Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly was an Imperial Russian soldier of Baltic German and Scottish origin, who was commander-in-chief and Minister of War of the Russian Empire during Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and the War of the Sixth Coalition. Barclay de Tolly, while serving as the minister of war in Russia, was responsible for the country's defense against Napoleon's invasion in June 1812. He held this position until the following year. During the invasion, Barclay de Tolly led one of the Russian armies and fought in battles at Ostrovno and Smolensk. He also took up a military role supporting Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who was leading the army in retreat from Napoleon's advance. Despite facing opposition from senior officers and public calls for his removal, Barclay de Tolly persevered under great stress. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Borodino on 7 September and helped the Russian forces withdraw strategically to save what remained of their troops. However, he was forced to leave the army in October 1812. Barclay implemented a number of reforms during this time that improved supply system in the army, doubled the number of army troops, and implemented new combat training principles. He is among the greatest military commanders in the Russian service of all time.