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Generalissimus Suvorov – ein Heroisierungsversuch des ausgehenden Zarenreiches und sein Scheitern im Ersten Weltkrieg

Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas
Band 63 / 2015 / Heft 4
S. 573–598


By the time the Russian Field-Marshal Alexander Suvorov died in 1800, he was widely acknowledged to be a military hero. This was for the most part due to his reputation of never having lost a battle. Suvorov had been elevated to the rank of a count of “Rymnik”, named after the location of one of his victories in what is today Rumania, and in 1799 to the rank of “kniaz’ Italiiskii” (a prince of Italy), while at the same time he had been promoted to the highest military rank of generalissimo. Immediately after his death a figurative monument on Petersburg’s Field of Mars was erected to honour him. Together with his comrades-in-arms of the “golden” age of Catherine II, Rumiantsev and Potemkin, Suvorov fell into partial oblivion due to the Patriotic War (1812-1815), Russian officers of the general staff commemorated him when the centenary of his Italian and Swiss campaigns approached. The centenary triggered manifold activities and intellectual events which continued well into the First World War. During these two decades of heroic remembrance, the Empire, its military leadership, and a number of intellectual bourgeois civilians established a heroized image of Suvorov that stood apart from that of other Russian military leaders. As a result of the Great War, heroization was in the end less than fully successful; this article focuses however on efforts to heroize Suvorov during this fertile period.

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