Jozef Brandt "Battle of Khotyn in 1621 year"
In vain sought the salvation of almost the former sultan Osman II in the residence of the commander of the Janissary Corps. In vain did he expect to find officers still loyal to him or those of them with whom he could be negotiated with gold. However, the rebels, whose protest has long been firmly stepped over the line of disgruntled grumbling, and the demands are immediately carried out with the help of sabers and the peak, discovered and seized by all the ruler of the Ottoman Porta. Soon Osman, dressed in rags, was taken on a trolley to the Yedikul fortress, where he was strangled without any extra pump. He became the first sultan of the Ottoman Empire, killed in the rebellion.
May 1622 in Istanbul turned out to be vain. The throne of the empire was erected by the uncle of the defeated padishah - Mustafa, suffering from mental disorder, who was captured by a special seizure group from the harem, where he was passing the time away from the troubles, called "public affairs". A heavy boulder, which caused, however, a quite predictable collapse, was a lost, bloody and prolonged Khotyn battle, after which Osman II had the misfortune to wish to reform his army troubled by failure.
The young sultan plays the soldiers
In November, 1606 in the Hungarian city of Zhitvatorok signed a peace treaty that ended the next Austro-Turkish war, an agreement that did not give territorial gains to any of the parties, but included a number of important points that are peculiar markers. Sultan refused to annual tribute from Austria, and, in addition, the protocol for the first time the Austrian ruler was called the emperor, and not the former derogatory title "the ruler of Vienna."
Now the Ottoman Empire could no longer perceive Europe only as an aggregate of heterogeneous states under the control of petty monarchs, from which it nevertheless suffered defeat before. It was already becoming clear that the Turkish expansion in the West had hopelessly stalled and finally got bogged down. The port was still strong enough to assemble new multi-thousand army and equip fleets and squadrons, but the victorious news became increasingly rare in the palaces of Topkapi.
The brilliant Porta entered the XVII century, its tread was still firm, but its power had already passed its zenith. In 1617, at the age of 27, Sultan Ahmed I, who had numerous offspring, died. As a result of complex palace intrigue, the highest officials of the empire made an unexpected and unconventional decision. Sultan, contrary to the order adopted in the state, was not the eldest son of Ahmed I, fourteen-year-old Osman, but the brother of the deceased ruler Mustafa. Mustafa suffered mental disorder, but was a stranger to politics, and therefore was indispensable in the role of a temporary and compromise figure.
However, the rule of Mustafa, even in such a decorative form, caused serious concerns about the prestige of the sultan's power. The ruler of the Ottoman Empire was noticed in all kinds of eccentricities: he fed the animals with coins or handed out handfuls of gold to the first person he met. Another peculiarity of Mustafa’s behavior was jerking his beards and tearing off his headgear from high-ranking courtiers in the most inappropriate places. Fearing even more strange incidents and quirks, those in power decided not to improvise, but to transfer the throne to Osman.
After serving for three months as the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa was quietly removed, and his new ruler under the name of Osman II took his place in February 1618. Not quite adequate uncle sent back from harm away - to the harem, where he remained until the new coup d'état that occurred in 1622, when Mustafa was again used as a kind of high-ranking pound.
The young Osman found the state not in the most fertile and peaceful time - they began to forget about such times in Istanbul. In the same year 1618 ended another and, moreover, unsuccessful war with Iran. The positions of the Ottoman Ports in the Caucasus somewhat weakened. In the meantime, very significant events took place in Europe: a long and very large-scale conflict began at that time; history like the Thirty Years War. Many old opponents of Turkey were drawn into it to one degree or another, and in Istanbul they felt a favorable opportunity to get their share of the pie, while the European table was tensely clarifying relations.
Sultan Osman II (illustration from the book The History of the Decline of the Greek Empire ... 1660)
For a start, the young sultan, with the ardent support of his educator Omer-efendi, got rid of a whole cage of statesmen, courtiers, clergymen, and eunuchs: they were sent who resigned, who went into exile, and who to places far more distant than provincial the outskirts of the empire - with the help of silk lace. Having consolidated on the throne, not for years the ambitious sultan decided to leave his own mark in the history of the Ottoman Empire, especially as advisers crowded around the throne and other state wise men with polite smiles prompted the belligerent youth to step towards the Rzecz Pospolita.
The fact is that Turkish interests began to clash with Polish interests in the Moldavian principality, a semi-independent state entity that was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. Like any territory that is a watershed between two opposing civilizations, Moldova became the scene of intense diplomatic, commercial and intelligence activities of a number of powers: Turkey, Poland, the Crimean Khanate, Russia and the Holy Roman Empire. In recent years, Poles have increasingly interfered in the internal affairs of the principality, which the Turks considered their zone of influence.
Although Poland ended a long and difficult war with a Moscow state with a favorable score for itself, it took Smolensk and other territories into its hands, but did not want to actively participate in the Thirty Years War. King Sigismund III confined himself to sending a detachment of mercenaries to help the Hapsburgs, when they fought against the principality of Transylvania against Vienna. In 1619, in the battle of Humenne, the Polish contingent defeated the Transylvanian army of Yuri Rakoczi, after which he turned to the Turks for help.
The participation of the Poles in the war against Transylvania, which, in connection with the Thirty Years War, decided to break free from the care of Vienna, was another powerful argument in favor of deciding to deal with the Commonwealth in Istanbul. Osman solid hand, supported by caring advisers, headed for war.
Warm up and training
To begin with, in order to invigorate the Polish gentry, in the summer of 1618, the Crimean Khan was entrusted with organizing raids into the southern regions of the Commonwealth. While the soldiers of Sigismund III, and in fact the “lisovchiki” remaining after the end of the Russian campaign, saved Vienna for Austrian gold, a large detachment headed by Kantemir-Murza, followed by Kalga Devlet-Girey with a large army, advanced from the Crimea. For one and a half months, Tatar cavalry detachments devastated the territories near Vinnitsa, Lvov, Tarnopol, and Dubno.
The Poles, of course, understood that the next foray of the subjects of the Crimean Khan was not only a trivial way to improve their own well-being, but in fact reconnaissance by force, combined with such a pleasant bonus as captivity and booty. At a meeting of the Polish Seym in 1618, it was publicly stated that the main enemies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth are the Turks and Tatars. However, the Russians were also enemies, but a peace treaty was recently signed with them, and a hungry sitting in Moscow was still a burning memory.
However, the Poles did not want to quarrel with the Ottoman Empire right away. When the Persian envoy from Shah Abbas arrived in Poland with a proposal to give him 12 thousand Cossacks, whom he would use to continue the war with the Ottomans, he was refused. On the contrary, Rzeczpospolita itself sent its embassies to the Crimea and Istanbul to confirm peaceful coexistence (interrupted, however, from time to time by Tatar raids). In Istanbul, which set a course for military confrontation, these initiatives did not find support. The mission of the Polish Ambassador Peter Ozhega was not crowned with success.
The Turks put their army in order and accelerated military preparations in every possible way. In the spring of 1619, the Tatars again paid a visit to the territory of the Commonwealth, ravaging villages and small towns, capturing prisoners. So that the young sultan would not get cold in his desire to pull the scimitar out of its scabbard, his fighting impulse was supported by all sorts of undoubtedly reliable rumors that detachments of Zaporizhzhya Cossacks were terrorizing trade on the Black Sea and could even threaten Istanbul. In fact, it was believed that both sides (Turkey and Poland) kept under control the tip of their blades in the face of the Crimean Khanate and the Zaporizhian Sich. In fact, this was far from the case: if the Crimean Khan was generally loyal to Istanbul and fought only with the enemies of the Ottoman Empire or was pointed out, the Zaporozhye freemen could attack and attack almost anyone, especially if the morning was foggy and without money.
The campaigns of the Cossacks really annoyed the Turks, and they saw in these acts of piracy and robbery of the Poles. However, at that time Rzeczpospolita did not want confrontation with the Turks. In a desperate attempt not to bring the matter to war in the spring of 1620, the embassy was sent to Istanbul under the leadership of Mr. Jerome Otfinovsky, and to the Crimea - Florian Oleshko. The Polish Embassy in the capital was not even accepted by the Sultan. With Otfinovsky had a conversation, more like a monologue in the form of threats and ultimatums, Grand Vizier Ali Pasha. He demanded to forbid the Cossacks to stick their nose out of the Dnieper, and at the same time to tear down a number of fortresses in the Bratslav and Kiev provinces.
A role in the escalation of the conflict was played by the Austrian ambassador Mallart, who, in gratitude for his assistance in the fight against Transylvania, in every way kindled the Polish-Turkish crisis. Vienna was extremely beneficial for the Ottoman Empire to get bogged down in the war with the Commonwealth and not interfere in the European meat grinder. Otfinowski sent panic dispatches to Warsaw in which he emphasized the inevitability of a collision with Porta. Seriously fearing for his life, the Polish ambassador secretly left Istanbul on a Venetian ship. Florian Oleshko was even less fortunate: he was generally detained in the Crimea. Now it has become clear even to the most notorious optimists in Poland that war cannot be avoided.
Moldavian campaign hetman Zolkiewski. Tsetorskaya battle
Stanislav Zolkiewski, Crown Hetman
While clouds were gathering swiftly in the diplomatic sky, in Poland they also did not sit idly. Crown hetman Stanislav Zolkiewski entered into sharp controversy with King Sigismund III regarding plans for the coming war. The plan of the hetman provided for a preemptive invasion of the vassal Moldavian Turks and defeat the enemy troops located there, without waiting for the approach of the main forces of the Ottoman army. The planning of the company from the Polish side was complicated by several factors at once: in Rzecz Pospolita there was a very special form of government in the form of an electoral monarchy and such an attribute as a seim which is not distinguished by calmness, and often also by common sense.
This institute of power suppressed the Zolkiewski initiative, considering it to be too dangerous. The hetman was forced to turn for support to the king, with whom he had very uneasy relations, but at first Sigismund also rejected Zolkiewski’s proposals.
The reason for the king’s hesitation, who was also forced to constantly look at the Sejm, was that in terms of the upcoming war with the Turks, much attention was paid to attracting Cossacks to the fighting, and not only the roster (there were relatively few), but also Zaporizhia. In the sincere opinion of a considerable part of the gentry, it was like to release a genie from a bottle, and this genie, which quickly loses its adequacy, can be completely indifferent to whose hands have a lamp, a ring or another attribute of power.
After a long, polishly deprived 15 debate in July, 1620 was decided to invade Moldova without the Cossacks by the Polish army itself. Zolkiewski was supposed to unite with the army of the Moldavian prince Gaspar Graziani. Initially, about 8500 people were assembled for the trip to Moldova, later this number increased to 10 thousand, reduced to 5 regiments with 20 guns and several dozen heavy fortress guns. Because of the abundance of the nobility who took part in the campaign, the army was accompanied by hordes of servants and a huge wagon train. In addition, as part of the army there were units of German mercenaries.
2 September 1620 Zolkiewski approached the Dniester and began to cross with the help of improvised means. By September 4, the crossing of this frontier barrier was completed, and he entered the territory of Moldova. At this time, Turkish envoys arrived at the Prince Graziani, who demanded that the Moldovan ruler arrive in Istanbul and give a detailed and clear account of his secret affairs with the Poles. Gratsiani, quite sensibly judging that his life journey might end in the Turkish capital, ordered the envoys to be executed, while he himself rushed towards Zolkiewski.
The Polish army marched cheerfully over Moldovan territory. The hetman and his senior commanders were inspired by the optimistic promises of Gaspar Gratsiani to bring the 25-thousandth army with them. What was the surprise of the Poles, which, however, quickly turned into indignation, when Gratsiani arrived in the location of the crown army with a detachment of as many 600 fighters not the combat appearance itself. We must pay tribute to Zolkiewski: he did not lose composure, but continued moving.
12 September 1620 The Polish-Moldavian army approached the village of Tsetsora, located on the right bank of the Prut River, 18 kilometers from Iasi. The hetman, finding the position suitable (the Prut riverbed was winding here and formed a small peninsula), ordered to set up a fortified camp on the opposite, left bank of the river. He was surrounded by a two-meter earthen rampart - on both sides of the camp was covered with water of the river.
Witold Pivnitski "Battle of Tsetsora 1620"
The defensive work was barely completed, as information arrived that none other than Beiller of Sililustra Ibrahim Pasha was sent here along with a large army. Intelligence estimated the Turkish forces at 10 thousand people, among whom were not only the Turks, but also the Moldovan contingent, which retained the loyalty of the Ottoman Empire. Soon it also became known that, besides the Turks proper, the army of the Nogai forces, led by Kantemir-Murza and the Crimean Tatars, was moving towards Tsetsora. In total, there were from 20 to 25 thousand soldiers against the army of Zolkiewski and the Gratsiani detachment.
The fighting began Nogais and Krymchaks, who, under the command of Kantemir-Murza, were in the vanguard of the Turkish army. 17 September 1620. They suddenly attacked the Polish camp and managed to catch their opponent off guard. Poles battered and captured a number of prisoners. On September 18, the main forces of Ibrahim Pasha approached, and the sides had already entered into a full-scale clash. By the end of 18 September, the winner was undecided - the Poles suffered losses, but their positions remained strong.
The next day, Zolkiewski, having received information from the prisoners that almost a hundred-thousandth army under the command of the Sultan was going to Ibrahim Pasha (later it turned out to be misinformation), decided to withdraw the army to the field and give a general battle. On the morning of September 19, the Poles came out of the fortifications and lined up in battle formations. The flanks of the army on the orders of the hetman were covered with mobile vanenburg to protect against enemy cavalry.
The deployment of the Polish army was rather unorganized, and Ibragim Pasha, who had left the Cantemir-Murza cavalry, was not slow to take advantage. Noghais and Tatars struck at the junction between the positions of Zolkiewski and the fortified camp itself, in which there were few troops left. Having appeared on the edge of the strike, the Moldovan detachment of Graziani considered it to be a blessing to go over to the side of the enemy, which considerably worsened the situation. The Turks struck across the front, the Poles and German infantrymen steadfastly resisted, but the solidity of their defense was already broken.
By the end of the day, Zolkiewski's troops were in complete disarray and took refuge in the camp. Their losses, taking into account Moldovan defectors, reached 2,5 – 3 thousand people. The situation was serious, the army was demoralized by an unsuccessful battle. On the night from 20 to 21 September, confusion began in the Polish camp, almost turning into a panic. It was rumored that the hetman together with Graziani were secretly planning to leave the camp and cross over to the other side of the Prut. To reassure his subordinates, the hetman had to swear on the Gospel that he was not going to abandon his army. Nevertheless, quite a decent amount of deserters escaped from the camp, including Prince Graziani, who, however, sank when he was forced into Prut, and according to other information, was killed by the Poles themselves.
After such events, Zolkiewski has no more than 4 – 4500 fighters, and on September 28 he decided to retreat. For all these days Ibrahim Pasha did not take active steps, limited to observation - his troops also suffered serious losses. On the night from 29 to 30 in September 1620, the Polish army left the camp under cover of mobile fortifications from seven rows of carts and carts and began to withdraw towards the Dniester.
Zolkiewski's retreat was very difficult - his army, covered on all sides by slow-moving vehicles, moved slowly. Tatars and Nogais did everything possible to make this procedure for their opponents even more difficult and unpromising. The Cantemir-Murza cavalry, which did not give respite to the golfer, galloped around the Polish army, slowly crawling around the wagons of the Polish army. All settlements along the way Zolkiewski's troops indulged in fire, the wells fell asleep, the grass was set on fire from time to time - all these measures created considerable problems for the Poles. So, overcoming the resistance of the enemy, the Polish army continued to move. Almost in continuous battles and clashes several days passed.
However, when only a half dozen kilometers remained until the desired Dniester, an unforeseen but quite probable event occurred. By this time, the morale of the Zolkiewski troops left much to be desired: the soldiers did not eat properly, did not rest for several days in a row, and besides, they were constantly exhausted by their Tatars. Among the gentry of varying degrees of nobility, but equally gonoristoy, broke out quickly quarreling. It turned out that during the retreat from Tsetsora, many of the pans carts with expensive, but not useful in the march, property was looted. Notable pans staged an incredible scandal, oathingly assuring each other and ordinary soldiers that when the army enters the territory of the Commonwealth, they will perpetrate a full-scale massacre of the suspects, who, judging by the incipient panic, were many.
In the confusion, the remnants of discipline were dispelled, and many gentlemen and officers simply left the camp. We must pay tribute to the hetman Zolkiewski, who tried to bring at least some order in the army, which directly transformed into a crowd. After a massive desertion, no more than 2,5 thousand people, mostly infantry, remained in the retreating army. While trying to break through to the Dniester, they were attacked by the cavalry of Cantemir-Murza, who successfully seized the moment.
The remnants of Zolkiewski's troops were completely defeated, and the 72-year-old hetman himself was killed. His head as an honorary trophy was taken to Istanbul. The Tatars and the Turks who arrived in time got huge trophies and many prisoners. The winners took all the artillery and the still huge Polish wagon train, the safety of which worried so much the lords, of whom some found eternal rest at the bottom of the Dniester, others chopped up the Tatar sabers, the third had to go a long way deep into the Ottoman Empire as prisoners.
Khotyn campaign of Osman II
Tsetsorsky defeat made a strong impression on the ruling circles of the Commonwealth, and decided to fight with the Turks so seriously, so allowed by the circumstances. To concentrate all forces in the south against the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate was not allowed by the fact that Sweden began to show increased interest in the Polish territories. Nevertheless, the Seym gave the go-ahead to form a large army, which was not an easy task for the Commonwealth and to raise money for this, which was even more difficult.
Leon Kaplinsky. Portrait of Jan Carol Chodkiewicz
Instead of the slain hetman Zolkiewski, they ordered the command of the formed army to be Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, also an old slave who was the hetman of the great Lithuanian. Since our own forces, even taking into account the destruction of the Pospolit (noble militia), attracting foreign mercenaries, primarily German, were not enough to confront the huge Turkish army, which, according to rumors, Sultan Osman II collected from Edirne, it was decided not easy for the Poles, to propose to the Cossacks on the side of King Sigismund.
The number of registered Cossacks in the royal service was rather small and approached 6 thousands, which was obviously not enough. The corresponding appeal was sent to the Zaporizhian Sich, where there was no shortage of people willing to wave the saber, especially since they promised to pay for it with full-weighted Polish zloty. The people bored and sophisticated in military affairs in the Sich were plentiful, and more than 30 thousand Cossacks expressed a desire to find a job in Poland.
Sultan Osman II, inspired by the Tsetsorsky victory, now wished new successes. In 1621, he planned a big military campaign against the Commonwealth. Not everyone in his entourage liked this idea: if at the beginning of the Moldovan crisis many close followers of the Sultan were not averse to teach Poles a lesson, inflicting one or two painful defeats, after which they dictated a profitable world, the idea did not look like a border war. doubtful and risky. It was restless inside the empire, it was known that the Iranian Shah was far from the pacifist moods and could seize Porta's back at the most inopportune moment.
However, Osman was eager for military glory and already imagined himself almost as Suleiman the Magnificent. Since the spring of 1621, the outskirts of Istanbul have begun to resemble a huge military camp — more and more troops were coming from different provinces. In his entourage, Osman II made a number of permutations: some dignitaries, with whom he had friction, were dismissed. 29 April 1621, the Sultan, along with 6 thousands of Janissaries, arrived at a temporary camp near Istanbul, where he conducted a review of the emerging army.
A few days later, in May, the main forces of the Sultan's troops began moving towards Edirne. In the area of this city, another review was carried out, the rear and transports, the size of which scared their colossal bulkiness, were tightened, and the army of the Ottoman Empire moved north. Many noted the lack of enthusiasm among the participants in the campaign, with the exception of the young sultan, who donned Suleiman's armor.
Scheme battle at Khotyn
Information on the number of troops involved in the Khotyn war differs. They are rated from 100 to 250 thousands and from 60 to 100 guns. However, when you consider how many different support personnel there were in the Ottoman army: carts, drovers, servants and others, the combat structure itself was significantly smaller. Nevertheless, Osman II had at his disposal a large, at that time even a huge, well-trained and equipped army, which, moreover, the army of the Crimean Khan had to join.
In late June, these hordes approached the Danube, where Turkish sappers began building a pontoon ferry. In early July, she was ready, and the Turks began to force the Danube. Their opponent was in a quandary. Instead of the planned 60 thousand soldiers, the Poles were able to scrape around 35 – 40 thousand, taking into account the nobility and mercenaries. Poland’s European partners, who enthusiastically shared Germany in the Thirty Years War, limited themselves to polite wishes for success.
Getman of His Royal Mercy of the Zaporozhian Troops Peter Konashevich-Sagaidachny
In August, the Polish army approached the Dniester 1621 and, with great effort, built a bridge and began to cross the Moldovan coast. Intelligence reported on the approach of the Sultan - the number of troops of Osman II was repeatedly exaggerated. Both sides were waiting for reinforcements: Janibek-Giray and Cantemir-Murza hurried to the sultan from the Crimea with the Tatar and Nogai cavalry army, Hodkiewicz was looking forward to the approach of registered and Zaporozhye Cossacks (at the top of which the struggle for power between the leader of the registered Cossacks Peter Sagaidachny and his competitor from Zaporozhye Sech Yakov Wart).
At the end of August, the Cossacks arrived at the Polish camp, and now their numbers were hardly inferior to the actual Polish army. Chodkiewicz’s plan was to force the enemy, using his strength on the Khotyn castle, to exhaust the enemy in superior strength and force him to abandon the invasion into the interior of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The combined army, in which it was now, according to various estimates, from 60 to 80 thousand people, took up a well-fortified position on the west bank of the Dniester, having a Khotyn castle in the rear and a rocky riverbank. On the flanks were the Polish troops and mercenaries, the Cossacks, as the most suitable expendable material for the pantry, had the honor of being in the center.
The territory in front of the fortified camp was an open, but rugged terrain that impeded cavalry activities. By the beginning of September, both Turks and Tatars approached. The camp of the Ottoman army was impressive in size, wealth of tents, armor and weapons.
2 September 1621 Tatar cavalry and Turkish infantry launched the first attack on the Polish fortified camp, striking at the positions occupied by the Cossacks. The clashes went all day, but Osman II’s troops failed to break through the defenses, and they proceeded to systematic siege operations.
The next day, the Turks sent scouts from among the Vlachs to the Khodkevich camp, who were to set fire to the baggage depot. However, the sabotage group was caught, and the whole plan became the property of Chodkiewicz. A strong fire was simulated in the camp, and when the Turks went on the attack, hoping to panic with the enemy, they were ambushed and suffered heavy losses. In the following days, the positions of the Polish army attacked seriously, using artillery. The blows were struck from various sides by infantry and cavalry, however, Chodkiewicz’s positions were well fortified, and he skillfully maneuvered reserves, neutralizing the enemy’s efforts.
By September 7, when fresh troops arrived in the Turkish camp, it was decided to undertake a general assault on the positions of Chodkiewicz’s troops. In the morning, after hours of artillery bombardment, the cavalry and infantry went to the assault. The defenders repulsed four massive attacks. When a critical situation developed at one of the defense sectors, the best Polish reserve — the winged hussars, who had corrected the situation — was thrown into battle. The assault did not succeed, the sultan’s combat fervor was somewhat sought after, and he began to probe the ground for peace negotiations.
Juliusz Kossak "Protection of the Polish banner at Khotyn"
Khodkiewicz was generally not against making an honorable peace in the framework of the status quo, but this did not suit the Ottoman side. 15 September was launched a new assault, which was again recaptured with heavy losses. The position of the Polish and Cossack troops also deteriorated, as the cavalry of Cantemir-Murza was able to cut their communication with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In addition, 24 September dies suffering from epilepsy Chodkiewicz. The command of the Polish army took Stanislav Lubomirsky.
September 25 Osman II conducts a new assault, which also proved unsuccessful. The next attack is carried out on September 28 - the Poles and Cossacks managed not only to repel all enemy attempts to break through the camp, but also to counterattack successfully. The Turkish army was demoralized, and desertion increased in its ranks. Counselors of the Sultan began to persuade Osman II to somewhat lessen their ambitions and, in view of the deteriorating martial law and the imminent winter, give their highest consent to negotiations.
October 9 1621 of the year peace was concluded, according to which Rzeczpospolita refused to interfere in the affairs of Moldova, but the Poles considered themselves to be rightly won the party. Khotyn's epic cost the Polish army and Cossacks almost 14 thousand dead and dead. The losses of the Turkish side were much larger. The world between the two countries turned out to be short-lived - a new war broke out already after 12 years.