Menshikov Alexander Sergeevich 

Prince, Adjutant General, Chief of the Naval Staff, Member of the State Council, great-grandson of the famous associate of Peter 1 Alexander Danilovich Menshikov. 
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  St. 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 land. 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 department. 
The 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 isolated. When 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 dismissed. After 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 in 1833.


Return to the main page