History knows Alexander Vasiliyevich Suvorov as the Russian military general, who fought in 60 battles and won all of them with his brilliant tactics. King Lois XVII describes him as the new Attila, the sword of the Russians, the nightmare for the Poles and the scourge of the Turks. In his 58 years in the military, he manages to win an unparalleled amount of battles even when the enemy was superior in numbers.
His achievements on the battlefield made him a national hero for the Russians and mark him as their most brilliant military leader and tactician. During his years of service, he was promoted to Count of Rymnik and Count of the Holy Roman Empire, a Prince of Italy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire and a cavalier of numerous Russian and foreign Orders.
Suvorov – the boy who’s dream was to be in the army
Born on November 13, 1729, in Moscow, Suvorov WAS from a child fascinated by everything military. Abram Hannibal, the general of the Russian emperor Peter the Great noticed the love and hidden abilities of the young Suvorov and convinced his father Vasiliy Suvorov to let him develop his potential. At the age of 13 Suvorov enters the “Semyonovskiya Life Guards Regiment”, lying about his age claiming to be 15. In the cadet corps, he studies French, German, Polish,and Italian languages and also reads the works of great tacticians.
The Seven Years War
In 1759, after his first war – “The Seven Years War”, at the age of 28 he is already a major and commander of his own reconnaissance squad of 100 Cossacks. In this first war, he claims victory against a garrison of Prussian hussars. Before the attack when he was advised to wait for the count of the enemies by one of his officers he responded “We are here to fight, not to count” and led the attack, annihilating the foreign garrison.
At the age of 33, in 1762, he is now a colonel after repeatedly proving himself in the field of battle. During the years 1764-1765 he also writes his first work “Polkovoe Uchrejdenie” ( “Suzdal Regulations”) where he explains his vision of educating and training soldiers. He wrote the book while he was a commander of the “Suzdal Infantry Regiment” in Novaya Ladoga.
In 1769, Suvorov is appointed a commander of three regiments and sent to Poland. In this march, he demonstrates his undeniable abilities to train and lead his troops. Following his own vision on how troops should be disciplined and trained, he manages to create a powerful army that makes a 900km journey in only 30 days, constantly pushing back the attacking French and Polish soldiers, even when his own men were outnumbered 5:1. Thus, only 40 years of age in 1770 he is promoted to a general.
The I Russian-Turkish War
A significant role in his military career has the Russian-Turkish war from 1768 to 1774. There he serves under the field marshal Rumiantsev in April 1773. In the beginning, May, on his own initiative Suvorov captures a key Turkish stronghold near the Danube. Since he did not wait for an approval from the commanders to lead that attack, he is sentenced to death by the military court. However, his sentence is immediately rejected by Her Majesty Empress Catherine the Great. A month after she rejects the death penalty, Suvorov once again captures the stronghold, this time by the orders of the commanders. A year later he is promoted to a general-lieutenant.
On June 19, 1774, General Suvorov and his men with the help of Bulgarian volunteers, destroys and army of forty thousand Turkish soldiers under the command of Abdur Rezak. The battle is near the village Kozludzha, Varna, Bulgaria. This battle decided the outcome of the Russian-Turkish war and a month after it on July 10, the Küçük Kaynarci peace treaty is signed.
The Battle itself was started when Russian troops advance to Shumen. A 10 thousand men division under Mihail Kamenski joins the battle on the second of June, and six days later Suvorov, leading 14 thousand men attacks the Turkish forces. A Russian cavalry unit of Cossacks is sent to attack the Turkish forces from the Deliormanskiya forest, but they manage to repel them, sending part of their men to attack them from behind.
Two squadrons of hussars and one squadron of spearmen come to their aid and together they successfully retake the forest and fend off the Turkish soldiers. Suvorov chases them to the lowlands and commands the artillery to bombard their strongholds in the valley. On June 9th, the Turkish forces abandon their camp. According to some calculations, the Turkish forces lose almost 4 time more men than the Russians.
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