Surprising and obscure is the fact that such an outstanding event, on which no more, no less depended, and the very existence of the Russian state, is still practically unknown and deprived of the attention of historians and publicists. We will not be able to find references to the Battle of Young, which these days marks 444, in school textbooks, and in the curricula of higher education (with the exception, perhaps, of some humanitarian universities), this event also remains without proper attention. Meanwhile, the historical role of the Battle of Molodi is no less significant than the victory of the Russian army on the Kulikovo Field or Lake Peipsi, than the Poltava or Borodino battles.
In that battle, on the outskirts of Moscow, a huge Crimean-Turkish army came together under the command of Khan Devlet-Girey and the regiments of the Russian Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky. According to various sources, the number of “Crimean Tatar troops who came to be the Tsar of Moscow” ranged from 100 to 120 thousand, which they had before the 20 thousand janissaries provided to help the Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The garrisons scattered from Kaluga and Tarusa to Kolomna provided total defense for the southern frontiers of Muscovy; their total number barely reached 60 of thousands of warriors. According to various estimates, about 40 thousands of people took part in the battle with Devlet-Giray. And, despite this obvious advantage, the enemy was crushed by Russian regiments.
Well, let's turn to this little-known page in the annals of our history today and pay tribute to the steadfastness and heroism of the Russian army, which defended, as has happened more than once, both the people and the fatherland.
Historical background of the battle with the young. The invasion of Devlet Giray 1571 of the year and its consequences
The history of Russia of the XVI century is in many respects the history of the restoration of Russian statehood, which for many centuries was destroyed by the princely civil strife and the Golden Horde yoke. On the southern and eastern borders of Muscovy, a dense ring was squeezed by fragments of the Golden Horde: Kazan, Astrakhan, Crimean Khanate, Nogai Horde. In the west, the ancient Russian lands languished under the yoke of the powerful Polish kingdom and Livonia. In addition to the constant wars and predatory raids of hostile neighbors, Russia was also suffocating from internal misfortune: the endless boyar squabble for power. Before the first Russian Tsar Ivan IV, crowned in the kingdom in 1547, was the hardest task: to survive and preserve the country under these conditions, to secure its borders and create conditions for peaceful development. To solve this problem without military victories in such a neighborhood was impossible.
In 1552, Ivan IV goes to Kazan and takes her by storm. As a result, the Kazan Khanate was annexed to Moscow Russia. From 1556, Ivan IV also becomes king of Astrakhan, and the Nogai horde, headed by Khan Urus, turned into a vassal dependence on Moscow. Following the annexation of Kazan and Astrakhan, the Siberian Khanate recognized itself as a tributary of Moscow. In addition, the Caucasian minor princes began to seek from the Tsar of Moscow protection for themselves and their peoples and from the raids of the Crimean Tatars, and from falling under the authority of the Ottoman sultanate.
Moscow more and more pushed the boundaries of its influence on the Muslim states that surrounded Russia from the South and the East in a tight ring. The northern neighbor, gaining geopolitical weight, became a real problem for the Ottoman Empire and its vassal - the Crimean Khanate, who considered the Muslim states located along the borders of the Moscow kingdom an area, as they say, of their geopolitical interests.
Another danger for the Russian kingdom hung on its western borders. In 1558, Ivan IV begins a war with Livonia, which initially developed quite successfully for the Moscow autocrat: a number of castles and cities, including Narva and Dorpat, were taken by assault. The successes of the Moscow tsar forced Livonia to seek military-political alliances, and in 1561, the Livonian Confederation entered the Lithuanian principality, of which Livonia was a vassal. And in 1569, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland united into a single Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The military-political alignment of forces radically changed not in favor of Moscow, and this was aggravated by the inclusion of Sweden in the war. Military actions acquired a protracted nature, which is why Ivan the Terrible had to keep significant forces of the Russian army in the early seventies of the 16th century in the Baltic States.
Thus, at the beginning of the 16th century 70, the main military resources of Ivan IV were associated with the western theater of military operations. For the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, a very convenient political configuration and deployment of military resources arose, which they could not use. On the southern borders of the Russian kingdom was becoming increasingly restless. Frequent raids of the Crimean Tatars brought ruin to Russian settlements, captive men, women, children became a profitable commodity in the slave markets on both sides of the Black Sea.
However, the border raids could not withdraw from the dependence of the Nogai Horde and the Siberian Khanate, could not tear Kazan and Astrakhan from the Russian kingdom. This could be achieved only by breaking Moscow’s ability to scale military confrontation. And for this we needed a victorious war.
In 1571, the Crimean Khan Devlet-Girey gathers a forty-thousand-strong army and advances to Moscow. Not encountering any serious resistance, he walked around the chain of fortifications (the so-called "cross-lines"), went to the outskirts of Moscow and set the city on fire. It was one of those fires in which the entire capital city burned out. There are no statistics of damage to that terrible fire, but its scale can be judged by the fact that practically only the Moscow Kremlin and several stone churches survived the fire. Human sacrifices numbered in the thousands. To this should be added a huge number of full of Russians, taken both during the attack on Moscow and on the way to it.
Arranging the burning of the capital of the Russian kingdom, Devlet Giray considered the main goal of the campaign achieved and deployed an army. Taking with them thousands of captured Russians (some sources say about 150 thousands of people who were taken as “living goods”) and transports of stolen goods, the Crimean Tatar army moved back to the Crimea. In order to emphasize the humiliation inflicted, Devlet-Girey sent a knife to the Moscow Tsar, "so that Ivan slaughtered himself."
After the devastating 1571 invasion of the year, Moscow Russia seemed to be no longer able to rise. 36 cities were slaughtered, burned villages and farms had no account at all. Hunger began in a devastated country. In addition, the country waged war on the western borders and was forced to hold significant military forces there. Russia after the invasion of the Crimean 1571, seemed easy prey. The previous plans of the Ottoman Sultanate and the Crimean Khanate changed: they already had little restoration of the Kazan and Astrakhan Khanates. The ultimate goal was the conquest of all Russia.
With the support of the Ottoman Empire, Devlet Girey gathers an even larger army, which in addition to the Crimean Tatar soldiers included selected regiments of Turkish janissaries and Nogai cavalry units. In early June 1572, the one hundred thousandth Crimean Tatar army moved from Perekop fortress to Moscow. The uprising of the Bashkirs, Cheremis and Ostyaks, inspired by the Crimean Khanate, became part of the military campaign plan.
The Russian lands, as was done by almost everyone who had come to fight Russia for centuries, were already divided between the Khan Murzians. As they say in the annals of that time, the Crimean Khan went "... with many forces on the Russian land and painted all the Russian land to whom that dati, as with Batu.". About himself, Devlet-Girei said that he was going “to Moscow to the kingdom” and, in everything, he had already seen himself on the Moscow throne. Tsar Ivan IV was prepared for the fate of the captive. Everything seemed to be a foregone conclusion, and only the last fatal blow had to be dealt. It was not long to wait.
What could burned Moscow, not heal wounds, ravaged by last year's invasion of the Crimeans, to oppose such a force? It was impossible to remove troops from the western direction, where there were constant clashes with the Swedes and the Commonwealth. Zemsky garrisons, guarding the approaches to the capital, was clearly not enough to contain a powerful enemy.
For the command of the Russian forces, which were to meet the Tatar-Turkish horde, Ivan the Terrible calls upon Prince Mikhailo Vorotynsky. On the historical personality of this outstanding person is to briefly hold attention.
The fate of Prince Mikhail Ivanovich Vorotynsky, a descendant of the old Russian branch of the Chernigov princes, was not simple. After the capture of Kazan, he received not only the rank of a boyar, but also the highest rank of a Tsar's servant, which meant elevation over all boyar names. He was a member of the Middle Tsar Duma, and from 1553, Mikhail Ivanovich became a voivode at the same time as Sviyazhsk, Kolomna, Tula, Odoev, Kashira, Serpukhov. But the royal favor, ten years after the capture of Kazan, turned into disgrace. The prince was suspected of treason and collusion with Alexey Adashev, after which Ivan the Terrible exiled his family to Belozersk.
... In the face of the impending mortal danger, Ivan the Terrible calls for the command of the disgraced prince, unites the Zemsky and Oprichny units into one army and gives them under Vorotynsky.
The main Russian forces in the number of up to 20 thousands of Zemstvo and Oprichnich soldiers stood border guards in Serpukhov and Kolomna. The Russian army was reinforced by 7 by thousands of German recruits, among whom Heinrich Staden’s cannon fights were fought, and there was also a small number of “worthy ratification” (the people's militia). 5 thousand Cossacks under the command of Mikhail Cherkashin came to the rescue. A little later the Ukrainian Cossacks arrived, numbering about a thousand. The total number of troops that had to fight with Devlet Giray, numbered about 40 thousands of people - this is all that the Moscow kingdom could gather to repel the enemy.
Historians differently determine the date of commencement of the battle of the Young. In some sources, 26 is called July 1572, when the first armed clash took place, most sources consider July 29 as the date when the main battle events began. We will not argue with either one or the other. Ultimately, let historians deal with chronology and interpretation of events. It is much more important to understand what could have prevented a merciless and skillful enemy with a powerful and tested army in campaigns, more than twice as strong as the Russian, to break the mortally wounded and devastated country, which by all indications did not have the strength to resist? What power could stop what seemed inevitable? What were the sources of not just victory, but the complete defeat of a superior enemy.
... Coming up on the Don, on July 23, on July 1572, the Tatar-Turkish army stopped at Oka; on July X. The Crimeans began to force the river. The first crossed the 27-thousandth avant-garde of the Crimean army, who led Teberdey-Murza. He was met by a small guard squad of "children of boyars", in which there were only 20 soldiers. This detachment was headed by Prince Ivan Petrovich Shuisky. Shuisky's squad fought desperately, but the forces were too unequal, almost all the soldiers of the squad were killed in this battle. After that, the avant-garde regiments of Teberdey-Murza reached the Pakhra River near today's Podolsk and stood there awaiting the approach of the main forces. On the night of 200 July, the main forces of the Tatar-Turkish army also crossed the Oka River.
Devlet Giray, having rejected the regiments of the "right hand" of princes Nikita Odoyevsky and Fyodor Sheremetev in a bloody battle, moved to Moscow bypassing Tarusa and Serpukhov. After him went the advanced regiment of Prince Khovansky and the oprichnny regiment of Prince Khvorostinin. The main forces of the Russian troops were at Serpukhov. In the same place, Vorotynsky placed a “walking-city” (mobile wooden fortress).
Thus, there was a strange, at first glance, arrangement: the avant-garde and the main forces of the Crimeans were moving toward the Russian capital city, and the Russians followed in their footsteps. There were no forces on the way of the Tatar-Turkish army to Moscow among the Russians. In his book “The Unknown Borodino. Molodinsk battle of 1572 of the year "А.Р. Andreev gives the text of the chronicle, in which it was stated that the Rusich troops followed in the footsteps of the Tatar army, because “So much worse is the king that we follow him to the rear; and he guards Moscow ... ".
The strangeness of the actions of the regiments of Mikhail Vorotynsky was in fact a part of his plan, which, along with the courage and desperate fearlessness of the Russian soldiers, ultimately led the Russian army to victory.
So, the avant-garde army of Devlet Giray was already stretched along the Pakhra River (in the northern suburbs of modern Podolsk near Moscow), and the rearguard barely reached the River Rozhayka near the village of Molodi (modern Chekhov district of the Moscow Region). This stretch and took advantage of Russian troops.
July 29 Mikhail Vorotynsky throws into the attack on the rearguard of the Tatar army regiment of the young oprichnogo voivode Prince Dmitry Khvorostinin. The rearguard of the Khan's army consisted of powerful and well-armed foot regiments, artillery and selective Khan's cavalry. Commanded the rearguard of the two sons of Devlet Giray. The enemy was clearly not ready for an unexpected attack by the Russians. In a fierce battle, the khan units were practically destroyed. Survivors throwing weapon, fled. Khvorostininsky guardsmen rushed to pursue the enemy who had fled and drove him until the collision with the main forces of the Crimean army.
The blow of the Russian guardsmen was so powerful and unexpected that Devlet Giray was forced to stop the march. It was dangerous to move further to Moscow, leaving behind considerable Russian forces behind its back, in its unprotected rear, and even though Moscow was left for a few hours, the Crimean Khan decided to deploy the army in order to give Rusichs a battle. It happened what Vorotynsky was counting on.
Meanwhile, the guardsmen of Dmitry Khvorostinin met in a fierce section with the main forces of the Khan's army. The Russians fought desperately and Devlet Giray was forced, turning around on the march, to bring more and more of his units into battle. And so it seemed that the Russians broke and began to depart. Vorotynsky’s plan was to set up a battle, with the subsequent false retreat of Khvorostinin to force the Khan army to pursue him. So it happened. Wanting to develop success, the army of Devlet Giray rushes to pursue the retreating Rus.
... While the guardsmen of Khvorostyninsky smashed the rearguard of the Tatar-Turkish army and the Khan sons, and then fought with the main forces of the Crimeans who had developed, Vorotynsky, on a convenient hill near the village of Molodi, launched a "walking-city". Russian fortifications were reliably covered by the River Rozha (now this river is called Rozhayka).
And so July 30 the detachment of Khvorostinin with a prepared maneuver leads the pursuing forces of Devlet-Girey at the hurricane fire of cannons and pishchal, located in the "walking-city" and at the foot of the hill of the Russian troops. The real meat grinder began. The overwhelming forces of the Crimeans repeatedly rolled onto the shelves of the Rus, but could not penetrate the defense. The fight dragged on. For this turn of events, Devlet Giray was not ready.
July 31 Crimean Khan with all his strength rushes to the attack of the "walk-city". More and more new troops are coming to the assault, but it’s not possible to break through the defensive formations of the Russian regiments. “And on that day a great deal of battle would come, from the wallpaper of the soles of the mnosi, and water mixed with blood. And in the evening the regiments were uncovered in the train, and the Tatars in their camps. ". Devlet-Girey bears huge losses, Teberdey-Murza dies in one of the attacks, under whose command the vanguard of the Crimean army was.
1 August the storming of the Russian regiments and the “walk-of-the-city” was headed by Divey-Murza, the second man in the army after the Crimean Khan, but his attacks failed. Moreover, Divey-Murza came under a successful Russian raid and was captured by Suzdal Temir-Ivan Shibaev, son of Alalykin, during the chase. Here is how this episode is described in the annals, the text of which is given in his book “The Unknown Borodino. Molodinsk battle 1572 gda "A.R. Andreev: “... the argamak (one of the eastern breeds of riding horses - EM) stumbled under him, and he did not sit down. And here, Evo took the Isa of Argamak dressed in armor. The Tatar overlap became weaker than before, and the Russian people mobilized and, getting out, beating, and in that battle the Tatars beat many ”. In addition to the chief commander that day, one of the sons of Devlet Giray was captured.
All the time, while holding “the walk-city”, the troops of Vorotynsky stood without a wagon train, having neither food nor water. In order to survive, the Russian army, exhausted from starvation, was forced to slaughter their horses. Know this Devlet-Girei, he could change tactics and impose a siege on the "walking-city". The outcome of the battle in this case could be different. But the Crimean Khan clearly did not intend to wait. The proximity of the capital of the Russian Kingdom, the thirst for victory and malice for failing to break the regiments of Vorotynsky that had become a stone clouded the mind of Khan.
It has come 2 August. Embittered Devlet Giray again sent an avalanche of his attacks on the “walk-city”. Khan unexpectedly ordered the cavalry to dismount, and on foot along with the Turkish janissaries go on the attack of the "walking-city". But the Russians still stood insurmountable. Festering from hunger and tormented by thirst, the Russian warriors stood to death. There was neither despondency nor fear among them, for they knew what it was worth, that the price of their resilience was the existence of their power.
Prince Vorotynsky August 2 undertakes risky maneuver, which finally predetermined the outcome of the battle. During the battle, a large regiment, located in the rear, secretly left the “walking-city” and went through the hollow to the rear to the main parts of the Crimeans. There he stood up in a military formation and waited for a conditional signal.
As envisaged by the plan, the artillery struck with a powerful volley from the "walking-city" and the regiment of the oprichnaya prince-governor Dmitry Khvorostinin and the German reiters who fought with the Russians left the defensive line and started a battle. At this time, a large regiment of Prince Vorotynsky hit the rear of the Tatar-Turkish army. Started fierce slashing. The enemy considered that powerful reinforcements had arrived at the Russians, and he faltered. The Tatar-Turkish army turned to flee, leaving mountains of fallen on the battlefield. On that day, in addition to the Tatar warriors and Nogais, almost all 7 thousands of Turkish janissaries were killed. It is also said that the second son Devlet-Girey, as well as his grandson and son-in-law, fell in that battle. The guns, banners, tents, everything that was in the wagon train of the Tatar army and even the personal weapon of the Crimean Khan were seized by the Vorotynsky regiments. Devlet Giray fled, the scattered remnants of his troops were driven by the Russians to Oka and beyond.
A chronicle of the time states that “In the evening of August in 2, the king left the Crimean king in the evening to withdraw three thousand frisky people in the swamp of the Crimean Totar, and the king himself ran the night and Oka River climbed the same night. And the governors learned in the morning that the king of the Crimean ran and all the other people came to the totar and all those totar struck the River Oka. But on the Oka River, the Crimean king left fortar two thousand people to protect him. And those totar were beaten by a man with a thousand, and some of many other ones perished, and the others went beyond the Oka. ”.
During the persecution of the Crimean footmen before the crossing over the Oka, the majority of those who fled were killed, in addition, the 2 thousandth Crimean rearguard was destroyed, whose task was to cover the crossing of the remnants of the Tatar army. No more than 15 thousand warriors returned to the Crimea. BUT "Turks, - as Andrei Kurbsky wrote after the Molodinsk battle, - all disappeared and did not return, say, not one in Constantinople ".
The outcome of the battle
It is difficult to overestimate the value of victory in Molody. After the devastating raid of Devlet-Giray in the 1571 year and the burning of Moscow, after the devastation caused by the devastation, the Russian kingdom barely stood on its feet. Nevertheless, in the conditions of the ongoing war in the West, Moscow managed to defend its independence and for a long time eliminated the threat posed by the Crimean Khanate. The Ottoman Empire was forced to abandon plans to return the middle and lower Volga region in the sphere of their interests, and these regions were assigned to Moscow. The territories of the Astrakhan and Kazan Khanate were now finally and permanently incorporated into Russia. Moscow strengthened its influence in the South and East of its borders. Border fortifications on the Don and Desna were diverted 300 kilometers to the South. Conditions were created for the peaceful development of the country. It was the beginning of the development of arable land in the chernozem zone, previously belonged to the nomads of the Wild Field.
If successful, for Devlet-Girey of his campaign against Moscow, Russia would most likely become part of the Crimean Khanate, which was under the political dependence of the Ottoman Empire. The development of our history could go on a completely different vector, and who knows which country we would live in now.
But these plans have broken about the steadfastness and heroism of the warriors who defended the Russian state in that memorable battle.
In the history of the country, the names of the heroes of the battle of Molodi - the princes Shuisky, Khovansky and Odoyevsky, Khvorostinin and Sheremetev - should stand next to the names of Minin and Pozharsky, Dmitry Donskoy and Alexander Nevsky. Also, tribute to the memory of the German recruits of Heinrich Staden, who led the artillery of the "walking-city", should be paid. And, of course, the commander’s talent and great courage of Prince Mikhail Ivanovich Vorotynsky, without which this great victory could not have been, are worthy of perpetuation.
Andreev A.R. Unknown Borodino. Molodinsk battle 1572 year.
Buganov V.I. The story of the victory over the Crimean Tatars in 1572 year // Archaeographic Yearbook for the year 1963.
V. Kargalov. Russian governors of the XVI-XVII centuries. M .: Russian word, 2011.