Military Review

Battle of Georgia: Battle on the Iori River, 1800

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By the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was a weak, divided state. Historically, it was divided into Eastern Georgia, which included the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti, and Western Georgia with the principalities of Megreli, Guria, Abkhazia, Svaneti and the Imeretsky kingdom. Permanent civil strife made Georgia easy prey for its neighbors. After the adoption of Christianity in the 4th century, it turned out to be an Orthodox state surrounded by Muslims. Ottoman Turkey and Persia claimed its territory, the mountaineers of the Caucasus constantly made predatory raids. The capital Tiflis was repeatedly ravaged, residents were killed or taken captive, in order to sell it into slavery in other countries. The king of Eastern Georgia, Irakli II, did not see any other way out of this situation, except to seek help from the co-religionists - the Russian Empire.


The ruler of Kartli and Kakheti, Irakli II, sought to unite Georgia, took care of the education and development of the economy. Tried to create a regular army and maintain independence from Persia and Turkey. In the second half of the 18th century, a rapprochement between Russia and the Caucasus began. By the end of the century, Malaya and Bolshaya Kabarda, North Ossetia and other highland regions passed into Russian citizenship. In 1782, King Heracli II addressed Empress Catherine II with a request to take Georgia under the auspices of Russia. Weakened by internal disunity, Georgia was robbed even by the mountaineers of Dagestan, who bordered on Kakheti.

In 1783, the Georgievsk Treaty was concluded between Russia and Georgia, according to which Russia pledged to defend Georgia in the event of war, during negotiations to insist on the return of the possessions of Kartli and Kakheti, conquered by Turkey. However, only three years later, in 1786, Heraclius II concluded a separate peace with the ruler of Turkey Selim III.

Battle of Georgia: Battle on the Iori River, 1800


In 1794, Aga-Mohammed Khan, the son of the leader of the Turkic Qajar tribe, seized power in Iran. In 6 years, the boy was defied by his father’s enemies and, as a result of ridicule due to this injury, the character of Aga-Mohammed Khan became cruel and ruthless. The new ruler set a goal to subordinate all the Transcaucasus to his power. In 1795, he attacked Georgia and ravaged Tbilisi. Five days the Persians were outraged in the city. Of the 60 thousands of inhabitants, only 5,5 thousands remained, most of the population was captured. Then king Heraclius II again turned to the Russian Empire for help.

Angered by the actions of the Shah of Persia. In 1796, Catherine II sent an expeditionary corps to Persia under the leadership of General-in-Chief Valerian Zubov, who was appointed commander-in-chief of the Caucasian Line. The Caucasian line was a small fortification along the bank of the Terek, guarded by the Cossacks. A participant in the Russian-Turkish war, Zubov was distinguished by his bravery and in a short time took the fortresses of Derbent, Cuba, Shemakha and Ganja, forcing the Shah to return to Persia. Petr Stepanovich Kotlyarevsky, a graduate of the commander of the Lazarev Chasseur Regiment, also took part in this campaign. However, the death of the Empress stopped the advance of the Russians in Transcaucasia. Emperor Paul I ordered the Zubov Corps to return to the border with Russia. The outgoing corps was again attacked by the Persians, but the unexpected death of Aga-Mohammed Khan in the 1797 year saved Georgia from ruin.

The death of King Heraclius II in 1798 year plunged Eastern Georgia into chaos. Due to the absence of a law on the succession between the numerous descendants of the king, a struggle for power broke out. The eldest son of Heracli II, George XII, won this fight, but he had no confidence in safety. The new king was a flaccid and seriously ill person. The younger brothers left no attempt to seize the throne and asked for help from Turkey, from Persia and the Highlanders of the Caucasus. So, Alexander joined the Avar leader Omar-Khan, who repeatedly raided Georgia. He gathered an army of Georgians, promising that the Avars would help him regain power and not ruin the Georgian lands. However, this was only a trick, since for Omar Khan, military booty was more important, and not the political intrigues of the Georgian kings.

George XII again turned to Russia for help. He asked Emperor Paul I to take Kartli and Kakheti into Russian citizenship and to give protection from the Turks and Persians. The commander-in-chief of the Caucasian line, General Karl Fyodorovich Knorring, received an order to render Georgia full support and sent there the 18-th (later renamed into 17-th) jager regiment under the command of General Lazarev. Lazarev Ivan Petrovich distinguished himself in the war with Sweden, then in the Caucasus - during the storming of the fortress of Anapa and the taking of the fortress of Derbent, after which he was promoted to general. His family died shortly before he was sent to Georgia, and Kotlyarevsky was the closest person for Lazarev.

At that time, Omar Khan approached the borders of Kakheti from Avarstan. He enjoyed great prestige in the mountains of Dagestan and could gather thousands of warriors who were ready to go with him anywhere. Omar Khan's allies always had warlike Lezgins. When General Lazarev found out about this, he decided to go out to meet the highlanders in order to prevent the plundering of Kakheti. He had only a little more than five hundred bayonets at his disposal. As a reinforcement, a Kabardian regiment under the command of General Vasily Semenovich Gulyakov was sent to Lazarev. During the reign of Catherine II, Gulyakov participated in the wars with Turkey and Sweden, and in 1800 he was appointed chief of the Kabardian regiment. The overall command of the Russian troops in eastern Georgia was transferred to General Lazarev. He decided to give battle to Omar Khan in the Alazani Valley. A Russian Georgian militia in the amount of 3 thousands of poorly armed men joined the Russian detachment. Omar Khan led with him to 15 thousands of mountaineers, for whom raids were considered the most respected craft. Unlike the regular army, the Avar Khan cavalry did not take either food supplies or fodder with them - all this was mined on the spot. For this purpose, Omar Khan distributed his army along the entire border with Kakheti, and General Lazarev could not know in advance where the highlanders would strike.

The army of Omar Khan descended from the mountains into the Alazani valley, crossed over to the right bank of the Alazan river and moved to the town of Karaagach. Learning of this, the generals Lazarev and Gulyakov led him to meet the united Russian-Georgian squad. 5 November 1800 of the year he took up a position six miles from the Highlanders' camp. An experienced Omar Khan did not want to take an open battle, and by night he walked around the Russian detachment at night, moving towards Tiflis. The generals began to pursue and overtook Khan 7 on November on the banks of the Iori River, near the village of Kagabeti. Lazarev built his soldiers in a square and Omar Khan had no choice but to accept the battle. Turning to the left bank of Iori, his cavalry from two sides fell upon the Lazarev detachment and met with a powerful rebuff. Omar Khan again attacked, this time aiming at the Georgian militias. They rushed scattered at the sight of thousands of horsemen, and General Gulyakov hurried to their aid. The cavalry of the Highlanders attacked several times, and each time the horses retreated, bumping into Gulyakova's square. They were frightened off by people with bayonets and gunshots. Lezgins were particularly insistent, but Omar Khan soon realized that he could not break through the Russian square. He signaled a retreat. The whole battle took 3 hours, the Russian victory was complete.
Here's how the flight of Omar-Khan's troops in Mirba Adigezal-bek's “Karabag-name” was described: “The Lezgins, hitting their faces in the mud ... set off to flee. They fled to the borders of the Ganja lands. Since at that time the mountains were covered with snow, it was impossible to make the transition to Dagestan. They thought that after reaching Ganja from there they would go to Karabag and, having stayed there all winter, with the onset of spring would return to their homeland. As soon as the population of Ganja learned about the fate of the Lezgins, drawing their swords, they began to destroy these small and helpless people, even those who survived and fled, caught up and ruthlessly killed. After a long ordeal, they reached Jar and stayed there to spend the winter. After a while, Umma Khan (Omar Khan) fell ill there and died. ” After that, as Adigezal-bek notes, “the faith of the population of Gurdzhistan in the valor and bravery of the Russian victorious troops has greatly increased”.

According to estimates, Omar Khan lost more than two and a half thousand dead, the onset of darkness saved him from further persecution by General Lazarev. The prize for the winners was the camp of Omar Khan and the Avar banner seized on the Iori River. This banner was solemnly delivered to the capital of Russia. The army of Omar Khan collapsed, the campaign against Georgia was the last and deprived him of power and authority.

Emperor Paul I for the victory on Iori granted generals Lazorev, Gulyakov and Kotlyarevsky the highest award of that time - the Order of John of Jerusalem (Maltese Cross), and the lower ranks received a silver ruble. The regiment became known as Shirvan. 18 November 1800, Pavel I signed a manifesto on the accession of Georgia to Russia, and ordered General Knorring to send troops to Eastern Georgia. At the end of December, King George XII died, and his son David became his successor. But he did not last long on the throne. 12 September 1801, the emperor Alexander I promulgated a manifesto on the entry of Georgia into Russia without the right of state autonomy and the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom was transformed into Tiflis province. Knorring was appointed governor-general. General Lazarev was treacherously murdered in 1803 by the Georgian queen Tamara in a palace in Tiflis. General Gulyakov died from a Lezgin bullet, being ambushed in January 1804 in the Zakatala gorge. Headquarters captain Kotlyarevsky became famous during the Russian-Persian 1804-1813 war and received the nickname "Meteor-General".

As a result of the victory of the Russian weapons on the Iori River in the Caucasus, they realized that Georgia was under the protection of the Russian Empire. In the Transcaucasus, a sharp political struggle broke out between the Muslim khans and the Georgian rulers, who had to choose between Russia and Persia. The accession of Georgia also exacerbated Russia's relations with Persia, which claimed these territories, which resulted in the 1804-1813 war. In the course of this war, the Russian Empire annexed the principalities of Western Georgia.
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  1. Vladimirets
    Vladimirets 27 January 2014 08: 50
    +21
    "By the beginning of the XNUMXth century, Georgia was a weak, fragmented state"

    200 years have passed and nothing has changed. smile
    1. Sosland
      Sosland 27 January 2014 10: 51
      +9
      Russia has always been faithful to allied (as opposed to "allies") obligations, after reading the article I am once again convinced of the greatness of our ancestors, unfortunately I cannot attribute this to myself. I'm sure they didn't fight for awards and a silver ruble.
    2. Gamdlislyam
      Gamdlislyam 27 January 2014 14: 09
      +6
      Quote: Vladimirets
      "By the beginning of the 200th century, Georgia was a weak, fragmented state" XNUMX years have passed and nothing has changed.

      You are right, colleague Eugene, Georgia today is a patchwork quilt. This is not a monolithic state, although it is unitary. In fact, this is a territory divided into specific principalities, where residents speak local dialects (some of which Tbilisi residents hardly understand. There are a lot of different nationalities and nationalities that do not consider themselves Georgians (although they are listed as such). The mentality of the rulers of Georgia, formed over many centuries, requires being under someone strong at the moment. But the behavior of the Georgians is quite cynical. If they feel their strength (when their number is majority or there is armed guard), they behave arrogantly, defiantly, However, if they are a minority or got a slope, then they immediately become quiet, well-mannered, cultured, and even begin to join in.
      I lived in Georgia for 20 months during the Soviet era, and therefore I draw conclusions based on my impressions.
      1. Geokingxnumx
        Geokingxnumx 27 January 2014 19: 15
        -3
        Quote: Gamdlislyam
        where residents speak local dialects (some of which people in Tbilisi hardly understand. There are a lot of different nationalities,

        Mirel and Svan dialects) but everyone knows the Georgian language (except for the Javakh Armenians most)) now they really want that they taught these dialects in schools, including Abkhazians)
        Quote: Gamdlislyam
        There are a lot of different nationalities and nationalities that do not consider themselves Georgians (although according to the passport they are listed)

        yes of course there is) sorry how many in Russia does not consider himself to be Russian)
        Quote: Gamdlislyam
        I lived in Georgia for 20 months during the Soviet era, and therefore I draw conclusions based on my impressions.

        The USSR 23 years ago collapsed! 90 years ago Warriors as Civilians as well as against separatism, authorities came bandits started Robbing and killing all of Georgia! Many from Georgia left and went to other countries! so in 23 years a lot has changed)
  2. Stinger
    Stinger 27 January 2014 11: 13
    +4
    History has once again proved that a born crawl cannot fly.
  3. xan
    xan 27 January 2014 14: 12
    0
    one cavalry did not take infantry from experienced fighters, and the mountaineers did not have cannons - not for the rank of daredevil dzhigits to carry guns behind them.
    Russian victories in that theater are not surprising, it would be surprising if they lost
  4. ahmed
    ahmed 27 January 2014 16: 29
    -3
    Yes, "By the beginning of the 1453th century, Georgia was a weak, fragmented state" - is that surprising? after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, this small Christian country was surrounded by the Muslim world. from the east, Shiite Persia, from the south and west, the Sunni Ottoman Iperia, and in the north of the Caucasus, the highlanders converted to Islam. since 1795 (Iranian) Georgia alone fought in complete isolation with these empires, preserving its faith and statehood. Yes, by the beginning of the 5th century, it was weak and divided, but still fought for the last forces. here is the king of Irakli II in 35 in the battle of Krtsanisi with a 300 thousandth Georgian army fought with the XNUMXth Persian army of Aga Mohammed. For two days the Georgians heroically restrained the enemy, stood until the last ... everyone in Georgia knows the story of XNUMX Aragviians who laid down their heads for the king. and not suckers kokimto sdes judges `` who to crawl and who to fly ''. Georgia had a very difficult history, few would have survived better than us in such a geopolitical situation
    1. polkovnik manuch
      polkovnik manuch 27 January 2014 21: 05
      +4
      Nevertheless, you, dear, quickly forgot that if it were not for Russia, then in the 20th century you could not exist at all! And after that Russia is an occupier country, you and your children should be ashamed. ", said my Cossack grandfather.
      1. mamba
        mamba 28 January 2014 08: 29
        +2
        Quote: polkovnik manuch
        if it weren’t for Russia, then in the 20th century you could not have been at all! And after that Russia, the country was paid back

        Who cares, read the article: "Was Georgia an ally of Russia? The political model of the survival of the Georgian state." http://www.apn.ru/publications/article21261.htm
  5. biglow
    biglow 27 January 2014 21: 50
    +3
    Georgians have a short memory, if the Turks decide to revive the Ottoman Empire in one form or another, the Georgians will not be laughing ...
    1. Ramadan
      Ramadan 27 January 2014 22: 20
      +2
      Precisely noticed about the Turks.
      But since Georgia is in the orbit of Russia's interests, ours will, as always, harness for them. And you can skillfully use it ...
  6. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 28 January 2014 02: 52
    -2
    In the 12th century, the Georgian king David the Builder had no less serious problems. On August 12, 1121, the Seljuk army, numbering 300 thousand people, opposed him in the largest battle of Didgori (near Tbilisi). On the side of David there were 60 thousand wars (several times less than the Seljuks), including about 45 thousand cavalry of the Kipchak Khan - Artyka (Otrok, Otrak, Atraha), sent by him to help David. The remaining soldiers were Georgians, Ossetians, Armenians, etc.
    On the Didgori field, a decisive victory was won over the superior army of the Seljuk Turks, called by the Georgian chroniclers "wondrous" (dzleva sakvirveli).
    We can say that Georgia at that fateful hour was saved by one girl.
    She was the daughter of Khan Artyk, the granddaughter of the famous Khan Sharukan and the sister of Khan Konchak, one of the main characters of The Lay of Igor's Host.
    The Georgian Tsar David IV the Builder, who lost his kingdom (Georgia was captured by Turks and Arabs), married this Kypchak princess in 1118. Together with his wife’s relatives, David invited about 200 thousand Kypchaks (Kivchag) to defend Georgia.
    The real name of Artyk’s daughter has not been preserved, the Georgian chronicle calls her - Gurandokhta. Most likely this is a distortion of the traditional Persian definition of Turkic princesses - Turandokhta - "Turan girl" or "daughter of Turan".
    There is a legend from the Galicia-Volyn annals in which the Kipchak khan Syrchan (brother of Artyk) sends singer Orev to Khan Artyk to return to his homeland, since Vladimir Monomakh, known for successful campaigns against the Kipchaks, died.
    Orev had to persuade Artyk for a long time, he did not want to return to his native places, and only after Orev pulled out a bunch of steppe wormwood grass and gave the khan to breathe it, he shed a tear and said:
    "It is better to lie down on your own land than to be on the other side in glory."
    Thus, most Kipchaks returned to their homeland in the Don steppes. Although there were those who stayed.
    Historians associate with Artykovo Kypchaks the presence in Georgia of such toponyms as Ak-Uran and Kok-Uran (uranium is one of the largest tribes of Kypchaks). I apologize for being off topic. hi
  7. mamba
    mamba 28 January 2014 09: 13
    +1
    General Lazarev was treacherously killed in 1803 by the Georgian Queen Tamara in a palace in Tiflis.
    In 1801, Paul I issued a decree abolishing the Kartli-Kakheti monarchy and Georgia’s annexation to the Russian Empire. In September of that year, former Tsar David XII was arrested and deported to Russia. His fate was shared by many other representatives of the ruling dynasty. To prevent unrest, Petersburg ordered the commander of Russian troops in Georgia, General Lazarev, to remove all representatives of the Bagrationi dynasty from Georgia. To avoid captivity, the Georgian Queen Maryam, the widow of George XII, decided to escape. She planned to flee to Khevsureti, where local residents rejected the Russians. Upon learning that the queen wants to hide, General Tsitsianov, who is her distant relative, ordered General Lazarev to immediately take Mariam into custody and take him to St. Petersburg for further residence. General Tuchkov was to capture the princes. Tuchkov successfully fulfilled the assignment and on the same day took the arrested to Mtskheta, from where the entire royal family was supposed to go in the same train from the carriages. At six o'clock in the morning, on the nineteenth of April, Lazarev arrived at the house of Tsarina Mariam and announced to her the will of Prince Tsitsianov. The Queen accepted him in bed and replied that she did not want to go. Then Lazarev, leaving with her one officer, he went to make all the necessary orders. But as soon as he came out, how the unusual noise in the chambers of the queen made him return. There was a fierce struggle: Tsarevich Zhabrail and Tsarevna Tamara with daggers in their hands attacked a Russian officer. Lazarev went to the bed on which Miriam lay to persuade her to stop the children, when suddenly a dagger flashed in the hands of the queen herself, and Lazarev, struck on his side, fell dead on the threshold of the room. All the highest dignitaries in Tiflis immediately gathered together with the tsarina, persuading her not to oppose the will of the Russian sovereign, but she did not want to listen to anything. Then police chief Surgunov, wrapping his hand in a fat hat, resolutely and boldly approached the tsarina and pulled out a weapon from her hands. Princess Tamara rushed to the aid of her mother with a dagger in her hands, but in a hurry she missed and wounded the very queen in the shoulder.
    [img] http://www.echo.msk.ru/files/678697.jpg?1314775957 [/ img]

    The royal family was arrested and sent to Mtskheta on the same day. Tsitsianov ordered Tuchkova to treat Miriam and her children not as individuals of the royal family, but as ordinary criminals on the way. The body of Lazarev was buried with great honors in Tiflis Zion Cathedral, where subsequently the tomb of Prince Tsitsianov was also placed nearby. And Queen Miriam, upon arrival in Russia, was imprisoned in Voronezh in the Belgorod Convent. Forty-seven years have passed since the bloody catastrophe that deprived Russia of the valiant Lazarev, and an all-forgiving death reconciled the deceased with the Russian people. Everything was forgotten, everything was forgiven, and the ashes of the last Georgian queen with triumph and military honors returned to their homeland.
    Другие подробности убийства генерала предлагает Вика: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D6%E8%F6%E8%F8%E2%E8%EB%E8,_%CC%E0%F0%E8%E0%EC_%C3





    %E5%EE%F0%E3%E8%E5%E2%ED%E0
    Here is a portrait of Miriam:
    1. Turkir
      Turkir 17 May 2014 13: 46
      0
      Good thanks to the innocent Lazarev.
      Tsitsianov, real name Tsitsianishvili. Brilliant Russian general, smart politician.
      Kislovodsk fortress was built on his instructions.
  8. Alexander Kopot
    Alexander Kopot 9 February 2014 00: 26
    +1
    have joined the village, and now it is a state.
  9. SVD
    SVD 12 February 2014 20: 30
    0
    It is a pity that we now have such strained relations with Georgia. And I remember the people of Georgia during the Soviet era, because I had to serve there. The simplest inhabitants of Georgia have the warmest memories.