Napoleons plans of Paul I

— 20 thousand Cossacks —
In India, a hike! —
Paul first gave the order
In its own final year.
A.I.Mordovina — "Poems of the Don Cossacks"

The history of the first attempts to reach India through Central Asia appeared in 1700 under Peter I, when the Khan of Khiva Shaniaz said to the king of his own desire to obtain Russian citizenship. A similar increase in the number of subjects did not fully brought to Peter I in view of the remoteness of the area of Khiva of, and had only symbolic value, raising the prestige of the nation. But first, in 1714 to St. Petersburg flew conduct that Khivans own secured supplies of gold-bearing sands, which are carefully concealed from the Russian. Also in 1714, to prove this info and search routes to India and Central Asia from Siberia government sent an expedition under the control of the Guard Lieutenant Buchholz. In 1716, Buchholz has built-in Yamysh castle on the lake cabin, but once in a siege of a local tribe Kalmyks did not tempt fate, agreed to the terms of the Kalmyk Khan destroyed the fort and sailed home. Second expedition under the leadership of Prince Bekovich-Cherkasky was going to say with full seriousness and care. But this campaign waiting for a failure. Hivantsy caught and sent to prison Bekovich-Cherkassky and his companions, the prince later executed. But the governor did not leave attempts to scout the route to India. He sent there through the Mongolian countryside Persians Murza Tevteleva. But Mirza was captured in Persia captured. After the death of Peter I, Catherine II also decided to examine samples Central Asia.

B. Borovykovsky. "Paul I in the crown, dalmatic and signs the Order of Malta." 1820

At the end of the 18th century came the confrontation 2-majestic powers — France and the UK, which continued with varying success for many years. Our homeland together with the UK, Austria, Turkey, and the kingdom of Naples came to the anti-French coalition. Several glittering victories Suvorov in Italy, the active conduct the Black Sea Fleet Ushakov forced other countries to respect the interests of Russia. But the trouble with England joint invasion of Holland gave up the top of the odds in the middle of the Allies, and the capture of the British forces of Malta, which Paul I took patronage, taking the title of Master of the Order of Malta is stately in 1798, led to the RF output of the coalition. Russian-British business almost over, and Paul I in 1800 concluded an alliance with France.

India had lost the French in the Seven Years' War, and has always attracted Napoleon. Most of all he lusted to put England on his knees, and the major asset of the British was to land a big, tenderloin, overgrown forest of trees of India. Specifically carried out precious stones, silk fabrics and bread. Industry UK without waiting for the supply of raw Indian inevitable collapse, and operation of China would be impractical because of the lack of opium. The military forces of the British in Bengal consisted of only 2-thousand British soldier and 30 thousand Indians learned to European methods of warfare. But their loyalty to the English crown has always been in question. The early XIX century, Napoleon Bonaparte and the Russian Emperor Paul I had a plan of Indian campaign. He foresaw the combined operation of the French (with artillery support) and the Russian infantry corps. Each building included 35,000 people, not counting the Cossack cavalry and artillery. The French army under the plan was to cross the Danube and the Black Sea, to go through all of South Russia, joining the Russian army at the mouth of the Volga. Then both the body by crossing the Caspian Sea, landed in the Persian port Astrabad continue walking through Kandahar and Herat in India. An agreement was reached with the Turkish sultan to pass the French ships with troops across the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. In the Indian Ocean from Kamchatka had time to go up three Russian frigates, which, perhaps, could make konkurentnst British ships stationed there.

Adventurousness of these actions has come about because of a number of events, the main one of which — much rather poor information about the Asian region. Of course, Napoleon Bonaparte spoke on the topic of the East with French scientists, diplomats, spies and gave himself to report that in the way of his plan will fall a lot of unexpected problems, but it did not really care.

Napoleon I asked Paul the question: "How Russian-French army penetrated into India through the country almost feral, barren, an accomplished campaign in three leagues from Astrabad to the limits of Hindustan? '. The Russian government dispelled his fear, expressing confidence in the success of the operation.

Paul I and Napoleon believed that the two of them did no worse than Alexander the Great. And if you hated the British were able to capture India alone, then why are they together, this should not be a virtue? For general calculations, and then send the French regiments from the Rhine and to complete the conquest of India had to pass at least 5 months.

To ally wavered in loyalty Russian Paul I in January 1801, gave the order to move off the Cossack troops in the campaign. The embodiment of this operation, the Government has laid on Ataman of the Don Vasily Orlov. Due to old age chieftain, in support of his officer Paul I put Matvei Platov, which, by the way, for it was released directly from the camera Alexis Ravelin. The operation was absolutely secret. In St. Petersburg, had information only about the fact that the Cossacks somewhere to go camping. Only 5 higher Cossack officers knew that they have to go thousands of miles along the deserted steppe, and later on a sandy desert, go through the mountains, passing all of Central Asia and the Pamirs. Along the way, they were ordered to take Bukhara and Khiva release of all Russian prisoners. With all this Paul commanded "not to offend people, they encountered along the route of the detachment, and a good result in their Russian citizenship." To its credit, the Cossacks, he promised all the wealth of India.

Sir Orlov wrote: "In India, the British have their places of trade, acquired either means or instrument. For all you need to destroy it, to free the oppressed and the home ground lead of in the same relation to what it among the English. "

In the short term for the campaign was prepared by 41 cavalry regiment with 2 companies of horse artillery. Total turnout of about 20 2-thousand Cossacks. On operation the municipal treasury has allocated a fabulous sum of 1.5 million rubles.

Ah well depicts the Imperial Army General Pyotr Krasnov actions that took place on the Don: "Where, for which was conceived campaign — About the fact no one knew. Everything to the last, had 6 days to be ready for the performance of a six-dvukon with provisions. The Cossacks had to carry a gun for self and darts. In the army there were 800 patients, and they were ordered to report for review. Went infirm, swollen wounds, mutilated. Orphans and the infirm poor were preparing to march, many Cossacks had no uniform jackets and Chekmenev, they dressed in an old robe, a homespun robe. Nobody did reverence. Although
the house was burned, although Pogorelov — go anyway, at the expense of the village. Shelves, just came from the Caucasian strip of the Italian campaign, again enlisted in the service. Church remained without a sexton, stanitsa board — no clerks, all taken away. The militia was across-the ».

February 20, 1801 Orlov said, sir, that you are ready to travel. February 28, arrived at Don approval of the ruler, and Matvei Platov at the head of the main forces came from the village of Kachalin to Orenburg, where the local administration hastily prepared supplies for the trek through the desert. Speaking time was calculated incorrectly, and from the very first steps in Zadonsky steppe Cossacks had to overcome terrible difficulties. The roads were covered with snow, the gunners struggled to pulling the gun out of the deepest snow drifts. Nowhere was heated apartments for people and horses feel cold in the desert. There was not enough food supplies, there was no fuel, hay and oats. First of March, when they have gained the Volga near Saratov province, established thaw. Flowed streams, prairie soaked, roads became impassable, but because of the mud. Many Cossacks fell ill, there was scurvy. Because of the flooded rivers regiments had to change their routes so that the warehouses full of food, organized along the route of the troops remained far apart. Commanders had to take everything out of its own funds for the army or the right to issue receipts, which had cash coffers. Exclusively in the province of Saratov similar receipts issued by gigantic sum in those days — 10 thousand rubles. Everything turned out differently, that local residents have any due to purchases of food and feed for horses must have existed Cossack army, no food stocks were not. Previous year turned out to be barren and dry, so that the Cossacks golodovali combined with the Volga peasants. In Orenburg, the problem appeared brand new. Food and fodder, harvested on all the long march of the expedition, did not have the required number of vehicles to carry him right behind the army. March 23, the other day of Christ's Resurrection, the Cossacks were in the village Mechetnaya (now the town of Pugachev Saratov region). Here they found a messenger from St. Petersburg with news of the death of Paul I and the Order vorachivatsya home. In the day of the Annunciation of the Cossacks went to the working path which sample was not better. Ataman Vasily Orlov died on the way from a heart attack, his place was taken by Matvey Platov. April 17 Cossack regiments returned home.

The governor Paul I say seriously believed that his Cossack army will whole way from Orenburg to India without reconnaissance, with preparatory agreements with Central Asian Khans, no wheeled carts. Can not afraid to say that this act he sent to certain destruction is not prepared for such travel Cossacks. Apart from Suvorov crossing the Alps hike Cossacks in India was one of the worst in their history, which showed how wonderfully was put in their discipline and how great was their devotion to the king.

Napoleon was sure that in a palace coup and assassination of Paul I were British, defended his hands Russian conspirators its interests in India.

In a rage, Bonaparte said: "The British overshot me in Paris, but they were not missed by me in St. Petersburg."

Baron Jean-Leon Gerome. "Bonaparte before the Sphinx." 1867-1868 years

Plan for the conquest of India, compiled by kings, crumbled before it even started. But Napoleon did not leave of their own attempts to capture this country. There is a perception that the Russian war of 1812 — all only a preparation for the invasion of Napoleon in India. Even before the war began in March 1812 the heir to the Swedish throne, the last French Marshal Bernadotte, who had a personal channel disk imaging in Paris, Alexander I gave the word of the ruler: "Russia will join my army, either voluntarily or as a result of the laws of victory and will be attracted to the majestic movement which is to change the face of the world. " Under the "great movement" Bonaparte anticipated invasion of the joint Russian-French army at first to Turkey, then to Iran, and then — in India.

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