Research Subjects: Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Field Marshal Alexander Alexandrovich Prozorovsky

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(1732 - 1809)

Alexander Alexandrovich Prozorovsky was born to a family tracing its origin from Rurik, the founder of the Russian state. In 1742, he was enlisted in the Guard Regiment and two years later received rank of corporal. In 1753, he was already a sergeant, and in 1756 a captain. Prozorovsky participated in the Seven Years War and was wounded at the battle of Grossjgerndorf. In 1758 he was promoted to second major and participated in the battles of Kunersdorf, Zordforf, and Kustrin in 1759. In 1760, he was confered in the rank of lieutenant colonel and took part in capture of Berlin. In 1761, Prozorovsky became colonel, and five years later - a major general. In 1767-68 he fought against the Poles, and in 1769 commanded Russian troops against the Turks on the Dniestr River. He distinguished himself in several battles against the Porte and was awarded the Order of St. George (3rd Class). In 1771-1773, Prozorovsky fought in the Crimea against the Turks, where he captured Perekop and suppressed local Tatar uprising. In 1773, he was promoted to lieutenant general and the next year was transferred to the Danube Theater. Catherine the Great awarded him with a golden sword with brilliants. In 1777, Prozorovsky became seriously ill and spent next two years recovering. In 1779, he returned to the army and was sent to the Ukraine Division of Count Peter Rumyantsev-Zadunaiskii. In 1781, Prozorovsky was appointed Governor of Orlov and Kursk, and nine years later he became military govenor of Moscow. In 1795, he was dismissed by Catherine the Great, though a year later Paul I gave him command of the 1st Smolensk Division. Nevertheless, Paul suddenly disgraced him in January 1797 and for the next three years Prozorosvky lived on his estates. He was recalled only in late 1805 and given command of the militia in the 6th Military District. In 1807 Prozorovsky was conferred with the title of the field marshal and appointed commander-in-chief of the Moldavian Army. He spent next two years fighting the Turkish troops in the Danube Valley, but failed to achieve any major success.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2002


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