Barclay de Tolly, Mikhail Bogdanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Barclay de Tolly, Mikhail Bogdanovich


Born 1761, in Pamushise, Lifliand Province; died May 14, 1818, in Insterburg, East Prussia. Russian field marshal (1814), prince (1815), hero of the Patriotic War of 1812. He descended from an old Scottish family that settled in Riga in the 17th century.

Barclay entered military service in 1776 and fought in the Russo-Turkish war of 1787—91 and in the Russo-Swedish war of 1788–90. He distinguished himself during the war with France in 1806–07 at the battle of Preussisch-Eylau and was made division commander in 1807. During the Russo-Swedish war of 1808–09, he commanded a corps and led the successful crossing of the Kvarken Straits in the winter of 1809. He was governor-general of Finland in 1809–10. Barclay was minister of war from January 1810 to September 1812 and did important work in strengthening the Russian army. During the Patriotic War of 1812 he was in command of the First Western Army and, as minister of war, also of the Second Western Army. In the face of considerable superiority of the enemy, he showed himself to be a gifted regimental leader and successfully carried out the retreat and juncture of the two armies. But the retreat caused dissatisfaction among the dvorianstro (nobility or gentry) and the army, and on Aug. 17, 1812, Barclay de Tolly surrendered the command of the armies to M. I. Kutuzov. In the Battle of Borodino he commanded the right wing of the Russian Army and showed steadfastness and mastery in defense. He thought that the positions near Moscow chosen by L. L. Bennigsen were unfavorable and at the war council in Fili supported M. I. Kutuzov’s proposal that Moscow be abandoned. In September 1812 he left the army for reasons of sickness. In February 1813 he was appointed commander of the Third Army, and then of the Russo-Prussian Army, which he successfully commanded during the foreign campaigns of the Russian army in 1813–14 (Kulm, Leipzig, Paris). He is buried on the Beklor estate in Lifliand (now Iygeveste, Estonian SSR). A mausoleum monument was erected on his grave (1823, sculptor, V. I. Demut-Malinovskii). Monuments to Barclay de Tolly were also erected in Leningrad in front of the Kazan Cathedral (1837, sculptor B. I. Orlovskii) and in Tartu (1849, sculptor V. I. Demut-Malinovskii).

Table 1. Types of barchan forms
Wind conditionsSimple forms of small and medium sizes (single, grouped, and continuous fields)Complex lorms (consisting of large forms combined with small and medium forms)
Trade winds with sharply expressed dominance of a single or nearly single directionshield-shaped shield-shaped with funnel sickle-shaped symmetrical asymmetric grouped parallel to the wind ridge parallel to the wind “train” dentate ridge ridge three-faced ridgelongitudinal ridge with diagonal ribs “whale’s spine” with diagonal ribs of complex barchan chains rampart with crest of barchan pyramids
Monsoon-breeze winds with seasonal alternation of opposing windsgrouped barchans and barchan chains with extended horns (strong predominance of winds from one direction)complex doubled barchans with a “scale” of barchan chains of various size categories
 same as above (lesser intensity difference of opposing winds)complex barchan chains
 same as above (small intensity difference of opposing winds) 
Interference winds with seasonal alternation of opposing windssmall wedge-shaped barchans large wedge-shaped barchanselbow-shaped double ridges and chains crossed complex ridges and chains
Convection winds with vectors of various directions and near equal intensitysmall-celled (circular) large-celled (circular) pyramidalrounded swells complex pyramids


Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Barklai-de-Tolli.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 14.
Kharkevich, V. I. Barklai-de-Tolli v Otechestvennuiu voinu posle soedineniia armii pod Smolenskom. St. Petersburg, 1904.
Kochetkov, A. N. M. B. Barklai-de-Tolli. Moscow, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.