Despite the brutal lessons that the Russian troops taught the Persians, the war party again prevailed in Tehran. British gold played a big role in this. In February, 1812, the Persian commander-in-chief Abbas, again led the army to Russia. Now the Persian prince was surrounded by British officers, with British artillery under the command of Colonel d'Arcy.
The start of the 1812 campaign of the year was a failure for the Russian army. The Persian army was located on the border with Karabakh. Abbas-Mirza tried with the help of his agents to organize an uprising in the Russian dominions - Dagestan and Shirvan. However, the uprising in Dagestan was suppressed, and Mustafa Khan Shirvan refused to go to the side of Abbas Mirza. Then 30-th. the Persian army forced the Araks and launched an offensive in two columns. The first column (10 thousand cavalry and 8 thousand infantry) led by Prince Abbas moved to Sultan-Bud, where the Troitsky battalion garrisoned (560 man). The second column under the command of Jafar-Kuli-aga moved to the fortress of Shah-Bulakh (Shahbulag) to interrupt the message of the Trinity battalion with the capital of the region, Shusha.
In Shusha at that time there were only 3 companies of the 17 th regiment of Egers. However, the garrison of Shushi, despite its small size, tried to support the Trinity battalion. Two companies of rangers (200 people with 1 guns) under the command of Captain Ilyashenko with the first reports of the invasion of the Persian army moved to help the Sultan-Buda garrison. However, in the Shah-Bulakh area, the Russian detachment was surrounded by enemy cavalry. Making their way with bayonets, the brave huntsmen could go to the Shah-Bulakh citadel, but could not make it further, since the path was blocked by large enemy forces. They entrenched themselves to the Shah-Bulakh castle.
February 13 the commander of the 3 th battalion of the Trinity Infantry Regiment, Major Jeanie, built his soldiers in the square. Russian soldiers were supported by a small equestrian detachment of Mehdi-Kuli-khan of Karabakh. The Russian detachment steadfastly fought off attacks that repeatedly surpassed Persian cavalry, which suffered heavy losses. Two Russian guns fired continuously. The situation radically changed when the enemy artillery came under the guidance of British colonel d'Arcy. The Persian army had a large fleet of artillery: 11 guns and 100 falconet. First of all, d'Arcy suppressed a weak Russian battery. One gun was hit, the explosion of the ammunition box damaged the other. Then the fire of the Persian artillery caused heavy damage to the Russian battalion. The commander of the unit Major Gini was killed. Then, Major Sochevsky, who had taken command of the battalion, fell from two bullet wounds. Soon the next oldest captain Gumovich died. Behind him, the captain and battalion captain were out of action. Captain Olovyashnikov, who had previously been under arrest, took command, as he could not spare Jafar-Kuli-aga.
The fight was scary. Later, Mehdi Kuli Khan, in his report to the Marquis Philip Paulucci (from 1811, commander-in-chief in Georgia, was recalled to St. Petersburg in 1812, in view of the war against Napoleon that was being prepared) wrote: “Our army, soldiers, cavalry and sarbaza Abbas Mirza and my those subject to 7 hours did not stop killing for a minute ... ” Despite the high losses and almost complete consumption of ammunition, the Russian battalion held its position. By evening, the Persian army had departed.
Abbas-Mirza sent a truce. He handed Captain Olovyashnikov a letter in which Abbas-Mirza suggested that the Russians lay down weaponin view of the meaninglessness of further resistance. Olovyashnikov initially rejected this proposal. Mehdi Kuli Khan proposed to the captain at night to withdraw the remains of the battalion to Shah Bulakh or to the forest. At first, Olovyashnikov agreed to such a proposal, but receiving a second letter from the Persian ruler, where he threatened death to all the soldiers, hesitated. He offered Mehdi Kuli Khan to flee if he did not want to fall into the hands of the Persians. At night, the ruler of Karabakh with several comrades-in-arms and soldiers fled, the Persians sent in pursuit, but Mehdi-Kuli-khan successfully hid in the mountains, and then arrived in Shusha. The camp also escaped non-commissioned officer Timchyk and Private Fedotov, who did not want to surrender to the Persians and successfully made their way to their own. Olovyashnikov surrendered the remnants of the battalion when Abbas-Mirza gave a guarantee of security.
On February 15, the troops of Abbas-Mirza reached the Shah-Bulakh fortress. Persian troops under the leadership of British officers began to prepare for the storming of the castle. The Persian command offered Ilyashenko to lay down their arms. On the night of February 16, a Russian detachment with a gun left the fortress and left by mountain trails. Ilyashenko’s detachment safely departed to Shusha.
The Russian commander Paulucci was at that time in Cuba at that time. After teaching the news of the invasion of the Persian army, he summoned General Peter Kotliarevsky. He marched to Karabakh in a forced march, joining small units of the Russian troops to his squad. Joining the Karabakh Khanate, Kotlyarevsky defeated several volatile Persian cavalry units that ravaged the region. Abbas Mirza, did not dare to take a decisive battle, and took the army for Araks.
It should be noted that the surrender of the remnants of the battalion of the Trinity Regiment was not of strategic importance. Abbas-Mirza’s plans to invade Georgia through Karabakh were not implemented. However, this case encouraged the Persian army, which saw that the Russians could be defeated, and dropped the authority of the Russian army in the eyes of the local population. Panic rumors began to spread among the population, part of the people fled to hard-to-reach places. The Russian army was outraged by the act of Olovyashnikov. Kotlyarevsky wrote to Marquis Paulucci: “I could not believe that the Russians would surrender without the very extreme.”
The situation in the Caucasus was difficult. The approach of the war with the French Empire distracted all Russian forces on the Dvina and Neman rivers. About Araks in St. Petersburg and did not think. An insufficient number of troops was left for the defense of the Caucasus. Petersburg only insisted on the immediate conclusion of peace and expressed willingness to make concessions. Envoys of the Caucasian Governor General, Major Popov and court counselor Vasily Freygang arrived at the headquarters of Abbas-Mirza. The situation was interesting because they were met by the British Ambassador, Sir Gore Uzli, who was negotiating on behalf of Persia. Tehran went too far, the demands of the Persians were too heavy, they insisted on the Russians cleansing most of the previously occupied areas. Popov and Freygang returned with nothing. A young Scot, Robert Gordon, secretary of Uzley, arrived with them in Tiflis. He transferred the last demand to Persia (and therefore to England), Russia had to not only clear the occupied khanates, but also Georgia, otherwise the continuation of the war.
Abbas-Mirza, relying on the 30 thousandth, well-organized and British-armed army, was ready to continue the war. Rather, the Persian prince himself was already tired of the war and apparently would have gone to peace negotiations, but he acted under pressure from the British and the order of his father, blinded by British gold. 27 July 1812 General Rtishchev wrote to the Chancellor Count Nikolai Rumyantsev: “... Abbas-Mirza’s desire to address the world is sincere ... but the influence of a foreign power, i.e. England, has a lot of influence on the Tehran cabinet ... With the arrival of the English ambassador to Tabriz, he promised Persia on the part of his honorary official was not sent to me, the captured Russian officers and soldiers were not extradited, the collection of troops began again. " Persia and England were well aware of the difficulties of Russia and had no doubt of success. However, this time all the calculations of the enemy broke about the genius of the commander Kotlyarevsky and the courage of the Russian soldiers.
The Russians rejected the Persian demands. The new Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Caucasus, General from Infantry Nikolai Rtishchev (1754-1835) ordered to prepare troops for a new campaign.
It should be noted that an interesting situation has developed in the Caucasus. England began to pin Persia on Russia, when Petersburg was still an ally of Paris and an enemy of London. However, in the summer of 1812, the situation changed dramatically. Napoleon invaded Russia at the head of 600-th. Great Army and England became an ally of Russia. 6 (18) July 1812 was signed by Erebro Peace between Russia and England, eliminating the state of war between the two powers that existed since 1807. Both great powers became allies in the struggle against Napoleon. However, in the Caucasus, the British ambassador still directed the war against England’s main ally.
The British delegation at the court of Feth Ali Shah: J. Malcolm, H. Jones and G. Uzli
Battle of Aslanduz
After the peace negotiations failed, the Persians began preparations for a new campaign in Georgia. Persian troops in August 1812 occupied the Talysh Khanate and Lenkoran fortress. Russia's latest attempt to make peace failed in September.
The main forces of the army of Abbas-Mirza are located in a fortified camp near the ford of Aslanduz. General Kotlyarevsky, taking with him the tested troops - the Georgian Grenadier Regiment, rangers of the 17 regiment, the Trinity Regiment (about two companies), Don Cossacks and artillerymen of the 20 artillery brigade (5 guns), only slightly more than 2200 people, moved only 30 men, moved just over 12, I moved, only a little more than 14, I moved, I moved only 16 50 artillery brigades, only slightly more than XNUMX guns, I moved a little more than XNUMX regimental artillery brigade . Abbas-Mirza had XNUMX thousand people with XNUMX-XNUMX implements and XNUMX falconet.
Kotlyarevsky decided to crush the enemy's army with an unexpected blow, not allowing him to use his numerical advantage. October 18 before the start of the march on the enemy, General Kotlyarevsky addressed his soldiers: “Brothers! We must go for the Araxes and smash the Persians. There are ten of them - but the brave of you is worth ten, and the more enemies, the more glorious the victory. We go brothers, and we will break ». He also ordered to attack the enemy and destroy him even in the event of his death.
The scheme of the battle of Aslanduz
On the night of October 19, Russian forces forced the Araks. When crossing the river, one gun got stuck, and the soldiers could not pull it out. “Eh, brothers,” said General Kotlyarevsky, “if we fight well, then we will beat the Persians with five guns, and then, returning, we will pull it out, and if we do not return, then we don’t need it at all.” Bypassing the enemy posts, in the morning Russian troops suddenly appeared before the Persians. The enemy did not know about the approach of the Kotlyarevsky detachment, everyone was engaged in their daily activities. Abbas-Mirza talked with the English officers and, seeing the unknown cavalry (Kotlyarevsky sent a mounted militia ahead to disguise himself), said: "Look, here’s some Khan coming to visit me." However, it soon became clear that they were Russians.
First Kotlyarevsky dropped the Persian cavalry from the dominant height. They placed guns on it, which began shelling the Persian positions. Abbas-Mirza, tried to lead the troops on the offensive, starting a roundabout maneuver. He moved the infantry to Araks to circumvent the height occupied by the Russians. But Kotlyarevsky foresaw the enemy’s maneuver and struck a flank attack on the Persian infantry. The Persians could not stand it and, having no exaggerated idea of the forces of the enemy, began to retreat. With difficulty, Abbas and his commanders managed to restore order and take the units to the fortifications at Aslanduzsky ford.
Kotlyarevsky, to prevent the enemy from recovering himself, decided to strike again. He decided to conduct a night attack. They ordered the prisoners not to take, to beat everyone except the Persian prince. A non-commissioned officer who fled from the Persian captivity offered to send troops to the side of the camp where the enemy had no artillery. “On the guns, brother, on the guns!” Said Kotlyarevsky. At night, in complete silence, the Russian grenadiers, huntsmen and Cossacks made their way to the camp of the enemy. The attack was crushing for the Persian army. The soldiers shouted: “Hurray!” Rushed at the enemy. Cossacks cut off the path of retreat. In the dark of night the Persians could not organize resistance, fired at each other, tried to escape.
The Persian army was completely crushed. Abbas with few bodyguards was able to escape. British officers were killed. Was killed and so-called. “Russian Regiment” (“Bogatyr Regiment”, composed of Russian deserters). Only a few were able to escape. According to the report of Kotlyarevsky, the Persians lost 1200 people killed, even more 500 were captured. According to others, Russian soldiers have thrashed 9-10 thousand people. Kotlyarevsky himself said: “it is in vain to write 9000 - they won't believe it”. 5 flags, 12 (14) guns and 35 falconets, all treasury and property of the Persian army were seized. Losses of Russian troops - 127 people killed and wounded.
The battle of Aslanduz had strategic implications. First, the Persian regular army, which the French and British advisers had been building for years, was essentially destroyed. Persia lost military power. Persian commanders could only hope for a fortress. Secondly, the Kotlyarevsky detachment won the 1812 campaign of the year, preventing a new invasion of Karabakh, and from there into Georgia. Thirdly, after the failure under Sultan-Buda, the Caucasian rulers and nations again became convinced of the power and invincibility of the Russian troops. Fourth, the means and efforts of the British, who wanted to prevent the further advancement of the Russians in the Caucasus and, if possible, oust Russia from the South Caucasus and beyond, did not justify themselves. Soon Persia surrenders.
Ford on the river. Araks. It was here that Kotlyarevsky’s squad struck the Persian army with an unexpected blow.
Assault on Lenkoran
Soon Kotlyarevsky put the winning point in the war. The Persian command remained the last hope - the Lankaran fortress, which closed the way to Persia. She defended choice 4-thousand. garrison with 8 English guns. The Persian commander-in-chief Abbas wrote to the commandant of the fortress Sadikh Khan: “If the mountains themselves rise against you, hold on!” The garrison commander Sadih Khan ordered his soldiers to die to death: northern bears. The Persian warriors vowed to die, but not to surrender: “By Allah and the holy name of his prophet we will die, but we will not surrender to the enemy alive, but we will fight to the death” (and fulfilled this word). The fortress itself was a tough nut to crack. It was built with the participation of the British and was located on the left bank of the Lenkoranka river, not far from the Caspian Sea, among the marshes. In front of the high stone walls there was a rampart and a moat, bastions on the corners.
18 December 1812 Kotlyarevsky detachment forced the Araks and moved the waterless Mugan steppe towards Lankaran. The hike was difficult: "The soldiers then crossed the swamps and marshes, knocking on them in the chest, then endured terrible snow and blizzards." There was a shortage of drinking water and supplies. Along the way, Kotlyarevsky’s soldiers knocked over several enemy cavalry units. Thousands of Karabakh families hijacked by the Persians were released. 22 December Kotlyarevsky moved on, leaving on the river. Karayaze to cover the rear and protect the liberated people rearguard under the command of Major Dyachkov.
On the way was the fortress Arkivan, where there were about 2 thousand enemy soldiers. However, the Arkivan garrison fled, leaving two guns and all the supplies. Kotlyarevsky sent 400 rangers and 300 Cossacks under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ushakov to prosecute the enemy unit. Russian drove the enemy for 15 miles, killed about three hundred Persians and took several dozen prisoners, was captured by a large carriage. Among the prisoners were Russian. It was a special page of the Caucasian wars - the Russians, for various reasons, turned to the Persians or the Highlanders, and fought against their own. Usually they were not taken prisoner.
Leaving a small garrison in Arkivan, 100 people who were tired more than the rest, Kotlyarevsky moved on. Talysh Khan Mir-Mustafa, who was friendly to Russia, helped with supplies. Locals began to exterminate scattered Persian troops.
27 December Kotlyarevsky suggested that Sadikh Khan "in order to avoid harmful and vain spillage of blood" lay down their arms. Sadih Khan refused to capitulate. Having been refused, Kotlyarevsky ordered the bombing of the fortress to begin. 28 - December 29 Russian guns fired at the citadel, but without much success, as small field guns could not damage the walls. And from the mounted shots the Persians hid in the dugouts adjacent to the walls. Seeing the uselessness of the bombing, and preparing for the assault, Kotlyarevsky sent a second letter to Sadih Khan, offering to surrender the fortress. Sadih Khan did not respond.
Then Kotlyarevsky decided to storm. He could not besiege the fortress. People were suffering from the cold, the ammunition was running out. In addition, troops from Persia could appear. And Kotlyarevsky had only about 1700 bayonets. His forces consisted of the grenadiers of the Georgian regiment, rangers of the 17th regiment, soldiers of the Trinity regiment and the Caspian Sea Battalion with the Caspian sailors flotilla (the flotilla supported the detachment of Kotlyarevsky from the sea). It was impossible to wait. December 30, Kotlyarevsky gave an order in which he informed all soldiers that "there will be no retreat." Kotlyarevsky said: “We must either take a fortress or die for everyone, for which we were sent here. I offered the fortress surrender twice to the enemy, but he persists. So we will prove to him, brave soldiers, that nothing can resist the Russian bayonet. Not such fortresses were taken by Russians and not by such enemies as the Persians; these do not mean anything against those. "
The detachment was divided into 3 columns (grenadiers, rangers and soldiers of the Trotsky regiment) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ushakov, Majors Povalishin and Tereshkevich. There were also two distracting teams that were supposed to make demonstrative attacks on the river bastions. Early in the morning of 1 (13), January 1813, the columns went to storm. The Persians were on the alert and greeted the Russian soldiers with heavy artillery and rifle fire.
The fight was brutal and bloody. The Persians this time showed themselves to be a worthy opponent and held the blow. Violent battle lasted several hours. The Russian soldiers, in spite of the merciless fire, forced the ditch and, putting assault ladders against the walls, began to rise. Grenades, stones and logs flew towards them, volleys thundered. The first warriors met peaks. Almost all the officers were killed and wounded in the front ranks. In the 1 th column, which was storming the south-western side of the fortress (front to the village of Hamushevani), the commander lieutenant colonel Ushakov died. Column hesitated. Then Kotlyarevsky, who himself was wounded in the leg, led the soldiers into battle. Soon the general received two bullet wounds to the head and fell into the ditch. However, the soldiers inspired by his example and without commanders continued their fierce attack.
Russian columns thinned, but continued to violently attack. The soldiers seized the Persian rifles, died from shots at point-blank or were dragged by the enemies themselves against the walls, where they fought in a bloody hand-to-hand fight. Georgian grenadiers were able to repel a section of the wall and seized a gun, which they immediately deployed and opened deadly caricature fire on the Persians. This eased the position of the other two columns, which were also able to climb the wall. The Russian soldiers, enraged by the death of their comrades, began to clear the walls of the enemy, and then entered the last hand-to-hand fight inside the fortress. No prisoners were taken. Part of the Persian garrison attempted to break through to the river, but here the Persians were met by a fire of two Russian guns, which were installed on the right bank under the cover of 80 gunners. The remnants of the garrison returned and were bayoneted.
The entire Persian garrison was exterminated. Sadikh Khan and about ten noble commanders also died. The Persians fulfilled the oath - were killed, but did not surrender. The Russian detachment also suffered terrible losses - about 1 thousand people killed and wounded. More than half of the detachment was out of order. Kotlyarevsky survived. He was found under a pile of bodies, with a broken right eye, a fractured upper jaw and a shot through leg. He looked so scary that the soldiers began to mourn him, thinking that their favorite commander had fallen. Kotlyarevsky opened the surviving eye and said: "I died, but I hear everything and have already guessed about your victory."
Unfortunately, this was the last thing Kotlyarevsky. Three hundred miles through the mountains and steppes carried the soldiers of their favorite leader. He survived, despite the terrible wounds, but could no longer lead the troops. Peter Stepanovich was awarded the Order of St.. George II degree. After retirement, he lived in the village of Alexandrov near Bakhmut. Emperor Nicholas I granted him the rank of General of Infantry and offered the position of Commander-in-Chief in the Caucasus in the new war with Persia and the Ottoman Empire. “I am sure,” wrote the sovereign, “that your Name alone will be enough to animate the troops ...”. But Peter Stepanovich, who suffered from severe wounds and called himself a “bag of bones,” refused.
For many years, Kotlyarevsky, who was tormented by old wounds, lived alone. Became gloomy and silent. At the same time, he was a disinterested, showing kindness and generosity to the poor. Receiving a good pension, the general helped the poor and the handicapped, including his former soldiers, to whom he wrote out a personal pension. Engaged in agriculture. This great Russian warrior, who very few people know in modern Russia (like most of the other heroes of the Caucasian Wars), October 21 (November November 2) 1851, went to the heavenly squad He did not even have a ruble for burial.
In the person of Kotlyarevsky, who was out of order before the time, the Russian army, as noted by the military historian Kersnovsky, “may be the second Suvorov and, in any case, the brightest, the most talented of the followers of Suvorov.” However, the Caucasus has not forgotten the “general meteor”; the Russian Caucasian army will more than once surprise the world with its exploits.
Assault on Lenkoran
After two heavy defeats, the Persian Shah went to peace negotiations. The English envoy to Persia, Sir Gore Uzley, who was instructed by London to make peace with Russia, took an active part in the negotiations (England needed Russian bayonets to fight Napoleon in Europe). 12 (24) October 1813 was signed a peace treaty in the village of Gulustan (Karabakh).
Tehran was forced to recognize the transition under the authority of Russia of Dagestan, Kartli, Kakheti, Megrelia, Imereti, Guria, Abkhazia, Baku, Karabakh, Ganja, Shirvan, Sheki, Cuban khanates. A part of the Talysh Khanate was also ceded to the Russian Empire. Persia was still forbidden to have warships in the Caspian.
The annexation of a significant part of Transcaucasia to Russia changed the life of the local population for the better. The peoples of the Caucasus were spared from the devastating Persian and Turkish invasions. Christians were able to quietly practice their faith. Began the elimination of the most backward feudal phenomena, like internecine wars. The economy of the Caucasus has risen to a higher level, which increased the well-being of people.
Militarily, the 1804-1813 war. is a brilliant page of the Russian military stories. Great events of the wars with Napoleon, World War 1812 closed the war with Persia. However, the feats of the “miraculous heroes” of Tsitsianov, Karyagin and Kotlyarevsky, when the Russians used a small number of huge Persian hordes, should sound louder than European battles. Here Russian blood flowed for Russian interests, for the Russian Caucasus. Here Russia was solving a national problem, having become a firm foot on the natural, Caucasian frontier. As Kotlyarevsky himself said: “Russian blood shed in Asia, on the banks of the Araks and the Caspian Sea, is no less precious than that shed in Europe, on the banks of Moscow and the Seine, and the bullets of Gauls and Persians cause the same suffering.”
And the Persians were not a weak opponent. It was a warrior people - proud, brave and cruel. The feat of the Lenkoran garrison commands respect. Honor and praise to such an opponent. Armed Persian troops were no worse than Russian, and even better-British guns and guns. They were taught by the Persian troops and often sent by their French and British advisers. It was a worthy victory.
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Potto V. A. The Caucasian War in separate essays, episodes, legends and biographies. Volume 1. From ancient times to Yermolov. SPb., 1887 // http://www.runivers.ru/lib/book4747/58703/.
Sollogub V. A. Biography of General Kotlyarevsky. SPb., 1901.
Third World War 1812 of the year // http://www.vokrugsveta.ru/telegraph/history/195/.
A. Fadeev, Russia and the Caucasus of the first third of the 19th century, M., 1960.
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