To what surprising event led Napoleon`s refusal to exchange the captured Russian colonel Mikhail Fonvizin?
Among Decembrists the general Mikhail Aleksandrovich Fonvizin was one of the most glorified participants of wars with Napoleon. By the time of revolt at Senate Square he departed from active participation in secret society long ago, though continued to maintain the relations with his members. But on merits of the fighting general the young emperor of attention did not begin to turn, and the veteran of Napoleonic wars went to Siberia where he should spend 26 years.
Mikhail was born in August 20, 1787 in a family of the retired lieutenant colonel Alexander Fonvizin, representative of an ancient noble sort known in Russia since the time of Ivan the Terrible. The boy got a good house education, some time studied in Sankt - the St. Petersburg school of Saint Peter, and then in boarding house at the Moscow university. By tradition of that time, it since the childhood was written down in a regiment. In 1803 to Fonvizin the call in Labe - guards of the Preobrazhensky Regiment in which it was registered in an unter - an officer rank of the subensign came. It was necessary to leave study and to go urgently to St. Petersburg.
On arrival in the capital Fonvizin was transferred to other Guards regiment, Izmaylovsky in which began service of sword belts - the ensign (the candidate for assignment of an officer rank). In December, 1804 it was made in ensigns, and next year received baptism of fire, and in Austerlitsky battle. The Russian guard worked in this battle selflessly and suffered heavy losses. Fonvizin was lucky, he participated in several attacks, but was not even wounded.
The Russian army got beaten in this battle therefore awards for it noted only especially caused a stir. Among those there was also an eighteen-year-old ensign Mikhail Fonvizin. The Order of St. Anna 4 - y to degree which rushed on a sword hilt became its first war decoration. It should be noted, as he received all the subsequent awards not for a period of service or differences occurring at different times, and for concrete fights which for its century it dropped out much.
So it turned out that it participated almost in all main battles of that time. Managed to try forces more than once with gallant Napoleonic soldiers and when with France the peace was made, participated in legendary ice raid to Sweden and capture of the Aland Islands. In war of 1812 accepted the first battle already on June 14 as a part of the group which blocked a way to vanguard of French. Then there was the hardest fight near Smolensk in which infantrymen under its command put to flight an enemy cavalry. In this fight Fonvizin was wounded by a bullet in a leg, but functioned. For Smolensk Mikhail was awarded by the Order of St. Vladimir 4 - y degrees with a bow.
Fonvizin and in the Borodino battle for which it was awarded the Orders of St. Anna 2 - y degrees caused a stir. After leaving by the Russian army of Moscow, having received flying (guerrilla) Cossack group in command, actively operated on communications of French. For battle at Maloyaroslavets when the way on the South was blocked to Napoleon, received a gold sword with the inscription “ For bravery “ - an award, highly valued in the officer environment.
Until the end of 1812 Fonvizin participated in large battles still more than once, including under Red and at Berezina. But could award him already simply not, all awards put to the lieutenant, he already received. Therefore in January, 1813 it was made in the following rank shtabs - the captain. And then handed a rare award which was used when and to award - that already nothing, and it is impossible to leave without award - diamond jewelry to already available Order of St. Anna 2 - y degrees.
According to the official list of Mikhail Fonvizin it is possible to track all main battles of 1813: Lyuttsen, Bautsen, Kulm, Leipzig. In January, 1814, become by this time the colonel, Fonvizin received an egersky regiment in command. Fight at Bar - a surrealism - About where the French marshal Oudinot could stop allies became the first serious test for the regimental commander and even to take the offensive. In multi-day fights the main weight laid down on infantry as the district did not allow to use a cavalry in large quantities.
Battle ended for French with the next defeat, but at night on the village where settled down on rest of the huntsman, there was a large receding group of the opponent. In hand-to-hand night fight Fonvizin was wounded and was taken prisoner. In several days reported on Napoleon that Alexander I suggests to exchange the colonel Fonvizin for one of captured French colonels. When Bonaparte learned a track record of the captive, declared that it is impossible to return to the opponent of such officer, and disposed to send it far away from the area of military operations. He would know what all this will lead to.
Fonvizin was sent to Brittany to the small town of Overn where about one thousand captured allies were placed. The French garrison in the town was small, except prisoners it protected a large arsenal, warehouses with the food and ammunition. From talk of the French protecting captives, Fonvizin learned that Paris already practically in a siege, and to Overn moves large group of the opponent to fill up the arms and to go to help the main forces protecting the capital.
Mikhail Aleksandrovich decided not to allow by all means arms of the group going to Napoleon. All captured Russian officers and soldiers supported him, and from captured allies decided to join to “ to this adventure “ only one officer - the Czech. At night the garrison was disarmed, and Fonvizin`s group began to prepare for defense. In the afternoon on approaches to Overn there was a vanguard of the French group which was met by fire from three tools. French sent the truce envoy “ to find out misunderstanding “ but, having learned about occupation of the city by Russians, decided not to be got involved and avoid it in battle.
Cases of escapes from captivity in those days, though it is not frequent, but happened. But occupation of the whole garrison by prisoners with a big arsenal and warehouses, and then successful defense against the surpassing troops of the opponent, you see, an event outstanding even for those heroic times.
In several days risen received news of falling of the French capital and Napoleon`s renunciation. The French group which thanks to Fonvizin did not receive the weapon could not render the special help to the emperor and was given to allies.
Fonvizin remained in France for a long time, ordering huntsmen. Soon he had to cross the weapon to French in the period of so-called " again; hundred days of Napoleon “. In February, 1820 appropriated to Fonvizin a rank the general - the major and appointed the commander of infantry brigade. By this time it consisted in members " for a long time; Union of prosperity “ and even was one of heads of his Moscow justice.
In 1821 the general Yermolov who is coming back to the Caucasus from St. Petersburg came to Fonvizin to Moscow. He warned the fighting colleague that plot is almost opened, in St. Petersburg, thanks to denunciations, there are lists of conspirators in which also Fonvizin appears. Details of that conversation and remained secret, but after it Mikhail Aleksandrovich initiated carrying out in Moscow congress of members of the secret society which made the decision on self-dissolution.
Soon new secret society began to be created, but Fonvizin did not begin to enter it as he was going to retire and marry, and he did not want to endanger the family. Soon Mikhail Aleksandrovich made the proposal to Natalya Apukhtina. In 1822 celebrated a wedding, and the young family went to live to the estate situated near Moscow.
Perhaps, for the retired general all also ended safely, but in December the Moscow members of secret society suggested it to take part in the organization of revolt in Moscow though they knew that in St. Petersburg revolt is already suppressed. Formally, except talk no active actions in Moscow were managed to be carried out. But also it quite was enough that the retired general was arrested, judged by the third category, having accused that “ intended on regicide a consent... though subsequently time changed with derogation from it “ also sent to Siberia.
In the history Mikhail Aleksandrovich Fonvizin remained both as the Decembrist, and as the organizer of other revolt which was unlike December successful and happened in Napoleon`s back.