” Parting words of the king, the commander always remembered. In fact, it became the core of his tactics - saving the army, saving Russia. Leaving, the king did not give Barclay the authority of the commander in chief with the subordination of the rest of the armies to him. The uncertainty of the position of Mikhail Bogdanovich was intensified by the fact that Alexander asked Arakcheev to "take over the management of the affairs of the military." This unintelligible and vague wording under the current military minister gave rise to numerous frictions between Barclay and Arakcheyev, who did not like him. Meanwhile, the unification of the first and second armies was becoming increasingly difficult — the main forces of the French were wedged in between them, and there was nothing for the Russians to do but retreat.

While Napoleon was in Vitebsk, Mikhail Bogdanovich broke away from him and went to Smolensk. For many Russians, this maneuver caused strong discontent. There was an opinion that it was worth giving the enemy a general battle in front of Vitebsk. Bagration was especially angry - a direct and honest man, brought up under Suvorov's flags and committed to offensive tactics from a young age, could not put up with constant retreat. The retreat of the first army from Vitebsk brought Bagration into a rage. He sent Barclay a message full of reproaches, arguing that the departure from Vitebsk opened the way for Moscow to Napoleon. Subsequently, Yermolov, chief of staff of the first army, wrote about Mikhail Bogdanovich: “He is unhappy, because the campaign is not in his favor, because he constantly retreats ... I defend him not by partiality, but by true justice”. By the word "true justice" was such that half of the "great army" gathered near Smolensk - during the forty days of the war the French lost and left more than two hundred thousand people in the rear garrisons.

Soon after the entry of the first army into Smolensk, Bagration also arrived there. The joy of the meeting of commanders pushed aside all the troubles and strife - having met Peter Ivanovich, Barclay embraced him in a friendly way. The connection of armies by almost all military men was perceived not only as a great success, but also as an indispensable condition for the long-awaited general battle. Soon both armies moved towards the enemy. After a series of maneuvers, the first one got up on the Porechensky tract, and the second one - to the south, on the way to Rudnya. Three days the troops stood in complete inaction. Finally, Barclay learned that the main French forces had gathered not far from the second army. In this regard, the commander found it necessary to go to the Rudny road, Peter Ivanovich, without waiting, moved back to Smolensk. Both armies approached the city of August 4. Under Smolensk, 120 thousands of Russians fought 180 with thousands of Napoleon's soldiers. After painful deliberation, Mikhail Bogdanovich rejected the idea of ​​a general battle. Ordering Bagration to leave Smolensk, he remained to cover the waste. The battle lasted until the night, and the French failed to achieve even the slightest success. Before Barclay again raised the question of the transition to the counteroffensive, however, after weighing the circumstances, the commander ordered to leave the city.

Soon the king sent Mikhail Bogdanovich a letter in which he reproached him for his actions near Smolensk. Leaving the city finally spoiled relations with Bagration - in letters to the emperor, he demanded to put another military commander. The authority of Barclay in the eyes of most generals, officers and soldiers of all Russian armies was plummeting. This time again, the question about the commander-in-chief was transmitted by the king to the specially created emergency committee, which included six people close to Alexander. They discussed five candidates, the last to go was Kutuzov, who was immediately recognized as the only one worthy. Three days later, Alexander I put an end to this question. Immediately to Barclay, Chichagov, Bagration and Tormasov, the following rescripts were sent: “Various important inconveniences ... impose the duty to appoint one chief superior over all four armies. For this I chose Prince Kutuzov ... ”. Having been appointed, Mikhail Illarionovich personally wrote a letter to Barclay. In it, he expressed hopes for the success of their joint work. Barclay replied to him: “In such an extraordinary and brutal war, everything must contribute to one goal ... Under the guidance of Your Grace, now we will strive to achieve it, and the Fatherland will be saved!”

In mid-August in the village of Tsarevo-Zaymishche Barclay apparently calmly surrendered command. However, his pride, of course, was hurt. Mikhail Illarionovich found the soldiers preparing for battle - the regiments took up positions, the fortifications were being built, reserves arrived. The commander in chief met with stormy glee and drove around the troops and ... ordered them to retreat.

23 August, the main Russian forces took to a huge field, located between the New and Old Smolensk roads. The night before the battle of Borodino, Barclay and the head of the artillery of the first army, General Kutaisov, were spent in a peasant hut. According to the memoirs, Mikhail Bogdanovich was unhappy, he wrote and forgot all night long just before dawn, hiding what was written in his coat pocket. Kutaisov, on the contrary, was having fun and joking. The next day he was killed, an artillery order remained his testament: “Artillery must sacrifice itself. Let them take you with guns, but take the last shot at the support ... ".

For the headquarters of the first army, the battle began at dawn. Adjutant Barclay wrote: “The general with orders, in full dress uniform, with a black feather hat was on the battery ... The village of Borodino, located at our feet, was occupied by a brave Life Guards Jäger regiment. The fog hid enemy columns advancing directly on him. The general, who was surveying the area from the hill, sent me with orders that the regiment immediately march out of the village, destroying the bridge after him ... After this work, descending from the hill, the general traveled the entire line. The grenadiers, calmly standing, greeted him. However, Bonaparte struck the main blow on the left flank, and at the decisive moment Mikhail Bogdanovich, having correctly assessed the situation, sent help to Bagration. The reinforcements arrived when the soldiers of Bagration barely held on, and their commander lay mortally wounded on the ground. Peter Ivanovich conveyed to the adjutant of Barclay: “Tell the general that the fate and salvation of the army now depend on him. God bless him. ” These words meant both complete reconciliation and the recognition of the talents of the commander dear to Bagration. The command of the second army took Konovnitsyn, and Barclay himself led the troops against the cavalry corps of the enemy. Two officers fell near him and nine were wounded, but he did not get out of battle until the grandiose section ended in victory. Alexander Pushkin, in the poem “Commander” dedicated to Barclay, wrote: “There, an obsolete leader! as a warrior young, / Lead a cheerful whistle heard for the first time, / You rushed into the fire, looking for the desired death, - / Voshche! ". Late in the evening, Kutuzov ordered Mikhail Bogdanovich to prepare for the continuation of the battle. The commander gave the necessary orders to his generals, but at midnight he received a new order to retreat.

After Borodino, the remnants of the army of Bagration were united with the army of Barclay, but his position was conditional - the commander-in-chief stood above him. And soon the order came about the dismissal of the commander from the post of Minister of War. In addition, Mikhail Bogdanovich came down with a fever, and in mid-September sent Kutuzov a dismissal report. On the day of entry into the Tarutinskaya position, Mikhail Illarionovich granted his petition. Saying goodbye to his adjutants, Barclay de Tolii said: “The great thing is done, it remains only to shake the harvest ... I gave the field marshal a preserved, non-moralized, well-dressed and armed army. This gives me the right to the gratitude of the people, who will now throw a stone at me, but then give me justice. ”

Being out of the army for more than four months, Mikhail Bogdanovich was engaged in comprehending everything that had happened. The fruit of these thoughts became the "Notes" he compiled. And in early November, the commander suddenly submitted to the king a petition for reinstatement. He was appointed commander of the third army, which was previously headed by Admiral Chichagov.

Soon the fighting spread to Europe. In early April, 1813 capitulated to Torun, and the French governor handed over the keys to the fortress to Barclay de Tolly. Three weeks later, after Kutuzov’s death, Mikhail Bogdanovich’s soldiers entered Frankfurt an der Oder. In May, in a battle that lasted for many hours near Konigswart in Saxony, the commander at the head of the twenty-three-thousand detachment suddenly attacked and defeated the Italian division of Perry. Only prisoners of the enemy lost the division commander, 3 brigade generals and about 2000 soldiers. This battle was the prelude to the battle of Bautzen, which was lost by the Allied forces. By the way, under Bautzen Barclay, the only one of the allied generals did without errors. Denis Davydov wrote that the proverb walked among the soldiers: “Look at Barclay and do not take fear.” For the victory at Konigswart the commander was awarded the highest award of the Russian Empire - the Order of St. Andrew the First Called. In addition, Barclay replaced Wittgenstein, who after Kutuzov commanded the combined Russian-Prussian army. The change this time proceeded differently than nine months ago — Wittgenstein himself recommended Mikhail Bogdanovich to his place, telling the emperor that “for the pleasure of honoring himself under his superiors.” At the same time, a new anti-Napoleonic coalition was formed, including Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden and England. The commander in chief of all the allied armies was the former ally of Bonaparte - the Austrian Schwarzenberg. Under the new conditions, Barclay occupied a more modest post — the head of the Russian-Prussian reserve as part of one of the armies.

In a two-day battle near Dresden in mid-August, the 1813 allies under the command of Schwarzenberg were defeated and driven back to Bohemia. Wanting to cut off retreat troops, the French began to pursue, but with a swift maneuver, Barclay's troops blocked their path, surrounding and imposing a battle of annihilation. This battle, which unfolded near the village of Kulm, remained in the history of military art as an example of tactical skill. For the defeat of the thirty-thousandth French corps, Barclay received the Order of George of the fifth class, which before him was awarded only Kutuzov. The defeat at Kulm forced the French to retreat to Leipzig, where the “Battle of the Nations” took place in October, which transferred the war to French territory.

In 1814, Mikhail Bogdanovich took part in the battles of Arsis-sur-Aub, at Brienne and near Fere-Champenois. In mid-March, his soldiers entered the streets of Paris. After the victory, Alexander I, who was touring the troops with Barclay, suddenly took the commander by the hand and congratulated him on the title of field marshal. 18 May 1814 new French government signed a peace treaty, and four days later the Russian emperor went to London. There, along with the king went and his new field marshal. The next three weeks were filled with receptions, festivals and balls, which is very much accustomed to the marching life of the military. In October, he received the 1814 under the command of the first army with headquarters in Warsaw. Mikhail Bogdanovich was pleased with his appointment - far from St. Petersburg, he was given almost complete independence. The most notable of his work of those years were the "Instructions", setting forth the ideas of the commander about the duty of commanders in relation to subordinates. Along with demanding a conscientious attitude to service and strict discipline, Barclay called for treating people carefully, not allowing arbitrariness, cruelty and violence to flourish.

In the spring of 1815 after the appearance of Napoleon in Europe, Barclay marched. Before reaching the Rhine, he learned of the defeat of the “Corsican monster” near Waterloo. Nevertheless, the army commander continued the march and in July for the second time occupied Paris. Here, for political reasons, Alexander decided to demonstrate to the allies the strength and beauty of his troops. The grand parade in Vertyu lasted several days - the 150-thousandth army with 550 guns was commanded by Barclay. All infantry battalions, cavalry squads and artillery batteries showed impeccable bearing and training, coordination of maneuvers and refined movements. Yermolov wrote to his brother: “The state of our troops is amazing. In this place, the troops of all Europe, but there is no one like the Russian soldier! ” For the excellent condition of the entrusted army, Mikhail Bogdanovich was granted the title of prince.
The motto on his coat of arms were the words: "Loyalty and patience."

In the fall of 1815, the bulk of the Russian troops returned to their homeland. The headquarters of Barclay at this time located in Mogilev. The commander continued to lead the first army, which after 1815 included almost all ground forces 2 / 3. In the spring of 1818, Mikhail Bogdanovich went to Europe for treatment. His path passed through Prussia. There, a fifty-six-year-old Barclay fell ill with the disease and 14 died on May. His heart was buried on a dais near the estate of Stilittsen (now the village of Nagornoye of the Kaliningrad region), and the ashes of the commander were taken to his wife's family estate in Livonia, located not far from the present Estonian town of Jygeveste. In 1823, a widow built a beautiful mausoleum on her grave, which has survived to this day.

According to the materials of the books of V. Levchenko "Heroes of 1812 of the Year" and V.D. Melentyev "Field Marshal Victory".
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  1. Slobber
    Slobber 16 October 2015 07: 48
    Here, for such articles, I liked the Review. Such articles should be published, not a cotton-hysterical "hurray". Extremely brief, capacious, interesting.
    the matter was complicated by the fact that the emperor constantly intervened in the orders of the commander. Over the head of Mikhail Bogdanovich, he gave many orders that often contradicted Barclay's instructions.

    I read more than once that Alexander I in the year of the war very many were unhappy. In fact, he interfered with the conduct of hostilities. And therefore, a compromise figure was needed, of which Kutuzov turned out to be. I recall that in 1805 he almost threw a lyule to the French, but again, because of the pathos and swagger of the Austers and Russian emperors, Alexander, that is, Austerlitz happened.
    At the same time, de Tolly had absolutely no official friendship with Bagration and Kutuzov, and there was nothing to say about the attitude in the troops and the nobility.
    1810 Alexander I dismissed the pedant and hard administrator Arakcheyev, appointing Barclay in his place.

    One of the very few examples of the saying "you can't spoil porridge with butter" in real life. Although he still found it much easier after the aforementioned Arakcheev and Vyazmitinov.
    1. bondarencko
      bondarencko 16 October 2015 15: 23
      It is unfortunate that in the center of Riga from the monument to Barclay there was only a granite pedestal.
      1. Army soldier2
        Army soldier2 16 October 2015 16: 55
        And when was it removed? Last January, I was photographed next to him.
    2. Mikado
      Mikado 16 October 2015 18: 10
      It would be nice if they wrote an article about Arakcheev. There was a contradictory person, and the track left ambiguous. But brought a lot of good. By the way, in the same pedagogy and about Paul 1 a lot of good is written. Much has been said about this before? no. The winners write the story, in the case of the same Paul, the killers in general.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 16 October 2015 07: 52
    Alexander Pushkin

    The Russian Tsar has a chamber in the chamber:
    She is not rich in gold, not rich in velvet;
    It is not in her that the crown diamond is stored behind glass;
    But from top to bottom, in full length, around,
    His brush free and wide
    She was painted by a quick artist.
    There are no rural nymphs, no virgin madons,
    No fauns with bowls, no full-breasted wives,
    No dancing, no hunting - but all the raincoats, but swords,
    Yes, people full of warlike courage.
    In a crowd crowded, the artist placed
    Here are the chiefs of our people's forces,
    Covered in glory for a wonderful trip
    And the eternal memory of the twelfth year.
    Often slowly I wander between them
    And I look at their familiar images,
    And, hesitates, I hear their warlike cliques.
    Of these, there are not many; others whose faces
    Still so young on a bright canvas
    Already grown old and nikut in silence
    The head of the laurel ...
    But in this crowd harsh
    One attracts me all the more. With a new thought
    I will always stop before him - and I won’t bring
    From him my eyes. The longer I look
    Moreover, I languish heavy sadness.

    It is written to its full height. A man like a skull naked
    Highly glossy, and, hesitates, lay down
    There is great sadness. Around - a dense haze;
    Behind him is a military camp. Calm and gloomy
    He seems to be looking with a contemptuous thought.
    Did the artist reveal his exact thought,
    When he depicted him as such,
    Or involuntary it was an inspiration, -
    But Dow gave him such an expression.

    O unhappy leader! ... Your lot was severe:
    You sacrificed everything to the land of a stranger to you.
    Impervious to the stare of the wild,
    In silence you walked alone with a great thought,
    And in your name is a sound foreign not to love
    With your cries chasing you
    The people mysteriously saved by you
    Swore over your sacred gray hair.
    And the one whose sharp mind comprehended you,
    For the sake of them he cunningly censured you ...
    And long, strengthened by a powerful conviction,
    You were unwavering before a common delusion;
    And on the half way I should have finally
    Silently give way and a laurel crown,
    And power, and design, thought deeply, -
    And in the regimental ranks to hide lonely.
    There, an outdated leader! as a warrior young,
    Lead the first who heard a cheerful whistle,
    You rushed into the fire, seeking the desired death, -
    That's it! -

    Oh people! A miserable family worthy of tears and laughter!
    Priests of the minute, fans of success!
    How often does a person pass by you
    Over whom the blind and turbulent age curses
    But whose high face in the coming generation
    Poet will delight and emotion!
  3. kursk87
    kursk87 16 October 2015 08: 01
    One of the best generals in the history of Russia, whose military genius provided invaluable assistance to the country in the fight against Napoleon.
    1. Ingvar 72
      Ingvar 72 16 October 2015 10: 13
      Quote: kursk87
      One of the best generals in the history of Russia

      Controversially, read the book Bagration.
    2. alexej123
      alexej123 16 October 2015 11: 57
      And in my opinion, one of the first founders of Russian army intelligence. The first one who was able to somehow organize at the proper level army intelligence.
  4. 4Bas
    4Bas 16 October 2015 08: 11
    One of the most worthy "stepsons" of our Fatherland.
    1. blizart
      blizart 16 October 2015 09: 09
      Tolstoy explains the psychological underpinnings of the Russians' discontent with Barclay figuratively, through the mouth of Bolkonsky: "He is no good now precisely because he thinks everything over very thoroughly and carefully, as any German should. How can I tell you. Well, your father has a German lackey, and he is a wonderful lackey and will satisfy all his needs better than you, and let him serve; but if your father is ill at death, you will drive the lackey away and with your unfamiliar, awkward hands you will begin to follow your father and calm him better than a skillful but stranger. did with Barclay. While Russia was healthy, a stranger could serve her, and there was a wonderful minister, but as soon as she was in danger, she needed her own, a dear person. “And so, yes, he was more useful to many ethnic Russians for Russia. A lively answer to xenophobes and nationalists of all stripes.
  5. creak
    creak 16 October 2015 09: 31
    To the above, we can add that Barclay was one of four full cavaliers of the highest military order of St. George. Even Suvorov was not a full gentleman ...
  6. alexej123
    alexej123 16 October 2015 11: 54
    The question is for the author - as far as I remember and know, the Order of St. George had degrees, not classes. And all was 4 degree. Where did the author get the Order of St. George 5 class? Or am I wrong?
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. creak
      creak 16 October 2015 17: 21
      Quote: alexej123
      And there were 4 degrees in total. Where did the author get the Order of St. George Grade 5? Or am I wrong?

      Of course you are right, the order of the 5th class never existed - the 4th class was the lowest. However, he also gave the recipient considerable privileges - the rights of hereditary nobility regardless of origin and automatic production in the next rank.
  7. Wolka
    Wolka 16 October 2015 13: 23
    a worthy example to follow, they are not born generals, they become ...
    1. pensioneree
      pensioneree 18 October 2015 19: 42
      I happened to be on the grave, put a candle, bow, well, and took for the WARRIORS!
  8. kvs207
    kvs207 16 October 2015 14: 58
    Quote: alexej123
    The Order of St. George had degrees, not classes.

    Namely - classes.

    By God's merciful grace We, Catherine the Second, Empress and Autocrat of All Russia, etc., etc., etc.

    As the glory of the Russian Empire spread most and was exalted by the loyalty and courage and prudent conduct of a military rank, it is from the special Our Imperial mercy to those serving in Our troops to cancel and reward them for the zeal and service rendered to them in many cases to Us and Our Ancestors, as well to encourage them in the art of war, we wanted to establish a new military order, and to provide it with all the advantages that this enterprise will be able to advance; that We are hereby establishing and accepting, for ourselves and the Successors of our present Order of the Grand Mastery, and we grant this Order for good times the following articles, advantages and benefits.

    1. This order should be revered established since 1769 on the 26th of November, on which day we confer the sign of it upon ourselves, after a long time honored us and our servants with honors, and from now on this day will be celebrated both at Our court and in all places where the Cavalier of the Great Cross will happen.

    2. The military order of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George will be referred to as the Order; those granted from us will be called the Knights of St. George. The sign of this order, to which it is received, may it be before the light proof of our gracious goodwill for service and their good behavior for all time.

    3. Neither the high breed, nor the wounds received before the enemy, give the right to be granted a sim order: but this is given to those who not only corrected their position in everything by oath, honor and debt, but also distinguished themselves by how special manly act, or wise, and for Our military service useful advice.

    4. Among those who are able to receive this order are all those who in the ground and naval forces of Our good and truly Headquarters and Ober-Officers send the service; and from the Generals, those who actually served in the army, showed excellent courage, or excellent military art, against the enemy.

    5. But as it is not always the case for every faithful son of the fatherland, where his jealousy and courage can shine, we reasoned for the good not to exclude from this gracious establishment those who were in the field service 25 years from the Chief Officer, but in the maritime 18 companies served as officers.

    6. The exact number of the cavaliers of this military order is not determined: for in it will be accepted as much as they prove worthy.

    and. The first class of the big cross.

    Sim wear a tape over his right shoulder on the camisole, and a star on the caftan on the left side.

    b. The second class wears a star on a caftan on the left side, and a large cross on the neck.

    at. The third class wears a small cross around the neck.

    The fourth class wears a small cross in a buttonhole on a caftan.

    This order should never be removed: for it is acquired by merits. "
    1. alexej123
      alexej123 17 October 2015 00: 33
      That would understand. I am not trying to belittle the character of the article. For the organization of army intelligence bow to the earth to him and his descendants. May the RUSSIAN land not be impoverished.
  9. alexej123
    alexej123 17 October 2015 00: 31
    Thanks, clarified.
  10. alexej123
    alexej123 17 October 2015 00: 40
    I envy the people who "shovel" mountains of scientific literature. I like to study the history of Russia from works of art. Although I understand there are a lot of inaccuracies.
  11. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 11 December 2015 23: 20
    Great article, more such! No plywood hurray-patriotism, but real thoughtful and correct research, imbued with genuine respect for the present Russian Hero, albeit a Scot!

    Both armies approached the city of August 4. Under Smolensk, 120 thousands of Russians fought 180 with thousands of Napoleon's soldiers. After painful deliberation, Mikhail Bogdanovich rejected the idea of ​​a general battle. Ordering Bagration to leave Smolensk, he remained to cover the waste. The battle lasted until the night, and the French failed to achieve even the slightest success.
    Well, how to say - in general, the French took the city, which was stubbornly defended by the Russians, and with less losses than the defenders (traditionally for the army of Bonaparte and his artillery geniuses). And so - if our ancestors decided to take the general battle at the walls of Smolensk, which Napoleon wanted so much, then it would be terrible to think what it would be like, because if, with Borodino, with a less favorable balance of forces, he actually won, then there could be a deafening defeat and a most shameful world.

    In the campaign 1809, one more feature of the commander was revealed - a humane attitude towards the enemy, in particular towards civilians. When the soldiers of Mikhail Bogdanovich entered the territory of Sweden, he issued a military order that sounded like: “Do not mess with acquired glory
    Without a doubt, the introduction to European culture from the era of Peter I benefited the Russians - after 100 years, our army no longer behaved in territories where it passed like some barbarians or Tatars, but was an example of correct and humane behavior that was admired all europeans. Although the bloody guerrilla war in Finland still forced to show other examples of cruelty on both sides ...

    But Mikhail Bogdanovich was one of the most competent generals of the Russian army at that time, and it was he who became the actual savior of the Fatherland, who saved and joined the army in their withdrawal from the frontiers, having beaten the Bonoparty in a strategic maneuver (and this alone is worth a lot!). Well, his magnificent operations during the Foreign campaigns after the death of Kutuzov also allow us to talk about his talents as a great commander (in my opinion more competent than Kutuzov, Bagration or Miloradovich).