Rus Articles Journal

Whether Denis Davydov an initiator of creation of guerrilla groups in 1812 was?

Occur opinion that Denis Davydov suggested Kutuzov to create army guerrilla groups and itself became the chief performer of the plan of guerrilla war. It is extremely far from reality.

Small army groups for action in the back on communications of the opponent in the Russian army, as well as in other European armies, were used also before war of 1812. In particular, such groups successfully worked during Seven years` war of 1756 - 63 years. By the way, in this war by the small group from Cossacks and hussars operating in the back and on flanks of the opponent still the lieutenant colonel A. V. Suvorov ordered then. And the Cossack groups in campaign of 1807 so successfully worked in the back of troops of Napoleon that he in one of the bulletins even called Cossacks opprobium of the human race .

During war of 1812 the first large army flying group under command of the general F. F. Vintsingerode was created in August according to Barclay`s order - - Tolly (before Kutuzov`s appointment by the commander-in-chief). In this group future chief of the case of gendarmes A. H. Benkendorf, subsequently too the commander of flying group, and future Decembrist Sergey Volkonsky who received for differences in fights the colonel`s rank were at war. By then, when Davydov appealed to Bagration to allow creation of army guerrilla group, Vintsingerode smashed backs of French for a long time.

Shortly before the Borodino fight Kutuzov allowed Denis Davydov who was during this period the commander of Hussars to create small flying group (guerrilla army groups were not called then). The instruction to the commander of group was personally written by Bagration: Akhtyrsky Hussars to mister lieutenant colonel Davydov. On receipt of this desire to take hundred fifty Cossacks from the general - the major Karpov and fifty the hussar of Akhtyrsky Hussars. I order you to take all measures to disturb the enemy and to try to take away them furazhir not from the flank him, and in the middle and in the back, to upset wagon trains and parks, to break crossings and to take away all ways. The word to tell, I am sure that having made you such important power of attorney, you potshchitsya to prove your quickness and diligence and will justify with that my choice. To send your official reports to me when convenient you have a case; about your movements has to know to nobody and try to have them in the most impenetrable taynost. As for to the food of your team, you have to have about volume care .

During this period also other similar groups are created. But mass actions of army guerrillas began after leaving of Moscow when to each group a certain area of actions was appointed. Separate groups consisted of several regiments and could solve independently large fighting problems, for example, group of the general I. S. Dorokhov into which 4 cavalry regiments entered. Colonels Balabin, Vadbolsky, Efremov, Kudashev, captains Seslavin, Fischer ordered large groups. By the way, Davydov`s group was one of the smallest.

Army guerrilla groups made an essential contribution to defeat of Napoleonic troops in Russia. In some cases several groups temporarily united for carrying out large operations, and also attracted country guerrilla groups to participation in them. Close ties with country groups were supported also by Denis Davydov acting with the group around Medyni and Yukhnov and then on the way of retreat of Napoleonic troops.

Why it turned out what the greatest popularity was gained by actions of guerrillas under Denis Davydov`s command whose contribution to exile of French was much more modest, than at large groups?

The answer is simple - the military glory to the guerrilla Denis Davydov was provided by a talented feather of the poet, publicist and military historian Denis Davydov. In 1821 it published Experience of the theory of guerrilla action and after resignation as he spoke, it was let in military notes . The written in fascinating language, its works enjoyed wide popularity in Russia. But it not so the historian - publicistic, as literary works. Not without reason the former cavalryman, and subsequently the Decembrist and the writer A. A. Bestuzhev - Marlinsky in one of letters noticed: You judge Denis Davydov according to him; but between us be told, he more wrote out, than cut down to himself glory of the man of courage .

Denis Davydov in detail lit with the first in the Russian literature guerrilla actions. And made it skillfully and fascinatingly. Not deprived of usual human vanity, we will forgive it this weakness, he often attributed to himself much more, than was in reality. But thanks to its works, he in the society of began to be considered as the initiator and one of organizers of the guerrilla movement especially as it already had glory of the dashing hussar. However, did not do also without scandal. Reasonably the general Vintsingerode who publicly caught Davydov that that significantly exaggerates own merits was indignant. But then business managed to be hushed up quickly. Other heads of guerrilla groups if were indignant, then in private correspondence and private conversations, without taking out the opinion on court of society. When Davydov knew of their statements, he ingenuously answered: The Benefit is what about itself to tell why not to speak? .

At all personal approach of Denis Davydov to stories about Patriotic war of 1812, exactly thanks to it we received the developed description of guerrilla fight and dedicated actions of many real participants of those events. It possesses also the first theoretical synthesis of experience of activity of guerrilla groups in Patriotic war. By the way, Lev Tolstoy used Davydov`s works during creation War and peace having made also Denis by a prototype of one of the heroes. At the same time Tolstoy who thoroughly studied war of 1812 perfectly understood a true role of Davydov in the organization of the guerrilla movement.

In one of the late verses Denis Davydov told about himself: I am not a poet, I am a guerrilla, the Cossack . He very much was proud of the guerrilla affairs, the benefit, and actually was what to be proud. And the fact that exaggerated the role in guerrilla actions - to which of memoirists does not happen, and to the hussar - and even less so.