Research Subjects: Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: General Auditor Alexander Pavlovich Zass

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(1 July 1785, Pernov- 30 August 1843, St. Petersburg)

Alexander Pavlovich Zass (Christopher Alexander) descended from a noble family in Lifland gubernia. On 21 November 1793, he was enlisted as a sergeant in the Life Guard Semeyonovsky Regiment. Three years later, was promoted to ensign on 25 November 1796 and became flugel-adjutant the following month. In 1805, he served as adjutant to Buxhowden and fought at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. On 26 July 1806, he was promoted to captain and participated in the first Polish Campaign. He fought at Worlfsdorf, Guttstadt, Heilsberg, and Friedland and was promoted to colonel on 24 December 1807. In 1809-1811, Zass served in the Army of Danube against the Turks. On 17 November 1810, he commanded the 27th Jager Regiment and captured Girsov, receiving the Order of St. George (4th Class). In 1811, he distinguished himself at Vidin and was appointed shef of Belostock Infantry Regiment on 15 November 1811. In 1812, he commanded the 1st Brigade of the 10th Division of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Danube. He took part in actions at Kovel, Lutsk, and Lubomel. During the 1813 Campaign, he distinguished himself at Katzbach; for his actions, Zass was promoted major general and given command of the 2nd Brigade of the 10th Infantry Divisions. In October 1813, he fought at Leipzig and was given command of the 10th Division. The following year, he commanded the 27th Division and fought at Brienne, La Rothiere, Montmirail, Chateau Thierry, Craonne, Laon, and Paris. For his actions he was awarded the Order of St. George (3rd Class). In 1815, he was given command of the 3rd Brigade of the 15th Division, and during the “Hundred Days” took part in the blockades of Faltzburg and Metz. In June 1821, he became commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division and two years later, received command of the 8th Division (8 October 1823). During Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, Zass distinguished himself in several actions, including battles at Shumla and Silistra and received the Order of St. Vladimir (2nd Class), the Order of St. Anna (1st Class), and the rank of lieutenant general (4 June 1828). In 1829, he was given command of the 7th Division (16 October) and, the following year, he was moved north against the Polish insurgents. He took part in the capture of Warsaw and received a golden sword for courage. On 14 April 1833, he became commander of the 6th Division and commanded it until September 1839, when he was appointed general auditor.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: May 2003; updated December 2003.


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