Immediately upon his return from India, Timur set about preparing a large seven-year campaign against the West. He gave the troops a salary for 7 years, partly over the past time, and partly forward. It should be noted that the conqueror always carefully hid the route of the next campaign even from those close to him. And this time he was in no hurry to reveal the cards. True, there was no particular secret in where the Iron Khromets was going.
The riots continued in the possession of a crazy Miran Shah. In 1393, Timur appointed his 27-year-old son as governor of northern Iran, Iraq. The center of governorship was the city of Sultania in northern Iran. The tragic fall from a horse in the fall of 1396 had a negative impact on the health of Miran Shah. He injured his head and face during this fall. Skillful doctors and surgeons did their best and regained his physical health, but his consciousness remained clouded - “the fog enveloped the balanced center of his consciousness”.
Miran Shah drank, depraved, played, uncontrollably wasting his fortune. Committed unreasonable atrocities. He ordered to throw out the remains of the once famous people from the graves, destroyed monuments. Executed even those who enjoyed the patronage of Timur. Absolutely not engaged in public affairs, which led to several uprisings. Dignitaries used the madness of the ruler in their own interests, unrestrainedly enriched.
In addition, Timur’s concerns were caused by the strengthening of the neighboring powers. The positions of the Egyptian Sultan Faraj and the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid strengthened. Back in 1393, the ambitious predecessor of Faraj Barkuk ordered to kill the ambassadors of Timur, and then he himself was killed by the people of the latter. His son Faraj entered into an alliance with Bayazid. Bayazid Yildirim, which means Lightning, generally had reason to consider himself a no less gifted commander than Khromets. In 1389, in the battle of Kosovo, in which the Ottomans won a convincing victory over the Serbs, Bayazid was one of the commanders of his father’s army, Sultan Murad. Murad was killed by the Serbian knight Milos Obilic, and the board immediately took Bayazid in his hands. In the battle of Kosovo, the Serb army was defeated. Bayazid brutally avenged the murder of his father, exterminating most of the Serbian nobility who were on the Kosovo field. Serbia became a vassal of the Ottoman state. Fearing a conflict over inheritance, Bayazid, after gaining power, ordered to strangle his brother Yakub, while he, unaware of the death of the Sultan, was in Anatolia. Bayazid introduced fratricide into practice, which was deeply rooted in stories Ottoman dynasty. It was believed that the murder is preferable to possible conflicts between brothers.
After the conquest of Serbia, Bayazid completed the conquest of Anatolia. In 1389 — 1390 The Ottoman Sultan deployed troops to Anatolia and conducted a swift campaign, conquering the western Beylics Aydin, Sarukhan, Hermiyan, Menteshe and Hamid. As a result, the Ottomans reached the shores of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, their state took the first steps towards the status of a maritime power. The nascent Ottoman fleet devastated the island of Chios and began to raid the coast of Attica. In 1390, Bayazid seized Konya, the capital of the large beylik Karaman. A year later, Karamansky Bey Ala ad-Din ibn Khalil resumed the war against Bayezid, but was defeated, captured and executed. After Karaman, the conquests of Kayseri, Sivas and the northern emirate of Kastamon followed, giving the Ottomans access to the port of Sinop on the Black Sea. Most of Anatolia was now in the grip of Bayazid. And the Ottoman state had access to the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Then Bayazid, having strengthened the army with Anatolian troops, again invaded the Balkans. In 1393, the Ottoman army captured the capital of Bulgaria, the city of Tarnovo. The Bulgarian king John Shishman, who was a vassal of the Ottomans under Murad, was captured and killed in the 1395 year. Bulgaria finally lost its independence and for a long time became the province of the Ottoman Empire. In 1394, the Turks invaded Wallachia and captured it. In the same period, the Ottomans laid siege to Constantinople for the first time. In the 1394 year, the Turks invaded Greece, captured important strongholds in Thessaly, and continued the invasion of Morea. At the same time, most of Bosnia was conquered, and the conquest of Albania began. In 1396, in the battle of Nikopol, the Ottomans destroyed the army of the Crusaders. Having crushed the crusaders, Bayazid returned to Constantinople. The Ottoman fleet was defeated by the Christian ships of Marshal Busiko. However, Constantinople was under siege for six years, and its fall was inevitable. The millennial Byzantine Empire was in the balance from death. The invasion of the army of Timur was salutary for Constantinople.
At the same time, Bayazid intensified military activities in the east of his state. In 1400, he captured the city of Arzindzhan, where vassal Timur ruled. Also, at the court of Tamerlane, who declared himself the heir of Genghis Khan and the suzerain of all the Turkic rulers of Anatolia, rulers of small Beyliks conquered by the Ottomans found shelter. So the situation in the west of the Great Hromzez Power was very disturbing. Two great powers were to collide.
Hike to the West
However, in the winter of 1399, Timur’s army unexpectedly moved south. All of Asia had decided that Chromets went to check on the affairs of Shah Rukh, the ruler of Pakistan and Afghanistan. But in two transitions to Herat - the capital of Shakhrukh - Timur unexpectedly turned to the west and soon removed Miran Shah from his power in Sultania’s capital. The son of Tamerlan Pir-Mohammed became the emir of a huge ulus of Hulagu.
The campaign continued, although the nobility expressed discontent. After the wealth of India, the emirs did not want to fight. They indicated that the warriors had not yet rested after the Indian campaign. However, Timur said: “Victories do not depend on the number of soldiers, nor on their weapons, but only on the will of Allah.” And he added that his luck had never cheated him.
Timur reached the very borders of the state of the Ottoman Turks, in August 1400 took the cities of Sivas and Malatya, located in the fertile regions of Asia Minor, which Bayazid already considered as his possessions. In Sivas, several thousand Armenian Christians were buried alive in the land. From there, Iron Chromets again suddenly turned into the city of Aleppo (Aleppo), which belonged to the Egyptians, in Syria. Timur did not want to leave Egyptian troops on the flank of his operating line. Syrian-Egyptian troops could not resist Timur's iron army, and were swept away.
The fortress of Aleppo was considered impregnable. However, October 30 Aleppo was taken by deception. Timur made a promise not to shed a single drop of Muslim blood, and indeed the Christians were cut, but the Muslims, without any blood, were buried alive in the ground. In general, Timur was a true Muslim when it did not concern the war. So, about this "faithful Mohammedan" there is the following legend. When taking one Middle Eastern city, the warriors asked the Emir how to deal with the townspeople, among whom there were many representatives of different faiths, including Muslims. “Hack everyone,” Timur replied, “Allah in heaven will know his own!”
Hama and Homs surrendered without a fight, and therefore Timur imposed a light tribute on them. Then Damascus was stormed. Timur gave the city to plunder his soldiers. Skillful fighters, the Egyptian Mamelukes could not oppose anything to the Iron Hromtz military machine. The Egyptian army hid in the Sinai desert. Timur did not lead troops to Cairo. While the Ottomans could attack him from the Northern Iran, troops could not be led to Egypt.
In June, 1401, Timur’s army made a swift march to the east, leveling Mosul and Baghdad with the land. The fall of Baghdad was one of the most terrible pages in the history of wars. The Baghdadians resisted for a long 40 day siege (Timur had already captured the city in 1393 and his cruelty was well known). Having burst into the city, Timur did not spare anyone. “Towers” were built from the heads, up to 90 thousand people were killed. All the monuments of Baghdad were destroyed. If in Uzbekistan Tamerlan is considered an enlightened ruler, a national hero, a unifier of the country, a defender against the Mongols and a patron of culture, then in Iraq, Iran, Syria for centuries, Timur was the embodiment of horror.
War with the Ottomans
Timur spent the winter in Georgia, after which he again went to the west. By that time, his relationship with Bayazid was already out of diplomacy. The rulers had time to exchange several sharp letters in which the Turkish sultan outdid the enemy in the art of insults. Timur, in fact, did not want to look like the instigator of the war, so he behaved quite courteously for a long time, but he did not hesitate to express himself in expressions and promised that he would not only take him for his harem, but also dishonor his beloved general’s wife.
Bayazid also promised to drive Timur to Tabriz and Sultania: “What does this poor guy interfere with? Does he not think that he is dealing with some wild tribe of highlanders or cowardly Indians? If he has become fit to fight, let him come. It will not come - I will find it myself and will drive it to Tabriz and Sultania. ”
In this case, apparently, it should be recognized as a mistake of Bayazid that he, so firmly speaking against the enemy on paper, did not stand up for Middle Eastern allies during the 1400-1401 campaign. Thus, Timur was able to deal with opponents in turn. Only in the winter, while the enemy was busy in the Caucasus, Bayazid sent detachments to Aleppo, Edessa and other cities. Probably, he wanted to wage war in the south, closer to the Egyptian ally, but Iron Chromez did not let him realize this plan and skillful movement, threatening to go to the rear of the sultan, forced him to return to war in northern Asia Minor. Perhaps, such a strategic mistake of Bayazid is connected with his moral and physical condition. His physical condition and mental abilities were undermined by drunkenness and riotous life.
By the spring, there were already about 800 thousand warriors in the armed forces of Timur’s empire. In April, 1402 of the year, his 200-thousandth army passes over to Kuru, goes to Erzerum, and then invades the northern Asian possessions of Bayazid, descending from the mountains to the Anatolian plain. In Anatolia, Timur's troops again plundered Sivas. Now the Ottoman Sultan had to start military actions. His ambassadors arrived in Sivas for negotiations. In their presence, Khromets conducted a review of the troops, during which the commanders of the troops, expressing to Timur their willingness to sacrifice everything for him, vowed not to leave a single shrub in the lands of his enemies, to plunder Anatolia and subvert the Ottomans. The ambassadors left impressed by the power of the enemy army and, probably, transferred this mood to many Turkish commanders.
In the meantime, the Ottoman ambassadors were visiting the Emir, he sent reconnaissance detachments in order to find out the location of the enemy and the general situation. Intelligence reported that the road to the nearest large city of Tokat (north of Angora - present-day Ankara) goes through the forest and is rather narrow. The Turkish troops, the intelligence officers said, appeared in the vicinity of Tokat and occupied all the ferries across the Kizil-Irmak river. Timur decided to cross the river in a more convenient place. To this end, the emir moved his forces first to Caesarea. He did not want to meet with the strong Turkish infantry in the forests and on narrow aisles. It was necessary to lure her to an open place where the equestrian army of Tamerlane would have a significant advantage. In addition, Timur was inclined to think that while it was necessary to act on the communications of the enemy, to exhaust him with small contractions. To interrupt the message of the Ottoman army with its capital, the city of Brouss, from Caesarea Timur made a surprising transition to Ankara for the number of troops he had. The city was besieged, and the army of Bayazid to remove the siege came to the plain. The Turks tried to enter the enemy in the rear, but Timur seemed to be ready for this. He retreated from Ankara, his army made a small transition and was strengthened by the camp on the same plain, to the northeast of the city.
Battle of angora
Chromets before the battle took a number of steps aimed at winning. Through his spies, Timur suggested that the Anatolian beyas, who were part of Bayazid's army, go over to his side, promising to give them a salary that was not paid by the Sultan for a long time. In addition, Timur ordered the implementation of engineering work. His people, with the help of a channel dug in the shortest possible time, diverted the water of a small river Chubuk to the side, into a specially prepared reservoir, thus depriving Bayazid's army of this necessary resource on the battlefield. It was dangerous to start a major battle with tens of thousands of soldiers and horses, if there were no sources of water nearby. Especially in Asia Minor in the summer. The Ottoman sultan did not torment himself with such precautions. A few days before the battle, he also spent an optional hunt, exhausting his people.
There is no exact data on the number of two great armies. Timur's army could reach 140 thousand fighters. The number of Bayazid's army is 70-85 thousand people (according to other data - up to 200 thousand people). Bayazid built his troops back to the mountains, blocking the road leading from Angora-Ankara to the northeastern provinces with his left wing. The left wing was composed of Serbian vassal troops under the command of Stefan Lazarevic. They were distinguished by high combat capability. On the right wing stood the Anatolian troops under the command of Suleiman, the son of the Sultan. They consisted of Tatar detachments (18 thousand soldiers) and troops of the Anatolian Bey (also 18 thousands). In the center on a hill were janissaries, behind them in the valley - a cavalry reserve of heavy cavalry (sipahs). Thus, in the Turkish army was the most powerful center of combat order.
Timur's troops were lined up in three lines. The first line itself consisted of three sublines: first, the vanguard in the loose ranks, then the elephants, and finally, the main avant-garde with a solid line. The second line of Tamerlane consisted of cavalry advanced on the flanks. In the third line was a selective reserve.
The battle began with the fact that the right wing of Timur’s avant-garde attacked the Serbs. These attacks were repelled. Then the entire right flank of Timur's army fell on the Slavs. The aim of the Khromts offensive was to drive Bayazid’s army off the Ankara road and press it against the mountains. However, the Serbs fought fiercely and persevered. Timur, stingy in praise, whose face, according to Arab chronicles, for thirty years of aggressive activity has never softened a smile, even said to his retinue: "These broken heads are fighting like lions."
On the left wing of his warriors operated more successfully. Tatar riders and part of the Anatolian bey quickly spread to the side of the enemy. And Suleiman began to gradually retreat with the remaining troops to his west. His brothers also threw a battlefield with a part of the forces: Mohammed moved north-east to the mountains, Isa fled south.
On the right wing, Timur's troops again attacked the Serbs. Those were surrounded and cut off from the main forces of Bayazid, but were not embarrassed and went for a breakthrough. After a fierce battle, the Serbs could still break into the center and connect with the Janissaries. However, the forces were already unequal. The flanks of Bayazid were crushed and destroyed. In the end, the center of the Turkish army was thrown off the road and pushed back to the mountains. Timur threw his reserve to finish off the enemy.
The Serbs, realizing that the case was lost, began to retreat to Suleiman to the west, to Broussu. Prior to this withdrawal, Stephen offered to save the Sultan, but he expressed a desire to fight to the end. Soon his Janissaries were surrounded and all were killed. The same happened with a significant part of the Turkish equestrian reserve. Sultan Bayazid, with a small detachment, repelled the attacks of the enemy until nightfall, finally tried to break through from the battlefield, but his horse fell, captured him and presented to his sovereign one of the Khans of the Chagatai horde, Mamud. The pursuit of the main forces of the fleeing Turks lasted for five days. The Ottomans pursued the 30-th. horse body Suleiman barely managed to get to the sea, where he boarded a ship and hastily departed for Rumelia (the European possessions of the Ottomans in the Balkans). Suleiman established in Edirne (Adrianople).
Thus, in one of the largest battles in world history, Bayazid Lightning met with a much stronger rival. Khromets destroyed Bayazid’s army and destroyed its power. There is a legend that when the sultan was brought to Timur, he said: “It’s evident that fate doesn’t appreciate power and possession of vast kingdoms when it gives them to cripples - you, crooked, and I, the lame one” (Bayezid was one-eyed). The Ottoman Sultan was put in an iron cage and for some time was taken for Tamerlane. Sultan was forced to observe how his wives in a naked form serve the rival and his soldiers during feasts. 8 March 1403 year Bayazid died in captivity.
The warriors of Tamerlane after Ankara destroyed the Ottoman capital, Brousse and Izmir (Smyrna). In Brouss was captured a huge booty (the Ottomans many have been robbed in previous wars). Smyrna belonged to the Knights of Rhodes and the Ottomans had not previously been able to take the Christian city for many years. Timur blocked the city of December 2 1402 and two weeks later the powerful fortress fell. Timur, as usual, showed ingenuity, and his soldiers effectively implemented the master's plan. The Ottomans could not take the city, since it received help and supplies by sea. Not having a fleet, Timur found a way out. He ordered to build a huge dam of logs and cover them with hides. The sapper units under the cover of archers built a huge structure. The townspeople laughed at first, then tried to stop the work with torches and stones. And when help arrived from Rhodes and Cyprus, it was already too late. Instead of the cores, the heads of the killed citizens flew into the Christian ships.
The defeat at Ankor led to the collapse of the Ottoman state, which was accompanied by civil strife between the sons of Bayazid, the revolts of major feudal lords and the peasant war. The defeat of the Turks, which lost practically all its territory of Byzantium, gave a half-century delay.
However, Timur did not begin to transfer the war to Europe and to finish off the Ottoman state. He calmed down on his laurels. In 1404, Iron Khromets returned to Samarkand. Colossal territories were already in his hands: Maverannahr, Khorezm, Khorasan, Transcaucasia, Persia, Punjab. But this great conqueror was not enough. Timur had long cherished the dream of going to China.
Timur's western march