The Russo–Turkish War of 1787–1792 involved an unsuccessful attempt by the Ottoman Empire to regain lands lost to the Russian Empire in the course of the previous Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). It took place concomitantly with the Austro-Turkish War (1788–1791).
|Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792)|
Siege of Ochakov 1788, by Polish painter January Suchodolski
|Russian Empire||Ottoman Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
José de Ribas
John Paul Jones
Abdul Hamid I|
Koca Yusuf Pasha
In May and June 1787, Catherine II of Russia made a triumphal procession through New Russia and the annexed Crimea in company with her ally, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. These events, the rumors about Catherine's Greek Plan, and the friction caused by the mutual complaints of infringements of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, which had ended the previous war, stirred up public opinion in Constantinople, while the British and French ambassadors lent their unconditional support to the Ottoman war party.
In 1787, the Ottomans demanded the Russians to evacuate the Crimea and give up its holdings near the Black Sea, which Russia saw as a casus belli. Russia declared war on 19 August 1787, and the Ottomans imprisoned the Russian ambassador, Yakov Bulgakov. Ottoman preparations were inadequate and the moment was ill-chosen, as Russia and Austria were now in alliance.
The Ottoman Empire opened their offensive with an attack on two fortresses near Kinburn, in southern Ukraine. Russian General Alexander Suvorov held off these two Ottoman sea-borne attacks in September and October 1787, thus securing the Crimea. In Moldavia, Russian troops captured the Ottoman cities of Chocim and Jassy. Ochakov, at the mouth of the Dnieper, fell on 6 December 1788 after a six-month siege by Prince Grigori Potemkin and Suvorov. All civilians in the captured cities were massacred by order of Potemkin.
Although suffering a series of defeats against the Russians, the Ottoman Empire found some success against the Austrians, led by Emperor Joseph II, in Serbia and Transylvania.
By 1789, the Ottoman Empire was being pressed back in Moldavia by Russian and Austrian forces. To make matters worse, on 1 August the Russians under Suvorov attained a victory against the Ottomans led by Osman Pasha at Focsani, followed by a Russian victory at Rymnik (or Rimnik) on 22 September, and drove them away from near the Râmnicul Sărat river. Suvorov was given the title Count Rymniksky following the battle. The Ottomans suffered more losses when the Austrians, under General Gideon E. von Laudon repelled an Ottoman invasion of Bosnia, while an Austrian counterattack took Belgrade.
A Greek revolt, which further drained the Ottoman war effort, brought about a truce between the Ottoman Empire and Austria. Meanwhile, the Russians continued their advance when Suvorov captured the reportedly "impenetrable" Ottoman fortress of Ismail at the entrance of the Danube, in December 1790. A final Ottoman defeat at Machin (9 July 1791), coupled with Russian concerns about Prussia entering the war, led to a truce agreed upon on 31 July 1791. After the capture of the fortress, Suvorov marched upon Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), where the Russians hoped they could establish a Christian empire. However, as Prof. Timothy C. Dowling states, the slaughters that were committed in the ensuing period somewhat defiled Suvorov's reputation in many eyes, and there were allegations at the time that he was drunk at the siege of Ochakov. Persistent rumors about his actions were spread and circulated, and in 1791 he was relocated to Finland.
Accordingly, the Treaty of Jassy was signed on 9 January 1792, recognizing Russia's 1783 annexation of the Crimean Khanate. Yedisan (Odessa and Ochakov) was also ceded to Russia, and the Dniester was made the Russian frontier in Europe, while the Russian Asiatic frontier—the Kuban River—remained unchanged. The Ottoman war goal to reclaim the Crimea had failed, and if not for the French Revolution, the Ottoman Empire's situation could have been much worse.
Count Aleksander Nikolayevich Samoylov (Russian: Александр Николаевич Самойлов) (1744 – 1 November 1814) was a Russian general and statesman.
Alexander Samoylov was born into the family of senator Nikolay Samoylov. He started his military service in 1760 as a soldier of Leib-Guard Semyonovsky Regiment. Later he was moved to the front-line forces and took part in the Russo-Turkish War, 1768–1774 and, for his part in the taking of Silistra, received the Order of St. George of 4th degree.
The rise to power of his relative, Prince Potemkin, led to a comital title being bestowed upon Samoilov in 1775. After that, he obtained quick promotion: in 1775 he was appointed a member of commission for the trial of Yemelyan Pugachev. Also he was promoted to kamer-yunker (cadet) and became the chairman of the Council, which existed in the reign of Catherine II in 1776–1787. In 1783 he commanded the Crimean Chasseur Corps and was prominent in the campaign that led to the Russian annexation of the Crimean Khanate.
During the Russo-Turkish War, 1787–1792 he fought as General-Poruchik, commanding five infantry regiments, two corps of chasseurs, seven Cossack regiments and forty cannons. In 1788 he distinguished himself in the taking of Ochakov and was awarded the Order of St. George of 2nd degree. In 1789 he took part in the taking of Bendery and Kaushan, serving under his relative, Prince Potemkin. For this campaign he received the Order of Alexander Nevsky. On 12 December 1790, he commanded the left wing of the army of Alexander Suvorov in the storm of Izmail, winning the Order of St. Vladimir of 1st degree.
For his efforts in bringing about the peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, Catherine II personally decorated him with the Order of St. Andrew. On 17 September 1792, he was appointed General-Prosecutor of the Senate instead of seriously ill Prince Alexander Vyazemsky. Upon his accession to the throne, Emperor Paul I dismissed Samoylov.
Alexander Samoilov married Princess Troubetzkoy and had one son, Nicholas, who did not leave issue from his marriage to the last Countess Skavronsky, Yulia. General Raevsky was his nephew.Anglo-Prussian alliance (1788)
The Anglo-Prussian Alliance was a military alliance between Great Britain and Prussia which was signed on 13 August 1788, in response to the Austro-Russian alliance. Its aim was to limit the expansion of Austria and Russia at the cost of the Ottoman Empire, in the context of the Austro-Turkish War (1787–1791) and the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).Austro-Russian alliance (1781)
Austro-Russian alliance refers to the treaty signed by the Austrian Empire and the Russian Empire in May–June 1781.Russia was previously allied with Prussia (Russo-Prussian alliance). However, with time, Russia's attention was increasingly drawn towards the south, and the Ottoman Empire. Advocated by Grigory Potemkin, this new direction reduced the strategic value of Prussia as an ally to Russia, and made Austria once again a more appealing candidate. The Russo-Prussian alliance was once again extended in 1777, but at the imperial court in Saint Petersburg, Panin pro-Prussian faction's influence was eclipsed by the Potemkin's pro-Austrian one. After the death of Maria Theresa of Austria, Joseph II of Austria was more favorable towards improving relations with Russia, and secret negotiations begun in early 1781, resulting in an Austro-Russian alliance formed around May and June 1781. The Prusso-Russian alliance existed formally till 1788, but it lost most if its significance upon the declaration of the Austro-Russian alliance, which isolated Prussia on the international scene. The most notable consequence of the Austro-Russian alliance was the Austro-Turkish War (1787–1791) and the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).In 1790 the alliance was strained, as Russia informed Austria that it has no desire to interfere in case of an Austrian-Prussian conflict.Battle of Cape Kaliakra
The Battle of Cape Kaliakra was the last naval battle of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). It took place on 11 August 1791 off the coast of Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria, in the Black Sea. Neither side lost a ship, but the Ottomans retreated to Istanbul afterward.
The Russian fleet under Admiral Fyodor Ushakov, of 15 battleships and two frigates (990 guns), and several small craft sailed from Sevastopol on 8 August, and at midday on 11 August encountered the Ottoman–Algerian fleet under Hussein Pasha of 18 battleships and 17 frigates (1,500–1,600 guns) and some smaller craft at anchor just south of Cape Kaliakra. Ushakov sailed, in three columns, from the northeast, between the Ottomans and the cape, despite the presence on the cape of several guns.
Admiral Said Ali, the commander of the Algerian ships, weighed anchor and sailed east, followed by Hussein Pasha with the 18 battleships. The Russians then turned around south to a parallel east-south-east course and formed up mostly into one line, with Ushakov in third position and one ship out of line on the off-battle side. Said Ali, leading the line, turned north to try to double the Russian van, but Ushakov sailed out of the line and attacked him, as the rest of the Russian fleet approached. This was at 16:45 (4:45 p.m.). Gradually the Turks turned to the south and when darkness put an end to fighting at 20:30 (8:30 p.m.) they were in full retreat to Istanbul. Russian casualties were 17 killed and 28 wounded, and the frigate Alexander Nevsky was damaged. Ottoman casualty figures are unknown, but their ships were heavily damaged aloft.Battle of Fidonisi
The naval Battle of Fidonisi took place on 14 July 1788 (OS) between the fleets of the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) in the area of Snake Island, which in Greek was called Fidonisi (Φιδονήσι). It was a Russian victory.Battle of Focșani
The Battle of Focşani (also Battle of Fokschani or Battle of Focsani; Hungarian: Foksányi csata) was a battle in the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) fought on 1 August 1789 between the Ottoman Empire and the alliance of the Russian Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy near Focșani, Moldavia (now in Romania). The Russians were led by Alexander Suvorov, the Austrians by Prince Josias of Coburg, and the Ottomans by Osman Pasha.
The Austrian army numbered 18,000 Austrian and Hungarian troops. The Russian contingent was made up of 7,000 soldiers. The Ottomans mustered ca. 30,000 soldiers.
The allies stormed the Ottoman entrenched camp and drove the Turks from Moldavia.Battle of Kerch Strait (1790)
The naval Battle of Kerch Strait (also known as Battle of Yenikale, by the old Turkish name of the strait near Kerch) took place on 19 July 1790 near Kerch, Crimea, and was a slight victory for Imperial Russia over the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War, 1787-1792.
The Russian fleet, under Ushakov, sailed from Sevastopol on 13 July 1790 for the southern Crimea, after hearing a report that the Ottoman fleet had been sighted there. On 19 July it anchored at the mouth of the Kerch Strait and sent privateers out in search of the Ottomans. At 10 am they reported a sighting and 30 minutes later the Ottoman fleet came into view from the east. With the wind from the ENE, Ushakov formed a line on the port tack (i.e. south-east). The Ottomans turned from their group formation and formed a parallel line to the east of the Russian line. Seeing that the Ottoman battle-line contained just their battleships, Ushakov sent 6 frigates to form a second line to leeward of the main line, and between about 12pm and 3pm, 3 hours of indecisive longish-range fighting followed, but then the wind changed direction to NNE and the Russians luffed, turning toward the Ottoman line. The Ottomans reversed course, 2 of their ships colliding as they did so, because some ships turned left and others turned right. As the Russians steered toward the tail-end of the Ottomans line, and with the wind from the north, the Ottoman admiral steered away, to the SW. At about 7pm firing ceased. The Russians followed all night, but by morning, the faster ships of the Ottomans were out of sight. Russian casualties were 29 killed and 68 wounded, with very little damage to ships. The Russian victory prevented the Ottoman Empire from achieving its goal in landing an army in Crimea.Battle of Kinburn (1787)
The Battle of Kinburn was fought on 12 October (N.S.)/1 October (O.S.) 1787 as part of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).
A weak fortress, Kinburn was located opposite Ochakov on a sand bank forming a part of the Dnieper river delta. It covered approaches to the fleet base at Kherson. The reason for the Ottoman attack on Kinburn was to deprive the enemy of a base for the siege of Ochakov and Kherson fleet base.Battle of Măcin
The Battle of Măcin, Battle of Maçin or Battle of Matchin was a battle of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) fought on July 10, 1791, between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. The Russian army of 30,000 was commanded by Prince Nicholas Repnin, whereas the Turks, numbering about 80,000 men, were led by Yusuf Pasha. At first, the victory was in doubt, but then the Turkish army was vanquished by a charge of the Russian left, under Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, and started retreating in disorder.Halil Hamid Pasha
Halil Hamid Pasha, also Halil Hamit Paşa (1736–1785) was the grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 31 December 1782 to 30 April 1785. He is the ancestor of Kemal Derviş. He was especially instrumental in inviting foreign experts, especially French ones, to the Ottoman Empire from 1784.As a result French missions were sent to the Ottoman Empire to train the Turks in naval warfare and fortification building. Up to the French revolution in 1789, about 300 French artillery officers and engineers were active in the Ottoman Empire to modernize and train artillery units.From 1784, André-Joseph Lafitte-Clavé and Joseph-Monnier de Courtois instructed engineering drawings and techniques in the new Turkish engineering school Mühendishâne-i Hümâyûn established by Halil Hamid Pasha. Mostly French textbooks were used on mathematics, astronomy, engineering, weapons, war techniques and navigation.Halil Hamid Pasha had argued for a path towards modernization for the Ottoman Empire, and a conciliatory stance against Russia, but he was ultimately suspected of plotting for the succession of Abdul Hamid I and future ruler Selim III, due to reactionary intrigues and the rise of the anti-French sentiment. Secret correspondence between Selim III and Louis XVI was discovered, and a plot against the current ruler was alleged. Halil Hamid Pasha was beheaded, and the war party rose to power, leading the Ottoman Empire to war with Russia in the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).The French experts ultimately had to leave in 1788 with the start of the hostilities. Some returned to Constantinople, but eventually all instructors had to leave with the end of the Franco-Ottoman alliance in 1798.Halil Hamid Pasha's son-in-law was Safranbolulu Izzet Mehmet Pasha, who served as grand vizier from 1794 to 1798.Ivan Zhevakhov
Ivan Semyonovich Zhevakhov (Russian: Иван Семенович Жевахов), also known as Ivane Simonis dze Javakhishvili (Georgian: ივანე ჯავახიშვილი) (1762 – July 24, 1837) was a Georgian nobleman and a general of the Imperial Russian Army.
Zhevakhov is known for his participation in the Napoleonic Wars and the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) at the Siege of Ochakov (1789).Lev Mikhailovich Yashvil
Prince Lev Mikhailovich Yashvil (Russian: Лев Михайлович Яшвиль), also known as Levan Mikheilis dze Iashvili (Georgian: ლევან მიხეილის ძე იაშვილი) (1772 - April 19, 1836) was a Georgian nobleman and a general of the Imperial Russian Army. Yashvil took part in a number of significant military campaigns, including during the French invasion of Russia, the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) and the Kościuszko Uprising.Mikhail Bulatov
Mikhail Leontievich Bulatov (Russian: Михаил Леонтьевич Булатов; 1760 in Ryazan – 2 May 1825 in Omsk) was a Russian military officer who fought during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) and became major general in 1799 during the Napoleonic Wars and lieutenant-general in 1823.Peter Tekeli
Peter Tekeli (Russian: Петр Авраамович Текели, Serbian: Петар Поповић Текелија or Petar Popović Tekelija, Hungarian: Tököly-Popovics Péter) (1720–1792) was a Russian general-in-chief of Serb origin. He achieved the highest rank among the Serbs who served in the Imperial Russian Army. He was born in a noble family of military tradition, whose men were officers of the Austrian army in the Military Frontier. Prior to his emigration to Russia in 1748, he fought as a young officer in the War of the Austrian Succession. Characterized by both courage and military cunning, he made a splendid career in Russia. He participated in the Seven Years' War, the first Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), and the second Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). Under his command, Zaporozhian Cossacks were disbanded and subjugated to the Imperial authority in 1775, without spilling a single drop of blood, for which he received the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky from Empress Catherine the Great. He retired in 1790, and died two years later in his mansion at Novomirgorod.Siege of Izmail
The Siege of Izmail was a military investment fought in 1790 on the Black Sea during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). The Russians were led by Alexander Suvorov, who had defeated the Ottomans at Kinburn, Ochakov, and Focsani. The Black Sea flotilla was commanded by the Spanish admiral José de Ribas.
In March 1790, the Russians began besieging Izmail, in the region of Budjak (now in Ukraine), which had a garrison of 40,000 soldiers. Suvorov had 31,000 troops and on the morning of 22 December 1790, the Russians began attacking the city. They bombarded Izmail until 3:00 A.M. And then stormed it at 5:30 A.M. The Russians advanced on the north, east, and west. The walls were weaker there than in other places, where it took Russian troops longer to attack. By 8:00 A.M. the Russians had entered the city. In total the Ottoman forces had more than 26,000 killed with the whole garrison being killed, wounded or captured. The Russian forces suffered only 4,330 casualties, out of which 1,815 were killed.To the victory was dedicated the anthem "Grom pobedy, razdavaysya!" (Let the thunder of victory sound!) which was an unofficial Russian national anthem in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today it is commemorated as a Day of Military Honour in Russia.
The siege is dramatized in cantos 7 and 8 of Lord Byron's verse-novel Don Juan (1823). His principal source, he states in the preface, was Gabriel de Castelnau's account of the siege in Essai sur l’histoire ancienne et moderne de la Nouvelle Russie (1820).Siege of Ochakov (1788)
The Second Siege of Ochakov (now Ochakiv, Ukraine) was one of the major events of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). It was known as "Özi Kuşatması" in Turkish.
In 1788, Russian forces led by Prince Grigory Potemkin and General Alexander Suvorov besieged the city, held by Ottoman troops commanded by Hasan Pasha. Despite Suvorov's urging to storm the city immediately, Potemkin had the Russian forces encircled Ochakov (Özi), bombarding the city and cutting off the defenders' supply of food and ammunition. By keeping his soldiers out of direct battle, Potemkin minimized Russian casualties, though he was accused by his generals of cowardice. The argument about storming continued in the Russian headquarters during the entirety of the siege. Also, the Russians captured strategically important Pirezin Island on July 18, 1788.
The first combat was on May 31, with the arrival of the Turkish navy. The Russian flotilla lost a double-sloop while attempting to retreat. The Russian army began assaulting the city on July 9.The Turks made several attempts to break the siege. On July 27, about 5,000 Janissaries attacked positions held by Cossacks and forced them to retreat. Suvorov personally led reinforcements and drove the Janissaries to the gates of Ochakov, but was injured.
Hasan Pasha expected reinforcements from the Turkish fleet, which gathered in Limans. But after the attack of Admiral Senyavin's fleet, Turkish reinforcements were cut off.
The condition of both armies continued to decline, there was a threat of disease, and the weather was growing very cold. Potemkin ultimately gave in to Suvorov's arguments. On the night of December 6 (December 17 in the Gregorian calendar), the Russians attacked, and captured Hasan Pasha's palace, forcing its guards to surrender. Over 9,500 Turks were killed during the assault, more than 4,000 were taken prisoner, including Hasan Pasha himself, but most of the city garrison was killed in the street fight, having lost about 20,000 men dead. The Russians lost 956 soldiers and had 1,829 wounded by the end of the operation.The Russian victory was celebrated in a famous ode by Gavrila Derzhavin, and in a Te Deum by Giuseppe Sarti.Souliote War (1789–1793)
The Souliote War (1789–1793) was an armed conflict between Ali Pasha of Ioannina and a coalition of Souliotes and their Muslim allies. The war lasted between February 1789 and April 1793 and was fought in the context of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) and local power struggles. The Souliotes achieved a defensive victory but failed to foment a big Christian insurrection as originally planned.Vladimir Mikhailovich Yashvil
Prince Vladimir Mikhailovich Yashvil (Russian: Владимир Михайлович Яшвиль; Georgian: ვლადიმერ იაშვილი) (July 15, 1764 – July 20, 1815) was a Russian general of Georgian noble origin (Iashvili) personally involved in the assassination of Paul I of Russia (1800). He was a brother of General Lev Yashvil.
Born to an émigré Georgian noble family in the village Muromtseva, Kaluga Governorate, Yashvil graduated from a cadet corps in 1786 and took part in the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) and the Polish campaigns (1792, 1794). He commanded various artillery units and was promoted to major general in 1800. That year, he joined several Russian officers in a palace coup against Paul I and, along with General Bennigsen assassinated the tsar in Saint Michael's Castle. Paul's successor Alexander I, allegedly the coup sympathizer, soon sacked Yashvil. Being prohibited from visiting both St. Petersburg and Moscow, Yashvil spent next several years in a compulsory retirement at his estate. During Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, Yashvil managed to obtain permission from General Dmitry Shepelev to join the Kaluga militia and helped recover Yelnya. However, upon Alexander I's order, the Russian commander Kutuzov dismissed Yashvil who returned to his estate.Zakhary Chepiha
Zakhary (Kharyton or Kharko) Oleksiyovych Chepiha (Ukrainian: Захарій (Харитон / Харко) Олексійович Чепіга), sometimes transliterated Chepiga, alternative surname: Kulish (Ukrainian: Куліш) (1725 – 14 January 1797) was, after Sydir Bily, the second Kosh ataman of the Black Sea Cossack Host.
Chepiha was born in Chernihiv Oblast. He arrived at the Zaporozhian Sich in 1740 and at its demise in 1775 was a Cossack polkovnyk. He retired with the title of Captain. In 1783 he made an unsuccessful attempt at organizing a cohort of volunteer cossacks from the Zaporozhia.
After meeting up with Catherine II in 1787, he was one of the cossacks to convince the Empress in allowing the formation of the Host of the Loyal Zaporozhians, later known as the Black Sea Cossack Host.
Soon afterwards the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) broke out, and the new cossack host received its battle christening on the Southern Bug river during the Battle of Ochakov.
During a campaign in 1788, Chepiha was wounded by a bullet to the shoulder. After Sydor Bily's death, he was proclaimed the Host's ataman. He took part in the storming of Izmail in 1790 and the battle of Babodah in 1791. For his efforts, Chepiha received the rank of the Order of St. George. In 1792 he took part in the resettlement of the Black Sea Cossacks to the Kuban. He died in 1797 and was buried in Yekaterinodar.
Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792)
Austro-Turkish War (1788–1791)