Military Review

How the Russian army, led by Rumyantsev, crushed the Turks at the Battle of Larg

How the Russian army, led by Rumyantsev, crushed the Turks at the Battle of Larg
Rumyantsev in the battle with the Turks

250 years ago, on July 7 (18), 1770, a battle took place on the Larga River between the Russian army of General Rumyantsev and the Ottoman troops of the Crimean Khan Kaplan-Girey. Despite the numerical superiority, the Turks and Crimean Tatars were defeated and fled.

The situation before the battle

In the spring of 1770, the Turkish army, with the support of the Crimean cavalry, went on the offensive. The small corps of General Repnin, located in Moldova, which suffered serious losses from the plague epidemic, could not resist the enemy and retreated. Russian troops retreated under the pressure of superior enemy forces and secured their positions at the Ryaba Grave. Enemy cavalry blocked Repnin's detachment.

To help the advanced corps came out with the 1st Army Rumyantsev. On June 17, 1770, Russian troops defeated the large Tatar-Turkish army at the Ryaboy Graves ("The defeat of the Turkish-Tatar army at the Ryaba Grave") The enemy fled. However, soon the troops of the Crimean Khan were strengthened by the Turkish corps. Turks and Tatars took a position near the Larga River, the left tributary of the Prut. The number of the Ottoman army reached 80 thousand people (65 thousand cavalry and 15 thousand infantry) with 33 guns. The Ottoman command chose a convenient position. Turkish troops were stationed across the Larga River, on a high plateau. From the north (front), the Turks were covered by the impenetrable ford river Larga, from the west - the rivers Balash and Prut, from the south and southeast - the river Babikul. There were no serious natural obstacles from the northeast and east, and this was the most vulnerable spot of the Turkish camp.

The Turks strengthened their position with four retransachements (a fortification in the form of a shaft with a moat in front). The most dangerous direction was reinforced by a strong horseshoe-shaped retranschement so that the enemy could not get around the position on the right. All field fortifications were occupied by Turkish infantry. The cavalry were located behind the right flank.

Rumyantsev's plan

After the battle at the Ryaboy Grave, Russian troops rested for two days. June 19, 1770 the army again went forward. July 4, Rumyantsev’s troops were located at the heights of the river. Largs. The Repnin division was located on the left flank, the Baur division was on the right, behind them were the main forces. The Russian army numbered about 38 thousand people with 115 guns. Tatar cavalry tried to attack the Russian camp, but was repelled with the help of light cavalry with field guns.

Rumyantsev needed to defeat the troops of Kaplan-Girey before joining him with 150 thousand army of the great vizier. On July 5, a military council was held. The decision was unanimous - to attack, despite his superiority in strength and strong position. The Russian commander-in-chief decided to launch a defensive attack from the front and deliver the main blow to the weakest right wing of the enemy. From the northern direction, the division of Lieutenant General Plemyannikov was advancing (6 thousand soldiers with 25 guns). Plemyannikov’s division was to divert the attention of the enemy, and then, during the attack of the main forces, deliver an auxiliary strike.

The right wing of the enemy army was hit by the vanguard of Quartermaster Baur (about 4 thousand soldiers with 14 guns) and the division of Lieutenant General Repnin (11 thousand people with 30 guns). Behind them were the main forces under the leadership of Rumyantsev himself - about 19 thousand people (11 thousand infantry and 8 thousand cavalry). To hide their plans, the Russians lined up 8 km from the enemy camp. The infantry was built in several squares with 2-4 thousand soldiers each. The cavalry was located between the square, also covered the flanks and rear. Artillery was attached to the divisions, part was in reserve. As a result, Rumyantsev skillfully chose the enemy’s weak spot and secretly concentrated his main forces there. At the same time, the enemy was distracted from the front.

The battle of Larg. Source: L. G. Beskrovny. Atlas of maps and diagrams on the Russian military stories


On July 5, Turks and Tatars led by Abdy Pasha launched a strong attack on Russian positions. At first they piled on Repnin’s division, then on Baur. The attack was repelled. Having received reinforcements from the camp, the Ottomans again attacked the Russian right flank. The situation was dangerous. The Turks squeezed our advanced light forces. It was corrected with a counterattack by the detachment of Major General Weisman. He received additional rangers from the main forces, two battalions of rangers, and, with the support of the cavalry, delivered a strong blow to the enemy. Also, Russian artillery caused great damage to the enemy. The Ottomans retreated.

In order to mislead the enemy, the Russian troops observed a disguise. Tents were left in the camp. With the onset of darkness, when the troops began the maneuver, bonfires were left in the camp. On the night of July 7, the main forces of the Russian army crossed the Larga river according to previously induced crossings. Russian troops went to the enemy camp. Ahead rangers in a dense chain went huntsmen. In the first line were the square of Repnin, Potemkin and Baura. In the second line of power Rumyantsev, in the third - cavalry. Light cavalry was located behind the left flank. Artillery (7 batteries) moved between the square in the first line.

By 4 o’clock in the morning, Russian troops, having knocked down the enemy’s advanced posts, reached the right flank of the Turkish position and, with the support of artillery fire, launched an attack. Baur’s troops captured the first trench, then, receiving reinforcements, and the second. Repnin's soldiers attacked the third trench. The enemy offensive from the right flank was unexpected for the Ottomans. They began to hastily transfer troops and artillery from the front to the attacked area. It was used by Russian troops from the front. Plemyannikov’s division broke into the enemy camp from the north. The Tatar cavalry tried to counterattack along the Babikul River to bypass the left flank of the Russian army and go to the rear. However, this attack was not successful. Russian cavalry, artillery and ranger battalions with strong fire stopped the enemy. Crimean cavalry was upset and fled.

In order to strengthen the blow, Rumyantsev threw second-line troops into the battle. Parts were advanced due to the flanks of the first line. The front of the attack was expanded, the blow was strengthened. By noon, four enemy fortifications were captured. Turks and Tatars, unable to withstand a well-organized attack, were demoralized and fled from the camp. The Russian cavalry was too heavy and could not catch up with the enemy and complete the rout. The enemy threw all the artillery (33 guns), banners and convoy. The Ottoman army lost over 1 thousand people killed and 2 thousand prisoners. The losses of the Russian army were insignificant - 90 people were killed and wounded.

In this battle, Rumyantsev used new tactics. The army advanced with several marching columns, which became parts of the future battle formation. This facilitated the combat deployment of troops. The troops marched without slingshots, which they had previously defended from enemy cavalry. The bayonet was recognized as the main defense of the soldier. The army was divided into divisional and regimental squares (previously the troops were lined up in one large square), which made it possible to advance and maneuver forces. The success of the Russian army was facilitated by the use of the loose ranks of rangers in front of the main forces. Artillery under the command of General Melissino was actively used. Among the distinguished commanders, Potemkin, Gudovich, Kutuzov, Mikhelson, Ferzen, Lassi and others became famous later.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 7 July 2020 06: 24
    Great Victories, Great People, in Great Times ...
  2. Olgovich
    Olgovich 7 July 2020 06: 42
    It remains to be added that for this glorious victory, the Russian Count Peter Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaysky was the first in the history to receive the newly established Order of St. George 1st degree.

    The uprooting of Turkey and the Krymchaks from Bessarabia was difficult, but the Russian army coped with this.
  3. Revolver
    Revolver 7 July 2020 06: 50
    Yes, Catherine ... Continuous contradictions. On the one hand, let’s say, a lady who is not very burdened with moral principles, on the other hand, is almost the greatest of the Russian monarchs. German by birth and upbringing, and at the same time so Russian patriot that there were few such in history. Perhaps more than any of the Russian rulers has increased the lands of the Empire, and what lands! It is a pity that the majority of these lands were raked by the country 404, but thank God at least they returned Crimea.
    1. nnz226
      nnz226 7 July 2020 18: 39
      Well, Ivan Vasilyevich 4th also increased the Russian lands rather well, it was with him that the Volga became a completely Russian river. "Kazan took, Astrakhan took ..." + North Caucasus + Siberia
      1. Revolver
        Revolver 7 July 2020 18: 42
        Quote: nnz226
        Well, Ivan Vasilievich the 4th also multiplied non-weakly Russian lands

        I agree. Although technically I am also right, Ivan IV could not expand the Empire, which appeared only under Peter I.
  4. Undecim
    Undecim 7 July 2020 07: 41
    Quote: Olgovich
    It remains to be added that for this glorious victory the Russian Count Peter Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaysky was the first in history to receive the newly established Order of St. George 1st degree.

    Second. For the victory near Cahul two weeks later, on July 21 (August 1).
    The first was Catherine II.
    1. Olgovich
      Olgovich 7 July 2020 11: 38
      Quote: Undecim
      Second. For victory near Cahul two weeks later, July 21 (August 1).
      The first was Catherine II.

      1.No, when LARGE : for the battle of Larg
      The imp-ts generously rewarded the participants in the battle; Rumyantsev received hordes. St. George 1 C.,.

      East Larga // Military Encyclopedia: [in 18 vol.] / Ed. V.F. Novitsky ... [and others]. - SPb. ; [M.]: Type. t. v. I. D. Sytin, 1911-1915.

      And he was FIRST awarded cavalier:
      Rumyantsev received hordes. St. George 1 C., only six months before it was established, and was first gentleman

      East. .Larga // Military Encyclopedia : [in 18 vol.] / Ed. V.F. Novitsky ... [and others]. - SPb. ; [M.]: Type. t. v. I. D. Sytin, 1911-1915.
      The judgment of the Military Encyclopedia is more authoritative than curiosities, yes.

      Catherine is assigned order itself
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 7 July 2020 12: 17
        The judgment of the Military Encyclopedia is more authoritative than curiosities, yes.

        Voenny Sbornik magazine, the official organ of the War Ministry of the Russian Empire. Number three for 1909.
        1. Olgovich
          Olgovich 7 July 2020 13: 13
          Quote: Undecim
          Voenny Sbornik magazine,

          1. And the VS curiously points to Rumyantsev, as the FIRST awarded cavalier of the Order

          2. There is an earlier Military Encyclopedia "Military encyclopedic lexicon
          1856 "d
          which indicates:
          in 1770 Rumlntsv return ~ IJIъ nъ b · bgstnо 20 thousand- 'slchpyii turtstskSh n: orpus bJiiz RyaboiiMogi. and 7 July won a perfect victory over the river.Largo .The Empress awarded him the Order of George 1st Degree.
          But all these victories were only foretell the triumph of Kagulskago.
          1. Olgovich
            Olgovich 7 July 2020 14: 24
            Quote: Olgovich
            won a perfect victory over the river. Larga ... The Empress awarded him the Order of George 1st Degree.

            But what she wrote Catherine herself Rumyantsev about the victory at LARGE:
            "Count Pyotr Aleksandrovich! You can easily imagine, with great pleasure I received news through Colonel Kaulbars about absolutely your victory over the enemy at the Larga River. The next day, I with all the people brought the Almighty due thanks at the cannon fire in the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. But she most of all felt the price of this incident, when on the 25th of this month she saw from the letters brought by the lieutenant of the guard Althoughyintsov and Lieutenant Colonel Mordvinov detailed descriptions of the battle glorious to you and all the former troops in the battle, in which the supreme military art of the leader was supported by the bravery and fearlessness of the soldiers subordinate to him.
            “You will take in my century an undeniably excellent place for a leader who is rational, skillful and zealous for duty, I respect you to give this justice and, so that everyone knows my way of thinking about you and my pleasure about your success,I am sending you the Order of St. George I class. At the same time, I am enclosing a register of those villages, which immediately will be ordered by the decree to be given to the Senate by you forever and hereditarily. ”

            About Cahul victory, she wrote him something else:
            “For my first duty, I thought to bring Almighty God for his innumerable mercies and bounties, a kneeling thanksgiving that this morning (August 2) it was fulfilled with all the people with cannon fire in the Kazan Church, and the whole city was joyfully glad. Then, returning to the palace, sitting down at the table and remembering giving us the reasons for joy and joy with my art, zeal and intelligence, I drank the health of Field Marshal Count Rumyantsev with cannon fire, with which I congratulate you on my newly granted and highly deserved rank and I must testify to you that I didn’t have a person at the table who would not be moved to tears of pleasure, seeing that I showed them justice to a worthy fellow citizen.
            1. Undecim
              Undecim 7 July 2020 14: 46
              Yes, Olgovich, you are right. Forced to admit defeat.
  5. Andrey Krasnoyarsky
    Andrey Krasnoyarsky 7 July 2020 09: 19
    Rumyantsev somehow got lost in the shadow of Suvorov. Meanwhile, it was a talented commander who earned an honorable place in the military history of Russia.
  6. VicktorVR
    VicktorVR 7 July 2020 09: 36
    The Ottoman army lost over 1 thousand people killed and 2 thousand prisoners. The losses of the Russian army were insignificant - 90 people were killed and wounded.

    More than 100.000 people participated, killing about 1%. In the Russian army, the losses are very small.
    How so?
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 7 July 2020 13: 18
      They fled, frightened by volleys and buckshots at point blank range. These are not Swedes or Prussians.
    2. Ryazan87
      Ryazan87 7 July 2020 14: 17
      You take the numbers of the Turkish-Tatar army somewhat more critically: a large number of irregulars (in fact, all Tatars) and non-combatants make all these calculations very inaccurate. There, all the figures given should be divided by 2, at least.
      In addition, the Tatar cavalry, in principle, could no longer conduct the right battle with a relatively large mass of regular infantry, and even with the support of artillery.
  7. nnz226
    nnz226 7 July 2020 18: 35
    Lord, for the last 300 years Russia has been cleaning everyone's faces, whoever tries to lift their tail at it! And the "environment" is itching to do everything! Even the Japanese, having won the war against the Russians in 1904-05 (albeit relatively), took everything they had to do 40 years later (right according to Bismarck!), And ours did it in the shortest possible time!