The liberal reforms of Alexander II and the reforms of Abdul-Azis almost coincided in time. Both those and others were caused by the Crimean War and were its consequences.
18 February 1856 by the Hutt-i-Humayun (sultan's rescript) declared the equality of the Christian subjects of Porta. Being in form the continuation of the tanzimat policy, this rescript imposed by the sultan by allied diplomacy formally excluded the need for special patronage of his Christian subjects by any foreign state. It was an exceptionally unusual document for Ottoman law. It contained neither references to the Koran, nor to the time of the former power and greatness of the Ottoman Empire. At the solemn ceremony of announcing a new course, Sheikh ul-Islam actually refused to give his blessing to this policy. He said only the following phrase: “O Allah! Have mercy on the people of Mohammed. "Both among the Christian and Muslim communities of the empire were dissatisfied, but naturally there were more of them among Muslims - equal rights meant the loss of privileges. Hutt-i-Humayun was a direct consequence of the policy of the Ottoman allies The reasons for defending Turkey, which has changed and taken the path of progress, are other reasons for this policy. During the Crimean War, many things changed, not only declaratively.
For the war, according to the famous expression of Prince Raimondo Montecuccoli, it takes all 3 things - money, money and money. In the prewar period, the state of Ottoman finance was not brilliant. Back in 1839 — 1841. One of the most active supporters of the Tanzimat Reshid Pasha’s policy tried to discuss the possibility of an external loan with British bankers. The main condition for its provision was the transfer to the creditors of the customs revenue from Constantinople, Thessaloniki and Smyrna. But the financiers also demanded guarantees of their own money management, which the government refused to accept. The financial position of the Ottoman Empire was constantly deteriorating. In 1840, paper treasury bonds redeemed through 8 years were introduced in Turkey, under 12,5% before 1844 and under 6% after. Despite the large denomination that complicated the widespread use of bonds, it was the introduction of paper money in Turkey.
The situation did not improve. In 1844, empire expenditures amounted to 150 million piastres (of which the court of the sultan 60 million), with a public debt of 349,5 million piastres. In 1848, Mr. Reshid founded the Bank of Constantinople, but in 1851, he went bankrupt, unable to withstand rivalry with foreign competitors. Out of the constant crisis, finances gradually came to a dangerous line. A number of crop failures, an uprising in Bosnia, military spending — the bank was unable to bear the totality of these loads. In the same year, Reshid succeeded in signing a loan agreement with France for 55 million francs, but the reformer vizier was soon dismissed, the sultan refused to ratify the agreement, and was refused (though Constantinople had to pay compensation in 2,2 million. The Turkish debut on the international banking market was extremely unsuccessful, and Reshid’s resignation conserved the usual financial policy that the London representative in Constantinople so critically looked at.
We are talking about Lord Stratford Canning, the personal enemy of Emperor Nicholas, who refused to be in Agréman in 1832 when appointed as ambassador to Russia. In London, Canning had a reputation as a brilliant connoisseur of Turkey and an opponent of the cabinet of J. Aberdeen in the House of Lords. Thus, sending him to Constantinople, the Prime Minister solved several tasks simultaneously. Canning arrived in the capital of Ports 5 on April and immediately began to take action, effectively controlling the actions of the Turkish side, and pushing her to break the negotiations with a representative of the emperor, gen.-ad.adm. A.S. Menshikov. It is possible, and not wanting (as he himself asserted) that Russian-Turkish relations enter a crisis that ends in war, this British diplomat did everything possible so that events would develop precisely according to this scenario. In any case, his actions are fully consistent with the fears and fears of "foggy Albion."
It should be noted that the British ambassador did not sympathize with the Ottoman Empire at all - in correspondence with Henry Palmerston he called the features of its management: total corruption in the administrative apparatus, disorder in public finances, violence and deception in every branch of government revenues, etc. The assessment given to the Ottoman state apparatus Stratford Canning was correct in general and in detail. However, it did not change anything in the political line, which he adhered to. This was not unusual for the behavior of a UK diplomat. Publicly calling for principles, in fact, he preferred to conduct business based solely on considerations of the state interests of the united kingdom. In this country, according to the Russian ambassador, Baron Brunnov, they were not so much afraid of the rights of the Orthodox Church as of the Russian customs tariff on the Straits as a result of our increased influence in Turkey.
The outbreak of the Crimean War raised interest in Turkish financial demands in Europe. Since 1854, the Sultan government has begun an active practice of foreign loans. After long negotiations with the Allies in February 1856 was allocated a loan in 1.819.919 pounds. The guarantee from London and Paris was the income from the customs of Thessaloniki and Smyrna, as well as the tribute received from Egypt. Thus, the Crimean War started in the name of the defense of Turkey was the first step towards its financial subordination, and above all - France. Izhev 1858 was loaned at 5 million pounds under 6% per annum. K 1863, the Turkish government entered into 10 foreign loans in the amount of 1 billion francs, which increased every year. Almost a quarter of the Ottoman Empire’s revenues were spent on servicing foreign debt in 1863 — 3,75 million Turkish liras from 16 million.
In 1863 and 1865, Constantinople received two more loans - on 8 and 6 million pounds under 6% per annum. 4 was founded by the Imperial Ottoman Bank (Bank Imperial Ottoman) in February 1863. Its founders were representatives of Ports and groups of French and British banks. Its capital - 67 million francs (2,7 million pounds) was divided into 135 thousand shares by 500 francs (20 pounds), of which the British owned 80 thousand shares, the French 50 thousand, and Turkish holders - 5 thousand. (of which the government - 1,5 thousand.). The conditions were not very favorable for Porta, which to some extent is explained by the fact that the Grand Vizier received 200 thousand Turkish liras when entering into an agreement. In fact, a British or British-French bank in charge of Ottoman finance was created. This interest could not but influence the policy of England and France in the Eastern question.
“Before the era of transformation,” the Russian publicist noted in 1870, “Turkey was a poor state, but at least it had neither internal nor external debt. Previously, it was a poor state: now it is a ruined state. The ministers of the former sultans dreaded debts like honest savages; the ministers of Abdul-Mejid and especially Abdul-Azis live in debt; Turkey is saved from bankruptcy, the only thing is that some strong governments are interested in this not to happen, and that too much capital from Western Europe is spent on supporting Turkey. ” The government has embraced some kind of loan fever. C 1863 to 1870 5 loans were made on Turkish pounds 104.185.860. 1871 to 1874 5 new loans were awarded in the amount of 98,53 million pounds.
The amount of loans placed by the Ottoman Empire on the London stock exchange market from 1854 to 1874. was equal to 180.259.836 pounds sterling (not counting the 1870 railway loan in 31 million pounds sterling), of which by the middle of 1870. unpaid pounds sterling 170.874.420. The state consolidated debt in 1875 was 5,5 billion francs, only 12 million Turkish liras were spent on servicing foreign debt. This accounted for almost half of all revenues of the Ottoman Empire (more precisely, 51%). The budget deficit in 1875 reached almost 17% - 5 million lire. It was at this moment that the financial crisis hit the banks of Europe and the USA, making it impossible for another foreign loan. The situation of Turkish finances has deteriorated sharply, making it impossible to hope for a painless solution to the problem. By summer, current payment debt reached 14.869.245 lire, which is already 62,5% of expected income (23.882.940 lire) and 51,4% of planned expenses.
In this situation, Constantinople was forced to resort to the economy mode. By November 1875, the army, navy, and 8 officials had not received a salary for months. The crisis forced the Ottoman government to tighten the tax burden in the European provinces, which caused general discontent. In July, 1875 began the uprising of the Christian population in the Turkish provinces - Herzegovina and Bosnia. The reason was the abuse of the Turkish authorities. Crop failures 1873 − 1874 in Anatolia, led to the fact that Asia Minor was in hunger. The 1873 banking crisis in Constantinople led to a rise in the cost of "cash", i.e., silver and gold and price increases. Turkish finances were in a very pitiable condition. The financial crisis was constant.
Even the temporary waiver of interest payments on French securities after the Franco-Prussian 1870-1871 war did not help. France defeated and isolated could do nothing. However, this helped Turkey for a while. At the end of 1875, the Ottoman Empire was bankrupt — it was clear that the government would not be able to fulfill its payment obligations. 20 March 1876 was in his possession only 440 thousand lire - 1 / 3 amount required to pay 1 on April 1876. Something quite unusual began. The French workers on the railway in Rumelia and the English on the docks in Constantinople declared a strike. In July, 1876 Constantinople announced the suspension of payments on government debt.
All this happened against the background of military reforms and the rearmament of the army. In her arms at the end of the 1860-s reigned full of inconsistency - the fittings of the Crimean War period were adjacent to the 60 of thousands of Enfield rifles purchased in England at the beginning of the 60's, Snyders rifles were also bought there. In addition, Germany sold a number of Springfield rifles (the Leon Gambetta government bought them in the US, the Germans got them as trophies captured in 1870 — 1871 from improvised French armies).
With 1872, negotiations were underway with an American firm to buy Peabody-Martini rifles. A reliable, fast-firing rifle at the time easily passed the test, having withstood the customer's requirement - to preserve its combat properties after 2 thousand shots. She had a competitor in the face of the British rifle Martini-Henry. In May, the 1872 of Egypt’s Khedive presented 50 with thousands of Martini-Henry rifles to his overlord. Abdul-Azis was impressed with both the volume of the gift and the quality weapons. As a result, in July of the same year, it was decided to purchase 200 thousand of such rifles. 1 January 1873 was signed a contract between the Turkish government and the company Winchester to purchase 200 thousand Martini-Henry 11.43 caliber mm. The condition for commencement of the contract was Porto’s first installment in 186 thousand dollars. The rearmament of the Turkish army almost coincided with its organizational restructuring and the strengthening of reserves.
General military service (for the Muslim population) in the Ottoman Empire was introduced, as in Russia, in 1874, but the transition to it took much less time, as the Turks began to reform their military system in 1869. The draft age was introduced from 20 years, 4 years of service "under the banner" for infantry and artillery (Nizam), two years in the 1 class (Ihtiyat) reserve, in 26 years the soldiers who have served have consistently moved to 1, 2, 3 and 4 classes of the reserve 2 class (Redif). In the cavalry, the service “under the banner” continued for 1 a year more than in the infantry and artillery, but the cavalrymen were in reserve for the 1 class for only a year, after which they passed into the redif. In addition, there was also irregular cavalry - bashi-bazouks, however, according to foreign observers, during the war it proved to be absolutely useless. These units were poorly controlled by the command and, instead of intelligence and operations on enemy communications, were mainly engaged in looting and massacre of the civilian population.
Of course, money was needed to buy rifles and ammunition. Payments for a gun order in America were made through the branch of the Imperial Ottoman Bank in London. The interests of American weapons manufacturers in Constantinople were represented by the firm Father and Sons Azaryan, which had significant connections in Turkish government circles and enjoyed their trust. Thanks to Azaryan’s efforts in 1873, another 2 contract was signed - 11 March at Henry Martini at 300 and August 23 at 100 thousand. By this time it was the largest arms contract ever made by an American company. The first contribution of the Turkish government grew from 186 to 600 thousand dollars. From 1874, rifles made in the USA began to be called Peabody-Martini. This was done in order to avoid the financial claims of the Scottish gunsmith A. Henry. The first 1.000 rifles under this name were delivered to Turkey in March 1874. The last 200.000 rifles were to be delivered 9 in November 1875.
Two contracts in the United States - on 200 and 400 thousand. Peabody-Martini cost, respectively, in 753.164 and 1.320.000 lire. The financial crisis has put this agreement at risk. Proposals to expand these contacts or supplement them in the same year were rejected by Porto. She struggled to cope with current payments. The crisis was resolved thanks to the Azaryans, who offered an acceptable solution - compensation to producers through small weekly payments. By mid-October, 1876 was produced at the Providence Tula plants weekly with 2700 rifles. Winchester rifles were supplied by Smith and Wesson.
Another 476.348 lire Turkey had to allocate for the purchase of 500 guns in Germany and another 415.632 lira - for the purchase of 2 battleships in England. These purchases helped rearm the Turkish army and significantly strengthen the fleet. Despite the difficult financial situation, the Turks managed to use their resources very rationally on the eve of the hardest foreign political and military crisis.
What was the situation in Russia before the war? Financially, it was incomparably better. Minister of Finance M.Kh. Reitern constantly appeared with the demands of economy and first of all on defense. He was very concerned about the steady increase in military spending. Their growth began only after the Austro-Prussian 1866 war: in 1865 they amounted to 127,687 million rubles, in 1866 - 129,687 million rubles, in 1867 - 127,25 million rubles, in 1868 - 136,701 million rubles ., in 1869 - 147,702 mln. rub., in 1870 - 145,211 mln. rub., in 1871 - 159,257 mln. rub., in 1872 - 165,924 mln. rub., in 1873 - 175,033 mln. rub., in 1874 -. 198,709 mln. Rub., In 1875 - 201,284 mln. Rub., In 1876 - 260,792 mln. Rub. However, the Department of Finance traditionally opposed any military actions and territorial acquisitions.
Indicators of the last three pre-crisis years (1874 − 1876), when military expenditures amounted to 36,58%, 37,05% and 41,8% of all the country's spending, respectively, particularly excited Reitern, who came close to realizing his dream - a budget without deficit - by 1876. The revenues planned for 1876 were RUR 570.138.308 and expenses were RUR 570.052.136, which resulted in a surplus of RUR 86.170. However, even the mobilization of 1876 led to extraordinary, unplanned expenses, which led to the fact that in reality the fiscal year ended with a deficit of 64.843.480 rubles. Reitern tried to convince the emperor to abandon plans to intervene in the Balkan crisis for reasons of financial austerity, which was literally followed in 1867 — 1875. The financial situation was in fact not brilliant, but this was a consequence of Reitern’s railway policy, which led to an increase in payments on state-guaranteed capital of private lines.
The military ministry since November 1861 was headed by General D.A. Milyutin, who carried out a series of reforms that completely changed the system of recruiting and managing the army. The final and perhaps the most famous episode of this colossal work was the introduction of 1 (13) in January 1874 of the all-conscription conscription. Its results, of course, could not yet manifest themselves, however, broad changes in the army began as early as 1862. However, the reform of universal service in the Turkish army also began in 1874.
Transformations in the Russian army were large-scale, long and costly. Their natural test was war. What were the results of the 15-year stay of DA? Milyutin as Minister of War? "We have troops and material resources," 27 said in July (8 August) 1876, he himself, "but neither the commanders-in-chief nor corps commanders were prepared at all." There was a lack of an independent General Staff in Russia. Large numbers were created, and a system of effective management of them was not. This deficiency was already apparent at the planning stage of the campaign beyond the Danube. During the war, the higher military command also quite often and convincingly He demonstrated his inability to effectively manage "troops and material means." However, with these latter, too, everything was far from simple. In fact, the state of the army was far from brilliant, which did not slow down to affect its actions.
“As for the combat readiness of the troops,” wrote the gene. E.I. Martynov — one of the very first historians of this war — she left much to be desired: the line infantry was armed with imperfect weapons — Krnka's rifles; rifle battalions, although they had small-caliber rifles by Berdan, but model No. 1, but not the final one; the artillery was armed with 4-x and 9-pound copper cannons, which by their small initial speed (about 1.000 f. per second) should be attributed to the original type of rifled artillery; the cavalry was not sufficiently prepared for the fulfillment of its main assignment - the intelligence service; new tactics, caused by the rapid improvement of firearms, have not yet had time to take root in the troops; The lack of communication was especially strongly affected by the joint actions of three types of weapons. All these shortcomings were bathed in one constant virtue - the soldier’s courage and endurance. ”
Is this estimate correct? Let's start with the artillery. She was numerous, in abundance supplied with shells, but significantly inferior in quality to the Turkish (more precisely - Krupp). At the beginning of the campaign in the Danube army there were 160 siege weapons. From 25 in August (6 in September) to 28 in November (10 in December), i.e., virtually all of the siege and blockade of Pleven, more than 110 thousand shells were fired at the fortifications and the city, of which 18 thousand siege weapons were fired. The result was miserable, the action of the artillery against the Turkish trenches and redoubts was almost zero. During the siege of Kars, almost 21 thousand shells were fired on 25 per day. Again, as in Plevna, their poor quality was manifested from the negative side - the results of the shelling were scanty. The Turks lost 85 people killed and 155 wounded, one was damaged and one weapon was damaged. It should be noted that only military installations were fired upon, which explains the low level of civilian casualties - 4 people.
When attacking the fortifications of the Turks, the artillery was unable to destroy them or force the defensive infantry to cease fire. The quality of ammunition, which the Russian artillery was supplied in abundance, was dismally low. Redoubts were not destroyed, the city and the fields in front of the fortifications were filled up with hundreds of unexploded Russian shells. In some cases, the shelling did not prevent the enemy from putting in order fortifications and even building new ones - this was a serious moral defeat. Thus, the Russian army paid for the pre-war economy on its needs.
Constant savings on the needs of the army (except for pre-war fever) led to the fact that in 1877, it was armed with rifles of several samples, without the advantage of uniformity of weapons. Of the 48 infantry divisions of the Russian army, only 16 were armed with modern for that period rifles of the Berdan system with an aimed range of shooting up to 1200 steps. 5 divisions in the Caucasus had Karle needle rifles with a paper cartridge, 27 - Krnka rifles. Both rifles had an aimed range of fire up to 600 steps in linear companies and to 1200 in non-commissioned officers and all in rifle companies. Since the serial production of small-caliber berdanok began from 1874 (almost simultaneously with Turkish rearmament), during the rearmament during 1877, only troops that were not within the Empire and did not participate in military operations, as well as newly formed troops, could be supplied with new weapons.
The infantry of the Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, and Moscow Military Districts traveled to the Balkans with the modernized 1857 — 1859. weapons of the army of Nicholas I - obsolete rifles of Krnka system, and its rearmament took place partly during the fighting in 1878 year. The cavalry to the beginning of 1877 was completely reequipped. The retooling of the army with the Berdan-1 and Berdan-2 rifles continued and ended only in the 1884 year.
Peabody-Martini was superior in range to the Krnka and Carla rifles, which were mainly armed with Russian infantrymen who fought in the Balkans and in the Caucasus. The target range of this weapon reached the 1800 steps, the rate of fire also significantly exceeded Krnka and Karla. Krnka's rifles proved to be a capricious weapon. Rain, fog, dirt — all this led to rapid rusting of the valves and failure of the extractor. As a result, the sleeve after the shot was not thrown away - it had to be beaten out with a ramrod. Instead of 7-10 rounds per minute, soldiers fired 1-2 like a muzzle-loading rifle. Krnka without a ramrod almost instantly turned from a firearm into a cold weapon. The troops did not trust this rifle. During the siege of Pleven, there were frequent cases when soldiers swore and smashed their rifles, replacing them with Turkish ones, since there was plenty of ammunition around.
Providing ammunition left much to be desired. The stock of ammunition for Krnka rifles, which had been removed from service, was quite large; in 1877, they were put into the Danube army in the amount of 43,47 million, but they were nevertheless required to save them at first. The supply of ammunition carried by the Russian infantryman was limited to 60. Supply did not solve the problem. The rear of the Russian army in this war was arranged ugly. Failures with the organization of supply began after mobilization. Gene. M.I. Dragomirov before forcing the Danube, for example, gave a strict order to soldiers not to spend more than 30 ammunition from a portable stock in 60 in battle. This order was executed. It was believed that 30 cartridges are enough for a firefight and the most important thing is to bring the clash with the enemy to bayonet combat.
In the future, the situation has not changed. Under Plevna, during the attacks, the soldiers very modestly spent ammunition. For example, the 62 Infantry Suzdal Regiment for 9 19 (31) August combat used 51.188 ammunition, 17 ammunition for rifle, neighboring 4 Uglitz infantry - 20 ammo. The soldiers who came close to the Turkish positions sometimes ran out of ammunition, and then the position of the attackers became tragic. Norma in 60 cartridges very quickly demonstrated its inadequacy in the battles at Shipka. Here, in the midst of the battles, it was necessary to collect ammunition bags from the Turks who were killed in front of the Russian positions under fire — since the cartridges for the Snyders rifles approached Krnka. Snyders armed with a redif.
The Turkish infantryman had 2 cartridge bags with him - 80 cartridges were used, but the askers wore cartridge belts, on average, with a Turk, there were up to 180 cartridges. In the decisive battles it was crucial. When moving to Pleven, Osman Pasha took the best parts. Already before the march, the correct conclusion was made about the importance of small-arms combat — each infantryman received 500 cartridges — an incredible reserve for the Russian army. As a result of the savings in 1877, during the main clashes with the Turks in the Balkans, only 5,443 million Krnka cartridges were spent.
The enemy proceeded from very different norms of ammunition consumption. And this is in the absence of its own military industry! The prudently acquired stock of cartridges, reaching the 1000 on the barrel, made it possible to maintain an exceptionally high rate of fire. In the order before the attack, the Russian infantryman was advised to take care of the ammunition, to start the fire only from 600 steps to the enemy, if possible confine with the bayonet, not pull out the chains “into the thread” during the attack, etc. The Russian infantry, as well as the infantry of the French, Austrians, British, Germans, and the Turks, attacked outdated closed formations, from a distance representing a convenient target, did not require special art when shooting at columns.
“The gunfire of the Turks was so strong,” Gen.-ad wrote in his diary after the storming of Pleven. E.I. Totleben, - that was like the eruption of bullets from a rotating machine. " The intense fire from Peabody-Martini really produced the effect of something mechanical - in Russian troops it was called the "barrel organ". “The enemy fire from the 2000 steps inflicts significant losses on our troops,” Lieutenant Colonel A.N. Kuropatkin, - thanks to the mass of cartridges released by the enemy ... Up to the line of enemy trenches, there were about 1877 steps. Lead hail rained down on the attack, but the offensive continued ... The fire had to endure the strongest and most sensitive losses from 1500 to 2000 steps, then the accuracy of the fire weakened (i.e., after the Krnka-AO rifle had reached the distance), timid cease to shoot, the rest in the majority shoot, not popping their heads out of the lodgements; bullets fly in masses through the head ... The supply of ammunition to the Turks is amazing. In the cradle, except for the cartridges, handed out, large boxes with lead and wooden closures were put. In Lovcha, we took several cellars filled with these boxes. ”
There were so many trophy ammunition that, before crossing the Balkans, M. Skobelev even ordered to re-equip the 4 companies of his advanced regiment with captured Turkish rifles and take "perhaps more cartridges, not less than 500 for a rifle." The superiority of the weapons that were in service with the Turks and the provision of ammunition, food, tents, etc. made a noticeable impression in the n army.
The latter is not surprising. It is important not only to have resources, but also to manage them wisely. In the Turkish case, the foreign policy led to external financial dependence, and it, in turn, contributed to the domestic political crisis, which caused the foreign policy crisis and war. In Russian, liberal, and therefore extremely successful (in the tradition of national historiography) reforms of the army and finance led to the implementation of the schemes of the two ministers, but did not help a quick victory. The crisis at Plevna and Shipka, the war that lasted for the 2 campaign, the revision of the conditions of the San Stefan Peace at the Berlin Congress - all this did not strengthen the country. The foreign policy crisis ended in domestic politics, the isolation of the government and the hunt for the emperor in 1879 — 1881.