The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Diebitsch-Sabalkanski, Hans Karl Friedrich Anton
DIEBITSCH-SABALKANSKI, dyĭ-bēch-zä-bäl-kän-skē, Hans Karl Friedrich Anton, Count, Russian field-marshal: b. Grossleippe, Silesia, 13 May 1785; d. Kleczwo, near Polotsk, Poland, 10 June 1831. In 1797, when 12 years of age, he was sent by his father, who had served under Frederick the Great and Frederick William II of Prussia, to the military school of Berlin, but in 1801 he quitted the Prussian service for that of Russia, entering the ranks of the Imperial guard. He served with distinction in he battles of Austerlitz, in 1805; Eylau and Friedland in 1807, and, having attained the rank of captain, for five years subsequent to the treaty of Tilsit, devoted himself to the study of military science. During the invasion of the French in 1812, he served under Wittgenstein, compelled the capitulation of the Prussian general, Yorck, became chief of staff in 1813, took part in the battle of Lützen, and later joined the corps of Barclay de Tolly in Silesia, as quartermaster-general. In June 1813 he was instrumental in bringing about the secret treaty of Reichenbach, between England, Austria, Russia and Prussia. He fought in the battles of Dresden and Leipzig, and for his services was made lieutenant-general, at the age of 28, by Alexander. He was responsible for the march on Paris, in the French campaign of 1814, which terminated the war, and for this he was decorated with the order of Alexander Nevskoi. He took command of the first corps upon Napoleon's return from Elba, but was later appointed adjutant to the emperor, and, having been made chief of staff, accompanied him on his journey through southern Russia, till his death at Taganrog, in 1825. Diebitsch thereupon returned to Saint Petersburg, and by his intrepid conduct during the revolution of 25 December, won for himself the title of baron, and later Emperor Nicholas created him count. He had the chief command in the Turkish War of 1828-29; stormed Varna; and made the famous passage of the Balkans, compelling the Porte to conclude the peace of Adrianople, for which the surname of Sabalkanski (Transbalkanian), was conferred upon him, and he was raised to the rank of field-marshal. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the army sent to put down the rebellion which had broken out in Warsaw, 29 Nov. 1830, and was also made governor of the provinces adjoining Poland. In this campaign he did not meet with success, suffering defeats at Wisniew and Stoczek, 11 Feb. 1831; at Dobre, on the 18th; at Grochow and Wawer on the 19th, and in the series of engagements fought near Praga, in March. He was, however, more successful in the bloody battles of Nur, Lornza and Ostrolenka, fought from 15-26 May, but after establishing his camp at Kleczwo, was taken sick with cholera, and died shortly afterward. Consult Belmont, ‘Graf Diebitsch’ (Dresden 1830); Chesney, ‘Russo-Turkish Campaigns of 1828-29’ (New York 1856).