Clausewitz: sword and the pen

Clausewitz: the sword and the penIN MAY 1812, shortly before Napoleon's invasion of Russia, the German army lieutenant colonel, an officer of the Prussian General Staff, Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz (1780-1831) entered the service in the Russian army. What motivated graduate of the prestigious Berlin universal military school, a former aide Prince August of Prussia, a member of the war with France in the years 1806-1807, to leave the country?

At the time of the Prussian Army formed a group of patriotic officers and generals who opposed the alliance with Napoleon's France. Among them was Karl and Clausewitz. In a certain sense, he was a 1st of the ideologues of the state of motion, co-wrote his program under the title "Three signs of faith." Clausewitz argued in her the idea that the liberation of Germany from Napoleon's violence will likely only in alliance with Russia. These words proved prophetic. In 1826, the Prussian Field Marshal Gneisenau admitted: "If it were not for the nobility and heroism of the Russian people, then Germany until now would have been under the Napoleonic fifth."

Clausewitz was Russian War of 1812, almost from the first to the last day or. He returned to the Prussian army in April 1814, following the entry of Germany into the war against Napoleon, on the side of the Allied Powers.

Upon arrival in Russia Clausewitz arrived in Vilna (Vilnius), where the main apartment of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, and was recommended to the king as "the best expert in the art of war and created a nice control for the generals."

Clausewitz resulted in the Adjutant General Karl Pfuel, while the head counselor of Alexander I.

HOME activities in Russia for Clausewitz was associated with the problem of the Drissa fortified camp.

Before the war, Gen. Pfuhl offered the king a plan of military operations against Napoleon. Under this plan, at Drissa (now Verhnedvinsk) built a fortified position. The plan Pfuel approved by the king, the first Western army of Barclay de Tolly was to gain a foothold in this camp, hold the main forces of the French army and inflict a serious damage.

Concerning the plan Pfuel had differences: Clausewitz instructed to check the fortified camp. Painstakingly researched his position and defenses, Clausewitz stated that the proposed position does not allow to provide strong resistance the French army. He believed that if Russia have left this position, make sure you have been attacked from the rear and can be driven in a semicircle own field fortifications.

Clausewitz: the sword and the penThe outlook Clausewitz reported to the king in person. At the military council plan Pfuel was recognized as "crazy" and was cut off not only the Russian military commanders as they write about some Russian historians of the War of 1812, and all the Prussian officers, fellow countrymen of his creator.

The heightened attention to the Drissa camp was due to the fact that he had a significant relation to the strategy of war. Drissa camp was disadvantageous for both strategically and tactically. Practically it represented an opportunity to Napoleon defeat the Russian army apart. Follow-up showed the validity of such assessment plan Pfuel: the entire war Drissa camp did not bring the troops no utility. Only at one point, there braked for a number of days (from June 29 to July 25) army Barclay at the retreat to Polotsk.

In the last days of July army Barclay for the first time faced with the main French forces in the battles of Vitebsk. Quest was fierce. Napoleon his hopes to defeat Russian army, but the Russian shelf, desperately resisting, fought off one attack after another, strongly counterattacked. In those battles took over the role and Clausewitz. He was allowed to quit the post quartermaster and go into battle formations Russian fighter.

At such a courageous and risky move because he dared July 26-27 division of General Palena, in what was Clausewitz, to meet with the superior forces of Napoleon. Division had to repel the attacks of cavalry of Murat almost two days. There was a time when Murat, trying to stop fleeing in panic own fighter, personally rushed into the fray. Were critical of the situation and Russian. There were many dead and the wounded. To keep the main force, had to quit Vitebsk. Clausewitz made the decision: in such circumstances his place in the ranks of the attackers, not the staff.

There was another reason, which later wrote F. Fabian, "Clausewitz did not have the Russian language. Because at the time of the battle, when it was so important mode of transmission of the order to ensure control of the troops, he found it useless to remain in his post, that is, quartermaster, and fought in the battle formations with a gun in his hand. " Alexander I noted the courage, bravery and initiative of Clausewitz in the fighting near Vitebsk Order of St. Vladimir of IV degree.

So did Clausewitz and the Battle of Borodino. Being the chief of staff of the cavalry corps of FP Uvarov, he, along with the attackers fought with the French cavalry near the river bashing and protect battery Rajewski. There bitterness on both sides reached a periodic insanity. "Many of the combatants threw down his gun, clinging together, tore at each other mouths, strangled each other in cramped arms and fell dead together … Many battalions are mixed among themselves, so that a total dump can not be distinguished from their enemy … Blazing guns could not withstand acts of gunpowder and exploded with a bang, hitting artillery to charge them. " , Described an episode of the battle of Borodino, the captain of his party, NS Pestrikov.

AFTER the battle of Borodino, the retreat to Moscow accompanied arergardnymi continuous fighting, in which Clausewitz also participated. In one skirmish under him was badly wounded stallion, who had to shoot.

Clausewitz, with Russian troops proceeded through Moscow. On their own experiences and the experiences he wrote his wife Marie: "During the retreat from Moscow, I was on a arergardom, we anchored near the town and on the same night have seen it from all sides enveloped in flames."

Clausewitz: the sword and the penSoon the fire and headed for the Kremlin. Napoleon had to flee to suburban Petrovsky Palace. Speaking about the reasons of the capital of fire, Clausewitz correctly observed that "the French are inclined to look at the burning of Moscow as a root cause of all evils campaign." Of course, he argues that the world is not worthy of serious cases, it is contrary to the whole course of the campaign. Is it the French way up from the Niemen to Moscow, not sure that Russia, retreating, do not leave the enemy not only their warehouses full of food, and burn their houses, town and village. By the way, in Moscow, together with the army withdrew from the town of all fire departments. This was one of the ways of the people's war with the enemy.

Fate of Moscow is deeply troubled soul of every Russian. And now, after 200 years, from the memoirs of the distant past heart aches. But then, after the bat
tle of Borodino and the end of the 1812 campaign, she was the subject of heated debate in the middle of a Russian and zabugornyh historians.

Clausewitz, lively and thoughtful eyewitness, was well aware that the surrender of Moscow — a question of national importance and that it has a direct and significant for zaniya character, and the final stroke of the war in general. On this occasion he wrote: "… The reproach that some writers make retroactive Russian generals, why they did not go from Smolensk to Kaluga, it is not enough obmyslennym. If Russia wanted to choose this direction, the decision should have been taken much earlier, but take it previously was impossible, even if there was a similar idea, because indirect defense of Moscow but then began to be presented completely natural, before she would be a theoretical boldness , which can not be pursued on the general commercial vehicles, is also not clothed with broad powers. "

Clausewitz came to this conclusion on the basis of rigorous analysis of the correlation of forces of the warring parties of the results of past battles, for example near Smolensk, availability and properties of the reserves, the availability of military and food supplies, roads and, in the end, capabilities and talent commanders. Taking this into account and almost everything else, the least significant, it would be possible for the views of Clausewitz, to outline a different plan, and specifically, from Smolensk no longer hold the direction of Moscow, and choose some other way inside the country, for example to Kaluga and Tula. Then Moscow would remain completely aloof from the war.

But now, the reality was stronger than theoretical abstractions. Fully appropriate and justified the decision was the need to keep after Borodino direction of Moscow and throw the capital of the enemy. Firm and final decision has been made by 1 September 1812 at the council at Fili. After listening to all the present world military commanders in chief Field Marshal MI Kutuzov, referring to the members of the council, said the words that have become historic, "With the lost of Moscow is not yet lost Russia." The first duty was to preserve the army, to reinforce its completion, and make the inevitable death of the enemy. Commander gave the order, leaving Moscow, Ryazan move on the road.

The idea was born on the ability of the abandonment of Moscow Kutuzov to the council at Fili. Another 17 August, he wrote to General Count FW Rostopchina that he had "not yet resolved the question of what is more important — to lose if the army or lose Moscow."

Choosing MI Kutuzov, Ryazan areas as escape routes army has caused widespread confusion. But after a day or three escape route was changed: the army at one point turned to the West, making a big-name flank march.

SOLUTION MI Kutuzov move in the direction of Kaluga received in the history of war and the highest score is universally recognized. As rightly saw Clausewitz, it was not the former retreat back, and move to the side, turn to the south. From this majestic strategic maneuver success now depended second, terminating phase of the campaign. And all of this transition, says Clausewitz, "… has been executed so well that the French for a number of days lost all contact with us."

What was the advantage of choosing this line of persecution? Priemuschestvenno that he took into account the productivity of the lands in the southern regions, nerazorennost of war and the possibility of a profitable impact on the way the French on their retreat to the West. Another, more fundamental advantage of such choice is that of Napoleon's army had to retreat for those localities that have already been devastated by it when it was advancing.

Such a plan of persecution Clausewitz referred exceptional and bezprimernym throughout. "Never before prosecution was conducted in such a bolshennom scale, with such energy and exertion in this campaign," — wrote Clausewitz, admiring the organization of mass persecution. He emphasized that one can not lose sight of the scale of these actions. "Persistently follow the fleeing enemy, making 120 miles in less than 50 days, or on country roads or highway leading through very desolate terrain, though in November and December, in the midst of snow and ice of, at very great difficulties of supply — is perhaps, unparalleled … This tension forces makes stately honor Prince Kutuzov. "

In the pursuit, which was accompanied by constant clashes, occupy a special place actions on the Berezina. There were two plans of operations on this river: the governor and commander in chief. Alexander I sought to achieve the imminent surrender of the French, and his capture of Napoleon.

Kutuzov did not agree with this plan, but had to yield to the demands of King: "Time will tell." Kutuzov was not going to sacrifice tyschami fighter to capture a prisoner of Napoleon and deprive him of his throne. This triumph more lusted after the governor and his entourage St Petersburg.

Prudent and farsighted MI Kutuzov as no one else was aware that he had almost destroyed the army of stateliness, and preserved parts of it are doomed to certain death. There was another side to the issue: two months of persecution Russia lost 70,000 people (out of 12 thousand in battle, others because of illness and injury). That's why Kutuzov stuck on the Berezina another, fundamentally own solutions — to preserve the army, avoiding unnecessary casualties. Obviously, he did not rule out the ability of the final destruction of Napoleon's army and capture him, but did not put it to fight on the Berezina.

Napoleon also had his own plan. He still managed to build two bridges on the Berezina and smuggle some of the troops on the other saved. Soon came the Russian shelf and started shelling. French appeared in the middle of a terrible panic, everything exploded on the bridges. One of the bridges collapsed under the weight of people. The survivors rushed to the bridge preserved, others rushed into the icy stream. Witnesses in the set which was Clausewitz, but know: people fought, trampled each other, sparing patients, the wounded, women and even kids. General Eble, the demand of Napoleon gave the order to burn the bridges. Remaining on the banks then were killed or taken prisoner. As Clausewitz wrote of Borisov, that was the last bloody act of 1812, one of the most decisive blows in history. After the Berezina Napoleon have less than 19,000 fighter, but to the Prussian border almost all of them shall be cut off.

Pertinent question: How did Napoleon managed to smuggle the body of the army, save guards and escape entirely possible exile himself? Bonaparte clearly that he hopes to save almost none. About this and says that the other day battle, while in Borisov, he gave the order to burn at the stake banners own army.

PV Chichagov third Western Army Commander, along with the body of General PH Wittgenstein was to prevent the crossing of the French. After leaving Borisov Chichagov back on the right Preserving the Berezina and blocked the path of the retreating enemy troops. That very principle: in his hands and there was a ford near the village Studyanka. There is just eager to Napoleon, as it was the only profitable place to cross.

In short, all the odds were on the side of Chichagova, but he, unfortunately, did not use them. Napoleon tricked admiral. He pointedly directed Marshal Oudinot to the ford near the village Uholod in the back of the ford at Studyanki side, south of Borisov. Uda hastily created false tip-off of the bridge there. Chichagov fell for the ruse and without hesitation turned his troops to the south, to the ford at Uholoda against parts of Marshal Oudinot.

Napoleon waited for this moment. He left without regret Borisov and the accelerated march towards the ford at Studyanki, who at that time no one was guarded. While Chichagov understo
od the bitter delusion, Napoleon managed to bring the two bridges.

Naturally, Chichagov made an unforgivable mistake. Maybe it is, this mistake was not accidental, and sought to explain not only the leadership talent of Napoleon. As he wrote Fabian Chichagov "… poorly understood in the art of control of the Army and was not able to command the army."

Clausewitz, as a concrete witness the dramatic events that looked at their more extensive and more than fairly by linking them with the background issues of interaction and shared responsibility of commanders for the execution of orders.

Clausewitz wrote that General Wittgenstein (second person responsible for the crossing) knew that the French were preparing a crossing near Studyanki and "… instead of going to Studyanku, went to Smolensk road … I will, lay in the basis of this age-old shyness, excessive solicitude about The fencing own body out of trouble, and then with General Wittgenstein can not take responsibility for the well-known fact that Napoleon managed to escape. "

Berezin, says Clausewitz, touched in a certain sense and authority of Kutuzov. Oh, so he appreciated his deeds: "Only one indisputable error can be blamed Kutuzov he knew Chichagov Wittgenstein and block the path of the enemy at the Berezina, and it will force the brakes, it was in the terms prescribed by the king. In these circumstances, he should just keep then within the 1st move of the enemy army. "

But the time has been lost. The French concentrated in Borisov on two-day or three before the arrival of avant-garde Russian. Kutuzov should have, according to Clausewitz, Reddish do after a few forced marches, so get there earlier in Borisov and so assist the subordinate generals.

In our modern eyes, Clausewitz is underestimated Kutuzov. Field Marshal on the Berezina was not wrong, and in turn produced its own strategic principle: do not wish to take a big fight on the Berezina, which, of course, would be associated with large losses, and such losses have made no sense, since the French were already doomed.

Later in the traditional work "On War" Clausewitz developed the fundamental nuances of military theory, ranging from the philosophical analysis of the nature and theory of war to issues of strategy, strategy, defense, and coming, and the presentation of the dialectic of war and politics.

The book "On War", being the fruit of understanding the experience of more than 130 wars, of course, is not spared of action in 1812. Many generalizations and conclusions emerged from the practice of fighting Russian war, which in the form of individual comments, observations, insights and scattered elsewhere Clausewitz — "1812 year"Specially devoted to the events since then. The experience of Russian war of 1812 gave Clausewitz wide material for theoretical generalizations. Specifically, in the Russian army Carl Clausewitz really emerged as a great military theorist and historian, which has had a significant impact on the development of military science and military art.

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