Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov
|Other name(s)||Aleksandr Vasilevich Suvorov|
|Born||November 24, 1730|
Moscow, Moscow Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||May 18, 1800 (aged 69)|
St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Governorate, Russian Empire
|Years of service||1746–1800|
|Rank||Fieldmarshal and Generalissimo of the Russian Empire|
|Relations||House of Golitsyn|
House of Prozorovsky
House of Suvorov
Selected military actions
Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov-Rymniksky, Prince of Italy[d] (Russian: Граф Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров-Ры́мникский, князь Итали́йский;[e] IPA: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ sʊˈvorəf]; 24 November [O.S. 13 November] 1729 or 1730 – 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1800), was a Russian general in service of the Russian Empire and the Habsburg monarchy. He was Count of Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Feldmarschall of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Grand Marshal of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Prince of the Russian Empire and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire. Suvorov is considered one of the greatest military commanders in Russian history and one of the great generals of the early modern period. He was awarded numerous medals, titles, and honors by Russia, as well as by other countries. Suvorov secured Russia's expanded borders and renewed military prestige and left a legacy of theories on warfare. He was the author of several military manuals, the most famous being The Science of Victory (or The Science of Winning; Russian: Наука побеждать), and was noted for several of his sayings. He never lost a single battle he commanded, and his military record is extensive; Suvorov won in a total of 63 battles without suffering a major defeat. He raised Russian military glory to a height to which it had never reached before or since. Several military academies, monuments, villages, museums, and orders in Russia are dedicated to him.
Born in Moscow, he studied military history as a young boy and joined the Imperial Russian Army at the age of 17. Suvorov was promoted to colonel in 1762 for his numerous successes on the battlefield during the Seven Years' War.
When war broke out with the Bar Confederation in 1768, Suvorov captured the Polish capital Kraków and then defeated general Dumouriez near Lanckorona. This marked the start of the Partitions of Poland. He was promoted to general and next fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, taking Turtukaya and winning a decisive victory at the battle of Kozludzha.
In 1774 he interrogated the captured Yemelyan Pugachev and in the same year married into the well-connected Golitsyn family.[f] In 1783 he suppressed the Nogai uprising. Becoming the General of the Infantry in 1786, he led Russian forces in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 under the command of Potemkin. He participated in the siege of Ochakov.
Suvorov and the Austro-Bavarian general Josias of Coburg then won one of the most decisive victories in their career at the battle of Rymnik, and afterwards Suvorov crushingly defeated the Ottomans in the storming of Izmail, that commemorated as one of the days of Russian military honour and immortalized with the song "Let the Thunder of Victory Rumble!". For Suvorov's accomplishments, he was made a Count of both the Russian Empire and Holy Roman Empire, having been given the honorific title Rymniksky[g] (a postscript to his surname in honour of the victory at Rymnik).
He put down a Polish uprising in 1794, defeating them at the battle of Brest and in the horrible storming of Praga, faubourg of Warsaw.
While a close associate of Empress Catherine the Great, Suvorov often quarreled with her son and heir apparent, Paul. After Catherine died of a stroke in 1796, Paul I was crowned Emperor and dismissed Suvorov for disregarding his orders. However, he was forced to reinstate Suvorov and make him a field marshal at the insistence of the coalition allies for the French Revolutionary Wars.
Suvorov was given command of the Austro-Russian army and the Italian campaign of 1799 began. He captured Milan, Turin, and thereafter drove the French out of Italy through his triumphs at Cassano[h] (the Adda River), the Trebbia River, and Novi. The Italian strongholds of Alessandria and Mantua fell. Suvorov was given a new title: he was made a "Prince of Italy" (or Knyaz Italiysky) for his deeds, and he became known as the Prince of Italy, Count Suvorov-Rymniksky. Afterwards, he was ordered to head Swiss campaign to assist allied operations. He was cut off by André Masséna and later became surrounded in the Swiss Alps by the French after an allied Russo-Austrian army under Alexander Korsakov and Friedrich von Hotze, which he was supposed to reinforce, suffered defeats at Zurich and on the Linth River. Suvorov led the strategic withdrawal of exhausted and ill-supplied Russian troops dealing with French forces three times the size of his own: 27,000 against 77,000 in the theater of operations. Suvorov battled his way across the central Alpine spine all the way to Lake Constance, as a result of which the army returned from the Helvetic Republic to Russia with minimal casualties. For this exploit, he became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. He died in 1800 of illness in Saint Petersburg.
Suvorov was loved by Russian soldiers throughout his whole military life. He was respected for his truthfulness and honest service.
Micheal Clodfelter, in his work "Warfare and Armed Conflicts", described Suvorov as the best general the French First Republic ever fought (with the possible exception of Archduke Charles).
Alexander Suvorov was born into a noble family originating from Novgorod at the Moscow mansion of his maternal grandfather, Fedosey Manukov. His father, Vasily I. Suvorov [ru], was a general-in-chief and a senator in the Governing Senate, and was credited with translating Vauban's works into Russian. His mother, Avdotya Fyodorovna (née Manukova), was the daughter of Fedosey Manukov. According to a family legend his paternal ancestor named Suvor had emigrated from Karelia, at the time ruled by the Swedish Empire, with his family in 1622 and enlisted at the Russian service to serve Tsar Michael Feodorovich (his descendants became Suvorovs [ru]). Suvorov himself narrated for the record the historical account of his family to his aide, colonel Anthing, telling particularly that his Swedish-born ancestor was of noble descent, having engaged under the Russian banner in the wars against the Tatars and Poles. These exploits were rewarded by Tsars with lands and peasants. This version, however, was questioned recently by prominent Russian linguists, professors Nikolay Baskakov and Alexandra Superanskaya [ru], who pointed out that the word Suvorov more likely comes from the ancient Russian male name Suvor based on the adjective suvory, an equivalent of surovy, which means "severe" in Russian. Baskakov also pointed to the fact that the Suvorovs' family coat of arms lacks any Swedish symbols, implying its Russian origins. Among the first of those who pointed to the Russian origin of the name were Empress Catherine II, who noted in a letter to Johann von Zimmerman in 1790: "It is beyond doubt that the name of the Suvorovs has long been noble, is Russian from time immemorial and resides in Russia", and Count Semyon Vorontsov in 1811, a person familiar with the Suvorovs. Their views were supported by later historians: it was estimated that by 1699 there were at least 19 Russian landlord families of the same name in Russia, not counting their namesakes of lower status, and they all could not descend from a single foreigner who arrived only in 1622. Moreover, genealogy studies indicated a Russian landowner named Suvor mentioned under the year 1498, whereas documents of the 16th century mention Vasily and Savely Suvorovs, with the last of them being a proven ancestor of General Alexander Suvorov. The Swedish version of Suvorov's genealogy had been debunked in the Genealogical book of Russian nobility by V. Rummel and V. Golubtsov (1887) tracing Suvorov's ancestors from the 17th-century Tver gentry. In 1756 Alexander Suvorov's first cousin, Sergey Ivanovich Suvorov, in his statement of background (skazka) for his son said that he did not have any proof of nobility; he started his genealogy from his great-grandfather, Grigory Ivanovich Suvorov, who served as a dvorovy boyar scion at Kashin.
As a boy, Suvorov was a sickly child and his father assumed he would work in civil service as an adult. However, he proved to be an excellent learner, avidly studying mathematics, literature, philosophy, and geography, learning to read French, German, Polish, and Italian, and with his father's vast library devoted himself to intense study of military history, strategy, tactics, and several military authors including Plutarch, Quintus Curtius, Cornelius Nepos, Julius Caesar, and Charles XII. This also helped him develop a good understanding of engineering, siege warfare, artillery, and fortification. He tried to overcome his physical ailments through rigorous exercise and exposure to hardship. His father, however, insisted that he was not fit for the military. When Alexander was 12, General Gannibal, who lived in the neighborhood, overheard his father complaining about Alexander and asked to speak to the child. Gannibal was so impressed with the boy that he persuaded the father to allow him to pursue the career of his choice.
Suvorov entered the army in 1748 and served in the Semyonovsky Life Guard Regiment for six years. During this period he continued his studies attending classes at Cadet Corps of Land Forces. Suvorov was sent with diplomatic dispatches to Dresden and Vienna. To carry out these assignments on March 16, 1752, he received a diplomatic courier passport, signed by the Chancellor Count Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumin. Alexander next served on the College of War in 1756–58. From 1758 he was engaged in forming reserve units, and was commandant of Memel. Suvorov gained his first battle experience fighting against the Prussians during the Seven Years' and the Third Silesian wars (1756–1763).[i] His first skirmish was on 25 July 1759, when, during the Seven Years' War, with a squadron of dragoons, Suvorov attacked and routed Prussian dragoons. He participated in the complete victory over Frederick the Great at the battle of Kunersdorf, after which the so-called Miracle of the House of Brandenburg happened.
When Pyotr Semyonovich Saltykov, after his Kunersdorf victory, remained unmoved and did not even send Cossacks to pursue the fleeing enemy, Suvorov said to William Fermor: "if I were commander-in-chief, I would now go to Berlin". It is a simple observation, but a valid one. "In war, everything is simple", said one writer: "but this simplicity is given difficult". What Suvorov would have done in Saltykov's place was exactly what the Prussian king feared. He wrote to the queen that she should leave Berlin with the royal family in a hurry, and ordered to remove the archive, as the city may fall into enemy hands. Fortunately for Frederick, he faced not Suvorov.
Then, Alexander served under the command of General Major Maxim Berg [ru]. Suvorov successfully defended his positions at Reichenbach, but contrary to his future rules did not pursue the retreating enemy, if the only surviving account of this action is accurate. At the skirmish of Schweidnitz, in a third assault, he managed to take the hill occupied by the hussar picket. For another example, in the combat of Landsberg on 15 September 1761, his Cossack-hussar cavalry unit defeated 3 squadrons of the Prussian hussars. On leaving the Friedberg Forest, he hit General Platen's side units and took many prisoners. He also fought minor battles at Bunzelwitz, Birstein, Weisentine,[j] Költsch, and seized the small fortified town of Golnau. After repeatedly distinguishing himself in battle Suvorov will become a colonel in 1762, aged around 33. Soon afterwards, following the capture of Golnau, he was given temporary command of the Tver Dragoon Regiment [ru], until the regimental commander recovered. Prussian observation detachments had spread far from Kolberg; Berg moved there in two columns, the left he led himself, and the right, which consisted of three Hussar, two Cossack, and Tver Dragoon regiments, he entrusted to Suvorov. In the village of Naugard[k] the Prussians positioned themselves with 2 battalions of infantry and a weak dragoon regiment. Forming his unit in two lines, Suvorov began the attack. He felled the dragoons, struck one of the battalions, killed many on the spot and took a hundred prisoners. But the other battalion was scattered in the village and made such a heavy fire from the houses, that the Russians could not hold, and had to retreat. At Stargard, Suvorov attacked the rearguard of Platen, but without success, because the action took place on frozen marshland, through which the Prussian infantry moved freely, while the horses of the Russian cavalry were falling through. Suvorov managed to avoid heavy losses. The battles described took place at the same time as the siege of Kolberg (1761) in Pomerania.
It is stated that Suvorov visited Prussian Masonic lodge. He may have been, as he was an inquisitive man; but it is doubtful that he himself was ever a Freemason. Just before his career in 1761, he took part in the raid on Berlin by Zakhar Chernyshev's forces (one year after the Kunersdorf). The Cossacks captured the boy. Suvorov took him in, took care of him during the whole campaign, and on arrival to the quarters sent to the widow, the boy's mother, a letter reading:
"Dear mother, your little son is safe with me. If you want to leave him with me, he will not lack anything and I will take care of him as if he were my own son. If you wish to keep him with you, you can take him from here or write me where to send him."
The mother wished for her son's return.
Main article: Bar Confederation
Suvorov next served in Poland during the Confederation of Bar. Leading a unit of the army of Ivan Ivanovich Weymarn [ru], he dispersed the Polish forces under Pułaski at Orzechowo, captured Kraków (1768), defeated the Polish troops of Moszyński at Opatów and won against them in a small combat with Charles Dumouriez's army at Lanckorona, but he failed in the storming of the Lanckorona Castle and then on 20 May 1771 at the mountain near the Tyniec Abbey, which included a strong redoubt enclosed by a palisade, trous de loup, and strengthened with two guns. The Russians under Suvorov and Lieutenant Colonel Shepelev captured the fortification twice, but were beaten back. Fearing to lose a lot of troops and time, Suvorov retreated. It were among the few tactical setbacks in his career, however, these were not field engagements.
Slightly earlier than at Tyniec, however, Suvorov had won small victories over the Confederates at Rachów and Kraśnik, capturing an entire wagon train in the first of these clashes. By a happy coincidence, Suvorov survived in it. After their failure at the Lanckorona Castle, the Suzdals [ru] restored their reputation in Suvorov's eyes, not only at Kraśnik but also in Rachów. He wrote to Weymarn:
The infantry acted with great subordination, and I made my peace with them.
Follow-up clashes rectify Suvorov's situation: the battle of Lanckorona one day after an incident at Tyniec, where Dumouriez, the future hero of the French Republic, was severely defeated; the combat of Zamość on 22 May that year; the battle of Stołowicze; and the siege of the Wawel Castle (Kraków Castle), where the French and the szlachta, under the leadership of Brigadier Marquess Gabriel de Claude, made a sortie from the fortifications, and a force of Tyniec moved towards them — the Poles and their French allies were "defeated by brutal shooting and put to flight", paving the way for the first partition of Poland between Austria, Prussia and Russia. Suvorov meanwhile reached the rank of major-general.
Main article: Kościuszko Uprising
Immediately after signing the Treaty of Jassy with the Ottoman Empire, Suvorov was transferred to Poland where he assumed the command of one of the corps and led the victorious battles of Dywin, Kobryń, Krupczyce (now part of Chyzhevshchyna), and the battle of Brest where he crushed the Polish commander Karol Sierakowski. He also won the battle at Kobyłka.
On November 4, 1794, Suvorov's forces stormed Warsaw, held by Józef Zajączek's troops, and captured Praga, one of its boroughs (suburb). The massacre of 12,000[l] to 20,000?[m] civilians in Praga broke the spirits of the defenders and soon put an end to the Kościuszko Uprising. During the event, Russian forces looted and burned the entire borough. This carnage was committed by the troops in revenge for the slaughter of the Russian Garrison in Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising in April 1794, when up to 4,000 Russian soldiers died. According to some sources the massacre was the deed of Cossacks who were semi-independent and were not directly subordinate to Suvorov. The Russian general supposedly tried to stop the massacre and even went to the extent of ordering the destruction of the bridge to Warsaw over the Vistula River with the purpose of preventing the spread of violence to Warsaw from its suburb. Other historians dispute this, but most sources make no reference to Suvorov either deliberately encouraging or attempting to prevent the massacre. "I have shed rivers of blood," the troubled Suvorov confessed, "and this horrifies me".
Despite early successes on a battlefield, the organizer of the uprising, Tadeusz Kościuszko, was captured by the Don Cossack Fyodor P. Denisov [ru] at the battle of Maciejowice, where Kościuszko was defeated at the hand of Fersen's [ru] larger forces. Suvorov's and other Russians' victories led to the third partition of Poland. He sent a report to his sovereign consisting of only three words:
"Hurrah, Warsaw's ours!" (Ура, Варшава наша!).
Catherine replied in two words:
"Hurrah, Field-Marshal!" (rus. Ура, фельдмаршал! – that is, awarding him this rank).
The newly appointed field marshal remained in Poland until 1795, when he returned to Saint Petersburg. But his sovereign and friend Catherine died in 1796, and her son and successor Paul I dismissed the veteran in disgrace.
Main article: Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774
The Turkish empire, once formidable, had already undergone a major transformation by this era. The rude but strong force that had bound the heterogeneous parts of the empire had weakened, and the state began to show signs of a disintegration. The absence of lawfulness in the whole state organism, venality, despotism brought to an ideal, these were the elements of the internal life of Ottoman Empire. Such striking decay occurred mainly due to the personal qualities of the Turkish sovereigns. A long row of the first governors of Ottoman Empire consisted of individuals capable, energetic, quite appropriate to their position; the subsequent Turkish governors were distinguished by the opposite properties. They locked themselves in harems and let the viziers rule; stagnation and decline followed. Despotism, in the sense of the most important state principle, remained, but lost its character as a driving force and turned into selfish autocracy and tyranny. All of the above was also reflected in the war effort. In an era that opened Europe's eyes to the true importance of Turkey, Turks still retained many of the qualities of good soldiers.
The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 saw his first successful campaigns against the Turks in 1773–1774, and particularly in the battle of Kozludža. During the same conflict, the Imperial Russian Navy triumphed over the Ottoman Navy at the battle of Cheshme, and Peter (Pyotr) Rumyantsev, likewise one of the most capable Russian commanders of the era, routed the Ottomans at the battle of Kagul.
Suvorov laid the foundations of his reputation, becoming a lieutenant-general in 1774. His later earned victories against the Ottomans, such as the storming of Turtukaya and repelling the assault on Hirsovo fortress with a subsequent counterattack, bolstered the morale of his soldiers who were usually outnumbered. Following the capture of Turtukaya, even before sunrise, Suvorov wrote in pencil on a small piece of paper and sent to Count Ivan Saltykov the following short report: "Your Excellency, we have won; thank God, thank you". Suvorov also sent another report to the Commander-in-Chief Rumyantsev, consisting of couplets:
Glory to God, glory to you,
Turtukaya was taken and I am over there.
The war ended with the treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. Suvorov's astuteness in war was uncanny and he also proved a self-willed subordinate who acted upon his own initiative. For "unauthorized actions against the Turks", Suvorov was tried and sentenced to death but Tsarina Catherine the Great refused to uphold the verdict, proclaiming "winners can't be judged". However, Rumyantsev's putting Suvorov on trial for his arbitrary reconnaissance of Turtukaya belongs to the realm of pure fiction. Rumyantsev was not dissatisfied with Suvorov, but with Ivan Saltykov. Several reconnaissances had been made from Saltykov's division and one of them very unsuccessful. Colonel Prince Repnin was taken prisoner with 3 staff officers, more than 200 Russians were killed and missing, 2 ships, and 2 cannons were recaptured.
Main article: Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792
From 1787 to 1791, under the overall command of Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin, he again fought the Turks during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won many victories; he was wounded twice at the hard-won Kinburn engagement (1787) and saved only thanks to the intervention of the grenadier Stepan Novikov. Suvorov took part in the costly siege of Ochakov. Energetic Alexander Suvorov proposed to take the fortress by storm, but Potemkin was cautious. "Not such ways we beat the Poles and Turks," Suvorov said in a close group of people; "one look will not take the fortress. If you had listened to me, Ochakov would have been in our hands long ago". The siege was supported by a blockade of the Black Sea flotilla of Charles Henri de Nassau-Siegen under John Paul Jones.
In 1789, after the joint Russian and Habsburg victorious battle of Focșani, he and the talented Austro-Bavarian general Josias of Coburg fought most decisive victories in their career. First at the battle of Rymnik, where, despite the vast inferiority in numbers (a Russo-Austrian force of 25,000 against 100,000 Turks), Suvorov persuaded the Austrian commander to attack; with the bold flanking maneuver of Suvorov and the resilience of the Austrians, together they routed the Ottoman army within a few hours, losing only 500 men in the process. Suvorov earned the nickname "General Forward" for the latter victory; Catherine the Great made Suvorov a count with the name "Rymniksky" (or Rimniksky) in addition to his own name, and the Emperor Joseph II made him a count of the Holy Roman Empire.
The second one came at the storming of Izmail in Bessarabia on 22 December 1790. His capture of the reputedly unconquerable fortress played a vital role in Russia's victory in the war. Turkish forces inside the fortress had the orders to stand their ground to the end and haughtily declined the Russian ultimatum. Despite the fact that Mehmed Pasha was a resolute and firm commander, and inflicted serious losses on the Russians, the destruction of his army could not be avoided. Their defeat was seen as a major catastrophe in the Ottoman Empire, and in Russian military history there has never been a similar instantaneous storming of a fortress in terms of numbers and casualties as that of Izmail, much less without a proper siege. An unofficial Russian national anthem in the late 18th and early 19th centuries "Grom pobedy, razdavaysya!" ("Let the Thunder of Victory Rumble!"; by Gavrila Derzhavin and Józef Kozłowski) immortalized Suvorov's victory and 24 December is today commemorated as a Day of Military Honour in Russia. In this war Fyodor Ushakov also won many famous naval victories, as in the battle of Tendra. Suvorov announced the capture of Ismail in 1791 to the Empress Catherine in a doggerel couplet. The war ended with the treaty of Jassy.
From 1774 to 1797, Suvorov stayed and served in Russia itself, that is, in Transvolga or "Zavolzhye", in Astrakhan, Kremenchug, the Russian capital Saint Petersburg; in Crimea, or, more accurately, Little Tartary (Kuban which is in the North Caucasus, and Kherson); in the recently former Poland (Tulchin, Kobrin); and in Swedish Finland.
Main article: Pugachev's Rebellion
In 1774, Suvorov was dispatched to suppress Pugachev's Rebellion, whose leader Yemelyan Pugachev claimed to be the assassinated Tsar Peter III. Pyotr Panin, appointed for operations against Pugachev, asked to appoint a general to assist him, who could replace him in case of illness or death. On the very day of the arrival of the news of Pugachev's passage to the right bank of the Volga, Rumyantsev sent orders — to send Suvorov to Moscow as soon as possible. Suvorov, who was in Moldavia, immediately rushed out at full speed, met in Moscow with his wife and father. On the order left by Panin, in one caftan and without luggage, raced to the village of Ukholovo, between Shatsk and Pereyaslavl Ryazansky. He arrived in Ukholovo on September 3 (NS), just at the time when Panin received notice of Alexander Vasilyevich's appointment. Panin gave him broad powers and ordered the military and civil authorities — to execute all Suvorov's orders.
After receiving instructions, Suvorov the same day set out on the road, in the direction of Arzamas and Penza to Saratov, with a small escort of 50 men. Panin reported to the Empress on the rapid performance of his new subordinate, which promised in the circumstances of the time a lot of good ahead and therefore worthy of attention. Thanking him for such zeal and speed, the Empress granted him 2,000 chervonets to equip the crew. Reaching Saratov, Suvorov learned that tireless Ivan Mikhelson, who like a shadow followed everywhere after Pugachev and repeatedly defeated him, again defeated him badly. Strengthening his detachment here, Suvorov hurried to Tsaritsyn, but a lot of horses went to Pugachev, there was a lack of them, and Suvorov was forced to continue the journey by water. Defeated by Mikhelson, Pugachev slipped away; having somehow crossed the Volga with a small number of his loyalists, he disappeared into the vast steppe. Hasty arrival of Suvorov in Tsaritsyn drew the attention of the Empress, who announced her pleasure to Count Panin. But Suvorov was still essentially late. However, Suvorov did not stop it, he assigned to his detachment 2 squadrons, 2 Cossack sotnias, using horses captured by Mikhelson has put on horseback 300 infantry, seized the 2 light guns and after spending less than a day on it all, crossed the Volga. Apparently, for reconnaissance on the rebels, he first moved upriver, came to a large village, which kept the Pugachev side, took 50 oxen, and then seeing that around the quiet, turned to the steppe. This vast steppe, which stretched for several hundred km., desolate, woodless, homeless, was a dead desert, where even without the enemy's weapons was threatened with death. Suvorov had very little bread; he ordered to kill, salt and bake on fire some of the taken cattle and use the slices of meat for people instead of bread, as he did in the last campaign of the Seven Years' War. Thus secured for some time, Suvorov's detachment went deeper into the steppe. They followed the sun by day and the stars by night; there were no roads, they followed the traces and moved as fast as they could, not paying attention to any atmospheric changes, because there was no place to hide from them. In different places Suvorov was overtaken and joined by several detachments, who went before him from Tsaritsyn; September 23 (NS), he came to the Maly Uzen River, divided his squad into four parts and went to the Bolshoy Uzen in different directions. Soon they stumbled on Pugachev's trail; they found out that Pugachev was here in the morning, that his men, seeing an unstoppable pursuit, lost faith in the success of their cause, revolted, tied Pugachev and took him to Yaitsk, in order to extradite the leader to save themselves. And indeed Pugachev was arrested, as it turned out later, at this time, some 53 km from Suvorov. Suvorov arrived at the scene only in time to conduct the first interrogation of the rebel leader, but Suvorov missed the chance to defeat him in battle, who, as it happens, had been betrayed by his fellow Cossacks and was eventually beheaded in Moscow.
Main article: Kuban Nogai Uprising
As a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, the Crimean Khanate became independent of the Ottomans, but in fact became a Russian protectorate (1774 to 1783). The Russian-imposed Şahin Giray proved unpopular. The Kuban Nogais remained hostile to the Russian government. From the end of January 1777, Suvorov set about building new fortifications at Kuban, despite the severe cold and predator raids, suggesting that the entire cordon should be shortened somewhat, and that it should be connected to the Azov-Mozdok fortified line [ru]. There were only about 12,000 men under Suvorov's command. He explored the region, more than 30 fortifications were built, and the order of service at the cordon was changed. Attacks from across the Kuban ceased; Tatars, guarded against the unrest of Turkish Zakuban [ru] emissaries and from the raids of predators, were pacified, and, most importantly, began to make sure that the Russians really had good intentions towards them. But the peace was short-lived, however. Intelligent Rumyantsev could not fail to appreciate the fruitful activities of Suvorov in Kuban and spoke of him with pleasure and praise.
By 1781, the situation in the Crimean Khanate, especially in the North-West Caucasus, had heated up to the limit. Dissatisfaction with the Khan and the withdrawal of Russian troops led to an uprising of the Kuban Nogais at the beginning of the year. By July 1782, the uprising had spread to Crimea. This first insurrection was suppressed by the returning Russian troops at the end of 1782. In 1783, Suvorov with complete surprise for the rebels crossed the Kuban River and in the battle of the Laba on 1 October decisively quelled the second Nogai uprising, which, in turn, was triggered by Catherine's manifesto, declaring Crimea, Taman, and Kuban as Russian possessions. At the Laba, Nogai losses amounted to 4,000. Suvorov became General of the Infantry in 1786, upon completion of his tour of duty in the Caucasus.
Main article: Emigration of Christians from the Crimea (1778)
On behalf of Empress Catherine II, Suvorov participated in a tragic incident — the forced resettlement of Christians from the Crimea. The possession of the Crimea did not seem secure for Russia at that time. Russia had to extract all it could from the Crimea, and this was achieved by resettling Christians, mainly of Greek and Armenian nationalities, from the Crimea: they had industry, horticulture and agriculture in their hands, which constituted a significant part of the Crimean Khan's income. The fact that the Crimean Christians were burdened to the last degree by the Khan's extortions and, therefore, the tax exemption granted to them in the new place should have inclined them in favor of the measure conceived by the Russian government, was in favor of the feasibility of resettlement. Thus the matter was resolved and Suvorov was entrusted with its execution. In the second half of September 1778 the resettlement ended. More than 31,000 souls were evicted; the Greeks were mostly settled between the rivers Berda [ru] and Kalmius, along the river Solyonaya [ru] and all the way to Azov; the Armenians near Rostov and generally on the Don. Rumyantsev reported to the Empress that "the withdrawal of the Christians can be regarded as a conquest of a noble province". Only 130,000 rubles were spent for transportation and food. Food itself cost very cheap, because Suvorov bought from the same Christians 50,000 quarters of bread, which, coming locally to the shops, cost half as much as delivered from Russia, what resulted in savings of 100,000 rubles. Suvorov's orders were distinguished by remarkable and calculated prudence, he had put his heart into this business. More than half a year later, when the case was almost submitted to the archives, Suvorov still felt as if he had a moral obligation towards the settlers and wrote to Potemkin:
"The Crimean settlers suffer many shortcomings in their present state; look upon them with a merciful eye, who have sacrificed so much to the throne; relish their bitter remembrance."
After Suvorov organized the resettlement of Armenian migrants displaced from Crimea, he gave them permission to establish a new city, named Nor Nakhichevan by the Armenians. In addition, he would later found the city of Tiraspol (1792), now the capital of Transnistria.
In 1778 Alexander as well prevented a Turkish landing on the Crimean Peninsula, thwarting another Russo-Turkish war. He commanded the Russian troops in the Crimea from 1782 to 1784.
Going to Kherson (1792), Suvorov received quite a detailed instruction. He was entrusted with command over the troops in the Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Taurida Oblast and the territory newly annexed from Ottoman Turkey, with the responsibility to manage the fortification works there. Black Sea Fleet was under the command of Vice-Admiral Nikolay Mordvinov, and a rowing fleet under the command of Major-General Osip Deribas, who was dependent on Suvorov only for troops in the fleet. Suvorov was ordered to inspect the troops to ascertain their condition and replenish what was missing, to survey the coast and borders, and submit his opinion on bringing them to safety from accidental attack; he was also allowed to change the disposition of the troops without giving any reason for neighbors to think that the Russians were anxious;—finally, he was ordered to collect and submit notifications from abroad.
Engineering occupied the most prominent place in Suvorov's activities in the south, as well as in Finland. The plans signed by him were preserved: the project of the Phanagoria fortress, three projects of fortifications of the Kinburn Spit and Dnieper–Bug estuary, plan of the Kinburn fortress, main logistics center of Tiraspol, fort of Hacıdere (Ovidiopol) on Dnieper–Bug estuary, Khadjibey (Odessa) and Sevastopol (Akhtiar) fortifications. Some of these were built during his time there and have progressed considerably, others had only just begun; there were also fortifications remained in the project due to short time and lack of money. At Sevastopol four forts were started, including 2 casemated; in Khadjibey was placed a military harbor with a merchant pier, according to François Sainte de Wollant's plans, under the direct supervision of Deribas and supreme surveillance of Suvorov.
In Tulchin he contributed to the training of troops (1796). On arriving in Tulchin, Suvorov first of all paid attention to the welfare of the soldiers. There were huge numbers dying, as in epidemic times, especially at work in the port of Odessa, where the annual percentage of deaths reached up to 1/4 of the entire staff of the troops, and one separate team died out almost entirely. The reason: many generals were suppliers to the troops; the builder of Odessa Deribas capitalised terribly on this. Against all the evils detected, Suvorov took immediate measures, akin to those of the previous ones, and watched their execution vigilantly. Barely two months have passed before the death rate in Odessa fell fourfold, and in some other places the percentage of deaths was even closer to normal, and in August it was below normal.
A feast was held in Russia to commemorate glorious military exploits, especially the storming of Izmail. The presence at the celebration of the true hero of the day, Suvorov, could not fail to take place. A few days before the feast, May 6 (NS), 1791, Suvorov received from Potemkin command of the Empress — to go around Finland to the Swedish border, in order to design a border fortifications. Suvorov went willingly, just to get rid of his inactivity, the region was familiar to him, as 17 years ago he had already traveled around the Swedish border, and although the present task seemed more difficult, but with his usual energy and diligence, Suvorov completed it in less than 4 weeks. The Empress treated with full approval of Suvorov's construction works.
During the harsh Finnish spring, he traveled in sledges in the wild backwoods of the Russian-Swedish border, enduring hardships that a military man of high position does not know even in wartime. In fact, repeated the same old thing: Suvorov had already traveled in winter inclement weather, riding on a Cossack horse, without luggage, to Izmail.
Suvorov lived in different places in Finland, depending on the need: in Vyborg, Kymenegarde, Rochensalm. In Kymenegarde he left a memory of his concern for the Orthodox Church, he sent a church choir director from St. Petersburg to train the local choir, bought different church things for several hundred rubles. Here he formed a circle of acquaintances, free from service time spent fun; Suvorov often danced, and in a letter to Dmitry Khvostov bragged that once he "contradanced for three hours straight".
Suvorov remained a close confidant of Catherine, but he had a negative relationship with her son and heir apparent Paul. As a prince, Paul became fanatically interested in the flashy but dysfunctional uniforms, parades, drills, and common corporal punishments of the Prussian Army. He even had his own regiment of Russian soldiers whom he dressed up in Prussian-style uniforms and paraded around. Suvorov was strongly opposed to these uniforms and had fought hard for Catherine to get rid of similar uniforms that were used by Russians up until 1784.
When Catherine died of a stroke in 1796, Paul I was crowned Emperor and brought back these outdated uniforms. It is considered that in the same year the Golden Age [ru] of Russian nobility and of the Russian Empire came to an end, along with Catherine the Great. Suvorov was not happy with Paul's reforms and disregarded his orders to train new soldiers in this Prussian manner, which he considered cruel and useless. Paul was infuriated and dismissed Suvorov, exiling him to his estate Konchanskoye [ru] near Borovichi and kept under surveillance. His correspondence with his wife, who had remained at Moscow for his marriage relations had not been happy, was also tampered with. It is recorded that on Sundays he tolled the bell for church and sang among the rustics in the village choir. On week days he worked among them in a smock-frock.
Main article: Italian and Swiss expedition § Italian campaign
In February 1799, Paul I, worried about the victories of France in Europe during the French Revolutionary Wars and at the insistence of the coalition leaders, was forced to reinstate Suvorov as field marshal. Alexander Suvorov was given command of the Austro-Russian army and sent to drive France's forces out of Italy.
Suvorov and Napoleon never met in battle because Napoleon was campaigning in Egypt and Syria at the time. However, in 1799, Suvorov erased practically all of the gains Napoleon had made for France in northern Italy during 1796 and 1797, defeating some of the republic's top generals: Moreau and Schérer at the Adda River (Lecco, Vaprio d'Adda, Cassano d'Adda, Verderio Superiore), again Moreau at San Giuliano (Spinetta Marengo[n]), MacDonald near the rivers of Tidone,[o] Trebbia,[p] Nure[q] at the Trebbia campaign,[r] and Joubert along with Moreau at Novi; but the Russians lost the battle of Bassignana. All the major battles (Adda, Trebbia, Novi) are of the most decisive nature. Besides, the following Italian fortresses fell before Suvorov: Brescia (21 April); Peschiera del Garda, Tortona, Pizzighettone (April); Alessandria, Mantua (July). Suvorov captured Milan and Turin, as well as citadels of these cities, and became a hero to those who opposed the French Revolution. The British drawn many caricatures dedicated to Suvorov's expedition.[s]
The French client states Cisalpine Republic and Piedmontese Republic collapsed in the face of Suvorov's onset. Admiral Ushakov, sent to the Mediterranean for support to Suvorov, in 1799 completed the five-month siege of Corfu (1798–1799) and put an end to the French occupation of the Ionian Islands in Greece. On receiving news of the capture of Corfu, Suvorov exclaimed:
Our Great Peter is alive! What he, after defeating the Swedish fleet near Åland in 1714, said, namely that nature has produced only one Russia: she has no rival, — we see it now. Hooray! To the Russian fleet!.. I now say to myself: why wasn't I at least a midshipman at Corfu?
The sister republic in the south, the Parthenopean, also fell before the British Royal Navy and the local rebels, since Jacques MacDonald at the head of the Army of Naples was forced to abandon southern Italy to meet Suvorov at the Trebbia, leaving only weak garrisons in the Neapolitan lands. MacDonald attacked Ott's small force, whereupon Suvorov quickly concentrated most of his army against MacDonald and threw his men into the fray immediately after a hard march. This confrontation near the Trebbia proved to be the heaviest French defeat of the Italian campaign: by the end of the retreat, MacDonald had barely 10,000 to 12,000[t] men left out of an army of 35,000. The battle of Novi, on the other hand, is the most difficult victory in Suvorov's career, largely because the French had strong defensive positions and the Allies could not fully deploy their superior cavalry as a consequence; however, the Russo-Austrian victory turned into a complete rout for the French army. Its troops lost 16,000 of their comrades-in-arms (in total) and were driven from Italy, save for a handful in the Maritime Alps and around Genoa. But the Hofkriegsrat did not choose to take advantage, and sent Suvorov with his Austrian and Russian forces to Switzerland. Suvorov himself gained the rank of "Prince of the House of Savoy" from the King of Sardinia, and after the Trebbian battle — the title of "Prince of Italy" (or Knyaz Italiysky).
Like Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Frederick II the Great, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Caesar, in military affairs Alexander Vasilyevich was not vulnerable at any point, rushing with speed to the most important places, and observed the principle of force concentration all his life: at San Giuliano Vecchio [it] (1st Marengo), for example, his troops gathered more than double superiority, and at Novi not so considerable, but at least reaching about 38 per cent, which was still compensated by the French army's favourable position. At the combat of Lecco there was virtually no advantage on either side, but at the beginning, before the reinforcements, the Russian troops were far inferior in numbers. At the combat of Vaprio (part of Cassano), passing through a river obstacle, the Coalition eventually managed to concentrate 1/2 more troops in practice than the French did, largely also at the expense of the Cossacks; although in the middle of the battle the French had a twofold preponderance in numbers. In the end there were about 11,000 Austrians and Cossacks versus 7,000 French; and it is significant to mention that French troops began to give up their footholds before the remaining Austrian battalions arrived. It cannot be said that the outcome of the combat at Vaprio d'Adda could have been the only outcome: the timely arrival of 3,000 of Sérurier's, 6,000 of Victor's (2,000 he could abandon in Cassano d'Adda on the way), would be 16,000 French, led by skilful Moreau, against 11,000 of the enemy. At Cassano d'Adda, Suvorov allocated about 13,000 Austrians against approximately 3,000 French from the divisions of Paul Grenier and Claude-Victor (along with reinforcements), who had taken up strong defences behind the stream; but it was the combat of Vaprio that was decisive and pivotal. At Verderio the Sérurier detachment, cut off during the combat at Vaprio d'Adda, was surrounded and pinned down by the river. Thus, with roughly equal strength overall, having a minimum of 65,000 men at his disposal against the 58,000 available for active operations in the field as part of the French Army of Italy, Suvorov was able to scoop up every advantage to win a complete victory at the battle of Cassano. The blame lies with Barthélemy Schérer: he scattered an even cordon along the whole river; on the more important stretch from Lecco to Cassano d'Adda, 42 km, there were no more than 12,000; meanwhile Suvorov had 42,000 on the same stretch.
Near the Trebbia, in contrast to the above, MacDonald had one and a half superiority; this circumstance is explained by the fact that Kray, despite the order of Suvorov, did not send him reinforcements, based on the direct command of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II not to separate any forces before the surrender of Mantua. It was too late for the commander-in-chief to find out. At the battle of the Trebbia on the first day at the Tidone River, the French had 19,000 men against his 14–15,000, and were thrown back. By the Trebbia River itself on the second day the forces were equal, and on the third day Suvorov, with some 22,000 men, beat MacDonald's force of 33,000 to 35,000. Suvorov then rushed into a fighting pursuit, and at the Nure River, similar to Verderio, an entire Auvergne Regiment was captured after a short battle.
Despite the restraining influence of the Hofkriegsrat, Suvorov always held the initiative in his hands when dealing with the enemy. If the French sometimes tried to catch him (e.g., the movements of Moreau and MacDonald to join at Tortona), the Allies concentrated and dealt brutal blows like at the Trebbia. As for Novi, Joubert, advancing from Genoa to Tortona and expecting to catch the Allied Field Army scattered, unexpectedly met Suvorov with his "strike fist" behind Novi Ligure. But perseverance in the battle of Novi came to the point that when the Russian attacks were unsuccessful, Suvorov got off his horse and, rolling on the ground, shouted: "dig a grave for me, I will not survive this day", and then resumed his attacks. Moreau spoke of Suvorov in this way:
"What can you say of a general so resolute to a superhuman degree, and who would perish himself and let his army perish to the last man rather than retreat a single pace."
As a disadvantage to his decisiveness, Field Marshal Suvorov, famous for the storming of Izmail, did not want to storm the citadels of Italian cities, and preferred to resort, in accordance with the situation, to blockade and siege. Nevertheless, during the Italian campaign of 1799 Suvorov's talent expressed itself fully and comprehensively. When assessing Suvorov's actions, one must always keep in mind the unfavourable situation for the commander, the environment in which he was:—meaning mainly the inconvenience of commanding the Allied troops, originating from the difference in political aspirations of the Allied governments, and the binding influence of the Hofkriegsrat.
The Polish forces had a no small quantity of militias, and the Turks and Tartars were largely unstable hordes. True, all these opponents were characterised by fanatical bravery, it was not easy for Suvorov to overcome them; the wars brought Suvorov practice, from which he took out extensive experience, his talent gradually developed and strengthened in this fight, the commander learned the essence, the spirit of war. In 1799 Suvorov for the first time made a campaign in the conditions of European warfare. Enemies were troops purely regular, crowned with the glory of victories over the German armies (considered themselves the best in Europe), and were led by some of the best generals of the time, including Jean Victor Moreau, a man in the prime of life (35), who was generally respected in the army, distinguished by his theoretical knowledge of the art of war and combat experience, affability and high intelligence. He was not a high-spirited genius, but the presence of mind and unwavering equanimity gave him the ability to come out with honour from the most critical circumstances. At any rate, after Bonaparte, he was the best French general of the time (the talented Lazare Hoche was no longer alive), winning the famous victory at Hohenlinden a year later. The theater of war was not like those steppes, swamps and forests, among which the commander had hitherto fought. In the war with the French Suvorov was not only commander-in-chief, independently acting in the theater of operations, but in addition he was in charge of the allied army — a matter even more difficult for a commander, and in the battles of Cassano and Novi the Austrians formed the bulk of the army, while at Cassano only irregular Cossack troops participated from the Russian side, including the encirclement of the French detachment at Verderio. It should also be noted that Suvorov, being fiery and irritable, was able to restrain himself in many cases.
Main article: Suvorov's Swiss campaign
After the victorious Italian theater, Suvorov planned to march on Paris, but instead was ordered to Switzerland to join up with the Russian forces already there and drive the French out. The Russian army under General Korsakov was defeated by André Masséna at Zürich, and Friedrich von Hotze's Austrian army was defeated by Jean-de-Dieu Soult at the Linth River before Suvorov could reach and unite with them all. "…I have defeated myself Jelačić and Lincken who are now pinned down in Glarus. Marshal Suvorov is surrounded on all sides. He will be the one forced to surrender!"—said Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor to Franz von Auffenberg and Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration.
Surrounded by Masséna's 84,000 French troops, Suvorov with a force of 18,000 Russian regulars and 5,000 Cossacks, exhausted and short of provisions, led a strategic withdrawal from the Alps while fighting off the French.
Early on in the path, going to join with the not yet defeated Korsakov, he struggled against general Claude Lecourbe and overcame the St. Gotthard and Oberalp[u] mountain passes. Suvorov's troops beat the French out of Hospental (situated in the Urseren valley), followed by the so-called Teufelsbrücke, or "Devil's Bridge", located in the Schoellenen Gorge, and the Urnerloch rock tunnel. All these interventions were not without great losses for Suvorov; but in his main attack, where he concentrated some 6,700 against 6,000 Frenchmen, he suffered relatively the same casualties as his opponent. However, Suvorov's troops were at their wits' end.
Russian troops of Andrey Grigoryevich Rosenberg crossed the Lukmanier Pass, Austrian troops of Franz Auffenberg overcame the Chrüzli Pass, while Suvorov himself also later traversed more remote passes such as Kinzig and Pragel. Marching over rocks had worn out the soldiers' inadequate footwear, of which many were now even deprived, uniforms were often in tatters, rifles and bayonets were rusting from the constant dampness, and the men were starving for lack of adequate supplies. On September 29 (18 OS), still uncertain about the fate of Korsakov and Hotze, Suvorov assembled a council of war in the refectory of the Franciscan monastery of Saint Joseph, which decided to pave the way for the army toward Glarus. During the council the Russian commander showed himself extremely resolute not to surrender, blamed the Austrian allies for all the hardships they were forced to suffer, and proposed what appeared to him to be the only possible solution. Alexander Suvorov's speech was written down from the words of Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration, made a huge impression on everyone who attended:
To go back is dishonorable. I have never retreated. Advancing to Schwyz[v] is impossible: Masséna commands more than 60,000 men and our troops do not reach 20,000. We are short of supplies, ammunition and artillery… We cannot expect help from anyone. We are on the edge of the precipice! All we have left is to rely on Almighty God and the courage and spirit of sacrifice of my troops! We are Russians! God is with us! 
Between 30 September and 1 October, 1799, Suvorov's vanguard of 2,100 men, led by Bagration, was able to break through the Klöntal [de] valley[w] and reached the goal. It inflicted 1,000 killed or wounded, and another 1,000 captured to a French force of 6,500 men. However, Bagration tried to push further than Glarus, failing to do so: he was finally stopped by Molitor's troops. Meanwhile, on the same days, the rearguard of 7,000 men out of a total of 14,000, commanded by Andrey Rosenberg,[x] who, according to plan, was assigned the task of deterrence, met with Masséna's forces,[y] which numbered up to 15,000 men out of 24,000 in the Muotatal (Muota valley), formerly Muttental. Suvorov ordered to hold on there at all costs, and the rearguard, suffering about 500 casualties, routed the French by inflicting them from 2,700 to 3,000 losses in two days. Suvorov reported to Paul 6,500 French dead, wounded and prisoners of war in two days of fighting: 1,600 – September 30 and 4,500 – October 1. While Suvorov was fighting the French, the short-lived Roman sister republic had also fallen before the troops of the restored Kingdom of Naples.
Despite all the Russian successes on the battlefield, it was clear that the campaign could not be won for them. Suvorov hoped to make the way for his exhausted, ill-supplied troops over the Swiss passes to the Upper (Alpine) Rhine and arrive at Vorarlberg, where the army, much shattered after a lot of crossing and fighting, almost destitute of horses and artillery, went into winter quarters. When Suvorov battled his way through the snow-capped Alps his army was checked but never defeated. Suvorov refused to call it a retreat and commenced a trek through the deep snows of the Panixer Pass and into the 9,000-foot mountains of the Bündner Oberland, by then deep in snow. Thousands of Russians slipped from the cliffs or succumbed to cold and hunger, eventually escaping encirclement and reached Chur on the Rhine, with the bulk of his army intact at 16,000 men. After the troops reached Chur, they crossed another pass in the form of the St. Luzisteig, and hence left the territory of present-day Switzerland.
For this marvel of strategic retreat, earning him the nickname of the Russian Hannibal, Suvorov became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. Historian Christopher Duffy, on the back cover of his book Eagles Over the Alps: Suvorov in Italy and Switzerland, 1799, called Suvorov's whole Italian and Swiss adventure a kind of Russian "crusade" against the forces of revolution.
Recently, beginning with his involuntary stay in the village of Konchanskoye, Suvorov often felt unwell; when he returned to duty, he seemed to have recovered, but by the end of the Italian campaign again began to grow weak. Before the Swiss campaign, his weakness was so great that he could hardly walk, his eyes began to hurt more often than before; making itself felt the old wounds, especially on his leg, so that not always could put on a boot. The Swiss campaign made him even sicker; he began to complain of cold, which had never happened before; the cough, which had become attached to him some months before, did not leave him either, and the wind became particularly sensitive. He was officially promised a military triumph in Russia, but Emperor Paul cancelled the ceremony and recalled the Russian armies from Europe, including the Batavian Republic after the unsuccessful Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland; and ultimately the French would regain all of their conquered possessions on the Italian Peninsula.
The return journey of Suvorov to Russia, interspersed with frequent stops due to policy fluctuations, lasted more than three months. This time, filled for Suvorov the cares for the troops, who terribly sacrificed during the Swiss campaign all their material part, in addition, was accompanied by many troubles — a legacy of previous events. But this trouble was far inferior to the mental agony, which Suvorov endured when leaving the theatre of war with a bitter awareness of the incomplete success of the Italian campaign and a total failure of the Swiss one. Correct this failure with new successes was his dream, which at first did not give him peace and entailed the hesitation and inconsistency in some of his actions. That campaign was a military affair glorious, sufficient for the enviable fighting reputation of any general, was for Suvorov a faint consolation, for there was nothing else in his past but the brilliant and glorious. He wanted what he had come here for from his Konchanskoye retreat — the expulsion of the French, the restoration of thrones, the triumph of religion; and the result was almost nothing of the kind. He was left with a bitterness in his heart which he took with him to his grave.
Suvorov's name, which had grown during the Italian campaign, took on a double luster after the Swiss campaign, and when he retired from the theatre of war and entered Germany, he became the centre of attention. Travellers, diplomats and soldiers flocked to his destinations, especially on his longer stops in Lindau, Augsburg and Prague. A general reverence bordering on awe, ladies sought out the honour of kissing his hand, and he did not particularly resist this. Everywhere he was welcomed and seen off, though he avoided it; every social gathering was eager to have him as its guest.
Russian society was proud of its hero and worshipped him enthusiastically. The Emperor Paul was a true representative of the national mood; he accompanied all his rescripts with expressions of the most gracious disposition to the Generalissimo, spoke of his unanimity with him, asked advice, and apologised for giving instructions himself. "Forgive me, Prince Alexander Vasilievich," wrote the tsar, "may the Lord God preserve you, and you preserve the Russian soldiers, of whom some were everywhere victorious because they were with you, and others were not victorious because they were not with you". In other rescript it has told:
"…excuse me, that I have taken it upon myself to give you advice; but as I only give it for preservation of my subjects, which have rendered me so much merit under your leadership, I am sure, that you with pleasure will accept it, knowing your affection to me."
In the third:
"I shall be pleased if you will come to me to advice and to love, after you have bring the Russian troops into our borders."
The fourth reads:
"It is not for me, my hero, to reward you, you are above my measures, but for me to feel it and appreciate it in my heart, giving you your due."
The Tsar had extended his courtesy to the point that, in reply to Suvorov's New Year greetings, he asked him to share them with his troops if he, the Tsar, was "worth it" and expressed his desire "to be worthy of such an army".
The famous Admiral Lord Nelson, who, according to the Russian ambassador in London, was at that time together with Suvorov the "idol" of the English nation, also sent the Generalissimo an enthusiastic letter. "There is no man in Europe," he wrote, "who loves you as I do; all marvel, like Nelson, at your great exploits, but he loves you for your contempt of wealth". Someone called Suvorov "the land Nelson"; Nelson was very flattered by this. Someone else said that there is a very great similarity in appearance between the Russian Generalissimo and the British Admiral. Rejoicing at this, Nelson added in a letter to Suvorov that although his, Nelson's, deeds can not equal with those of Suvorov, but he asked Suvorov not to deprive him of the dear name of a loving brother and sincere friend. Suvorov answered Nelson in the same way, and expressed his pleasure that their portraits certify the similarity existing between the originals, but in particular was proud of the fact that the two were alike in their way of thinking.
He also received a warm welcome from his old associate, the Prince of Coburg.[z] The Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich went to Coburg, through whom Suvorov conveyed a letter or bow to the Prince and through the same Grand Duke received a reply. The Prince called him the greatest hero of his time, thanked him for his memory, lamented the removal of the Russian army to the fatherland and lamented the bitter fate of Germany. Suvorov replied to the Prince and said among other things that the entire reason for the failure lies in the differences of systems, and if the systems do not come together, there is no point in starting a new campaign.
Furthermore, a little earlier he had correspondence with Archduke Charles, which, however, was of a sharp nature. Suvorov received greetings and congratulations even from strangers.
Early in 1800, Suvorov returned to Saint Petersburg. Paul, for some reason, refused to give him an audience, and, worn out and ill, the old veteran died a few days afterwards on 18 May 1800, at Saint Petersburg. The main reason for the newly emerged disfavor of Emperor Paul to Suvorov remains uncertain. Suvorov was meant to receive the funeral honors of a Generalissimo, but was buried as an ordinary field marshal due to Paul's direct interference. Lord Whitworth, the British ambassador, and the poet Gavrila Derzhavin were the only persons of distinction present at the funeral. Suvorov lies buried in the Church of the Annunciation in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, the simple inscription on his grave stating, according to his own direction, "Here lies Suvorov".
Key to opponent flags
|Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918[aa])||Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795)||Kingdom of France (987–1792)||Holy Roman Empire (800/962–1806)||Ottoman Empire (c. 1299–1922)||Crimean Khanate[ab] (1441–1783)||Regency of Algiers (1516–1830)||Crimean Tatars||French Republic (1792–1804)||Polish Legions (1797–1815)||Helvetic Republic[ac] (1798–1803)||Piedmontese Republic[ad] (1798–1799)||Cisalpine Republic[ae] (1797–1802)|
|1.||4 May – 2 July 1758||Siege of Olmütz||Siege||Seven Years' War||?||Margraviate of Moravia||?|
|2.||12 August 1759||Battle of Kunersdorf||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
||Margraviate of Brandenburg||Decisive victory|
|3.||October 1760||Raid on Berlin||Occupation||Seven Years' War
||Margraviate of Brandenburg||Berlin occupied for three days|
|4.||1761||Combat of Reichenbach||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
|5.||1761||Skirmish of Schweidnitz||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
|6.||15 September 1761||Combat of Landsberg||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
||Margraviate of Brandenburg||Victory|
|7.||1761||Combat of the Friedberg Forest||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
|8.||1761||Storming of Golnau||Storming Fortifications||Seven Years' War
|9.||1761||Assault on Neugarten[ah]||FIBUA||Seven Years' War
|10.||1761||Combat of Stargard||Open Battle||Seven Years' War
||Province of Pomerania||Inconclusive|
|11.||24 August – 16 December 1761||Third Siege of Kolberg||Siege||Seven Years' War
||Province of Pomerania||Victory|
|12.||13 September 1769||Battle of Orzechowo||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Grand Duchy of Lithuania||Victory|
|13.||July 1770||Combat of Opatów||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Sandomierz Voivodeship||Victory|
|14.||20 February 1771||Lanckorona||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Kraków Voivodeship||Victory|
|15.||20 February 1771||Lanckorona||Storming Fortifications||War of the Bar Confederation||Kraków Voivodeship||Defeat|
|16.||27 February 1771||Assault on Rachów||FIBUA||War of the Bar Confederation||Lublin Voivodeship||Victory|
|17.||28 February 1771||Combat of Kraśnik||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Lublin Voivodeship||Victory|
|18.||20 May 1771||Action of the Tyniec Abbey||Storming Fortifications||War of the Bar Confederation||||Kraków Voivodeship||Defeat|
|19.||21 May 1771||Lanckorona||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Kraków Voivodeship||Decisive victory|
|20.||22 May 1771||Combat of Zamość||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Ruthenian Voivodeship||Victory|
|21.||24 September 1771||Battle of Stołowicze||Open Battle||War of the Bar Confederation||Grand Duchy of Lithuania||Decisive victory|
|22.||24 January – 26 April 1772||Siege of the Kraków Castle||Siege||War of the Bar Confederation||Kraków Voivodeship||Victory|
|23.||21 May 1773||Storming of Turtukaya||Storming Fortifications||Sixth Russo-Turkish War||Ottoman Bulgaria||Victory|
|24.||14 September 1773||Defence of Hirsovo||Storming Fortifications;
|Sixth Russo-Turkish War||Ottoman Empire||Victory|
|25.||20 June 1774||Battle of Kozludzha||Open Battle||Sixth Russo-Turkish War||Ottoman Bulgaria||Decisive victory|
|26.||1 October 1783||Battle of the Laba||Open Battle||Kuban Nogai Uprising||Kuban||Decisive victory|
|27.||12 October 1787||Battle of Kinburn||Storming Fortifications;
|Seventh Russo-Turkish War||Silistra Eyalet||Victory|
|28.||July – 17 December 1788||Siege of Ochakov||Siege||Seventh Russo-Turkish War||Silistra Eyalet||Victory|
|29.||1 August 1789||Battle of Focșani||Open Battle||Seventh Russo-Turkish War||Moldavia||Victory|
|30.||22 September 1789||Battle of Rymnik||Open Battle||Seventh Russo-Turkish War||Wallachia||Decisive victory|
|31.||22 December 1790||Storming of Izmail||Storming Fortifications||Seventh Russo-Turkish War||Silistra Eyalet||Decisive victory|
|32.||1794||Combat of Dywin||Open Battle||Polish Campaign of 1794||Grand Duchy of Lithuania||Victory|
|33.||14 September 1794||Combat of Kobryń||Open Battle||Polish Campaign of 1794||Brest Litovsk Voivodeship||Victory|
|34.||17 September 1794||Battle of Krupczyce||Open Battle||Polish Campaign of 1794||Brest Litovsk Voivodeship||Victory|
|35.||19 September 1794||Battle of Terespol
(Battle of Brest)
|Open Battle||Polish Campaign of 1794||Brest Litovsk Voivodeship||Victory|
|36.||26 October 1794||Battle of Kobyłka||Open Battle||Polish Campaign of 1794||Masovian Voivodeship||Victory|
|37.||4 November 1794||Storming of Praga||Storming Fortifications||Polish Campaign of 1794||Warsaw||Decisive victory|
|38.||21 April 1799||Capture of Brescia||Capitulation||French Revolutionary Wars||Cisalpine Republic||Victory|
|39.||26 April 1799
27–28 April 1799
|Forcing of the Adda||Open Battle;
|French Revolutionary Wars
|40.||16 May 1799||Battle of San Giuliano
(First Battle of Marengo)
|Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
|41.||1799||Siege of the Turin Citadel||Siege||French Revolutionary Wars
|42.||17–20 June 1799||Campaign of the Trebbia[am]||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Duchy of Parma||Overall decisive victory|
|43.||15 August 1799||Battle of Novi||Open Battle;
|French Revolutionary Wars
|44.||24 September 1799||Battle of the Gotthard Pass||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
|45.||24 September 1799||Combat of Hospital / Hospental||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Waldstätten||Victory|
|46.||24 September 1799||Battle of Oberalpsee / Operalp Pass||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Waldstätten;
Canton of Raetia
|47.||25 September 1799||Combat of the Urnerloch||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Waldstätten||Victory|
|48.||25 September 1799||Battle of the Devil's Bridge||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Waldstätten||Victory|
|49.||30 September – 1 October 1799||Battle of Klöntal||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Linth||Victory|
|50.||30 September – 1 October 1799||Battle of the Muttental||Open Battle||French Revolutionary Wars
||Canton of Waldstätten||Decisive victory|
Suvorov's full name and titles (according to Russian pronunciation), ranks and awards are the following… "Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov, Prince of Italy, Count of the Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Sardinia, Generalissimus of Russia's Ground and Naval Forces, Marshal of the Austrian and Sardinian Armies". Seriously wounded six times, he was the recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, the Apostle First-Called (for the victory at Kinburn) + the diamond insignia of this order (for the victory at Focsani), Order of Saint George the Bringer of Victory First,[aq] Second,[ar] and Third[as] Classes, Order of Saint Vladimir First Class ("for the accession of various Zakuban [ru] peoples to the All-Russian Empire"), Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky (for the victory at Stołowicze) + the star of this order with diamonds "from Her Imperial Majesty's own clothes" (24.12.1780), Order of Saint Anna First Class (for the victory at Orzechowo), Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and Grand Commander's Cross, Order of the Black Eagle & Order of the Red Eagle (Prussia), Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation & Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Sardinia), Military Order of Maria Theresa First Class (Austria), Order of Saint Hubert (Bavaria), Royal Military and Hospitaller Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem united (France; from the exiled titular King Louis XVIII).
27 (16 OS) January 1774, Suvorov was married to Varvara Ivanovna Prozorovskaya [ru] of the Prozorovsky and Golitsyn noble families, and had a son Arkadi Suvorov and daughter Natalya Suvorova [ru] (in marriage Zubova), but his family life was not happy and he had an unpleasant relationship with his wife due to her infidelity. Suvorov's son, Arkadi Suvorov (1783–1811) served as a general officer in the Russian army during the Napoleonic and Ottoman wars of the early 19th century, and drowned in the same river Rymnik in 1811 that had brought his father so much fame. The drowning of his son in the river is supported by Aleksey Yermolov's memoirs,[self-published source?] as well as by the military historian Christopher Duffy. His grandson Alexander Arkadievich (1804–1882) served as Governor General of Riga in 1848–61 and Saint Petersburg in 1861–66. Suvorov's daughter Natalya Alexandrovna (1775–1844) known under her name Suvorochka married Count Nikolay Zubov.
His political views were centered around enlightened monarchy. However, Suvorov had no interest in pursuing politics and made his disdain for the court lifestyle and tendencies of aristocrats well known: he lacked diplomacy in his dispatches, and his sarcasm triggered enmity among some courtiers. He joked with the men, calling common soldiers "brother" and shrewdly presented the results of detailed planning and careful strategy as the work of inspiration.
Suvorov was a truly eccentric man. In particular, such an episode is known: being with Potemkin in Kiev, Suvorov accidentally met with the French colonel Alexandre Lameth, a future figure of the revolution. Seeing the unfamiliar face of the foreigner, Suvorov approached him and asked him curtly: "Where are you from?" — Frenchman, replied Lameth, somewhat amazed at both the unexpectedness and the tone of the question; "What is your calling?" continued Suvorov. — Military, replied Lameth. — "What's your rank?" — Colonel. — "What's your name?" — Alexandre Lameth. — "All right!" said Suvorov, nodded his head, and turned to go on. Lameth was miffed at this cavalier attitude; he stood in Suvorov's way and, looking at him point-blank, began to ask the same questions in the same tone of voice. "Where do you come from?" — Russian, replied the not at all embarrassed Suvorov. — "What is your calling?" — Military. — "What's your rank?" — General. — "What's your name?" — Suvorov. — "All right!" — concluded Lameth. Both laughed and parted amicably.
First and foremost, Russians have long cherished the memory of Suvorov as a great general. While on a campaign, he reportedly lived as a private soldier, sleeping on straw and contenting himself with the humblest fare. Suvorov considered victory dependent on the morale, training, and initiative of the front-line soldier. In battle he emphasized speed and mobility, accuracy of gunfire and the use of the bayonet, as well as detailed planning and careful strategy. Suvorov's motto: coup d'oeil (glazomer), speed (bystrota), impetus (natisk). He abandoned traditional drills, and communicated with his troops in clear and understandable ways. Suvorov also took great care of his army's supplies and living conditions, reducing cases of illness among his soldiers dramatically, and earning their loyalty and affection.
Suvorov "did not know retreat", he constantly acted offensively and in accordance with the situation was looking for a fight, not evaded it, but he did not overuse the battles, the fight always turned out to be appropriate, necessary in the operation, and moreover decisive; if he got the chance to confront his enemy, he used it with all the energy.
He was seriously wounded six times in his military career. Suvorov's guiding principle was to detect the weakest point of an enemy and focus an attack upon that area. He would send forth his units in small groups as they arrived on the battlefield in order to sustain momentum. Suvorov utilized aimed fire instead of repeated barrages from line infantry and applied light infantrymen as skirmishers and sharpshooters. He used a variety of army sizes and types of formations against different foes: squares against the Turks, lines against Poles, and columns against the French.
According to D. S. Mirsky, Suvorov "gave much attention to the form of his correspondence, and especially of his orders of the day. These latter are highly original, deliberately aiming at unexpected and striking effects. Their style is a succession of nervous staccato sentences, which produce the effect of blow and flashes. Suvorov's official reports often assume a memorable and striking form. His writings are as different from the common run of classical prose as his tactics were from those of Frederick or Marlborough".
Mikhail Ivanovich Dragomirov (1830–1905) declared that he based his teaching on Suvorov's practice, which he held as representative of the fundamental truths of war and of the military qualities of the Russian nation.
Suvorov considered Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon Bonaparte to be the greatest military commanders of all time. He had written to one of his nephews in 1796:
"That young Bonaparte, how he moves! He is a hero, a giant, a magician. He overcomes nature and he overcomes men. He turned the Alps[at] as if they did not exist; he has hidden their frightful rocks in his pocket, and tucked up his army up the right sleeve of his uniform. The enemy scarcely catches sight his soldiers before he throws his troops at them like a thunderbolt from Jupiter, spreading terror in all directions, and crushing the scattered bands of Austrians and Piedmontese. My God, how he moves! The first time he assumed command he cut to the heart of tactics like a sword slashing through the Gordian Knot. He disregards the odds against him, he attacks the enemy wherever they are to be found, and he defeats them in detail. He knows that shock is irresistibe—and that says it all. His enemies will continue in their old routine, subject to the scribblers in the Cabinet, but as for him, he carries his council of war in his head. His operations are as free as the air he breathes… My conclusion is this. That as long as General Bonaparte keeps his wits about him he will be victorious; he possesses the higher elements of the military art in a happy balance. But if, unfortunately for him, he throws himself into the whirlpool of politics, he will lose the coference of his thoughts and he will be lost."
His high regard for Napoleon is interesting because he did not live to see the Napoleonic Wars. On the other hand, Napoleon didn't think Suvorov is an outstanding commander. Napoleon Bonaparte claimed that Suvorov had "the soul of a great commander, but not the brains. He was extremely strong willed, he was amazingly acrive and utterly fearless—but he was as devoid of genius as he was ignorant of the art of war". Bonaparte considered his countryman Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne to be the greatest modern commander. Suvorov is often compared to Napoleon, whom he was on opposing sides of during the late French Revolutionary Wars and desired to face in battle, but never did so because Napoleon was campaigning in Egypt while Suvorov was campaigning in Italy. Military historians often debate between Suvorov and Napoleon as to who was the superior commander.
Suvorov was buried in Saint Petersburg in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. His gravestone states simply: "Here lies Suvorov".
Within a year after his death, Paul I was murdered in his bedroom for his disastrous leadership by a band of dismissed officers and his son and successor Alexander I erected a statue to Suvorov's memory in the Field of Mars.
He was famed for his military writings, the most well-known being The Science of Victory (The Science of Winning) and Suzdal Regulations, and lesser-known works such as Rules for the Kuban and Crimean Corps, Rules for the Conduct of Military Actions in the Mountains (written during his Swiss campaign), and Rules for the Medical Officers. Suvorov was also noted for several of his sayings:
"What is difficult in training will become easy in a battle."
"The bullet is a mad thing; only the bayonet knows what it is about."
"Perish yourself but rescue your comrade!"
He taught his soldiers to attack instantly and decisively:
"Attack with the cold steel! Push hard with the bayonet!"
A "Suvorov school" of generals who had apprenticed under him played a prominent role in the Russian military. Among them was future Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov who led the Imperial Russian Army against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars, including the French invasion of Russia. Suvorov, a follower of Peter I the Great and a pupil of Field Marshal Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky, brought up a pleiad of remarkable commanders and military leaders, among whom the most outstanding were, except for Kutuzov, Generals of the Infantry P. I. Bagration, M. A. Miloradovich. On his ideas were brought up Field Marshal D. A. Milyutin, Generals of the Infantry M. I. Dragomirov, M. D. Skobelev, General of the Cavalry A. A. Brusilov, and other famous military figures.
The Suvorov Museum opened in Saint Petersburg in 1900 to commemorate the centenary of the general's death. Apart from in St. Petersburg, other Suvorov museums and monuments have feature in Focșani, Ochakiv(-ov) [1907[au]], Sevastopol , Tulchyn(-in) , Kobryn(-in) [1949; 1950; 1964], Novaya Ladoga , Kherson , Tymanivka or Timanovka [1947; 1950], Simferopol , Kaliningrad , Konchanskoye-Suvorovskoye , Râmnicu Sărat or Rymnik, Elm and Andermatt which are in the Swiss Alps.
During World War II, the Soviet Union revived the memory of many pre-1917 Russian heroes in order to raise patriotism. Suvorov was the Tsarist military figure most often referred to by Joseph Stalin, who also received (but did not personally use) the rank of Generalissimo that Suvorov had previously held. The Order of Suvorov was established by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on 29 July 1942, and it is still awarded to senior army personnel for exceptional leadership in combat operations against superior enemy forces.
The town of Suvorovo in Varna Province, Bulgaria, was named after Suvorov during the communist period, as was the Russian ship which discovered Suwarrow Island in the Pacific in 1814.
Various currency notes of the Transnistrian ruble depict Suvorov.
There is a Square in Tiraspol, Transnistria, named after Suvorov, and another in Saint Petersburg.
His prowess, military wisdom, and daring remain in high regard. Another of his many utterances are well known in the Russian military:
"Achieve victory not by numbers, but by knowing how."
"Train hard, fight easy. Train easy and you will have hard fighting."
"Train hard, fight easy" became a Russian proverb.
Alexander Petrushevsky [ru] in third volume of his work Generalissimo Prince Suvorov quotes a small song of Russian soldiers about Alexander Suvorov, Pyotr Rumyantsev, and Grigory Potemkin:
Lost a lot of strength.
Was never in his own regiment,
He neglected all his strength:
Some of it he drank, some of it he squandered,
Some of it he lost at cards.
Proved his strength,
He loaded a small cannon,
He took the king prisoner.
A bust of the Generalissimo is prominently displayed in the office of the Russian Minister of Defense.
In Russia, there are 12 secondary-level military schools called Suvorov Military School that were established during the USSR. There is also a military school in Minsk named after Suvorov.
In Soviet times, the 1941 film Suvorov was made (released in the U.S. as General Suvorov).
Russia's defence minister Sergei Shoigu has proposed that Suvorov be made a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.
Bank of Russia coin – A.V. Suvorov, 3 rubles reverse
Due to "decommunization policies" the street named after Suvorov in (Ukraine's capital) Kyiv was renamed after Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko in 2016. Suvorov is not related to communism, but his name was used by the Soviet Union for propaganda purposes.
In September 2022, a street that was named after Suvorov in Dnipro (Ukraine) was renamed to honor Alan Shepard.
In October 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops captured a monument to Suvorov in Kherson and took it with them as they fled the city.
In December 2022, another street in Kyiv that was still named after Suvorov was renamed to Serhiy Kotenko Street.
In January 2023, an image of Suvorov on a monument was removed in Odesa.
Poet Alexander Shishkov devoted an epitaph to Suvorov, while Gavrila Derzhavin mentioned him in Snigir (Bullfinch) and other poems, calling Suvorov "an Alexander by military prowess, a stoic by valor". Suvorov was mentioned by Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov and in the numerous works of other Russian poets of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Ivan Dmitriev, Apollon Maykov, Dmitry Khvostov, Yermil Kostrov, Kondraty Ryleyev, Vasili Popugaev. Kostrov, the first translator of Homer into Russian, wrote an ode in honor of Suvorov and an epistolary on the capture of Izmail. In 1795 poet and soldier Irinarkh Zavalishin [ru], who had fought under the command of Alexander Suvorov, wrote a heroic poem titled "Suvoriada", celebrating Suvorov's victories. Suvorov is one of the characters in the drama "Antonio Gamba, Companion of Suvorov in the Alpine Mountains" by Sergey Glinka which commemorates the Swiss expedition of 1799. In British literature, Byron caricatured Suvorov in the seventh canto of Don Juan. In Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, old Prince Nicholas Bolkonski says: "Suvorov couldn't manage them so what chance has Michael Kutuzov?". Tolstoy also refers to Suvorov later on in the book. Suvorov is also mentioned by Capt. Ryków in Adam Mickiewicz's poem Pan Tadeusz.
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