Research Subjects: Biographies


Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Admiral Pavel Vasilievich Chichagov

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(27 June 1767 - 20 August 1849)

Pavel Vasilievich Chichagov, the Son of Admiral Vasiliy Chichagov, was born on 27 June 1767 in St. Petersburg and was enlisted in the Guard in 1779. In 1782, he took part in the campaign in the Mediterranean Sea as an aide-de-camp to his father. He distiguished himself in the Russian-Swedish War of 1788-1790, commanding  ship Rostislav and was awarded the Order of St. George (4th Class) and a golden sword with the inscription “For Courage.” After the war, he went to Britain to study at their naval academy. In 1794-1796, he commanded the ship-of-the-line, Retvizan.  After the death of Catherine the Great, Chichagov resigned because of disagreement with Emperor Paul, who unjustly accused Chichagov of treason and imprisoned him in June 1799. He was soon pardoned by Paul and promoted to rear admiral. In 1801, Emperor Alexander included him into his retinue and next year, Chichagov became vice admiral and member of the Committee on Navy Reorganization. In 1807, he was appointed Minister of Navy and promoted to admiral. He resigned and travelled in Europe in 1809-1811. In 1812, Alexander appointed him commander-in-chief of the Army of Danube and governor general of Moldavia and Wallachia. However, the Treaty of Bucharest was concluded by the time he took command of the army. He participated in the 1812 Campaign and was unjustly accused of letting Napoleon escape at the Berezina in November 1812. In 1813, he was given an indefinite furlough (in fact, dismissed), and went to France for treatment. He never returned to Russia and spent the rest of his life in France and Italy. He died on 20 August 1849 in Paris.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2002

 

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