Not just once or twice a judgment confirmed biographies generals. She had found his proof in the life of an experienced Russian leader Peter Christianovich Wittgenstein.
Peter Hristianovich was born in 1768 in the town of Nizhin into a noble family, which belonged to an old German family. In twelve years, was recorded as a sergeant in the Semenov regiment. Young age determination on the state service is typical for long been used as a sort of legal maneuver to circumvent established the "Table of Ranks" 25-year lifetime. Individual noble kids wrote to the service from infancy, and at 25 years young nobleman one hundred percent made their obligations to the state. Wittgenstein opportunity to use army did not use.
In 1789, he began active service with the rank of sergeant Cavalry Regiment of the Life Guards.
4 years later, in 1793, Peter Wittgenstein with the rank of Major, Prime transferred to the Ukrainian legkokonnogo regiment, and in 1794 up to transfer to Poland to quell the revolt, led by Kosciusko. Here he brilliantly showed himself in the battles of Ostrolenka, and the storming of the suburbs of Warsaw.
After the defeat of the Polish uprising of Peter Hristianovich crosses under the command of Count V. Zubov and in the case uchuvstvuet in the campaign against Persia. For awards in the capture of Derbent Wittgenstein honored to personally deliver the keys of the town to St. Petersburg.
Already in 1798, Peter Khristianovich awarded the rank of colonel, and in year he was promoted to major general and appointed to command the Elizavetgradskim hussar regiment. With the accession of Paul I, falls out of favor and push off the king to resign. In 1801 he enlisted in the army of Alexander I, the commander of the same Hussars.
With the French troops Peter Hristianovich encountered for the first time in 1805, fighting as part of coalition forces. He served under the command of Bagration and Miloradovicha. In a rear-guard battle near Amstetten rescued three cavalry attack cuirassiers Murat. In the battle of Wischau won a decisive victory over the French forces just 3 Cavalry Regiments were captured more than 400 French. It is also distinguished himself in the battles of St. Pölten, Rauzinitse, Krems, Shtremberge, waged war against the Turks in Moldova. At the expense of awards in Europe, produced in Gen.-lieutenant and appointed chief of the Hussars Life Guards. During the Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809 had the experience of command infantry, at the head of a strength of 9 thousand guarded the coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Top Russian war of 1812 under him was the 1st Infantry Corps, covering the right flank of the 1st Army Barclay de Tolly.
Upon arrival at the fortified camp at Drissa, it became clear that the plan proposed by Pfuel, the connection will not work and armies necessary army Barclay de Tolly was performed in Vitebsk, Wittgenstein and the body of 20 thousand fighter had to cover the northern area — the likely path of coming to St. Petersburg.
Wittgenstein opposed the corps of Marshal Oudinot and Marshal Macdonald. Realizing the futility of attempting to defend a section of road length of 600 miles, Wittgenstein takes the decision to break the French case individually.
Martial acts developed subsequently way. Marshal Oudinot, seeing the difficult situation of Russian, sought to cut off the 1st Infantry Corps Wittgenstein from the rear in the Pskov tract. To do this, the French crossed the Dvina at Polotsk and taking the city, have moved in the direction of Sebezh — Pskov. Peter Hristianovich decided to storm the body Uda, despite the significant superiority of the enemy in numbers, which, according to various estimates ranged from 8 to 10 thousand
Real took place near the village of Klyastitsy and lasted 3 day or 28 to July 30. In the first period of the vanguard of General Kulneva (4 squadrons of hussars and 500 Cossacks) defeated three regiments (12 squadrons) French cavalry. July 30 Uda troops pushed out of the village Yakubov and must move in Klyastitsy. Continued attacks sought to cross the river from the Russian Nishcha in the unlikely event an initiative would be lost. Realizing that the continuation of the battle threatens imminent defeat, Uda ordered his own artillery to burn a bridge across the river, the shooting down by the coming of the Russian. But the decisive attack of the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Regiment Pavlogradsky through flaming bridge, as a workaround Kulneva forcing the French to retreat to the Drissa — to a captured Polotsk.
August 1, while crossing the Drissa during the persecution of French detachment of Major General Kulneva was ambushed. The general himself died, the survivors retreated, but pursued the French, under the command Verdier were in a similar situation and the main forces were routed by Wittgenstein. In this battle, Peter Hristianovich was slightly wounded in the cheek.
In the end, the bout was derailed by Klyastitsy advent of Napoleon's troops at Petersburg, won the first big win, and Peter Wittgenstein became known throughout Russia as a "savior Petrov's Castle."
The imminent coming against the French to develop, but failed. In the first battle of Polotsk Wittgenstein was defeated by the combined forces of Udine and came to the rescue to help him St. Cyr. The case was removed from the last brain areas and weakened the main forces of Napoleon.
After the first battle of Polotsk fighting in the north have acquired positional character. The troops of Saint-Cyr and MacDonald guarded communication majestically Army. Wittgenstein amassing power and replenish the troops at the expense of St. Petersburg and Novgorod militia.
In October, Russia army increased in number to 40 thousand people, and resumed active act. October 19 was released in Polotsk, while 30 applied another defeat French — now joins in the body of Saint-Cyr and Victor. November 7 released Vitebsk.
Wittgenstein further receives an order from Kutuzov to follow to Borisov to connect with the army Chichagova environment and the retreating French. A maneuver to Peter Khristianovich failed. Historians point to different assumptions: from tactical miscalculation to risk aversion in clashes with Napoleon himself. It seems that there may be, Kutuzov had offered primarily responsible for Wittgenstein. Notwithstanding this disaster, the credibility of the "savior of St. Petersburg" has not been shaken.
During the march of the Russian army Abroad troops under the command of Peter Christianovich took Konigsberg, and later in Berlin, ahead of the body Eugene de Beauharnais. A May 3, 1813 Beauharnais was defeated by McKern.
In Lutzen Wittgenstein at the urging of Alexander I perceive the supreme command of the army at the time head of its after-General Kutuzov on-Tormasov cavalry. Removed from the army, in general, Russian and Prussian ruler ruler in no hurry — Laura's favorite Napoleon is a very valuable trophy for the monarch's vanity and political weight.
In the battle of Lutzen, the need to coordinate with each step sir, almost everything has become a prerequisite for the defeat. In addition to Wittgenstein opposed Napoleon himself, the commander of the forces of superior numbers. At the end of the bout Russian-Prussian troops retreated, but the French suffered more languid loss.
Followed by a large battle the second Coalition was the Battle of Bautzen. There was a bet made on the defensive and profitable reciprocal manner. The main ally in the battle for Napoleon became Emperor Alexander I the Blessed. Specifically, he is in a critical moment of the battle insisted on sending a reserve to attack the wrong place, and then sought Bonaparte. Only the absence of a sufficient number of cavalry in the French army allowed the Allied forces cooperated to move on. Obviously, "guilty" in the lesions was Wittgenstein. On the advice of General Miloradovich he took off his capabilities supreme commander who defected to the Minister of War Barclay de Tolly.
As commander of the individual parts of Wittgenstein and participated graduating battles Overseas hike.
After the war with Napoleon led garrisons in Courland and Livonia. Since 1818 the commander of the 2nd Army, and a member of the Municipal Council. In 1828, with the beginning of another Russian-Turkish war, in the rank of Field Marshal, Wittgenstein was appointed commander of the 100th Russian army operating against the Turks in Europe. At the initial stage combat actions developed quite successfully. Russian troops quickly occupied the Danubian principalities, but encountered fierce resistance in the fortresses: Varna, Silistra and Shumla. Coming pace was slowed, causing displeasure of Emperor Nicholas I.
After the capture of Varna in 1829 by Peter Hristianovich Wittgenstein asked for dismissal from service for health reasons — the lasting consequences of languid injured purchased back in the Napoleonic wars.
The last years of his life, Peter Hristianovich spent his estate in Kamenka, where he was awarded the hereditary title of Grand Duke.
In 1843, on his way abroad — Lviv — Peter Hristianovich died. Buried in the estate heaters Podolia.
During the second World War, the great-grandson of the Russian General Pyotr Wittgenstein Christianovich — German military pilot Ludwig zu Sayn-Vitgenshtayn already fought in the ranks of the military lyuftvaffe.Takaya too dramatic fate of generations, such a complicated history of Europe suffering …