Nikolay Raevsky was born in 1771 to an old noble family in St Petersburg. His father of the same name was a colonel in the Izmailovsky Guards. Nikolay Raevsky senior had died of wounds sustained during the Russo-Turkish War (1768-74) several months before his son’s birth. The young Nikolay followed his father into military service and first saw action in 1787 in the subsequent Russo-Turkish War (1787-91).
The latest installment of our Russian campaign blog series takes a look at the life and military career of Pyotr (Peter) Wittgenstein, one of the most celebrated heroes in the Russian army during the Napoleonic invasion of 1812 but one who has been overlooked in many histories of the campaign.
Late in the night of 24 June, while attending a ball at General Bennigsen’s estate in Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania), Tsar Alexander I of Russia received reports that the Emperor Napoleon had crossed the River Niemen into the territory of the Russian Empire at the head of a large army.
Part 8 of our series Ten Greatest Generals of the Napoleonic Wars features Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, best known as supreme commander of the Russian army during the 1812 campaign. Kutuzov features prominently in Tolstoy's War and Peace as a wise and patient commander who embodies the Russian army.