Rus Articles Journal

How Alexander Suvorov storm took Izmail? Part 1 - I

the Victory in russko - the Turkish war of 1768 - 1774 provided to Russia an exit to the Black Sea. But under the terms Kyuchuk - the Kaynardzhiysky contract the strong fortress Izmail located in the mouth of Danube remained beyond Turkey.

In 1787 Turkey supported by England and France demanded from Russia of revision of the contract: return of the Crimea and Caucasus, recognition invalid subsequent agreements. Having been refused, it began military operations. Turkey planned to take Kinburn and Kherson, to land a large landing in the Crimea and to crush base of the Russian fleet Sevastopol. For expansion of military operations on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus and Kuban significant Turkish forces were directed to Sukhumi and Anapa. For providing the plans Turkey prepared 200 - thousand army and strong fleet from 19 linear ships, 16 frigates, 5 bombardier corvettes and a large number of the ships and support vessels.

Russia developed two armies: Ekaterinoslavskaya the general - the field marshal Grigory Potemkin (82 thousand people) and Ukrainian the general - the field marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev (37 thousand people). Two strong military cases allocated from structure of Ekaterinoslavsky army were in Kuban and in the Crimea.

The Russian Black Sea fleet was based in two points: the main forces - in Sevastopol (23 fighting ships with 864 tools) under command of the admiral M. I. Voynovich, future great naval commander Fedor Ushakov, and a rowing flotilla served in Dneprovsko here - the Bugsky estuary (20 low-tonnage ships and vessels, partially not armed yet). The large European country - Austria which sought to expand the possession at the expense of the Balkan states which were under the power of Turkey was on side of Russia.

The action plan of allies (Russia and Austria) had offensive character. It consisted in intruding in borders of Turkey from two parties: the Austrian army had to begin approach with the West and seize Hotin; The Ekaterinoslavsky army should develop military operations on the coast of the Black Sea, to seize Ochakovo, then to pass Dnieper, to clear of Turks the area between Dniester and the Prut for what to take Bender. The Russian fleet had to hold down active actions on the Black Sea fleet of the opponent and prevent carrying out landing operations by Turkey.

Military operations developed for Russia successfully. Capture of Ochakovo, Alexander Suvorov`s victory at Fokshanakh and Rymnike created prerequisites for completion of war and signing of the world, favorable to Russia. Turkey had no forces for the serious resistance to armies of allies at this time. However politicians could not seize occasion. Turkey managed to bring together new troops, to receive the help from the western countries, and war dragged on.

In campaign of 1790. the Russian command planned to take the Turkish fortresses on the left coast of Danube, and then to transfer military operations for Danube.

During this period dazzling successes were gained by the Russian seamen under Fedor Ushakov`s command. The Turkish fleet suffered great defeats in the Strait of Kerch and at Tendr`s island. The Russian fleet took strong domination on the Black Sea, having provided conditions for active offensive actions of the Russian army and a rowing flotilla on Danube. Soon, having seized Kiliya`s fortresses, Tulcha and Isakcha, the Russian troops approached Izmail.

Fortress Izmail was considered as unapproachable. Before war it was reconstructed under the leadership of the French and German engineers who considerably strengthened its strengthenings. From three parties (northern, western and east) fortress was surrounded by a shaft 6 km long, up to 8 meters high with earth and stone bastions. Before shaft the ditch 12 meters wide and to 10 meters of depth which in certain places was filled with water was dug. From South side Izmail was covered with Danube. In the city there were many stone constructions which could be used actively for conducting defense. The garrison of fortress totaled 35 thousand people at 265 serf tools.

In November the Russian army numbering 31 thousand people (including 28,5 thousand people of infantry and 2,5 thousand people of a cavalry) at 500 tools besieged Izmail from the land. A river flotilla under command of the general Oras de Ribas, having destroyed almost all Turkish river flotilla, blocked fortress from Danube.

Two storms of Izmail terminated in failure and troops passed to a systematic siege and a shelling of fortress. From the beginning of autumn bad weather in the army which was located on the open district mass diseases began. Having been undeceived in an opportunity to take Izmail storm, the generals directing a siege made the decision to withdraw troops on winter quarters.

On November 25 command of troops near Izmail was entrusted to Suvorov. Potemkin granted it the right to work at discretion: whether continuation of the enterprises to Izmail or leaving of it . In the letter to Alexander Vasilyevich he noted: My hope for god and for your bravery, hurry up my mercy friend... .

Having arrived to Izmail on December 2, Suvorov stopped withdrawal of troops from - under fortresses. Having estimated a situation, he made the decision to immediately prepare storm. Having examined strengthenings of the opponent, he noted in the report to Potemkin that they without weak places .

Preparation for storm was carried out in nine days. Suvorov sought to use as much as possible an element of surprise for what he carried out preparation for approach is reserved. Special attention was paid on preparation of troops for a ground support action. At the village of the Throw shaft and walls, similar were built by Izmail. Six days and nights soldiers worked on them ways of overcoming of ditches, shaft and fortifications. Suvorov encouraged soldiers words: It is More than sweat - less blood! At the same time for deception of the opponent preparation for a long siege was imitated, batteries were put, fortification works were carried out.

Suvorov found time to develop special manuals which contained rules of conducting fight at storm of fortress for officers and soldiers. On the Trubayevsky barrow where today the small obelisk towers, there was a tent of the commander. Here laborious preparation for storm was carried out, everything was thought over and provided to trifles. On such storm, - Alexander Vasilyevich admitted later, - it was possible to venture only once in life .

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