Arkadii Zakharovich Teliakovskii

Teliakovskii, Arkadii Zakharovich


Born Jan. 6 (18), 1806, in Yaroslavl; died Sept. 7 (19), 1891, in St. Petersburg. Russian military engineer. Lieutenant general in the engineering corps(1864).

Teliakovskii graduated from the Main Engineering School in 1825. He served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29. From the 1830’s to 1860’s he taught a course in fortification at various military schools and worked on the design of fortresses. Teliakovskii was the author of a two-part fundamental work on fortification, comprising Field Fortification (1839; Demidov Prize, 1840) and Long-term Fortification (1846). The work was translated into almost all European languages.

Teliakovskii renounced the accepted dogmatic, school-based presentation of the fortification course and stressed the relationship of fortification to strategy and tactics. His theories related fortification to the military art as a whole and especially to artillery. Teliakovskii also took into account the terrain and the needs of the troops, the development of new types of defensive structures, and the establishment of priorities for engineering work. His ideas were successfully put into practice during the Sevastopol Defense of 1854–55. Teliakovskii’s views gained popularity and served as the basis for the Russian school of fortification.

Teliakovskii criticized the dogmatic views of certain military scholars and, as a result, became involved in a conflict with the leadership of the Main Administration of Military Educational Institutions and was transferred to administrative work in 1862. From 1863 to 1865 he served as chairman of the technical committee of the Main Engineering Administration. Disagreements with the de facto chief of the engineering department, General E. I. Totleben, led to Teliakovskii’s enlistment in the reserves in 1865 and his removal from active scholarly and pedagogical activity. Teliakovskii retired in 1883.


Iz istorii russkogo voenno-inzhenernogo iskusstva: Sb st. Moscow, 1952.