General Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoevden (1750-1811)

Buxhoevden was born of an old noble Livonian family in 1750 and was enrolled in the Russian army already in 1764 where he took part in the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74, starting a great military career. He steadily advanced in ranks.

By 1788 he was Major General and took part as such in the war against Sweden (1788-90), in which he also was present at the first seabattle of Svensksund in 1789. After the war, he served as General de Division in Poland and later as Russian Military governor of Poland. After having served near the court in St. Petersburg, he fell into quarrel with Czar Paul I and was inactive for some time. However, when the great wars against Napoleon started, Buxhoevden was again called in and this time around, he took part at the disastrous battle of Austerlitz. At this battle he commanded the Allied left flank. After bad results in the war against Napoleon in Poland, Buxhoevden again fell from the Czar's favour, only to return at the time of the Tilsit alliance.

Experienced a military man as he was, Buxhoevden was appointed the high command of all Russian armies in the war in Finland, but also the mission to pacify the Finnish people. To some extent he was successful with his pacification. Among the upper layers of the population, he was rather popular, while the large masses of the people still supported the Swedish king. The Czar however, sharply critizised Buxhoevden for signing a cease-fire with the Swedish at Lochteå, and he was soon replaced by Bogdan von Knorring as commander in chief of the armies in Finland.

Buxhoevden never again received a command and finally died in 1811.

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