How the First Militia tried to free Moscow
In the first Zemstvo militia were representatives of all major cities of the Russian state, except Smolensk, besieged by the Polish army, and Novgorod, who was engaged in fighting with the Swedes. The militias became camps along the walls of the White City. At the Yauza gates, Lyapunov’s noble militia was stationed, next to him, near the Vorontsov field, the Cossack detachments of Trubetskoy and Zarutsky defeated their camps, and further, from the Pokrovsky gate to Trub, militia groups from Zamoskovye and other places were stationed. Moscow militia, led by voivod Fyodor Pleshcheyev, firmly held Simonov monastery in their hands. Nearby are the troops of Prosovetsky and Izmailov.
March 27 Gonsevskiy withdrew his troops from the Yauza gates and attempted to attack the militia in the vicinity of the Simonov monastery. However, this trial of strength did not bring him success. The Poles had to abandon offensive operations and go to the defense of the fortress wall of the White City. In early April, 1611, the militia stormed the majority of the White City. The Poles made a few more attacks in order to defeat the militia, but without success. Russian warriors, not taking head-on collisions with the powerful Polish cavalry, hit the enemy from behind shelters, inflicted losses, forcing them to retreat. After that, the Moscow garrison sat down in a dull siege, waiting for help from the king. Lyapunov made several sluggish attempts at assault, but he didn’t try too hard, saving his strength and preferring to take the enemy to death. The conflagration of Moscow remained a “nobody's” territory, skirmishes occurred there, but no one occupied it, since it was a huge cemetery with unburied bodies.
In turn, the militias did not have enough strength to organize a decisive assault and at the same time completely close the outer ring of the siege of the Kremlin and China-City, so that the Polish garrison would not receive outside help. The militia was relatively small. The time has passed when the country put up hundreds of thousands of armies that fought for power or against it. Some died from the sword, hunger, disease, were executed, others were maimed. Many cities rose up against the "filthy Latins", but a significant part of the forces was left at home to defend against various gangs. In addition, it was difficult to supply a large army. Lyapunov gathered only about 6 thousand professional fighters. True, the militia has grown greatly due to Muscovites who attacked them, who survived the slaughterhouse and other local residents, but most of them were not fighters. They could keep the defense in the island, but not fight with professional Polish soldiers and mercenaries in an open field.
In May, battles with mercenaries of the approaching hetman Jan Sapegi (about 5 thousand soldiers) took place. He managed to go to the king, realized that there is no profit there, and returned to the Russian capital, offering services to both parties, who will pay the most. He bargained for some time with the boyars government and with Lyapunov. As a result, the Moscow boyars were more generous. The hetman received three thousand rubles from Mstislavsky, and the gentry promised to share the ransacked Kremlin treasures of half a million zlotys. Then the Sapieha mercenaries went on a campaign to help the besieged. From Poklonnaya Hill, where their camp was set up, they moved to the Luzhniki Stadium. Trying to unblock the besieged garrison, the Polish hetman tried to seize the Tver gates. At the same time, the Kremlin garrison made a sally to meet the troops of Sapieha. However, the Russian militia, relying on the fortifications-guard, utterly defeated the German infantry and seized its banners. In fights, Muromsk voivode Mosalsky distinguished himself and won glory as a brave man. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to press the Russian troops, Sapieha retreated. Realizing that he couldn’t get victory in open battle, he changed tactics and went to the Pereslavl-Zalessky area to collect food for the besieged Polish garrison.
The militia, barely Sapieha left, moved to action. They attacked the redoubt of Borkowski, built at the Tver gates, interrupted the Polish garrison. 5 July began a general assault. Before dawn, the militia climbed the stairs to the wall of China-town at the Yauza gates. They were knocked out by a counterattack, but in other areas Nikitsky, Arbat and Chertol gates of the Belogorod wall were taken. In the Nikitsky Tower, the Germans blocked 300. When the powder ran out, they tried to surrender, but the militiamen, furious with the burning of Moscow, did not take them prisoner. In the tower at the Trekhsvyatsky gates, the enemy garrison also sat down. In the lower tier they had gunpowder and grenades, the Russians sent a lighted arrow into it. The tower was engulfed in flames, and those who tried to flee were killed. Thus, the Poles lost the entire White City.
The supply of food to the besieged garrison has practically ceased. In addition, during the Moscow uprising, most of the food reserves in the city were burned in fire. In May, the besieged people informed King Sigismund III that they would be able to hold out in Moscow for no more than three weeks if they were not given immediate assistance and they did not receive food and feed for the horses. The Poles kept both the Arbat and the Novodevichy Convent, from where the Great Smolensk Road began. But she passed through the townships covered by the uprising.
The peasants, infuriated by the constant raids of various gangsters, armed with axes and clubs, independently fought against the enemies. Historian Dmitry Ilovaisky noted that in the winter of 1611 — 1612 from the part of the Russian population, a guerrilla (popular) war began: ". Poles and Russian traitors called them contemptuously “shishami” (translated from Polish as “brownies” or “loafers”), although they carried significant damage from them. Thus, in May, the “shishi” defeated a noble convoy and repulsed the treasury, which the boyars government sent out to the mercenaries Jan Sapegi. Shishi used the tactics of ambushes and raids, based in the forests impassable for the Polish cavalry. In winter, when the Polish cavalry lost its mobility advantage, Shishi used skis for quick attacks, and in case of failure, for rapid retreat. Sometimes their units reached a large size. Thus, one of the Shyshov partisan detachments under the command of Smolensk Treska numbered about 3 thousand people.
The collapse of the militia
It is worth noting that the main problem of the First Militia was not even an external enemy, but an internal rift. Already the first battles showed that in the Zemstvo militia, Cossacks and nobles do not trust each other. From the very beginning of the siege of Moscow in the Zemstvo rati, discord began, affecting the heterogeneity of the militia, the presence of leaders who had their own goals. The basis of the militia were nobles, boyar children, Cossacks, including “thieves”, that is, free people of various origins, including outspoken brigands, runaway peasants and serfs. Although the nobles and the Cossacks with the "black people" stated that they were all "in one thought", there was a gulf between them.
In addition, between the leaders of the militia there was no unity in the choice of the new czar of the Russian state. Lyapunov, after the death of Prince Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky, did not see in the boyar environment a worthy candidate for kings, and offered to ask the Swedish throne for the Russian throne. Ataman Zarutsky, like Trubetskoy, wanted to see him as “Marinkin's son” (Marina Mnishek), “Vorenka”. They swore allegiance to the son of Marina Mnishek, in whom, as was commonly believed, royal blood flowed. If Ivan "Vorёnok" had become a king, then Zarutsky could have become the de facto ruler of the Russian state for a long time.
There was no unity in management. It was not possible to organize a normal rear. When the heads of individual units existed their own local and bit orders, through which they tried to govern the country. The governors themselves distributed the estates, collected "food", sending their people to the places. Cossacks "supplied" independently. Such parcels for “feed” often turned into robbery and violence. It became necessary to create a temporary Russian government, to form a common program, to unite the scattered detachments into a single army. The Ryazan voivode assumed the role of a unifier. The Provisional Government of the "troal commanders" (Prokopy Lyapunov, Dmitry Trubetskoy and Ivan Zarutsky) was formed only in May 1611. However, unity in the militia did not become: Lyapunov behaved defiantly, arrogantly, showed dictatorial manners, Zarutsky defended the interests of the Cossacks, and Prince Trubetskoy considered himself noble and generic above all, saw himself as the main commander, but to become a leader he did not have strong-willed qualities.
A “Council of All Land” was also created, but he was unable to rectify the situation. There were no posad representatives in it. 30 June 1611 of the year was passed the "Verdict", drawn up on behalf of "the Moscow state of different lands of princes, boyars, okolichicha, nobles and boyar children, atamans and Cossacks". He expressed mainly the interests of the nobility and the Cossack sergeant. Most of the militia among the runaway peasants and serfs fell into the category of "young" Cossacks. In general, the "Verdict" was directed against them and expressed primarily the interests of the social elite of the Zemstvo militia. The promises made by Lyapunov in his diploma in organizing the militia turned out to be violated. Simple Cossacks were extremely annoyed by this “Verdict”. The explosion was brewing.
The situation escalated even more, after one of Lyapunov’s comrades-in-arms, the Tushino boyar Matvey Pleshcheyev, perpetrated samolence on 28 with Cossacks convicted of robbery, ordering them to drown. In addition, the Poles skillfully organized information sabotage. The Cossacks turned out to be a letter, tossed by the scouts of Gonsevsky and allegedly signed by Lyapunov, in which they were declared robbers, enemies of the Russian kingdom.
Thus, the "Verdict" and the subsequent actions of Lyapunov and his people threw an open challenge to the Cossacks. He did not understand or did not want to reckon with the fact that people who tasted the will and who took it in hand weapon, they will not obediently add it up, that they will not give up their conquered freedom, they will not blindly obey the governor-dictator. Also, Lyapunov was not overwhelming any resistance from military force in order to subdue any discontent.
22 July 1611, the Cossacks summoned the Ryazan governor to their “camp” for explanations and “smashed into sabers”. After the death of Lyapunov, the First Militia collapsed. Most of the serving nobles, not wanting to fight more with the Cossacks and fearing new clashes with them, went home. The Zemstvo ratifications of the northern and Volga cities, including Nizhny Novgorod, also diverged. Since that time, Kuzma Minin, who fiercely fought for the unity of the ranks of public defenders, has demanded harsh punishment for those who brought discord in the common cause.
With the departure of the noble detachments and the Zemstvo brigades, the leading role near Moscow passed to the leaders of the Cossack "camps". Soon the chieftain Ivan Zarutsky became the leader, and the weak-willed Dmitry Trubetskoy fell under his influence. The remaining militia outside Moscow were powerless to clear the capital of the Poles. They sent letters to cities, calling for the help of warriors, demanded sending gunpowder and fur coats to the treasury. The influential Trinity-Sergius Lavra, under pressure from Zarutsky, made appeals inviting the county people to join up with the Moscow-based “boyars and voivods”. But the “thieves'” Cossacks of Zarutsky did not inspire confidence and could not unite the people.
However, even after the unsuccessful assault on China-town in June 1611, the troops of Zarutsky and Trubetskoy continued the siege of Moscow. In July, the Cossack regiments together with the militia from Kazan and Sviyazhsk of noblemen, archers and Volga peoples, Tatar, Mordvin, Chuvash and Cheremis (Mari), stormed and captured the Novodevichy Convent. As a result, the Cossacks were able to occupy the entire White City. The roads around the capital were blocked by slingshots, trenches, trenches, the Cossacks put guard (wooden fortified towns). It is worth noting that the Moscow Cossacks for the most part were “black people,” who hated foreign invaders with all their hearts. It was not by chance that the chronicler wrote about the Cossack detachments that remained under the capital: “The camps of purification stood for Moscow for the city of Moscow from the royal people.” But Dmitry Pozharsky, after the expulsion of the Poles from Moscow, recognized that the Cossacks "over the Polish people ... hunted down every trade and cramped them, and in many battles fought with them, not sparing their heads."
But in general, the collapse of the militia weakened his forces and improved the position of the besieged Polish garrison. Now the Polish detachments of Jan Sapieha, Lisovsky and Chodkiewicz began to easily make their way to the besieged and deliver food to them. Gonsevsky's troops received reinforcements. Particularly active was Sapieha, who captured Pereyaslavl in Aleksandrovskaya settlement in July and August, and in August, successfully broke through with the loot to Moscow. True, this was the last success of Sapieha. The hetman, famous for his bloody adventures, fell ill and died.
After the breakthrough of Sapieha’s troops, there was no longer a complete blockade of the Kremlin and China Town. Zarutsky did not have enough strength for that. Now the Cossacks besieged Moscow only from the east and south. But on September 15, they again went on the offensive, using a new tactic: they installed a battery of mortars and began to shell down China-Town with hot-melted cores. As a result, the city again flared. The Poles and the remaining residents, throwing belongings, fled to the Kremlin. The Cossacks climbed onto the wall, but they themselves could not advance because of the fiery sea. Then the Kremlin guns entered into business. The militia had to retreat.
But as it turned out, China-town burned out very in time for the besiegers. Khodkevich approached Moscow. He brought 4,5 thousand hussars and infantry, but now there was no place for new troops to be stationed in Moscow, all defenders and residents huddled in the Kremlin premises. Then Chodkiewicz decided to go on the offensive and with one blow do away with the remnants of the militia, he had enough troops. I attacked the Cossack patrols at the Yauza gates. However, he could not crush the Russians. Dodging direct combat, they fired at the enemy from fortifications, because of furnaces sticking up everywhere. Expand for the strike the Polish cavalry in the conflagration could not, the infantry in the attacks suffered losses. And when Chodkiewicz began to withdraw parts, the Cossacks went to the counterattack. As a result, Chodkiewicz was forced to poison part of the troops in Poland to rest, and he went with the army to Rogachevo to put up a winter camp and provide the remaining Moscow garrison with food.
The plans of Zarutsky to proclaim to the Russian Tsar the little son “Tsar Dimitriy Ivanovich” did not meet with any support. Thus, Patriarch Hermogenes addressed the Zemstvo people with a fiery admonition that “by no means would they not want a son to the realm of the damned paninyin Marinkin”. The leaders of the new Nizhny Novgorod militia, Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, did not support this idea either. Then Zarutsky 2 in March 1612 of the year swore to the third False Dimitry (“Pskov thief”), who in December 1611 of the year sent his embassy to the camps near Moscow.
The fall of Novgorod
The plight of the Russian state was exacerbated by the Swedish intervention. Taking advantage of the absence of the royal troops in the north, the Swedes began to seize the Novgorod lands. After stubborn fights, they managed to capture 2 March 1611, Korela. However, under the Ladoga and twice under the Nut, the Swedes were defeated. The plans for the seizure of North Karelia also failed. Neither Cola nor the Solovki monastery surrendered to the enemy. Russian in the north also launched a guerrilla war, went into the woods. But in the summer of 1611, the Swedes achieved great success by capturing Novgorod the Great. In the city there was no agreement between the governors, between the warriors and the townspeople. Big city did not prepare the defense.
In the spring of 1611, the envoys of Procopius Lyapunov arrived in Novgorod, who decided to once again conclude an allied treaty with Sweden against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the negotiations, the Swedes offered their prince to the Russian throne. Also, the Swedes demanded to give Ladoga, Oreshek, Ivangorod, Yam, Koporye and Gdov. Buturlin agreed to everything - but this alienated Novgorod from him. Such negotiations further disoriented Novgorod. 8 July Delagardi sent his troops to storm the city. Novgorod storm repulsed, but a week later were taken aback. On July 16, a traitor Ivan Shval, a serf of one of the Novgorod landowners, led the enemy into the city through the Chudintsov gate. Also, the Swedes blew up the neighboring Prussia Gate. Voevoda V. Buturlin, not taking the fight, with his detachment hastily fled to the cities. Resistance was provided only by individual detachments of archers, Cossacks and citizens. However, the Swedes easily suppressed some pockets of resistance. Thus, the famous Cossack ataman Timofey Sharov died - a participant in the Bolotnikov uprising and the Skopin-Shuisky campaign. Persistently fought with the interventionists Protopop of Sophia Cathedral Ammos. He shut up in his yard with other Novgorodians and steadfastly resisted the onslaught of the Swedes. Then the mercenaries set fire to the Protopop's courtyard. Ammos and his comrades died in the fire, but did not surrender. However, there were traitors. One of the most powerful fortresses of Russia, the Novgorod Kremlin, was surrendered to Delagardi by Metropolitan Isidore and Prince I. Odoyevsky.
Soon the Novgorod authorities were forced to sign an agreement, which in fact rejected the northern lands from the Russian state. The territory, which was now called the Novgorod principality, was surrendered under the patronage of the Swedish king, and an alliance was formed with him against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Swedish king was declared the "patron" of the Novgorod principality, de facto becoming the ruler of the Novgorod region. By concluding an agreement with Sweden, the Novgorod elite assumed obligations not only for themselves, but also for the entire Russian state. Novgorod agreed to accept one of the sons of Charles IX (Gustav-Adolf or Karl-Philippe) to the "Novgorod and All-Russian state as king and grand duke." And "until the arrival of his royal majesty, the son," the treaty stated, "we pledge to obey the chief commander, Jacob, in all his commands." The city also pledged to maintain Swedish troops.
Power in Novgorod passed to Delagardi, who was not slow to introduce an occupational regime that was not inferior in cruelty to the Polish one. He repaired the court and reprisals, selected and distributed to the Swedish commanders of the estate. One of the main directions of his activity was the spread of the Swedish authorities to other outlying cities, which he had not been able to take before. One by one, the Swedes took Koporie, Yam, Ivangorod and Oreshek. Only the well-fortified fortress city of Pskov survived. But here the power was seized by the “Pskov thief” - the new “Tsarevich Dmitry”.
New rise of the national movement
By the fall of 1611, the country seemed to have already died. Polish troops were able to take Smolensk and firmly settled in the Moscow burned by them. The first Zemstvo militia disintegrated. The Moscow boyar government finally lost power and authority in the eyes of the people. The people of Boyar were reasonably considered traitors. The Swedes seized the land of Novgorod the Great. On the vast territory of the Russian kingdom, numerous detachments of Polish and Swedish invaders, and various gangs raged. Pans boastfully wrote to Poland: "We now graze on the Russian land." Increased raids of the Crimean Khan in the south.
Russian land again and again indulged in defeat. Memoirs of contemporaries, draft letters of cities tell about pogroms, murders and ruin: “They threw others from the towers of high urban ones, threw others from the banks of the steep into the depths of the river, shot others with bows and self-made guns grabbed and in front of the eyes of parents threw fire into the fire; others were taken from the mother's breast, on the ground and on the rapids, on rocks and corners smashed; others, on the copies and on the saber sticking, were worn before the parents. ”
And at this critical moment, popular resistance intensified. The open betrayal of the boyar elite and the failure of the First Zemstvo Militia did not break the determination of the Russian people to fight for the liberation of their country. A widespread partisan movement against the Polish and Swedish invaders, based on the peasantry, spread everywhere. The growing patriotic upsurge of the broad masses of the people accomplished what the boyars government could not do — organized an effective rebuff to the interventionists.
People who went into the woods organized partisan detachments that were actively fighting against the invaders. The presence of such units in the years of the "great ruin" is noted throughout the entire territory occupied by the Polish and Swedish invaders. The detachments operated in the north, in the area of Sumy prison, in the forests of the Novgorod and Pskov regions, in the forests of the Smolensk region, near Moscow and Yaroslavl, in other areas. According to a foreigner, “from all sides were crowds of unbridled peasants who exterminated the Germans and Poles with incredible malice ... the people armed themselves and revenged the Poles: they hung others, others hacked them, and threw some into the water”. The rebels caught messengers, exterminated foragers, attacked small detachments of interventionists.
Historian N. Kostomarov, in his study of the Time of Troubles, noted that at the beginning of October the rebels filled the environs of the capital for fifty miles. The guerrillas dispersed and partially destroyed the Vonsovich detachment sent by Chodkiewicz to Gonsevsky. Likewise, a detachment of Captain Maskevich, who left Moscow to meet Khodkevich, was defeated by shishami. There were many similar examples. The rebels discarded the Kaminsky gentry detachment and routed Zezulinsky's squadron near Rostov. Significantly battered Shishi and the regiment of Strusia, heading from Smolensk to Mozhaysk. Partisans caused considerable damage to the hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Jan-Karol Chodkiewicz, while delivering supplies to the garrison of the interventionists besieged in Moscow, blocking all the roads leading to it. The Poles managed to advance through them only by large detachments.
But spontaneous guerrilla movement could not save the country from disaster. Needed was an organizing force. To someone again raised the banner of the struggle for national liberation. Fortunately, such a power was found. In Nizhniy Novgorod, the standard-bearer was Zemsky headman Kuzma Minin, who called on citizens and all Russian people to create a new militia.
KE Makovsky "Minin's Appeal"
To be continued ...
- Alexander Samsonov
Folk hero Kuzma Minin and Smoot
How the False Dmitry I was killed
How suppressed the uprising Bolotnikov
How the False Dmitry II tried to take Moscow
The ruin of the Russian land. Heroic defense of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius
Skopin-Shuisky's hike: the battles of Torzkom, Tver and Kalyazino
How did the Polish invasion begin? Completion of the liberation of Moscow by the army of Skopin-Shuisky: the battle on the Karinsky field and near Dmitrov
The heroic defense of Smolensk
How the Polish army stormed Smolensk
Klushinskaya catastrophe of the Russian army
How Russia almost became a colony of Poland, Sweden and England
“The time has come for the feat!” How the First Militia was created
"I would rather die than see all this." How the Poles burned Moscow
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