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Imperial Russia

RUSSIAN CAMPAIGNS AND BATTLES

 

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This is the main entry page for listing a variety of articles and graphics related to Russian campaigns and battles. These include wars of Dmitri Donskoi Ivan IV, Peter I and others. But the large directory on the 1812 campaign and battle of Borodino is separate. So also are the sections on Suvorov and Kutuzov.

 
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This illustration from Razin depicts the annual 'inspection' of the artillery with Tsar Ivan IV watching closely. The target would be walls of ice or blocks to be pulverized by the shot.

 
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Illustration of Muscovite artillery in action.

 
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Illustration of Muscovite artillery in action.

 
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Review by John Sloan of the book - The Founding of Russia's Navy: Peter the Great and the Azov Fleet, 1688-1714, by Edward J. Phillips,

 
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"K istorii voyenno morskogo sudostroyeniya" "Toward the history of military-naval construction" Tushin, Yu. Lt Col. Voyenno istoricheskii Zhurnal, #8, Aug 1970. pp 101-104 - translation of summary of the article

 
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Order of battle typical for medieval Muscovite armies. The equivalent polki of subordinate leaders would frequently be distributed to the various polki of the main army when they were united. While 'polk' in modern Russian is translated as 'regiment', the medieval formation was not a regular unit let alone a regiment - rather it was like the western 'battle'.

 
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The typical layout of a Mongol army as recorded in the sources. Presumably it was more or less in this kind of formation that Mamai advanced into battle.

 
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A typical Muscovite march formation for march through open country on the steppe.

 
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Map from Beskrovni atlas of Russian military history depicting the standard view of how the battle was conducted by both sides. This has come under some critical analysis recently. Note also that Beskrovni does NOT show any Genoese infantry, an error so many other authors make.

 
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This map from Beskrovni's atlas shows the standard view of the campaign. The strengths and losses are those recorded in some chronicles but are vastly inflated. Likewise, the very location of the battle has been questioned recently. We will provide more on this later.

 
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This map from Beskrovni's atlas depicts the various fortified lines constructed during the reigns of Ivan IV and Boris Gudunov. And the opposing Tatar campaign routes from Crimea. "Shore duty" was the term used to describe the annual assignment of Muscovite troops to occupy frontier posts and perform mobile patrols along the Oka River.

 
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Great Northern War - bibliography compiled by John Sloan - This list was creaed 8 years ago now and will be increased when I have time.

 
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This schematic depicts a section of the prefabricated and portable Muscovite wooden fortress used in field operations to shelter artillery and streltzi gunners. This one is on runners for use in snow.

 
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This schematic shows a section of the gulai gorod on wheels for use in summer. The openings are for streltzi hand gunners. This innovation provided protection from Tatar cavalry.

 
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This diagram depicts a layout of an entire gulai gorod with the individual panels connected to form an all-around defensive work. This not only served as a mobile protection for the infantry and artillery, but also as a base of fire and operations at which cavalry could rally and form for counterattacks.

 
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THE MUSCOVITE ARMY OF IVAN IV, THE TERRIBLE by Dr. Dianne Smith

 
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The Sixteenth Century Muscovite Army Dr. Lt.Col. Dianne Smith 24 January 1984 - This is a different version of information about the Muscovite army.

 
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Review of book - Ivan the Terrible: A military history, by Alexander Filjushkin - reviewed by John Sloan

 
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Review of book - Warfare, State and Socieety on the Black Sea Steppe, 1500 - 1700 by Brian L. Davies - reviewed by John Sloan

 
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Review of book - Russia's Wars of Emergence 1460 - 1730, by Carol B. Stevens - review by John Sloan

 
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This schematic drawing depicts the wooden siege tower fitted with artillery and small arms used at the siege of Kazan in 1552. A model of the tower can be seen in the diorama of the siege at the Museum of Artillery in St Petersburg.

 
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This map from Beskrovni's Atlas of Russian military history shows the routes of the Muscovite armies from Moscow to Kazan. One section was diverted temporarily south by the incursion of the Crimean Tatars around Tula and Kashira. We see that the lead or advance polk, the great or main polk and the right arm polk traveled by the southern route across country through Ryazan, while the left arm polk and the Tsar's peresonal druzhina went via Vladimir and Murom. They reached the Volga at the fortress built on an island at Sviyazhsk where they met supplies and artillery brought down the river by barge.

 
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The Battle of Kletzk against Swedish Forces. A Journal by S. P. Neplynyev, April 19, 1706 by N. N. Ogloblin - an article on this relatively obscure engagment

 
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Kulikovo Battle - bibliography compiled by John Sloan

 
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Large mural depicting the Muscovite host at the Kulikovo Battle - it is on the wall in the entrance area of the MOD uniform museum

 
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Kulikovo battle - preliminary main page for description of this battle.

 
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Map from Beskrovni's atlas of Russian military history. These are the campaigns ordered by Ivan IV for the years shown. We are preparing text history of this war.

 
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These are the campaigns for the years shown. Ivan IV in 1563, Magnus in 1570, Ivan IV in 1572 and 1577, Stephan Bathori in 1579-81 and Delagarde in 1581.

 
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Typical march order for an army or section of an army moving in enemy or unknown territory.

 
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Battle of Bortenovo - 22 DEC. 1317 - description by John Sloan

 
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Detail of the large painting on wall of museum in Tver - it depicts the victory of Tver over Moscow at Bortenovo on 22 December 1317.

 
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Detail of the large painting on wall of museum in Tver - it depicts the victory of Tver over Moscow at Bortenovo on 22 December 1317.

 
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Detail of the large painting on wall of museum in Tver - it depicts the victory of Tver over Moscow at Bortenovo on 22 December 1317.

 
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Detail of the large painting on wall of museum in Tver - it depicts the victory of Tver over Moscow at Bortenovo on 22 December 1317.

 
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Detail of the large painting on wall of museum in Tver - it depicts the victory of Tver over Moscow at Bortenovo on 22 December 1317.

 
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This diagram shows the administrative organization for comand and control of the Muscovite armed forces.

 
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GREAT NORTHERN WAR Telpukhovski, Col. B. S. - first part of the book, translated by John Sloan

 
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Brief history of the Peter and Paul fortress

 
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This map shows the first Russian assault on the Turkish garrison at Plevna on 20 July 1877.

 
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"Plevna" - article from the 11th Edition, Encyclopedia Britannicavol. 21 pp. 838-840 John Henry Verrinder Crowe

 
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This map from Beskrovni depicts the third Russian attack during their siege of Plevna during the Russo-Turkish war.

 
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This map from Beskrovni depicts the second Russian attack during their siege of Plevna during the Russo-Turkish war.

 
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This map accompanies the article on Plevna in the Encyclopedia Britannica

 
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THE BATTLE OF POLTAVA: The Birth of the Russian Empire Author, Peter Englund, translator, Peter Hale, London, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1992 (Originally published in Swedish in 1988 under title Poltava) Review: by John Sloan

 
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This is a memorial monument for Poltava battle

 
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A monument - memorial to the Russian victory at Poltava in 1709

 
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A painting depicting Peter I victorious at Poltava in 1709

 
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Russia Wars 1450 - 1800 a set of tables showing the wars and campaigns of Russia (Muskovy) compiled by John Sloan

 
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Wars of the 15th century - The appearance of the same color as a polity in that line means a civil war - eg several Russian civil wars. Otherwise the colors are cross linked so one might note the wars between Muscovy and Kazan show in the same years on both lines. We began this listing at 1450, but plan on tracing wars back to at least 1200.

 
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Wars of the16th century - This cross listing of the wars year by year well illustrates the strategic problem facing Ivan IV with enemies on several fronts.

 
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Wars of the 17th century - The cross posting shows the disaster that faced Russia during the "Time of troubles" at the beginning of the century. For the rest of the century, apart from the Smolensk war with Poland the main concern was the Crimean Tatars, who also clearly applied themselves against a variety of foes.

 
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Wars of the 18th century - The 18th century turned out to be more peaceful than prior periods. But the wars were larger and more formal in scope. There were the Great Northern war with Sweden, the war with Persia, the Seven Year's War with Prussia, and two wars with the Ottoman Empire. During the last of these Russia completed the conquest of Crimea (not shown separately)

 
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This illustration from Razin depicts streltzi repelling a Tatar cavalry attack from behind a temporary line of sacks.

 
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This illustration from Razin depicts streltzi pulling sled mounted sections of the gulai gorod into place and locking them together.

 
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An illustration from Razin showing a winter 'inspection' of streltzi with the tsar seated at the rear. The arquebusiers would fire at the ice wall until it was destroyed. Note how they use the berdish as a rest for the heavy arquebus.

 
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The Strelzi (1550 - 1705) by: Richard L. Sanders

 
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The Cossack Military System as Described by The Sieur de Beuplan - an essay by Steven Stinemetz

 
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Illustration showing the use of the gulai gorod palisade as a base of fire and rally point in the field. The cavalry is effective for mobile operations mainly in attack but cannot form a defensive position very well without dismounting. But the infantry would be very vulnerable to enemy cavalry if left out in the open.

 
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This map depicts the Russian fortified frontier lines and the Tatar raids of the 1630's.

 
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This map depicts the fortified Russian frontier lines and the Tatar raids of 1643-47.

 
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This map from Beskrovni's Atlas of Russian military history shows in blue the typical attack routes from Crimea. The Nogai Tatars had other routes nearer the Volga. It shows in solid red the first defensive lines as of 1571 and in dotted red some of the later lines up to the reign of Boris Gudunov. More extensive and elaborate defensive lines were built further south during the first half of the 17th century.

 
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This diagramatic map depicts Stephan Bathory's unsuccessful siege of Pskov during the Livonian War.

 
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The Battle at the Kalka River

 
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"Russo-Turkish Wars" by John Henry Verrinder Crowe, 11th edition Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 23, ppg 931-936

 
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Russo-Japanese War - 11th edition, Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 23, pgs 919-930

 

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