The conditions of Kuchuk-Kaynardzhsky world concluded in 1774, especially the accession to Russia of the Crimean peninsula, Taman and Kuban in 1783, did not suit Porto. In addition, in 1783, an agreement was signed on patronage and supreme power of the Russian Empire with the united Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti (Kartli-Kakheti kingdom, Eastern Georgia), according to which Eastern Georgia passed under the protectorate of Russia. The treaty dramatically weakened the positions of Persia and Turkey in the Transcaucasus, formally destroying their claims to Eastern Georgia.
The Ottoman Empire craved revenge and openly prepared for war. In the pre-war period, the Turks, through their agents, tried to cause uprisings in the Crimea and the Kuban, hampering our trade. Also, the Ottomans began to organize systematic raids on the lands of the Georgian king. In addition, Porto to the war with Russia pushed England, Prussia and France, who did not want to strengthen the Russian position in the region. The Ottomans sought to use the remaining superiority of the sea, while Russia did not build a strong navy on the Black Sea.
Russia did her best to consolidate its position in the Black Sea region and strengthen its southern borders. For this, the construction of a fleet on the Black Sea and maritime fortresses, shipyards began in 1780. In 1778, Kherson was founded - the first shipbuilding base of the Black Sea Fleet, and in 1783, construction began on Sevastopol, which became the main base of the fleet on the Black Sea. In 1785, Petersburg approved the first shipboard staff of the Black Sea Fleet, according to which it was to have 12 80- and 66-gun battleships, 20 large frigates (from 22 to 50 guns) and 23 small vessels with a total crew number of 13 500 people . At the same time, it was decided to subordinate the Black Sea Fleet, with its admiralties and ports on the Black and Azov Seas, to the Governor of the Astrakhan, Azov and Novorossiysk Provinces to Prince G. A. Potemkin. Potemkin as a major statesman and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Russia in the south did much useful for the construction of the Black Sea Fleet. Having brought experienced sailors closer to him, and above all, F. F. Ushakov, Potemkin proved himself to be in control of the Black Sea Fleet as a rational politician who understood the main purpose of the naval forces, and for his part did everything to create a strong military fleet on the Black Sea able to resist the Turkish fleet.
However, despite the enormous efforts, by the beginning of the war with the Turkish Empire, Russia failed to implement the planned shipbuilding program and bring the Black Sea Fleet to the established staff of the ship: he entered the war, having 5 battleships, 19 frigates and several dozen smaller sailing and rowing boats ships. These ships were consolidated into a naval squadron based in Sevastopol and the Liman (Dnieper) flotilla located in Kherson. At the head of the ship squadron, consisting of battleships and frigates, was rear-admiral M. I. Voinovich - a weak-willed, indecisive and insufficiently trained man in matters of naval affairs. But he had a determined and skillful commander, captain of the brigadier rank Ushakov, appointed commander of the vanguard of the Sevastopol squadron, which saved the situation. Rear Admiral N. S. Mordvinov, an indecisive man, a Westerner-Angloman, commanded our naval forces in the Dnieper Liman. Mordvinov was a good manager, but a weak naval commander, earning A.S. Suvorov the ironic nickname of “academician”.
Empress Catherine II, conscious of the weakness of the Black Sea Fleet and wanting to gain the time needed to strengthen it, tried to delay the start of the war. Petersburg conveyed to Constantinople protests about hostile actions, the Port basically ignored them. Just before the start of the war, Catherine wrote to Potemkin: “It is very necessary to stretch for two years, otherwise the war will interrupt the construction of the fleet.” But in Constantinople they also understood this well and were in a hurry to start military actions.
In 1787, Russia made an alliance with Austria. The Russian envoy in Constantinople, Ya. I. Bulgakov, conveyed to Porte the demands of Russia: 1) so that the Ottomans did not violate the borders of the Georgian king as a subject of the Russian Empire; 2) so that runaway Russians are not left in Ochakovo, but sent beyond the Danube; 3) to Kuban not to attack the borders of Russia. Nota Bulgakov was unsuccessful, and Porta, for her part, demanded that Russia completely abandon Georgia, cede Turkey the salt lakes near Kinburn and give Constantinople the right to have its consuls in Russian cities, especially in Crimea, etc. Not waiting for the positive, the Port made a new demand - to abandon the Crimea and return it to Turkey. When Bulgakov refused to accept such a demand, he was imprisoned in the seven-tower castle. This act was tantamount to a declaration of war.
Plans and forces of the parties
The Turkish plans of war envisaged active actions in two directions - Ochakov and Crimean. While holding Ochakov, the Turks were going to seize Kinburn, which belonged to the Russians and was located against Ochakov, and thereby block the exit from the Dnieper estuary and prevent the enemy from withdrawing new ships from Kherson. Further a blow to the Kherson Admiralty could follow. After that, relying on the domination of the Turkish fleet on the Black Sea, it was supposed to land a strong landing force in the Crimea to seize the peninsula and transfer it to the power of a new Crimean Khan selected for this purpose.
Turkey launched a war against Russia, putting 200-thousand. an army and strong fleet that consisted of 29 battleships and 39 frigates with a significant number of cruiser ships, bombardier ships and galleys. However, part of this large fleet was in the Mediterranean, and some could not go to sea due to lack of personnel. But in general, the Turkish fleet had an overwhelming superiority in strength and had 19 battleships, 16 frigates, 5 bombarding corvettes on the Black Sea. The revival of the Turkish fleet after its crushing defeat in the Chesme battle was largely due to the miracle of the Kapudan-Pasha (admiral) Jezairli Ghazi Hasan-Pasha, who had escaped from the fire, known as the Crocodile of Naval Battles. After the Chesme catastrophe, he headed the transformations in the fleet, strengthened the material base, founded the naval academy and distinguished himself in suppressing the Mamluk rebellion in Egypt. In the period of Hassan Pasha (Gassan Pasha), shipbuilding in Turkey more strictly followed European models - ships and frigates were built according to the best French and Swedish designs at that time. Bulky big frigates are gone. Tools bought in Europe. Turkish battleships were double-deck and, as a rule, relatively larger than the Russians on the Black Sea. They also had a larger crew. The weakness of the Turks remained the organization and training of personnel, including officers. Turkish naval gunners were inferior in the Russian skills.
In Ochakovo, as the main base of the Turkish fleet on the Black Sea, stood a Turkish squadron of three ships, one frigate, one bombarding bot, 14 small sailing ships, 15 rowing galleys and several smaller rowing ships. In the course of further events, the Turkish flotilla was strengthened.
The Russian command deployed two armies - Yekaterinoslav 82 number thousand people under the command of Field Marshal G.A. Potemkin and Ukrainian 37 number thousand people headed by Field Marshal P.A. Rumyantsev, separate Crimean and Kuban corps. Russian troops supported the Black Sea Fleet and the Dnieper Flotilla. The Ukrainian army was advancing in an auxiliary direction - in Podolia on the middle course of the Dniester - in order to distract the enemy and maintain contact with the Austrian allies. The Yekaterinoslav army was to advance from the Dniester via the Bug to Ochakov, take this fortress, and then move across the Dniester to the Danube and capture Bender. The Black Sea Fleet was to support the Russian troops at Ochakov, prevent the landing of enemy troops in the Crimea and fight the Turkish fleet. In addition, preparation of a strong squadron for a march into the Mediterranean Sea and attacks on Turkey from the south from the Dardanelles began in the Baltic and in Arkhangelsk. However, these plans were disrupted by an unexpected military intervention by Sweden, which declared war on Russia in 1788 year. Therefore, the sending of the Baltic squadron did not take place.
Liman flotilla was based at the Deep pier - below Kherson. Our fleet included the 3 ship, the 3 frigate, the 1 bot, the 7 galleys, the 2 floating batteries and several smaller ships. The flotation capacity of the flotilla was low due to the great haste of equipment and problems in material supply. Also, the flotilla was in dire need of people, and especially experienced officers and sailors. Chronic lack of officers in the fleet sometimes reached 50%. Crews were replenished with midshipmen from the Corps of Foreign Co-religionists and midshipmen from the Sea Cadet Corps, founded in 1786 in Kherson, as well as army officers. Artillery at the beginning of the war was also in a very unsatisfactory condition: some of the ships had only half of the guns, many galleys had one 6-pound cannon each, and the other 3-pound cannons, and only later they were reinforced with pood unicorns. The flotilla even had to include vessels on which the empress traveled along the Dnieper. Ships built to house servants, kitchens, stables, etc., were quickly armed and adapted for military operations.
21 August 1787 of the year, before the declaration of war, 11 of Turkish galleys and kirlangiches (a small high-speed sailing-rowing vessel used for the messenger and intelligence services) attacked the 44-gun Frigate and 12-gun of the Arms of the Kinburn Spit and 7-gun . After a three-hour battle, the Russian ships sank the Turkish kirlangich with artillery fire and retreated to Glubokaya dock under the cover of their batteries. September XNUMX signed a manifesto on declaring war on Turkey.
Sevastopol squadron could not provide effective assistance to the Liman flotilla. Potemkin urged Rear-Admiral Voinovich, Chief of the Sevastopol Squadron, to speed up his performance at sea. “Where you envy the Turkish fleet,” he wrote to Voinovich, “attack him by all means ... at least kill everyone, but he must show his fearlessness to attack and exterminate the enemy.” The squadron went out and headed towards Varna, where a part of the Turkish fleet was located, but on the way met a most severe storm. The Black Sea squadron was forced to return to Sevastopol. Many ships were severely damaged, the frigate "Crimea" went to the bottom, and the ship "Mary Magdalene", unable to keep at sea, deprived of all masts and half-submerged was brought into the Bosphorus and surrendered to the enemy.
By this time, the Turkish fleet at Ochakov received reinforcements from Varna and reached 42 pennants, including 9 battleships and 8 frigates. The lack of help from Voinovich made Mordvinov abandon the attack of a strong enemy and confine himself to defense. Several attacks by the Turkish fleet and the assault force landed from it to the fortress of Kinburn were repelled by the fire of the fortress, in which the commander-in-chief of the troops on the Dnieper was Lieutenant-General A.V. Suvorov. So, on the night of September 14, the Turks, under cover of ship batteries, attempted to land troops under Kinburn. However, an attempt to land the Turkish troops was repelled. Coastal artillery fire exploded a Turkish battleship and severely damaged the frigate. Mordvinov singled out two frigates and four galleys to help Suvorov, but one of the Desna galleys took part, under the command of midshipman D. Lombard (a Maltese in the Russian service). Its armament consisted of a pood unicorn and 16 three-foot cannons and falconets, in addition, the gallery was 120 grenadiers. Lombard became the hero of these battles.
September 15 during the attack of the Turkish flotilla in the 38 ships on the Kinburn galleys Lombard under the guise of a fire, boldly attacked the Turkish ships and forced them to retreat to Ochakov. At the same time, one Turkish ship was sunk, the other was badly damaged. Suvorov, who was observing the actions of the Desna galley from Kinburn, informed Prince Potemkin that Lombard “had attacked the entire Turkish fleet before the battleships; fought with all the ships from guns and guns for two hours and a half and, according to the barbarian fleet, of notable harm, this hero now stands safely under the kinburn walls. ” In the following days, the Desna, being on guard of the approaches to Kinburn, went out to Ochakov daily, shelling the fortress and the Turkish ships. One Turkish gunboat was sunk. Reporting Lombard’s actions and the behavior of the Turks at Kinburn, Suvorov wrote to Potemkin that “Desna” contains them (the Turks) in the Reshpekt ”(in fear).
However, Lombard’s such bravery seemed to Mordvinov to be a “harmful example of disobedience and lack of discipline.” In a message to Potemkin he wrote: “Although he acted against the enemy with the greatest courage, but as he left at night without any command, I would consider him to arrest him for duty and give him under military court.” But Potemkin, unlike Mordvinov, valued initiative and courage. He replied to Mordvinov: “I forgive the officer’s guilt. Justifying his deed well, should already be awarded. Announce, my friend, to him the rank that you want. ” Mordvinov did not hurry with Lombard’s production, and only after Suvorov’s intervention did the hero receive the rank of lieutenant, and he was produced by Potemkin himself.
October 1 Turks landed a large landing at Kinburn (to 6 thousand people). Suvorov did not interfere with them - "let everyone get out." Then, in the course of a fierce battle, Russian troops under the command of Suvorov inflicted a decisive defeat on the Ottomans and dropped their remnants into the sea. During the battle on the spit, the Desna galley, under the command of Lieutenant Lombard, attacked Turkish ships covering the landing of 17 and forced them to withdraw, and thus deprived the Turkish landing force of artillery fire.
October 3 The Liman squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Mordvinov approached Ochakov, and found the Turkish fleet stationed there. The Russian admiral made a rather strange attempt to attack the enemy with weak forces. On the night of October 4, Mordvinov sent to Ochakov a floating battery No. 1 under the command of Captain 2 of the rank of Verevkin with two galleys under the command of Lieutenants Lombard and Konstantinov, who were to set fire to enemy ships with fireballs (incendiary shell). In the morning, the floating battery, ahead of the galleys, was in close proximity to the Turkish fleet. The Turks singled out several ships to attack the battery. During the battle on the battery, they first tore one, then the second cannon, about 30 people were killed. The rips of the guns demoralized the personnel and forced Captain Verevkin due to the danger of being captured by frigates and 4 galleys approaching the 6 battery and trying to break into the sea past the Turkish fleet. During the battle, Lieutenant Lombard, who was on the battery, helped Captain Verevkin to resume fire from the guns, but the third exploded cannon caused a fire and finally deprived the battery of the possibility of resistance. When trying to escape from the enemy, the battery was aground near the Khadzhibey fortress and the remains of the crew were captured. Verevkin, Lombard and the surviving sailors were sent to Constantinople. However, the brave Lombard soon fled, returned by land to Russia. He took part in the fighting of the rowing flotilla on the Danube and distinguished himself during the capture of Ishmael.
The next day, Mordvinov with a flotilla, approaching Ochakov, after a lengthy firefight, forced the Turkish ships, which were standing in a tight place between the shoals, out of fear of the firefighters, to depart at sea. In mid-October, due to bad weather, the Turkish fleet left Ochakov and went to the Bosphorus. Thus, during the 1787 campaign of the year, thanks to the courageous defense of Kinburn Suvorov and the actions of the weak Liman fleet, without the participation of the Sevastopol squadron, it was possible to prevent the enemy from Kherson. But for lasting approval on the Dnieper Liman, Russia needed to take Ochakov, the enemy’s main base in the area. Therefore, the capture of Ochakov became the main goal of the 1788 campaign of the year.
Turkish naval commander Jezairli Ghazi Hasan Pasha (1713 - 1790)
Campaign 1788 of the year. Ochakovo sea battle
In winter, the Russian flotilla was significantly strengthened and strengthened by new ships, including large dubbels, armed with 11 guns, including two 30-pounders. The fleet was also strengthened by command personnel, two foreigners: the French aristocrat Karl Heinrich of Nassau-Siegen and the Scottish sailor John Paul Jones (while serving in the Russian fleet was listed as Pavel Jones). They were accepted into the service with the ranks of rear admirals. Prince Nassau-Siegen served in the French army, took part in the Seven Years' War, then on the ship "Star" made a voyage around the world under the command of de Bougainville. After the naval expedition, he again entered the service in the French army, was a colonel of the Royal regiment of the German cavalry. In 1779, with the permission of the king, he formed an airborne corps (the “Volunteer Corps de Nassau”) and tried to seize the island of Jersey to prevent the British captors from attacking French ships, but the British repulsed the attack. In 1782, as part of the Spanish forces, he participated in the unsuccessful assault of the British Gibraltar. During the diplomatic mission of the Polish king Stanislav Augustus became friends with Potemkin. Nassau-Siegen did not have much experience in maritime affairs, but was a brave and enterprising man, so he was invited to the Russian service.
Paul Jones was an experienced sailor, famous for his courage and military abilities in the struggle for US independence. It should be noted that the newly minted admirals did not get along well with each other and with other commanders, moreover, they did not know Russian. So, the sailors called Nassau "mushroom pie", as he learned only two commands in Russian: "forward!" And "row!", But pronounced them in such a way that "pie" and "mushrooms" could be heard. However, both of these flagships, due to their determination and courage, played a positive role in the fighting in the Dnipro estuary in 1788, but soon left the Black Sea. Nassau-Siegen was assigned to the Baltic, where he fought with the Swedes, and P. Jones, because of the court intrigues, fell into disfavor with Potemkin, and soon left the Russian service.
The Nassau-Siegen command received a rowing flotilla consisting of an 51 pennant (7 galleys, 7 double snuffers, 7 floating batteries, 22 military boats, 7 deck bots and one firefighter); and under the command of Paul-Jones, a naval squadron of 14 sailing ships (two battleships Vladimir and Alexander, 4 frigate and 8 of small ships). In addition, to assist the Sevastopol fleet, Taganrog, Kherson and Kremenchug built and equipped the treasury and private persons around 20 cruiser (corsair) ships, most of which were converted from captured Turkish ships. From early spring, cruiser ships began to seize Turkish merchant ships and transports at the mouth of the Danube and the Anatolian coasts. The Sevastopol Voinovich squadron marching towards Ochakov again forced the strong storm to return to Sevastopol to repair the damage.
In May, the Turkish fleet under the command of Hassan Pasha reappeared in Ochakovo in a significantly reinforced composition: 45 pennants, including 24 battleships and large frigates, 4 frigates and 4 bombing ships, not counting small ships. At the same time, 53 small ships, including 5 galleys, 10 kicks and 15 gunboats approached the Ochakov fortress itself, and the ship fleet, headed by Gassan Pasha, anchored at sea, about 10-15 miles from the entrance to the liman. To protect the estuary, our sailing squadron, between which the ships of the rowing flotilla were stationed, was located in the line from the Stanislavsky Cape to the mouth of the Bug.
On May 20, the Turks discovered our dubbing boat captain 2-th rank of Rheingold von Sacken, previously sent to Kinburn at the disposal of Suvorov. After the arrival of the Turkish fleet Saken decided to return to the main forces of the Russian fleet, standing in the depths of the estuary. The Turks surrounded the Russian ship and opened fire. The commander of the vessel Saken shot from the enemy to the last extreme. But when he saw that there was no possibility of salvation, he went towards rapprochement with the nearest Turkish galleys and, together with them, undermined. There was a strong explosion: along with the Russian dubel-boat, four Turkish galleys were killed at once. The deed of Saken inspired the Russian sailors and turned out to be a demoralizing influence on the Ottomans, who were afraid to approach the Russians even with the complete superiority of their forces.
Hoping before the arrival of Potemkin's army to Ochakov, to destroy the Russian Liman fleet, the Turkish admiral twice energetically attacked the line of our ships. The first attempt was made on 7 Jun by 47 rowing boats. The attack of Turkish rowing ships was supported by the fire of the 4 of the battleships and the 6 frigates, but despite its surprise, it was not only repelled, but ended in complete failure for the attackers. The Ottomans lost 2 gunboats and 1 shebeks. The success of the battle was decided by the bold attack of the Nassau-Siegen flotilla detachment under the command of its subordinate brigadier Aleksiano Panagioti, who bypassing the line of Russian sailing ships hit the advancing Turkish galleys in the right flank and caused confusion between them. Pursued by Russian galleys, the Turks covered themselves with Ochakov's batteries.
The failure of the 7 battle of June did not discourage the old Kapudan Pasha, who decided to introduce 6 battleships into the shallow estuary. Since the Russian squadron and rowing flotilla continued to keep close to Ochakov, Hasan Pasha decided to repeat the attack by superior forces. June 16 Turkish fleet began to prepare for battle. On the morning of June 17, the sea battle near Ochakov resumed. On this night, both sides decided to attack each other. The Turks left Ochakov in the number of 10 ships, 6 frigates (at least 800 guns and 7000 man crew) and 44 small sailing and rowing ships (more 100 guns and over 3500 men).
Source of maps: Russian Black Sea Fleet in naval battles of the war 1787 - 1791. / http://briz-spb.narod.ru/Articles/Ushakov.html
By this time, the Nassau-Siegen flotilla had increased its 22 gunboats, and on the Kinburn Spit, at the very exit of the estuary, by order of Suvorov, a camouflaged coastal battery (the so-called “blockfort”) was built. The Russian naval squadron included the 66-gun linear ship “Vladimir” under the flag of Rear Admiral P. Jones, the 50-gun frigate “Alexander Nevsky”, the 40-gun frigate “Fast” and the small frigate “St. Nikolai ”, as well as 8 small cruiser ships (total over 200 guns and more than 2500 man crew). Nassau had at its disposal 46 various sailing-rowing ships, not counting the boats of the Bug Cossack Army. Among them were 2 bomber ships, 6 batteries, 4 dubbels, 7 galleys, 24 gunboats and 3 barcade (launch). Flotilla ships numbered up to 200 guns and 2800 man crew.
Thus, the Ottomans had at least a twofold superiority in the total number of people and implements. Given the quality and caliber of the armament of the battleships, this superiority was considerably greater. However, Turkish sailing ships were constrained in maneuvering the general shallow water in the estuary and narrow fairway. The Turks did not know about the existence of the land battery, which threatened to turn the estuary into a trap for their entire fleet.
The Russian command also decided to attack the enemy on the night of 16 on 17 June. The Ottomans, who did not expect attacks, began to hastily withdraw from anchors and retreat to the fortress. In this case, one of the 64-gun ships ran aground under the shots of the squadron of Jones. He was attacked by the court of Nassau. The Turks fought hard and the ship burned down. The Ottomans lost another battleship in this battle - the flagship of the Kapudan-Pasha. Hasan Pasha himself was able to escape. Thus, the Turks were again defeated and retreated in disarray under the cover of Ochakov's batteries, losing 2 battleships, including the flagship. Our sailing and rowing fleets acted consistently and decisively, Nassau-Siegen and Paul Jones competed in the courage of the attack.
The Turks were so depressed by two defeats that on the night of June 18 they decided to leave Ochakov. Coming out of the darkness from the fortress, they tried to rush past Kinburn, but were seen from batteries erected on the cape, which opened heavy fire on them. Coming in confusion, Turkish ships huddled together and began to run aground. The flotilla of Nassau-Siegen, which came to this time, completed the defeat of the Turkish fleet. The Turks lost the 5 of the battleships (burned by brand hugs from the Russian ships), the 2 frigate, the 2 shebeks, the 1 bombardier and the 1 gallera, the 1 ship was captured. The Ottomans lost about 6 thousands of people, of which prisoners were about 1800 people. Russian losses were insignificant: 67 killed and 18 wounded. Most of the Turkish sailing fleet went to the Black Sea. The rowing ships, cut off by y Kinburn, returned to Ochakov. An attempt by Hassan to rescue them, made by 22 June, failed: his fleet retreated in front of the fire of Kinburn batteries.
1 July Nassau-Siegen finished off the remnants of the Turkish rowing fleet under the very batteries of Ochakovo: after the 8-hour battle of the 2 enemy frigate, the 4 galleys and the 3 of the small vessels were burned and the 4 of the vessel were captured. Nobody could even imagine such a difficult and shameful result for the Turkish fleet in the Ochakov battle in Constantinople. Highly appreciating the exploits of the Black Sea sailors, Alexander Suvorov wrote: “It is a pity that I was not on boarding; I can only be jealous! ”For this battle, Catherine II made Nassau-Siegen as vice-admiral. Suvorov and Jones remained in the shadow of the Prince's glory. Although Suvorov became one of the main organizers of the victory, the secretive construction of the coastal battery supported and strengthened the weak Russian fleet in the estuary.
Subsequently, the remnants of the Turkish squadron from Ochakov were finished off by the Russian flotilla (August – November 1788). 3 July The Sevastopol squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Voinovich and Brigadier Captain Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at Fidonisi. Thus, Ochakov lost the support of the Turkish fleet and was taken in December.
Prince Carl Nassau-Siegen (1743-1808)
John Paul Jones (1747-1792)