Mikhail Barklay de Tolly

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Mikhail Barklay de Tolly

Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (27 December [O.S. 16 December] 1761 – 26 May [O.S. 14 May] 1818) was a Russian Field Marshal and Minister of War during Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and War of the Sixth Coalition. From the age of three de Tolly was raised in his uncle’s family. His uncle was a foreman of the Russian army and, following the custom of the time, enlisted young Barclay in 1767 in the Novotroitsk Carabineer Regiment.Mikhail started active service in May 1776 when he was enlisted in the Pskov Carabineer Regiment. By May 1778 he had achieved the rank of cornet.


"If the whole universe was distressed and threatened to suppress its falling he would look without a shudder at world destruction."

During French invasion of Russia he implemented a number of reforms that improved the army supply system. He doubled the number of troops in the army, built engineering constructions, created rear supply bases and implemented new principles of combat training, emphasizing the need for precision shooting and cross-country area tactics.

Interesting fact

From the beginning of the campaign in 1812 Barclay de Tolly insisted on drawing the enemy deep into Russian territory. It was the first time the “scorched earth” tactic was used.

source list:- Field Marshals of Victory. Kutuzov and Barklay de Tolly.- Wikipedia - 7 Facts about Barklay de Tolly.

Mikhail Barklay de Tolly


One of his contemporaries wrote about him:

Barklay de Tolly. Defender of the Fatherland


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