Dmitry Petrovich Neverovsky, 1771-1813

Dmitry Petrovich Neverovsky (1771-1813) was a Russian general who distinguished himself during the 1812 campaign, but who was mortally wounded at the battle of Leipzig in 1813.

Neverovsky was born into a minor noble family in the province of Poltava. He joined the army as a private in the Life Guard Semeyonovsk Regiment in 1786 (aged only 15) and was promoted to sergeant in 1787.

Neverovsky fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792. He was promoted again in October 1787 when he joined the Malorosiisk Grenadier Regiment and fought at Salchea and Bender.

Neverovsky was involved in the fighting that accompanied the second partition of Poland (1792-1794), fighting at Derevitse, Gorodische (where he was promoted to captain), Maciejowice and Praga.

In October 1803 Naverovsky was appointed commander of the 1st Marine Battalion, with the rank of Colonel. In 1804 he was promoted again, to major general, and became chef (colonel-proprietor) of the 3rd marine Regiment at Reval (1804 saw the previous twelve marine battalions merged into four marine regiments).

In 1805 Russia joined the Third Coalition. Their main army was sent to join the Austrians and suffered defeat at Austerlitz (2 December 1805), but another army, under General Peter Tolstoy, was sent to Hanover. Neverovsky served with this army and returned to Russia with his reputation undamaged by the defeat at Austerlitz. He became chef of the Pavlograd Grenadier Regiment in November 1807.

Towards the end of 1811 Neverovsky organised the 27th Infantry Division, formed as part of Barclay de Tolly's reorganisation of the Russian infantry. Each division contained two Line and one Jäger brigades, each with two regiments of three battalions (six battalions per brigade, eighteen battalions per division). The divisions were paired up to form Corps modelled n the French system. Neverovsky's 27th Infantry Division became part of the 2nd Western Army (commanded by General Peter Bagration).

Neverovsky fought under Bagration during the early stages of the 1812 campaign. On 3 August the two main Russian armies, under Bagration and Barclay de Tolly, came together at Smolensk. The two men then argued about what to do next, before Bagration decided to try and attack the French. Napoleon countered this move with a surprise attack that threatened Smolensk. Neverovsky found a determined rear-guard action at Krasnyi (14 August 1812) and help up the French long enough for Russian reinforcements to reach Smolensk.

Neverovsky then fought at the battle of Smolensk. In the build-up to the battle of Borodino he commanded the garrison of the Shervardino redoubt, an outlying defensive feature three miles to the south-west of Borodino. This was the first part of the Russian position to be found by the French, who captured it after a fierce fight late on 5 September. Neverovsky was wounded at Borodino, where his division fought on the Russian left, and in November 1812 was promoted to lieutenant-general as reward for his actions at that battle. He also fought at Maloyaroslavets.

In 1812 Neverovsky served under General Fabian Osten-Sacken's corps, part of the Army of Silesia commanded by the Prussian General Gebhard von Blücher. Neverovsky was mortally wounded during the battle of Leipzig - his leg was shattered by a musket ball, gangrene set in and he died at Halle on 2 November. He was originally buried at Halle, but in July 1912 his body was moved to Borodino.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 April 2014), Dmitry Petrovich Neverovsky, 1771-1813 ,

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