Serb noble who almost came to rule Russia Nov 7, 2009 15:50:14 GMT -5
Post by Bozur on Nov 7, 2009 15:50:14 GMT -5
Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich
Portrait by George Dawe in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace
Count Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich (Russian: Михаи́л Андре́евич Милора́дович) (October 12 [O.S. October 1] 1771 – December 26 [O.S. December 14] 1825) was a Russian general prominent during the Napoleonic wars. Miloradovich came from a princely family with its origins among the Serbian nobles Miloradović-Rabrenović of Herzegovina.
Miloradovich saw service under Suvorov in the wars against Turkey and Poland, and in the campaign of Italy and Switzerland (1799) earned much distinction as a commander of advanced troops. In 1805, having attained the rank of lieutenant-general, he served under Mikhail Kutuzov in the campaign of Austerlitz, taking part in the actions of Enns and Krems and in the decisive battle of 2 December, in which his column held the Pratzen Heights.
In the Turkish War he distinguished himself a number of times. He was awarded a diamond-decorated rapier with the inscription "For bravery and salvation of Bucharest" (1806); he defeated Turks at Obileşti (present-day Romania, 1807); for the battle at Rassevat fortress (Bulgaria, 1809) he was made General of Infantry in 1810.
During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, Miloradovich was one of the most prominent and successful Russian commanders. At the Battle of Borodino he led the reserve militia, and later commanded the Russian rearguard which delayed the French occupation of Moscow. After Napoleon began his retreat, Miloradovich defeated the French at the Battle of Vyazma. His corps was thereafter one of those most active in the pursuit of Napoleon's Grande Armee. In 1813 he led the rear-guard of the Allies at the Battle of Bautzen. At the victory of Kulm he was present in command of a Russian-Prussian corps, which he also led in the Battle of Leipzig. In the 1814 campaign, Miloradovich commanded the Allied contingent operating in the Netherlands.
From 1818 to the time of his death he was military governor of Saint Petersburg. On 26 December [O.S. 14 December] 1825, he went to pacify the Decembrist officers at the Senate Square. Being popular with the army, he almost succeeded in his exhortations to the officers, when one of the more radical rebels, Pyotr Kakhovsky, shot him dead.
The modern Russian historian Vladimir Bryukhanov in his book The Conspiracy of Count Miloradovich speculates that Miloradovich was actually the chief orchestrator of the Decembrist conspiracy rather than its victim. He alleges that the Decembrists planned to make him a dictator in the case of success and to shoot him in the case of failure.