Menshikov Alexander Sergeevich
Adjutant General, Chief of the Naval Staff, Member of the State
Council, great-grandson of the famous associate of Peter 1 Alexander
Educated abroad, in Dresden. After
returning to Russia in 1805 Menshikov decided to serve in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 1809 he transferred to military
service as a second lieutenant in the Guards Artillery Battalion. During
the Russian-Turkish war, he was an adjutant to the
commander-in-chief of the Moldavian army, N. Kamensky, participated
in the taking of Turtukai and the storming of Ruschuk, received his
first military award, the Order of
Vladimir, 4 degrees, and the first wound.
As part of the 1st Grenadier Division in the position of wing
adjutant and division quartermaster Menshikov participated in the
battles of the Patriotic War of 1812, at the end of the war he
transferred to the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment. During
the liberation campaign of the Russian army in Europe, he
distinguished himself in a battle near Kulm, was wounded in battles
near Paris, was awarded the Order of St.
Alexander Nevsky and
a gold sword for military merit and personal courage.
The personal qualities of Menshikov attracted the attention of
Alexander 1, who brought him closer to him. Menshikov
was enrolled in the retinue of the king with the rank of Major
General, was appointed director of the Office of the General Staff,
he was introduced to several committees, including the
military-scientific.However, soon the independence of the judgments
and the wit of Menshikov, his rivalry with Arakcheyev caused the
king to cool him. In
1820, he was offered the post of commander of the Black Sea Fleet,
which he refused, considering himself unprepared for it. Menshikov’s
participation in the preparation of the project for the liberation
of the serfs caused Alexander's displeasure. Menshikov found the
proposal to take the place of envoy in Dresden humiliating and
retired the following year.
Nicholas 1, upon assuming the throne, summoned Menshikov from
retirement and sent him to Persia with a special diplomatic mission,
after the execution of which Alexander Sergeevich was returned to
the rank of adjutant general. By
taking the initiative, Menshikov developed a project for the
reorganization of the maritime department following the model of the
project received the approval of the king and began to be carried
out in life.
In the summer of 1828, at the height of the next Russian-Turkish
war, Menshikov was sent to the Black Sea. At
the head of the landing forces of the Black Sea Fleet, he took part
in the capture of Anapa, then commanded the siege corps near Varna. In
Varna, he was wounded by the core in both legs. His
military achievements were awarded the Order of St.
George, degree 3, and
the rank of Vice Admiral.
Returning after treatment to the post of Chief of the Naval
Staff, Menshikov continued the reorganization of the marine
issues of administrative and economic management, which took his
special attention, were undoubtedly important, but nevertheless they
took the naval department away from the most important issue - the
re-equipment of the Russian fleet, the creation of steam-powered
propeller ships and the equipping of them with new, rifled weapons.
vigorously engage in england and france.
In 1830 Menshikov was appointed a member of the Council of
State, in 1831 - the Finnish governor-general. He
was a member of many committees, and in 1848 headed a temporary
secret committee, called the "Menshikovsky". The
tasks of the committee included the supreme oversight of censorship.
During the period of aggravation of relations between Russia and
Turkey, Menshikov was instructed to lead a diplomatic mission to
Constantinople, but it ended in failure.Russia was completely
the Crimean War began, in which England and France acted as allies
of Turkey, Menshikov was appointed commander-in-chief of land and
naval forces in the Crimea. The
measures taken by him to strengthen the defense of the Black Sea
coast and Sevastopol were overdue. The
proposal of the admirals Nakhimov and Kornilov to actively use the
Black Sea fleet to fight in the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus was
rejected by them. The
Russian troops under the command of Menshikov lost the battles on
the Alma and near Inkerman. After
an unsuccessful offensive on Evpatoria, he, seriously ill, was
spending some time as governor-general of Kronstadt for a short
time, Menshikov did not occupy more responsible posts and settled in
the village. Only
on peasant reform, he responded by submitting a note and
participating in a committee in Moscow.
A man of great natural intelligence and subtle, caustic wit
Menshikov, who in his youth had visited German universities, at the
same time possessed deep knowledge in various fields. So,
he was distinguished by extensive and solid knowledge in medicine
and had a veterinary diploma. Passionate
bibliophile - he collected up to 50 thousand volumes of diverse
content in his library, left behind an extensive handwritten diary.
In addition to the above, Menshikov was a knight of other Russian
and foreign orders: St. Vladimir
3 degrees, St. Anna
2 degrees with diamonds, St. Anna
1 degree with diamonds, St. Vladimir
1 degree, St. Andrew
the First Called, Swedish Order
of the Sword, Swedish Order
of the Seraphim.
He died in St. Petersburg. He
was buried in the fence of the Holy Cross Church in the Dmitrievsky
churchyard in the Moscow province.
Menshikov Cape (in the background)
(photo by EA Korago)
Cape, southeastern tip of the
Novaya Zemlya. Named
by P.K. Pakhtusov