The feat of Gavrila Sidorov or the "living" bridge

Thanks to the painting by Franz Roubaud "Living Bridge", one of the exploits of Russian soldiers, faithful to duty and honor, who are ready to sacrifice their lives in difficult times for the sake of the Motherland and comrades in arms, has survived to this day. Back in 1805, a few months before the well-known Austerlitz, a battle took place in the Caucasus, which, to our shame, is not known to everyone.

So, in the summer of 1805, taking advantage of the fact that the Russian army was fighting far in the West, the Persian Baba Khan decided to try his forces and moved to the city of Shusha, on the territory of modern Nagorno-Karabakh, an army of 40, 000 people, under the command of the Crown Prince Abbas- Mirza. The 17th Jaeger Regiment, under the leadership of Colonel Karyagin, fell to confront this myriad army. This is only 493 people with only 2 guns.

It was a month of incessant bayonet attacks, shelling and cavalry attacks, numerically superior to the Russian detachment at times! Exhausted to the limit, they stood to death, they had honor, unbending will, faith in each other and a commander. They more than once put the Persians to flight, and using the mobility and surprise of the attacks, forced half of the Persian army to chase after them. But in the series of exploits of the 17th Jaeger was especially outstanding, which formed the basis of the famous painting by Roubaud. At the next change of position, the tiny Russian detachment faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: a wide moat that could not be bypassed in any way. There was neither time nor materials for the construction of the bridge, without cannons the detachment was doomed to die in front of superior enemy forces. Then Private Gavrila Sidorov, with the words: "The cannon is a soldier's lady, you need to help her, " lay down first on the bottom of the pit. Another ten people rushed after him. Cast iron cannons weighing several tons were dragged to the other side over the bodies of the soldiers, under their groans, gnashing of teeth and crunching of bones.

Gavrila himself did not survive this test, he was crushed by the wheels of a cannon. At the cost of their lives, they gave the opportunity to continue resistance and save the lives of other soldiers of the detachment. Then, more than once, in furious counterattacks, Russian soldiers fought off these guns, they knew at what cost they were saved, and did not fall into the hands of the Persians.

At the end of the campaign, a monument was erected at the regiment headquarters in memory of the soldiers who died in time.