Epaulette Massena

Weather is unpredictable in the mountains of Switzerland. That thick fog hides the outline of the majestic scenery, the little rain pours incessantly. But if for a moment Zahav natural retreats, look reveals a stunner. Right in the vertical hill facing the Toyfelsbryuke, also known as "Devil's Bridge", is carved a large cross. Under the inscription: "The companions of the valiant GENERALISSIMO Field Marshal Earl SUVOROVA Rymniksky Prince of Italy died while crossing the Alps in 1799."

Story that happened here, to this day is treated from the standpoint of the backs of different ways. Some are convinced that the acts of the Russian troops led by Suvorov was his fatal mistake. Others — that they were the only true and the successful course of events, in general, could change the course of the upcoming stories.

One way or another, but something happened that had happened, the conclusions of the same one is free to do it myself. In the meantime, try to realize that after all came out in the Alps at the end of the XVIII century?

In 1789, France centuries of folding, deep-rooted and influential monarchy converted to execute and just rushing to freedom republic. Sensing the growing threat, European monarch yards voedinyzhdy started joining forces in an attempt to pacify the rebellious France. First made against it of military alliances, which in 1792 included Austria, Prussia and England, without bringing any results, broke up after 5 years. But less than a year, as more concerned with the situation in Austria, England, Turkey, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, also joined them in our home 1798 formed a second anti-French coalition. At this time, the French army, led by the young General Bonaparte, already invaded Egypt, taking the path of the Ionian islands and peninsula of Malta, who had a tremendous strategic importance.

The Russian squadron under Admiral Ushakov went to the Ionian islands of Corfu and cut off the peninsula, is the key to the entire Adriatic. Attack fortified island fortress from the sea forced the French garrison to surrender March 2, 1799. On land as the Austrians, having an army twice outnumbering the French were able to push back the army of General Jourdan across the Rhine, but on the border with Tyrol suffered a severe defeat. The coalition came in a very difficult position.

At the urging allies to lead the united forces to save the situation had to Field Marshal AV Suvorov. He, dismissed from service because of their own disagreement with King Paul I about its ongoing reforms in the army, was virtually under house arrest at his estate. But this does not mean that the commander was not aware of the events. He looked attentively at the actions of those who fought in Europe, the young French generals, analyzed the new that was brought by them in the practice of warfare. So, just received from the ruler High rescript of the purpose, Suvorov took action. I must say that as a staunch monarchist, he pocketed the war with France a special meaning, although for all his many years of practice to command the combined forces he had the first time.

Russian the army was made up of 3 buildings: the case of Lieutenant General AM Rimsky-Korsakov, the body of French emigrants, the service of the Russian army, under the command of Prince L.-ZH. De Conde, and the body, led by Suvorov.

On the way to the commander had taken a number of measures aimed at preserving the troops who were to thousand-transition — from providing them with the necessary amount of real money and food to recreation on the march. But the main task of the team was to train the troops, and at first the Austrian prone to insufficient action.

April 15 in Vallejo Suvorov began to administer the coalition forces. Its strong enough to act swiftly secured a number of victories allies. In a tight fit with the assistance of Ushakov's squadron Suvorov for months cleared from the French actually the whole of Italy. Despite the multiple samples of Vienna to intervene in acts commander, he, taking into account the current situation, continued to adhere to its own plan. But soon followed three great victories of the allied armies have caused even more diversified response. Now the team were required to report to Vienna about each own decision, and only after approval by the Austrian Military Council, he was able to act. This situation paralyzed acts leader. In a letter to Count Razumovsky Suvorov wrote: "Fortune has a naked neck and forehead hanging longish hair, years of lightning, do not grab her by his hair — she has not returned."

The victory over the enemy troops on the river Adda (26-28 April 1799) gave the Allies to take possession of Milan and Turin. The subsequent fight — the river Trebbia, on 6 June, when Suvorov led 30000th troops had quickly come to the aid of the Austrians, which was attacked by the French Army under General J. McDonald. In the conditions of the heat of summer the Russian army when the pitch, and when running, for 38 hours of breaking the 60 km on Trebbia have come to a place like a glove, and without any break into fight, hitting the swiftness and surprise the enemy head. After a day or two fierce battles MacDonald gave the order to retreat. Suvorov was determined to finish off an exhausted opponent who has lost half of its own army, and launch an invasion into France. But the administration of Austria was in this respect the world and Russian military leader, deeply indignant "ineradicable habit to be beaten," was obliged to withdraw. The French had the opportunity to regroup and gather new strength, moved their troops, led by General Joubert young professional, on Alessandria — to the location of the allied forces. The last battle took place in the Italian campaign of Navy. The outbreak of early in the morning of August 4, she finished the complete defeat of the French. But again according to the position of the Vienna Court dealt a decisive blow to the enemy and has not been. As a result, the Russian troops were sent to Switzerland for a connection to the corps of General Rimsky-Korsakov for the next joint coming from there to France.

According to the plan developed by the Austrians Russian forces would change it allies, who, in turn, moved to areas of the Middle and Lower Rhine — Austria intended to return them for yourself first. The organizers of this movement, but did not consider it necessary to bring to the development of specific artists. In addition, the Austrians did not want to see Russian long remained in Italy. The reason was the Ordinary: Suvorov in the liberated territories almost vorachival local state power, but it did not suit the Austrians, who thought Italy already own.

According to first develop a plan army Suvorov had to get out of the town of Asti on September 8, and move with 2 columns: Corps under General WH Derfelden background and the body of General AG Rosenberg, who had been ordered by connecting on September 11 in Novara, go further along in the direction of the town of Airolo. Artillery and baggage train was supposed to move separately, through Italy and Switzerland in the province of Tyrol.

Meanwhile, having received an order for the complete withdrawal of troops from Switzerland, the chief Aust
rian troops Archduke Charles immediately began to produce it. Suvorov, who learned about it on September 3, had immediately, without waiting for the surrender of the garrison of the fortress Tartony, come to Switzerland. But just as the French made a desperate attempt to relieve the besieged stronghold, Suvorov also had to come back and force the garrison to surrender. The loss of 2-days in the current situation could lead to the most severe consequences.

The army, numbering about 20 thousand people, breaking more than 150 kilometers, arrived in the town tavern not after 8 days, as planned, but after 6. Suvorov can be faster as needed to reach the St. Gotthard Pass. While in Asti, he gave the order to Austrian Field Marshal M. Melas prepare and focus before joining the army in the Taverna packtrain, required for an upcoming promotion (of the allies were to provide by September 15, 1500 mules with forage and provisions). But arriving at the Tavern, Suvorov did not find either one or the other, and only 18 September, about 650 animals with fodder of the supplies arrived. Partly using Cossack horses to fill in missing and completing preparations for the march, beginning September 20, Suvorov extension to the St. Gotthard. Time inevitably shrinks. "The plan overall attack" designed headquarters Suvorov at the Tavern in the criteria of the new situation and recommended the implementation of the Austrian commanders F. Hotz and G. Strauch, meant the coming of all the Allied troops on the front of 250 kilometers along the right bank of the river Reuss, from its confluence with the Aare to Lucerne.

Of particular importance Suvorov appropriated taking St. Gotthard. In this regard, he saw to it that was vserasprostranen hearing that coming to begin no earlier than October 1 (in the plan initially was listed as September 19, but due to the delay in the Tavern, it was held on 24 September). The French in Switzerland had several advantages over the advancing allies: a profitable strategic position, significant experience of warfare in mountainous terrain, and the criteria is not bad to be known. Suvorov also with the assistance of a detachment Strauch had to knock out with these positions, the French, led by experienced generals KJ Lecourbe. For the French, the coming of Russian, which started of early afternoon on September 24, specifically on this pass was a complete surprise.

The numerical superiority of allied forces at the time of coming, by the views of some researchers, was 5:1, but, despite this, the first French attack skillfully repulsed. But advancing, applying a workaround strategy, constantly forced them to retreat. By noon, after languishing fights Suvorov got to the St. Gotthard. Then a little rested troops began to come down, and by midnight the pass was taken — the French retreated to Urzernu. The next day at 6 am columns allies moved through Göschenen referred to as "Uriyskuyu hole" — pierced in the mountains of the tunnel length of about 65 m, a diameter of about 3 m, which was located at 7 kilometers from Urzerna. Immediately after exiting his driveway, large overhanging eaves over the precipice, sharply down towards the Devil's Bridge. This bridge thrown across the deepest gorge Shellenen, in fact, put together a narrow thread of northern Italy and southern borders of the German lands.

Above the canyon on the back side hung Devil's Stone, from which both her hands were examined and out of the tunnel and the bridge itself. And so came out of the "hole" the vanguard of the advancing immediately came under heavy enemy fire.

By the beginning of the fight the French engineers could not quite important enough to damage the crossing, and during the battle bridge was like from 2-halves — the left bank arcade was partly undermined, the same right remained intact. Russian, disassembled under fire standing near wood structure, linking logs and hastily restored bridge, rushed at him in return saved. The French, feeling that they begin to get round the flanks, back, but their proceedings were postponed until full recovery of the bridge.

After 4 hours the movement of troops was resumed.

Meanwhile, in the center of Zurich, where, and in the end had to leave the allied army, occurred subsequent. After removal of the Austrian army connections to Germany Rimsky-Korsakov and body Hotz steel Commander of the French troops in Switzerland array of delicious morsel. Only aqua barrier does not allow him to outright assault. Having learned from his own spy in the headquarters of the Russian Army Giacomo Casanova that on September 26 Russian transition is scheduled in coming, Massena instantly struck a decisive blow. At night on 25 September, 15 km from Zurich, in Dietikon, a group of brave men, crossed by swimming only with a cool gun and removing the Russian patrols, provided the main body of troops crossing the masses. In the two-day battle of the Army of Rimsky-Korsakov and Hotz were defeated. Hotz himself in the first fight Minutka was ambushed and died. It is a message that much effect on the morale of the Allies, that almost all of them surrendered. As a result, total loss of the allies was about nine thousand people, and the remnants of the Russian troops retreated to the Rhine. So catastrophic defeat could not influence the course of the coming campaign.

Andre Massena at the time of the Swiss campaign is perhaps the most prominent French general.

He was born May 6, 1758 in Nice Italian winemaker in the family and was the third of five children. When Andre was 6 years old, his father died, and her mother soon remarried. At age 13 he ran away from home and found work as a cabin boy on one of the merchant ships. After 5 years of marine life Massena entered the army. In 1789, he rose to the rank of non-commissioned officer, he realized that a man of his origin upcoming promotions hardly expected, and retired. Massena soon married and began groceries business. Judging by how quickly he became richer, he apparently was smuggling. One way or another, but the knowledge of every trail in the Alpes-Maritimes and then stood him good service. When to backwoods, where Massena was living with the family, got the French Revolution, he realized all the advantages of life in the Republican army, joined the State Guard detachment and began to rapidly move up the career ladder. In 1792, he was already in the rank of brigadier general, and later year Massena became a member of the famous Toulon scrum. In his leadership while serving no one recognizable captain Bonaparte, who commanded the artillery in this battle. After the capture of Toulon any of them received a new title: Massena became divisional and Bonaparte — Brigadier General.

Being a man of strong, Massena repeatedly distinguished bravery in battles. Thus, in one of them he made his way through the top of the pickets the enemy to his own squad and surrounded by the astonished eyes of a similar arrogance Austrians brought him out of the environment, without losing any of 1 person. And yet he had two huge helplessness — the glory and money. Lust for greed almost served as a prerequisite for the uprising hungry and ragged Roman garrison, of which he became chief in 1798.

In 1799, Massena was appointed army chief of Helvetic in Switzerland. In 1804, he received from the hands of Bonaparte marshal's baton, in 1808 he was awarded the title of Baron de Rivoli, two years later — Prince Eslingskogo, and in 1814, he threw his own ruler, going to the Bourbons
. This act would be rated "appreciated" — in 1815 Massena became a peer of France, and died two years later.

September 26, restoring all the crossings for the flight, Suvorov's troops continued to move. Approaching the town of Altdorf, Suvorov suddenly learned that the road to Schwyz, which had up to 15 km, does not exist. Instead of it — a narrow path through which can pass or a single person, or a feral animal. Of course, it was necessary to reverse and go the other way, but Suvorov, for which there was no concept of "retirada" decided to move on "hunting track." At this time, Massena, who learned about the progress of Suvorov Schwyz, immediately stepped up all the local garrisons, and Suvorov, yet knew nothing about the defeat near Zurich, walked into a trap laid by for him. September 27 at 5:00 am the vanguard of the movement began to Bagration. This 18-kilometer nesusvetno transition was difficult.

More than half of the pack animals were lost, the army as before experiencing shortage of food.

Entered on September 28 in Muotathal, Suvorov, in the end, find out from the local population about the defeat of Rimsky-Korsakov and Hotz. In fact, in one moment changed the balance of power in favor of the enemy almost 4 times. In addition, now acted specifically against Suvorov Massena, passionately desiring to capture the leader of the Russian prisoners. Arriving in Lucerne, Massena exhaustively researched relief map of Switzerland, and then got on a ship on Lake Lucerne to Seedorf, where he was expected Gen. Lecourbe. Examining in detail the situation, Massena decided to conduct reconnaissance in Shehenskoy plain. And making sure that the enemy really has left in Muotenskuyu plain, gave the order to close the waste to Altdorf.

Suvorov also, September 29 made sure of defeat near Zurich, has decided to go for a connection to the remaining parts of the allies. As a result, the Russian army began to retreat from the plains, and the French began to pursue her. September 30 came the first battle in Muotenskoy plain, unfortunate for the latter. Saddened by this final case Massena decides to manage the subsequent attack personally. On the morning of October 1, is nominated to the bridge and quickly restoring it, Republicans stormed the Russian pickets. Those with orders not to engage the enemy began to withdraw. Meanwhile, General AG Rosenberg, expecting such a turn of events, built their battle lines in the three bands. Litsezrev that the Russian retreat, the French rushed in pursuit. At this point, retreating parted to the side on the wings. And there was the sudden sight of French painting. In front of them opened the whole array of Rosenberg. The French, inspired by the presence of the commander, confidently rushed to the position of Russian. Russia closed their bayonets, went on the attack. Momentary detour now they seized three guns and a large number of prisoners. Surrounded by the French rearguard was very upset and in a complete mess Shenengenskomu rushed to the bridge. Massena had to take the remains of their own troops to Schwyz, who managed to keep the French, although the second was Muotensky fight for their very weary defeat. Massena himself nearly had captured. In the confusion of battle noncommissioned officer Mahotin began to break through to the enemy general. Approaching tightly, he grasped his epaulettes, tried to sneak Massena with a stallion. Came to the rescue to help a French officer was able to overturn Makhotina, but the golden general's epaulettes remained in his hand. This fact later confirmed by the captive chief aide Guillot de Lacour.

Now, to break out of the encirclement, Suvorov was necessary to get through to the Glarus and then go to the connection with the remnants of the army of Rimsky-Korsakov. Russian Glarus taken, but the shortest way to connect Suvorov and Rimsky-Korsakov French managed to close. For out of the environment Russian troops had to overcome another pass — through the mountain Paniks height 2407 meters. This transition was probably the most weary of Suvorov's army. For those soldiers and officers who lived through all his hardships, he is remembered as the worst test of will and physical strength. Still hungry and excessively tired army overcame him. The first, on October 6, came the vanguard of General MA Miloradovicha. The appearance of Russian troops was abysmal — the majority of officers on the soles of the boots was not, in fact torn soldier uniforms in tatters. October 8 whole army of Suvorov headed for the town of Chur, where there was an Austrian team Aufenberga. Here the Austrians were transferred all the prisoners in the amount of 1 418 people.

After a two-day holiday Russian troops moved along the Rhine and 12 October camped near the village of Altenstadt. Day or two soldiers rested, washed and eaten off, and already the end of the second again were ready to march. But this did not happen. The private "Note for general comments about the campaign in 1799," dated March 7, 1800 th, Suvorov like summed up everything that happened, "Therefore, the mountain gave birth to a mouse … Not owning any art of war, nor peace, study (avstriyskiy. — note the authors.), Steeped in cunning and guile, instead of France led us all to throw and go from house to house. "

The campaign was lost, and yet Suvorov, bestowed for her King Paul I in 1799, the title of Prince of Italy and the title of Generalissimo did not suffer 1st defeat. Despite all these things, the glory of Russian weapons in the campaign was not defiled. No wonder the same Andre Massena, smogshy defend France, and then said that he would give all of his 48 trips in 17 days Swiss campaign Suvorov.

After a short time Suvorov made a new plan of campaign against the French, which was supposed to be used now only Russian troops, but realized he was not destined — May 6, 1800 An old military commander was killed.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: