23 June, before dawn, the Russian batteries began the bombardment of Kars. The Turkish military camp at the southern outskirts of the fortress suffered the most severe blow. The Turks responded, but soon their infantry could not stand the shelling and at about 4 hours of the morning came out of the fortified camp south of the suburb of Temir Pasha. The Turks focused on the cemetery, hiding behind stone tombstones, and tied up a firefight with the Russian rangers, who covered the battery number 1. The advanced chain of the 39 th eger regiment was below the height at which the cemetery was located and began to incur losses. The company commander, lieutenant Labintsov, decided to drop the enemy infantry and take possession of the height. Since then, on his initiative, he led the companies into a bayonet attack. But the attack failed, under heavy enemy fire, the Russian infantry lay down.
After waiting for some time, Labintsy again led his soldiers to the attack. This time, the company reached the cemetery, but it was thinning and could no longer knock the enemy out of the cemetery in hand-to-hand combat. At this turning point, the neighbors' right supported the attack of the neighbors - the commander of the battalion of the 42 th eger regiment, lieutenant colonel A. M. Miklashevsky. He threw three of his company to help his comrades. The cadets hit the bayonets together and dislodged the enemy infantry from the cemetery. In the heat of battle, disregarding the restraining orders of the commanders, the Russian soldiers rushed to the Turkish camp near the Armenian suburb. Experienced Caucasian huntsman could not stop, seeing runaway and throwing weapon the enemy. Experience prompted that a fleeing, psychologically broken enemy must be finished off. As a result, the business did not go as planned by the command. On the shoulders of the enemy, the huntsman broke into the Turkish fortified camp. A bloody hand-to-hand fight ensued in the camp.
A battle ensued near the outskirts of Temir Pasha was seen by General Ivan Mikhailovich Vadbolsky (1781 — 1861). Prince Vadbolsky had a great combat experience: he fought in the anti-French companies 1805 and 1807. In World War 1812 of the year, commanding the Mariupol hussars of the regiment Colonel Vadbolsky participated with distinction in many affairs, was wounded in the battle of Borodino, led a separate partisan detachment. He took part in the foreign campaign of the Russian army. In 1826, he was transferred to the Separate Caucasian Corps, fought with the Persians, commanding the infantry division. Vadbolsky correctly estimated the situation and ordered the commander of the 42 th regiment of colonels, Colonel Reut, with the other five companies to support the attack of Miklashevsky. Reut quickly built the rangers in the attack column and moved forward. This assistance was timely - around 2 thousand Turks rushed to the counterattack from the Armenian suburb and drove the rangers from the camp.
Portrait of I. M. Vadbolsky.
The situation was a turning point. Vedbolskiy had only three companies of the 39 regiment of chasseurs and, having thrown them into battle, he left the batteries without cover. But the officer of the General Staff who was next to him, Colonel Ivan Burtsev, persuaded the general to send the last companies into battle. They were led by Vedbolsky and Burtsev themselves. In the Caucasian Corps, they loved Vedbolsky for personal courage and simple handling of the lower ranks. Rangers hit the bayonets. Their attack forced the Turkish infantry to retreat. Combined with the soldiers of Reut and Miklashevsky, the huntsmen formed a united front of attack. Russian troops noticeably intensified the onslaught, and again took possession of the Turkish fortified camp. In pursuit of the enemy, the Russian rangers broke into the outskirts of Temir Pasha. So thanks to the initiative of Lieutenant Labintsev, the usual skirmish turned into a decisive battle for Kars.
When the rangers for the height of the cemetery were reported to the commander-in-chief, Paskevich, he did not take it into account. There have been a lot of similar bouts in recent days. But when he was informed about the breakthrough of the rangers in the Turkish fortified camp, Ivan Fedorovich jumped on the position. Surrounded by several officers, he arrived at the position of the battery number 4. From her, located on the steep bank of Kars tea, the course of the battle could be clearly seen. When Major General N. Muravyov approached him with a report, the Caucasian governor, unable to restrain himself, delivered an angry speech. Promising to bring to justice the one who started the case without his order. Such a threat, especially in the case of defeated rangers, could be fulfilled. The army is the army, the unity of command and the discipline of its foundations. However, Paskevich quickly calmed down and began to lead the battle.
Events developed rapidly. In the Turkish camp there was a small height, convenient for the artillery position, on it put 4 guns, taken from the battery number 4 and 2 guns Don Don Cossacks. This new battery immediately opened fire on the fortress and unpleasantly surprised the Ottomans. The battery number 4 under the governor was the commander of the Georgian Grenadier Regiment Simovich, he proposed to send reinforcements to the right bank. Paskevich, after some hesitation - did not want to expose a whole section of the siege line, he agreed. Three grenadier companies were transferred to the right bank of the river. But they had to go around - through the stone bridge at the main camp, which took a long time.
Street fighting in the Armenian suburb threatened to drag on, there was some balance of power. The courage and onslaught of the Russian rangers Turks balanced with their greater number. A move was needed to reverse this situation. He was invented by Colonel Burtsev, he oriented himself quite well in the cramped streets of the eastern city and, gathering one company of rangers into a fist, led them to the storming of the Temir Pasha castle. This fortification covered at once two bridges across the river directly into the Karskaya fortress. Russian soldiers made good use of the confusion in the enemy’s camp and broke into the castle, knocking out the enemy from there. Burtsev ordered two light guns to be placed in one of the corner towers. Their fire greatly facilitated the advancement of the rangers. Burtsev artillerymen were supported by gunners from a height in a captured Turkish camp. The gunners suppressed the nodes of resistance - stone buildings, from where the enemy soldiers fired on Russian soldiers.
At this time, shooting began on the northern outskirts of the Temir Pasha suburb. This went on the attack battalion of the Shirvan regiment. According to the previously outlined plan of action, the Shirvans were to distract the enemy, producing demonstrative attacks. However, the battalion commander Colonel Borodin, seeing the success of the attack of the neighbors, decided to support the rangers at his own risk and risk. The Russian battalion knocked out the enemy from the advanced fortifications, then pulled up the guns, and, with their support, broke into the northern outskirts of Temir Pasha. The Shirvans launched an offensive to meet the rangers, capturing several blocks and a stone bridge over Kars tea. Moreover, the advanced units were even able to cross the bridge and started a shootout with the Turks on the fortress wall.
At this time, the commander of the left-bank group of troops, General Korolkov, did not wait for the order of the governor and, taking two battalions of the Crimean infantry regiment, which covered the battery number 2, personally led the rangers to help. The Turkish troops fiercely defended, but the oppressed, on the one hand, the rangers and infantrymen of the Crimean regiment, and on the other hand, the Shirvans, were forced to give street after street. In addition, three Grenadier companies arrived from the right bank, and increased the attack of the Russian troops. Soon the remnants of the garrison Temir Pasha suburbs dropped into the river. Two hours after the start of the attack, the company of Jägers Labintsev, the entire left-bank part of the fortifications and the city were cleared of Turkish troops. A part of the Russian infantry entrenched on the right bank, near the walls of the enemy citadel.
Paskevich's mood has improved significantly - the winners are not judged. The course of the morning events made Paskevich and all the Russian commanders much worried, but everything went perfectly. On the battery number 4 held a military council and decided to launch a general attack on the right flank, take all the external fortifications of Kars, and then hit the fortress. All siege batteries opened heavy fire on enemy fortifications on the outskirts of Orta Kapi. The Turkish gunners tried to answer, but, although they had more guns, they could not organize an effective response.
A detachment under the command of the chief of staff of the separate Caucasian corps of Osten-Sacken went to storm Orta-Kapi. The Carabinieri battalion and the two grenadier companies were the first to rush into the suburbs, but their further advancement stopped heavy fire from the Yusuf Pasha bastion, which was covered from the east by marshes. Then Colonel Yurovsky with the grenadiers took the bastion. Captured guns were turned against the positions of the Turkish troops. Almost simultaneously, Russian soldiers captured the river bastion with a battery of 4 cannons. Captured guns opened fire on the fortress. The bombing of Kara Fortress from close range proved to be very effective. The Russian gunners on that day acted brilliantly, covered the attack of the infantry and smashed the enemy fortifications, centers of resistance. In the combat formations of the assault units, light guns were used, which at close range beat the canister, “clearing” the space from the enemy. By 7 hours of the morning, both the Turkish right-bank suburbs - Orta-Kapi and Bairam-Pasha were cleared of the Ottomans. During the assault on the outskirts of Bayram Pasha, Russian soldiers captured enemy fortifications on Mount Karadag (Haradagh Heights), they defended the road to Gumry. The battery located here was also directed against the Kara Fortress. In addition, behind the marsh put the battery number 8.
The Turkish garrison has only one central fortress and citadel. The enemy garrison was overwhelmed and psychologically broken by the swiftness of the assault and its consequences. As a result, the Muslim cavalry began to flee from the fortress through a gate that had not yet been attacked. Emin Pasha could not stop this escape. The city left and those who had horses. Riders tried as quickly as possible to pass the plain and hide in the mountains. They were not disturbed and not pursued, their flight weakened the garrison. In addition, fires began in the citadel from artillery fire. Near the governor's house several charging boxes exploded, causing a big stir in the citadel. The Ottomans were seized with fear, insecurity and panic.
The fire of siege batteries silenced all Turkish cannons located on the wall facing Karadag. By Paskevich’s order, light and Don Cossack guns were pushed to the walls themselves, which hit the fortress almost to the stop. Enemy response fire constantly weakened. Many towers of the fortress shot down guns, fortifications were damaged. Hiding behind the stone buildings of the suburbs, the infantry of the Separate Caucasian Corps began to accumulate near the fortress wall, preparing for a decisive assault and leading an exchange of fire with the enemy's arrows.
At 8, the attack of the fortress from the southern and western sides of the fortress began at 1 am On the northern side of Orta-Kapi, Russian soldiers crept up to the very rooftops of the buildings and quickly attacked the fortifications from the southern and western sides. The Turks could not provide effective resistance. Storming with a fierce attack, working with bayonets with might and main, they slaughtered the Turks guarding the gates, and began to clear them of obstruction. At the same time, a love turret with 25 guns was captured. This swift and desperate attack of the soldiers of the Erivan Carabinieri Regiment finally decided the fate of the fortress. At the same time, the townspeople-Armenians than could try to help the Russian soldiers: they filed logs and boards for storming the fortress, showed short ways, warned of possible ambushes.
The quick success of the Carabineers was supported by huntsmen, grenadiers and Shirvan. The soldiers of the Shirvan regiment, under Borodin’s command, captured the western gate - Su-Kapi, and scattering a block of logs and stones, opened them. Russian soldiers broke into the fortress from the Kars-chay river side. Leading a fierce street battle, breaking the resistance of the enemy, the Russian assault columns advanced into the center of the fortress from the south and west. The resistance of the enemy has weakened noticeably. By 8 hours of the morning, the assault columns connected in the center of the Kara Fortress. The remains of the Turkish garrison locked in a citadel, located on the coastal height of Kars-tea.
Surrender. Results of the assault
Suppressed by such a quick defeat, Emin Pasha threw a white flag and sent negotiators. Emin Pasha asked for mercy for the surviving soldiers. On the part of the Separate Caucasian Corps, negotiations were led by Colonel Bekovich-Cherkassky. He presented two conditions to the Ottomans: 1) immediately put down their arms, the soldiers were promised life and freedom; 2) Emin Pasha was supposed to recognize himself a prisoner of war and go to Georgia with those who were already captured during the assault on the outskirts and the fortress. In order that the Ottomans did not have doubts, all the artillery was directed against the citadel.
Emin Pasha asked for two days to think. Apparently, he put on that during this time an army from Erzerum will do. Paskevich replied: “Mercy innocent. Death unruly. An hour to think about. ” The remnants of the garrison, completely discouraged, rebelled and forced Emin Pasha to immediately capitulate. 23 June (5 July) 1828 of the year at 10 in the morning Emin Pasha surrendered to the remnants of his warriors. The powerful fortress of Kars, the springboard for the attack on the Russian Transcaucasus, was occupied by Russian troops. The trophies of this unusually dynamic and rapid assault on steel were: 22 mortars and howitzers, the same number of 12-49-pound cannons and unicorns, about a hundred smaller-caliber guns, 9 field guns; 7 thous. Pounds of gunpowder, up to 1 thous. Pounds of lead, many other ammunition, thousands of rifles, stocks of tools and food. There were enough reserves in the fortress to withstand a long siege and arm a significant number of soldiers. The losses of the Russian troops were quite small - before 300 people were killed and wounded, including 15 officers. The highest losses were sustained by the huntsmen, who were the first to launch the assault. Turks were killed before 2 thousand people, another 1,3 thousand captured (cavalry was able to escape).
Taking the city, Paskevich announced a pardon for its inhabitants - Muslim men fought in the city militia, defending Kars, and then fled to their homes. The city was established Russian power, but temporarily retained Turkish laws. The judicial authority was kept by the Kadi and Mufti.
It should be noted that on the day of the capture of Kars, the Cossack patrols discovered the advanced detachments of the 20-thousand fortress rushing to the rescue. Erzurum Corps under the command of Kios Mohammed Pasha in 5 kilometers from the Russian camp at Kichik-Eva. The main forces of the Turkish corps were in 15 kilometers - a one-day transfer of wax coming from artillery and carts on mountain roads. Thus, if the siege was delayed or the assault was not so successful, the Russian corps would face a battle with the Turkish army, if there was a strong garrison in the rear of the fortress of Kars. Upon learning of the fall of the fortress, the Erzerum corps stopped indecisively and then retreated from the escaping cavalry of Emin Pasha.
The Russian corps was unable to seize this moment in order to use the confusion in the camp of the enemy, to develop the offensive, pursuing Kyos Mohammed Pasha and his troops, to attack Erzerum. Russian troops struck a plague epidemic. Strict quarantine measures were taken to curb the spread of the disease. Tough measures quickly gave a positive result - after twenty days the infection disappeared. She claimed the lives of an 263 man, a relatively small number, given the possibilities of medicine at the time. Already on July 23, the corps of Paskevich conquered the fortress of Akhalkalaki, and in early August approached Akhaltsikh, who capitulated 16. Fortresses Atshur and Ardagan surrendered without resistance. At the same time, some Russian troops captured Poti and Bayazet. The 1828 campaign of the year in Transcaucasia was won by Russian troops.