SUVOROV, ALEKSANDR VASIL'EVICH
He was born on November 13th, 1729 in a noble family in Moscow. his
father, Vasilii Ivanovich (1705-17754), was an orderly of Tsar Peter the Great
who was promoted lieutenant in the Preobrazhenskii guards in 1729. He rose to
be a general and senator and held many important government offices. As a child
the younger Suvorov became interested in books on military subjects and studied
artillery science under his father. In 1742 Alexander Vasil'evich was
registered in the Semenovskii Guards, but he did not begin service until 1748
with the rank of corporal. In 1754 he was promoted lieutenant and assigned to
the Ingermandland Infantry Regiment.
Lt. Colonel Suvorov saw action during the Seven Years' War both in army rear
services and on the staff of the commander-in-chief, V. V. Fermor. He then
commanded a separate detachment against the Prussians in Poland and at Kolberg.
Between 1763 nd 1769 he commanded the Suzdal Infantry Regiment as a colonel and
then brigadier. It was during this period that he developed his famous methods
for troop training and wrote Regimental Principles.
From 1768 to 1772 he commanded increasingly larger forces in a victorious
campaign against the Polish Confederation of Bar, achieving the rank of major
In 1773 Suvorov joined the Russian forces on campaign in the Russo Turkish War
of 1768-74 under Field Marshal P. A. Rumiantsev. Between May and September 1773
he defeated the Turks three times in daring raids. Then in June, 1774 his
victory at Kozludzha with 18,000 men against 40,000 Turks was instrumental in
Russia winning the war. Suvorov was then assigned to suppress the rebellion of
Emel'ian Pugachev, but he arrived on the scene after the cossack rebel was
captured. During 1775 Suvorov completed the pacification of the Volga river
region and in 1776 became chief of infantry of the Crimean Corps. From then
until 1784 he commanded large forces in Crimea and Kuban.
With the start of the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-91 Suvorov was promoted
general-in-chief and commander of a corps in defense of Kherson-Kinburn. There
he defeated a Turkish attempted landing in 1787. In 1789 in joint operations
with the Austrians he defeated the Turks near Focsani. On September 11 in one
of his greatest victories he destroyed a Turkish army of 90,000 near
Rimnic and in 1790 he went on to storm the fortress at
Between 1791 and 1796 he commanded all Tsarist forces in Finland or southern
Ukraine and then Poland, where he defeated the Polish uprising in 1794 and
captured Warsaw. During this period he wrote his most famous textbook,
The Art of Victory
In this book he defined the essence of his tactical theories and developed his
principles for the education and training of military personnel. For Suvorov
victory was achieved by decisive shock action, especially with the bayonet. His
concepts for strategy, tactics and military education were progressive. His
tactics were bold and innovative. He stressed that military training must be as
rigorous as war itself and based on his belief that man is the most important
essential element in war. His military theories are still studied in Russia.
The Emperor Paul instituted Prussian ideas in the Russian army on his accession
in 1796, banishing Suvorov, who strongly disagreed, to his country estates. In
1798, when Russia entered alliance with England and Austria against France,
Paul was forced by English and Austrian pressure to recall Suvorov to lead the
Russian expeditionary force to Italy and act as commander-in-chief of the
allied armies. There is a brilliant campaign he destroyed one French army after
the other, at the Adda River on April 15-17 1799, Turin on May 15th, at the
Trebbia River on June 7-8, and at Novi on August 4th.
With the French driven out of Italy, Suvorov was sent into Switzerland to join
in the planned invasion of France. His extraordinary campaign across the St.
Gothard Pass surpassed Hannibal's. After other Austrian and Russian forces were
defeated, Suvorov's position was untenable and he withdrew across the mountains
and eventually was recalled to Russia. He was given the rank of generalissimus,
and titles of Count of Rimnik, and Prince of Italy. He died on May 6th 1800.
This map from the encyclopedia shows has many
Here is the article on Suvorov from
the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.
Here is a copy of the text of Suvorov's Nauka Pobezhdat with