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The Russian Officer Corps - Excerpt

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Alexander Mikaberidze

Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Price: $64.95
ISBN: 1-932714-02-2
eBook: 978-1-611210-02-6
On Sale: Spring 2004

440 portraits, 800 biographies, 35 graphs & tables, notes, cloth, and d.j.

Voted "Best Napoleonic Title of 2005," by the International Napoleonic Society

Foreword by Dr. Donald D. Horward


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Louis Alexander Andrault Langeron

LANGERON, Louis Alexander Andrault (b. 24 January 1763, Paris - d. 16 July, 1831, Odessa) was born to a French noble family; his full name was Louis Alexander Andrault chevalier comte de Langéron, marquis de la Coss, baron de Cougny, de la Ferté Langéron et de Sassy. At an age of 15, he was "sous-lieutenant des gardes françaises." He later served at Caracas and Saint-Domingue in 1782-1783. In 1786, he was promoted to assistant-colonel to the regiment of Médoc, and then colonel to the Armagnac Regiment in 1788. Langeron accompanied the Prince of Nassau to Russia in 1789, and the next year entered Russian service as a colonel in the Siberia Grenadier Regiment (7 May 1790). He distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Swedes, earning the Order of St. George (4th class, 19 September 1790) for actions at Bjork, and commanding the Russian left wing in the battle at Rochensalmi. In 1790-1791, he fought the Turks at Ismail (wounded, awarded a golden sword) and Macin.

With Catherine II's permission, Langeron served in the Prince of Saxony-Teschen's army against the French in Netherlands, and on his return to Russia, was sent as a military observer to the Austrian army in Northern France and Netherlands (1793-1794). In August 1795, Langeron transferred to the Malorossiisk [Little Russia] Grenadiers Regiment and rose to brigadier on 9 July 1796. He became major general and chef of the Ufa (Ufimsky) Musketeer Regiment on 2 June 1797. He was awarded the Order of St. Anna (2nd class) for effective maintenance of his regiment. Under Paul, Langeron also received the Commander Cross of Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and was conferred the title of count of the Russian Empire. He was given the rank of lieutenant general on 5 November 1798, and appointed chef of the Riga (Ryazhsky) Musketeer Regiment 24 May 1799. Langeron became the head of the Brest Inspection on 24 August 1800. Langeron took part in the 1805 Campaign against Napoleon and commanded Russian troops on the Allied left flank at Austerlitz. He was one of the two generals disgraced after the war and was sent to Odessa.

In 1806-1811, Langeron served in the Army of Moldavia against the Ottomans. He fought at Giurgiu, Silistra, Frasin (Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd class), Derekoy (Order of St. George, 3rd class, 1 October 1810), and Ruse (Order of St. Alexander of Neva). Langeron took command of the 22nd Division on 19 August 1810, and temporarily led the Army of Moldavia after General Kamensky died. He participated in the decisive battle at Ruse in 1811, for which he was promoted to general of infantry on 3 September 1811, and awarded the Order of St. Vladimir (1st class). In 1812, Langeron commanded the 1st Corps of the Army of Danube and took part in the actions at Brest-Litovsk and on the Berezina.

In 1813, Langeron was in charge of the blockade of Thorn, for which he received the Order of St. George (2nd class, 23 March 1813), as well as both the Prussian Orders of Black and Red Eagles. Commanding a Russian corps, Langeron participated in the battles of Koenigswarte, Bautzen, Zibeneichen, Lowenberg, Holdberg, Katzbach, Hartau, Bischofsward, and Leipzig (received the diamond signs of Order of St. Alexander of Neva and the Swedish Order of the Sword). In 1814, he led his corps at Soissons, Craonne, Laon, Rheims, Le Fère Champenoise, and Paris for which he garnered the Russian Order of St. Andrew the First Called, the French Orders of St. Louis and Lily, and the Austrian Order of Maria Theresa. In late 1814, Langeron commanded the 4th and 6th Corps in Volhynia, and marched back to France during the Hundred Days. He reached the Rhine when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, and turned back to Russia.

After the war, Langeron was appointed the Military Governor of Kherson and Odessa, the Commander-in-Chief of the Bug and Black Sea Cossack Hosts, and the Governor of the Ekaterinoslavl, Kherson, and Tavrida gubernias on 28 November 1815. He contributed significantly to the development of the city of Odessa in 1816-1823. Langeron was relieved of his duties because of poor health on 26 May 1823, and traveled to France in 1824-1825.

Langeron was appointed a member of the sentencing panel after the Decembrist Uprising in 1826, and was awarded the diamond signs of the Order of St. Andrew the First Called. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, he fought at Satunovo, Shumla, Giurgiu, Turno, and Silistra. Langeron became chef of the Riga Infantry Regiment on 23 February 1829, and left the Turkish front after the appointment of General Diebitsch. He spent the next two years in Odessa and traveled to St. Petersburg in early 1831, where he died during the cholera epidemic on 16 July 1831. Langeron was buried in the Catholic Church in Odessa in 1831.

Langeron was a prolific writer and his memoirs are valuable sources on the period. His literary legacy includes Mémoires sur les guerres de la première coalition, 1792-1793, Mémoires de Langéron, générale d'infanterie dans l'armée russe. Campagnes de 1812, 1813 et 1814, Journal inedit de la campagne de 1805, and Zapiski Grafa Langerona. Voina s Turtsiei v 1806-1812 gg. [Recollections of Count Langeron. War Against Turkey in 1806-1812].



Alexander Mikaberidze

Alexander Mikaberidze is an assistant professor of history at Mississippi State University. He holds a law degree from the Republic of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University, where he worked at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. Read More...

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