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“True triumph”: how the victory at Rymnik made it possible to consolidate the Northern Black Sea Coast and Crimea as part of Russia

2019-09-22T11:50:24.869Z

230 years ago, the Russian-Austrian detachment under the command of Alexander Suvorov defeated the Turkish army that was much superior in numbers in the battle of Rymnik. Historians call this battle the greatest success of Russian weapons during the war of 1787-1791 and one of the most outstanding military events of the era of Catherine II. For the victory, Suvorov received the count's title and a number of high awards. Subsequently, the Turkish army was unable to recover quickly and suffered a number of defeats. As a result, the Ottoman Empire was forced to conclude a Yass peace treaty with Russia, according to which it finally abandoned claims to the Northern Black Sea coast, Crimea and Georgia.



On September 22, 1789, a Russian-Austrian detachment under the command of Alexander Suvorov attacked the Turkish army near the Rymnik River. This battle took place during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1791, the first campaign in which the commander participated in the rank of general-general.

Suvorov defeated the enemy, several times superior in numbers to Russian troops. Subsequently, the Russian army liberated the entire space from the Turks to the Danube. After a series of defeats of the Ottoman Empire, it was necessary to enter into negotiations with Russia and conclude the Yass peace treaty.

Russian-Turkish war

In 1774, due to military setbacks, the Ottoman Empire abandoned Crimea and a large part of the Northern Black Sea coast, however, they could not come to terms with this in Constantinople. In addition, the Turkish authorities were dissatisfied with the George Treaty of 1783, according to which Eastern Georgia passed under the protectorate of Russia.

The environment of the Sultan constantly wove intrigues in the Caucasus and sent emissaries to the Northern Black Sea region, persuading the local population to participate in anti-Russian actions.

Such behavior of the Turks was irritating in St. Petersburg, so in 1787, the Russian ambassador to Constantinople, Jacob Bulgakov, demanded that the authorities of the Ottoman Empire stop the violation of the borders of Russia and Georgia. In response, the Porta presented its demands to Russia: to abandon the defense of Georgia, transfer the surroundings of Kinburn to the Turks and return Crimea to Turkish control.

Not receiving a positive answer, the Ottoman authorities imprisoned Bulgakov in the castle. On August 13, 1787, the Porta officially declared war on Russia, in which Vienna became an ally of St. Petersburg.

The Turks could not capture the Kinburn Peninsula - the 5,000th Ottoman landing party was defeated by the 4,000th Suvorov detachment.

  • Kinburn battle
  • © Wikimedia Commons

In subsequent years, the commander’s troops won a number of victories over Turkish forces. So, in the Northern Black Sea region, soldiers under the command of Suvorov and Grigory Potemkin took one of the most powerful Turkish fortresses - Ochakov. In addition, the 25,000th Russian-Austrian detachment defeated the 30,000th Turkish corps in the battle of Focsani.

The Battle of Ramnik

The Turkish commander, Yusuf Pasha, gathered a 100,000th army, crossed the Danube and moved to the Rymnik river to attack the inferior Russian forces. He knew that in the detachment of Suvorov there were less than 7 thousand soldiers, and under the command of the Austrian prince of Coburg, acting with him in an alliance, 18 thousand.

The Turks pressed the Austrians and camped near the village of Tirgo-Kukuli. On September 21, 1789, Suvorov arrived to help the allies, bringing 9 infantry battalions, 9 squadrons of carabinieri, 2 Cossack regiments and a thousand auxiliary Arnaut troops. The total number of the combined Russian-Austrian detachment reached approximately 25 thousand people.

Turkish troops stood between the rivers Rymna and Rymnik with three ledges. At Tyrgo-Kukuli there were 12 thousand Ottoman fighters under the command of Haji Saltari Pasha, at the village of Marinesti - 70 thousand soldiers of Agi Pasha, including 20 thousand Janissaries, and at the village of Odaya - 20 thousand soldiers under the leadership of Yusuf Pasha.

Turkish units were well covered by riverbanks, swamps and thickets. The Austrians were afraid to attack the enemy in such a situation, but Suvorov decided to bet on speed and surprise.

On the morning of September 22, Russian troops secretly crossed over Rymna, drove the Turks from fortified positions in Tyrgo-Kukuli and developed an offensive. The Austrians repulsed the attacks of the Turkish cavalry, trying to divide the allies, and allied with the Russians.

Suvorov managed to enter the flank of the Yusuf Pasha detachment. He threw cavalry into the Turkish camp, which caused panic among the Ottomans, and developed success with the help of infantry. Confused Turks fled from the battlefield.

According to Yusuf Pasha’s estimates, his army lost over 20 thousand people killed and wounded during the battle. In addition, the Turks threw banners, artillery and supplies during the retreat. The losses of the Russian-Austrian army amounted to about 500 people.

  • The Battle of Ramnik
  • © H. G. Schutz

The defeat at Ramnik was a serious blow to the Turkish army. Her only major success during the war was the victory over Prince Coburg in 1790 near Zhurzha.

The situation in the Ottoman Empire was facilitated by a change in the international political situation. The Austrian Emperor Joseph II died, and his successor Leopold II decided to end the war. Using the split of the union, the Turks tried to attack the Russians, but were again defeated in several battles.

December 22, 1790 Suvorov took the fortress of Izmail, which was previously considered impregnable. The following year, the Turks were defeated by Nikolai Repnin in the battle of Machinsky. The Ottoman Empire had to negotiate peace with St. Petersburg.

On January 9, 1792, the Yassky peace treaty was concluded, according to which Turkey transferred land to Russia between the Southern Bug and the Dniester, and also refused any claims to the Crimea, the remaining part of the Northern Black Sea Region and Georgia.

  • Manifesto of the Iasi Peace Treaty with the Ottoman Empire. February 25, 1792
  • © Wikimedia Commons

For the victory at Rymnik, Suvorov was elevated to the rank of count by Catherine II with the name Rymniksky and received a number of high awards, including diamond signs of the St. Andrew order, a diamond epaulette, a sword studded with diamonds and the Order of St. George of the 1st degree.

“Suvorov was the greatest Russian military leader, a brilliant strategist, tactician. It was the commander of what is called the mercy of God, ”said historian Yevgeny Pchelov in an interview with RT.

According to him, "the battle of Rymnik is one of the brightest military events of the times of Catherine II." Suvorov always managed to achieve the highest results with the least losses, noted Pchelov.

“Even against the backdrop of the bright people of the Catherine era, the commander was a unique person, although he was a rather peculiar, difficult person. Ekaterina highly appreciated him and said that she owed him a lot and was ready to fulfill any request he made, ”the expert added.

In turn, the historian and writer Dmitry Volodikhin noted in an interview with RT that the battle of Rymnik was "the greatest success of Russian weapons on land throughout the second Russo-Turkish war."

“The nature of the battle was such that relatively small forces broke into several Turkish positions and each time defeated the enemy with such force that they brought his army to complete defeat. This is a brilliant victory, a real triumph, ”the expert summed up.

Source: russiart

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