09 April 2003, 20:03

Gudovich, Ivan Vasilyevich

Russian military man. Earl (since 1797). Field marshal General of the Russian Army (since 1807).

Born in 1741. Descendant of an ancient Polish noble family. Studies in Universities of Koenigsberg and Leipzig. Since 1759, was in the military: first as an ensign of the Corps of Engineers, later as an adjutant of the mighty Earl P.I. Shuvalov. During the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1774, was distinguished in the battles of Hotin (1769), Larga and Kagul (1770), and Zhurzheva (1771).

Gudovich's commander talent unveiled during the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1791. In the army of the Grand Duke filed marshal general G.A. Potemkin-Tavrichesky, he commanded special military corps operating successfully in the North Black Sea areas moving westwards to the Danube estuary along the Black Sea shore.

In 1790, Gudovich's troops conquered Turkish fortresses of Hajibey and Kiliya, which was located on the Danube bank at the approaches to Izmail, the main Turkish stronghold in the north of the Ottoman Porta possessions. For the victory over the Sultan's troops, Catherine the Second promoted I.V. Gudovich to enchef general.

In 1790, was appointed the commander of the Caucasian Line. For conquest of Anapa in 1791, was awarded the second-degree order of St. George (orden Sv. Georgiya 2-oy stepeni) and a dress sword decorated with diamonds.

In 1796, when V.A. Zubov was appointed commander-in-chief of the Persian expedition, Gudovich was discontented with this appointment and applied for resignation, but Catherine the Second only allowed him a vacation.

Upon Catherine the Second's death, the newly accessed Emperor Paul the First ordered Gudovich to immediately depart for the Caucasus and assume the commandment of the troops instead of Valerian Zubov who fell into disfavor. In 1797, I.V. Gudovich was given a title of an Earl.

In 1798, Earl I.V. Gudovich was appointed governor general of Kiev and later governor general of Podolsk Province. In 1799, I.V. Gudovich became the commander-in-chief of the Russian army supposed to march to the Rhine and support the Austrians who were suffering a repulse from the troops of revolutionary France. However, Gudovich fell out of graces: for openly criticizing of the Prussian military order, the furious Emperor Paul the First who worshipped Prussian Kingdom's military machine, fired him from the military in 1800 and never brought him close to the court again.

Only in 1806, upon Alexander the First's accession, was Gudovich re-mobilized for the imperial service and dispatched to the Caucasus for the third time ? as a commander of Russian troops in Georgia and Dagestan. Conquered Baku, Shekin, and Derbent Khanates.

During the Russo-Turkish war of 1806-1812, the principal battles took place on the Danube and in the Caucasus. The Sultan's command echelon planned once again to annex Transcaucasia from Russia and thus reach the Northern Caucasus benefiting from the small number of Russian troops in this region.

With the beginning of the war, the Turkish troops started concentrating in the borderline fortress of Kars. When they directed to the borders of Georgia which became a part of the Russian Empire by then, enchef general Gudovich immediately marched ahead to confront them. In 1807, a battle took place at Arpachay, in which the Russians gained a major victory.

For the Arpachay victory, Emperor Alexander the First gave I.V. Gudovich a title of the filed marshal general.

However, the soon defeat in the battle of Erivani (1808) and declining health caused I.V. Gudovich to leave the Caucasus. In 1809, he was appointed a member of the State Council and the commander-in-chief of Moscow, where he stayed until February 1812, when he completely resigned from the service due to his age.

I.V. Gudovich spent his last years in his estate of Olgopole (now in Vinnitsa Region, Ukraine), where he died in January 1820.

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