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Menshikov, Aleksandr Sergeyevich

( Military and State. figure)

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Biography Menshikov, Aleksandr Sergeyevich
Menshikov, Aleksandr Sergeyevich (1787-1869, St. Petersburg) - Military and State. figure. Place of the princely family, great-grandson of Alexander Menshikov. He received education at home. In 1805 began the service in the department of Foreign Affairs, was v.rus. mission in Berlin and London. B l809 went into military service. In 1810 participated in the war with Turkey in the post adjutant commander NM. Kamensky, was wounded in the assault Ruschuka. In 1811 became adjutant of Alexander 1 and accompanied the emperor in foreign campaigns rus. Army. Distinguished themselves in the battle of Kulm, was awarded a gold sword with the inscription "For Bravery". In 1816 he was promoted to Major-General. Was close to Alexander I, always being in his entourage. In 1821, Menshikov, together with ms. Vorontsov and NN. Novosiltsev drafted the release of serfs, which caused dissatisfaction of Alexander I. With the increasing influence of AA. Arakcheeva position Menshikov became shaky and he was forced to resign. Returned to service in 1826, after accession to the throne of Nicholas 1, in favor with in-cerned was. After a dangerous assignment in Persia, became the prologue of Russian-Persian war of 1826-1828, Menshikov was appointed Chief of Naval Staff, although he was ignorant of naval matters, a member of the State. Board since 1831 was appointed Governor-General of Finland. Directing the naval authorities have ignored the new ideas on technical upgrading of the fleet. Sent to Constantinople to address the issue of the right of patronage Russia Orthodox population in Turkey, . Menshikov, . as a dilettante in diplomacy and not conscious of the political isolation of Russia, . behaved arrogantly defiant, . led to the failure of his mission,
. In 1853-1855 he was appointed commander of land and naval forces in the Crimea. In the defense of Sevastopol has not taken measures to strengthen its land-based activities interfered E.I. Totleben and VA. Kornilov, has shown himself incompetent commander and was relieved of command. In December. 1855 - April. 1856 was the Governor-General of Kronstadt, he resigned. In the reign of Alexander no part in the state. cases not taken. He was known as the owner of one of the finest private libraries in St. Petersburg.

Used materials kn.: Shikman A.P. Figures of national history. Biographical Directory. Moscow, 1997.

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Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov 1787-1869, Admiral. In the era of Nicholas 1, Prince Menshikov, about 28 years served as the Chief of Naval Staff, in fact heading Russia's naval fleet (above it in the leadership of the fleet was only the king himself). His work has received conflicting assessments. Some thought Menshikov Serene dilettante "and" reactionary "who ruined Russia's Black Sea fleet, others saw in him a man, much has been done for the Navy, and commander, disrupt the enemy plans to master the Crimea. Some considered him cold and gloomy egoist, other - kind-hearted, evil only "language". The evaluation of the majority prevailing view of him as a remarkable man with diverse talents and personal courage, but followed the conservative traditions of his time.

. Alexander was the grandson of the famous companion of Peter 1 Alexander Danilovich Menshikov
. He was educated abroad (in Dresden), after returning to Russia (1805) determined the service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1809, Mr.. the young prince went into military service a second lieutenant in the Guard artillery battalion. In 1810, during the Russian-Turkish war, he was adjutant of the commander in chief of the Moldavian army N. Kamensky, participated in the capture and assault Turtukaya Ruschuka. Received first military award (the Order of St. Vladimir 4 th degree) and the first shot. From 1811 - adjutant and quartermaster Divisional 1 st Grenadier Division, which fought in the war of 1812, Mr.. At the end of the war Menshikov transferred to the Life Guards Regiment. During the liberation campaign of the Russian army in Europe, he distinguished himself in the battle of the Kul-IOM, in a battle near Paris, was wounded in military service and personal courage was awarded the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky and the golden sword.

. Personal qualities attracted the attention of Prince Alexander 1, which brought him to his
. In 1816, Mr.. Menshikov was enrolled in the retinue of His Imperial Majesty to the rank of Major General and appointed Director of the Office of the Chief of Staff. Since 1817, Mr.. On-Adjutant-General and the post of Quartermaster General of the General Staff, also a member of several committees, including the military and scientific. Independence of mind and wit the prince, his rivalry with Arakcheyev called him the king of cool. In 1820, Mr.. Menshikov was offered the post of commander of the Black Sea fleet, which he refused, believing themselves unprepared for it. In 1821, Mr.. Menshikov, together with Novosiltsev Vorontsov, and drafted the release of serfs, which caused dissatisfaction Alexandra 1. In 1823, Mr.. Duke was transferred to the Diplomatic Corps. Offer to take place envoy in Dresden, he found it humiliating and next year he retired. At this time, having left the village, to his estate, he became interested in the study of marine affairs.

. Nicholas 1 to accession to the throne Menshikov called out of retirement and dispatched him to Persia, with a special diplomatic mission, after the execution of which Alexander Sergeyevich was returned to the rank of the Adjutant General
. Take the initiative, Menshikov drafted a reorganization of the naval department along the lines of military (land). The project was approved by the king and began to be implemented. The first step in its implementation was education (1827) Naval Staff of His Imperial Majesty (from 1831 - the Naval Staff), chief of which was appointed Menshikov, renamed from Major General Rear Admirals. At the same time it was created Naval Ministry (Minister for the Navy - Vice Admiral Moller). According to the plan, the functions of the Naval Staff and the Ministry of Marine had to be strictly separated, but this did not happen, and the rivalry of two senior marine institutions and their leaders had dragged on for several years.

. In the summer of 1828, in the midst of another Russian-Turkish war, Menshikov was the Black Sea is directed theater
. At the head of the landing force of the Black Sea Fleet, he participated in the capture of Anapa, then commanded the siege corps near Varna. At Varna he was wounded in both legs core. His military achievements were awarded the Order of St. George the 3rd degree and the rank of vice admiral.

When he returned after treatment to the execution of Chief of Naval Staff, Menshikov continued restructuring of the naval department. Occupying its emphasis on the administrative and economic management were, . undoubtedly, . important, . but the naval authorities were taken away from the most important - concerns re Russia's navy, . a screw ships with steam running and equipping them with new, . rifle, . than at this time began to vigorously engage in England and France.,

. In all collections of historical anecdotes included examples of the arrogant wit Prince Menshikov
. Here are some of them. At a meeting with Nikolai 1 expressed deep regret at the death of some officials of the Naval Staff of the elderly. Alexander replied: "They have long since dead, Your Majesty, but this time they just buried". When one of the annual holiday Menshikov invited to present an award to one of his subordinate generals, who had no any awards, he disagreed and said with a grin: "Take care of this rare". With regard to construction in St. Petersburg

. St. Isaac's Cathedral, the bridge across the Neva River and the Moscow Railway Alexander spoke: "The unfinished cathedral, we will not see, but see our children, we will see a bridge, but our children will not see a railroad neither we nor our children will not see."

. Since 1830, Mr.
. Menshikov - Member of the Council of State from 1831 - Governor-General and Commander of the Grand Duchy of Finland, in 1833, Mr.. He was promoted to full admiral. In 1836, Mr.. His Serene Highness Prince finally managed to achieve the subordination of the Ministry of Maritime Sea Lord, but it has not brought major shifts in Russia's naval construction.

. In the period of deterioration of relations between Russia and Turkey Menshikov was appointed to lead a diplomatic mission to Constantinople (1853), but it was unsuccessful
. When the Crimean War, in which Turkey's allies were Britain and France, Menshikov was appointed commander of land and naval forces in the Crimea. Its measures to strengthen the defense of Sevastopol and the Black Sea coast were late. Proposal Nakhimova admirals Kornilov and actively use the Black Sea Fleet to fight in the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, he was rejected because the king's, . Menshikov who wrote in December 1853: "If the British and the French will come to the Black Sea, . them will not fight, . and let them taste the our batteries in Sevastopol ",
. In addition, Alexander is not without reason, feared the power of the Navy of the enemy, surpassing Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the number of ships in 3-4 times, and steam ships - to 9-fold.

September 1, 1854, Mr.. Anglo-French troops landed at Evpatoria and started the journey to Sevastopol. September 8 at the river Alma ground troops Menshikov attempted to stop the enemy, but, suffering heavy losses, withdrew to Bakhchisarai to threaten the enemy's flank. "What to do with the navy?" - Asked the commander Vice-Admiral Kornilov. "Put it into my pocket," - replied the angry Duke. The plight of the Black Sea Fleet has been solved: all ships except parohodofregatov, were flooded in the Sevastopol Bay, there to block access of the enemy fleet.

September 13 Sevastopol came under siege. 14 September enemy troops occupied the Balaklava and came very close to the main naval base in the Black Sea Fleet. In October, the land forces Menshikov attempted to attack from the north to relieve Sevastopol, . but the onslaught of Balaklava (14 October) and the battle of Inkerman (October 24) did not bring the success of Russian troops, . not only because of poor generalship Chief, . but the advantage of fire rifle Anglo-French troops,
. All the same flank of the Russian ground forces pinned down the enemy, to distract him from solving the main task - the capture of Sevastopol.

. His failure Menshikov explained the technical backwardness of the Russian army and navy, as well as the weakness of logistics
. He was his usual sarcastic joke that the victory over the enemy "would be sufficient to replace them with commissary management of our". About the Minister of War V. Dolgorukova chief said that he "has a threefold relation to the powder: it never smelled gunpowder, the powder did not invent gunpowder and not sending in Sevastopol". With his subordinate commanders, commander in chief was a cold, avoid contact with the troops, skimp on rewards. "With Menshikov - wrote the military historian A. Kersnovsky - we once again see the futility of the mind, even brilliant, in the absence of the soul - the impotence of knowledge, not warmed by faith."

. One aide Menshikov recalled: "joke, witty, joke ..
. he is a master, but in order to effectively leave and drive up to the army, tell him a few valiant, pure Russian words - on this he can not; light considers it beneath my dignity. "

Since the autumn of 1854, Mr.. a Menshikov opened old wounds, physical and mental well-being after a series of defeats deteriorated. February 22, 1855, Mr.. came to the throne, Alexander II admiral sacked from his post as commander in chief "for treatment". Along with the imperial decree Menshikov received a letter late Nicholas 1 (died 18 February) with reproach for its failures in the Crimea. The only consolation for the Menshikov remained the idea that if it withstood the siege of Sebastopol, did not buckle. In August 1855, Mr.. Sevastopol fall already with the new Commander - Prince Gorchakov.

In December 1855, Mr.. 68-year-old Admiral Menshikov was appointed Governor-General of Kronstadt. Four months later he resigned and was no longer take an active part in government and military affairs. Alexander died in 1869. 82 th year of life. After he left a large library, one of the best in St. Petersburg, a vast archive and a diary, which he led from 1810

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