Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov was a Russian military leader and a national hero. He was the Count of Rymnik, Prince of Sardinia, a Count of the Holy Roman Empire, a Prince of Italy and the House of Savoy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire.
Suvorov first served in the 7 Years War where he was noticed by Frederick the Great to be a capable military leader. As he rose through the ranks, he repeatedly won Russia many great victories in wars against the Ottomans and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, aiding in the territorial expansion of the Russian Empire. One of Suvorov’s most impressive victories was the Battle of Rymnik, where he fought and defeated 100,000 Ottoman troops with a mere 7,000 men. The Ottomans suffered 20,000 losses compared to Suvorov’s 700. In his final years, Suvorov faced many of Napoleon‘s finest generals such as Massena and Moreau, defeating them often on equal terms in battles in Northern Italy and the Swiss Alps. Suvorov led 63 major engagements and did not lose a single one, often outnumbered greatly.
Suvorov’s reforms, tactics, and training were not accepted by many of his colleagues in Russia, and Russian Empress Catherine the Great had to step in for his life on occasions where he was found disobeying orders that he believed would have lost him a battle. Suvorov emphasized hard training, every solder knowing his place in combat, considerations for the well-being of his men, outpacing the enemy in thought and maneuver, the morale of the army, meeting the enemy in melee combat as often as possible, and always taking the offensive.
Alexander Suvorov was widely regarded as the only man who could have stopped Napoleon during the Coalition Wars. When he was recalled to St. Petersburg, he fell ill and died, never having engaged Napoleon in battle.
Carl von Clausewitz on Suvorov: “Alexander V. Suvorov was the one man who, at the end of the 18th century, could have stopped Napoleon. He did beat Napoleon's generals Moreau, MacDonald, and Joubert. He was more than a match for Napoleon or Frederick the Great. He not only got away with violating Sun Tzu's guidelines for waging war, he won victories by doing so. To summarize his career it will not be too shallow to state: he won far too frequently to be called lucky, he never lost.”
General Moreau about Suvorov: “What can you say of a general so resolute to a superhuman degree, and who would perish himself and let his army perish to the last man rather than retreat a single pace?”
Admiral Nelson to Suvorov: "I am being overwhelmed with honors, but I was to-day found worthy of the greatest of them all: I was told that I was like you. I am proud that, with so little to my credit, I resemble so great a man."