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A Biographical Dictionary of Russian Generals during the Napoleonic Wars

By: Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS


A Biographical Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars


The Age of Napoleon is one of the greatest epochs in the history of humankind. One would rarely witness the assemblage of such great minds as in that period. This is especially true for the military history. Napoleon and his generals, undoubtedly one of the best military minds that ever led the troops, dominated the Age. However, the Russian Army, led by another cast of gifted commanders, fought the French for decades.' These two empires shared different beliefs and their clash decided the future of Europe.

Kutuzov, Barclay de Tolly, Bagration, Rayevsky, Yermolov' These names evoke the triumphs of the glorious days of the past and the numerous battles fought and the victories celebrated. For decades, their names were venerated and admired, and considered the Glory of Russia. These commanders spent the best years of their lives serving in the Russian armies. Some were talented commanders and administrators, others less gifted generals and courtiers. Yet, they all served Russia and many of them paid the ultimate price' -- with their lives ' for the well being of their Motherland. They came from all over the world ' Peter Bagration from Georgia; Alexander Langeron, Antoine Jomini, and Emmanuel St. Priest from France; Joseph O'Rourke from Ireland; Mikhail Barclay de Tolly from Scotland, Bennigsen; Wittgenstein, Clausewitz, and others from the German states. Russia embraced them all and employed them in its armies. In return, they defended Russian Empire and gradually increased its territories.

Between the years 1792 and 1815, there were approximately 2,000 generals in the Russian Army. Other than the most famous, such as Kutuzov, Bagration and Platov, few people outside of Russia know little about them. The purpose of this biographical dictionary is to provide details on their lives. We will be continually updating the dictionary and if you have any information on the these individuals that you would like to contribute, please contact me.

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