Category:Russian commanders of the Napoleonic Wars
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Baron Ilya Mikhailovich Duka descended from a noble Serbian family that settled in Kursk gubernia. He enlisted as a furier in the Nasheburg Infantry Regiment on the 27th of May 1776 and transferred as a vakmistr to the Ukrainian Light Horse Regiment in 1780 before joining the Smolensk Dragoon Regiment with the rank of cadet in 1782. In 1783, he fought against the Poles and was promoted to aide-de-camp to General Jovan Šević, a fellow Serb. He participated in the Russo-Turkish campaign in 1788-89, and was transferred to the Ostrogozh Light Cavalry Regiment in 1790. During the campaign in Poland in 1794, he distinguished himself at Radoszyce by capturing General Tomasz Wawrzecki and his officers, and was promoted to major. In October 1799, he was transferred to the Life Guard Hussar Regiment and promoted to colonel. On the 23rd of October 1806, Duka was appointed chef of the Little Russia Cuirassier Regiment. He took part in the 1807 Campaign and distinguished himself at Eylau, being awarded the Order of St. George (3rd Class) and a golden sword. He was promoted to major general on the 6th of June 1807. In 1812, Duka commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Cuirassier Division, and later commanded the division itself. For his actions at Smolensk and Borodino, Duka was awarded the Order of St. Anna, 1st Class, and for the battles of Tarutino and Maloyaroslavets -- the Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd Class.
In 1813, Duka was promoted to lieutenant general (27 September), fought at the Battle of Leipzig and was wounded in the head. In 1814 he participated in the capture of Paris. He was awarded the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle and the Austrian Order of Leopold. Upon his return to Russia, Duka commanded the 2nd Cuirassier Division and in September 1823, he was appointed to command the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Corps. In September 1826, he was promoted to general of cavalry and then retired on the 17th of February 1827 because of ill health. He died at his estate in Ivenya in the Kursk gubernia on the 28th of February 1830.
His portrait painted by George Dawne hangs in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- Short biography in French: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilya_Mikha%C3%AFlovitch_Douka
- Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, Saint Peterburg, Russia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Duka_Ilya_Michailovich.jpg
Pages in category "Russian commanders of the Napoleonic Wars"
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