Research Subjects: Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Major General Adam Ivanovich Balla

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(1764 – 17 August 1812)

Adam Ivanovich Balla descended from Greek family from Morea. He was taken to Russia at age of 10 and enrolled at the Artillery and Engineer Corps College for Foreigners on 11 August 1778. After graduation in 1782, he joined as a lieutenant the Aleksopol Infantry Regiment on 13 July 1782 and fought against the Turks in Crimea. On 1 August 1786, he was transferred to the 4th Battalion of the Lifland Jager Regiment and promoted to captain in 1787. He participated in Potemkin’s campaigns against the Turks and distinguished himself at Ochakov (promoted to second major) on 17 December 1788 and Ismail (promoted to premier major) on 22 December 1790; he also received crosses for both combats.  He served under Suvorov in Poland in 1792-1793 and commanded the 4th battalion of Lifland Jagers. In November 1797, he was appointed commander of the 12th Jager Regiment. In 1798 he was promoted to colonel. Between 18 January and 19 May 1799, he also served as a chef  of the 12th Jagers Regiment and in March 1800, was appointed commander of the 11th Jagers. On 13 March 1799, he received rank of major general. In 1806 – 1811, Balla served in the Army of Moldavia, participating in numerous battles against the Turks and receiving Order of St. Anna (1st Class). In 1812, he commanded 3rd Brigade of the 7th Division of General Dorokhov’s 6th Corps and took part in the battle of Smolensk on 16 August 1812, where he was mortally wounded. He died the following day and was buried at Smolensk. Besides mentioned decorations, he also had, of St. Vladimir (3rd Class) and a golden sword for courage.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2002; updated November 2003.


Index to the Biographical Dictionary of Russian Generals during the Napoleonic Wars ]

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