Shilder, Karl Andreevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shil’der, Karl Andreevich


Born Dec. 27, 1785 (Jan. 7, 1786), in the village of Simanovo, in what is now Nevel’ Raion, Pskov Oblast; died June 11 (23), 1854, in Călărasi, Rumania. Russian military engineer. General of the engineers (1852); adjutant general.

Shil’der graduated from a school for column leaders in 1806 and served in the engineer troops as commander of a sapper company and a battalion and as chief of engineers of a corps and of an army. He fought in the battle of Austerlitz (1805), the defense of Bobruisk (1812), the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29, and the Crimean War of 1853–56. He distinguished himself in action during the siege of Varna in 1828, the sieges of Silistra and Sumla in 1829, and the forcing of the Danube in 1854. Shil’der died of wounds received at Silistra during the Crimean War of 1853–56.

Shil’der developed a new and more effective system of countermining, using horizontal and inclined passages rather than vertical shafts. He also devised antipersonnel mines, stone fougas-ses, and canister mines. He produced an original design for a suspended rope bridge in 1828 and a “wineskin bridge” of quickly assembled, portable pontoons made of rubberized canvas in 1836. Between 1832 and 1836, Shil’der and P. L. Shilling developed a method of setting off powder charges electrically. Between 1838 and 1848, Shil’der and B. S. Iakobi built electrochemical and electrochemical-contact naval mines. Shil’der provided the designs for the world’s first all-metal submarine, built in 1834, and the Otvazhnost’, built in 1846; the world’s first steamship armed with artillery and rockets, the Otvazhnost’ was a prototype of the destroyer. Among Shil’der’s students were the talented engineers E. I. Totleben and M. M. Boreskov.


Maziukevich, M. N. Zhizn’ i sluzhba general-ad”iutanta K. A. Shil’dera. St. Petersburg, 1876.
Iakovlev, V. V. Kratkii ocherk istoriipodzemnoi minnoi voiny. Moscow, 1938.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.