Skobelev Mikhail Dmitrievich
(17(29).09.1843 - 06.06(07.07).1882)

Russian commander, hero of campaigns in Central Asia and the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878.
Born in St. Petersburg in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Until the age of six, he was brought up by his grandfather, the commandant of the fortress, and another family, the keykeeper of the Peter and Paul Cathedral, Grigory Dobrotvorsky, then a German tutor, with whom the boy had no relationship. Then he was sent to Paris, to a boarding house for the Frenchman Desiderius Girard. Over time, Girardé became a close friend of Skobelev and followed him to Russia, where he was on the rights of a home teacher of the Skobelev family.
In accordance with the trends of the time, the parents decided to give him, the son of a general, a non-military education, first teaching at home, and then, in 1860, he was assigned to the University of St. Petersburg at the Mathematics Department. However, Skobelev had a different fate. He was destined to become the third general in the family and the St George Knight. A year later, he left the university and entered the cavalry guard regiment, taking part in the suppression of the Polish uprising in 1863, showing miracles of courage. The geography of his military service is huge: Petersburg, Moscow, Turkestan, Novgorod, Perm.
At the same time, Skobelev devoted his time not so much to his direct duties as to studying military literature (including in foreign languages: he spoke German, French and English well) and lecturing on tactics and military history. At 23, Skobelev graduated from the Academy of the General Staff.
His active nature could not be realized in quiet duty stations. Only in the army could Skobelev fully realize his talent, which was clearly manifested during the military operations during the conquest of Turkestan, Khiva and Kokand in 1864-1876.
But most vividly his leadership gift was revealed during the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878. From the Balkan Peninsula, General Skobelev returned not only as a national hero, whose legends were brave, but also as a universally recognized military authority.
In the late 1970s, the offensive of Russia on the Turkmen tribes began. The first military expedition led by General Lomakin failed. The second leadership was entrusted to Skobelev. Here he first acted as commander in chief, unconnected in the implementation of his strategic plans. Skobelev himself prepared and brilliantly carried out this military operation. On January 12, 1881, after a short assault, the main stronghold of the Tekins was taken - the Geok-Tepe fortress.
Skobelev’s return to Russia was so triumphant that Europe compared his arrival with Napoleon’s return from Egypt.
However, in the summer of 1882 in Moscow, in a room in the England hotel, known for all the confusing Moscow, the general unexpectedly died. Censorship did not miss the details of this death in the newspapers. Therefore, in the society of that time reigned confidence that Skobelev was poisoned. Opinions differed only in who did this, while the majority expressed full confidence that this was the work of German intelligence and personally von Bismarck.
The Russian General Staff sent a wreath with the inscription: “Equal to Suvorov.”
He was buried in the Ryazan region in the village of Zaborovo.
Cape on the east coast of Tkachen Bay. Named commander of the clipper "Shooter" captain-lieutenant A. De Livron in 1881.


Return to the main page