Hero of Borodino, General Alexander Kutaisov

"… And you, Kutaisov, chief of Mlada …
Where is beauty? Where s youth?
How unfortunate it did not sound! He litsezreem and soul
Was great as satisfaction;
In the armor if, stern, spoke
Death threw thunderbolts;
During miles harp strings struck
Animates the strings … "
It's a line from the poem "The Singer in the camp of the Russian soldiers,"
written militia lieutenant Metropolitan Basil
Zhukovsky in September 1812, during
stay of the Russian army in the camp Tarutinskoye

By the Napoleonic era artillery was a native troops often decide the final fights. It is clear how much responsibility lay with those who commanded the most destructive weapon ever since. Count Alexander Kutaisov was the commander and administrator whose talent is certainly recognized and Russian, and French.

The story of Alexander Kutaisov it would be wrong to start without digression into concise biography of his father.

Ivan Pavlovich Kutaisov as a child he was captured in the capture of the Turkish fortress of Bender. 11-year-old turchonok was given by Catherine II of his son Paul. At baptism he received the name Ivan. Then, growing up, Ivan Pavlovich Kutaisov was approached ascended the throne of Paul I did not long for four years, a brilliant career, rising to the class II Table of Ranks — Real-kept secret adviser. Within 3 months Kutaisov gets baron, and then the title of count, and with it the hereditary nobility. The flow of orders and ranks and followed a much more real merit: the estate, the serfs, currency Award … By 1800, Ivan Pavlovich had not a small state in 5000 and more than a shower than 50,000 acres of land in the Duchy of Courland.

Hero of Borodino, General Alexander Kutaisov
Portrait of Alexander Ivanovich Kutaisov
Master George Dawe. Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, the Municipal Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg)

Obviously, all this could not affect the careers kids Kutaisov family. January 6, 1793 9 year old Alexander was enrolled in the Life Guards cavalry regiment, at 15, already a colonel, began active duty in the first separate artillery units — the Life Guards Artillery Battalion. Most likely, the mission did not work out without Kutaisov as Uncle Junior — DP quickly.

Alexander Kutaisov, getting the top job at a young age, behaved quite unusual for a representative of the nobility (meaning "gold") youth. Despite the patronage, he began to comprehend the intense military science in general and artillery craft namely, trying to match the post.

The natural talent and curiosity have allowed young Kutaisov a rather short time to master the necessary knowledge. The ideal office of the adjutant Arakcheeva who adored used to say that his worst enemy is the one who performs his duties poorly, was a good school for Alexander. In addition, the benefit of the young officer, and says that he was adjutant of the new inspector of artillery (from 1799 Arakcheev was dismissed by Paul I) General AI Korsakov.

In 1801, Alexander Kutaisov introduced into the military commission headed by Count Arakcheev. It was to identify ways to reform the army. The Sub-Commission, in which he worked Kutaisov engaged, it is not hard to guess artillery. In the specific involvement of Alexander Ivanovich was developed encompassing system of artillery supplies. Production of standardized instruments to study the calculations.

Two years later Kutaisov translated in the 2nd Artillery Regiment, commanded by Dmitry Petrovich Swift — Uncle Kutaisov. In 1805 the regiment went into the army for a few days too late to the Austerlitz battle. The troops returned to Russia, but the world with Napoleonic France was not signed.

September 11, 1806 Kutaisov received the rank of major general and became chief of the artillery regiment, in the case of General Buxhowden made in Prussia. Here, under the Goliminom, Earl Kutaisov received its baptism of fire. In the first battle, he proved himself a good commander, coolly confident and directing artillery fire.

Followed by significant but diverse places episode of his military career was Kutaisov scramble Eylau. Watching the fight in the center, Kutaisov quickly oriented himself in the situation and solved the maneuver Napoleon — associate center fight, but the main force to knock down the left allies, before they came Prussian Corps General Lestocq. Superior force of infantry Davoust swiftly threw her body Ostermann-Tolstoy and actually went out to the rear Allied troops, but the fit came to the rescue three konnoartilleriyskih company helped position, accurate fire stopped coming French. At the end of the fight, the decision to transfer from the right wing these guns attributed Kutaisov. But Ermoloff, in their own "Notes" claims that his company and the company of Major General Bogdanov came on their own initiative, and Kutaisov drove his battery "out of curiosity … untainted." More neutral version, I think, is closer to the truth. It consists in that artillery Ermolova and Bogdanov came on my own, and the company of Colonel Yamshvilya strengthened their position is on the order Kutaisov. Because of this confusion Ermoloff was unhappy with the fact that instead of him to the Order of St.. ZHoru third degree was presented to Alexander Kutaisov, while most Ermolova only bestowed the Order of St.. Vladimir 3rd degree. Then, when the manual was Kutaisov Yermolov, their cases improved, and Alexei Petrovich responded about a young graph only positive.

Military talent Kutaisov more than once appeared in the graduating battles of the war of the Fourth Coalition. May 24, 1807 in Lomita, Alexander Ivanovich managed to provide effective cover for the attacking artillery pieces, the overall management of which was on the DS Dokhturov. May 29 is already under Heilsberg, skillfully organized fire, Count Kutaisov can stop the coming of the French in an unsafe area. In the last battle of the Fourth Coalition — Battle of Friedland — the young graph commanded the artillery of the right wing. Concentrated fire he managed to suppress the French batteries, easily deploy troops Dokhturov. But after it became clear that the battle was lost, Kutaisov organized and with virtually no losses led his troops across the river Alle.

Campaign 1805-1807 year brought Alexander Ivanovich not only rank and merit, and well-deserved reputation as the middle of the officers, and in the middle of the common soldier.

The European war ended with the signing of Tilsit, but it was clear that "the two Emperors closely on the same continent." The two countries and the monarch preparing for the latest war.

Alexander I set about reforming the active army. For artillery meant the final transition to a "system of 1805" or, as it is called, "Arakcheyev" — the result of the commission in 1801, which came Kutaisov. Illustrates the scale of operations and the fact that in 1808 began to publish a special "Artillery magazine," which was the same subscriber Alexander.

In 1809, housing SP Golitsyn, and it consisted in an artillery regiment Kutaisov, push off to make war with Austria, fulfilling the conditions of the contract with Napoleon. However, the case was withdrawn before it sounded the first shots. With the end of this campai
gn, Alexander takes a long vacation and travels to Europe. For half a year in Vienna, Alexander managed to learn Turkish and Arabic second half of 1810 year he spent in France, working in libraries, listening to lectures by leading professors of the Paris Institute of intensive studying ballistics and fortifications. In the evening, the same Kutaisov disputing with the French officers of artillery, valuing the company and strategy of the past and the future enemy.

On his return home, Alexander enthusiastically cut one into the work of the commission drafting army regulations. The result of strenuous labors was a document entitled "Establishment of a large control of the Army." Kutaisov of knowledge and experience are reflected in the sections of the Field Artillery management.

Just before the war in 1812 was Kutaisov "General rules for artillery in the battle field." The basic work to give advice to young officers more efficient layout tools, contained information about the aiming and firing range of the rational rassredotachivanii shells between the headstock and the slug box and whatnot, it was important to know artilleryman beginning of the XIX century. Unfortunately, among the officers did not have time to get accustomed labor: Russian war prevented. Management is doused in battle.

By the beginning of the war led Kutaisov artillery throughout the 1st Army Barclay de Tolly and spent a tremendous job entrusted to ensure the combat readiness of units. As the retreat began the 1st Western Army Kutaisov often arose in the rear, personally command the batteries. So, in a battle near the village of Kochergischki guns under the command of Count not only delayed the French, but forced them to withdraw. For the next day after the battle Barclay de Tolly in a personal letter asking Kutaisov temporarily lead the entire rear guard of the 1st Army, not freeing up all of this from the last post of the chief of artillery. Under the command of Alexander Ivanovich rearguard 5 days in a stubborn battle restrained French.

At the end of June, due to the re-formation, Kutaisov transmits command rearguard. By Staff, but not in a hurry, preferring to stay on the strip fighting. July 14 at the Battle of the village Kakuvyachina Alexander was wounded in the leg, but on the other day was in the saddle, and participated in the battle on the river Luchesy, not far from Vitebsk.

In the defense of Smolensk, the actions of artillery also ran Kutaisov, has permitted a clear gun fire to repel all attacks of the French. Bloody 2-day battle for Smolensk did not bring convincing of success of Napoleon's army, although the city burnt and left in her hands.

Noteworthy that Kutaisov and artillery during the retreat from the town was saved from the fire a major Orthodox holy sites — the image of Our Lady of Smolensk Moms Odigitrii. This event was of great importance to the morale of the retreating troops.

In the battle of Borodino was entrusted to Count Kutaisov have all the artillery of the Russian army. Understanding its role in the upcoming battle, Alexander had previously given for all necessary orders subordinates. During the fight, the Count himself rode position and perceived command in the most difficult areas.

Hero of Borodino, General Alexander Kutaisov

On one of the panels had a such episode. Workers whistled over his head core, people ducked, then Kutaisov loudly said, "Shame on you, guys, to bow down." But here the following kernel, released by the French, has led to bend the Count himself, but he found here: "That does not count. It is my familiar, when I cast him. "

By the middle of the day or … the brunt of the French moved to the center — the battery Rajewski. At the cost of the tremendous losses the French managed to capture the mound, but at this point on the left flank and followed Ermoloff Kutaisov. Ermoloff suspended in the middle of a panic fleeing troops and personally led the attack. Kutaisov at this moment Levey went and tried to close the door to the French cavalry, who tried to assist their own infantry to occupy the heights …

In this attack … Earl Kutaisov died. Similarly, it is not clear how it happened. According to one source, he was struck by the kernel, on the other — it was butchered by the French riders.

Of course one thing, the Russian army and all the Russian government lost in this day of professional commander and truly worthy of a nobleman.

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