Pyotr Bagration

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Prince Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration (Georgian: პეტრე ბაგრატიონი, Russian: Пётр Ива́нович Багратио́н; 1765 - 24 September [O.S. 12 September] 1812) was a general of the Russian army. He was a descendant of the Georgian royal family of the Bagrations.

Contents

Life

He was born in 1765. His father was a Georgian prince Ivane, son of Alexander. His brother Roman (Revaz) Bagrationi was also a general of the Russian army.

Bagration entered the Russian army as a sergeant in 1782, and served for some years in the Russian-Circassian War. He participated in the Siege of Ochakov (1788), and in the military campaign to suppress the Polish Kościuszko Uprising of 1794. His merits were recognized by Suvorov, whom he accompanied in the Italian and Swiss campaign of 1799, winning particular distinction by the capture of the town of Brescia.

In the wars of 1805 Bagration's achievements appeared even more brilliant. With a small rearguard he successfully resisted the repeated attacks of forces five times his own numbers at the Battle of Hollabrunn (1805), and though half his men fell, the retreat of the main army under Kutuzov was thereby secured. At Austerlitz (2 December 1805) Bagration fought against the left wing of the French army commanded by Murat and Lannes. He fought bravely and obstinately at the battles of Eylau (7 February 1807), Heilsberg (11 June 1807) and Friedland (14 June 1807).

As a hero of the Napoleonic Wars he returned to St. Petersburg, to become the lover of Catherine, the sister of the tzar, Alexander I. A marriage was out of the question. He then married another Catherine, a relative of Prince Potemkin. She, however, soon left her husband for an interesting life as a salon hostess in Vienna (and sometime mistress of Metternich)[citation needed].

During the Finnish Campaign of 1808, by a daring march across the frozen Gulf of Finland, Bagration captured the Åland Islands, and in 1809 he led the Russian army against the Turks at the battles of Rassowa and Tataritza. In 1809 he was promoted to General of Infantry.

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