Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov

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Alexander Suvorov-Rymnikski ( Russian Александр Васильевич Суворов , scientific. Transliteration Aleksandr Suvorov Vasil'evič ; born November 13 . Jul / 24. November  1730 greg. In Moscow , † May 6 jul. / 18th May  1800 greg. In Saint Petersburg ) was a Russian generalissimo and strategist .

Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov-Rymnikski in the Hermitage (Saint Petersburg) .
Suvorov's signature: Signature Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suworow.PNG
Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov (1730-1800); Portrait of George Dawe (ca.1830)


Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suworow was the only son of Vasily Ivanovich Suworow , who was raised at the court of Peter I to later fulfill the duties of the nobility. When his father died in 1775 as General-en-Chef and member of the War College, he left Alexander farmers in 1895.

Alexander Suvorov's year of birth is given differently in the documents about himself, but according to his own statement he was born on November 13, 1730 jul. born. On November 5, 1742 Suvorov was entered in the master list of the Semjonowski Guard Regiment. Until active service as a corporal on January 12, 1748, his duty was to expand his education. Until 1748, when the regiment was transferred to Moscow , its place of work was Saint Petersburg. In Moscow, Suvorov attended the Land Cadet Academy, the degree of which included both a military and a civilian rank. Graduates who had not previously been in a military career were thus given two ranks, which made both a military and a civilian career possible. In 1751 he was transferred as adjutant to Major General Nikita Fyodorowitsch Sokownin . From March to October he was on a diplomatic mission to Dresden and Vienna .

The first transfer to another regiment took place in 1755 to the Ingermanland infantry regiment. The next task he was given in 1756 was to inspect the supply magazines in the Novgorod governorate and was appointed chief supplies master with the rank of captain. In the same year he worked briefly as a lieutenant general auditor in the war college until he was transferred to the infantry on December 15 .

Seven Years War 1756–1763

In the Seven Years' War he took part in the brigade of Major General Michail N. Volkonski in the capture of Crossen and the battle of Kunersdorf on August 12, 1759. In the following year he became Chief War Commissioner of the Kazan Infantry Regiment and was involved in the capture of Berlin on October 9, 1760 . Later that year he served in Major General Gustav Berg's light troops . During the battle near Stettin on October 22, 1761, he was wounded and also took part in the siege of Kolberg as temporary commander of the Tver Dragoons . On September 11, 1762, Suvorov was given command of the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment and provided guard duty in the capital with this. Seventeen-year-old Mikhail Kutuzov served under him at the time. As early as April 17, 1763, he took over command of a regiment for a long time for the first time , the Suzdal Infantry Regiment.

Campaign against the Polish Confederation of Bar 1768–1772

In the Polish campaign against the Confederation of Bar , as a result of the relocation of the regiment, he marched to Smolensk from November to December 1768 , a little later to Orsha , then to Minsk . On May 26, 1769, Suvorov took over for the first time a brigade that was formed from the regiments of Smolensk, Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod . In just twelve days, in the summer of 1769, he covered the 500 kilometers to Warsaw with the Suzdal regiment and two squadrons of hussars and took the city. On September 23, 1771, Suvorov defeated 3,000 to 4,000 Polish Confederates with 822 Russian soldiers. The Wawel , the castle of Krakow , surrendered to Suworow on April 26, 1772. At the end of the year he was back in Saint Petersburg.

Russo-Turkish War 1768–1774

Postage stamp from the Soviet Union dedicated to AW Suvorov, 1980 (Michel 5009, Scott 4878)

Before being transferred to the Turkish war zone in the Russo-Turkish War , he inspected Finland . On April 17, 1773, on the left bank of the Danube near Bucharest , he took command of the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment, a cavalry regiment and a Cossack detachment . With these troops he was part of the right wing of the 1st Army of Lieutenant General Ivan P. Saltykov . Suvorov's second attack on June 28, 1773 on the Turkish camp near Turtukai on the other bank of the Danube was his first victory in this theater of war. This led to the fact that he was given command of the only Russian bridgehead on the Turkish bank of the Danube near Hirsova . He successfully repulsed the Turkish attack on September 14th. On January 27, 1774 he married Varwara Ivanovna Prosorowskaya, the daughter of a general a. D. In April 1774 Suvorov and his troops were on the march to the Balkans . There he defeated around 40,000 Turks with only 8,000 Russians at Kosludsha .

Use in Ukraine and Crimea

On August 30th he was transferred to the army of Pyotr I Panin in the Volga region , where the Pugachev uprising had broken out. After the uprising was over, Suvorov brought the captured Pugachev to Moscow . In the pacified area of ​​the uprising, Suvorov was given command of the troops stationed there. The year 1775 brought two private events, the death of the father and the birth of the daughter Natalja on August 11th. After a long vacation, he first became deputy commander of the Crimean Corps in 1776 and its commander in 1777. With the assumption of command of the troops in the Kuban area in November 1777, von Suvorov immediately restructured the distribution of troops. In 1778 it was his job to relocate the Christian population in the Crimean Khanate to Russian territory. For this he was given command of all troops on the Kuban and in the Crimea. 31,098 people were successfully resettled in the summer.

In 1779 Suvorov was appointed commander of the New Russian Division with the headquarters in Poltava , which was supposed to protect the territories in Ukraine newly acquired by Turkey . But as early as 1780 it seemed to have been forgotten. It was not until January 11, 1782 that he managed to get command of the Kazan Division as a new task. This was followed in 1784 by command of the Vladimir Division , the birth of the son Arkady and in 1785 the takeover of the Petersburg Division. At the end of 1786 he commanded the Ekaterinoslav army and in 1787 the Kremenchug division .

Russo-Turkish War 1787–1791

At the beginning of the war , around 30,000 soldiers of the 1st Ekaterinoslav Army and the troops in the area of ​​the Dnepr estuary were under Suvorov's command . The Turks chose the poorly developed fortress Kinburn as their target . Despite the little time left to strengthen the fortifications, the Turkish attack on October 11, 1787 was repulsed. Suvorov was seriously wounded in the left hip and forearm. After his recovery, he commanded the assault on the Turkish fortress of Ochakov on August 7, 1788. The renewed severe wound, this time in the neck, banished him to the fortress of Kinburn to recover. The powder magazine exploded there on August 29th. Since he was no longer in his hospital room at that time, he survived seriously injured. However, he drew Potjomkin's disfavor and was no longer used in this part of the theater of war. Only in December 1788 was he given another command. In Rumyantsev's army , he commanded the 3rd division on the right wing. For the victory in Focsani on 12 August 1789 sent him Catherine II. The St. Andrew medal with diamonds.

Between the rivers Rimna and Rimnik , he and the Austrian allies defeated the Turks on September 22nd, 1789 in the Battle of Martinesti (also known as the "Battle of Rimnik"). The Tsarina elevated him to Count Suvorov-Rymnikski , Emperor Joseph II elevated him to Count of the Holy Roman Empire . Potjomkin paid tribute to his achievements and on December 6, 1790 gave him command of all siege troops in front of the Ismajil fortress . Major General Kutuzov commanded the 5th attack column there. Ismajil fell on December 22nd, and Suvorov explicitly mentions Kutuzov's courage and skill in his report. Because of an improper answer to Potyomkin's question of how he could reward Suvorov for the conquest, Suvorov fell again from Potyomkin's favor. Ismail's victory was wholly attributed to Potyomkin. In recognition of this, Suvorov was made honorary colonel of the Preobrazhensky Guard Regiment , an honor in the literal sense. From now on he only saw the Turkish war as an observer.

The Tsarina commanded him to the Swedish border on April 5, 1791 . There he should inspect the border. On July 6, 1791, he became head of the fortress construction in Karelia . On December 13, 1792 he was transferred to the Ukraine . All troops on the Turkish border were subordinate to him. He founded Odessa , the fortress in Tiraspol and built Sevastopol into a strong fortress.

Kościuszko Uprising in 1794

In 1794, Suworow was sent to Poland by Katharina (quote: I am sending a double power to Poland: the army and Suworow ). When it arrived in Poland, the Kościuszko uprising came to a quick end. He took part in the fighting on his own initiative and won on September 19, 1794 at Brest against the Poles under Karol Sierakowski . He captured Warsaw's suburb Praga on November 4, 1794, whereupon Warsaw capitulated a day later . After the battle of Praga , the civilian population of the district was massacred. More than ten thousand residents were killed. Wachsmuth speaks of 8,000 soldiers killed and 12,000 civilians.

The Praga Massacre. Painting by Aleksander Orłowski , ca.1810, Czartoryski Museum Krakow

In addition to the long-awaited rank of field marshal , which Suworow now received at the age of 64, he received the rule of Kobrin and 700 peasants belonging to him from the former property of the last Polish king, Stanislaw II. August Poniatowski , who suddenly died after three years in Russian imprisonment . He now commanded all Russian troops in Poland.

At the end of 1795 he returned to Saint Petersburg in order to receive command of the New Russian Army in Tultschin (Ismail) after the turn of the following year . Tsar Paul I's accession to the throne in 1796 had unpleasant consequences for the Russian army . Czar Paul, based on Prussia , dissolved the staff system; Apart from the tsar, no one in the officer corps was allowed to make decisions. Suvorov's bonus was soon exhausted, and in February 1797 he was informed of his dishonorable discharge. The following year he was assigned his whereabouts and the tsar placed him under additional supervision.

Second coalition war 1799–1801

Suvorov crosses the Alps
Painting by Vasily Iwanowitsch Surikow
The fight for the devil's bridge

Upper Italy was also the scene of the Second Coalition War in 1799 . Russian and Austrian troops drove out the French troops and destroyed the French satellite states. For the united Russian-Austrian contingent of this second coalition, Suvorov was appointed commander-in-chief on February 24, 1799. This was followed by the Battle of the Adda on April 27th, the entry into Milan on April 30th, the fall of Turin on May 22nd and the Battle of the Trebbia on June 18th . The Russian vanguard fought against the Polish legion under Jan Henryk Dąbrowski . Old opponents from the Polish campaigns faced each other again and inexorably. The victorious battle of Novi on August 15, 1799 ended the campaign. On August 19, Suvorov was raised from the Tsar to Prince of Italy (Knjas Italijski) for his successes in Italy .

Austria and Great Britain worked on the Russian Emperor to withdraw Russian troops from Italy. This gave both states a political advantage in the subsequent peace negotiations with France . The Russians were sent to Switzerland and marched off on September 7, 1799.

Suvorov's plan was to advance with his army of around 21,000 men through a surprising advance across the Alps in the rear of General André Masséna's troops and to advance him together with the troops of Alexander Rimski-Korsakow and an Austrian army under General Hotze to grapple with at Zurich. Although the Russians had never fought in the mountains before, they captured the Gotthard Pass from the French on September 24th , whereupon they passed the Schöllenen Gorge under French fire . When he arrived in Altdorf , Suworow realized that there was no way to Schwyz along Lake Lucerne , which he had expected according to the military maps provided by the Austrians. At that time the road ended in Altdorf.

Suworow decided on a daring maneuver over the Kinzig Pass into the Muotatal . Although his army was already very exhausted by this point, they faithfully obeyed his orders. The Muotatal was reached on September 27th. There Suvorov received the news that on September 25 and 26, Rimsky-Korsakov and Hotze von Massena were defeated in the Second Battle of Zurich. Suddenly he and his army went from hunter to hunted and they were also trapped in the Muota valley. After defeating Masséna in the Battle of the Muota Valley on October 1, Suworow managed to break out over the Pragel Pass to Glarus , from where the Russian army withdrew over the Panixer Pass into Bündnerland and then marched over the St. Luzisteig towards Austria.

Despite the adverse conditions, Suworow was able to lead around 15,000 men of his army out of the encirclement and brought around 1200 French prisoners with him. Overall, however, the goals of the Alpine campaign could not be achieved with high losses of 4,000 men. Both the delayed provision of the pack animals by the Austrians at the beginning of the campaign and insufficient knowledge of the landscape played a role in Suvorov's delay. The ambitious but insufficiently thought out plan turned into an exhausting adventure with no military or political benefit. The former Russian Italian Army was then only partially operational until further notice and Russia had to be content with a minor role in the negotiations.

On December 5, the remaining soldiers reached Prague and moved into winter quarters near Dušníky . Suvorov's serious illness made him relinquish supreme command. On March 20, 1800, he fell out of favor again because administrative service regulations had not been complied with during the campaign, and the existence of a warfare staff had been abolished by the emperor when he took office. Officers shouldn't sit at their desks but fight. Although Paul I. had given Suvorov a free hand and had instructed the council of war that Suvorov should not receive any orders, but only recommendations and information, the monarch returned the favor in this way after Suvorov was no longer needed.

Alexander Suvorov died on May 18, 1800 and was buried six days later in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery . The public press and the court did not officially take note of the death or burial. The common people gathered in large numbers for burial.





Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov was an Orthodox Christian and a parishioner of the Church of Theodor Studites in Moscow. Now there is a memorial plaque for Suvorov. Speculations about membership in the Freemasons' union cannot be proven. There is reliable news about the only visit from the lodge To the Three Crowns there .


  • 1764/65: The regimental order
  • 1806: The art of winning



Monument to Suvorov in Saint Petersburg
Suworow monument in the Schöllenen Gorge (Switzerland)
Suvorov Monument in Tiraspol

In 1899 the Suworow memorial was erected in the Swiss Schöllenen Gorge , commemorating the battle between the Russians and the French in this impassable terrain.

Suvorov, the founder of the Tiraspol Fortress , which no longer exists in 1792 , was erected in 1979 in the third largest city of the Moldavian SSR . Today Tiraspol lies on the territory of the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria in Moldova . Suworow is often depicted there as the founder of the capital and state hero. A portrait of Suvorov can be found on numerous banknotes and coins of the Transnitrian ruble .

At the end of the 19th century, a monument to Suvorov was erected on St. Petersburg's Marsfeld , in which he is depicted as Mars , the god of war . - After the field of Mars was redesigned into a "revolutionary memorial", the obelisk was placed on a traffic island in front of the Troitsky Bridge in 1920 .

A monument dedicated to him has stood on Moscow's Suvorov Square since 1982.

In 1999 an equestrian statue was unveiled on the Gotthard Pass .

The positive assessment of Suvorov expressed in these monuments was also carried over to his soldiers. For example, soldiers who died on the march back from the Alpine campaign in Weingarten in 1799 are referred to on memorial stones erected in 1948 and 1957 as "Suvorov's immortal heroes" and "Suworow heroes", respectively.


The Suvorov Museum in Saint Petersburg was founded in 1900. The main outer belt asteroid (2489) Suvorov is named after him. The Via Suworow , a Swiss cultural hiking trail, follows the historical footsteps of Suworow during his campaign across the Swiss Alps.



  • Alois Camenzind: Mules make history or Suvorov's war in the Swiss Alps in 1799. Schwyzer Zeitung AG u. a., Schwyz u. a. 1992, ISBN 3-909196-04-7 .
  • Adolf Collenberg: Alexander Suworow. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . July 26, 2012 , accessed March 16, 2020 .
  • Heiko Haumann : “Hero” and “People” in Eastern Europe. An approximation. In: Manfred Sapper , Volker Weichsel (Hrsg.): Das Ich und die Macht. Sketches for homo heroicus and homo sovieticus. BWV - Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-8305-1254-7 , pp. 5-16 ( Eastern Europe. Vol. 57, no. 12).
  • Peter Hoffmann: Alexander Suvorov. The undefeated general. Military publishing house of the GDR , Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-327-00026-3 (Brief military history. Biographies) .
  • Gaudenz Looser: Suworow's way through Switzerland. Baeschlin, Glarus 1999, ISBN 3-85546-101-5 .
  • NA Polewoi: History of Prince Italiiski Count Suworoff-Rimnikski, Generalissimo of the Russian Armies , published by J. de la Croix, Reyer, Mitau 1851.
  • Christian August Vulpius : Brief life and war history of Count Alexander Suworow Rimnikski , Leipzig 1800 ( digitized at Google Books ).

Web links

Commons : Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Short biography of Suvorov with images (in English) on the official information page of the Pridnestrovian-Moldavian Republic [1] , accessed on November 29, 2018

Individual evidence

  1. Article Alexander Wassiljewitsch Suvorov in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D107301~2a%3D~2b%3DAlexander%20Wassiljewitsch%20Suworow
  2. AF Petruschewski: Generalissimo Prince Suworow , Saint Petersburg 1884, Chapter 1 (Russian)
  3. In the following all dates are given according to the Gregorian calendar .
  4. Animated course of the battle on Русско-Турецкие войны - Сражение при Рымнике 1789 года (Battle of Rimnik 1789)
  5. Eberhard Zänker: Johann Gottfried Seume . Faber & Faber Verlag, Leipzig 2005, p. 139-143 .
  6. ^ Wilhelm Wachsmuth : The Age of Revolution: History of the Princes and Peoples of Europe since the end of the time of Frederick the Great. Volume 2. Leipzig: Renger 1847, p. 347.
  7. Helmut Stalder: Suworow still makes it to Schwyz . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from April 12, 2018.
  8. В. С. Lopatin. «А. В. Суворов. Письма », примечания к письму № 646 Суворова Римскому-Корсакову и Хотце от 13 / IX. 1799. Стр. 732
  9. Helmut Stalder: 7 passes in 20 days: How the Russian General Suworow conquered the Alps On: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of September 18, 2017
  10. Andres Wysling: The General in the Litter. In: NZZ , September 22, 2009.
  11. Вячеслав Лопатин. Был ли генералиссимус А.Суворов масоном?
  12. Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: Internationales Freemaurerlexikon. Revised and expanded new edition of the 1932 edition, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7766-2161-3
  13. Famous Freemasons Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov , Homepage: Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon (Retrieved April 25, 2012)
  14. Famous and well-known Freemasons - Suworow, Alexander Wassiljewitsch , Homepage: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Lodge in Kaiserslautern (accessed April 25, 2012)
  15. Photos of the memorial stones in the Weingarten Russenfriedhof : 1948 and 1957 .
  16. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag , Berlin , Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , pp.  186 (English, 992 pp., [ONLINE; accessed on August 14, 2019] Original title: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . First edition: Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 1992): “1975 NY. Discovered 1975 July 11 by LI Chernykh at Nauchnyj. "