Vitgenshtein, Petr

Vitgenshtein, Petr Khristianovich


(Ludwig Adolf Pieter). Born Jan. 6 (17), 1769, in Pereslavl’-Zalesskii; died May 30 (June 11), 1843, in L’vov. Count, Russian field marshal (1826), most illustrious prince (1834).

Vitgenshtein, who was descended from the aristocratic family of Graf zu Sain-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg, was a member of the army from 1781. He fought in the wars with Poland (1794-95) and France (1805-07). During the Patriotic War of 1812 he commanded the I Infantry Corps, protecting the Petersburg line. During the invasion of Napoleon’s army, Vitgenshtein commanded Polotsk and defeated the French at Chashniki, but at Berezin he acted indecisively. From the end of 1812 to the beginning of 1813 he directed the combat activities of the Russian troops in eastern Prussia. After the death of M. I. Kutuzov in April 1813, Vitgenshtein was named commander-in-chief, but because of defeats at Lutzen and Bautzen in May 1813, he was replaced by M. B. Barclay de Tolly. In the campaign of 1813-14 he commanded a corps and, from 1818, the Second Army. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29 he was commander-in-chief of the Russian Army until February 1829.