Mikhail Skobelev (1843–1882)

Mikhail Skobelev (1843–1882)

The collection is dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the birth of an outstanding Russian commander and strategist, Adjutant-General, hero of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878), head of the Akhal-Tekke Expedition (1880-1881). It features biographies of M. D. Skobelev, written during his lifetime and after his death, which cast light on the general’s  life and service, military exploits and the momentous Central Asian expedition, as well as archival materials (the letter of M. D. Skobelev with a request to be transferred to reserve forces after the Russo-Turkish war, materials related to the erection of the monument to the general in Moscow and correspondence after the revolution with the Skobelev Committee of the Assistance to the Wounded Soldiers). In addition, the collection presents a photograph of the sign of the Order of St. George (4th class), which M. D. Skobelev wore during the Russo-Turkish War, and the 19th-century-map, which shows the route of the Akhal-Tekke expedition.

Before the campaign of 1877, the young officer M. D. Skobelev took part in the Khivan (1873) and Kokand (1875-1876) campaigns, and also was the governor of the Ferghana region (1876-1877). During his stay in Asia, M. D. Skobelev showed considerable organizational talent and explored the region in depth. In March 1877, the 34-year-old general was sent to the commander-in-chief of the army, which was to launch military action in European Turkey. The following year, M. D. Skobelev commanded separate detachments, was the chief of the Combined Cossack Division headquarters, commander of the Caucasian Cossack Brigade, head of the 16th Infantry Division, commander of the 4th Army Corps. After the capture of Lovcha and the battles of Plevna in August he attracted a great deal of attention, while the crossing of Imetliysky pass and the Battle of Sheynovo, surrender of the Turkish army of Wessel Pasha which followed, brought great fame to the general. At the end of the war he was the corps commander, Lieutenant-General holding the rank of Adjutant-General. In 1880 he headed the Akhal-Tekke expedition, which completed the accession of Turkmenistan to Russia. For the successful campaign M. D. Skobelev was promoted to the infantry general and received the Order of St. George (2nd class).

The collection is based on the materials provided by Russian and foreign libraries (Russian State Library, State Public Historical Library, Gorky Ryazan Regional Research Library, Central Research Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan), archives (State Archive of the Russian Federation, Russian State Historical Archive) and Children's Museum of Postcard.

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