Saturday, May 1, 2010

Leslie of Auchintoul was the first Russian general?

Leslie of Auchintoul Alexander (159?- 1663) was a Russian military commander of the 17th century. It turns out he was the first Russian general, or, more precisely, - the first general of the Russian army. He first came to Russia in 1630 as the head of a Swedish military mission in the rank of colonel (although being a Scott). In 1652 he was baptized by the Russian Orthodox Church under the name "Avraam Ilych", married a Russian woman and was promoted to the rank of general, receiving gifts worth of 23,000 Roubles (an astronomical sum then). Many other foreigners in the Russian service followed his example and converted to Orthodoxy. Leslie of Auchintoul distinguished himself during the Russian-Polish war (1654-67), being the main military adviser to the Russian Tzar. His performance during the Russian-Swedish war (1656-58) was less impressive, - he was in charge of the unsuccessful siege of Riga.

So, - yes, - technically Leslie of Auchingoul was the first general in the Russian army, not Aggei Shepelev.

Fore more information please read Scottish influences in Russian History.

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