Willem van de Velde the Younger. The battle between the English ship and the Barbary pirates on boats
The fierce confrontation of the Christian states of Europe with the Barbary pirates, which was described in previous articles, continued throughout the XVII century. At that time, the Maghreb corsairs were already active in the Atlantic Ocean, raiding the shores of Britain, Ireland, Iceland, the Canary Islands and the island of Madeira. In the article "European Corsairs of the Islamic Maghreb" we talked about the “exploits” of Simon de Dancer and Peter Easton who marched over Gibraltar, the expeditions of Murat Reis the Younger to the shores of Iceland, Ireland and England. But there were others. In 1645, a renegade from Cornwall even visited his hometown - only to capture several hundred prisoners, including 200 women. Pirates from Sale also captured ships of European immigrants sailing to the shores of America. So, in 1636 the ship “Little David” became their prey, on which 50 men and 7 women headed for Virginia. And on October 16, 1670, 40 men and 4 women were captured already on a French ship.
Jean Antoine Theodore Guden. Barbary pirate attack on a French ship
The Ottoman Empire was weakening before our eyes, and the rulers of the Maghreb states paid less attention to instructions from Constantinople. Algeria, Tunisia, Tripoli from the Turkish provinces turned into semi-independent pirate states, which claimed to establish their own rules of war on the Mediterranean Sea.
France and the pirate states of Maghreb
At that time, relations between the pirate states of the Maghreb and France sharply worsened, which until then were rather friendly: despite some excesses and constant friction, since 1561, a flourishing French trading post existed on the border of Algeria and Tunisia, in which purchase operations were quite legal looted goods. However, times have changed, and the French were forced to seek alliance with their traditional Spanish enemies. In 1609, the Franco-Spanish squadron struck at Goleta, where many Tunisian ships were destroyed. This did not solve the problem of Barbary piracy, and on September 19, 1628 the French signed a peace treaty with Algeria, according to which they pledged to pay an annual tribute of 16 thousand livres. The French trading post resumed operations on the North African coast, and the Maghreb corsairs, including Algerian ones, continued to attack French ships.
XNUMXth century Shebek, model
Not hoping for their own government, one of the "noble" French families launched their own war against pirates. A ship equipped with private funds in 1635 captured two Algerian ships, but that was the end of the battle: in the battle against two corsair ships, to which another five came to help, the French were defeated, captured and sold into slavery. The surviving sailors of that ship returned only after 7 years.
France launched large-scale military operations against the corsairs of the Maghreb during the time of Louis XIV, who organized 9 campaigns against Algeria. During the first of them, in 1681, a squadron of the Marquis de Kufne attacked a pirate base on the Tripolitanian island of Szio: the walls of the fortress were destroyed by bombardment, 14 pirate ships were burned in the harbor.
In 1682, Algerian corsairs captured a French warship, the crew of which was sold into slavery. Admiral Abraham Ducon, in retaliation, attacked Algeria. During the shelling, he used new explosive shells, which caused great damage to the city, but could not capitulate the fortress. His actions in 1683-1684. were more successful: Algeria was now fired at by the mortars of the specially created "bomb galliots."
Bombic galliot in the harbor of Marseille
Day Baba Hassan flinched, began negotiations with Dukon and even released part of the captured French (142 people).
F. Biard. Admiral Ducon frees Christian slaves from captivity after the shelling of Algeria in 1683
But the morale of the defenders of the fortress was very high, they were not going to give up. Hassan's behavior provoked an outburst of indignation in Algeria, and the cowardly day was overthrown. Admiral Ali Metsomorto, who replaced him as ruler of Algeria, informed Ducont that, if the shelling continued, he would order the fortifications to be charged with the French left at his disposal - and he fulfilled his promise: not only the captives, but also the consul had to play the “core” role . The bitterness reached its peak: the city, almost destroyed by Dukonem, held out until the French ships consumed all the shells.
On October 25, 1683, Ducon was forced to take his ships to Toulon. Another admiral managed to force Algeria to peace - de Tourville, who led the French squadron to Algeria in April 1684. With the mediation of the Ambassador of the Ottoman Port, an agreement was concluded according to which the Algerians freed all Christians and paid compensation to French citizens for the lost property.
Eugene Delacroix. Ann Hilarion de Tourville
In 1683 and in 1685 similarly, the French bombarded Tripoli harbor - and also without much success.
The peace agreement with Algeria was already violated in 1686, when attacks on French ships were resumed, and the new consul was arrested and thrown into prison. Tourville, already familiar to us, took his ships to bombard Tripoli in 1687 and defeated the Algerian squadron in a naval battle.
Jean Antoine Theodore Guden. The battle between the French battleship and two galleys of Barbary corsairs
And on the assault of Algeria in 1688, the French fleet was led by Admiral d'Esgret. Here the events of 5 years ago were repeated: the squadron d'Esgre subjected Algeria to destructive bombings, during one of which even Ali Metsomorto was wounded, the Algerians loaded their guns with the French - the consul, two priests, seven captains and 30 sailors were used as cores. D'Esgrez answered with the execution of 17 corsairs, whose bodies he sent on rafts to the city harbor. It was not possible to seize Algeria or force it to surrender this time.
These victories, however, did not have much significance. And the defeat of the French fleet (which was commanded by Tourville) in a naval battle against the English at La Hogue in 1692 led to a new round of confrontation between the Barbarian pirates and France in the Mediterranean.
Actions of the English and Dutch squadrons
In 1620, England, Spain and Holland sent their battle squadrons to the Mediterranean Sea: there were no significant clashes with the ships of the Barbary pirates this year. The British, mainly patrolled the caravan routes. The shelling of Algeria, undertaken by the Spaniards, almost did not cause damage to the fortress. The attack of the English firemen in May 1621 was unsuccessful due to the rain, which helped the Algerians put out the ships that were on fire.
More effective were the actions of the Dutch admiral Lambert, whose squadron came to the Mediterranean Sea in 1624. Each time, capturing a pirate ship, his ships approached Algeria or Tunisia and hung prisoners in the springs in the sight of the city. These psychological attacks, which lasted until 1626, forced Algeria and Tunisia to release the Dutch captives and recognize the merchant ships of this country as neutral.
Live Petersson Vershur. "Dutch ships bombard Tripoli during a punitive expedition against the Barbary pirates"
G. Cornelius. Dutch ship rams galley
In 1637, an English squadron blocked the port of Sale in Morocco: 12 pirate ships were destroyed and an agreement was reached on the release of 348 Christian slaves.
In 1655, the British managed to burn 9 corsair ships in the Tunisian harbor of Porto Farina, but in Tunisia and Algeria, English prisoners had to be redeemed, spending £ 2700 on this.
In 1663, a significant event took place: the government of the Ottoman Port officially authorized the British to carry out punitive operations against Algerian pirates, thereby, in fact, recognizing Algeria's non-control of the power of the Sultan. And in 1670, an allied Anglo-Dutch squadron under the command of the Duke of York (future King James II) at the battle of Cape Sparel (Spartel - about 10 km from the city of Tangier) destroyed seven large pirate ships, four of which were 44-gun.
Peter Lely. Portrait of King James II Stuart
The following year, a new British squadron burned seven more ships, one of which was the commander in chief of the Algerian fleet. The corsairs of this state temporarily weakened the onslaught, but the pirates of Tunisia and Tripoli continued to host the Mediterranean. In 1675, the squadron of Admiral Narbro bombarded Tripoli and burned four ships, which forced the Pasha of this city to agree to pay British merchants compensation in the amount of 18 thousand pounds. But by this time, Algerians, who in 1677-1680, had restored their activity. captured 153 British merchant ships. The attacks were carried out until 1695, when the squadron of Captain Beach ravaged the coast of Algeria, destroying 5 ships and forcing the local Pasha to conclude another agreement.
Barbary Pirates in the XNUMXth Century
At the turn of the XVII-XVIII centuries, relations between the Islamic states of the Maghreb escalated. This has caused several wars. In 1705, Algerian dei Haji Mustafa attacked Tunisia and defeated the army of the local Bey Ibrahim, but could not take the city (Tunisia was subordinated to Algeria in 1755). And in 1708, Algerians repelled Oran from the Spaniards.
In 1710, three thousand Turks were killed in Algeria, and in 1711 the last Ottoman governor was expelled to Constantinople - Algeria, in fact, became an independent state governed by the deeds chosen by the Janissaries.
Meanwhile, the qualitative composition of the military fleets of European states has been steadily changing. The galleys were replaced by large sailing ships, on which the labor of rowers was no longer used. Earlier than all, galleys in Spain ceased to be used - in the 20s of the 1748th century. In France, the last galleys were decommissioned in XNUMX. The sailing and rowing vessels still used the Islamic states of Maghreb and Venice, which until the end of the XNUMXth century kept a galley squadron on the island of Corfu.
Shipbuilding in Venice
Spanish ship construction
And in the Islamic states of the "Barbarian Coast" at this time, one could observe some degradation of the combat fleet. In Algeria, for example, the number of large sailing ships, of which there were quite a lot in the XNUMXth century, decreased. Now the basis of the combat fleet was small sailing-rowing kicks, shebeks and galliots, perfectly adapted to actions in coastal waters, but unsuitable for swimming in the ocean.
Spanish pink next to a three-masted Danish ship
Mediterranean Shebek, 1796
Spanish shebek (center) attacks 2 Algerian galliots, 1738
Thus, the fleet of Algeria in 1676 consisted of two 50-gun ships, five 40-guns, one 38-guns, two 36-guns, three 34-guns, three 30-guns, one 24-gun and a large number of smaller vessels having in service from 10 to 20 guns. And in 1737, the largest warships of Algeria had 16 and 18 guns. There were eight to ten guns at the kicks, 4-6 at the shebeks, galliots carried from one to six guns. In 1790, Algeria's largest ship had 26 guns.
The fact is that, after the capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch squadron in 1704, the corsairs of Algeria and Tunisia were no longer able to freely enter the Atlantic, and concentrated on the robbery of merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea. And, in order to rob merchant ships here, large warships were not needed. Corsairs hid from European military squadrons in shallow water or in their well-fortified ports, which they could not take for a long time. Yielding to the European fleets in size, tonnage and armed ships, the Maghreb pirates still ruled the Mediterranean Sea with almost impunity, and the Christian states of Europe showed powerlessness in the fight against them.
In the open spaces of the Atlantic Ocean, corsairs of Morocco, based in Sala, were still trying to hunt: this city had a squadron in which there were from 6 to 8 frigates and 18 galleys.
Stefano della Bella. Galley unloading. Engraving 1645. In the foreground - three galley slaves.
Pirates of Sale honestly paid "taxes" to the Moroccan sultans, and for the time being they were not particularly interested in the origin of the funds coming into their treasury. But the key port of the Moroccan coast - Ceuta, was in the hands of the Europeans (at first it was owned by Portugal, then - by Spain), so the Salians did not feel very confident either.
The main opponents of the Barbary pirates at that time were Spain, the Kingdom of both Sicilies, Venice and the Order of Malta.
Spanish galeas and venetian galley. From the fresco on the wall of the naval battle hall at Escorial Monastery
The battle between the Maltese and Turkish galleys
In 1775, the Spaniards sent an army of 22 thousand soldiers against Algeria, but could not capture the fortress. In 1783, their fleet was shelled by Algeria, but it was not possible to inflict heavy damage on this pirate stronghold, already independent of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1784, the allied squadron against Algeria, consisting of Spanish, Portuguese, Neapolitan, and Maltese ships, did not achieve much success.
The unexpected battle of Russian sailors with the pirates of the Maghreb
In 1787, the next Russo-Turkish war began (the 7th in a row, if you count from Kashima Pasha’s Astrakhan campaign). By this time, the Russian troops and the Russian fleet had already won victories, which forever entered history military art.
A.V. Suvorov defeated the Turks on the Kinburn Spit, in alliance with the Austrians defeated Fokshany and Rymnik, captured Izmail. In 1788, Khotin and Ochakov fell, in 1789 - Bender. In 1790, the Turkish landing at Anapa was defeated and the uprising of the highlanders was crushed.
On the Black Sea, the Russian fleet defeated at Fedonisi (Snake Island), in the Strait of Kerch, at Tendra Island.
In August 1790, the last Russo-Swedish war ended in a draw, and Russia was able to concentrate all efforts on the struggle against the Ottomans. But, in the same year, Russia's ally, the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, died, and Prince Coburg was defeated at Georges. The new emperor went to sign a separate peace. The Sist peace treaty, which was concluded in August 1791, turned out to be very beneficial for Turkey: Austria refused all the conquests of this war. Sultan Selim III hoped that at least one high-profile victory of the Turkish troops over the Russians would change the balance of power and the Ottoman Empire would be able to adequately emerge from the war by concluding an honorable peace.
Sultan Selim III, portrait, Austrian National Library
This sultan associated great hopes with the actions of his fleet, which Algerian and Tunisian ships had to strengthen. The Ottoman fleet was commanded by Kapudan Pasha Giritli Hussein, the Maghreb fleet was by the famous pirate admiral Seydi Ali (Said Ali, Seit Ali), who had experience of battles with European squadrons and wore the nickname "Thunderstorm" and "Lion of the Crescent." Hussein carried out the general command, Sadie-Ali was the senior vice admiral ("chief patron").
Shot from the Soviet film "Admiral Ushakov", 1953. Vladimir Etush as Algerian Admiral Sadi Ali
In May 1790, Sadi-Ali defeated the Greek privateer squadron, which since 1788 intercepted Turkish ships in the Mediterranean Sea, making it difficult to supply both the army and Constantinople.
Russian privateer and Greek corsair Lambro Kachioni
In Russia, this man is known under the name Lambro Kachioni, in Greece he is called Lambros Katsonis. He was a native of the city of Livadia, located in the region of Boeotia (Central Greece).
Levadia city on a map of Greece
At the age of 17, he and his brother and “other co-religionists” joined the volunteer service in Admiral G. Spiridov’s Mediterranean squadron. Then he served in the jaeger corps, in 1785 received the noble title. With the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War, at first it fought on the Black Sea and on the night of October 10 to 11, 1787 near Hadzhibey (Odessa), his detachment, boarded boats, captured a large Turkish ship, named after him nobleman, who sympathized with this Greek - "Prince Potemkin-Tauride."
In February 1788, with a privateer certificate issued by Potemkin, he reached the Austrian port of Trieste, where he equipped the first corsair ship. Soon in his squadron there were already 10 privateer ships, he said: “It rattles throughout Turkey that the Archipelago is filled with Russian ships, but in fact there are no more corsairs in the Archipelago than I and 10 of my ships.”
"Turkish prisoners worship Katsonis." Painting by an unknown artist. National History Museum, Athens
To protect the trade routes, the Turks had to send 23 ships to the Archipelago, but it was Algerian admiral Seit-Ali who was lucky, who managed to sink 6 Kachioni ships, including the flagship 28-gun Minerva Severnaya.
The Turks failed to completely stop the privateer actions of Kachione - albeit on a smaller scale, he still continued to bother them on trade routes.
After the conclusion of the Iasi Peace in 1791, this adventurer ignored the order to disarm his ships, declared himself king of Sparta and engaged in overt piracy, seized even 2 French merchant ships. In June 1792, his squadron was defeated, he himself arrived in Russia in 1794. Despite some “dark spots” in his biography, Kachioni enjoyed the patronage of Catherine II, who was presented at the ball on September 20, 1795. The Greek corsair made such an impression on the empress that he was allowed to wear a fez with silver embroidered image of a woman's hand and the inscription "Under the hand of Catherine."
Portrait of Lambro Cachioni in the same fez with the empress's embroidered hand
In 1796, the empress invited the former Greek corsair (now the Russian colonel) 5 times to her table, which caused bewilderment and envy among the more senior and titled persons. Catherine began to feel a special affection for him after she was able to cure some rash on her legs with baths of sea water, which Kachioni recommended to her. The ill-wishers of the Greek (in particular, the court physician Robertson) claimed that it was these baths that contributed to the apoplexy blow, which caused the death of the empress. However, these accusations turned out to be unproven, and no repressive measures were taken with the accession of Paul I against Cachioni.
Monument to L. Katsonis in Livadia, Greece
Let us return now to the Algerian Sadi-Ali, who promised the Sultan that he would bring the Russian Admiral F. Ushakov to him in Istanbul in a cage or with a noose around his neck.
The battle at Cape Kaliakria
In the Ottoman fleet at that time, there were 19 battleships, 17 frigates and 43 small ships. Selim III’s appeal for help to the Maghreb corsairs, the majority of the ships of which, as we recall, were small and weakly armed, says a lot: about the high “bets” made on the new naval battle, and about the fear and uncertainty of the Sultan in its outcome.
The Turkish fleet went to sea in early May 1791. 20 battleships, 25 frigates, six shebeks, five bombing ships, ten kirlangichi and 15 transport ships set off on a campaign. The purpose of his movement was Anapa: the Ottoman squadron was to deliver supplies and reinforcements to this fortress, and provide support to the garrison from the sea.
On June 10, having received information that a large enemy fleet had been discovered near the Dniester Liman, a squadron of Rear Admiral F. Ushakov came out to meet him. He had at his disposal 16 battleships, two frigates, three bombing ships, nine cruising ships, 13 brigantines and three firewalls.
Intravital portrait of Admiral F.F. Ushakova. Unknown artist. Hermitage. 1807 g
According to Russian historical sources, the Turkish fleet was discovered on June 11 off the southern coast of Crimea (Cape Ayia), and was persecuted by Ushakov's squadron for 4 days. Turkish historians claim that during these days the squadrons were inactive due to the calm. The battle did not take place then, since, according to Ushakov, 6 battleships lagged behind his squadron due to various breakdowns. On June 16, the Russian squadron returned to Sevastopol, where damaged ships were repaired for more than a month.
Ushakov was able to go out to sea again only on July 29. This time he had 16 battleships, two bombing ships, two frigates, one fireman, one repository ship and 17 cruising ships. He held the flagship flag on the 84-gun battleship Christmas of Christ, the most powerful in the squadron. This ship was built at the Kherson shipyard; at the ceremony of launching it in 1787, Catherine II and the Austrian Emperor Joseph II were present, in whose honor he received his first name. It would be renamed at the initiative of Ushakov - March 15, 1790. Then he received the motto “God is with us, God is with us!” Remember, heathens, and submit, as God is with us! ” (words from the Christmas Great Compline).
The battleship "Christmas". Illustration from the book of A. A. Chernyshev “Russian Sailing Fleet”
The Turkish fleet was discovered on July 31 at Cape Kaliakria.
Mys Kaliakra, Bulgaria
Kapudan Pasha Hussein was on the battleship Bahr-i Zafer (the number of artillery pieces of this ship, according to various estimates, ranged from 72 to 82). The Lion of the Crescent, Sadi Ali held the flag at the 74-gun Mukkaddim-i Nusret. The Patrona Tunus (Tunisian vice-admiral) sailed on a 48-gun battleship, the riyal Dzhezair (Algerian rear admiral) had a 60-gun ship, the patron Jazair (Algerian vice-admiral) was driving a privatian ship, whose number of guns is unknown.
The Turkish squadron consisted of more ships, but it was heterogeneous, consisted of ships of various ranks, the corsair’s crews, to put it mildly, did not differ in discipline. In addition, due to heavy losses suffered in the years 1780-1790 and desertion, the crews of many Ottoman ships were understaffed (even the team of Hussein's flagship).
At the time of the meeting, the direction of the wind was north. The Turkish fleet stood behind Cape Kaliakria in three columns, elongated from the south-west to north-east. Ushakov's squadron, also in three columns, moved west.
Instead of lining up his ships in a line, Ushakov directed them between the shore (where the Turkish batteries stood) and the enemy ships - it was 14 hours and 45 minutes. This maneuver, in which the ships near the shore of the column, covered the ships of the other two from the fire of the coastal batteries, and the Russian squadron was in the windward position, came as a complete surprise for the Turks: they tried to line their ships, but they managed to do this only about 16.30. Then the Russian ships turned in line.
Ushakov attacked Seydi-Ali at the Nativity of Christ, whose ship he considered “capudation” (flagship): a bowsprit and a rudder were broken on this ship, a fort-post and grotto-ray were shot down. Sadi-Ali was seriously wounded (they say that the chips from the fore-post wounded him in the chin), but, covered by two frigates, the “Mukkaddime-i Nusret” left the battle. His retreat by the crews of other Turkish ships was seen as a signal to escape, and at 20.00 the Ottoman fleet fled, at 20.30 the battle stopped.
The Battle of Kaliakria
Turkish historians blame it on Sadie Ali: allegedly, contrary to Hussein’s orders, he withdrew to the south with Algerian and Tunisian ships, which caused the Ottoman fleet to be divided into two parts. And then, also arbitrarily, attacked the vanguard of the Russians and was surrounded. Some Turkish ships rushed to the aid of the defeated allies, and finally broke the system. Then 8 Turkish ships followed the “Lion of the Crescent” running towards Constantinople, depriving Hussein's Kapudan Pasha of the opportunity to regroup his forces and continue the battle the next day.
A. Depaldo. “The battle at Cape Kaliakriya”
As a result, having lost 28 ships, the Ottoman fleet was scattered along the Anatolian and Rumeliysky coast. Ten ships (5 of them linear ships) came to Constantinople, where the Mukkaddime-i Nusret, the flagship of Sadi Ali, sank before the eyes of the shocked residents of the city. The sight of the others was pathetic and terrible at the same time.
Selim III was notified of the defeat by the words:
"Great! Your fleet is gone. ”
The Sultan replied:
“My fleet commander and the captains of my ships simply insulted me. I did not expect such behavior from them. Woe to my respect, which I had for them! ”
Some argue that the unsuccessful Algerian admiral Seydi Ali was put in a cage prepared for Ushakov. And Kapudan Pasha Hussein for a long time did not dare to appear in the eyes of the angry Sultan.
The Russian squadron in this battle did not lose a single ship. The casualties were small: 17 people were killed and 27 wounded, while 450 people died on the Sadi Ali ship.
F.F.Ushakov, a monument at Cape Kaliakria, Bulgaria
G. Potemkin, having received news of the victory at Kaliakria, tore off an almost ready peace treaty, hoping to sign a new, more profitable one.
The final article of the series will talk about the Barbary wars of the United States and the final defeat of the pirate states of the Maghreb.