military defeated remained russian
SUWAROFF, Or SUVOROFF, ALEXANDER VASILIEVICH (1729-1800), Russian general, was born at Moscow on 24th November 1729, the descendant of a Swede named Suvor who emigrated to Russia in 1622. Suwaroff entered the army at an early age and first distinguished himself at the battle of Kunersdorf in 1759, where he acted as aide-de-camp to General Fermor. Throughout the Seven Years' War he was conspicuous for his bravery and military skill. He next took part in the battles between the Russians and Poles at the period of the first dismemberment of Poland. Being afterwards transferred to the banks of the Danube (1773), he there in the campaigns against the Turks laid the foundation of his reputation as a military commander. In 1775 he put an end to the formidable revolt of Pugatcheff, who was brought in chains to Moscow and there decapitated. In 1789 Suwaroff defeated the Turks at Fokshani (Moldavia), and again in the same year on the Rimnik. In 1790 he took by assault the town of Ismail, on which occasion he sent his well-known couplet to the empress. On the termination of this war Suwaroff was summoned to another campaign against the Poles. After the defeat of Kosciusko by Fersen at Macieowice in Siedlce (1794) he marched on Warsaw, and captured its suburb Praga, where 15,000 Poles were massacred. Upon this the city capitulated, and the Russian general was made field-marshal. He remained in Poland till 1795 and was received in triumph on his return to St Petersburg. In November 1796 the empress Catherine, his firm friend and admirer, died. On the accession of Paul, who always laboured to undo his mother's work, Suwaroff fell into disgrace and was banished to his country-seat at Kontchanskoe in the government of Novgorod. There he remained some time in retirement. He unsparingly criticized the new military tactics and dress introduced by the emperor, and some of his caustic verses reached the ears of Paul. His conduct was therefore watched and his correspondence with his wife, who had remained at Moscow - for his marriage relations had not been happy - was tampered with. 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. But in February 1799 he was summoned by the emperor to assist in the campaign with the Austrians against the French. Suwaroff took command of the combined forces at Verona. He attacked Moreau, the French general, at Cassano, the ford of the Adda, and completely defeated him, taking about 3000 prisoners; he then made a triumphal entry into Milan. He next defeated Macdonald on the Trebbia in a sanguinary engagement which lasted three days, from the 17th to the 19th of June (1799). Soon afterwards Joubert was defeated and slain at Novi (15th August). But the importance of these successes was neutralized by the constant squabbles between Suwaroff and the Austrian commanders. The Russian general now received orders to join Korsakoff in Switzerland and to assist him in driving the French from that country. He accordingly crossed the Alps, suffering severe losses, but on his arrival learned that Korsakoff had been previously defeated by Massena. It only remained for him to effect a retreat with the shattered remains of his army. He finally reached his winter quarters, between the rivers Bier and Lech, and thence directed his homeward march to Russia. The emperor Paul, who soon after this time entirely changed his policy and made an alliance with Bonaparte, recalled Suwaroff in disgrace, and on his return refused to see • him. The veteran retired to his country-seat, where he died on the 18th of May 1800. Lord Whitworth, the English ambassador, was the only person of distinction present at the funeral of this remarkable man. He lies buried in the church of the Annunciation in the Alexandro-Nevskii monastery, the simple inscription on his grave being, according to his own direction, "Here lies Suwaroff."
Among the Russians the memory of Suwaroff is cherished as that of a great and successful general, but he hardly enjoys such a reputation among foreigners, who generally look upon his victories as due rather to the huge masses of men under his control than to military genius. His tactics seem to have been somewhat Oriental. He formed no genera] plans for his campaigns, but trusted to celerity of movement and blows rapidly struck. He was terribly reckless of human life, neither sparing his own soldiers nor showing mercy to the conquered. And yet we find him the subject of exaggerated eulogy among English writers in the early part of the 19th century. He was a man of great simplicity of manners, and while on a campaign lived as a common soldier, sleeping on straw and contenting himself with the humblest fare. But he had himself passed through all the gradations of military service, and had been for many years a private soldier ; moreover, his education had been of the rudest kind. He affected the habits of a hurnourist, and his gibes procured him many enemies. He had all the natural contempt of a man of ability and action for ignorant favourites and ornamental carpet-knights. Droll stories, in keeping with the well-known eccentricity of his character, are told of his manner of life in camp: