The causes of the war
The border of Russia with Persia in the Transcaucasus during the first quarter of the 19th century was “transparent” and therefore there was no calm on it. Especially where the Erivan Khanate bordered Georgia, which included most of the lands of Eastern Armenia. The new Russian-Persian war was inevitable, the question was only about the time of its beginning and its duration.
Russian-Persian War 1804 - 1813 ended for Russia with a victory and the signing of the Gulistan Peace Treaty, under which Persia recognized the accession of Georgia, Dagestan and the khanates of Northern Azerbaijan to Russia (they were vassals of Tehran). However, Feth-Ali from the Qajar dynasty in every way pulled the issue of the delimitation of border lands in the area of Lake Gokcha (Sevan). In Tehran, it was believed that the time had come for a rematch. Russia at that time was on the verge of war with Turkey. In addition, in St. Petersburg there was a revolt of representatives of secret societies (Decembrists), which, according to the Persians, weakened the northern empire. Russia was not up to the war in the Caucasus.
Petersburg tried to prevent the imminent conflict and keep the Persian Shah from war. The diplomatic mission of Major General A. S. Menshikov was sent to Tehran. However, her arrival had the opposite effect. The Eastern rulers regarded this mission as evidence of the weakness of the government of Nicholas I. The Persian government did not want to hear about any distinction between "their lands". While negotiations were underway, Crown Prince Abbas-Mirza was pushing troops to the borders of the Russian Karabakh (Karabakh) province. The first strike was to be inflicted by the Erivan sardar, the third person in the Persian hierarchy. He had his army, yard and sofa (Khan's council). And the Erivan fortress was one of the most powerful in the country.
As a result, the war was caused by the strategic interests of Russia and Persia, which clashed in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. The Russian Empire during this period was on the rise and expanded its sphere of influence. Persia, as a strong regional power, has long claimed the Caucasus and had strong positions there.
In addition, the war was caused by the so-called. The big game - the confrontation of the great powers, claiming dominance in certain regions of the planet. In particular, Britain, as the possible leader of the entire Western world, put “stick in wheels” to Russia practically wherever it could, including in the Caucasus. In 1814, Persia signed an agreement with England, under which she pledged not to let troops of any state pass through her territory to India. England, for its part, agreed to seek a revision of the Gulustan Treaty in favor of Persia, and in the event of war committed itself to provide the Shah monetary assistance in the amount of 200 thousand fogs per year and help with troops and weapons. British diplomats, pushing for an end to the Persian-Turkish war that began in 1821, pushed Feth Ali Shah and heir to the throne Abbas-Mirza to speak out against Russia. Thus, England led the traditional policy of setting neighbors on Russia — Sweden, Turkey, Persia, etc.
The forces of the parties
With the help of Western aid, the Persian army was reorganized according to European standards. By 1826, Persia, with the help of British military instructors, formed a new army and had 38,5 thousand regular infantry (not counting the remaining irregular infantry) and 42 field artillery guns. Persian infantry was trained by foreigners, armed and equipped in the European manner. In addition, Persia had numerous cavalry, mainly from the tribal militias, to 90 - 100 thousand riders.
Russia had at this time about 10 thousand fighters. On the border with Persia there were only about 3 thousand people - the Don Cossack regiment of Lieutenant Colonel Andreev (about 500 Cossacks scattered in small groups throughout the territory), two battalions of the Tiflis infantry regiment and two companies of carabineers. The troops were stretched narrow strip along the border and did not have reserves. The commander-in-chief of the Russian troops in the Caucasus was General A. P. Ermolov, then he was replaced by I. F. Paskevich.
Commander in Chief of the Persian Army, Crown Prince Abbas-Mirza (1789 - 1833)
Commander-in-Chief of the Russian troops Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich. Hood Franz Kruger, 1834 year
Having a complete military advantage, the commander-in-chief of the Shah's army, Prince Abbas-Mirza, was not modest. He planned to quickly penetrate the Transcaucasus in order to seize Tiflis and knock out the Russians from Georgia and Northern Azerbaijan. In the future, the Russians were going to drive far beyond the Caucasian ridge, even beyond the Terek. These plans were built on the shaky ground of the imaginary "weakness" of Russia. The situation was complicated by the fact that the Persians could count on a blow from the Caucasian highlanders from the rear on the Russian troops. In addition, assistance to the Persian army was promised by the Karabakh Beks and many representatives of the nobility of the neighboring provinces, who had not yet come to terms with life as part of the Russian Empire and maintained constant contact with the Persians.
19 (31) July 1826, the huge regular 60-th. The Persian army, accompanied by many thousands of irregular cavalry and supported by the army of the owner of Erivan, without a declaration of war crossed the border on the Araks River and invaded the Transcaucasus on the territory of the Karabakh and Talysh khanates. The eastern cavalry scattered across the territory of the western part of Northern Azerbaijan, becoming robbing and burning first here, and then in the neighboring Georgian territories. Russian units were forced to retreat to Karaklis with a fight. Gumry and Karaklis were soon surrounded.
Colonel I. A. Reut ordered to withdraw all troops stationed in the Karabakh province to the fortress of Shushu (For details, see the article: The beginning of the Russian-Persian war 1826 — 1828 Heroic defense of Shushi). The garrison of the Shushi fortress was made up of a 1300 man (6 was the mouth of the 42 th Jäger regiment and Cossacks with 4 guns). A few days before the complete blockade of the fortress, the Cossacks drove the families of local Muslim nobles as hostages behind its walls. Residents of the Armenian villages of Karabakh and Muslims (they were then called Tatars), who remained loyal to Russia, also took refuge in the fortress. They supported the Russian garrison during the defense. The fortress was located on a high rock, was considered impregnable and since ancient times was a stronghold of Karabakh. But her weakness was the lack of a water source. The defense of Shushi continued for 47 days and was of great importance for the course of military operations, forging the army of the enemy.
Thus, the enemy could not use the effect of the unexpected invasion of a large army and the presence of many thousands of cavalry, who chose not to fight small Russian troops, destroying them and wedging deep into the territory, but to plunder and burn the surrounding villages.
Ermolov was waiting for a blow from Persia. Therefore, the war did not surprise him. He ordered the troops of the Separate Caucasian Corps to converge to the capital of the governorship of the city of Tiflis. However, in the conditions of war, this order did not reach all regiments and garrisons. And the troops for the decisive field battle was extremely small. The Persian cavalry moved to the city of Elizavetpol (Elizavetpol, the former Ganja) and separate detachments appeared in Iberia only 70 versts from Tiflis. At the same time, the Muslim cavalry of Gassan Khan Erivan (Hussein Khan) robbed in eastern Georgia.
When information about the Persian invasion of the Transcaucasus reached St. Petersburg, Emperor Nicholas, who had not cooled yet after the Decembrist uprising, expressed dissatisfaction with the actions of the honored commander Yermolov. And demanded decisive action to "punish the Persians." But this required military force. In addition, Yermolov fell into disgrace - he was a famous free-thinker, sharp and unrestrained in his tongue, and had contact with many Decembrist rebels. During the uprising, it was even rumored that Yermolov would move regiments to Petersburg. Therefore, from the capital to the Caucasus urgently sent the famous commander, another hero of the Patriotic War, Lieutenant-General Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich. He has already become the favorite of the new Russian tsar. For the first time, he received the position of "commander of the troops under the chief command of Yermolov." Ermolov understood everything and wrote a letter of resignation, he was immediately satisfied. In the future, the beautiful commander and organizer were not attracted to big business, although he lived Yermolov for a long time and could still serve the Motherland well.
Having received information that the main Persian forces were shackled by the siege of Shushi, General Yermolov, even before his resignation, refused the initial defensive plan. By this time, he managed to concentrate in Tiflis to 8 thousand people. Of these, a detachment was formed under the command of Major General Prince V.G. Madatov (4300 man), who launched an attack on Elizavetpol in order to stop the advance of the Persian forces to Tiflis and lift the siege from Shushi. 3 (15) September 1826, near the village of Shamkhor, Madatov's squad broke 14-th. vanguard of the Persian army under the leadership of Shahzade Mohammed, son of Abbas-Mirza.
The order of battle of the Persian troops was built in the shape of a crescent, curved toward the enemy, in the center there was regular infantry (sarbazy), and on the flanks - irregular cavalry. Rear mounted guns and falconet. Madatov, despite the great superiority of the enemy in forces, attacked his positions on the move. V. A. Potto wrote in the “Caucasian War”: “The Shamkhor battle did not last long and was simple. It ended with one swift blow. The resistance of the enemy was so weak that a brilliant victory, the defeat of five times the strongest enemy - cost the Russian troops only twenty-seven people who were out of action, while the losses of the enemy were enormous. In the minds of the Persians themselves, on this fatal day for them they lost more than two thousand people among those killed. The Shah Guard who participated in the case no longer existed - it almost all fell under the blows of the Russian cavalry. The space from Shamkhor to Elizavetpol, over thirty miles or more, was covered with enemy corpses. By the way, Paskevich himself, passing through eight days later, through the battlefield, testified to this - and Paskevich cannot be suspected of being addicted to Madatov or wanting to exaggerate the significance of the Shamkhor victory. ”
Russian troops liberated Elizavetpol. Paskevich and the detachment were also sent there. The Russian army at Elizavetpol grew to 8 thousand people with 22 guns. The defeat of the Persian troops under Shamkhor forced Abbas-Mirza 5 (17) of September 1826 of the year to lift the siege of Shushi and go to Elizavetpol. Despite the inequality of forces, Paskevich, at the insistence of Madatov, decided to give battle. 13 (25) of September, a Russian detachment under the command of General Paskevich in a decisive battle of Elizavetpole crushed the 35-thousandth (of which 15 thousand regular infantry) with the 24 guns Persian army. In the war there was a radical change in favor of the Russian army (Russian victories in the Caucasus: the Shamkhor battle and the battle of Elisavetpol in 1826). Persian troops retreated after Araks. The Persian army ceased to exist for some time, its remnants simply fled. At the end of the 1826 campaign, both sides exchanged raids.
The battle of Elisabeth floor. Hood Franz Rubo
The 1827 military campaign of the year began in the spring when the Persians renewed the predatory raids on Russian possessions. Tsar Nicholas demanded that Paskevich begin his campaign in Persia without delay, regardless of the spring thaw and lack of supplies. Fulfilling the order, Paskevich moved the troops to Erivan. The Persians did not expect such a move from the Russian side. The Russian troops, having endured all the mountain hikes, occupied the ancient Armenian city of Echmiadzin and the famous Echmiadzin Monastery, on the outskirts of Erivan. In order to cover the lands of Northern Azerbaijan from predatory raids from the territory of southern Azerbaijan, Paskevich deployed a detachment under Arax under the command of an experienced Caucasian general, N. P. Pankratiev. This stopped the robber raids from the enemy side. In addition, Paskevich established contact with the former owner of Karabakh, Mehdi Kuli Khan, who retired to Persia in 1822. This Khan had several thousand cavalry and made dangerous raids. He accepted the proposal of the governor to go into Russian citizenship and moved back to the Transcaucasus.
Having thus secured his rears, in May Paskevich made a quick march in the mountains with the 15 thousand corps and connected with the vanguard, which already stood at Erivan. The blockade of a strong fortress began. But the arrival of the siege artillery waited only in September. As a result, Paskevich used the old Yermolov plan of war, realizing that without the capture of Erivan, a campaign to Persia, to the capital of South Azerbaijan, the city of Tabriz was too dangerous. The Erivan garrison could hit the rear, interrupt the communications of the Russian army. By blocking Erivan with small forces, Paskevich had the opportunity to defeat the Persian army in the field with the main forces if she went on the offensive again.
The blockade of Erivan was assigned to General A. I. Krasovsky. Paskevich himself with the main forces moved south, along the Araks valley, to occupy Nakhichevan and the fortress of Abbas-Abad. 26 June, the vanguard of Adjutant General K. H. Benkendorf took Nakhichevan. The Nakhichevan residents, along with their Ex-Khan, accepted the citizenship of Russia. On July 1, the Russians reached Abbas-Abad fortress, which was erected under the guidance of British specialists. Russian troops installed batteries and began to smash the fortress. Soon the wall began to collapse and a huge gap appeared. But the Persians persisted, waiting for the arrival of the army of the Crown Prince. Indeed, Abbas-Mirza gathered 16-thousand. army moved to the rescue of the besieged fortress. Finding the enemy Paskevich, putting part of the troops in the siege camp, went towards the enemy. Near successive strikes, Paskevich 5 (17) July defeated Abbas-Mirze at the Djevan-Bulak brook. The Persian prince himself barely carried off his legs from the Don Cossacks. 7 (19) July, the enemy garrison, having lost hope of help, capitulated. The weapons were laid down by 2700 people, the 23 guns became Russian trophies (Russian victories in the Caucasus: the capture of Abbas-Abad and Dzhevanbulaksky battle).
After that, the main forces of Paskevich returned to Erivan. During their absence, there was also stubborn fighting. In early August, the Persian commander-in-chief Abbas-Mirza, trying to prevent the invasion of Russians in Iranian Azerbaijan, invaded the Erivan khanate with the 25-thousandth army. The Persians, joining the troops of the Erivan sardar Hussein Khan, 15 (27) of August besieged Echmiadzin. Here the battalion of the Sevastopol Infantry Regiment (up to 500 soldiers) and Armenian volunteers kept the defense. The 16 (28) of August, the detachment of A.I. Krasovsky, with (up to 3 thousand soldiers with 12 guns), came to the aid of besieged Echmiadzin. The Russian detachment was attacked by the superior forces of the enemy - up to 30 thousand infantry and cavalry with 24 guns. Krasovsky's squad moved in complete surroundings. Russian troops, having suffered serious losses (more than 1,1 thousand people), were able to get through to Echmiadzin (Oshakan 17 (29) August 1827 Battle). Upon learning that the main forces of Paskevich were going to the rescue, the Persians lifted the siege and left for Araks.
In September, siege artillery arrived. In addition, the Russian corps was reinforced by Armenian and Georgian volunteer guards. The regular siege of the Erivan Fortress began, which was considered one of the strongest in Persia. First, Paskevich decided to take the fortress of Sardar-Abad, where 2 thousand enemy garrison sat down. Russian artillery destroyed the old walls, several gaps were formed. The fortress capitulated. Gassan Khan, with his guards, was able to escape to Erivan. During the pursuit, most of the Khan's squad was slaughtered or captured. 16 guns were captured in the fortress and, most importantly, huge stocks of grain (Russian troops suffered a great shortage of supplies).
Powerful bombardments quickly led to success. From the fire of the guns the towers and walls collapsed, new gaps appeared. Paskevich offered to surrender the fortress on the terms of the free exit of the Khan and his troops. The ruler of Erivan answered with a proud refusal. He hoped for a powerful defense and help from Abbas-Mirza. The continuation of the shelling caused new destruction and a strong fire. Khan sent envoys and agreed to surrender the fortress, but asked to wait for the official consent of the Persian prince. Sly ploy to tighten the time failed. Paskevich now demanded the surrender of the fortress without any conditions.
Powerful artillery training demoralized the Khan garrison (Fall of the Erivan Khanate) The uprising of the Armenian population began in the city. Hundreds of Armenians, armed with anything at all, rushed to the walls, seized sections of the walls and began to wave their white handkerchiefs. Russian troops were already on alert and through gaps and open gates entered the city. A few hours later, Sardar Gassan Khan, his squad and 3 thousand foot soldiers laid down their arms at the main mosque. So, on October 1 (13) Paskevich took Erivan. The fortress was seized with rich trophies and food supplies, with which it was possible to wage war for several months. The ancient stronghold of Persia in the Caucasus fell, an important communications center. Eastern Armenia - Erivan Khanate - became part of Russia. It was historical event. Armenia was freed from the yoke of foreigners and Gentiles. The local Orthodox clergy understood this very well and called "together with the regiments of the Russian army ... if necessary, not spare the last drop of our blood."
The capture of the Erivan fortress by Russian troops. Hood F. Rubo
However, the war is not over yet. It was necessary to put a winning point. Paskevich marched on the capital of Southern Azerbaijan, the city of Tabriz. The first to move into enemy territory was the vanguard of Lieutenant General Eristov. Russian soldiers forced the Araks and occupied the city of Marand. The local Muslim population was friendly. Abbas-Mirza was unable to organize the defense. The remaining troops fled. The prince is left with 3 thousand warriors with 12 guns. With such forces to continue the war there was no point.
The first Shah minister, Allayar Khan, tried to organize the defense of Tabriz. But his efforts were in vain: out of 60, thousands of citizens capable of carrying weapons, only a few were enrolled in the army. Even repressions - who refused to listen to orders, cut ears and noses, did not help. The 13 (25) of October, the Eristov detachment approached the city. Allayar Khan brought 6 thousand soldiers into the field, but at the very first gunfire they fled. And the crowd in the city rushed to rob the palace of the Crown Prince. The 14 (26) of October, a detachment of G.E. Eristov, captured Tabriz without a fight. Russian troops got rich trophies.
Complete military defeat forced the Persians to go to peace negotiations. Persian military adventure crashed. Persia could no longer fight; the remnants of its army fled from Southern (Iranian) Azerbaijan. Shah Fath Ali himself fled from Tehran in fear of the Russians. Abbas-Mirza decided to start negotiations. In this case, the Russian side refused to British mediation. The negotiations with the Persians led a real State Councilor Trim.
Scraps inserted the following conditions: negotiations can only begin after the withdrawal of the Persian troops to Persia itself south of Lake Urmia, and Russian troops occupy all of South Azerbaijan. October 24 Paskevich staged a military parade in Tavriz to impress the Persians and the English envoy Colonel D. Macdonald.
Further negotiations were led by diplomat A. S. Griboedov, who had arrived from the Russian capital. The conditions were harsh. Griboedov, among other things, demanded payment of a military contribution to 20 million rubles and significant territorial concessions - the Erivan and Nakhchivan khanates. Only November 28 Abbas Mirza agreed to meet these requirements.
In the meantime, while there were difficult negotiations in Dehkorgan, in Tehran, the British worked tirelessly, setting the Persians to delay negotiations and continue the war. In addition, the expected performance against Turkey of Russia, which after defeat in the Navarin naval battle was actively preparing for war with the Russians. As a result, the shah ordered to detain the money already sent to pay the contribution and deprived his son of the authority to conduct peace negotiations. Tehran refused to approve the preconditions of peace. The war threatened to resume. To continue the negotiations (or rather, their inhibition), Foreign Minister Abdul-Hassan Khan, who received a salary in gold from the British, left Tehran. Under the pretext of illness, he traveled to Dehkorgan as many as 22 days and arrived only in early January of the 1828 year.
However, it was pointless and dangerous to "joke" with the then Russian generals and statesmen. The Russian Empire was at the peak of its power. Paskevich immediately replied. The left flank of the Caucasian corps advanced into the Meshkh Khanate, which made it possible in the event of a resumption of hostilities to immediately strike the enemy and launch an offensive against Tehran. When Abdul-Hasan refused to accept the terms of the world, Paskevich announced a campaign against Tehran. Russian Caucasian troops began to move across the entire width of the front. The Shah's army was not restored and the Persians could not resist. The Russians occupied without a fight the city of Urmia, Ardabil, where part of the reserves of the Shah's army were kept. Paskevich himself walked along the main road to Tehran.
The position of Persia has become critical. Power was threatened with complete collapse. Army to continue the war was not. The Shah's throne reeled, the uprisings had already begun, and the Kadzhars, unhappy with the power, began to move. Russian troops could support the revolt of the nobility and the dynasty could collapse.
The Erivan and Nakhichevan khanates, which were ceded to the Russian Empire. 1902 card of the year
In the village of Turkmanchai on the road from Tabriz to Tehran 10 (22) in February 1828, a peaceful treatise was signed. The peace treaty was signed by Crown Prince Abbas Mirza and Tsarist governor in the Caucasus, General I. F. Paskevich. The contract consisted of 16 articles. The most important was the 3 article: Persia "was inferior to the Russian Empire in perfect ownership of the Erivan Khanate on the other side of Araks and the Nakhchivan Khanate." Now the border passed along the Araks River. Under article 6, a contribution of 20 million rubles was imposed on Persia. silver. Most of the money was already expelled from Tehran. A war indebtedness ruined the Persian treasury, the shah even had to lay down his throne. The shah's wives and his courtiers surrendered their treasures to the treasury. Article 8-I confirmed the freedom of navigation of the Russians in the Caspian Sea and Russia's exclusive right to have a military fleet here.
Simultaneously with the peace treaty, a trade treaty was signed, in accordance with which Russian merchants received the right of free trade throughout the territory of Persia. The “Special Trade Act” established that “in all matters and litigation that may arise in Iran between Russian subjects or between them and subjects of any other power, Russian subjects were subject to the jurisdiction of Russian diplomatic representatives.”
In March, 1828, the Russian troops began to leave Persia. The city of Tabriz was returned to Abbas Mirza, where his bid was. The Russian border guards became patrols along the Araks River. For a convincing and quick victory in the second Persian war, the commander Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich was awarded the Count of dignity and the glorious naming - Erivan. Felt Ali Shah awarded his winner - Count Paskevich-Erivan with the Order of Leo and the Sun, decorated with diamonds, on the same chain, worth 60 thousand rubles. It was the highest award of Persia.
Thus, the treaty strengthened the position of Russia in the South Caucasus, contributed to the strengthening of Russia's influence in the Middle and Near East and undermined the position of England in Persia and in the region as a whole. It was a brilliant victory for Russian weapons and Russian diplomacy.
However, soon after the conclusion of the Turkmanchay Treaty, the Third Persian War almost began. The new Russian envoy in Tehran, Griboedov, was a great writer, but as a diplomat he behaved sharply and defiantly, arousing influential people of Persia against himself. 11 On February 1829, a hostile group of the court (closely associated with British agents and close to the Shah) was organized and carried out the pogrom of the Russian mission. The Cossacks of the convoy, several servants of the embassy and Griboedov himself bravely accepted an unequal battle. The ambassador himself desperately cut himself with a sword (he fought with a hussar in World War 1812 of the year) and fell under the blows of several daggers.
Shah's palace was aware of the event, but did not prevent the attack. However, they soon realized in Teheran what they had done. Persia still could not fight. She was threatened with rapid defeat and a possible collapse of the dynasty. The culprits from among the capital "mob" punished. The Persians were quick to apologize to the great northern empire. Among the gifts was a huge Indian diamond "Shah". Emperor Nicholas I, who did not want to enter a new war in the context of confrontation with Turkey, was satisfied with the apologies brought by the shah.
Infantry General I. F. Paskevich and Prince Abbas-Mirza at the signing of a peace treaty in Turkmenchay