Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno
Claude Victor-Perrin, First Duc de Belluno was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was made a Marshal of France in 1807 by Napoleon, in 1781 he entered the army as a private soldier, and after ten years service he received his discharge and settled at Valence. Soon afterwards he joined the volunteers, and distinguishing himself in the war on the Alpine frontier. In Drôme, Valence, on 16 May 1791 he married Jeanne Josephine Muguet, for his bravery at the siege of Toulon in 1793 he was raised to the rank of général de brigade. In 1802 he was governor of the colony of Louisiana for a short time, in 1803 he commanded the Batavian army. In that year he married for a time in June at s-Hertogenbosch to Julie Vosch van Avesaat, by whom he had an only daughter who died unmarried. On the outbreak of hostilities with Prussia he joined the V Army Corps under Marshal Jean Lannes as chief of the general staff. He distinguished himself at the battles of Saalfeld and Jena, after the peace of Tilsit he became governor of Berlin, and in 1808 he was created duke of Belluno.
In the same year he was sent to Spain, where he took a prominent part in the Peninsular War, here his most important service was in protecting the retreating army at the crossing of the Berezina River. He took a part in the wars of 1813–1814, until in February 1814 he arrived too late at Montereau-sur-Yonne. The result was a scene of violent recrimination and his supersession by the emperor, thus wounded in his amour-propre, Victor now transferred his allegiance to the Bourbon dynasty, and in December 1814 received from Louis XVIII the command of the second military division. In 1815, on the return of Napoleon from exile in Elba Victor accompanied the king to Ghent, when the second restoration followed the Battle of Waterloo he was made a peer of France. He became president of a commission which inquired into the conduct of the officers during the Hundred Days, in 1821 he was appointed war minister and held this office for two years. In 1830 he was major-general of the guard, and after the July Revolution of that year he retired altogether into private life.
He died in Paris on 1 March 1841 and his papers for the period 1793–1800 have been published. He was an excellent organizer and tactician, during his time in Spain he destroyed entire Spanish armies with Cannae like envelopments and even fought Wellington to a virtual tactical draw at Talavera. However he was a timid strategist often afraid of taking risks, nevertheless he recognized new developments in warfare and implemented them throughout his career. At the Beresina River in 1812, he made excellent use of reverse slope defenses showing that he learned something from Wellington, attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Victor-Perrin, Claude
Battle of Klyastitsy
The Battle of Klyastitsy, called battle of Yakubovo, was a series of military engagements which took place in 1812 near the village of Klyastitsy on the road between Polotsk and Sebezh. In this battle the Russian corps under the command of Peter Wittgenstein, the result was inconclusive, with both sides suffering heavy losses and retreating along their communication lines after the battle. On 28 July, twelve French cavalry squadrons were surprised and attacked by eight Russian hussard, at that time Oudinot occupied the village of Klyastitsy on his advance towards St. Petersburg. There were 28,000 French troops while the Russian Corps numbered 17,000, in spite of being outnumbered, Wittgenstein decided to fight. The battle started on 30 July at 2 pm, the Russian vanguard led by Kulnev fought with the French vanguard for the whole day near the village of Yakubov. Kulnev managed to press the French but they kept the village under their control, on the next day, after several attacks and counterattacks, the Russian advance forced Oudinot to retreat to Klyastitsy.
In order to continue their advance the Russian troops had to cross the river Nishcha, Oudinot ordered his troops to set fire to the only bridge. While the Russian cavalry was wading across the Nishcha, the 2nd battalion of the Pavlovsk Grenadier regiment rushed the burning bridge and this instance was depicted by Peter Hess in his painting, illustrated to the right. Kulnev continued to chase the French Corps with several cavalry regiments, after crossing the Drissa river on 1 August his unit ran into an ambush and suffered heavy casualties under the fire of French artillery. Kulnev was badly wounded and died the same day, finally Oudinot retreated to Polotsk and the French advance on St. Petersburg failed. Wittgenstein was awarded the Order of St. George of the Second Degree, alexander I is reported to have called him the saviour of St. Petersburg. Captain Krylov, whose unit was the first to cross the river over the burning bridge, received the Order of St. George of the Fourth Degree
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleons allies, following Napoleons failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania, the area of the duchy had already been liberated by a popular uprising that had escalated from anti-conscription rioting in 1806. One of the first tasks for the new government included providing food to the French army fighting the Russians in East Prussia, the Duchy of Warsaw was officially created by French Emperor Napoleon I, as part of the Treaty of Tilsit with Prussia. Although it was created as a state, it was commonly hoped and believed that with time the nation would be able to regain its former status.
The newly created state was formally an independent duchy, allied to France, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony was compelled by Napoleon to make his new realm a constitutional monarchy, with a parliament. The most important person in the duchy was in fact the French ambassador, based in the duchys capital, the duchy lacked its own diplomatic representation abroad. In 1809, a war with Austria started. During the war the German colonists settled by Prussia during Partitions openly rose up against Polish government. After the Battle of Wagram, the ensuing Treaty of Schönbrunn allowed for a significant expansion of the Duchys territory southwards with the regaining of once-Polish, Napoleon did not want to make a permanent decision that would tie his hands before his anticipated peace settlement with Russia. Nevertheless, he proclaimed the attack on Russia as a second Polish war and that peace settlement was not to be, however. The failed campaign against Russia proved to be a turning point in Napoleons fortunes.
After Napoleons defeat in the east, most of the territory of the Duchy of Warsaw was retaken by Russia in January 1813 during their advance on France, the rest of the Duchy was restored to Prussia. Although several isolated fortresses held out for more than a year, Alexander I of Russia created a Provisional Highest Council of the Duchy of Warsaw to govern the area through his generals. Although many European states and ex-rulers were represented at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and it was perhaps inevitable, that both Prussia and Russia would effectively partition Poland between them, Austria was to more-or-less retain its gains of the First Partition of 1772. Russia demanded to gain all territories of Duchy of Warsaw and it kept all its gains from the three previous partitions, together with Białystok and the surrounding territory that it had obtained in 1807. Its demands for the whole Duchy of Warsaw were denied by other European powers, Prussia regained territory it had first gained in the First Partition, but had had to give up to the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807.
It regained as the Grand Duchy of Posen some of the territory it had conquered in the Second Partition and this territory formed an area approximately 29,000 km² in size. The citys territory measured some 1164 km², and had a population of about 88,000 people, the city was eventually annexed by Austria in 1846
January Suchodolski was a Polish painter and Army officer. Suchodolski was born in Grodno and was the brother of Rajnold Suchodolski and he joined the Warsaw Cadet Corps in 1810. In 1812 he stood guard on the Hotel Angielski, Warsaw when Napoleon stayed there incognito, in 1823 he became adjutant to Wincenty Krasiński a former officer in Napoleons Army who at the time was with the Royal Regiment of Grenadier Guards. Through Krasińskis connections he got access to the Palaces art galleries and he got to know Antoni Brodowski and succeeded in an art competition with compositions called Taking the banner of Muhammad in Vienna and Death of Ladislaus of Varna. In 1830 January and his brother took part in the November Uprising, January fought at the First Battle of Wawer, the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska and the Battle of Iganie. In his spare time he sketched the scenes of soldiers and made portraits of his colleagues, following the defeat of the uprising — in which his brother died — he went to Rome where he became a pupil of Horace Vernet from 1832 to 1837.
Here he socialised with Zygmunt Krasinski, Wincentys son, Juliusz Słowacki, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Peter von Cornelius and he returned to Warsaw in 1837 and was soon offered membership of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts for his painting Siege of Akhaltsikhe. He was invited to St Petersburg by Tsar Nicholas I to paint famous battles of the Russian Army, after returning to Poland, he next went to Paris in 1844. In 1852 he moved to Kraków, where he met Wincenty Pol and he provided some illustrations for Pols poem Mohorta. In 1860 Suchodolski joined the committee of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, January Suchodolski died in Bojmie on March 20,1875. List of Polish artists K. Sroczyńska, January Suchodolski, Warszawa 1984
Battle of Smolensk (1812)
Napoleon attacked Smolensk occupied by Russian General Bagrations corps and captured two of the suburbs. During the night the Russians evacuated the burning city, the Battle of Smolensk is commemorated on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the inscription SMOLENSK17 VIII1812. Initially the Russians employed hit and run tactics against the Grande Armée, Napoleon therefore devised the Smolensk Manoeuvre in an attempt to sweep behind the enemy and inflict a decisive defeat. On August 14,1812 forces under the command of Joachim Murat, Marshal Davout, and Michel Ney crossed the Dnieper River at Rassna using bridges constructed overnight. The plan was to race toward the city, taking it without a fight, unfortunately for the French, conflicting orders and a breakdown in communication had already led Bagration to disobey orders and instead of marching west, he occupied Smolensk to the south. By August 16, French forces found the city heavily garrisoned by Bagrations troops, further reinforced with the subsequent arrival of Barclay and the main Russian army.
Smolensk, a fortress city of 12,600 inhabitants on the main Western invasion route to Moscow was defended by bastion towers. The River Dnieper ran through the middle, the main battle was fought on August 16. An initial probing force captured two suburbs but failed to bring the Russians out to battle, Napoleon ordered a general assault with three corps of the Grande Armée, supported by two hundred artillery pieces. By nightfall, most of the city was burning, estimates of casualties vary, Alain Pigeard quotes French losses at 4,200 and Russian at 4, 000–6,000. Around dawn on August 17, Grande Armée Polish forces successfully breached the walls, Barclay retained forces on the other side of the river preventing a crossing until the night of August the 18th. The city was almost completely destroyed, technically the battle of Smolensk was a victory for Napoleon as he captured the city. However his soldiers were running short of food and its destruction denied him a useful supply base. Napoleons invasion of Russia Battle of Smolensk Jean-Victor Poncelet Color Map of the Battle of Smolensk in 1812
Battle of Vitebsk (1812)
The Battle of Vitebsk, sometimes spelled Witepsk, was a military engagement that took place on 26 and 27 July 1812 during the French invasion of Russia. The battle occurred as Napoleon was trying to envelop the Russian First Army at Vitebsk, Barclays motivation to make a stand resulted from political pressures and from his own desire to improve the armys morale, after weeks of retreating without a fight. Barclays main concern for the day of 27 July was to keep the French at bay for long enough, in order to allow his main force to escape towards Smolensk, where he planned to unite with Bagration. Unbeknownst to Napoleon, the Russian army retreated during the afternoon and night, the Russian army made a hasty retreat and safely reached Smolensk, where they were able to unite with Bagration, just as planned. Towards mid-July, he launched a part of his forces in an enveloping action towards Vitebsk. There, a French force under Marshal Joachim Murat and General Etienne de Nansouty tried to pin down a superior force under Russian General Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy.
While the Russians registered relatively high casualties, they were able to retreat in good order, the Russians themselves inflicted significant casualties on the enemy and crucially, delayed them for long enough to allow the concentration of significant forces around Vitebsk. Meanwhile, with the Russian army having continually retreated before the enemy ever since the campaign started an earlier, morale among the rank. Barclay was thus under pressure to fight and decided to do so at Vitebsk. However, Napoleons superior numbers and the weaknesses of Barclays battlefield position meant that the chances for a Russian victory were very weak at best. Konovnitsyn was extremely adept at leading rearguard actions and he managed to block all the attempts to advance. The French were thus unable to contact with the bulk of the Russian forces on 26 July. Meanwhile, at nightfall, Prince Aleksandr Meshikov, aide-de-camp to General Pyotr Bagration arrived at Barclays headquarters, Meshikov brought alarming news of the defeat of Bagrations Second Army at the Battle of Saltanovka, three days earlier, at the hands of Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout.
The Russians thus needed to abandon any plans to give battle, urgently break contact with the enemy and move southeast. Despite these considerations, Barclay still wanted to battle the next day and was only dissuaded from doing so by his advisers. That night, the commander issued orders for retreat, but the proximity of Napoleons force meant that a retreat would not be easy to operate. At daybreak on 27 July, Napoleon set his troops in motion, thrilled that he faced a massed enemy army. The battlefield at Vitebsk was a vast and flat plain and only the river Dvina separated the French forces from the Russians, who were occupying a slightly elevated position on the eastern bank
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of a combination of both hazards and vulnerability, hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability will never become disasters, as in the case of uninhabited regions. The word disaster is derived from Middle French désastre and that from Old Italian disastro, the root of the word disaster comes from an astrological sense of a calamity blamed on the position of planets. Researchers have been studying disasters for more than a century, all disasters are hence the result of human failure to introduce appropriate disaster management measures. Hazards are routinely divided into natural or human-made, although complex disasters, a specific disaster may spawn a secondary disaster that increases the impact. A classic example is an earthquake causes a tsunami, resulting in coastal flooding. However, the growth of the worlds population and its increased concentration often in hazardous environments has escalated both the frequency and severity of disasters.
Asia tops the list of casualties caused by natural hazards, human-instigated disasters are the consequence of technological hazards. Examples include stampedes, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills and deliberate attacks may be put in this category. As with natural hazards, man-made hazards are events that have not happened—for instance, man-made disasters are examples of specific cases where man-made hazards have become reality in an event
Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested and its strongest economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian Peoples Republic, the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost almost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921, during WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years, in 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR. The parliament of the declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the president since 1994.
Belarus has been labeled Europes last dictatorship by some Western journalists, Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy. Though not directly espousing communism like the five remaining communist countries of China, Laos and North Korea, in 2000 Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State. Over 70% of Belaruss population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas, more than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages and Russian, the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Belarus is the only European country to retain capital punishment in both law and practice, the name Belarus is closely related with the term Belaya Rus, i. e. White Rus. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus, an alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population.
A third theory suggests that the old Rus lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as white, other sources claim that, before 1267, the land not conquered by the Mongols was considered White Rus. The name Rus is often conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, in some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is generally called White Russia to this day. The Latin term Alba Russia was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo. The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used White Rus to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Battle of Smoliani
At the Battle of Smoliani, the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein defeated the French forces of Marshal Claude Victor and Marshal Nicholas Oudinot. This battle was the last effort of the French to reestablish their northern flank in Russia, at the time of the Smoliani encounter, Napoleon was planning on leading his rapidly disintegrating Grande Armée to a safehaven in the west such as Minsk. In order to execute this plan, the Grande Armées planned route of retreat had to be secured, Wittgensteins position at Czasniki was just 40 miles north of Bobruisk, a town Napoleon needed to be secure in order for the main French army to reach Minsk. Victor, per Napoleons orders, was to coordinate the actions of his IX corps with the VI corps and this plan however was scuttled per the insistence of Oudinot, who thought it more advantageous to attack Wittgenstein head on. Going into the action at Smoliani, the French commanders exhibited the hallmarks of leaders setting themselves up for failure, bad planning, historians have criticized Oudinot and Victor for not attempting a flanking maneuver against Wittgenstein.
Victor especially has been criticized for indecision in his planning and execution of the Smoliani attack, previously, at Czasniki, Victor had proven himself over-inclined to retreat in the face of just minor reversals. The mood among the Russian leaders on the eve of the battle stood in stark contrast to that of the French, one notable work on 1812 describes the aura among Wittgenstein and his staff at this juncture as a sense of being morally equal and often superior to the enemy. It is no wonder, that Victor was hesitant in executing the assigned to him by Napoleon. The French cause at Smoliani was undermined by mounting attrition within their ranks, in the two weeks following the action at Czasniki, Victors force had suffered greatly from exposure to frost and disease. By November 10, only 25,000 troops remained until Victors command, the Battle of Smoliani commenced on November 13, at the nearby village of Axenzi, and initially the French were successful. Here the 6,000 troops of General Partenoux attacked Wittgensteins advance guard,6,000 strong, each side lost roughly 500 troops in this encounter, and despite being reinforced, the Russians were forced to retreat to Smoliani.
The next day, November 14, the combat intensified as 5,000 of Victors troops attacked and captured Smoliani, after this, the French attacking force suffered a reversal, being repulsed on the Russian right wing and losing Smoliani to Wittgensteins counterattack. While this action was taking place, a small Russian detachment kept Oudinots superior force in check at the village of Poczavizi, the next day, November 15, Victor retreated 20 miles south to Chereja. That Victor and Oudinot retreated in the face of this big threat to the Grande Armée was another blow to Napoleon. The Battle of Smoliani ended, any hope the French had of reestablishing their northern Dwina Line, John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Pavel Vasilievich Chichagov or Tchichagov was a Russian military and naval commander of the Napoleonic wars. He was born in 1767 in Saint Petersburg, the son of Admiral Vasili Chichagov, at the age of 12 he was enlisted in the Guard. In 1782 he served in a campaign in the Mediterranean as an aide to his father, after the war, he studied at the Royal Naval Academy. While there, he met Elizabeth Proby, the daughter of a commissioner at the Chatham dockyard, and became engaged to her. When he returned to Russia in 1796, he applied for permission to marry but was told by Paul I there are sufficient brides in Russia, some violence followed and Chichagov was sent to prison. He was soon pardoned, given permission to marry Elizabeth, in 1802, Alexander I, Pauls successor, promoted Chichagov to Vice Admiral and made him a member of the Committee on Navy Reorganization. In 1807, he was promoted to Admiral and appointed Minister of the Navy, Chichagov resigned and traveled in Europe in 1809-1811. In 1812, Alexander recalled him and appointed him Commander in Chief of the newly formed Third Western Army, the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest ended the Russo-Turkish War by the time he took command of the army.
During the 1812 campaign against Napoleon, he was blamed for letting Napoleon escape at the Berezina River in November 1812, in 1813, he was dismissed and the following year went to France on a furlough, never to return to Russia. He remained a member of the State Council until 1834 but was removed from that position. He died in Paris in 1849 where after his death his memoirs were published