Research Subjects: Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: General Baron Ilia Mikhailovich Duka

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(1767 – 28 February 1830)


General Ilia Mikhailovich Duka

Baron Ilia Mikhailovich Duka descended from a Serbian family in Kursk gubernia. He was sted in the Notenburg Infantry Regiment in May 1776. In 1783, he fought against the Poles and was promoted to aide-de-camp to General Shevich. He participated in the Russo-Turkish campaign in 1788-89, and was transferred to the Ostrogozh Light Cavalry Regiment in 1790. During the campaign in Poland in 1794, he distinguished himself by capturing General Warwzhewsky and his officers, and was promoted to major. In October 1799, he was transferred to the Life Guard Hussar Regiment and promoted to colonel. On 23 October 1806, Duka was appointed chef of the Little Russia Cuirassier Regiment. He took part in the 1807 Campaign and distinguished himself at Eylau, being awarded the Order of St. George (3rd Class) and a golden sword. He was promoted to major general on 6 June 1807. In 1812, Duka commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Cuirassier Division, and later commanded the division itself. For his actions at Smolensk and Borodino, Duka was awarded the Order of St. Anna (1st Class) and for the battles of Tarutino and Maloyaroslavets  - the Order of St. Vladimir (2nd Class). In 1813, Duka was promoted to lieutenant general (27 September), fought at Leipzig and was wounded in the head. In 1814 he participated in the capture of Paris. He was awarded the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle and the Austrian Order of St. Leopold. Upon his return to Russia, Duka commanded the 2nd Cuirassier Division and in September 1823, he was appointed to command the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Corps. In September 1826, he was promoted to general and then retired on 17 February 1827 because of ill health. He died on 28 February 1830.

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


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