|Birth: ||Dec. 27, 1761|
Siauliai City Municipality
|Death: ||May 26, 1818|
Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
Russian military. Descendant of a German-Scottish family from Livonia, he was born Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly at Pamusis (actual ˇeimelis) near Siaulai (Schaulen, Szawle), today Lithuania. Member of a German baltic family (his grandfather having been mayor of Riga) he was educated in Livonia in Lutheran faith. Enlisted in the Russian army at Pskov, at the age of 14. After 1788 engaged in the wars against the Turks, Swedes and Poles, being promoted successively to General Major. In the war against Bonaparte distinguished at the battles of Pultusk (1806) and Eylau (1807). In the following years, commander in campaigns in present Finland and Sweden. In 1810 nominated Minister of War. During France's invasion of Russia in 1812, Barclay assumed the supreme command of the 1st Army of the West, the largest of the Russian armies facing Bonaparte. He promoted what was later called the "scorched earth tactic" of drawing the enemy deep into one's own territory. Accordingly, he is considered by many historians as the mastermind behind Russia's victory.
After Barclay's failure in 1812 to defend the city of Smolensk, the command of the Russians forces was given to Kutusov. Distinguishing himself at the Borodino battle, he was nominated commander-in-chief again after Kutusov's death in April 1813. In that function, successful at Bautzen, Dresden and Leipzig. Leader of the Russian forces invading France in 1814, he became Field Marshal.
In retirement at his wife's, Helene Auguste Eleonore von Smitten's, manor in Jõgeveste, today Estonia (close to the Latvian border). Died when travelling towards Germany at Insterburg (Czerniakhovsk, today Kaliningrad district, Russia).
Buried at Jõgeveste.
One of the 128 personalities honoured in the Walhalla near Regensburg (Ratisbon, Bavaria)
Created by: Dieter Birkenmaier
Record added: Apr 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51217380