Monday, 8 February 2016

Tuchkov III

The first of my brigade commanders is that of the 1st Brigade in 3rd Infantry Division, Pavel Alekseyevich Tuchkov. He is represented here by a Perry mounted officer in conversation with to a colleague by Foundry.

Pavel Tuchkov was born in Vyborg in 1776. He followed his two elder brothers in the army to serve as a sergeant in the Bombardier Regiment in 1785, quickly rising to serve as his father’s adjutant. He became a shtyk-junker in 1788, a captain in the 2nd Bombardier Regiment in 1791, and gained his majority in early 1797. A year later he was elevated to Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the Life Guard Artillery Regiment, picking up the Order of St. Anna around the same time. He joined the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1799 as a full Colonel and was made a Major General the next year. He retired in November 1803 whilst commander of the 9th Aetillery Regiment, but returned to the colours in 1807 to command the Wilmandstand Musketeer Regiment.

He led 1st Brigade of 17th Division in 1807, but did not participate in the campaign of that year. In 1808, he was in Finland and, after holding Sandö and Kimitoön, joined Bagration for his advance on the Åland Islands in 1809. Tuchkov retained his brigade in 17th Division in 1810 when it formed part of the 1st Western Army, but in early 1812, his had command of a brigade in 3 Infantry Division within his brother, Nikolay’s III Infantry corps. In the face of the French invasion, he commanded 1st Western Army’s rearguard as it withdrew to Smolensk and was dispatched to hold the critical road junction at Valutina Gora (Lubino). He was captured late in the day whilst leading a counter attack by the Ekaterinoslav Grenadier Regiment, having received a bayonet wound to the abdomen and a number of sword cuts to the head.

Bonaparte interviewed Tuchkov on 25 August 1812, and tried to persuade him to take a peace proposal to the Tzar. An offer he declined, but he did agree to write to his elder brother. He was finally released in 1814 and, after a six-month leave, joined the army for its advance into France in 1815. He finally retired on 21 February 1819 after twenty-five years service and entered the Senate. He became a Privy Councillor in 1840 and died on 5 February 1858, in St. Petersburg.

Taken from the Russian Officer Corps of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1795-1815, by Alexander Mikaberidze.


  1. Wonderful painting and great historical bio of a true warrior and statesman. He survived some serious wounds, personally met Napoleon and lived a long and successful life afterwards.

  2. Just the ticket. Very nicely done.

  3. Could the history be changed? Anyway, great paint job Stephen...