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The Napoleon Series > Biographies > Biographies

Russian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars: Lieutenant General Alexander Louis Andrault de Langeron

By Alexander Mikaberidze, FINS

(24 January 1763, Paris - 16 July 1831, Odessa)

Lieutnenant General Alexander Louis Andrault de Langeron

Lieutnenant General Langeron

Alexander Louis Andrault de Langeron was born to a French noble family and his full name was Louis Alexander Andrault chevalier comte de Langron, marquis de la Coss, baron de Cougny, de la Fert Langron et de Sassy. At an age of 15, he was sous-lieutenant des gardes franaises. He later served under at Caracas and Saint-Domingue in 1782-1783. In 1786, he was promoted to assistant-colonel to the Regiment of Mdoc and then colonel to the Armagnac Regiment in 1788. He accompanied the Prince of Nassau to Russia in 1789 and next year entered into Russian service as a colonel of the Siberia Grenadier Regiment (7 May 1790). Langeron distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Swedes - he received Order of St. George (4th Class, 19 September 1790) for actions at Bjork and commanded the Russian left wing ar Rochensalmi.. He fought the Turks at Ismail (wounded, awarded a golden sword) and Macin in 1790-1791. With Catherine IIs permission, he served in Prince of Saxony-Teschen's army against the French in Netherlands and, on his return to Russia, was sent as military observer to the Austrian army in Northern France and the Netherlands (1793-1794). In August 1795, he was transferred to the Malorossiiski [Little Russia] Grenadiers regiment and promoted to brigadier on 9 July 1796. He became major general and shef of Ufa (Ufimsky) Musketeer Regiment on 2 June 1797. He was awarded the Order of St. Anna (2nd Class) for effective maintenance of his regiment. Under Paul, Langeron also received the Commander Cross of Order of St. John of Jerusalem and was conferred title of Count of the Russian Empire. He was given rank of lieutenant general on 5 November 1798 and appointed shef of Ryazhsky Musketeer Regiment on 24 May 1799. He became head of Brest inspection on 24 August 1800. Langeron took part in the 1805 Campaign against Napoleon and fought at Austerlitz. He was one of the two generals disgraced after the war and was sent to Odessa. In 1807-1811, he served in the Moldavian Army against the Ottomans. He fought at Giorgio, Silistra, Frasin (where he received the Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd Class), Derekoi (received Order of St. George, 3rd Class, 1 October 1810), and Ruse (received Order of St. Alexander of Neva). He was given command of the 22nd Division on 19 August 1810 and temporarily commanded the army of Moldavia after General Kamensky died. He participated in the decisive battle at Ruse in 1811, was promoted to general of infantry on 3 September 1811 and awarded the Order of St. Vladimir (1st Class) . In 1812, he commanded the 1st Corps of the Army of Danube and took part in actions at Brest-Litovsk and on the Berezina. In 1813 he was in charge of the blockade of Thorn [received Order of St. George (2nd Class) on 23 March 1813, and the Prussian Orders of Black and Red Eagles], and participated in the battles of Koenigswarte, Bautzen, Zibeneichen, Lowenberg, Holdberg, Katzbach, Hartau, Bischofsward, and Leipzig (received diamond signs of Order of St. Alexander of Neva and Swedish Order of the Sword). In 1814, he fought at Soisson, Craonne, Laonn, Rheims, La Fere Champenoise, and Paris (received Order of St. Andrew the First Called, French Orders of St. Louis and Lily, and Austrian Order of Maria Theresa). In late 1814, he commanded the 4th and 6th Corps in Volhynia and marched back to France during the Hundred Days. He reached the Rhine when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and had to turn back to Russia. After the war, he was appointed military governor of Kherson and Odessa, commander-in-chief of Bug and Black Sea Cossack Hosts, and governor of Ekaterinoslavl, Kherson and Tavrida gubernias on 28 November 1815. He greatly contributed to development of the city of Odessa in 1816-1823. He was relieved of duties because of poor health on 26 May 1823 and traveled to France in 1824-1825. He was appointed member of sentencing panel after the Decembrist Uprising in 1826 and was awarded the Diamond Sign of Order of St. Andrew the First Caller. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, he fought Satunovo, Shumla, Giurgiu, Turno, and Silistra. He became shef of the Ryazhsky Infantry Regiment on 23 February 1829 and left the Turkish front after the appointment of General Diebitsch. He spent next two years in Odessa and traveled to St. Petersburg in early 1831, where he died during the cholera epidemic on 16 July 1831. He was buried in the Catholic Church in Odessa in 1831. Langeron was a prolific writer and his memoirs are valuable sources on the period. His literary legacy includes Mmoires sur les guerres de la premire coalition, 1792-1793, Mmoires de Langron, gnrale dinfanterie dans larme russe. Campagnes de 1812, 1813 et 1814, Journal inedit de la campagne de 1805, and Zapiski Grafa Langerona. Voina s Turtsiei v 1806-1812 gg. [Recollections of Count Langeron. War Against Turkey in 1806-1812].

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2002; updated December 2003.