Menshikov, Aleksandr Sergeevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Menshikov, Aleksandr Sergeevich


Born Aug. 15 (26), 1787; died Apr. 19 (May 1), 1869. Prince; Russian military and state figure; adjutant general (1817); admiral (1833).

Menshikov held staff positions in the military from 1809. In 1815 he became close to Alexander I and accompanied him on all his travels abroad. He became acting quartermaster general of Main Headquarters in 1817. Menshikov was transferred to the diplomatic service in 1823 but resigned in 1824. In 1827, Nicholas I appointed Menshikov chief of the naval staff and a member of the cabinet of ministers and in 1831, simultaneously governor-general of Finland. In 1830 he was appointed to the State Council. Menshikov was virtually in charge of the whole naval department and exerted an extremely detrimental influence on the development of the navy, delaying its technical progress and combat training.

In 1853, Menshikov headed a mission to Constantinople on the eve of the Crimean War of 1853-56. He was commander in chief of the land and naval forces in Crimea from 1853 to 1855. Menshikov proved to be a completetly incompetent general and lost the battles of the Al’ma and Inkerman. Removed from his command on Feb. 15, 1855, he was governor-general of Kronstadt from December 1855 to April 1856 and then retired.

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