During the 1737 campaign of the year, Christopher Minich continued the implementation of the previously developed plan. Two targets were chosen for the offensive of the Russian troops - Ochakov and the Crimea. 40-th army under the command of Field Marshal Peter Lassi received the task of attacking the Crimean Khanate. And 60-70-thousand the army under the leadership of Minikh was to take a strategic Turkish fortress - Ochakov.
The Austrian government tried to use Russian soldiers for its own purposes, offering to send the Russian army to Wallachia to help imperial troops. However, Petersburg showed prudence. The Russian government, under pressure from Minich and Cabinet Minister Count Ostermann, rejected the proposal of Austria. At the same time, it was decided to simultaneously attack the Russian and Austrian armies, so that it would be more difficult for the Turkish troops to organize retaliatory measures. The Austrians were to operate on the Danube and in Hungary.
According to the Russian command, the Ottomans wanted to make Ochakov a bridgehead for a powerful group of 40 thousand Turks and 50 thousand Tatars, which was supposed to conduct offensive operations against Russia. Therefore, Minih, to ensure the success of the operation, decided to concentrate no less numerous army. In 70 thousand The army was supposed to include: 63 infantry battalions, including 3 guard battalions, 29 dragoon regiments, one horse guard regiment, one cuirassier regiment, several landmilitia regiments, about 18 thousand Don, Hetman, Ukrainian, Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, hussars and Wallachians. The artillery fleet of the army consisted of 60 guns and 11 siege mortars, 165 field guns and about 400 grenade mortars. The army was divided into 3 divisions: the first under the command of the general-feldzeichmeister Prince Ludwig of Hesse-Gomburgsky, the second - the general-general of Count Alexander Rumyantsev, the third - Lieutenant-General Mikhail Leontyev. The army was accompanied by a huge convoy of about 90 thousand carts and up to 2 thousand camels. I even had to bring water and firewood with me. Across the Dnieper, the army was to accompany flotillabuilt in Bryansk.
Preparation for the campaign was accompanied by great difficulties. The army was supposed to go in March, but due to various circumstances, the start of the campaign was postponed. In particular, they did not have time to complete the construction of the Bryansk (Dnieper) flotilla in time; this disrupted the delivery of siege artillery. There was also the problem of crossing the Bug - bridges were supposed to arrive from Bryansk along with the flotilla. I had to hire a court from the local population and the Cossacks. Many shelves were not fully staffed by people and horse personnel, lacked uniforms, fodder, carts. The arrival of 20 thousand guns from Tula was delayed. The Cossacks could not allocate a sufficient number of boats. Intermediate fortifications were not ready to support communications in the steppe. Do not have time to collect all the forces intended for the campaign.
As a result, Minich was forced to march without waiting for the gathering of the entire army and with an incomplete artillery fleet. In early May, the army crossed the Dnieper and on July 10 approached Ochakov. On the same day, 12 versts from Ochakov, the first major battle took place. 5 thous. a cavalry detachment overturned the advanced Cossack units, but the hussars, dragoons and 2 infantry regiments with artillery sent to reinforcements defeated the enemy. From the prisoners they learned that the garrison of Ochakov was strengthened and now consists of 20-22 thousand soldiers. Seraskir Yazh Pasha and Commandant Mustafa Pasha destroyed the suburbs in order to worsen the capabilities of the besiegers. The fortress was well defended with three rows of walls, a moat and forward fortifications. The artillery of the fortress consisted of hundreds of cannons and mortars.
Minich did not wait for the arrival of reinforcements and decided to immediately prepare for the assault. On the morning of July 11, the Russian army began to surround the fortress. To protect against attacks of the enemy cavalry, slingshots were put in front of the infantry, and horse regiments set up wagenburg. Precaution was not superfluous. The Ottomans immediately went on the attack. 15-thousand the detachment attacked the Russian flanks in two columns, the main blow was struck on the weak left flank, where the Don Cossacks (irregular troops) were stationed. However, Minih time to send reinforcements and after the 2-hour battle, the enemy retreated. The loss of the army amounted to about 200 people killed.
In order to prevent enemy attacks, Minich ordered the construction of 5 redoubts and 4 batteries throughout the siege line overnight. For siege work 5 was allocated thousands of people, 5 more thousand soldiers covered them. Because of the hardness of the soil, 2 thousand more people had to be allocated for earthworks. However, by morning they were able to build only two right-flank redoubts by the sea.
On the morning of July 12, a shootout began. Minich built an army in two lines: forward and reserve under the command of the Prince of Hesse-Homburg. After a long shootout, Minich began a general attack. The center was led by James Kate, the left flank - Levendal, the right - Rumyantsev. Minikh himself was on the right flank of Rumyantsev. Russian troops knocked the enemy out of advanced fortifications and came very close to the walls. The shootout continued until dark.
At the same time, artillery was advanced, placing it behind the Turkish ramparts. Night bombing of the fortress began. In Ochakovo there were many fires, the Turks extinguished them. But just before dawn, the central part of the city was set on fire. To prevent extinguishing the fire, the fire of all mortars was concentrated on this place. Soon the fire engulfed several streets. Munnich ordered to begin the assault. The shelves approached the ditch near the wall, but there were no devices to overcome it. A firefight began, which lasted until both sides ran out of ammunition. Making sure that the impossibility of further assault, the Russian soldiers retreated.
The outcome of the battle was decided by artillery and fire. The Turks, engaged in repelling the Russian attack, could not fully engage in extinguishing the fire. As a result, on July 13 at 9, the main powder cellar of the fortress, where the 500 barrels of powder were stored, flew into the air around 6. The consequences of this explosion were catastrophic for the Ottomans - about 24 thousand people immediately died. Seraskir (commander-in-chief) Yazh-Pasha, realizing that he was unable to put out the fire himself, entered into negotiations for surrender. He tried to cheat, asked for a truce XNUMX hours, hoping to extinguish the fire during this time.
Minich did not fall for the trick. He gave the opponent an hour to think, saying that then no one would be spared. Seraskir tried to break through to the galleys and escape, but the Cossacks and Hussars cut off the retreat path. To get to the courts could not more than 200 people. The explosion of another powder shop killed many people. After that, the remnants of the garrison capitulated.
It was a complete victory. They were taken prisoner - seraskir trekhbunchuzhny Yazh-pasha, commandant of two-booty Mustafa Pasha, 30 senior officers, 60 junior officers and more than 3 thousand soldiers. About 16 thousand corpses were found in the fortress. As trophies, more than 100 cannons, mortars and 300 banners were captured. The Russian army lost about 1 thousand people killed, more than 2,8 thousand people wounded, including 5 generals, two brigadiers, 27 staff officers, 55 chief officers. The field marshal during the battle set an example of personal courage, commanding a battalion of the Izmailovsky Life Guards battalion, killed a horse under him, a bullet pierced his uniform, but escaped from wounded Minih.
Minikh left a garrison in the fortress, ordered the fortifications to be restored and led the troops to Ukraine (they arrived in Little Russia at the end of August). I must say that, as during the Crimean campaign, the Russian army suffered more losses not in battle, but because of massive diseases. Despite the precautions taken, the sultry climate, lack of food, good water and infectious diseases killed up to 16 thousand people. The glory of taking Ochakov, who was considered impregnable, drowned out the shaft of criticism to which the commander-in-chief was subjected.
8-thousand Russian garrison in Ochakov under the command of Fedor Shtofeln in October - November 1737 of the year withstood the siege of 40-thousand. Turkish army. Russian soldiers courageously repulsed all enemy attacks. The Turks, having lost up to half of the army, about 10 thousand died during unsuccessful attacks, others mowed down the disease, retreated. The Russian garrison lost about 2 thousand people killed, wounded in battle, and dead from disease. Minich planned to capture Bender in 1737, but because of the siege of Ochakov, he was forced to postpone this plan. He began to prepare troops to go to the aid of the garrison in Ochakovo, but he managed.
Lassi, with the assistance of the Azov flotilla, invaded the Crimea along the Arabat spit. Russian troops reached Karasubazar and captured it. However, the army then faced the same difficulties as the troops of Minich in 1736, the shortage of provisions and mass diseases forced Lassi to leave the peninsula. Having ravaged Perekop along the way, the army arrived in Ukraine in early October.
The Austrians 1737 campaign failed, and entered into peace negotiations with the Turks. Petersburg also hurried to begin peace talks. But the Turks, who had become cheerful, made such demands that the world could not be concluded.
The 1738 campaign of the year was not successful. Lassi again went to the Crimea, which was already devastated by the previous invasions. The supply situation was even worse, because the Turkish fleet blocked the actions of the Russian Azov flotilla. Lassi again left the peninsula.
Minich with 50-th. Army made the Dnieper, crossed the Bug and August 7 reached the Dniester. But the Dniester did not cross, since there was a strong enemy army behind him, the crossing could have ended in disaster. Attempts to lure the enemy to its shore, were also in vain. As a result, the army devastated by diseases (plague raged on Turkish territory) returned to Ukraine in September. The epidemic was also recorded in Poland, Ukraine. Munnich had to fight the epidemic. In winter, he went to Petersburg, urging the government to continue the war. He believed that Russia could achieve more brilliant success.
The Austrians suffered one defeat this year after another. Persia made peace with the Ottoman Empire and offered its mediation to Russia. They removed the garrisons from Ochakov and Kinburn, since their disease mowed down. Petersburg began to lean towards the world.
Battle of the Stauvans 17 (28) August 1739
Minich decided to prove the victories the need to continue the war. With 60-thousand In the army with the 250 guns of Munnich at the beginning of June 1739, he crossed the Dnieper. It should be noted that a significant part of the army was a non-combatant element, which was located at a huge train. So in the decisive battle participated 48 thousand soldiers: 40 thousand regular troops and 8 thousand irregular. In July, the troops reached the Bug, August 15 was already beyond the Dniester at Stavuchan. Here the Russian army collided with the enemy.
To repel the offensive of the Russian army, the commander-in-chief of the Turkish army, Veli Pasha, concentrated all the troops that were in the area, including the Khotin garrison. The Crimean-Turkish army reached 70-90 thousand people: 15-20 thousand janissaries, 8-20 thousand Turkish cavalry, 7 thousand local militias and 40-50 thousand Crimean Tatars. The artillery of the Crimean-Turkish army consisted of 70 guns.
Veli Pasha, awaiting the approach of the Russian army, decided to use his superiority in cavalry. Tatar cavalry was sent to the Russian rear. Turkish cavalry was concentrated on the flanks. In the center, occupying the front in 5 versts, the infantry was located. To ensure the best defense, the greatest efforts were concentrated on the western flank, which covered the road to Hotin. Here the Turks built 11 batteries, and built a triple line of trenches. The last works were carried out at night on August 28, when the Russian units left the area. In the ideal case, according to the Turkish command, the Russian army was surrounded, and this forced it to begin negotiations (the scenario of Peter the Prut campaign).
Minich realized that he was surrounded. In the rear and on the flanks of the enemy cavalry. The Russian camp was attacked by enemy cavalry and shelling. Ahead of the selected Turkish infantry, which has taken a strong position and is protected by field fortifications. There was already a shortage of firewood and fodder. It was impossible to make a workaround. But he noticed that the left flank of the enemy, although located in a favorable place, was not reinforced. Field Marshal decided to attack, concentrating the blow to the left flank of the Turkish army. As Minikh himself noted, the high morale of the army contributed to the decisive attack: the troops "showed a hunt almost unheard of in battles and were very eager to approach the enemy as quickly as possible."
On the right flank, a distracting 9 maneuver was to be carried out by a thousand detachment of Lieutenant General Gustav Biron (brother of E. I. Biron, favorite of Empress Anna Ioannovna). It also included the Guards Consolidated Detachment. The main forces struck at the enemy's weak left flank.
Early in the morning of August 28, the detachment of Gustav Biron, depicting the avant-garde of the entire Russian army, rose two versts from the enemy’s positions at a low height against the center of the right flank of the Turkish army. The commander built a squad in a three-sided square and tied up an artillery fire with the enemy. The shootout lasted until noon, but was ineffective. Turkish gunners fired very badly. At this time, the main forces of the Russian army stood "in the gun" and expressed their readiness to come forward after the advance guard. Veli Pasha, believed that the Russians were going to strike in this direction, concentrated the main forces of the infantry here and began to prepare additional fortifications. The commander of the Khotyn garrison, Kolchak Pasha, tried to organize an attack on the left Russian flank, where the Don Cossacks stood.
At noon, Field Marshal Munnich moved his troops to the right, Biron's detachment was deployed, and joined the main forces. Veli Pasha initially thought that the Russians were retreating, and sent a report of victory. But soon he realized a mistake and began to transfer troops to the left flank and build fortifications. The cavalry received an order to attack the Russian troops at the river crossing.
To counter the attacks of the cavalry of the enemy, Minich identified two brigades of field artillery. The Russian army advanced slowly, along with a huge wagon train (it could not be left due to the presence of significant forces of the Tatar cavalry in the rear). A detachment of Lieutenant General Karl Biron (brother of Ernest-Johann Biron) with the right wing of the army was in the forefront. Russian soldiers erected 25 crossings for the main forces. And under the cover of artillery fire, at 2 one o'clock in the afternoon they crossed, taking the heights of the left bank, defending the crossing of the main forces. The attacks of the Turkish cavalry were repulsed by artillery fire and hussar counterattacks. By 4 hours of the day, the guards of Gustav Biron, the main forces, and the left wing under the command of Ulrich Levendal crossed.
After the crossing, the Russian army lined up in one large square, inside which there was a wagon train and slowly went to the enemy. In the 5 hour around Stavuchan, the Turks tried to turn the tide in their favor, and went on the attack. Janissaries were advancing from the front, and Turkish cavalry on the right flank. The Russian army stopped, clung to the slingshot, and opened gun and rifle fire. Turkish cavalry could not stand the shelling and retreated. Several thousand janissaries made their way to the slingshots, but were unsuccessful and also fled. The Turks set fire to the camp and fled in the direction of Hotin. Only the Crimean Tatar cavalry tried again to attack the Russian troops. However, the fire of Russian artillery scattered the enemy. The remaining enemy units ran pursued by irregular Russian troops.
It was a brilliant victory. The Crimean-Turkish army was completely demoralized and scattered. Most of the Turks, including the Khotin garrison, fled to Bender, part to Prut. The Russians got a significant amount of ammunition, provisions, fodder, entrenching tools, tents. Russian losses were limited to 13 killed and 54 wounded. The Turks lost more than 1 thousand people killed. Munnich explained such an amazing victory with the “courage of Russian soldiers,” a skilled cannon and rifle fire. 30 Augustin Hotin was busy without a fight, but he was left without a garrison. There 180 cannons and mortars were captured. The Russian army occupied most of Moldova, Iasi. The forward detachments reached the Danube.
Minich was ready for new battles and was preparing to continue the offensive. He planned to capture Bender, believing that they would surrender like Hotin. September 24 Minich received orders to stop hostilities. Austria suffered a defeat and August 21 (September 1) 1739 of the year concluded a separate peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the possibility of war with Sweden. 18 (29) September 1739 of the year in Belgrade between Russia and Turkey signed a peace treaty.
Despite all the successes of Russian weapons, the acquisitions were small. Russia received Azov, subject to the elimination of fortifications. Had no right to have a navy in the Azov and Black Seas. Russia also withdrew small territories on Right-Bank Ukraine along the middle course of the Dnieper. Big and Small Kabarda gained independence. This treaty was not beneficial to Russia, since almost all the victories of Russian weapons were in vain. Tens of thousands of warriors laid down their heads, huge resources were spent, and St. Petersburg simply gave almost all the territorial conquests. Minich was very angry, wrote reproachful letters to the Austrian ministers, especially since Austria had not concluded such a humiliating contract for a long time, giving the Turks Belgrade.
Field Marshal met in the capital as a hero. Munnich was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, he received the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment (only the monarch wore the rank of colonel in this regiment) and a gold sword sprinkled with diamonds.
Plan Stavuchanskaya battle.
In 1740, after the death of Anna Ioannovna, according to her will, the son of Anna Leopoldovna (niece of the deceased empress) and Prince Anton Ulrich of Braunschweig-Bevern-Luneburg, two months old Ivan Antonovich, took the throne. Biron was appointed Regent with him. Minich, as an experienced politician, hid his true thoughts and supported the all-powerful temporary worker.
Minikh, knowing that everyone hates Biron, prepared a conspiracy in which he did not even devote Osterman. Biron oppressed Anna Leopoldovna and even plotted a coup, planning to marry her son on Grand Duchess Elizabeth Petrovna, and marry her daughter as Golshtinsky duke, the son of the eldest daughter of Peter the Great. On the night of November 8, 1740, Minich, who promised to defend Anna Leopoldovna, ordered his adjutant Manstein, led by a team of 20 soldiers, to arrest a temporary worker. Nobody defended Biron, and he was thrown into prison. This feat Minich pleased all of Russia. Anna Leopoldovna was declared regent and ruler of Russia.
This was the pinnacle of Minich’s career. He became an all-powerful nobleman. When he wanted to welcome the rank of generalissimo, he refused and gave it to the father of the emperor. However, he became the first minister of military, civil and diplomatic affairs. Minich did not even pursue his old "friend" and at the same time his rival Osterman, ironically giving him the rank of great admiral, generously handing out awards, money.
Opala and reference
Minich began to negotiate with Prussia and France on the conclusion of an alliance against Austria, which the commander did not like after the Belgrade peace deprived him of the honor of victories. He was opposed by Osterman, the ruler’s husband, and her favorite, the Saxon envoy, Count Linard. Minich’s opinion was triumphant when the most important negotiations were with Austria, Prussia and France. But the disease forced him to retire. Having recovered, Minichus with anger found out that the enemies skillfully took advantage of his absence. The spouse of the ruler and Osterman demanded not only the removal of Minich from the case, but also arrest, trial and execution. The ruler was not a supporter of such radical measures, so Minich was only removed from all matters.
In the 1741 year, with the accession of Elizabeth Petrovna, the “debriefing” began. The anger of the winners fell on all those who previously ruled in Russia arbitrarily. The baby emperor was imprisoned and spent most of his life in prison; security guards killed him at the age of 23. The ruler Anna Leopoldovna and her husband Anton Ulrich of Brunswick were arrested and they were imprisoned to death. Andrei Osterman was sentenced to the wheeling, he was replaced by eternal imprisonment in Berezovo, where he died. The Vice-Chancellor for Internal Affairs, Mikhail Golovkin, he advised Anna Leopoldovna to declare herself the empress, and Yelizaveta Petrovna, right after the coronation, to imprison herself in a monastery, was sentenced to death. The execution was replaced with an eternal link to Germang. An influential nobleman during the reign of Anna Ioannovna and Anna Leopoldovna, chief-marshal Reingold Gustav Loewenwolde was sentenced to death, she was replaced by reference to Solikamsk. Baron, president of the chamber and merchant colleges Karl Ludwig Mengden was exiled to the Kola prison, where he died.
Fell under the distribution and disgraced Munnich. He was accused of complicity with Biron, theft and treason, he was sentenced to quartering. He bravely met this news, being a military man to the bone, he was accustomed to death. Execution replaced by a link. In the village of Pelym, Munnich spent 20 for many years. Minich, unlike many of those who were exiled, did not give up, and he was about 60 years old. He was engaged in physical and mental work, grew vegetables, taught children to read and write. He compiled projects for the expulsion of Turks from Europe, the development of trade in Russia, and the construction of fortresses. He offered to appoint him as a Siberian governor, considering that he could benefit Russia in this post.
In the 1762 year, the new sovereign Peter III returned the 78-year-old Minich to the capital. The emperor met Minikh in a friendly manner, returned to him the rank of field marshal, the title of count, part of the estates, determined a large salary. Minich, at almost 80, retained a clear mind and sense of duty. When the new coup took place, the old field marshal advised Peter III to flee to Revel and join the Russian troops in Prussia.
During the accession of the new empress, Minich came to Catherine II. “You were against me, Field Marshal?” - said the empress. “I was faithful to my monarch until he himself authorized my oath,” the commander replied, but from now on your Majesty will not be a citizen rather than me! ”The empress was a sensible person and did not punish the old field marshal.
At the end of his life, he continued to serve the Motherland. Munnich was appointed Governor-General and received the Revel, Kronstadt, Baltic and other ports, as well as the Ladoga Canal. Zealously he set to work. Personally examined the ports and the channel. “The sleep almost never closes my eyes,” he wrote to the empress. “With different plans, I close my eyes and, when I wake up, turn my thoughts to them.” In his messages to Empress Minich, he repeatedly advised Catherine to launch a new war against the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. He saw the Crimea and the vast Black Sea territories within the Russian Empire, wanted to see the completion of the work that he started 30 years ago. He became the governor of Siberia, as desired.
The creator and commander quietly passed away on 16 (27) on October 1767 of the year, returning from his working trip.
Minih in Russian stories bad luck. His name was associated with the era of Anna and Biron ("Bironovshchina"), filled with various negative phenomena. As a result, Minich came under attack from critics, along with the real culprits. He was completely unfairly accused of despotism, of complicity with Biron, of bribery and embezzlement, failures in the military field. And no special evidence was not presented.
As a result, the engineer and commander, who did so much for Russia that he is among the most prominent Russian creators, the military leader, who did not lose a single battle and greatly strengthened the defenses of the state, was not deservedly forgotten and even tarnished.
His fate is quite amazing. As a young man he served in the French, Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Kassel and Polish-Saxon armies. Thanks to his talents, he reached the rank of major general. He became a colleague of Peter I, an engineer and a converter, who did a lot of useful things for Russia. He became a commander who defeated the Poles, the Crimean Tatars, the Ottomans. He was noted as a leader and winner in the first battle of the Russians and the French. The first to subject the Crimean Khanate to pogrom. The deliverer of Russia from Biron, an exile, who spent twenty years in exile. Again, Field Marshal, in mercy and honor at the royal court. What a game of fate!