Barclay de Tolly, Mikhail, Prince

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Mikhail Barclay de Tolly, Prince (mēkhəyēl´, bərklī´ də tô´lyē), 1761–1818, Russian field marshal, of Scottish descent. He gained prominence in the Napoleonic Wars, became minister of war in 1810, and commanded the Russian forces against Napoleon in 1812. His policy of continuous retreat into the heart of Russia and his defeat at Smolensk (Aug. 17–18) resulted in his being replaced by Kutuzov, but his successor, recognizing the soundness of the strategy, followed the same policy. After Kutuzov's death (1813) he again commanded the Russian forces and distinguished himself at Leipzig and in the capture of Paris.