Rus Articles Journal

In what fights the Russian Empire became famous? The Most grandiose fights the Russian Empire carried out part 2

to a century of Catherine II, during two russko - the Turkish wars begun by the Russian empress for an exit to coast of the Black Sea.

At the beginning of the first russko - the Turkish war (1768 - 1774) in Russia 2 groups of armies were created: offensive, under Pyotr Aleksandrovich Rumyantsev`s command, having a task transition through Danube and approach to Istanbul; and defensive, under Pyotr Ivanovich Panin`s command which task was to provide the back for Rumyantsev`s army protecting it from actions of a cavalry of the Crimean khan.

Rumyantsev`s army, having won brilliant victories at the Speckled Grave and on Large`s river, moved ahead far in the Danube direction. The second, defensive army did not cope with the fighting task: Panin all the forces threw Bender on a siege of the Turkish fortress and for a long time got stuck there. Therefore, the back of army of Rumyantsev was not covered. As a result the offensive army got into quite difficult situation: on the front there was a huge Turkish army (150 000 people), in the back - the Crimean khan (100 000 people). There was no place to recede to Russians, Rumyantsev decided on fight.

On June 21, 1770 near the Lake Kagul one of the most grandiose battles of the 18th century took place: 12 - the thousand Russian army attacked and crushed 150 - thousand Turkish.

Knowing about a superiority in strength of the opponent, and also that the main strength of Turks - a cavalry, Rumyantsev used a new fighting order. It divided the army into 5 carets (square columns), each of which went to attack, " from all directions; having bristled up bayonets. Ordered columns (from the left flank on right): generals Bruce, Repnin, Olits, Nephews, Bour.

Ottomans were taken aback from surprise: they could not believe that Russians advanced to the attack to army more than ten times big. It brought a certain turmoil in ranks of Turks: their continuous cavalry counterattacks were chaotic, and all of them broke against the Russian bayonets.

When Rumyantsev`s army approached rather close the Turkish camp, unexpectedly attacked its right flank 10 - thousand group the Janissar who was in an ambush. To Kara Boura and Plemyannikova were upset, Turks came into the back to Russians. It seemed, it is the end. Rumyantsev personally rushed in fight. On a horse, with a naked sword in a hand, under a hail of bullets and case-shots he managed to restore fighting order of the upset columns. The group which broke to the back Russian was destroyed: the commander of the Russian artillery general Melissino developed one of guns and struck brandskugely (an incendiary shell) the van containing ammunition. The Turks who appeared in the back of Russians died from explosions.

The commander of the Turkish army Khalil - Beat the Janissar and when bethought did not support successful attack in time, was already late - he had to send the increasing forces to the right flank. In the same time on the left flank of Russians the caret under Bruce`s command bravely battled, distracting on itself significant forces of Ottomans. As a result of it between the center and the right flank of Turks the wide corridor was created. Having noticed it, the general Repnin ordering the second left-flank caret set the troops bypassing the main forces of the opponent there. Turks began to panic. Rumyantsev ordered the general approach.

The victory of Russians was full. The Turkish army lost only the dead 20 thousand people, all wagon train and artillery. The Russian army left to Danube.

Chesmensky sea battle became other important event of that war .

At the initiative of Catherine II the Russian squadron under A. G. Orlov`s command for the first time in the history made long transition from the Baltic Sea in Mediterranean. Blockade of Dardanelless and action on sea communications of the Ottoman Empire were the main objectives of fleet. Flying the flag Orlov had 9 linear ships with 818 guns. The crew of the ships made 5458 people.

On June 23, 1770, after short military action near the Greek archipelago, the Russian squadron met the main forces of the Turkish fleet in the Chian passage. The enemy squadron consisted of 16 linear ships at 1430 tools with crew of 16000 people. The skilled admiral Hasan ordered Ottomans - beat.

Knowing about numerical advantage of Turks, ordering the Russian leader Evstafy the admiral Spiridov suggested not to be built in a kilvaterny column, and to strike a main blow to the flagship of the opponent Realmustafa . He counted that destruction of a leader will destroy a system and will break controllability of the Turkish ships.

During rapprochement with the opponent the Russian ships came under heavy fire, on Evstafiya there was a fire. Nevertheless, Spiridov continued attack. The Russian and Ottoman leader were linked in boarding fight. Guns, knives, fists, teeth were put to use! After a while the killed burning mast Realmustafa fell on Evstafy . The flame quickly got into hatches of the Russian leader and reached kryuyt - chambers. Both ships blew up. The Russians hardened by death of compatriots advanced to the furious attack, and the Turkish ships which lost the general control began to disengage and hide in the Chesmensky bay, under protection of coastal batteries.

As a result of fight in the Chian passage both parties lost on one ship. The initiative completely passed to Russians. The admiral Spiridov, having successfully arranged the Russian ships, closed to Turks an exit from the Chesmensky bay.

At meeting with Orlov it was decided to destroy the Turkish fleet in the next night. Considering a grouping of the enemy ships in a bay, it was decided to use incendiary shells (brandskugel) and incendiary boats (brander).

At night Russians began shelling of the Turkish ships. Part of them lit up. Soon 4 brander advanced to the attack. The first three for various reasons objectives were not achieved. Only the fourth under command of the lieutenant Ilyin managed to set fire to the main forces of the Turkish fleet. By the morning all Turkish fleet burned down completely.

Thanks to a victory at Chesm the Russian fleet established effective blockade of Dardanelless.

This victory had a big international resonance: the Russian fleet began to be considered as one of the best in the world. Even the sea colonial powers of Great Britain and France began to be rather afraid of the Andreevsky flag.