Diebitsch, Hans Karl Friedrich Anton
DIEBITSCH, HANS KARL FRIEDRICH ANTON, count von Diebitsch and Narden, called by the Russians Ivan Ivanovich, Count Diebich-Zabalkansky (1785-1831), Russian field-marshal, was born in Silesia on the 13th of May 1785. He was educated at the Berlin cadet school, but by the desire of his father, a Prussian officer who had passed into the service of Russia, he also did the same in 1801. He served in the campaign of 1805, and was wounded at Austerlitz, fought at Eylau and Friedland, and after Friedland was promoted captain. During the next five years of peace he devoted himself to the study of military science, engaging once more in active service in the War of 1812. He distinguished himself very greatly in Wittgenstein's campaign, and in particular at Polotzk (October 18 and 19), after which combat he was raised to the rank of major-general. In the latter part of the campaign he served against the Prussian contingent of General Yorck (von Wartenburg), with whom, through Clausewitz, he negotiated the celebrated convention of Tauroggen, serving thereafter with Yorck in the early part of the War of Liberation. After the battle of Lützen he served in Silesia and took part in negotiating the secret treaty of Reichenbach. Having distinguished himself at the battles of Dresden and Leipzig he was promoted lieutenant-general. At the crisis of the campaign of 1814 he strongly urged the march of the allies on Paris; and after their entry the emperor Alexander conferred on him the order of St Alexander Nevsky. In 1815 he attended the congress of Vienna, and was afterwards made adjutant-general to the emperor, with whom, as also with his successor Nicholas, he had great influence. By Nicholas he was created baron, and later count. In 1820 he had become chief of the general staff, and in 1825 he assisted in suppressing the St Petersburg émeute. His greatest exploits were in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, which, after a period of doubtful contest, was decided by Diebitsch's brilliant campaign of Adrianople; this won him the rank of field-marshal and the honorary title of Zabalkanski to commemorate his crossing of the Balkans. In 1830 he was appointed to command the great army destined to suppress the insurrection in Poland. He won the terrible battle of Gróchow on the 25th of February, and was again victorious at Ostrolenka on the 26th of May, but soon afterwards he died of cholera (or by his own hand) at Klecksewo near Pultusk, on the 10th of June 1831.
See Belmont (Schümberg), Graf Diebitsch (Dresden, 1830); Stürmer, Der Tod des Grafen Diebitsch (Berlin, 1832); Bantych-Kamenski, Biographies of Russian Field-Marshals (in Russian, St Petersburg, 1841).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)