Villim Fermor

Fermor, Villim Villimovich


(also William Fermor). Born 1702; died Feb. 8 (19), 1771. Russian general in chief (1755). Count.

Fermor, the son of an emigrant from England, joined the Russian Army in 1720. In the 1730’s he was an adjutant to Field Marshal B. Kh. Minikh. He served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1735–39 and the Russo-Swedish War of 1741–43. At the outset of the Seven Years’ War (1756–63), Fermor commanded the siege corps during the taking of Memel and Tilsit and commanded a division at Gross-Jagerndorf.

From 1757 to 1759, Fermor was commander in chief of the Russian Army. Removed from this post for inactivity and indecisiveness, he later commanded a division and a corps. In 1760 he temporarily commanded the Russian Army. He became governor-general of Smolensk in 1763 and a senator in 1764. Fermor retired in 1768. He was hostile to progressive Russian military leaders, especially P. A. Rumiantsev and Z. G. Chernyshev.