The Strange Life and Death of Field Marshal Kutuzov

Thanks to official history, everyone knows that Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov (circa 1745-1813) brilliantly repelled Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. I have already written about the oddities of this war, but now I want to focus your attention on the “invulnerability” of this historical character.

“People’s hero and savior of Russia,” Kutuzov has a unique medical history. He was twice wounded in the head during the battle with the Turks (1774 and 1788) and suffered terrible wounds, but despite that, by some miracle, he not only survived but was able to function.

The first bullet, according to the surgeons’ description, “went through the head from one temple to the other behind both eyes.

“The second bullet entered the cheek, destroyed the upper teeth, passed through the head and exited the back of the head.”

Massot, a French surgeon who served in the Russian army, wrote after treating Kutuzov’s seemingly two fatal wounds:

“We must suppose that fate had appointed Kutuzov to something great, because he was still alive after his two wounds-a death sentence by all the rules of medicine. According to science he should be dead, but he is alive.”

Kutuzov, after his wounds, lived to participate directly in the events that changed world history. At least he became the basis for that official history.

Another interesting thing is that Kutuzov’s heart was buried separately in a special silver vessel.

The circumstances of his death are described as follows:

On April 4, 1813 the vanguard of the Russian army reached Silesia. That evening Kutuzov, who stopped in Buntslau, felt chills and fell ill. Then his condition began to worsen. His right arm was failing. Doctors diagnosed a severe form of polyneuritis.

On April 16 (28) at 9:30 p.m. the commander died. From the main apartment of the army followed the highest order: to transfer the body of Field Marshal to St. Petersburg, “so it would be buried with all the honors appropriate to his great rank and forever unforgettable services rendered to the Fatherland.

The day after his death the doctor made an autopsy and embalmed Kutuzov’s body.

The act pointed to the unusually large size of the heart.

In a zinc coffin they placed the body and the heart in a silver cylindrical vessel with a screw cap. On a six-horse coffin with Kutuzov’s body was sent to St. Petersburg. The mournful journey had lasted a month and a half.

On June 13, 1813 took place the funeral in the Kazan Cathedral. A red marble plaque with an inscription in gilt letters was built into the wall above the grave: “Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov of Smolensk was born in 1745 and died in 1813 in the town of Buntslau.

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