One of the participants of the Borodinskoe battle, the French general Pele, recollected that Napoleon often repeated such a phrase: “Borodinskoe battle was the most beautiful and the most awesome, Frenchmen have shown themselves worthy victories, but Russian people have deserved to be unconquerable”.
Since the time when Kalmyk people joined Russia they gave it many outstanding men who made a real contribution to the life of the society in different fields and left a bright trace in it’s history.
This year is announced by our President D. Medvedev the year of History of Russia. So it will be a good thing to say some words about a great page in it called The Patriotic War of 1812 year which was a just war to my mind because Russia fought against the aggression by Napoleonic France and in which the Russian and Kalmyk peoples accomplished a feat that serves as an example of great courage and heroism in the battle for the country’s liberation and independence.
Kalmyk people took part in many wars and helped Russia to win during this war too. It was called “Big European War”. Practically the whole Europe was on the Napoleon’s side. Napoleon declared:” In five years I shall reign the world. Only Russia is left but I shall crush her.” He dreamt of forcing Russia to her knees. But the tsar Alexander I mobilized his huge forces where fought a lot of people of different nationalities Bashkirs, Tatar, Kalmyk and others. Europeans were greatly impressed by our horsemen and made up a lot of legends and myths about them.
On the 7th of April 1811 Russia’s government ordered to the general-lieutenant Rtishchev to form 2 Kalmyk troops out of Astrakhan, Saratov, Caucasus regions. There were 500 people in each of them. One of them was under Damba taishi Tundutov’s command who showed an utmost courage by his personal example. This troop took part in different hot and bloody battles during this Patriotic war. After the victory he was made a captain by Alexander I and also awarded with the gold cavalry sword “For the bravery”.
The second Kalmyk troop took part and played its important role in the famous “Battle of peoples” at Leipzic.
There was also the third Stavropol’s Kalmyk troop and 2000 Don’s kalmyks under legendary ataman Platov’s command.
On the 12(24) of June 1812 Napoleon’s army invaded Russia. From the first days of the war Kalmyk horsemen took active part in every battle under the command of the great Bagration. Kalmyks were famous as brave and smart warriors, perfect cavalry-men. They were reliable guards of the southern borders of Russia. Soldiers were armed with pistols, rifles, spears and bows with arrows. In this war Russian cavalry was better prepared than Napoleon’s corps and played the significant role in the defeat of Napoleon’s army. In hot battles Tyumen’s horsemen showed perfect martial training and examples of fearless bravery. Lieutenant-colonel Tyumen was Kalmyk Duke , knight of St. Ann’s , St. Vladimir’s, St. George’s ordens and orden of Red Eagle. He was born at the end of 18th century. The second Astrakhan troop was under his command. Kalmyk people who lived in Hosheutov ulus were among the first who donated 12525 rubles to Russia’s Treasury. Astrakhan’s Kalmyk gathered 449927 rubles. Kalmyks followed Napoleon’s soldiers in Poland , France and Germany and took active part in final battles. On the whole 477 of Kalmyk warriors were awarded during 1812-1814. 12 Don’s Kalmyks were also awarded with St.Ann’s orden. They returned home with honour and glory. A lot of them sacrificed their lives to save their country.
Hosheutov Hurul was built in honour of the victory in 1812.
During his visit to St. Petersburg Serebdzhab Tumen’s brother Batur Ubush was greatly impressed by Kazan Temple which is the monument of Russian soldiers’ glory. A good idea came to him to build such kind of a temple in Kalmyk steppe. He made a project together with the monk Gavan Dzhimbe. Here he joined Russian classical traits in Buddhist architecture to show the union between Kalmyk and Russian people. Nearly every brick has a picture of an arrow and a bow. It is the sign of Tumen’s family. Hosheutov Hurul had a rich library which kept thousands of handmade books and manuscripts. Colonel Serebdzhab also kept different banners and relics about the war and showed them to the travelers. Among the most famous travelers was Alexander Dumas.
I am greatly impressed that this war was a terrible ordeal for Russia’s peoples and cost them inhuman effort and vast sacrifices. The war stirred up unprecedented patriotism among Russia’s peoples. They displayed their best traits: staunchness, valour and gallantry. I am proud of the fact that Napoleon failed to make Russia bow the knee, failed to destroy the Russian army despite heavy losses. History knows many examples of mass and individual heroism by Kalmyk soldiers as well as Russian soldiers. They demonstrated courage and boldness during fierce battles and wiped out the enemy. One of the veterans recalled:” Cannon-balls were crushing the Russian chests but not their spirit”. Kutuzov wrote: "The French army led by Napoleon himself was superior in strength but did not shatter the morale of the Russian soldiers who sacrificed their lives readily for their homeland".
МОУ «Многопрофильная гимназия г. Лагани»
Composition “Outstanding Kalmyks in the war of 1812”
Written by the pupil of the 9th form Mandzhieva Almana
Checked by the teacher of English Zhubanishcheva. G.B
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