On the night of August 9. A separate Caucasian corps launched an offensive against northern heights. The battle went 8 infantry battalions, the whole regular and irregular cavalry with 28 equestrian guns. The 7 battalions remained to cover the fortified camp. The troops entered 2 in the morning. They had to go about 10 versts, and not let themselves be discovered by the Turkish patrols. To hide the movement, the siege batteries fired on a disturbing fortress. Interestingly, the conductor of the Russian troops was the former head of the garrison Akhalkalaki Muta-bey, captivated by the gentle treatment and the gold of the Caucasian governor.
However, the bad road and the difficulty of movement at night detained the troops. They did not have time under the cover of night to return to their original positions. Moreover, the infantry regiment, which was in the rearguard and covered the artillery, went astray and was delayed for some time. At dawn, troops were only about 7 miles away and were discovered by Turkish posts. In the Turkish camps raised the alarm. Finding the small number of the Russian detachment, Kios-Mohammed Pasha decided to crush the Russian troops with a flank blow and destroy them. The actions of the Turkish troops facilitated the fact that the Russian detachment was divided into two parts.
The heights on the route of the Russian detachment began to be covered by Turkish troops, even part of the Akhaltsykh garrison entered the field. As a result, it turned out that instead of a sudden attack of the enemy camps, the Russian troops had to take the battle on unfavorable conditions. Paskevich quickly pulled the troops into a single fist. The heights in front of the road were covered with two Cossack regiments with 4 guns. The right flank defended the 2 battalion of rangers with 4 guns. Russian squad took positions suitable for battle. By six o'clock in the morning, the Caucasian corps was lined up in battle order: in the first line there was all the artillery, in the second the main part of the cavalry and infantry. The Cossacks were now taken back to cover the rear. At the same time, the Turkish command decided to strike.
An obstinate battle ensued, which was destined to decide the fate of the Akhaltsykh fortress. First, a chain of Turkish riflemen began an exchange of fire with the Russians; Turkish artillery from bastions and field guns opened fire. Turkish cavalry tried to take the Russian detachment in the ring. Horse attacks followed. It was especially hard for the Kherson Grenadier Regiment with two guns pushed forward. Chios-Mohammed Pasha threw horse lavas one after another on the grenadier. The Kherson regiment under the command of Major General Popov was almost cut off from the main forces. The enemy had to repel not only rifle volleys, but also bayonets. Seeing the plight of the Kherson regiment, the commander-in-chief sent two battalions to help him. At one point, it seemed that the Turkish cavalry was gnawing at the somnet - a charging box had exploded from a grenade hit. The explosion swept the ranks of Russian shooters. The Ottomans rushed forward, but this attack was repelled.
While the infantry was repelling the onslaught of the Ottoman cavalry, the Caucasian governor began to introduce cavalry in battle. Russian cavalry was directed against the left flank of the Turkish army, remote from the Akhaltsykh fortress. The commander-in-chief wanted to pull most of the enemy cavalry in this direction. Pasha, noticing the movement of the Russian cavalry, sent here a significant part of his cavalry. The Russian cavalry used the old tactics - trying to lure the enemy cavalry under the gunfire. Russian cavalrymen raided the Ottomans, and after a while falsely retreated. The enemy, fascinated by the battle, set off in pursuit and fell under the volley of an artillery grenadier brigade and Don guns. Ottoman commanders continued to transfer new formations to this flank remote from the fortress. As a result, the Turkish army lost unity, greatly stretched. Ottoman infantry on the right flank remained without the support of cavalry.
Caucasian governor has improved the situation. Movement, constant fruitless attacks and the midday heat weakened the enemy. His activity has decreased. Half of the Russian infantry was in reserve, not taking part in the battle, and rested. Cavalry units attacked the enemy in small units in turns, and also kept fresh. In addition, Paskevich even before the start of the battle gave the order to move part of the troops remaining in the camp to the fortress. When she heard shooting at the fortress, the troops of Paskevich-Erivansky went on the offensive. The 2 battalion of the 42 th regiment of the XNUMX battalion attacked the trenches covering the enemy’s right flank. Two battalions of the Shirvan infantry regiment attacked in the second line of the attackers. The rest of the infantry and cavalry, and infantry entered the convoy, which went to storm the Turkish camps.
When 150-200 meters remained up to the line of Turkish field fortifications, the calculations of four Don guns under the command of Esaul Zubkov went to the line of direct fire. Russian guns covered the Turkish trenches with frame fire. Under the cover of gunfire, the huntsman went on the assault on enemy field fortifications. The Turks let Russian soldiers at close range and opened heavy fire. General Nikolai Vasilyevich Korolkov, who was at the head of the rangers, was hit by two bullets. Ranger were stopped. At this time began a heavy rain with a thunderstorm. The Ottomans went to the counter. Hand-to-hand fight began. The heirs had to fight back with bayonets and butts, they would have had a bad time if the Shirvans, led by Colonel Borodin, had not lingered. The Shirvan regiment bypassed the combatants on the right and with a swift blow seized the extreme bastion. The Turkish soldiers became confused and began to retreat, leaving behind reinforcements and an 4 gun battery.
After that, the Ottoman infantry, left without the support of its numerous cavalry, which almost all turned out to be far from the site of the main events, began to leave one after another the fortifications of their camps. Russian infantry pursued the Ottomans to the very city palisade. The victory was complete - the enemy camps were left without cover. The attack took a fairly short time. On the battlefield, there are up to 500 Ottomans. Paskevich, seeing the success of the rangers and Shirvans. gave the order to attack the shock column. The Cossacks and the Caucasian militia broke into enemy camps first, and the success was secured by the dragoons and the uhlans.
Broken Ottomans were driven from Akhaltsikha for 12 versts. They have not resisted. Night and mountain forests have hidden thousands of Ottomans from death and captivity. Part of the defeated Turkish troops - about 5 thousand people, disappeared into the fortress. Among them was Kios-Mohammed Pasha himself, who was wounded in the leg. The victory was complete: the Turkish army suffered a complete defeat - 1,7 thousand people were killed and wounded, about 20 thousand fled, part of the army hid in the fortress, 10 field guns were captured, two fortified camps with large combat and food reserves. The corps of Mohammed Pasha was completely crushed; it was not soon that Turkish officials were again able to gather local militias into military units. A separate Caucasian corps lost about 380 people in this battle, including General Korolkov. One cannon was lost and about 60 horses in cavalry.
10 August Paskevich sent Muta-bek to the fortress and offered to capitulate to the garrison. The Turkish command responded with a proud refusal, promising to fight to the last extreme and die with weapons in hand. Thousands of people remained in the fortress, 10-15, the fortifications were strong, Kios-Mohammed Pasha believed that the chances of defending Akhaltsykh were high. There was hope for outside help.
The Russian corps did not have the time, strength and resources for a long siege — only speed of action could decide the outcome of the case in favor of Russia. A separate Caucasian corps could soon begin to experience a shortage of ammunition, provisions and fodder. In addition, from Erzurum to help Ahaltsykh prepared to send a new army. The bombing of the fortress began. The shelling caused great damage to the city and its residents began to ask Kios-Mohammed Pasha to begin negotiations with the Russians. The Turkish Pasha, fearing the urban uprising, ordered the removal of weapons from all urban Christians - Armenians, Georgians and others. For almost five days, the fortress was bombarded. From time to time, Turkish batteries tried to respond, but they were quickly crushed with accurate fire. On August 12, the Turkish garrison was again offered to surrender. And again followed a categorical refusal.
The assault was scheduled for August 15. The Shirvan regiment was to take the key position of the enemy's defense - the northern bastion. In order to ensure surprise attacks, the decision was made to go on an assault not at dawn, but in 16 hours. During the last three days before the assault, at this time, a regular shift was made of working teams and infantry covers on batteries. This was supposed to dull the vigilance of the Turkish garrison. Artillery positions were close to the northern bastion almost closely. The fire of the Russian guns drove the Turkish riflemen from the bastion and forcing them to cover the cannons. It was possible to destroy palisade in several places.
Before the assault, Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich traveled around the Shirvan regiment, he had a regimental feast and said: “I give you good fellows, this fortress: go and take it! ...” The batteries struck at 16, the assault began. The enemy, accustomed to the daily change of troops in the Russian positions, did not expect this attack. Shirvans moved to the assault. Ahead was Colonel Borodin, followed by a group of officers of the regiment, standard-bearers, a chorus of regimental songbooks, then the first battalion in platoon columns. Next - regimental musicians, the second battalion, a company of sappers, two gun crews of the Don Cossack Battery of Esaula Zubkov. Songwriters with all their throats deduced: "Oh, in the field there was a liponka ...". The shooters amicably picked up the song. Musicians played.
From the Turkish bastion they opened up indiscriminate firing, which gradually intensified. Shirvantsev failed to stop - the advanced chain was already in 50 meters from the bastion. The Russian warriors unanimously broke into the breach made in the palisade, overcame the moat and climbed onto the damaged walls of the bastion. The Ottomans fought back violently. The first climbed onto the wall was drummer Ivan Golovchenko. While the arrows led by Major Rydzewski cleared the bastion of the enemy, the sappers widened the breach in the palisade. The Northern Bastion was taken at the cost of the death of a 21 man, there were a lot more wounded.
The entire column entered the breach, and the sappers began to pull in guns and charging boxes. Expanding the front of the attack, Borodin sent the first battalion of Lieutenant Colonel Yudin to the right, the second battalion of Lieutenant Colonel Ovechkin to the left. The chain of Rydzewski's "skirmishers" was now at the center of the regiment's battle formation. An Armenian church stood on an open hill, it was used as a shelter by hundreds of Turkish soldiers. They were late for the defense of the bastion, but now they have launched a counterattack. Other divisions hurried to help them. Russian arrows repelled the enemy attack, but suffered heavy losses. Their commander, Major Rydzewski, also died. Colonel Yudin, seeing the plight of his neighbors, struck a blow at their flank. At this time, the forward detachment of shooters was led by the regimental commander, and they pushed the enemy back to the church. But it was not possible to take the building. The soldiers lay down at the cemetery near the church. A shootout ensued.
At this time, the sappers breached two guns. Hearing the first artillery shot, the Shirvans again went on the attack. However, the Ottomans continued to fight hard. Russian troops suffered heavy losses - Colonel Borodin fell and Lt. Col. Ovechkin was seriously wounded. Disabled almost all the officers of the regiment. Kios-Mohammed Pasha sent more and more new forces to the place of the breakthrough. In this critical situation, the regiment was headed by Colonel Burtsev. He set the task - to hold the position at the cemetery at any cost. During this heavy battle, the sappers, who also lost almost all the officers, built lodgements — small trenches to shelter troops and guns, covered by the enemy with tours. Near 18 clock inside the fortress wall was built field reinforcement, the front to the Turkish garrison. Soon, the Don gunners strengthened the strengthening of 5 with the tools of the battery of Esaula Zubkov. Cossack officer almost immediately received a concussion. Then they put 6 mortars on the parapet. Now the enemy’s attacks have become much easier to beat.
While this battle was on, the Russian siege batteries continued shelling the city. Enemy garrison kept in suspense. Around 19 clock in the city there was a strong fire, which residents could not put out. Soon Burtsev was able to develop success - the Shirvans seized the church and continued the offensive. Their advance was supported by battery fire. In addition, four cannons were installed on the roofs of houses, and a mountain unicorn and several mortars on the flat roof of the church. The affairs of the advancing Shirvans went better. Paskevich reinforced the Shirvan regiment with a battalion of the Kherson Grenadier Regiment. Behind him, to the right of the breach, a battalion of the 42 regiment of chasseurs and with 4 cannons burst into the city. Heirs had as difficult as Shirvans. It was necessary to take almost every house from a battle, almost all the officers fell.
The houses that the Turks defended began to throw grenades, set on fire. The wind blew fire across the western and southern suburbs. Turkish troops began to leave the external fortifications and retreat to the citadel. Huge crowds of citizens tried during the assault to go to the Russian troops, they were taken to the rear. At midnight, a company of Erivan carabinieri with the support of two guns of the Don Cossacks seized the northeast bastion. The Turks finally abandoned the external fortifications. Before dawn, the soldiers of the Georgian Grenadier Regiment occupied the last bastion left from the enemy - the eastern one.
Kios-Mohammed Pasha sent negotiators. They began to ask for 5 truce days. Paskevich gave to think 5 hours. The second Turkish delegation asked for the garrison to quietly leave Akhaltsykh. Count Erivansky agreed to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. On the condition of delivery of all weapons and military equipment. In the citadel surrendered 4 thousand garrison. The rest of the survivors fled at night.
At 8 in the morning of August 16 1828, the St George banner of the Shirvan regiment was raised above the main tower of the citadel. It was the first capture of the Akhaltsykh fortress in 250 years. The Turkish army lost 5 thousand people during this assault. Among the dead were found many women who blacked out their faces. The highest losses were suffered by Turkish gunners - the overwhelming majority of the Ottoman gunners died. Almost all the Turkish artillery was broken and damaged. 66 guns, 52 flags, large stocks of gunpowder and weapons became trophies. A separate Caucasian corps lost during the assault of more than 600 people killed and wounded, of which 62 were headquarters and chief officers. For the Azaltsykh victory, Paskevich was granted a knight of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, and the Shirvan Infantry Regiment was named after him, the commander became his chief. The victory in the Akhaltsikhe battle and the assault on Akhaltsykh were among the most remarkable things in the biography of Ivan Fedorovich.