Dibich-Zabalkanskii, Ivan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dibich-Zabalkanskii, Ivan Ivanovich


(Johann Karl Friedrich Anton Diebitsch). Born May 2(13), 1785, in Grossleipe, Silesia; died May 29, 1831, in Kleszow, near Pultusk. Russian field marshal (1829), count (1827). The son of a Prussian officer who switched to the Russian service in 1798.

Dibich served in the Guards and took part in the war against France in 1805–07. In 1812 and early 1813 he was chief quartermaster of a corps and quartermaster general of Wittgenstein’s army. In the spring of 1813 he became quartermaster general of the Russian-Prussian forces and in 1815, chief of staff of the First Army. In 1821 he accompanied Alexander I to the Congress of Laibach and became one of those closest to him. In 1823 he became chief of the main staff and director of the quartermaster unit (1824). In early December 1825, basing his information on a report by I. Sherwood, he notified Nicholas I of the Decembrist uprising then being prepared; he then had the Decembrists in the Second Army arrested. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29 he was the actual director of military actions in the Balkans while serving with the aged commander in chief Wittgenstein, and in February 1829 he became the commander in chief. He was the author of the unsuccessful plan for the campaign of 1828 and opposed the unleashing of a war of national liberation in the Balkans. In December 1830 he was the commander in chief of the troops sent to suppress the Polish Uprising of 1830–31. He was an untalented desk strategist and a product of the Prussian military school, outstanding for his ambitiousness and intrigues. He died of cholera.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.