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