Research Subjects: Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Lieutenant General Fedor Ivanovich Sanders

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS


(1755 - 13 January 1836)

Lieutenant General Fedor Ivanovich Sanders enlisted in the Kiev Infantry Regiment in 1765. In 1769, he became a sergeant and fought against the Turks in the 1770s. He was promoted to lieutenant in December 1771, and several years later became a captain. In 1778, he was transferred to the Aleksopol Infantry Regiment, where he served for the next nine years, before joining the Lifland Jager Regiment. During the Russo-Turkish War he became a second major, participated in the assault on Ochakov in December 1788, and was awarded a golden cross for courage. He distinguished himself at Gadjibek in 1789 and later took part in Alexander Suvorov’s famous assault on Ismail in 1791. On Suvorov’s recommendation, he was promoted to premier major and awarded a golden cross. During the Polish Campaign of 1794, Sanders took part in the capture of Praga and was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given another golden cross. After the campaign, he joined the 8th Jager Battalion, but then retired in 1797. He returned to service in 1806 and served in the 11th Jager Regiment in the Moldavian army.  He took part in General Michelson’s operations in 1806, including the capture of Bender and combats at Ismail. For his actions, Sanders was awarded a gold sword with inscription “For Courage.” In March 1807, Sanders joined Meyendorff in besieging Ismail and distinguished himself on several occasions, including the action of 29 March for which he was awarded the Order of St. Anna (2nd class). On 20 April he defeated a Turkish sortie to the island of Cetal and though wounded to the right leg, he personally led the charge, capturing two guns, and two colors. For this feat, he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir (3rd class). He distinguished himself in action on 8 June, was wounded in the left hand and left leg and was awarded the Order of St. Anna (2nd class). On 12 August, he was promoted to colonel and appointed commander of the 11th Jager Regiment. On 7 September 1809, he again fought at Ismail and was wounded – a bullet hit him under the left eye. Nevertheless, he remained with the regiment and directed the construction of a battery. In 1810, Sanders was given command of the 29th Jager Regiment and distinguished himself in a series of actions (Turtukan, Razgrad and Ruse). For his actions at Ruse, he was promoted to major general. During the assault on Ruse he commanded the right flank and was wounded again. He took part in the sieges of Giurgiu and Turnu, and a year later, in 1811, commanded the fifth square in the battle at Ruse. He was awarded the Order of St. Anna (1st class). He then participated in the actions at Vidin and Lom-Palanka in late 1811. In May 1812, Sanders became inspector in the Danube army and late that year he fought at Berezina. He participated in the 1813 Campaign and commanded the 1st Brigade of the 12th Infantry Division (Smolensk and Narva Infantry Regiments). He distinguished himself at the battle of Leipzig and was awarded a golden sword with inscription and was appointed temporary military governor of the city. In 1814, Sanders fought at Bremen and then marched to Paris. He took part in battles of Craonne and Laon and entered Paris in March 1814. After the war, Sanders was on furlough and returned to service in 1816, becoming military governor of Ismail. In 1830 he was promoted to lieutenant general. He retired four years later and died on 13 January 1836 in St. Petersburg.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2002


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