Who in Russia could receive a field marshal`s baton? Napoleon liked to repeat
that in his army each soldier carries a marshal`s baton in a satchel. And it was the truth, nearly a half of his marshals - the former soldiers and junior officers who reached command heights thanks to personal bravery and military talent.
In Russia the specifics, special mentality; at us you will not find marshal`s batons in a soldier`s satchel, unless only at the corporal Alexander Suvorov. But behind them it was possible to come by the vehicle harnessed by oxen, they could be found on a tray with pies, in the folder with notes and if very much to try, then and under a pillow in the empress`s bedchamber.
From 66 Russian field marshals only the destiny endowed the few with military talents. They, as a rule, to desired top went gradually, with fight (more precisely - in fight) receiving each new rank. The young tsar Pyotr when in 1699 he enjoined to call the chief voivode of the Big regiment from now on - the general - the field marshal who " dreamed of such commanders; there is an ordering chief general in army. Its warrant and commands have to read everything, all army from the sovereign to him is handed to a ponezha “ .
But even before Pyotr entered in 1696 the highest military rank the generalissimo when granted it to the voivode Alexey Shein ordering land forces in the second Azov campaign. The tsar only groped new system of army ranks. Since 1699 a niche which it originally allocated for the generalissimo the general - the field marshal occupied a rank . And Pyotr gave a rank of the generalissimo to nobody any more - did not see worthy. After his death this rank as a result of a difficult intrigue was received by Alexander Menshikov.
In Russia two more persons had such rank. Prince Anton Ulrich is made in generalissimos only for the fact that was a father of the juvenile emperor John VI. By right this rank only Alexander Suvorov deserved. In October, 1799 assignment to it a rank of the generalissimo of all Russian troops topped an unprecedented Swiss campaign.
The first Russian the general - the field marshal became in 1700 Pyotr`s associate boyar Fedor Golovin. He received the highest military rank not for eminence of a sort or merit of ancestors (though them was in prosperity), and for outstanding progress in a military, diplomatic and administrative field.
Pyotr did not throw away the high rank, gave him to four more: to three born hares who are already topped with many victories - to Boris Sheremetev, Alexander Menshikov and Anikita Repnin. With the only foreigner the tsar obviously miscalculated - the duke Karl - Kroa was suitable for military science a little. Everything that he was in time on the Russian service, is to be given with the staff in captivity to Swedes. Two more foreigners, Ogilvi and the Loach, Pyotr built in a strange rank the general - the field marshal - the lieutenant who more in Russia was not applied. And carriers of this rank were commanders mediocre and cared not for glory of the Russian weapon, and for own wellbeing.
So there was our history that near Suvorov, from more than six tens Russian field marshals, it is possible to put the few. Unless only Pyotr Rumyantsev and Mikhail Kutuzov. Yes fifteen more commanders who received a field marshal`s baton by the right of brilliant fighting victories and military talent will settle down not far, it is Boris Sheremetev, Mikhail Golitsyn, Yakov Bruce, Burkhard Minikh, Pyotr Lassi, Pyotr Saltykov, Grigory Potemkin, Mikhail Kamensky, Mihail Barclay - - Tolly, Piotr Wittgenstein, Ivan Gudovich, Ivan Dibich, Ivan Paskevich, Alexander Baryatinsky, Iosif Gurko. Their way to tops of military glory was a miscellaneous.
Among not shy “ baby birds of a nest of Petrov “ Mikhail Golitsyn differed in desperate bravery and imperception of the word “ retirada “ from whose lips it proceeded. At the beginning of military career it caused a stir at storm of Noteburga. When the first attacks to fortress choked, Pyotr sent to Golitsyn the messenger with the order to recede. But that, having transferred to the answer: “ I belong not to Pyotr, but God " now; , ordered to push away from the coast of Neva of the boat to bar a way to withdrawal, and the soldier on an attack moved. As a result of bloody fight fortress was taken.
In the middle of the XVIII century in Europe Pyotr Saltykov`s glory rattled. As a result of its brilliant victories in 1759 Prussia appeared on the verge of crash, and Frederick II was forced to begin evacuation of Berlin. And only treachery of allies - France and Austria - rescued Prussians from final defeat.
Betrayed also the, and not only in the battlefield. In 1772 the field marshal Saltykov who was in disgrace died. The Moscow city`s mayor, knowing about the empress`s attitude towards the commander, not only did not organize a funeral according to a rank deceased, but did not even send a guard of honor. And then the former subordinate of Saltykov general - anshef the count Pyotr Panin in full dress at all awards got up with a naked sword near a coffin of the fighting commander and declared: “ I will be here on guard duty Until then, will not send a guard of honor for change " yet;. Guard is forced to send. The count staked the career, but achieved that the winner Frederick II was followed to the grave adequately.
Resolutely Pyotr Rumyantsev broke the settled military canons. He one of the first refused linear tactics which was considered in the West as top of military art, and began to use in fight of a column, divisional carets and a loose system. Its victorious fights still study in military academies.
In the hardest war in the Caucasus field marshal`s batons Ivan Paskevich and Alexander Baryatinsky deserved. Today, unfortunately, in military reports names of the same mountain settlements which storm were withdrawn one and a half centuries by their subordinates sound again.
During war with Turkey 1877 - 78 the military star of Iosif Gurko began to shine. As once Suvorov spent the miracle - athletes through the snow-covered Alps, and he headed winter transition through the Balkans. Then, having gone down to the valley, drove Turks, did not free Sofia yet.
Among the best commanders of Russia a third is carried by foreign surnames. But foreigners to foreigners discord. If one were only registered as the Russian field marshals, having received a rank for a notable origin or related communications with monarchs, then others did not disgrace official authority of Russian. However, Barclay - - Tolly and Wittgenstein foreigners to call difficult. Grown in Russia, they were pupils of the Russian military school, as showed in wars with Napoleon.
Burkhard Minikh before transition to the Russian service managed to serve in many European armies. It was not alien to intrigues, is ambitious and cruel, but is courageous, intoxicated in fight, differed in good knowledge of fortification. The native of an ancient Irish sort, Pyotr Lassi received the first officer rank in 19 years in the French army. From the beginning of Northern war entered the Russian army where served to the general - the field marshal, having earned all ranks in the battlefield. It was brave and unpretentious, uncontrollable in attack, is resistant in defense and that was a rarity for foreigners on the Russian service, is careful to soldiers.
However a rank the general is more often - the field marshal it was appropriated not for military merits, and as a sign of monarchical favor. Some field marshals at all never did military service. The Cossack son Alexey Razumovsky possessing a beautiful voice appeared will of destiny in court choristers. Here future empress Elizabeth paid attention to it. And with its ascent on a throne the prompt office growth of the favourite began. Soon to it from Malorossiya there arrived the younger brother Kirill who in 22 years received the field marshal`s rank. By the way, the favourite received a field marshal`s baton for 6 years after the brother. It should be noted that brothers were not proud of a high position and made a lot of useful for native by it Ukraine.
Did not forget themselves and monarchical persons. After war with Turkey at the request of the brothers who were already field marshals Alexander II built himself in this rank.
Many highest dignitaries received a rank of the field marshal for long public service. Such there was much: Vasily Dolgorukiy, Ivan Trubetskoy, Alexander Shuvalov, Zakhar Chernyshev, Nikolay Saltykov, Pyotr Volkonsky, etc.
Sometimes, that the people heading Union States or armies became the Russian field marshals. Their names - for meticulous historians. For human memory - Sheremetev and Rumyantsev, Suvorov and Kutuzov, Barclay - - Tolly and Gurko...