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John Sloan


Note: This essay was compiled in the 1960's and early 1970's as an intended skeleton chronology for a more comprenensive history of military events in 17th century Russia. It was to be a continuation of the booklet covering the period 1400 - 1600. Since then a deluge of fine books and articles have been published on many aspects of the subject. I have not attempted to incorporate the information contained in these references. Among the most important books I have so far are: Richard Hellie, Enserfment and Military Change in Muscovy, University of Chicago Press, 1971; Carol B. Stevens', {short description of image} Russia's Wars of Emergence 1460-1730 Pearson, London, 2007; Brian L. Davies', {short description of image}Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe, 1500 - 1700 Routledge, New York 2007, and Chester Dunning's Russia's First Civil War, Pennsylvania State University 2001; In addition there are many valuable entries in the multi-volumes of The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, edited by Joseph Wiecznski, published over several years by Academic International Press. From Russia we now have the many issues of Tsyeikhgaus - rossiiskii Voyenno-istoricheskii zhurnalthat contain excellent, well-researched articles on Russian military topics.
My purpose in creating this skeleton chronology was to make clear that all the contestants in these complex wars were waging multi-sided conflicts simultaneously or sequentially with each other as well as sometimes further afield. For instance, the Crimean Tatars were called upon to fight as far west as Hungary and Austria and south across the Caucasus. The Russians were fighting in Poland, along the Baltic, in Ukraine, along the Volga and even across the Urals into Siberia. The Poles had to contend with Russians, Ukrainian Cossacks, Ottoman Turks and Swedes. And the Ottomans had conflicts with Persia, Venice, Austria, Russia and Poland. When reformating this text for the internet I have added links to various materials I created as well as to other references. But some of these links are to the Internet web version.
Here is a graphic that summarizes the multi-sided conflicts. {short description of image}
Here is the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Poland. This provides a Polish oriented view on these conflicts. {short description of image}
Here is an article on the Cossacks. {short description of image}
Here is an article on the Streltzi. {short description of image}
Here is an article on Smolensk {short description of image}- its history in the several wars and photography from our visit in 1992
and a listing of the principality's rulers {short description of image}
Crimea - {short description of image}article in Encyclopedia Britannnica
Crimea - {short description of image}- history original article
Kaminetz-Podolski {short description of image}
Khotin{short description of image}
Khotin war {short description of image}
Boris Gudonov {short description of image} and {short description of image}
Feodor Gudonov {short description of image}
Vasilii Shuiski {short description of image}
Mikhail Romanov {short description of image}and {short description of image}|
Alexei Mikhailovich {short description of image} and {short description of image}
Sophia Alexeievna {short description of image}
Feodor Alexseyvich{short description of image} and {short description of image}
Peter Alexseyvich {short description of image}and {short description of image}and {short description of image}
Sigismund III {short description of image}
Wladislaus IV {short description of image}
John Casimir {short description of image}
John III {short description of image}
Charles X{short description of image}
Charles XI {short description of image}

CHRONOLOGY 1604- 1689


In 1604 Tsar Boris Godunov obtained an agreement from Khan Ishterek of the Great Nogai that the latter would send 60,000 Nogai against Crimea, if the Crimeans attacked Moscow and, if the Kaziev Tatars would not oppose the move. If the Kaziev Tatars did oppose, then, Ishterek explained, he could not send help because the Kaziev Tatars would attack his villages while his men were gone. Tsar Boris told the Nogai of the rich Polish lands and the plunder they could get there, if they would join him in a war on Poland. The Khan agreed that the target was tempting but said that the distance was too far and his troops would need rations for the long journey. Moreover, he insisted on a joint campaign with Russian troops, specifically streltsi, in direct support of his raiders. Tsar Boris decided this would be too impossible to justify so he dropped the idea. 1

The same year Shah Abbas tried to organize a coalition against the Turks composed of France, Russia, the Empire and the Papacy. He sent his ambassador to the west via Moscow, but this scheme also fell through. 2

It was Boris himself who suffered the most in 1604, and at the hands of a brazen young adventurer, Dmitri the Pretender. In October Dmitri started for the Russian frontier with an army of 580 Polish and Muscovite hussars, 1,500 infantry, and 1,400 Cossacks. By the time he reached Kiev he had 20,000 followers of various types. His first major obstacle was the well fortified town of Chernigov. The local inhabitants tied up the voevode and surrendered the town. On November 12th his army reached 38,000, when 9,000 Cossacks arrived. The next town was Novgorod-Seversk, also well fortified, and defended by Peter F. Basmanov the son and grandson of two of Ivan IV's chief generals. He had 500 streltsi and dvoriani in the citadel. Dmitri besieged the town, dug trenches and prepared gabbions. He had 8 medium cannon and 6 falconets firing on the city but his assault failed. Then he tried wooden turrets mounted on sledges to approach the walls, but this too failed. 3

Boris' relief army under Prince Fedor Ivanovich Mstislavsky numbering 40—50,000 men approached on 18 December. Dmitri's advance guard of 800 men met Boris' reconnaissance unit of several thousand Tatars and surprised them. On the 28th of December the armies met and began skirmishing, which continued until the 30th. On December 31st both armies deployed for a formal battle. Dmitri's left wing of 200 men attacked the Muscovites under Prince D. I. Shuiski and Prince Mikhail Kashin. Dmitri's other units gradually joined the battle on the left while his own guard attacked in the center. The Muscovite streltsi were left in a valley at some distance from the battle until Dmitri's infantry found them and drove them off. Thus Boris' army retreated 10 miles and dug in behind an abatis. Dmitri lost 60 men to the Muscovite's 6,000. 4

Dmitri put his army into winter quarters. Most of his Polish nobility went home after demanding more pay and being refused. Then 12,000 more Cossacks with cannon arrived. The Russian army meanwhile retired to Starodub for the winter.


Boris sent Vasilii Shuiski as the new commander to replace the wounded Mstislavski. By the end of January Boris had 70—80,000 men under arms. The Muscovites again advanced toward Dmitri' army at Dobrynichi. Dmitri's Cossacks insisted on attacking. On 30 January they tried a surprise attack but Vasilii Shuiski was too clever and had prepared for them. He discovered the attack and had his army drawn up for battle. The army formed in line with the 20,000 Tatars on the right wing, the Muscovites and foreign mercenaries next in line and 30,000 Muscovites formed the left wing. Dmitri had Polish mercenaries in the center, Zaporozhski Cossacks on the right and his artillery and Muscovites on the left. The armies converged, cannon on both sides opened fire. Dmitri's main attack with cavalry tried to cut between the Muscovites and a village. Then the Tsar's right wing advanced with the two foreign units. Dmitri's troops charged anyway with ten cavalry companies. After a sharp battle the Russians began to retreat on the right, however the center held. firm. The Polish troops next encountered an infantry unit that had cannon. The infantry fired a volley from their harqubuses. There being l0-12,000 of them. This so frightened the Poles that they stopped. The rest of Dmitri's army was advancing, but when they saw that the cavalry had stopped and was turning around they also turned and fled. Dmitri lost 15 banners and 13 artillery pieces and 5-6,000 men killed. or captured, He retreated to Putivil, where 4,O0O more Don Cossacks joined him. 5

Boris's army besieged Ryl'sk but not Putivil. Then Dmitri sent 5,000 Cossacks into Ryl’sk so the Tsar's army gave up the siege and retired toward Novgorod-Seversk.

In the spring of 1605 Dmitri called for all Cossacks and Tatars as far as the Urals to revolt against Tsar Boris. The Don Cossacks talked the Nogai Tatars into joining them for a march on Moscow. The Crimean Tatars also supported Dmitri. By now his forces held many of the southern towns such as Voronezh, Oskol, Belgorod, Borisgorod, etc. These were the towns comprising Moscow's defense line against the Tatars. 6

At this critical time Boris Godunov died leaving his young son to rule with Boris's widow as regent. She replaced Prince Mstislavsky with Prince Ivan Rostovsky as first voevode and made Peter Basmanov the second voevode. In April Basmanov reorganized the Tsar's army at Kromy. 7

By now Dmitri had 2,000 Poles and 10,000 Muscovites in his main army. He sent 700 cavalry and 100 infantry ahead to Kromy, while he moved there with the main army more slowly. The advance party contacted the garrison in Kromy and together they worked secretly to undermine the loyalty of the Tsar's army. Basmanov ordered the army into battle but when they faced Dmitri's army the soldiers surrendered. Then Basmanov himself changed sides. The German mercenaries were the only troops who remained loyal to the Tsar, so they returned to Moscow to guard him. 8

Tsar Fedor was killed by a mob, after which the mercenaries marched out of Moscow to met Dmitri. They told him they would serve him, if he wanted them and would be as loyal to him as they had been to Boris and Fedor. He agreed to take them into his service. 9

Dmitri entered Moscow on 20 June 1605 and was proclaimed Tsar. He immediately made plans to form an alliance with the Poles and the Empire against the Turks, however the Poles did not take this seriously. He attempted to reorganize the Muscovite army and conducted maneuvers during the winter 1605— 1606.


On 17 May 1606 there was an uprising fomented by the Shuiskii clan in which Dmitri was killed along with most of his guard. Vasilii Shuiski was made Tsar. 10

Vasilii Shuiski had a particularly unpleasant reign, reaping as he did all the results of the reigns of Ivan IV and Boris, In 1606 the Bolotnikov rebellion began in the southern regions. Bolotnikov was supported by peasants, servants, military service people, Cossacks and some streltsi. His headquarters was Putivil, from which he moved on Krom. The Tsar's forces were under the command of the voevode, I N. Trubetskoi, who lost a battle at Krom and retreated to the 0ka river. Two more rebellious leaders, P. P. Lyapunov, and I. I. Pashkov advanced on Moscow in two columns. At the Oka they joined forces and moved together toward Moscow, The Tsar's forces were demoralized. With Moscow under siege from mid October to December 1606 other towns joined the rebellion, which also spread to the Mordvin and Tatar areas, The Tatars tried to capture Nizhni Novgorod. At the same time the Terek Cossacks crossed from the Volga to the Don and went on to Putivil and then to Tula. Revolts broke out in Perm, Novgorod and Pskov. With the government of Vasilii Shuiski in trouble the deti boyars went home to protect their properties. 11

At this critical moment the deti boyars in Bolotnikov's army realized that he was against them as well as the higher officialdom so on 15 November the Ryazan voevode, Lyapunov, with the dvoriani and deti boyars went back on the side of the government. Detachments of deti boyars from Smolensk, Vyaz'ma, Dorogubuzh, Serpeisk and elsewhere came to the aid of Moscow. The government went onto the offensive and by the end of November 1606 Bolotnikov had lost his first battle. On 2 December the decisive battle took place at Kolomenski, where Istoma Pashkov and more deti boyars shifted to the government side. Bolotnikov was forced to retreat, with only Cossacks, peasants and servants supporting him, to Kaluga, where he went on the defensive with 10,000 men. Tsar Shuiski despatched large forces with artillery under the boyar F. I. Mstislavski and I. I. Shuiski to capture Kaluga. Other detachments were sent to Ryazan and the frontier towns. The boyar, Sheremetev, attempted to put down a rebellion at Astrakhan. 12

The siege of Kaluga lasted all winter in extreme cold, from the 30th of December 1606 to 3 May 1607.


In the spring of 1607 the voevode of Tula, S P Shakhovski came to help Bolotnikov with the Terek, Don and other Cossacks. The voyevod, A. Telyatevski also brought a detachment. To aid Bolotnikov and defeated the Tsar's army at Pehel'nk. Bolotnikov made a sortie and defeated the tsarists, who paniced and retreated to Serpukhov. Bolotnikov moved to Tula, while 15,000 men in the Tsar's army deserted to his side.

During the spring and summer campaign the government regrouped its forces and increased its strength. The Shuiski government sent envoys to the Nogai Tatars asking them to send troops to help and promising them free reign to take prisoners in designated villages, but the Nogai's were already raiding as much as they pleased so they declined the Tsar's offer. The government did however succeed in bringing service Tatars into action against the rebellious villages. 13

By summer Tsar Shuiski had 1OO,OOO troops in action. In May 1607 his forces were in Serpukhov and Kashir. The insurgents began operations against the polk of the voevode, Golitsin, at Kashir near which on 5 June the decisive battle occurred. Telyatevski was defeated and forced to retreat to Tula which was surrounded by a large Tsarist force. With Bolotnikov's major unit besieged in Tula, Tsar Shuiski began the suppression of the insurgents in the other towns, using non-Russian troops from the Volga region. The defense of Tula was very vigorous. Finally, the city was flooded by the darning of the river. This forced Bolotnikov to surrender, but separate detachments continued to fight where ever the people were on their side. In August a new pretender appeared at Starodub, he had Polish as well as Cossack help and was even joined by some detachments of service gentry. Both sides spent the fall and winter gathering forces for a confrontation. 14

The Ottoman war in Hungary having ended, it did not take much Polish persuasion to get the Crimean Tatars to renew their raids on Muscovy in 1607. Poland signed a treaty with the Crimea and arranged for the great Nogai to also attack Moscow. Turkey was now too weak to bother Poland so the Polish king decided to employ the same plan that had proved successful for Stephan Bathory, namely launch Tatar attacks from the south while the Polish army occupied western Muscovy. 15

The first Crimean attack came in the summer of 1607 in connection with the campaign of Tsar Shuiski against Bolotnikov. While the government detachments of Cheremis and Volga Tatars were pillaging and taking prisoners from the rebellious villages, the Crimean Tatars conducted their raids on other towns and made off with their own captives. During the campaign on Tula Prince Peter Urusov was leading the Tatars of Kazan, Romanov and Arzamass. His forces crossed paths with the Nogai Tatars. Prince Ishterek said they were also merely attacking rebels. During these operations Prince Urusov decided to change sides so he took his men on to the Crimea. 16

The Great Nogai began their campaign with small raids by separate clans and gradually built up the tempo to a general invasion. They were trying to achieve a position of independence from Moscow as well as from the Crimeans and Ottoman Empire.


In the spring of 1608 the tsar's forces lost a major battle at Bolkhov to the 40,000 man army of the second pretender. Vasilii Shuiski sent additional forces to the front but his army was so demoralized that the combined rebel Cossack and Polish army had no difficulty reaching Moscow, where they established a fortified camp at Tushino. Desperate for help, Tsar Shuiski signed a treaty with the Swedes in which he agreed to a huge payment and the cessation of territories in exchange for a large force of mercenaries. 18


On February 28th 1609 Prince Skopin-Shuiski, negotiating for the Tsar, obtained from the Swedish government the promise of 5,000 or more mercenaries. In March the Swedish army under command of Jacob De La Gardie, entered Russia. He had 5,000 mercenaries and 10,000 regular Swedish troops.19 By April they appeared at Novgorod, which the Swedes intended to annex if possible in the course of the war. Skopin-Shuiski had less than 3,000 Russians. Together the Russian and Swedish forces moved slowly toward Tver, which they reached in July. They defeated a combined Polish- Cossack, Tushino army in a two day battle, but then the mercenaries mutinied and demanded their salary. Most of them moved back toward Finland taking as much plunder as they could. De La Gardie managed to get some of them to go with him to Novgorod, which he occupied for Sweden. 20 Skopin-Shuiski moved east down the Volga to try to increase the size of his army by recruiting the town militias. He soon had an force of 15,000 Russians and 300 foreign mercenaries. 21

The appearance of the foreign mercenaries in their black steel brestplates and close order formation bristling with long pikes made a great impression on the Russians and Poles alike. The city militia in Vladimir took the innititive and made itself long pikes. Their appearance in the Russian camp set a reform in motion which Skopin-Shuiski was only too eager to spread throughout his army. He hired the Swedish mercenary, Christernius Some, to teach his men the latest Dutch tactics and drill. The key to the Dutch success, which had all Europe's attention at the time was the use of field fortifications, a technique the Russians readily adopted.22

On 18 August Skopin—Shuisky repulsed an attack by the Polish commander, Sapiehá, at Kalyazin by using the newly learned western close order tactics. On the first of September the Russians captured Yaroslavl, from which they continued to Alexandrov Sloboda. On 29 October in a fierce battle there with the main forces of Sapiehá and Rozhinski the Russians again won using the Dutch tactics. 23 Using the intervention of the Swedes as an excuse the King of Poland invaded Russia with his regular army of l7,00O Poles and l0,O00 Zaporozhian Cossacks and Lithuanian Tatars. He laid siege to the fortress of Smolensk, defended by Mikhail B. Shein. Thus a three way struggle between the Poles, Cossacks and regular government was opened for the possession of Moscow and control of the country. On the fringes of this conflict the Swedes and Tatars attempted to pick up as many pieces as they could. 24

In coordination with the Polish invasion in 1609 the Crimean Tatars launched a major campaign of their own. By June they neared Orlov and Bolkhov. Tsar Shuisky reported that from 40 to 80 thousand Tatars crossed the Oka and settled down for the summer near Serpukhov and Borovsk. They even approached Moscow in a systematic campaign of destruction and capture of prisoners which they had never before been able to accomplish. There was no southern defense; all available Russian forces were fighting the Poles or each other. The Tatars occupied a huge area all summer and removed every valuable object they could carry. Prince Peter Urusov, who brought the Urtovski Tatars on the raid, remained behind when the Crimeans left and raided around Moscow. When the second Pretender fled from Tushino, Ursov went with the Poles to Smolensk with the Khan of Kasinov, Uraz Mahmet. They were welcomed by the Poles and made senators of the king. 25


On 12 January Skopin-Shuiski defeated the combined forces of the Tushino rebels and the Polish leader, Sapieha and forced them to lift the siege of the Troitsa Sergevich monastery. Sapieha retreated to Dmitrov. In March Skopin Shuiski again defeated the rebels at Tushino, using Dutch tactics, and broke up the rebel camp. By September Sapieha withdrew his Polish forces to join the King in the siege of Smolensk. 26

During March the Tsar and his general conducted maneuvers at Moscow in which Skopin-Shuiski attempted to popularize the western tactics against the objections of the ruling boyars. Suddenly on 23 April he died at age 24 and Russia lost a great organizer and leader. 27

Tsar Shuiski sent his brother, Dmitri Shuiski, with three polki to the relief of Smolensk. En route they were joined by the mercenaries under De La Gardie. The Tsar's army concentrated at Mozhaisk and moved toward Smolensk. They were met by the best Polish general, the Hetman Stanislaw Zolkiewski and the elite of the Polish and Cossack army. On 24 June Zolkiewski attacked the Russian camp at Tushino and most of the mercenaries went over to the Polish side. The Russians lost 15,000 dead on the field out of their 30,000 man force, and lost 18 cannon. 28

On the 17th of July Tsar Shuiski was deposed and on the 24th of July Zolkiewski reached Moscow. On October 8th he captured the Kremlin with 23,000 troops.

During 1610 Tsar Shuiski again sent an ambassador to the great Nogai Tsar Ishterek to ask for 3,000 good troops. He promised to pay in plunder to be taken from Polish or rebel towns. But the ambassador did not arrive at the Nogai camp until 1611 when the situation had already dramatically changed. The Nogai were not interested anyway. During 1610 they participated in raids on Serpukhov and Ryazan and were planning their own raids for the future. 29

In 1610 the Tatar attack coincided with the Polish siege of Moscow. On 21 April the Tatar ambassador reached the Polish King at Smolensk and signed a treaty with him. While Hetman Zholkewski besieged Moscow and the second Pretender returned to Moscow from Kaluga the Tatars sent 15,000 men under Kantemir, the head of the Belgorod Horde, and a dangerous enemy of Poland, on a raid around Moscow. Kantemir was nether an ally of Moscow nor much of a friend of Zholkewski so the Poles prudently kept them under surveillance.

The main body of Tatars stopped near the Oka and a 4,000 man detachment was sent to harass the camp of the Pretender. They forced him to keep his men inside his fortifications but no battle took place.

Zholkewski tried to get the Tatars and Russians into an engagement. Although they were the nominal allies of his sovereign the Polish King, Zholkewski well knew from personal experience that extreme caution and alertness was required when dealing with the Tatars. Meanwhile the Nogai attack on Ryazan delt a severe blow to one of the main areas of Shuiski's loyal supporter.

The second Pretender again retired to Kaluga where he was killed by Prince Peter Urusov who then took his 2,000 Tatars back to Crimea. 30

After the Battle of Tushino De La Garde returned to Novgorod and then moved on the Karela which he began to besiege in Sept. The Poles again besieged the Troitski Sergevich monastery, which was defended by the archimandrite, David Theodorovich Zobnikovsky. 31


A national uprising against the Polish invaders began in 1611. A national army of the dvoriani militia, Cossacks of the Don, Volga, Terek and Yaik was organized and reached Moscow in March. On 19 March the Poles started fortifying the Kremlin and a riot broke out among the city population in which the Poles and their mercenaries killed a number of the inhabitants and were forced back into the Kremlin and Kitai-Gorod by the townspeople under Prince D. N. Pozharsky. On 25 March the national army reached the city and began a siege of the Poles. The Cossack army was under command of Zarutnky. The national army included the vassal Tatar khans and princes, with their forces. A Zemski Sobor was convened in which the Cossacks; and Tatar tsarevich participated along with the boyars and dvoriani. The Cossacks and gentry began to argue and the gentry withdrew from the Sobor and from the army. 32

On August 4th Sapieha broke through the Russian blockade with food for the Polish troops in the Kremlin. On 11 August 1611 the people of Kazan and Nizhni Novgorod made a new agreement to raise a national army under the command of Prince D. N. Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin. Smolensk surrendered on 3 June after an assault. The defenders blew themselves up in the cathedral. Thus freed for further action, the Polish army under Khodkevich approached Moscow in October 1611.

Having captured the fortress of Karela on 2 March, De La Garde moved his Swedish army to Novgorod which he attacked in July and captured, securing a treaty recognizing the Swedish King as sovereign. The Swedes then occupied Ivangorod, Oreshek and other towns. 33

The Tatar attack in 1611 coincided with the first attempt of the Russians to free Moscow from the Poles. While the Ryazan militia moved on Moscow under P. Lyapunov in February and March the Nogai and Crimean Tatars attacked. They remained in Serpukhov again all summer and also besieged Ryazan, keeping the population inside the city throughout the agricultural season, thus preventing them from tending their fields. 34


In March 1612 Prince Pozharsky set out from Nizhni—Novgorod for Moscow. The Cossacks attempted to intercept him before Yaroslovl but failed. The national army was composed of town militias, 1,000 streltsi, 3,000 Cossacks, Siberian Tatars under Tsarevich Arslan, all the other vassal Tatar armies, and deti boyar units from as far west as Smolensk; in all about 20,000 men. The Cossack army at Moscow was still opposed to the national army. Then Zarutsky fled with his bride, Marina, and 2,500 of the Cossacks who most opposed the gentry. This left Prince Trubetskoi and the rest of the Cossacks besieging the Poles in the Kremlin. On 3 August the advance guard of Pozharsky's army reached Moscow. By the 20th the entire army was present, just in time to oppose the Polish relief army of Hetman Khodkevich which arrived on the 21st. 35

On 22 August Khodkevich attacked the Russian camp from the Novodevechie convent. The Russians were deployed near the city wall in the great bend of the Moscow river. In a desperate hand- to-hand battle in which Khodkevich employed both his Polish cavalry and his Hungarian and German mercenary infantry, the Russians managed to drive the Poles back from the city. The Hetman moved his forces back across the river and during the night advanced on the other side of the river toward the Don Monastery. The next day Prince Pozharsky moved his forces across the river also keeping himself between Khodkevich and the garrison in the Kremlin. On the 24th the decisive battle took place in the section of Moscow across the river from the Kremlin. The Polish garrison in the Kremlin made sorties in support of the relief army which itself penetrated into the city, but finally the Cossacks under command of Prince Trubetskoi sent aid to the national army and the Polish forces were repulsed. On 25 August Hetman Khodkevich withdrew toward Smolensk leaving the garrison in the Kremlin to its fate. 36

On 22 October the Russians stormed Kitai Gorod; and on the 26th attacked the Kremlin. The Polish garrison surrendered on 27 October. This ended the Polish occupation of Moscow but not the war, which continued for years in the form of border raids and skirmishes. 37

During 1612 the Ottoman Turks changed their policy and began war again on Poland. They diverted the Crimean Tatars from Moscow back against the Polish Ukraine. From then on only the Nogai raided Muscovy. In 1612 Khan Ishterek and his Nogais were captured crossing the Volga on their way home from a raid. 38


King Sigismund began a guerilla war against Moscow led by Lisovsky and the Zaporozhie Cossacks. It consisted of lightening like raids on Muscovite towns. 39

Michael Romanov was elected tsar on Feb 21st and crowned on July 11th.

The Cossack rebels led by Zarutsky and Marina were routed out of Voronezh by government forces and retreated to Astrakhan. The government faced a new Cossack uprising on the Don by sending the Cossacks supplies and gifts and an official state banner. 40

In September Prince Trubetskoi led loyal Cossacks from Moscow against the Swedes in Novgorod. He reached Staraia Rusa where he constructed a fort and awaited developments. 41

The Razryad book for the first time since the beginning of the “Time of Troubles” mentions the polk service on the southern border with the great polk at Tula, the lead polk at Mtsensk, the guard polk at Novosil; but no one knows if the order was carried out. 42

The Nogai Tatars continued attacking without a break during 1613 with raids near Ryazan. They used the Ukraine as a grazing ground from which they crossed the Oka and attacked Kolomna, Serpukhov and approached Moscow. The Crimean Tatars also carried out several raids, in violation of the peace agreement. 43

Prince Pozharsky pursued the Zaporozhie Cossack raiders to Kaluga, but they escaped when he fell ill. Lisovsky led the Zaporozhie Cossacks in raids clear around Moscow to the northeast and attacked Uglich, Yaroslavl, Susdal and Tula. Zaporozhian units raided Ustug, Olonets and to the shore of the White Sea. In July De La Gardie hired some of the Zaporozhian bands and used them to attack the fort and detachment commanded by Prince Trubetskoi. 44

The Russians were defeated with heavy losses and forced to retreat to Torzhok. The Cossacks also retreated from Staria Rusa. The Swedish general Horn held Novgorod. King Gustavus Adolphus decided to direct operations personally. He besieged Pskov which was the most heavily fortified city in Russia and was defended by Vasilii Morozov and Theodore Buturlin. The siege lasted from July 1614 to October 1615 when the Swedes decided to open peace negotiations. 45

Meanwhile, affairs on the southern border continued as usual. The disposition of the polki did not change from 1614 to 1617. 46

Tsar Michael appointed the senior grandson of Khan Kuchum of the Siberian Tatars to be the new Khan of Kasimov and on 7 August received him in an elaborate state audience. 47 (Vern V 295)

The great and lesser Nogai again attacked near Moscow. In April the Cossack rebel, Zarutski, joined Khan Ishterek who sent 20,000 Nogai and Urtovski Tatars into Russia. In June the Tatars were still attacking around Alatirya. The Muscovite ambassadors to the Nogais complained, but Khan Ishterek denied responsibility. In June Zarutski and Marina were finally captured at Iaitski Gorodok by streltsi from Astrakhan. 48

The Ottoman Turks and Crimean Tatars continued to attack Poland. 49


During the winter 1614- 1615 the Nogai continued to attack a long list of towns including Kursk, Ril'sk, Karachev and Bryansk. In the spring of 1615 the Crimean Tatars, having returned from Poland, again joined the Nogai for a series of raids that lasted throughout the entire year. A force of 25,000 Tatars camped at Serpukhov and refused the offers of peace made by the Muscovite Government. 50

The wars with Poland and Sweden continued throughout 1615 with no change on either side. The Tsar asked the Sultan for help against Poland which the Sultan desired to give but could not due to his own war with Persia. While Moscow was negotiating with the Turks, the Cossacks were raiding the Turkish coast at Sinope and Trebizond.


The Poles resumed the offensive in 1616 when Ladislas sent 11,000 picked troops under command of the Hetman, Khodkevich, plus Cossacks to capture Dorogobuzh. Prince Dmitri Pozharsky led the Russian army against Ladislas and held them back temporarily. The Poles wintered in Vyazma and then advanced on Russia again despite the advice against the campaign by Khodkevich. The unpaid Polish troops mutinied. The Zaporozhian Hetman, Sohajdaczny, brought 20,000 Cossacks to the Polish camp on the Oka river, but the Poles nevertheless failed to capture Kaluga or Tver. 51

The Azov, Kaziev, and Nogai Tatars made good use of the Polish attack to launch their own raids throughout the year. Toward the end of 1616 the great Nogai again became Russian vassals so they refrained from raiding in 1617, but the lesser Nogai and Azov Tatars nevertheless continued their raids from an advanced base near Serpukhov. 52


The Ottoman Sultan ordered the Crimean Khan, Dzhanibek Gerei, to provide troops for the Ottoman war in Persia. The khan was very reluctant to do this, as it would leave the Crimea open to attacks by the Nogai or to raids from Shagin Gerei, who was supporting the Persians from bases in the Caucasus. Nevertheless in August he went to Sinope to participate in the Kizilbashski campaign. He took the Muradin, Azkmat Gerei, and a force of 10,000 Crimeans. The Crimeans also conducted raids in Poland while the Nogai reached as far as L'vov in another sweep through the open country.53


In September 1618 Ladislaus began a new campaign against Moscow. The Hetman, Sagaidachny, bypassed the fortresses of Orel and Tula with his 20,000 Zaporozhians and moved to Moscow. On 20 September Ladislaus reached Tushino and the Cossacks reached the Don Monastery. On Oct. 12th the Poles made a night attack on Moscow but were repulsed with heavy losses in fierce street fighting in the outer city. The Russian defense was led by Prince Pozharsky. The Poles then moved to the Trinity monastery, but failed to take it by storm. On December 24th 1618 a truce was signed and on February 2nd 1619 the formal Truce of Deulino was signed for a 14 ½ year period. Tsar Michael gave up Starodub, Smolensk, Novgorod-Seversk and the area from Belaya to Chernigov. His father was released from prison in Poland and Michael was recognized by the Poles as ruler of Moscow. 54

That the Muscovites were able to achieve even this much of a success in preventing the Polish occupation of their country was in part due to events in Turkey. In the spring of 1618 the Janissaries revolted and deposed Sultan Mustafa, replacing him with the eldest son of Sultan Akhmet, the young warrior, Osman. He made a peace on the battlefield with Shah Abbas and turned his attention back to Poland. The Muscovite state was in constant danger from Tatar raids due to the ruined condition of its southern borders, but the danger to Poland was much greater due to its proximity to Turkey and its lack of any border defense at all. The Hetman, Zholkevski, was well aware of the danger and hoped to end the Polish involvement in Muscovy as soon as possible.

While the Turkish army prepared for war in Poland and the Crimean khan withdrew his expeditionary force from Persia, the Sultan launched all other available Tatars against Poland. The Kantimir Murza was the first to strike, with the Belgorod Tatars. Then the Crimean Kalga, Devlet Gerei, despite his misgivings at leaving Crimea unguarded, acceded to the Sultan’s demands and launched a wide ranging raid as far as L'vov. 55 The Khan returned from Persia in the spring of 1619 with only 2,000 of his 10,000 man force. The disaster in Persia made the Tatars all the more eager to recoup their losses at the expense of Poland.

The Zaporozhie Hetman, Sodaidachni, complicated maters for Moscow and Crimea in 1618 by capturing the Muscovite tribute of 8,467 rubles being taken to Crimea. Moscow refused to replace the loss and neither side could recover it from the Cossacks. 56


The government of Tsar Michael took advantage of the much needed peace to begin the process of reconstruction of the country and its army. The Polish war had nearly destroyed. the western border defenses. Smolensk, the key fortress, was lost, and other towns in ruins. The population was fleeing eastward from the Lithuanian conquerors. The real ruler was Michael's father, Philaret. He reorganized the army with the help of foreign officers. The Moscovite gentry had lost whatever martial spirit it had and was not interested in constant military service. Philaret paid the most attention to the western border. All the government strength was expended on fortifying it and strengthening the garrisons in the western part of the country. (And not only the western border - in 1992 and 1993 I visited Russia with Frunze Academy guides. We visited Rostov Veliki, which has a very impressive but phoney kremlin with massive wall and towers, built by a bishop in mid 17th century for show. However, walking around the area I immediately noticed segments of low earthen wall - but these were laid out not in the typical medieval fashion such as the wall at Periayaslavl Zaleski for instance. The angles were not those of a former medieval kremlin or city wall. Subsequent research revealed that this was indeed a western ?bastion trace’ layout designed by Dutch engineers employed by Michael in his fortification scheme. Considering how far Rostov was from the western border, but that so many cities even further east and north had been attacked during the “time of troubles” this gives an indication of the importance Michael’s government gave to defenses.)

The idea of revanche was the main motive force of the government. There was simply not enough strength available to deal with two front at one time, therefore the government took a chance and trusted to the Tatars being busy elsewhere and neglected the southern border. No new towns were built in the south nor old ones rebuilt. The government even reduced the garrisons in the south a as the following strength reports indicate. For 1619 the border units had over 7,000 men, and in 1620, reached 9,700 men; but in 1621 the border polki fell to 5,221 men and in 1622 to 4,119 men. The Tatars were not remiss in taking advantage of this situation. 57


In 1620 the Sultan himself moved to lead the Polish campaign and occupied Moldavia with a strong Turkish army and 20,000 Belgorod Tatars under the Murza, Kantemir. Khan Dzhanibek Gerei did not participate in the campaign, fearing Shagin Gerei would come to Crimea from Persia in the Khan's absence; but he sent the Kalga, Devlet Gerei, with a very large force including Prince Urusov. The Polish Hetman, Kolkiewuki, mobilized the Polish army and 1,000 Cossacks. On 2 September he advanced to Jassy where he was attacked by the Turks and Tatars. On 29 September the Poles began to retreat and on 6 October were surrounded by the Turks and Tatars at Tsetsora and nearly all were killed. Among the dead was Michael Khmelnitsky and among the captives was his son, Bogdan. 58

In 1620 the Don Cossacks began a series of naval attacks on the Crimea and against the Azov and Kaziev Tatars. The Nogai Tatars remained at peace with Russia due to the effectiveness of the Russian policy of spitting them with internal intrigues. The Muscovite government continued to reconstruct the army and give attention to the western border. The southern border polki were at Mtsinsk, Krapivna, Tula, Dedilov, Ryazan, Pronsk and Mikhailov; all well north of the area of Tatar raiding.

The polk force was too ponderous to deal with the Tatar raiders anyway, its function was to prevent a major invasion of the central Muscovite region by a large Tatar army. Therefore the main burden of defense against the Tatars fell on the border towns and their garrisons. Of the 193 guard posts, not one reached as far as the Dnieper and lower Donetz or Don, as they had in the 16th century. The furthest patrol station was limited by the Seim and Ps'l rivers. Patrols from the furthest towns, Putivl, Belgorod, and Valuik did not go further than 15 versts from their town fortifications. Their garrisons were to small to undertake long expeditions. Thus the southern defense continued to be in bad shape. 59


Sultan Osman decided to make a decisive campaign in 1621. In answer to his call for support, the Khan collected 100,000 Crimean and Nogai Tatars and mountain Chercessians and proceeded to Moldavia. The Sultan asked Tsar Michael for help also. A Zemski Sobor was convened and a decision to declare war on Poland made, but the Tsar's preparations were still in progress when the outcome of the Turkish campaign became known.

The Polish army under command of Hetman Khodkevich and Crown Prince Ladislas was in camp on the bank of the Dniester near the fortress of Khotin in August 1621. The Ukrainian Cossacks under Hetman Borodavka were on their way to help at Mogilev in Podolia when Borodavka was executed and Sagidachny elected Hetman of the Ukraine.

On 2 September the Turks and Tatars attacked, with 160,000 men and plenty of artillery. The Poles had 65,000 men in entrenchments. During the month of steady attacks Khodkevich died and Sagidachny was wounded. The Turks, however, failed to dislodge the Poles but suffered heavy loses themselves. The loss was a sever blow to the Sultan's prestige. He tried to blame the Tatars for the defeat, and to restore discipline in his shattered army. 60


In 1622 the Janissaries again revolted, and Sultan Osman was killed, and Mustafa again put on the throne.

The Crimeans returned to the Muscovite border in strength to take out their disappointment over Khotin on the Russians. When the Tsar's government heard that 20,000 Tatars were headed for Moscow the voevodes were ordered to put all available men into the polki. The main polk was at Serpukhov, the lead polk at Aleksin and the Guard polk at Kashir. The government knew the defense was very weak and expected the Tatars to cross the

Oka. The revival of “shore” duty shows that the defense was further back from the frontier than in the 1580's. 61


In the Crimea a new Khan, Mahmet Gerei, was installed on the throne. He immediately launched the largest raid of the 1620's against the Russian border. The Don Cossacks meanwhile counterattacked in the vicinity of Azov and captured a number of Turkish merchant vessels at sea. 62


During the summer of 1625 two flotillas of Don Cossacks attacked the Turkish coast at Trabezund. On their way home they received reinforcements which raised their strength from 2,000 to 5,000 men. Deciding attack Azov, they succeeded in entering and they were driven out only after the had destroyed the towers and severely damaged the town. 63

On 12 December 1625 Mahmet Gerei began a campaign against Poland with 60,000 Crimeans and Nogai Tatars and 20,000 Turks from Belgorod.


The campaign proved very difficult for the Tatars due to the weather. They lost 40,000 horses, and while on the way home in the spring of 1626 they lost many men on the Dniester river ice. The Sultan nevertheless demanded that they conduct another raid. The Crimeans did not agree, but went on a raid against Poland in August anyway. However the khan and kalga did not go on the raid, which attacked the Kiev area and returned on 19 October, having sustained considerable losses. 64


The year 1627 was one of continuing raids by the Don Cossacks against the Crimea and Turkish coast, by the Zaporozhian Cossacks allied with the Crimeans against the Turks and by all the various Tatar hordes against the Muscovite border from Belgorod all the way across the land to the Mordvin areas. 65


In 1628 the internal war in the Crimea between Kantemir Murza and Khan Shagin Gerei reached its peak. The khan was besieged in Bakhchisarai by 30,000 Tatars on 29 April after he had attempted to attack Belgorod from his fortress as Perekop. The Zaporozhie Cossacks sent 6,000 men under command of the Hetman Doroshenko to aid the Khan. They engaged Kantimir in battle 4 versts from Bakhchisarai on the Alma river. Doroshenko was killed but the Cossacks captured Kantemir's camp and drove him and Prince Peter Urusov into Kaffa, which they besieged. Kaffa was the chief Ottoman city in Crimea, so Khan Shagin Gerei did not want to irritate the Turks with too vigorous a siege. On 21 June a Turkish fleet of 20 ships and 6o galleys brought Dzhanibek Gerei and Kalga Devlet Gerei to Kaffa. Shagin Gerei and Mahmet Gerei fled to Zaporozhie from where they counterattacked against Perekop in November. By then Dzhanibek Gerei and Devlet Gerei had consolidated their hold of Crimea so well that the Cossacks were driven off.


While Dzhanibek Gerei and Devlet Gerei continued to defend Perekop, on 20 April 1629 the Don Cossacks and Cherkass attacked Kerch and a few days later Karsa, taking many prisoners. On 10 May the Zaporozhie landed 700 men from the sea at Manzup.

At this critical moment the Cossacks and their Tatar “allies” began to quarrel, and fight each other. Mahmet Gerei was killed and Shagin Gerei wounded when the Crimean khan attacked both the Cossacks and the dissident Tatars. The Cossacks lost 8,000 men and the Crimeans 6,000 killed and 1,000 wounded. 66


The year 1630 should have been celebrated as a special occasion in Russian history with no wars in progress and no raids on the borders by the Tatars. However the government was not content with peace, but with eyes fixed on Smolensk it resolutely prepared for war. Foreign officers were hired to train the Russians in the latest tactics. Colonel Alexander Leslie was sent abroad to hire more men and purchase modern firearms. Six infantry regiments of 1,600 men each were organized in 1630 and formed according to the western model, The Moscow cannon yard and other government arms factories were modernized. The government continued to count on quiet along the southern border and did nothing to strengthen its defenses there. In fact the strength of the polk forces was reduced from 12,000 in 1629 to 9,000 in 1630 to 5,000 in 1631, 1632, 1633 and 1634. Very small garrisons were left in the southern towns and the Don Cossacks were weakened by levies for the field army. 67
Meanwhile in the Crimea the internal situation which had prevented Tatar attacks on Moscow changed dnd the Tatars once more prepared for a lucrative campaign against Russia.


The Crimean Tatars had been anxious to attack Russia since 1629 in retaliation for the Don Cossack raids on Crimea, but they were forbidden to do so by the Sultan. In 1630 the Crimeans and Belgorod Tatars again fought a bloody battle in which the Crimeans lost 15,000 killed or prisoners. In the fall of 1631 the Tatars were again sent to Persia and in the winter of 1631—32 15,000 Crimeans and Nogais were sent on orders of the Sultan to attack Lublin. The Tatars preferred peace with Poland and war with Russia, but Khan Dzhanebek did not dare to act independently. The Azov Tatars however had no such concerns and proceeded to conduct a raid and reconnaissance in force in early 1631.

The Great Nogais quickly followed suit and by April the Kalmiuski Trail was full of Tatar detachments on their way to and from Russia. Finding the border suitably weak, the Tatars continued to raid in bands of 100 to 700 all summer. 68

Both Muscovy and Poland continued to prepare for war throughout 1631. ln June Tsar Michael appointed Prince Dmitri M. Cherkassy and Boris M. Lykov and commanders of the army for the war. They proceeded to argue over Mestnichestvo. The Poles began mobilizing Cossacks in the Ukraine.


King Sigismund died on 30 April 1632. Moscow decided to take advantage of the confusion this caused and not wait for the formal expiration of the treaty in 1633. The field army was called up and Michael Shein, the hero of the defense of Smolensk in 1611, was appointed commander in chief. The army was ready in May but did not receive the order to move to Mozhaisk until 9 August, and from there to Vyazma until 10 September. The delay was due to the desire of the Russians to coordinate their attack with the operations of Gustavus Adolphus, who also had his plans for Poland; and more important, to the need to keep the army near home in case the Tatar raids proved too serious. 69

Seeing how successful the raids in 1631 had been and well knowing the Russians were withdrawing troops from the south for war against Poland the Tatar leaders forced the khan to authorize a campaign for 1632. The first Tatars appeared in April and May along all three routes. On 28 April and on 1 May the garrison troops of Oskol encountered the Tatars and on the latter date freed 20 prisoners. In May the Tatars raided Kursk and in June were at Ril'sk. Then there was a short break in the raids as the Tatars evaluated the reconnaissance just competed. At the end of July the main force, of 20,000 crossed the Donètz at Savinsk ford and on 30 July surrounded 700 deti boyars in a woods at Liven. Three hundred deti boyars were killed and the rest captured, but the Tatars lost 1,000 men and many murzas in the process. After the battle 3,000 Tatars returned home and the others continued to Kursk and Belgorod. On 5 August 10,000 Tatars attacked Novosil, taking many prisoners. Two thousand deti boyars assembled at Nezh and moved against the Tatars, but the Russians were blockaded in a town and surrounded. Many died, but the majority were captured in the houses.

The voevode Ivan Vel'yaminov left Mtsinsk with all available troops on 5 August and fortified a position in a woods where he was attacked on 6 August. The Tatars lost the engagement and all their prisoners, 2,700 people, were released. But there were only 1,000 Tatars in this detachment, when the rest arrived Ivan Vel'yaminov was forced to retire to Mtsinsk, where he was blockaded in the town. By 15 August 2,000 Tatars were also operating in the Orlovsk area blockading the Russian troops in the towns. The Tatars began withdrawing in early August; but at the same time this army retired another Tatar army advanced on the opposite end of the frontier. From 10 August until the middle of October the attacks by the Nogai and Azov Tatars continued as detachments passed each other coming and going on the invasion routes. On the eastern side of the Don River the Nogai were doing their share with three attacks by units of 2,000 men on Ryazan and Kashir. 70

The Nogai - Kalmyk conflict required Moscow's attention in 1632 also. The government tried to hire Nogais for use against Poland. According to the treaty the Nogais were to provide 20—30,900 men, but only 2,201 were dispatched. The Nogai c±aimed they needed to protect themselves from the Kalmyks. On the way to Voronezh the Nogai began to desert and fight each other. They stole horses and cattle as they went. For its efforts, the government obtained only 800 Nogai effectives at Krapinin.

In an effort to please the Nogai and keep them in place the government sent streltsi and deti boyars against the Kalmyks. However the Kalmyks soon convinced the Russians that they did not want to fight Russians, only Nogai and Tatars. The Russian town garrisons could not protect the Nogai in the steppe from Kalmyk attacks. After the Nogai fled across the Volga the Kalmyks turned on the Murtovski Tatars and chased them right up to the walls of Astrakhan. Within a few years the Russian government realized it was supporting the wrong party and came to a very profitable agreement with the Kalmyks, who remained unusually (for nomads) loyal the Tsars and provided excellent masses of cavalry for Tsarist armies into the l8th century. 71

The Russian campaign against Smolensk {short description of image}set off to a good start in September 1632. Michael Shein had 32,000 men and 158 cannon and was later reinforced to 64,000 men. By October 18th Dorogobuzh had fallen and 17 other towns soon followed into Russian hands. In December the army reached Smolensk, which was taken under siege. The Polish garrison numbered only 1,500 men, but the fortress walls built by the Russians in 1596 were quite good.


In March 1633 Voevode Shein received his heavy artillery and began to bombard Smolensk. By May and June the bombardment and mines were opening the walls of the fortress, but the Poles had built inner ramparts of earth, which they continued to hold. The Russians began to dig trenches and put up walls around the city. 72

On 5 April the Khan of Crimea received a Polish letter offering a subsidy and an alliance. He therefore organized another campaign on Russia despite the orders of the Sultan.

Khan Dzhanibek Gerei ordered his 18-year-old son, Mubared, to lead a major invasion force. By 25 April the Tatars appeared in the Livensk region and were met by streltsi, Tula Cossacks, Dneproski Cossacks and service troops, but even so the Tatars pressed on until May, when they all disappeared. The Russians had been successful in stopping the Tatars, but the government correctly estimated that this attack was only a reconnaissance and feared a major attack on Moscow itself. However with the army at Smolensk there were no troops to shift to meet the expected attack.

In July the main body of 30-40000 Tatars reached Liven and then Tula which was closely invested while the main Tatar force continued across the Oka on 24 July at Serpukhov. Some of the Tatars attacked Serpukhov while the Tsarevich went on to Kashir. Turning south the Tatars crossed the defense line again and reached Venev and then moved to Ryazan. On 5 August the Tatars reached Dedilov where they stopped and asked for peace negotiations. This sudden and uncharacteristic move was prompted by their learning of the Sultan's latest orders and possibly by the situation in the Kuban, where a large scale Russian attack on the Nogai was in progress. 73

Although the Tatar raid ended relatively early in the year, it had already done its work from the Polish point of view. As soon as they heard of the Tatar raiders in their back yards the deti boyars and dvoriani in the army at Smolensk began deserting and hurrying home to defend their families. The Razryad Prikaz received word from Shein on 2 September that his army was disintegrating. The government attempted to take stern measures. Princes N. N. Cherkasski and D. M. Pozharsky were sent to round up the service men. In December the Razryad received word from Princes P. Kurakin and P. Volkonski at Kaluga that the servicemen refused to take pay or enter service because while they were away at Smolensk the Tatars had attacked their homes. 74

While the Russians were wondering what to do about the Tatars, King Wladislaw IV arrived at Smolensk on 25 August with 16,000 Poles. He was soon joined by the Cossack Hetman, Orandarenko, and 20,000 Cossacks. Now it was the Russians' turn to be besieged. Shein had his forces disposed in three camps on both sides of the Dnieper River. The camps were very well fortified, with block houses and ramparts, but the danger of famine in case of siege was so great they should have withdrawn immediately. This the Tsar refused to allow.

The Poles assaulted and captured two of the Russian camps and blockaded Shein and his men in their main camp. The Cossacks cut the road to Moscow at Dorogobuzh and defeated a Muscovite relief army near there. The forces Princes Cherkasski and Pozharsky had managed to collect could approach no closer that Mozhaisk. During the winter the Russian situation became desperate. There was little food or clothing and discipline soon collapsed. On 2 December Colonel Leslie accused Colonel Sanderson of treason and shot him. The foreign mercenaries began to desert and in February the foreign officers persuaded Shein to surrender. On February 19th the army marched out and laid down their weapons. The Russians lost 122 banners and all their cannon. Half the mercenaries decided to enter Polish service. Upon their return to Moscow, Shein and Izmailov were beheaded and the generals were sent to Siberia. 75

In an effort to divert the Tatars from attacking in 1633 the Moscow government tried to launch an attack of its own. Not having enough troops, it enlisted the support of the Don Cossacks, Cherkass, Great Nogai, Kabardinians, Terek Cossacks and Kalmyks. At first the government order was only to attack the camps of the Kaziev Tatars, but later the objective was widened to include Azov and the Crimea itself if possible.

The main attack was delivered from Astrakhan by Prince P. Volkonski with a total force of 9,800 cavalry men. They attacked the Kaziev Tatars near the Kuban river and then drove on to the Black Sea coast and raided the Nogai villages around Azov for four days. On 25 August the Nogais counterattacked in a fierce battle on the Chelbash river. Soon after, 500 Don Cossacks arrived and succeeded in capturing many Tatar horses and freeing Russians held prisoner. This raid had a significant effect on the lesser Nogais, who began to try to cross the Don to be closer to protection in Crimea. 76


While Mikhail Shein lead his remaining 8,056 officers and men back to Moscow, the Poles decided to exploit the victory by advancing into Muscovy. They attacked the fortress of Belaia but were defeated with heavy losses. The Cossacks also failed in their attempts to capture Putivl and Sevesk. With the Turks preparing for war the Poles offered to make a truce in March 1634. On 3 June a treaty was signed for which Moscow agreed to pay a 20,000 ruble indemnity. The Poles then turned and defeated the Turkish- Tatar invasion. 79

With quiet returning to the western front, the Cossacks launched another offensive in the Black Sea. In March they raided lesser Nogai villages and in July they attacked Kerch from the sea. In August a joint attack on Azov by the Don and Zaporozhie Cossacks raided the town and in October they held the town for two weeks. In September the Don Cossacks ambushed the lesser Nogai trying to cross the Don and captured 1,300 of their wives and children. Cossack raids on the Nogai continued into December. 78

To the east the Great Nogai finally crossed the Volga in strength, followed by the Kalmyks who occupied all the steppe up to the river. Once across the Volga, the Great Nogai combined with the lesser Nogai in major attacks on Russia, despite raids against their villages by the Don Cossacks. This linking of the two Nogai hordes was something the Muscovite government had long labored to prevent. As expected, the Nogais made the government’s task of defense much more difficult. In May 1634 a reconnaissance party of 1,000 Nogai crossed the Donets River. The main force of 20,000 came north in July along the Izumski trail, crossed the Oskol river and split up into raiding parties. From July to October the Tatar raiders came and went along the invasion route; while the Don Cossacks attempted, sometimes successfully, to ambush them on their way home and free the prisoners they had collected.79


In 1635 the Russian government, having had the error in its southern defense plans brought home to it so forcibly in 1634, began a ten year program of major construction along the southern defense line. The first step was to increase the number of troops on polk duty on the “shore” from the 5,000 of the years 1631-34 to 12,000 in 1635. The government had tried to fight the Poles at Smolensk without defending its own southern border and suffered the consequences of defeat on both fronts. It realized that it could not fight a two front war. Now, the arrival of the Great Nogai made the problem of southern defense even more acute. Nevertheless, the government did not change its strategy or lose sight of its main objective, which remained Smolensk. All construction in the south was purely defensive and although the advanced posts such as Belgorod did provide a measure of protection for the population which moved into the area seeking new homes, the government added no new territory to the state. The new towns and fortifications were located so as to block the chief Tatar access routes. Of the four routes, the Nogaisk, Kalmiuski, Izumski arid Muravski trails, only the first three had been used to any great extent by the Tatars. There were only two attacks on the Muravski trail, in 1623 and 1632. 80

When the government began to fortify the southern border it needed extensive Cossack help. The Cossacks were quite happy to fight Nogai, but had their own ideas and plans on how to do it. To the Cossacks, the center of trouble was Azov, the town from which most of the Nogai raids originated and whose capture would automatically bring the Nogai into submission. However, Azov was owned by Turkey with whom Moscow desired to cultivate the best possible relations. 81

The Polish Government began some fortification work of its own in the Ukraine in 1635, but not to defend against the Tatars. The Zaporozhie Cossacks were becoming increasingly restless and dangerous to Polish designs in the Ukraine0. Their base was on the Dnieper river. The French engineer, Guillame le Vasseur de Beauplan, was hired by the Polish government to build a fort on the right bank of the Dnieper at Kodak Island. The fortifications were ready by July 1635 for occupation by another Frenchman, Captain Jean Marion, with a garrison of 200 foreign dragoons. The Poles were involved in another war with Sweden for which they sent 1,500 Cossacks to the Baltic. The Zaporozhie, fearing that Kodak fort was a threat to their independence, decided to destroy it while the Poles were occupied with the Swedes. On 3 August the Ataman, Ivan Sulima, attacked Kodak with 800 Cossacks and killed all the defenders. He was soon captured and executed in Warsaw. Poland then registered 7 regiments of Cossacks, five on the right bank and two on the left. 82

In the Crimea, Dzhanibek Gerei died in 1635 and was succeeded by Inaiet Gerei, who respected the official state of peace with Moscow and kept his Tatars home. In the steppe the Nogai and Don Cossacks continued their raids and ambushes. In February the Nogai again attempted to cross the Don and were again attacked by the Cossacks who made off with 935 Nogai wives and children. In April the Turks and Tatars twice attacked the Cossack bases, unsuccessfully. Along the southern border the Azov and lesser Nogai Tatars concentrated on the western end while the Great Nogai attacked the eastern end in bands of as many as 1,500 men.83


Conditions on the southern border were much the same in 1636 as they had been in 1635. The Nogai began their raids in January when 2,000 Tatars appeared on the border. In March another 2,000 crossed the Donetz on the ice and in April 20,000 more attacked. In the east 10,000 Nogai attacked Tambov and Ryazan. Deprived of their raids on Russia, the Crimea Tatars again turned to fighting the Kantimir Tatars. The Russians hurried the construction of new towns, such as Koslov, Tambov, Verkhni and Nizhni Lomov, and a series of small forts on the T. Sosna and Vorskla Rivers. 84

Across the Volga, the Kalmyks continued to pour into the stepe between the Volga nd the Ural Rivers.


The Cossacks dominated the action in 1637. In the Ukraine they revolted against Poland in May. The Zaporozhie raided Cherkasy and seized the artillery. Only two of the registered regiments remained loyal to Poland. In December a Polish army of 15,000 men under command of the Hetman Nicholas Potocki attacked 23,000 Cossacks near Cherkasy. The Poles had more and better cavalry, and after a week of fighting and heavy losses the Cossacks gave up and surrendered their leaders, who were executed. A general peasant rebellion continued and was crushed with brutal force. In the fall of 1637 the Zaporozhie began fleeing Poland to go to the aid of the Don Cossacks. 85

The Ottoman Empire was at war with Persia and Venice in the Caucasus 1637. The Sultan, Murad IV, decided to attack Persia with Tatar forces. He considered that with the end of the Polish war in 1634 and with Muscovite weakness due to its recent defeat by Poland there would be no danger in sending the Tatars south to seize Georgia.

However the Crimean Khan, Inaiet Gerei, found his warriors opposed to such a long campaign. He rebelled and laid siege to the Ottoman fortress of Kaffa. The Sultan thereupon replaced Inaiet with Begadir Gerei, but the new khan also refused to go to Persia. Instead he gathered up the Crimeans and Nogai and went on a raid against Moldavia. This left Azov open to attack with no source of aid immediately available from the Turks or Tatars.

The Turkish government feared for Azov, remembering the Cossack attacks of 1574, 1625 and 1634, therefor diplomatic means were attempted to forestall a Cossack attack. An ambassador was sent to Moscow to ask the Tsar to forbid the Cossacks to attack Azov. The Muscovite government well knew both the Cossack plan and the Turkish desires and wanted to remain officially neutral while in reality supporting the Cossacks. Therefore measures were taken to insure that the ambassador never reached Moscow. 86

The Don Cossack government decided in January 1637 to attack Azov in maximum strength. Letters were sent to all towns and to the Zaporozhie Cossacks asking for aid. By Spring the forces were gathering on the lower Don. The Cossacks formed the main element of the expedition, with tradesmen, river workers, peasants, and streltsi also included. The total strength was 4,500 men. The governing council elected Michael Tatarinov as chief ataman for the campaign. The force was divided into 4 polki in each of which the Cossacks elected their colonels and captains.

The siege began on 21 April 1637. The Cossacks dug trenches around the city and attempted to blow down the wall with artillery. Azov was a very strong fortress with a high stone wall, moat, and 11 towers, garrisoned by 4,000 infantry with 200 cannon. The Cossack assaults were met by sorties from the garrison in a month of inconclusive skirmishing. 87

On 22 May a convoy of 49 boats from Voronezh brought the annual Cossack pay in the form of gunpowder, 50 cannon, 84 small guns, cloth and 2,000 rubles. This greatly strengthened the Cossack position. Fire from the cannon helped silence the Turkish batteries, but the Cossacks still could not destroy the high stone walls to enable them to storm the fort.

Then the Cossacks thought of constructing a mine. They engaged mining specialists from the Zaporozhie under the command of a Cossack born in Germany and dug for a month. The garrison considered themselves in an impregnable fortress, never expecting that the Cossacks would have mining experts in their army. In the early morning of 18 June a great explosion blew out over 20 meters of the wall and the Cossacks poured through the breach. The defenders rushed to the breach, thereby weakening other parts of the wall defense and the Cossacks used this opportunity to bring up ladders and scale the walls on all sides of the city. A three day sack ensued in which 2,000 Christian slaves were freed.

Immediately the Cossacks set about putting the town back in condition for defense, as they planned on making it their capital. They repaired the walls and added their own 94 cannon to the 200 originally there. However the ataman was concerned about the lack of powder remaining after the siege. About 400 men were sent out as mounted detachments to guard the surrounding area.

The Tsar's ambassador was informed of the plan to hold Azov and asked to secure assistance from the government and from the southern towns, but no Tsarist troops were to be allowed at the town. The Cossacks considered the capture of Azov as the greatest exploit in their history and were not about to allow the upper class dvoriani soldiers in the place. The small manpower resources of the Don did not bother them, but it was clear that without supplies of munitions and food they could not hold Azov.

The atamans were not mistaken in their estimate of Moscow's reaction. The government could not afford to antagonize an element essential for the defense of the southern border; and, despite its fear of war with Turkey, had to allow supplies to be sent to the Cossacks. During 1638 a large quantity of supplies were gathered in the city. The Tsar pretended to pursue a policy of non-intervention and sent a letter to the Sultan denying any role in the affair, He also sent icons and the Tsar's flag to the Cossack garrison.

Meanwhile the Russians worked on their defenses all the harder in expectation of Tatar retaliation. In the summer of 1637 Ivan Buturlin was ordered to take 1,000 streltsi and Cossacks and 25 artillerymen and build a new fortress town to be called Usred. Yablomov was also built in 1637. Together, these towns helped block the Kalmiuski and Izumski trails. 88

The expected Tatar retaliation was not long in coming. They were only too glad to carry out the Sultan's order. The construction of new border towns and forts was a matter of great concern to the Tatars already. They immediately saw a connection between the capture of Azov and the construction of the new forts. The Tatar raids began in July at Kursk, where they took 100 prisoners and at Luvensk were 140 more were captured. In September the main Tatar force penetrated the defense lines at Yablomov, killing 15 and taking 209 of the garrison prisoners. Proceeding on the Novoselski used, the Tatars destroyed a monastery and captured a total of 2,281 prisoners. They left 3 days before the voevode, Prince F. Telyatenski, arrived with a large Russian detachment. Khan Begadir Gerei sent 300 of the prisoners on to the Sultan as a present. The Sultan expressed his displeasure over the situation at Azov by executing the prisoners. 89


The Sultan wanted the Tatars to retake Azov for him, but the Tatars insisted that they would have nothing to do with besieging cities. Prince Peter Urusov recommended that the best retaliation would be a massive campaign directly at Moscow. The Tatar Khan agreed but commented that he had to fulfill the orders of the Sultan, remarking on the fate of khans who did not obey. Considering that the Tatar speciality was cavalry warfare in the open plain and that they had no siege equipment it would seem their proposal was the correct one. Nevertheless the Sultan insisted on an attack on Azov. The result was that there was no major Tatar attack on Muscovy during the years 1638-1640, as the Tatars prepared for operations at Azov. 90

On 19 April 1638 the Crimeans sent an ambassador the Azov to demand the surrender of the town. The Cossacks naturally refused. During the summer a Turkish squadron of 40 ships entered the Sea of Azov. The Cossacks went out to meet them with 74 small boats, but they could not put out to sea away from the river mouth. In August the Khan moved against Azov as directed, but he did not show much enthusiasm for an assault on the city and soon returned to Crimea. 91

The capture of Azov had an immediate effect on the Nogai, just as the Cossacks expected. In 1638 those living in Crimea were expelled because the Crimeans could not trust them there while they themselves went on a campaign. The Nogai were a strong military force, but generally exploited by the Crimeans. Soon 30,QO0 Nogai came to the Don and asked for permission to return to Astrakhan. The Cossacks were only too glad to provide transportation across the river and rations for the horde. Another 9,000 Nogai who did not escape Crimea were dispersed among the villages by the Crimeans. 92

Moscow appointed I. B. Cherkasski to command of all troops in the Ukraine and to supervise the construction of all defense lines. He was ordered to prevent a Tatar penetration, or if they did penetrate, to force a decisive battle. He was to move immediately on Moscow in case of Tatar breakthrough. The few towns in the south with their stockades across the main trails could not be expected to stop the Tatars without additional years of construction work. Construction required large sums of money and complex technical equipment. The most difficult part was to get enough labor. The population lived well north of the border, therefor the new towns had to be built by people conscripted for the purpose and sent south. This brought complaints from the landowners whose working peasants were conscripted. 93

Therefore an inspection of the old defense line just south of the Oka was conducted and the decision reached to repair it using contracts to individuals who would be responsible for an assigned portion of the line. This defense line, when in a state of repair was a continuous band of double fortifications extending across the entire southern frontier. It was much to the north of the new border towns and therefor benefitted from warning of Tatar approach, denser distribution of population, and a shorter distance to defend.94

The Poles were having more trouble in 1638 than the Russians. A new revolt of the Zaporozhie under Iatsko Ostrianin broke out in the Ukraine when the Zaporozhie occupied Chigirin. Stanislaw Potocki met the Cossacks with Polish troops and registered Cossacks and German mercenaries but was repulsed, all the Germans being killed in the battle. On May 29th 2,000 more Poles with 12 cannon under Prince I. Vishnevetsky arrived to help Potocki. On 10 June Potocki began a series of attacks on the Cossack camp at Zhovnin, and on 20 June Nicholas Potocki arrived with still more Polish troops. The Cossacks retreated and were attacked again on 7 August. Ostrtianin escaped with 10,000 Cossacks to Muscovy, where he was received with honor and given an area on the southern border to settle and guard. Other Zaporozhie escaped to the Don Cossacks at Azov. In new elections held in December 1638 Bogdan Khmelnitsky was elected sotnik of the Chigirin regiment.95


The clouds of war gathered over Azov in 1639. Sultan Murad IV gathered a 100,000 man army and besieged Bagdad. Shah Sefi I was driven out of Mesopotamia. The Sultan also concluded his war with Venice. On his order supplies were gathered for the coming campaign on Azov in all the towns of Crimea and the Black 8ea coast near Azov.

The southern border was relatively quiet during 1639 as the Tatars moved to and fro preparing for new campaigns. The fortified line continued to expand; Chuguev being added in l639. Its Cossack garrison defeated a Tatar raid near the Orel river on 19 July. 97


Expecting an attack momentarily, the Cossacks at Azov burned all the steppe in the vicinity in the summer of 1640 to remove fodder for the Tatar horses; but the Tatars' attention was diverted to Poland where 80,000 raiders easily inflicted huge losses on the population. Having alienated the Cossacks, the Polish government had no effective border defense, a fact not lost on the ever ready Tatar warriors. However, on their return trip the Tatars were surprised by a Cossack force while crossing the Dnieper near Ochakov and 3,000 of the Crimeans were killed. The Tatars made only two appearances on the Russian border in 1640; on 27 May and 1 June, when 3,000 of them were prevented from crossing the Vorskla river. 98

The Turkish campaign plans were upset by the unexpected death of Sultan Murad IV. Not knowing of this, the Cossacks went looking for their opponents at sea. A Cossack fleet of 37 small boats unexpectedly encountered the Turkish fleet of 80 large and 100 small vessels. In the ensuing three week long battle the Cossacks succeeded in sinking 5 Turkish galleys before the Ottoman's artillery sank all their ships. The Cossacks swam ashore and returned to Azov on foot. Later in the summer a Cossack cavalry unit of 500 men went to Crimea. At Perekop they managed to destroy one Tatar detachment, capturing 2 murzi. The prisoners revealed that the Perekop fortifications were being strengthened by the Kalga, Islam Gerei, in preparation for an attack on Azov. 99


The year of decision was 1641. In January the 40,000 man Tatar army suddenly appeared before the walls of Azov. The Tatars, as ever, were reluctant to storm fortress walls, but in five days of skirmishing outside the city the Khan tried to convince the Cossacks that they should surrender. However, his request for surrender was refused as usual with the typical Cossack direct and earthy language. 100

Frustrated by the fortifications, the Tatars turned their attention to easier targets while awaiting the arrival of the Turkish army. In the spring they attacked the Lithuanian and Ukrainian towns along the Dnieper north of Belaya Tserkov, taking 6,000 prisoners and returning to Crimea by 6 March. This attack was probably designed to prevent the Zaporozhie Cossacks from going to Azov. The Tatars then returned to Azov and were unable to undertake any major raids on Russia during 1641. 101

Foreseeing further attacks by the Tatars and Turks, the Cossacks government asked Moscow for immediate reinforcements. Thanks to the occupation of Azov the Tsar’s government was freed from Tatar attacks and was successfully completing its defense lines, but the Tsar would not undertake active operations against the Ottoman Empire. Support for the Eossacks was limited to pay and provisions. The call for help was answered, however, in the southern towns. By order of the Don Cossack ruling circle all Cossacks from the border were to gather at Azov. By the day the Turkish army arrived there were 5,000 Cossacks and 800 women assembled in the fort, (along with a year's supply of provisions) under command of the elected atamans, Joseph Petrova and Naum Vasil'ev.

Sultan Ibraham gathered great strength for the siege. A fleet of 100 galleys, 80 large ships and 90 smaller craft brought a force of 40-50,000 infantry with 100 siege guns. The Tatars and Nogai assembled 40,000 cavalry. With the addition of the naval and supply personnel the force totaled 200—250,000 men. Besides the Janissaries there were soldiers gathered from throughout the empire, Arabs, Greeks, Serbs, Albanians, Hungarians, Wallachians and other peoples. The Ottoman's also brought engineers and artillery experts from Spain, Venice, France, and Sweden.
On 7 June 1641 the Turkish-Tatar force under the command of the experienced leader, the governor of Silistria, Husain Pasha, invested Azov on all sides. Many Turkish ships remained at sea and others sailed up the Don and stood opposite Azov.

The besiegers dug trenches close to the town and placed their cannon to cover the assault. The attackers chained the cannon together to prevent their being captured by Cossacks making sorties from the city. The siege was conducted according to the accepted rules of military art. Fire from the heavy cannon destroyed the walls in many places. Of the 11 towers, only 3 remained on their foundations. In danger from the cannon fire, the Cossacks left the houses and dug deep underground shelters

The defenses consisted of three towns, Azov itself, and its neighbors, Toprakov and Tashkalov. The length of the wall around these three was 1,100 meters. The wall was 6 meters thick and in front of it was a moat 8 meters wide and 4 meters deep. The Cossacks had secretly dug a series of underground tunnels to exits outside the walls for use in making sorties, and prepared mines and fougassess for use against the attacking troops.

The Turks launched a powerful assault on the walls which the outnumbered Cossacks could not defend along the entire length. They lost Toprakov but were saved by the prior construction of the fougass. When the Turkish commanders assembled their special troops in the captured town, Toprakov, and began the storm of the Azov wall they were blown up by the underground explosion. This same technique was used by the Cossacks against the assaults on succeeding days.

When their first assault did not bring success, the Turks began to build an earthen rampart up to the level of the city wall and to fill in the moat. They were prevented from finishing the rampart by constant Cossack sorties. When the rampart finally was nearly level with the wall, the Cossacks dug under it and detonated a mine which destroyed the rampart. The Pasha ordered a new rampart built, which ended like the first.
The Turkish artillery began 16 days of round the clock bombardment of the walls while their engineers simultaneously dug 17 mines under the wall. The Cossacks countermined and met the Turks in hand to hand fighting underground and then detonated mines which destroyed the Turkish tunnels and the attacking troops.
As time passed and the Turkish commanders could not succeed the morale of the besiegers fell. Husain Pasha asked the Sultan to recall the army and start a new siege the next year. The Sultan's answer was unequivocal, “Pasha, capture Azov or loose your head.”
At this, the Turks decided to resort to the last measures. Relying on their superiority in numbers they began to exhaust the Cossacks with constant day and night attacks. No sooner had one Turkish unit stormed at the fort than another followed, while one attacked another rested. The small numbers of Cossacks had to use all measures such as sorties to stop the attacks. 102

As the siege continued into the fall the grumbling in the Turkish army increased. The Pasha blamed the Khan for not sending the Tatars against the city. The Nogai Tatars were put on foot and sent against the Cossacks but the Crimeans stubbornly refused to enter the battle. The khan's personal bodyguard of 500 picked mercenaries was thrown, at the walls and destroyed, a fact which made the rest of the Crimeans even more adamant in their refusal to participate. The main Tatar force remained at the Cherkass towns 3 to 4 versts from Azov during the siege.
In the middle of September the khan decided to return to the Crimea where Polish-Lithuanian forces were taking advantage of his absence to attack Perekop. As a measure of protection Bakhchistsari was fortified with a wall and stone towers around both the palace and the town, but the khan was worried about future Polish attacks. 103

The Turkish commander did not approve of the Tatar's departure, but it helped him explain his failure to the Sultan. On 26 September the Turks raised the siege, sending a letter to the Sultan blaming the Crimeans.

Begadir Gerei did not purposely help defeat the Turks as Devlet Gerei had in 1569 during the Astrakhan campaign. In 1569 Crimea was much stronger and Moscow weaker than in 164O; and Devlet could think of independence, but Begadir well knew that Crimean independence from Russia rested on subordination to the Ottoman Empire. He returned to Crimea on 16 October and died on l8 October. He was succeeded by Mahmet Gerei, one of his nephews. 104

During the 3-month siege the Ottoman army suffered great losses totaling 15,000 in the Turkish army, 7,000 Tatars, and 3,000 in the navy. Of these 6,000 were from the best units of regular soldiers. The Cossacks lost 3,000 killed and many wounded out of the 5,000 man garrison. 105


The situation in Azov during the winter of 1641-42 remained critical. The town defenses were destroyed and the supplies exhausted. The Cossacks sent a delegation headed by Ataman Naum Vasil'ev, one the heros of the siege, to Moscow in October 1641 to ask the Tsar to take Azov under his own command and garrison it with his troops. It would take a major operation by a large force to repair the fortifications bring in supplies and defend the city from the next Turkish siege.

The Russian government discussed all sides of the issue and then put the question to the Boyar Duma. The Boyars decided that to properly defend Azov would require a garrison of 10,000 and a yearly salary of 100,000 rubles, 50,000 rubles worth of food, 20,000 puds of powder worth 50,000 rubles, 6,000 rubles worth of lead and firearms costing 15,000 rubles for a total cost of 221,000 rubles. In view of this significant expenditure the Tsar and Duma convened a Zemski 3obor to consider the issue. The Sobor decided it was out of the question.

Having heard all opinions, the government decided not to change its policy of peace with the Ottoman Empire and preparations for war against Poland. On 27 April 1642 the boyars gave the Cossacks the Tsar's Ukase to leave Azov. The Cossacks destroyed. the remaining fortifications and returned home.

During 1642 the Turkish fleet appeared at Azov once more and landed a strong army which spent 7 months rebuilding the fortress and placing 70 large and 300 small cannon in it. The rebuilding of Azov worsened the Cossack situation, as the Turks used it as a base from which to clear the Don of Cossack villages and block the exit from the Don to their ships. 106

A new phase in Russo—Tatar relations began in 1642 with the Tatars again on the offensive against the now strengthened southern border defenses. The Crimeans considered the abandonment of Azov by the Russians to be a sign of weakness. The Great Nogai, however, having moved back to Astrakhan during the siege of Azov, remained there for a few years and did not participate in the raids along the border.


Despite the official peace and possibly over the objections of Khan Mahmet Gerei, the Tatars continued their raids throughout 1643 in detachments of several hundreds to several thousands. 107

With the Nogai again back at Astrakhan, the Kalmyks on 19 February suddenly appeared and attacked them. The voevode, Trakhaniotov, sent service troops to help the Nogai, to little avail. Some Nogai gave up resistance and joined the Kalmyk horde. 108


The situation on the border continued unchanged in 1644. There were two major Tatar attacks against Orel and Samara, Islam Gerei became the new khan in August 1644, and immediately launched a new series of raids on both Poland and Moscow. The Tatars particularly concentrated on the area west of the western end of the Russian border defenses, that is the area of common border of Poland and Russia. Here their raids were helped by the lack of coordination between the Russian and Polish defenders. 109

The Kalmyks began to follow the Nogai across the Volga in 1644. On 4 January 12,000 Kalmyks attacked the towns along the Terek river. They were 30 versts from the Terek on 13 January waiting for their main army, when they were attacked by Muscovite streltsi, Kabardians and Terek Cossacks. Urluk was killed and only 2,000 Kalmyks escaped. They fled back across the Volga where they were again attacked, by troops from Astrakhan. Then troops were sent from Ufa under the voevode L. Pleshcheev. In a battle on the Yaika river the Kalmyks lost 480 more men. 110


In 1645 Tsar Mikhail died on 13 July and was succeeded by his son, Alexei Mikhailovich.

The Crimean Tatars were the next on the scene in the Caucasus. Still keeping the peace with Russia, Khan Islan Gerei made a successful campaign against the mountain Cherkass in December 1644 January 1645. The Tatars soon had more interesting campaigns to plan.

In 1645 the Ottoman fleet suffered a disaster off Crete in the long war with Venice. The Sultan had to rush a new fleet into being and for this he needed thousands of slaves. One 200 galley fleet would take 160,000 men. The strong Russians were especially prized. Therefor the Sultan sent a secret message to the Khan asking him to procure prisoners. The Tatar raids began in August with the first gathering of the war bands in the steppe. Moscow was warned of the coming attack and began to call up troops. Suddenly on 4 October the Tatars appeared at Tsaregorodski Sloboda and made off with a few peasants. Still these minor raids did not prove anything unusual was coming.

Islan Gerei gave his Nuradin, Kazi Gerei, the kaftan on 15 October and ordered him to attack Moscow. In order to gain surprise the rank and file Tatars were told that the target would be Poland. A maximum effort was made to round up warriors; everyone who could sit a horse was sent, making the force over 40,O0O total. On 11 November a group of 30—40 Tatars were captured by the Russians and under torture in Moscow revealed that a major winter campaign was being planned. This news was confirmed by information that Tatars were gathering on the Lithuanian border, but still the target was not known. In December the Turkish garrison at Azov was strengthened and word leaked out of the Sultan's request for galley slaves. This was enough reason for the Russian government to call up a maximum defense effort. Prince A. N Trubetskoi was ordered to Tula, Princes V. Prozorovski and I. M. Beklemishev to Mtsensk, Princes S. R. Pozharsky and A. T. Lazarev to Kursk, and junior voevodes to Krapivin, Odoev, Venev, and Ryazan. But after this almost a month passed with no news of Tatar attacks, up to the moment of the main campaign. This stop in raiding somewhat lessened the vigilance along the border and Moscow's belief in the likelihood of an attack. Often the voevodes and polki were not sent out until the Tatars had already begun their campaign, but this time the early warnings helped the Russians prevent a complete surprise.

On 18 December one of the advanced stations sent word that a large Tatar force of 20,000 or more was coming on the Muravski trail. On 19 December the Tatars crossed the Vorksla River and on the 20th reached Ril’sk and Putivl uezds. The same day they began rounding, up prisoners from the villages, taking most of the peasants in Putivil uezd. In Ril’sk uezd the 7,000 man advance guard under Kazi Gerei arrived first and then the main force of over 20,000 burned all the villages. At Kursk the Tatars took 3,000 prisoners in the towns and forts. In one day the Tatars occupied the whole immense area. By the 28th the Tatars were starting home. On the 30th the Russian voevodes began attacking the Tatar rear guards.

The Tatars used the same route back this time, not bothering to go an alternate way. Their main weapon was speed and surprise. Further attacks would not increase the number of prisoners, because they already had all they could manage and the Russian troops would soon be on the scene. Winter turned out to be a good time to raid because the troops were not at their stations and all the peasants were collected in their villages. This winter however, was unusually cold and this brought extreme hardship on the Tatar. They had to retire slowly taking two 4-day rests due to the cold. Then they had to break up into small bands, their horses were dying due to the lack of fodder and the men were often on foot. If the Russian troops had pursued more vigorously and attacked in numbers they could have inflicted a real disaster on the Tatar force.

While the Tatars were struggling with the cold the Russians were struggling with bureaucracy. When the Tatars attacked there were not enough service troops in any of the southern towns, nor were all the voevodes present. It was unclear who was in charge of the defense. The defense was conducted from two centers, Tula, where the commander in chief, A. N. Trubetskoi, was not sent until 24 December; and Belgorod, where Prince F. A. Khulkov was supposed to be with the troops from Yablomov, Koroch, Userd, Volni, and Khotmishsk.


But he did not get the order until 15 January 1646. Meanwhile the troops were waiting in their areas. Khulkov had only his own 2,000 or so and could not engage a major Tatar force. Prince S. R. Pozharsky arrived in Kursk on 19 December, but he too was too late. He had only 1,500 men from Kursk, but he at least did not wait for reinforcements but went immediately into battle. On 20 December he fought the Tatars near Snikhini and on the 23rd relieved the siege of a number of smaller forts and villages. On 24 December Pozharsky led his men in battle near Ril’sk and again on the 28th engaged the Tatars at Gorodenk. In this battle he freed 2,700 prisoners and inflicted a major blow on the Nuradin's personal guard. Then Prince Khilkov arrived with his troops. From 10 versts away he sent word to Moscow that he was participating in a battle, but he really did not want to join Prince Pozharsky, who continued fighting on the 29th and 30th and only returned to Kursk on 31 December.

When the first news from Prince Pozharsky reached Moscow on the 24th of December the government sent out the call to arms to all the polki. Prince Trubetskoi was sent to Tula with the Tsar's “dvor”, (the strapchi, stolniki, zhtltsi, etc) and streltsi two prikazi of Moscow streltsi. They arrived in Tula on the 29th, but the dvoriani did not leave Moscow until the 31st of December. The service men living north of Moscow were ordered to Mtsensk.

The Razryad planned a campaign to Belgorod for Prince Trubetskoi's forces, but it didn't take place due to the Tatar withdrawal. A few days later the Razryad ordered the voevodes of the towns already listed to join Prince Khilkov and pursue the Tatars, but as indicated earlier the order was not received until the Tatars were long gone. But pursuit could have been undertaken if the voevodes had been allowed to express initiative. The Razryad took all control of defense to itself yet did not issue orders until too late. It would not give general or standing orders and threatened anyone who violated orders with prison. In fact several were put in prison for alleged failures in this campaign. The commander of the frontier station which first sent word was knouted and cashiered from the service because his report was late. Prince Pozharsky himself was arrested on 29 January and sent to Moscow where he was put in prison for three days, He was the one voevode with initiative and bravery. Apparently the government knew his ability was needed, because the next year he was given command against the Nogai on the Don River. 111

To make matters worse, the Polish Hetman, I. Vishnevetsky, had 15,000 troops in Nedrigailov and should have pursued the Tatars according to the agreement between Poland and Russia, but he moved out only on 29 December and went very slowly, then delayed two days while the Tatars left. The Poles claimed they were late due to the freezing weather.

This attack showed the weaknesses of the border defense system; which were: the slowness of the forces to gather, the dispersed location of the forces, the absence of unified command with power to act, and the weakness in the unfinished defense line on the Muravski trail side of Belgorod. The government realized what the defects were and took corrective measures.

The Tatars wanted to continue their raids and the Sultan still wanted prisoners; the 1645 raid had only netted 6,300 of them. In January 1646 Moscow received reports on new preparations for a spring raid and of Cherkass teaching the Tatars how to shoot firearms. The government ordered the construction of a new defense line and the strengthening of the troop units in the Ukranian towns. Further projects were as follows;

1.A new scheme of distribution of the troops on the Belgorod

line was created; and the command was unified;

2.The number of Don Cossacks was increased;

3.An attack on the Crimeans and Nogai from the Don area was organized;

4.Negotiations for peace with Crimea were renewed.

Step one was a change in the location of the polki and a scheme for the unification of the troops. Until 1637 the polki were stationed at Odoev, Krapivna, Tula, Dedilov and Mtsensk; and in the Ryazanski Razryad at Tula, Ryazan, Mikhailov and Pronsk. When the old defense line was rebuilt in 1638 the polki were at Gdoev, Krapivna, Tula, Venev and Mtsensk.

In 1639 they were at Tula, Pereyaslavl- Ryazan, Venev, Krapivna, Odoev and Mtsensk. The total number of troops reached 28,000 in this year. In this location the defense of the center was assured, but the Tatars could not reach this far north anyway due to the new line being built to the south. Thus until the middle 1640's the polki were very from the scene of actual conflict. When the new line at Belgorod was completed in 1646 the polki continued to gather at the old places and new polki were created for Belgorod.

In 1646 the first polki were moved forward to the front line. On 1 February the Great polk was assigned to Belgorod with Prince N. I. 0doevski as voevode. With him were sent strapchi stolniki, Moscow dvoriani and service people. The lead polk went to Karpov with V. P. Sheremetev as voevode. The guard polk was at Yablomov under command of F. B. Sheremetev. But this duty was hard for the service people of the Moscow region to perform.

They moved forward on 14 July because a Tatar attack was expected and also to add force to the construction of the line itself by providing a guard for the workers, but they could not remain so far away from their homes on a permanent basis. In the winter the polki moved north to Kursk and Elets. The same procedure of shifting south in summer and north in winter was followed in 1647 and 1648. Besides the polki near the Belgorod line other polki were detailed for duty on the old line through Tula. Thus there were forces on both lines simultaneously in a situation similar to the one in the 158O’s. The government did not want to give up the old line too soon and two lines of defense made it all the better. 112

Step two was to increase the number of Don Cossacks and to send them on an expedition against Azov. The campaign of the Don Cossacks on Azov in 1649 is typical of much of the military activity of the Muscovite government, which always desired to do things as cheaply as possible. It had poor supply and preparation, was divided in command and was a mixed force which showed the conflicting interests of the groups. It had Don Cossacks, streltsi, Tatars, Cherkass, service people and ex—serfs.

Moscow decided to try to divert the Tatars from a major campaign against Moscow by an attack on Crimea. But the government desired to avoid displeasing the Turks if possible. It wanted an attack directly against Crimea, but the Don Cossacks, who were directly subject to the raids, pointed out that Azov was the chief center fro raids and that if they went toward Crimea it was likely that a raid would be conducted on their homes while they were away. They succeeded in diverting the attack to Azov, despite the protests of Moscow's commander in the field. The Tatars and mounted stre1tsi did not care where the raid went, just so long as it kept moving so that the grass would be available for their horses. The government wanted to show the Crimeans that they also were not immune to raids.

On 18 January 1646 the government sent a letter to the Don Cossacks mentioning the campaign and the sending to Astrakhan of the voevode, Prince S. H. Pozharski, who would gather the Astrakhan troops and the Great Nogai, Urtovski Tatars and others and move to the Don. After joining forces they were to all move against Crimea. To increase the number of troops it was decided to enroll free people of the border towns, even though they were not militarily trained. B. Udrimov and Okarpov were ordered to recruit free people in the Shatski and Tambov uzeds. In March the attaman, Pert Krasnikov, received an order to recruit in Pronsk, Sapozhk, Dankov, Efremov, Nikhailov, and other districts.

The Moscow dvorianin, Zhdan Kondirev, was appointed to Voronezh to gather recruits from the free people and take them to the Don. He was to then organize all the recruits for service. He was ordered to enroll 3m000 men and lead them in the campaign, after which they would be turned into Cossacks and kept on duty in the south. The government wanted to strengthen the Cossack forces in as painless a way as possible. It was expected that at least 2,200 would survive the campaign to be enroled as Cossacks.

At the same time Poland was alienating the Ukrainian Cossacks by impositions and was attempting to limit them. But Moscow was playing for the favor of the Ukranian people and winning the Don Cossacks' confidence. The movement of people from the towns to the Don agreed with the ideas of the Moscow service people. They did not want to serve on the Don on long campaigns themselves,. However the service people of the border towns did not like the idea of their losing their own servants or serfs so they complained to the government.

By 20 April Kondirev had completed enrollment of 3,000 men. Many were tempted by the chance to leave the old hard life in the towns, Some were attracted by the government pay. Each man who had his own weapon was paid 5 ½ rubles, if he had no firearm he was given one and paid 5 rubles. Kondirev soon had 10,000 men and voevode A. Buturlin had another 3,000. The government organized a caravan of ships to Voronezh to bring supplies. ,

All these preparations were no secret from the Tatars. They spent the spring recovering from their winter raid and then in May began the usual small scale raiding. A 2,000-man detachment reached the Mordvin lands and attacked Altor, which was defended by Tatars and Cossacks under T. Poretski. He did not believe his opponents were very strong and ventured into the steppe after them. His unit was destroyed and 300 Russians were taken prisoners. In June the Tatars continued with a series of raids but could not mount a major campaign. They were mostly conducting reconnaissance to see if the Russians were moving on Azov as yet.

Kondirev moved his troops down the Don to Cherkass fort on 27 May. His 10,000 were joined there on 16 June by Prince S. H. Pozharsky from Astrakhan with 700 mounted streltsi, and 2,350 Great Nogai and other Tatars under command of Saltanash Murza

Aksakov. Prince Pozharsky moved the streltsi across the Don while the Nogai remained on the east bank. Then Prince Mutsal Cherkasskii arrived with the mountain Cherkass, Tatars and the Greben and Terek troops for a total of 1,200 men. Bi Mursa Ishterekov also arrived with 300 more Tatars. All these troops remained on the East bank. This brought the total force to 20,000 including the Don Cossacks.

The organization of this motley collection was very poor. Prince S. Pozharsky had the highest place by rank, but he was not the official commander. He had to carry out his orders from Moscow and at the same time get the agreement of the independent atamans and Kondirev and Mutsal Cherkasskii. This complicated process never achieved results. The Cossack atamans did not

like Kondirev's right to command the volunteers, claiming that he was not militarily experienced. A worse problem was the split in the plans of the units. Moscow had ordered Pozharsky and Kondirev to fight Crimeans and not bother Azov or Turkish property. The government gave the Cossack atamans the same order, however the Don troops raised the issue of the danger of leaving Azov unwatched. They pointed out that the Turks lived in Crimean towns also and that it was impossible to reach Crimea anyway. Then the Tatars, Nogais, and Cherkass refused to consider going such a long way as to Crimea.

With Prince Pozharsky in this difficult spot the mounted streltsi and Tatars demanded any action in order to get the force moving into new grazing areas. After three days the Cossacks got into their boats and set out. The streltsi voted likewise, and the rest had to follow suit. The infantry went down the river in the Cossack boats and the cavalry moved along the bank.

The units met at Azov in June and attacked the fortress. Some even penetrated into the town, but were soon thrown back. Without strong artillery it was impossible to besiege the city, therefor the troops divided. The mounted men raided Azov and Nogai villages and took prisoners and cattle. They then returned to Cherkasskii. The Don Cossacks and volunteers went to sea in the boats and sank three Turkish ships, returning to Cherkasskii with the captured supplies.

After a few days the Cossacks asked Prince Pozharsky to participate in a new undertaking; the attack on Nogai and Azov villages which netted 7,000 prisoners and a large quantity of cattle. As the raiders were busily dividing up the spoil at Cherkasskii’s fort a surprise was being prepared for them.

In June the Tsarevich and Nuradin left Crimea with their troops and headed for Azov, while the khan himself went to guard Perekop. On 6 July the Crimean Tsarevich appeared on the east bank of the Don and approached the camp of the Nogais and mountain Cherkass at dawn with 1,000 Crimeans and 6,500 Kaziev Tatars. Attacking Prince Cherkasskii's position they grabbed his banner while Bi Murza Ishterek and the Nogais fled into the steppe. Recovering from the first attack Prince Cherkasskii and his Cherkessians and the Terek and Greben troops began the real battle. The Don Cossacks crossed the river to their aid and then Prince Pozharsky, seeing the battle, crossed also followed by the volunteers. Three versts from the Don they were engaged in battle until evening. The Crimeans had the advantage at first until the Russian reinforcements turned the battle and the Crimeans were forced to retreat. Prince Pozharsky was wounded by an arrow in the right arm. The Nogai did not wait to find out the outcome and later when they showed up at Astrakhan their leaders explained that they had left because of rumors that the khan himself was at attacking.
Losses on both sides are unknown but probably fairly heavy. The streltsi may have lost 50 men killed and the volunteers lost 900 taken prisoner. The Russians received word that the Tsarevich was resting his force at Kagal'nik, having suffered heavy casualties. Not content with their exploits to date the combined army crossed the river again to the east side and at dawn on 4 August fell on the Tatar camp killing many, taking 207 prisoners and much booty. The Nuradin even lost his tents.

Then the Azov and Temrutski Tatars came to the aid of the Crimeans with 8,000 cavalry, 2,000 infantry and cannon. The Russian force of 7,200 was mostly composed of Kondirev's volunteer infantry and the Don Cossacks plus the small cavalry contingents of Prince Pozharsky and Prince Cherkasskii. The allies had to retreat under continuous attack from the Tatar cava±ry and fire from the artillery. After an all-day battle the Tatars broke contact at dark. The allied force arrived back at Cherkasskii fort once more on 6 August. This action resulted in greatly increased losses, the streltsi alone losing 200 more men. The Russians had to destroy part of the booty and slaughter most of the Tatar prisoners; the booty still came to a substantial sum for each man.
The Muradin returned to Azov and asked the Khan for more aid as he had suffered sizeable casualties also. But the Khan was at Perekop with 30,000 men feverishly fortifying the and expecting an attack momentarily. 113

The Khan had good reason for worry. During 1646 the Polish and Muscovite governments were conducting talks on a Muscovite proposal for an offensive alliance against the Tatars. The Polish Seim would not agree to break their peace with the Ottoman Empire, even though Venice gave King Wadislaw a subsidy of 800,000 zloty to support a war. The money freed him from dependence on the Seim for cash and he began hiring troops and preparing arsenals in Warsaw, Cracow and L'vov. Word of this was bad news indeed for the Turks and Tatars. The Turks were fully engaged in war with Venice over Crete and in Dalmatia and Malta was keeping control of the sea from them. The Ottoman Empire needed peace with Poland and Russia as much as Moscow desired, peace with the Ottomans Officially therefore the Turks only waged war on the Don Cossacks and the Russians did not help the Cossacks. The Polish nobility would not consider a war in which their lands might become subject to Tatar attacks This effectively prevented the formation of the Russo-Polish offensive alliance. The two governments did agree to stop using Tatars against each other and to try to coordinate their defensive operations. 114

To the east 1646 witnessed a momentous event for the steppe peoples when the Kalmyks submitted to the Muscovite Tsar, keeping their own Khan. They were soon providing excellent cavalrymen to the Tsar for use against the Tatars and in central Asia. 115

Along the Don, the Cossacks continued their attacks on Azov in November and December 1646. The Atamans reported to Moscow that the town could be taken easily in the spring if the Tsar would only sent troops.


In April 1647 the Cossacks successfully attacked the Crimean towns of Temruk and Arbatok from the sea. During the summer the Turks sent reinforcements to Azov and Crimea. In June the Cossacks attacked Crimea from the sea and in July repelled an attack on Cherkass fort by the Azov Crimean and Nogai Tatars. On 28 July they repulsed a second attack, capturing many of the Turkish boats.
The Turks backed attacks on Cherkass fort continued all fall and throughout 1648. The Cossacks were being gradually worn down in preparation for a major Turkish campaign up the Don, possibly as far as Voronezh. The government in Moscow therefore sent Andrey Lazarev with 1,000 recruited soldiers to garrison Cherkass fort. They arrived in October 1648 and with this the Turkish attacks came to an end.

The Crimeans did not like the bloody work at Cherkasskii’s fort any more than assaulting any other fort so they stayed away and concentrated on attacking the Belgorod area throughout 1647. They also crossed the Don and attacked Voronezh in July but were met by 1,500 Cossacks, deti boyars and dragoons and driven off with sizeable losses. Apparently the Tatar leader, Karash Murza, did not know that the Russians had a large concentration of forces in the area due to the construction of the Tareva Alekseeva fortified line and town. 116


In January 1648 the Kalmyks made their first campaign on the Don river in support of the Russians. According to the Cossacks there were 30,000 of them, but the Russian sources reported only 20,000. How many ever there were, there were enough to make the Nogai flee panic to the Dnieper and to Perekop. The Kalmyks stopped their campaign early due to the snow, but it was a portent of things to come. 117

The year 1648 began the series of events which led to the unification of the Ukraine with Russia. In this year Bogdan Khmelnitski, the Cossack Hetman, asked the Khan for an alliance against the Poles. The khan was delighted, but his problem was that at the same moment, in March, the Sultan ordered him to sent aid for the war against Venice. The Tatars were very much opposed to the idea of such a long campaign and refused the Sultan's command on the grounds of prior commitment to support the Cossacks. Prince Sherinski was sent with the leading Tatar elements against the Poles, and then the Khan himself brought more troops. 118

Bogdan Khmelnitski began a Cossack uprising that soon turned into a general social war. His Cossacks defeated the Polish army at Zolte Wody and then at Korsun the combined Cossack-Tatar army routed the Polish army of Crown Hetman Potocki. The Crown and, Field Hetmen were among the prisoners taken to Crimea for ransom. The Poles lost 8,500 out of their 10,000 man army. At this the Polish nobility was called up and, a splendidly arrayed force of 40,000 cavalrymen in jeweled capes with 100 cannon set out to subdue the Cossacks. On 23 September they were met at Pylavo by the Tatars and Cossacks and in a three day battle the Polish host was destroyed. 119 The Tatars moved on to besiege Lvov and Zamostye.

The sultan demanded that the Tatars stop helping the Cossacks and come help him instead, but on 8 August he was killed and his 12 year old son was placed on the throne. This left the Tatars free to do as they pleased. With the rich Polish lands wide open to them they could hardly resist the Cossack offer. It was many years before Russia had to worry about major Tatar raids as the Tatars were fully occupied in Poland. 120

The only thing Moscow had to worry about in 1648 was a streltsi revolt, itself a sign of things to come. The foreign troops were used to guard the Kremlin.


The Cossacks invaded Poland again with their Tatar allies but were met in June 1649 by Prince Jeremiah Wisniowiecki, who held them at his fortified camp at Zborovo until the new king, Jan Casimir, could come up with 25,000 additional troops. The valor of the king and the Polish artillery won the day after Polish money bribed the Tatars to leave the area. The Poles and Cossacks agreed to the Truce of Zborovo. 121


In 1650 with her fortified lines in the south completed from Belgorod to Voronezh to Nizhni Lomov, the Muscovite government began to use the Cossack uprising in the Ukraine to blackmail the Poles out of Smolensk. 122

The Poles renewed the war in the Ukraine in 1651 by calling on the Elector of Brandenburg, a Polish vassal for his fief of east Prussia, to supply veterans of the 30 Years’ War for use in the Ukraine. The Poles attacked and won at Krasnyi in Podolia and then at the Battle of Berestechko the 34,000-man Polish army under the command of Hetman Wisniowiecki and Jan Radziwill defeated the Cossack army while the Tatars fled. Kiev was sacked and. a new truce signed in September. This pushed Bogdan Khmelnitski into signing the Periaslavl agreement with the Russians to gain the support of Moscow. This agreement was supposed to bring the Cossacks assistance, but all it brought was trouble as the Tsar used it as a support for his own plan to conquer Smolensk. The Cossacks considered they were signing a temporary military alliance, but found out later that the Russians considered it a permanent act of unification of the Ukraine to Muscovy. 123

1652 - 1653

In 1652 the Cossacks defeated the Poles at Batoka. For 1653 Poland made a supreme effort, Jan Casimir led 60,000 men into the Ukraine and defeated Khmelnitski at Zranto on 24 August. 124

The Tsar's government was forced to deal with an attack by Persian and Daghestani troops against Sunzhenski Ostrog on the Terek River and with border clashes along the Amur River Valley, but it did not let these incidents distract attention from events in Poland and the Ukraine. 125

In 1653 the Muscovites decided that their war preparations were sufficiently advanced to safely make another attempt to capture Smolensk. Large quantities of muskets and powder had been purchased in Sweden and Holland and the new style troop units were, hopefully, in readiness. On 1 October the decision for war was made. The resulting 13 year war has been characterized as exceeding the Thirty Years War in cruelty and barbarity. “No other war of modern times can show so little of the glories, so much of the horrors, of warfare.” 126

With the Cossacks now allied with Moscow, the Crimean Tatars quickly reviewed their interests and changed sides to support the Poles. Their plan was not to attack the well defended regions of Muscovy, but to use their participation in the war as an excuse to raid the Ukraine and the Russo-Polish border regions.


The Russian army was blessed with due pomp in April and sent to the border. The “Most Pacific” Tsar's plan of war envisaged a three pronged offensive; a northern army was to invade Lithuania, the main army was to capture Smolensk, and a southern army was to seize Ukranian towns including Kiev. 127

The Northern army under command of Prince Alex Trubetskoi began its invasion in late May. From his base at Veliki Luki, with the help of 20,000 Cossacks, he overran eastern Lithuania to the Dvina River, seizing Belya Polock in June and July. In August he defeated the weak Polish— Lithuanian forces raised by Prince Radziwill at Szepielwica and captured Mogilev.

The Main army was personally led by the Tsar. With 100,000 men he quickly occupied Dorogobuzh, Borisov and Polotsk and on 2 July laid siege to Smolensk. This fortress was garrisoned by 2,000 men, far to few to man its long walls and 34 towers, but the heroic Polish forces held out until 26 September. Success in the main offensive was due to overwhelming Russian strength plw3 careful cultivation of the support of the Orthodox peasantry in Belo-Russia.

In the south, the 4O,00O man army of Theodore Buturlin moved from, its base at Briansk to seize Mstislavl and continued on to capture Kiev, which the Tatars promptly raided. He was theoretically there to support the Cossack cause, but he did his best to ignore the Tatars and avoid fighting them. He did not neglect to put Russian officials in Kiev and Chernigov.

The Cossacks, meanwhile sent their main army into Volynia and another force under Khmelnitsky's brother—in—law, Colonel I. N. Zolotarenko, with Russian support, devastated the area near the Pripet Marshes. This force captured Gomel and held it for the Cossack government. Moscow did not like this idea at all. This was one of the first indications of the divergence between the objectives of the Russians and Cossacks. In the Ukraine itself fear of Tatar attacks kept additional Muscovite and Cossack troops occupied in garrisoning the towns.

In October 1654 a strong Polish army under Hetman Potocki expert invaded Ukraine and with the expert help of the Tatar raiders burned villages and killed the population. The Tatars took 300,000 people off to the Crimean slave markets and another 100,000 inhabitants were killed.
During the winter 1654—55 the Poles and Tatars joined in an attack on the Cossack army in Moldavia and were in the process of defeating them when Buturlin finally brought Russian forces into action and in a series of heavy battles at Uman succeeded in driving the Tatars off. 128


In January 1655 the Tsar sent Mateev to Khmelnitski to plan a joint campaign for the year. The Cossacks were asked to recruit people along the border to be trained by Russian officers in the new German style infantry formations. Khmelnitski, however, was not satisfied with Muscovite help and was suspicious of the Russian intentions. He therefore began to look for new allies. He found his allies in Sweden.

The Cossack offensive against the Poles finally got under way in 1655 with the help of 9,000 Russians under Sheremetev. This army soon ran into a Polish counter offensive led by Hetman Stanislas Lanckoronski. The combined Polish and Tatar armies annihilated Sheremetev's army at the battle of Okhmatov. 129

In February the Swedes seized the Polish fortress on the Dvina River to forestall the Russians from taking it. The Swedes feared that Russian success against Poland would eventually hurt Sweden. Two Swedish armies were mobilized in Pomerania and Livonia.

The Russian offensive began again in May and in June King Charles X of Sweden invaded Poland from Stettin in the west. King John Casimir fled to Silesia while the Sweden and Russians raced to occupy territory and the Cossacks ravaged central Poland and Galicia. The dismemberment of Poland was of great concern to Vienna, Istanbul and all the European capitals. In May the Emperor, Leopold I, concluded a treaty with King John Casimir to supply Imperial troops for his cause. 130

In July the Russians occupied Vilno and in August took Kovno. Alexis's advance to the Nieman river in Lithuania was harassed by Lithuanian partisans. In September a combined Cossack Russian army attacked Lvov, but the Cossacks refused to capture the town because the Russian commander, Buturlin, wanted to claim it for Russia. Prince Gregorii Romodanovski lead a joint Russo- Cossack force against Potocki's army and drove them off. On 20 October Lublin fell to the Cossacks.

Charles X had the Baltic provinces as his main objective. He took Courland and warned Alexis to stay away. In September the Swedes took Warsaw and with their new Cossack allies laid siege to Cracow. 131

In November Khan Mahmet Gerei brought 150,000 Tatars into the Ukraine, captured Khmelnitski and forced the Russians to retreat.

In December an agreement to partition Poland was made between the Cossacks, Transylvanians, Brandenburg and Sweden. Hetmen Potocki and Lanckoronski formed a federation against Sweden and drove the Swedish forces back. 132

The Cossack agreement with Sweden caused Alexis to reevaluate his war aims. He decided to take the Baltic provinces from Sweden, and therefore signed a truce and alliance with Poland. Finding that military operations in the west were going to be more extensive than expected, the Russians looked around for aid. They found the Kalmyks ready and willing to help. The Kalmyks took a oath of loyalty and contracted to guard the eastern regions. The Russians granted free pasture on both sides of the Volga to the Kalmyks and arranged for agreements to prevent any future Kalmyk- Bashkir conflicts. 133


On May 17th 1656 Tsar Alexis declared war on Sweden. In July a strong army under command of Prince I. K. Cherkasskii and Sir Alexander Leslie invaded Livonia The Russians captured Dunaberg August 10th and Kokenhausen and laid siege to Riga. The garrison was small, but King Charles arrived by sea with reinforcements. They sortied and defeated the huge but incompetent Russian army. The Russians lost 8,000 killed and 14,000 wounded or prisoners. Sir Alexander and the other foreign officers urged the Tsar to raise the siege, which he did even though he and the other Russians felt that the foreigners wanted the Swedes to win. In October the Tsar withdrew to Pskov.

The Russian armies in the north had been more successful. Dorpat was captured along with Nienshanz and Shusselburg. 134

In November Prussia declared its independence from Poland and King Jan Casimir was besieged in Danzig.


In 1657 the situation became even more confused. In January Khmelnitsky sent 12,000 Cossacks under command of Colonel Anton Zhdanovich to help the Magyars invade Poland. The true purpose of this campaign was withheld from the lower ranking Cossacks, who did not support Khmelnitsky’s foreign polities. Rakoczy invaded Poland with a mixed force of 20,000 Hungarians and other mercenaries and was joined by the Cossacks in March. Cracow and Brest Litovsk were captured and Lvov was besieged. In April the Magyars were joined by part of the Swedish forces. Sweden was also fighting the Poles and their Imperial allies, and another Swedish army was devastating Karelia and moving from Finland to the support of Riga.

At this point Denmark, becoming ever more concerned about a possible Swedish domination of the Baltic, declared was on Sweden, forcing King Charles X to withdraw troops to the Danish front. On 9 June Warsaw was captured by the Cossacks, Magyars and remaining Swedes. The town was thoroughly looted, after which the rest of the Swedes withdrew to Denmark. The religious problem brought on by the Swedish occupation was causing a Polish national resistance movement to gain strength, making it doubtful if the Swedes could have sustained their position in Poland much longer anyway.

With the Swedes gone the Magyars and Cossacks were no match for the Lithuanian army and were forced to retreat into Podolia. In July the Cossack soldiers found out about Khmelnitsky's real policies and revolted. This left the Magyars to face the Lithuanians alone; Rakoczy was forced to surrender on 23 July and give up all the loot from Warsaw and Cracow. He and his army were freed, to continue their march back to Hungary, but one week later they were surrounded by the Crimean Tatars near the Bug river and wiped out. The death of Khmelnitsky on 6 August brought on a struggle for power among the Cossack leaders and a struggle between the Cossack upper and lower classes that reached open civil war by January 1658 when one group of Cossacks besieged another at Poltava. 135

On 30 March 1657 the Kalmyks signed a new treaty of assistance with Moscow and sent hostages to live in Astrakhan. On this basis Taisha Monchuk led his warriors against the Crimean Tatars and Nogais near Azov. 136


Russia resumed the offensive in 1658 against Sweden and, after the Poles allied themselves with the Cossacks, against Poland as well. In the north a small Russian force captured Yamburg and besieged Narva, but was soon ejected from the Baltic region and the Gulf of Finland. The Swedes recaptured their previously lost towns.

In the Ukraine Moscow stirred the Poltava Regt. and the Zaporozhie into action against the Cossack Hetman, Vygovskii. In May he assembled 20,000 Cossacks and 6,000 Tatar and mercenary soldiers and captured Poltava, killing 8,000 of the defenders and burning the town. A new Poltava Regiment was then formed.

In August Vygovski sent 20,000 Cossacks plus Tatar allies to attack Kiev. The city was defended by Sheremetev with a garrison of streltsi and dragoons. Another Muscovite army commanded by Romadonovski supported from Belgorod. The Cossacks were unable to capture Kiev. In September Vygovski’s negotiations with Poland finally resulted in the Treaty of Gadiach. This reopened the Russo—Polish war. The Cossacks were still split between the upper levels which supported Poland and the lower ranks who were in favor of Moscow. In October the Poltava regiment began another pro—Moscow revolt. Cossack assaults on Kiev were beaten off by the streltzi and dragoons while Romodanovski advanced 20,000 Muscovite troops to Lokhivitsa in November. During the same month the Lithuanians and Vygovsky's Cossacks pressed the Muscovites in Lithuania while the Cossacks besieged Minsk. The Lithuanians were defeated by Prince I. A. Dolgurukov near Vilno.

Tsar Aleksei had to choose which enemy he should fight first. His chief advisor, Anastasy Orduin-Nashchokin, recommended fighting Sweden for the Baltic first, but the Tsar insisted on fighting for the Ukraine and security for Smolensk. On December 1658 Moscow and Sweden signed a three year truce freeing the Swedes to concentrate on Denmark and the Russians to concentrate on Poland. 137


In January 1659 Vygovski with 30,000 Cossacks, 30,000 Poles and 15,000 Tatars attacked Mirgorod and Poltava and captured them, but failed to capture the Sech. In March Prince Alexei Trubetskoi and Romadanovski advanced to Konstantinovka where they were joined by rebel Cossacks. In April Trubetskoi with 40,000 Muscovites and Cossacks started for Konotop. There he was defeated by the Cossack defenders under the command of Colonel Grigori Gulianitski who held the town for a month against all attacks. The Crimean and Belgorod Tatars and other Cossack forces came to the relief of Konotop in June, caught the Muscovite forces between themselves and the town garrison and inflicted one of the most crushing defeats yet administered on the Muscovites who retreated to Putivl where they were besieged. The flower of Muscovite dvoriani cavalry perished among the 30,000 dead at Konotop. The government feared for the safety of Moscow and set about strengthening the fortifications. Then the Zaporozhie Cossacks attacked the Tatars driving them off. Atman Serko followed this attack with one on the Hetman's capital at Chigirin forcing Vygovski to give up the siege of Putivl. In September the Hetman was overthrown and in October in new negotiations at Periaslavl with the new Hetman, Yuri Khmelnitsky, the Russians secured a new agreement. Princes Trubetskoi and Romadanovski still had 40,000 men nearby and were able to influence the deliberations. It was a triumph for Muscovite diplomacy that turned a military defeat into a political victory.


With the Cossacks back on their side the Russians launched a new offensive in January 1660 by defeating the Poles at Polubenski, and Obykhovich. General V. Sheremetev routed a Polish army of Andrei Potocki near Kiev and General Ivan Khovanski captured Brest Litovsk and burned it.
In March the Poles retaliated by sending an army under command of Stanislaw Potocki and Ivan Vygovski to attack Mogilev. The Poles received help from the Tatars and Turks in this campaign.

During the summer Vasilii Sheremetev led 60,000 well—equipped and trained, soldiers west in an effort to capture Lvov. This move left central Ukraine open to Tatar attack. The Tatars who had to worry about attack from the Don Cossacks received help from the Ottoman Sultan. Ivan Serko led the Zaporozhie Cossacks against the Tatars at Ochakov, while the Chernigov, Nezhlin, and Cherkassy Regiments also attacked Tatar camps in the Ukraine.

Expecting Tatar reprisals, the Cossacks asked for 20,000 Muscovite streltsi to be sent to Periaslavl, but the Polish attack on the Russians in Lithuania prevented the dispatch of any troops to Ukraine. The Polish invasion of Belorussia was commanded by Paul Sapieha and Stefan Czarniecki. They routed the Russian force of Ivan Khovanski at Volone Solonka and forced the Russians back to Polotsk.

While Hetman Khmelnitski waited at Korsun for the Muscovite troops he had requested and tried to convince the Tsar's government to sent the Don Cossacks against Crimea, the Tatar Princes Kalga and Nuradin moved to join the Poles.

In the fall a large Russian army commanded by Prince Yuri Dolgorukov was defeated near Mogilev and forced to retreat on 11 October. The Polish army of Sapieha and Czarniecki advanced defeating Ivan Khovanski again and routing Peter Dolgorukov's army at Shklov.

In the west General V. Sheremetev was not doing well either. On 5-6 September 30,000 Poles commanded by Stanislaw Potocki and 60,000 Tatars attacked him at Liubar in Volynia. The Muscovites lost 1,000 men, the Cossacks 200 men and the Muscovite supply train was destroyed.

General Sheremetev ordered 3,000 Cossacks out to forage for food, but the Tatars quickly surrounded them and killed 1,000. Sheremetev then fortified his camp and awaited reinforcements. On 17 September some Russians escaped from the camp to Chudnov. Hetman Khmelnitski, trying to join Sheremetev with 40,000 pro- Russian Cossacks was defeated at Slobodyszcze by General Lubomirski. On 4 October the Russians tried to break out of their besieged camp and lost another 3,000 men. They finally surrendered on 23 October.. General Sheremetev was taken prisoner to Crimea where he waited 20 years for ransom.

This disaster convinced Hetman Khmelnitski to chance sides once more, but the Poles and Tatars still could not take Kiev which was well defended by Prince Yuri Bariatinski. The government in Moscow was again in panic fearing an attack on the capital. The Ukraine split, with the left bank controlled by Ataman Samko remaining loyal to Moscow, and the right bank controlled by Khmelnitski supporting Poland.

With Russian efforts concentrated In the west during 1660, the Ottoman government sent a fleet of 33 ships with 10,000 troops to the Don river. Together with 40,000 Tatars and Cherkassi and 10,000 slaves from Hungary they fortified the mouth of the Don, putting up two towers and stretching a chain barricade across the river. They also fortified the mouth of the Donetz River. The Tsar's troops and Don Cossacks attacked the Turkish positions on the Don without success, but the Kalmyks gained some success in their raids on the Crimeans and Nogai Tatars. 139


After the disasters in 1659 and 1660 the Russians needed the assistance of the Kalmyks even more than ever. A special Kalmyk relations department was set up in the Foreign Office and a new treaty was signed. in June of 1661. After this treaty was signed the Kalmyks sent from one to ten thousands of horsemen each year to participate in coordinated raids with the Don Cossacks and streltsi. 140

Yuri Khmelnitski and his Polish allies attacked Nezhin which was held by 10,000 Cossacks loyal to Moscow, 6 times beginning in January 1661 but failed to capture the town. In February the Cossacks and Poles routed the Muscovite army commanded by Ivan Khovanski in Lithuania. Both sides were out of money and suffering terribly but the war dragged on. The Tsar could barely defend his western border and had to rely on the Cossacks loyal to him to keep the line of communications to Kiev open. 141

On 21 June 1661 the Tsar signed the Peace of Kardis with Sweden in order to be free to deal with the Ukraine. He gave back to Sweden all the area taken by Russia in the war in Livonia and at the mouth of the Neva. 142

Conditions in the Ukraine became somewhat more stab1e when the Ottoman Sultan ordered the Tatars to join him in his war in Hungary. The Tatars sent 3O,OOO cavalrymen into Hungary and left the Ukraine alone for the year. They were not left alone themselves however. The Ka1myks carried out the raid planed earlier against the Tatar rear areas. This brought a Turkish force to Tavan to try to fortify and defend the area from further attacks. 143

In the Fall of 1661 Orduin-Nashchokin and Khovanski were badly defeated at Zeromsk losing 19,000 men, 10 cannon, all their standards and a miraculous Icon. The Po1es recaptured Grodno, Mogilev, and Vilno and cleared the Russians from Lithuania. 144


The war in the Ukraine dragged on in 1662. In June 6,000 Po1es and Tatars attacked Periaslavl, which was defended by Ataman Samko. The battle lasted into July, when on the 17th in the decisive battle of the campaign Khmelnitski with his Polish allies was defeated by General Romadanovski. Khmelnitski then resigned as Hetman. 145

The hardships of the war had their effect in the eastern part of Muscovy as well. In 1662 the Bashkirs rose in rebellion due to the heavy taxes and tribute levied to support the war in Poland. The country was beset by inflation, foreign trade deficits and crop failures; and the serfs were plowing up Bashkir grazing land despite official government attempts to control them. The Bashkirs asked the Tatars and Kalmyks for aid but did not get much. The Kalmyks especially, thanks to the government's wise policy of enlisting them, were ready to support the government and suppress the Bashkirs. The government was unprepared for the rebellion which quickly spread throughout the Urals. The voevode of Astrakhan, G. S. Cherkasskii, went to Tsaritsyn and organized a Russian and Tatar army to quell the disturbances. From Kazan, the governor, F. F. Volkonski, also moved out against the Bashkirs. 146


King Jan Casimir personally led 40,QQQ Poles, West Bank Cossacks, and 5,000 Tatars in a campaign to conquer the Ukraine. He was successful in Volhynia and captured many left bank towns. He stormed Lokhvitsa, but when he tried to retake the east bank Ukraine the Poles were defeated at Glukhov and had to give up the campaign. 147

With 10,000 Tatars still in Hungary the Kalmyks attacked their eastern territories and were counter attacked in turn. Then the east bank Hetman, Brukhovetsky, used the Kalmyks and Muscovite troops to try to retake the west bank from the Polish general Czarnecki but was repulsed. 148


By 1664 the war had so exhausted all participants a peace congress was begun. The Cossacks continued to fight each other throughout the year, but there were no major battles between Poles and Russians. One Muscovite commander reported in September that he had only 68 reiters and 159 soldiers left in his unit. The troops were deserting due to lack of food and clothing. Not content to rest, the “Most Pacific” Tsar sent the Cossacks on a raid deep into Persia at Mazandaran from which they were driven out after causing much damage.149


In the spring of 1665 a combined Muscovite, Cossack, Kalmyk army raided Belaia Tserkov and defeated the west bank Cossacks. In October Peter Doroshenko was elected Hetman of the west bank and with Turkish and Tatar help raided in Poland as far as Lublin, taking 100,000 captives. 150


The Poles were defeated again in July 1666 by a Cossack, and Tatar army while the Turks mobilized in Moldavia and Wallachia for an invasion of Poland. In September Nuradin Devlet Gerei brought 60,000 Tatars to help Doroshenko. They plundered Periaslavl and Nezhin on the left bank and then turned and broke through the Polish defenses into central Poland. The Poles were defeated at Mezhibozh. The Tatars took 100,000 prisoners home to Crimea with them including the 40,000 Poles taken at Mezhibozh. These disasters led the Poles to agree to the Treaty of Andrusovo in 1667, in which the Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Moscow at the Dnieper River, except for Kiev which went to Moscow. It was a great victory for Moscow, however the Russians did not retain Belorussia. The new common border with Turkey in the Ukraine soon became the scene of conflict.151


The war with Poland was no sooner ended that the Don Cossacks rose in rebellion under the leadership of Stenka Razin. In 1667 he settled near Astrakhan with his gang and began to levy tribute on the Volga river traffic. Then he moved over to the Yait (Ural) river. While Razin was raiding Persia and merchant convoys on the Caspian Sea the East bank Cossacks began an uprising in agreement with him. They asked the Sultan for protection and did get some Tatar help, but the Turks would not support the East (left) Bank Hetman, Brukhovetsky, against their vassal on the west (right) bank, Doroshenko. In June Doroshenko attacked and Brukhovetsky was assassinated. 153


In February 1671 Razin failed in an attempt to seize the Don Cossack headquarters at Cherkasskii fort. He was captured on 14 April and executed on 6 June. Ivan B. Miloslavsky then besieged Astrakhan from August until it surrendered on 26 November.


The Russians watched in 1672 as the Poles fought the Cossacks, Tatars and Turks in the Ukraine, John Sobieski?s victory over the Cossacks and Tatars brought Sultan Mohammed IV with an 300,000 man Ottoman army. The Turkish advance guard was defeated near Batoga but the main army plus the Crimeans attacked the Polish fortress at Kamenets—Podolski and forced the garrison to surrender on August 27th. The Poles and Cossacks were surrounded at Buchach by the Turks and Doroshenko's Cossacks. King Michael agreed to peace in which Poland lost Podolia, and Ukraine to the Ottoman Empire and agreed to pay tribute. The Ukrainian people began fleeing from the right bank to the left to escape the Turks. 154

On the Muscovite eastern frontier in 1672 the Khan of the Torgut Mongols raided through western Siberia and across the Urals as far as Kazan before making peace with Moscow.


War continued between Doroshenko's right bank Cossacks and the left bank Cossacks, whose new Hetman was Ivan Samoilovich. The Russian commander-in-chief in the Ukraine was Romodanovski, the best general in their service. The west bank Cossacks and Tatars attacked Cherkasi and other towns and were met by troops sent against them by Romodanovski. The Ottoman Turks sent an army commanded by Kaplan Pasha to support Doroshenko. But King Jan Sobieski defeated the Turks, who withdrew leaving Doroshenko without their support. Ivan Mazeppa, the secretary general in Doroshenko's Cossack army, was captured and sent to Moscow.


General Romodanovski and Hetman Samoilovich decided it would be necessary to block the Crimean Tatars first and then deal with the Turks, without helping the Poles if possible. They prepared a plan in 1675 for a campaign against Crimea itself.

The plan called for a force of all the Cossacks, 50,000 Muscovites, the Don Cossacks, the Bashkirs, and the Kalmyks, for a total of 90,000 troops. This was a somewhat ambitious plan in view of the fact that in 1675 the Bashkirs led by Seyed Sadir were in revolt against Moscow. The Kalmyks at first supported them, but then changed sides and suppressed the revolt for Moscow. Still, it would be wishful thinking to expect the Bashkirs and Kalmyks to join in a campaign together. 155


Tsar Alexei died on 30 January 1676 and with him died the plan for a campaign on Crimea. Alexei was succeeded by his 14- year-old son, Feodor III. Alexei’s death removed Matveev from power in Moscow and this cut Romodanovski?s power in Ukraine. The new administration of Tsar Feodor sent Prince Vasilii J. Golitsyn to observe Romodanovski's actions. Golitsyn's uncle was voevode of Kiev and he was given a separate command at Putivl, thus effectively tying the hands of the official commander-in-chief. During the summer Romodanovski and Samoilovich attacked Chigirin with 15,000 Muscovites and Cossack regiments. Doroshenko was captured and sent to Moscow, and the town was occupied.

The Sultan ended his war with Poland in 1676 and received title to the right bank Ukraine. He made Yuri Khmelnitsky Hetman again, as a Turkish vassal, and prepared to drive the Muscovites out of his new domains.


The Ottoman army commanded by Ibrahim Pasha arrived at Chigirin on 4 August 1677 to begin the siege. The garrison was commanded by Major General Tranernicht, a German in the Tsar's service. The Crimean Tatars soon arrived, followed by General Romodanovski and Hetman Samoilovich, who forced a river crossing and on 28 August soundly defeated the Turks, who fled leaving from 4 to 8 thousand dead Janissaries and all their cannon. According to the account of Patrick Gordon, Prince Golitsin had 15—20,000 more troops, mostly the dvoriani and boyars, and could have brought them into battle, but remained away until the next day. Prince Golitsin hated Romodanovski and the reverse. After the battle Romodanovski and Samoilovich withdrew their armies and Golitsin took over command of the defense, the armies passing each other at the river. Romodanovski and Samoilovich advised Moscow to hold Chigirin with a very strong force and to prepare for the inevitable return of the Turks. Golitsin, however, did not press for strengthening the fort. Ivan I. Rzhevsky was appointed voevode but he did not inspect the fort until March 1678, when he found it in very poor shape and began repairs. 156

During the winter 1677-78 both Romodanovski and Golitsin were in Moscow arguing for their views. The government backed Golitsin and made him voevode of the main polk, i.e. commander in chief, with Romadonovski to serve as a subordinate commander. Princes Dolgorukov, Lykov, and Khovansky were also ordered to command units at the front.

As expected, the Ottoman army returned to Chigirin, on 8 July 1678. The Vizier, Mustafa Pasha, brought 50,000 Turks, 50,000 Tatars, 4 great cannon, 27 other siege guns, 130 field guns, 6 mortars, and 9 smaller guns. The supply train had 8,000 Wagons and 5,000 camels loaded with ammunition and 100,000 wagons of supplies; 8,000 herdsmen controlled the livestock. The later plus the wagoners and miners were Christian subjects of the Sultan. The fortress garrison contained 12,000 men. Gordon commanded his dragoon regiments and the streltsi and was chief engineer. He supervised the construction of the defenses and directed their use.

On hearing of the Turk's arrival Romodanovski and Samoilovich hurried forward with their forces. They engaged the enemy in a fierce but indecisive battle, after which the Turks and Tatars withdrew into their camp before the city. On 3 August the Russians seized a height and broke the blockade of the town, but the garrison commander, Rzhevsky, was killed. On 4 August Golitsyn's army which had been advancing as slowly as possible arrived and who camped a few miles away, refusing to help. Gordon who was made commander of the garrison, was furious at the lack of initiative of the Russian “relief” army. But Golitsin had instructions that he did not have to defend Chigirin, so he didn't.

Finally on 12 August Romodanovski ordered the town evacuated and blown up. Gordon supervised the withdrawal and was himself the last man out after having fired a mine in the powder stores. He barely nan escaped death or capture, but his mine killed 4,000 Turks who were coming on the other side of the city. Both armies then retreated, the Turks supposedly lost 30,000 out of their 100,000 men. The siege showed that the Russian army had serious deficiencies, particularly in supply and command. 157

The loss of Chigirin damaged Muscovite prestige and lost them control of the right bank Ukraine. Yuri Khmelnitski used Tatar help to regain control of the area and by December 1678 was raiding the left bank again at Korsun, Cherkasi, Pereiaslavl and other towns.


In 1679 negotiations for peace were begun which lead to the signing on 3 January 1681 of the Peace of Bakhchisarai. Among the prisoners returned to Russia was the unfortunate boyar Sheremetev, who had been captured in 1660 at Chudov.


The country was at peace again, but all was not quiet. Tsar Feodor Alexeyevich died on 27 April. He was succeeded by the joint rule of his sons, Ivan V and Peter I. Initially Peter was chosen by an assembly convened by the Patriarch. But on 29 April 1682 sixteen streltzi regiments staged a rebellion. The regent, Natalia, (Peter’s mother) gave in to their demands that they be allowed to kill their colonels. On 15 May the streltsi again rioted, this time killing Artemon Matveev, Michael and Yuri Dolgorukoi, and three Naryshkins. Sophia Alexeyevna was proclaimed Regent and the streltsi commander, Khovanski, demanded that Ivan be named at least co-ruler, to which Sophia agreed.

On 9 September Sophia executed the streltsi leader, Prince Khovanski, and appointed Feodor Shaklovity as the new commander. Twelve streltsi units were transfered to the provinces. The streltsi were then replaced as the guard in Moscow and the Kremlin. 158


Sophia and her confidant, Golitsyn, desired peace with all neighbors, but the Turkish siege of Vienna changed the picture. Poland and Austria asked for help, which the Russians were only to glad to give, for a price.


Golitsyn asked General Gordon, the commander at Kiev, for advice on a projected campaign against Crimea. Gordon replied that with 40,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry he could capture Crimea in a one of two year campaign. Golitsyn agreed and began negotiations with Poland to gain the maximum advantage from Russian help in the war against the Turks.

While negotiations were progressing with the Poles, attention was distracted by events on the Amur river frontier.


Manchu troops numbering 10,000 to the 450 Russians present forced the garrison at Albasin to surrender and abandon the post. The Russians soon returned and rebuilt the fort.


In 1686 the Russian garrison was increased to 670 men with 5 cannon. The Chinese also returned with 3,000 cavalry and from 3 to 6,000 infantry and 30 cannon. The Chinese infantry had only bows and scythes however. They attacked on 7 July 1686 and maintained a siege for five months. The Russian garrison was reduced to 115 men, but in December the Chinese withdrew. 159

The final “Treaty of Eternal Peace” was signed by Poland and Russia on 26 April 1686. In exchange for Russian aid, of their own choosing, in the war the Poles gave up all claims to Kiev and Smolensk and the other disputed towns.

Meanwhile methodical preparations were being made for a campaign against Crimea. The boyar Duma met to consider the issue and appoint officers. On the 31st of September a decree was issued ordering all nobles and dvoriani to prepare for war. No one wanted to risk being in charge of a defeat, therefore Golitsyn had to take command himself. 160


The army assembled on 22 February for movement by the traditional river portages and ostrogs. The Main polk was commanded by Golitsyn and Prince V. 0. Sheremetev and V. A. Zmeev. It assembled at Akhtyrka on the Vorskla River. The Novgorod polk commanded by A. S. Shein assembled at Sumy on the Vorskla. The Ryazan polk under V. D. Dolgorukov and P. D. Skuratov formed at Khotmyzhsk on the Vorskla. The Sevsk polk was at Krasny Kut on the O'lmnel'nik River under command of N. R. Nepluev. General Gordon was given command of the select regiments and was in addition the army Quartermaster General in charge of all transport. He also had to conduct the reconnaissance, build the bridges, and roads and select the camp sites.

The officers were late to the assembly and were as usual engaged in arguments over position. Some of the officers had to be threatened with prison. The army marched from Akhtyrka to the Meil River then to Orel, to Poltava, to the Samara River. It was joined on 30 May by the 50,000 Cossacks of Hetman Ivan Samoilovich. The army moved on to Zaporozhe and then crossed to Konstie Vody. The march formation was in dense columns with 20,000 wagons in rows on the flanks, The formation was 1,000 fathoms long and 557 fathoms wide. The artillery marched on one side.

On 13 June at Bolshoi Zug they met soggy marsh ground and steppe fires set by Tatars or Cossacks. With no fodder and low rations the army was rapidly getting into difficulty. The Russians continued on toward Perekop without sighting any Tatars and it became obvious that the food would run out before they did see any. To find a pretext for retreat the Hetman Samoilovich was declared to be a traitor and Ivan Mazeppa was made the new Hetman. The army returned by September and the generals were proclaimed victors. 161

N. R. Nepluev won the only battle of the campaign against a detachment commanded by Nuradyn Sultan. In July Nepluev was ordered to build a fort at Novo Bogoraditski on the Samara River as a supply point for future operations, The fort was designed by the Dutch engineer, Vazal.

Poland asked for another campaign to which Golitsyn agreed.


In January 1688 Roman Nepluev and Gregorii Kosagov were named voevodes for the new campaign and were sent to the Ukraine to prepare the way. The Tatars took the offensive first and raided Volhynia. They threatened Kiev, effectively keeping the Cossacks, Poles and Russians at home on the defensive.

During the year Peter increasingly, called on General Gordon to supply men and assistance for his private “play” regiments. Gordon began to recognize the potential political situation represented by Peter.

The proclamation for the second campaign was published on 18 September 1688. The same month another streltsi rebellion was suppressed. In October Peter called for more recruits for his regiments. He also favored the Sukharev streltsi regt.

In December the armies began to assemble for the new campaign. The commander in chief was again Golitsyn with Ya. F. Dolgoruki and V. A. Zmeef voevodes of the main polk.

The Novgorod polk was commanded by A. S. Shein, Ryazan polk by

V. D. Dolgoruki and A. I. Khitrovo; Sevsk polk by L. R. Nepluev; and the Kazan polk by B. P. Sheremetev. Among the foreign officers who commanded regiments were Gordon, Trauernicht, von Graham, Lefort, and von Weiden.


In February 1689 Gordon was ordered to prepare plans for a defense line on the Dnieper and to prepare his regiment for the campaign. He was again the Quartermaster General. The campaign was to begin early, so as to avoid the possibility of steppe fires, but the officers were late to the muster again. Gordon advised following the course of the Dnieper, but Golitsyn did not agree. The polki united on the Orel river in April. It was cold with a late thaw which made swamps and flooded the rivers. The fort at Novo-Bogaradish proved very valuable as the rest and supply point. There the army received two month’s rations. In May as the army began to move on, the Tatars began to attack. On the 15th of May the Kazan polk was attacked by 10,000 Tatars and forced to retreat, Golitsin sent help and the Tatars fled, but the damage was done. There was disorder in the Russian ranks. On 16 May a large Tatar army appeared in a rain storm and attacked the right flank and rear. Golitsin used artillery to drive them off. Then another Tatar attack came on the left and on the Cossacks. Again the artillery repelled the attackers. The Tatar attacks continued during the next two days.

When the Russians reached Perekop Golitsin stopped the army and immediately opened negotiations. He feared to attack the strong fortifications, not having confidence that his army could do well. He proposed truce terms and then did not wait for an answer. During the retreat the Tatar and Turkish attacks were renewed and the steppe was burned, but the Tatars did not launch a really massive attack. The Russians made it from Perekop to the Dnieper in 4 days in a well executed retreat. 162

This time Peter refused to sanction rewards for the officers. On 7 August he ordered the foreign officers to the Troitsa monastery. Gordon led the rest to Peter, bringing the select regiments. The Sukharev streltsi regiment also came to support the new Tsar. By early September Peter had the upper hand and forced Sophia to move to the Novodevichy Convent. Her advisers were replaced, Vasilii Golitsin was exiled.


Note: These citations were intended to follow those in the proposed book on Russian military history - the section on the period prior to 1604 - consequently the use of ibid and op cit referring to the prior citations.

  1. Novoselski, op. cit. p.55, 59. Boris was quite concerned with the danger to Muscovy from the Nogai Tatars despite their formal recognition of Moscow's suzerainty, and he tried to find ways to divert their energies to his own benefit it. His ambassador in 1604 was C. C. Godunov.
  2. ibid. p. 44
  3. Philip Barbour, Dimitri, Called the Pretender, Tsar and Great Prince of All Russia, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, l966, p. 72. Razin, op. cit. Vol III p. 60-82, for the details of the campaign.
  4. Barbour, op. cit. p. 89-95; Chernov, op. cit. p. 107.

Professor Chernov claims another first for Russia in that the Tsar's army for the first time in history used “linear tactics”. But the fact that the streltsi lined up more or less in a line to fire their arquebuses does not constitute linear tactics.

5. Barbour, op. cit. p 86-88; Chernov op. cit. p. 107-108.

6. Barbour, op. cit. p. 96

7. ibid.

8. ibid. p. 98-114; Chernov, op. cit. p. 108. Chernov praises the streltsi for remaining loyal when the deti boyars deserted. He might have mentioned that the foreign mercenaries remained loyal even longer and in fact went out of their way to show their loyalty.

9. ibid. p 138.

10. Dmitri re-instituted the double line of defense in the south, on the “shore” and in the Ukraine, in anticipation of war with the Tatars. Upon becoming Tsar, Vasilii Shuiski ordered the polki sent to Serpukhov, Aleksin, Kaluga, Kolomna, Kashir, Mtsensk, Novosil, and Orel; but this order was probably never carried out because all the armed forces were needed against Bolotnikov. Novoselski, op, cit. p. 66.

In 1606 the Kalmyks, a Mongolian nation having 14 divisions of men (total of 140,000) , began approaching The Tobol and Irtysh River valleys on the Russian border. The Russian border guards had firearms and the support of the Siberian Tatars. The chief Russian defense, however, was to exploit dissection among the Kalmyk leaders and to use conflicts between the Kalmyks and the other nomads such as the Kazaks and Nogai. (Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V, p.294.

11. Chernov, op. cit. p. 109—110.

12. ibid. p. 110. Chernov states that Sheremetev did suppress the rebellion in Astrakhan. But Novoselski, op. cit. p. 59. gives a detailed account of this operation, showing that the Sheremetev did not achieve his objective. He remained on an island 15 versts from Astrakhan until October 1607 when he retired to Tsaritsin, where he stayed until being recalled to Moscow with his entire force in 1608. Novoselski indicates the importance of this mission and of its failure due to the influence Astrakhan had over the great Nogais. When the Moscow government could not hold Astrakhan the Nogais took this as a sign that they could attack; Muscovite territories with relative impunity.

13. Chernov, op.cit. p.110; Razin, op cit. p. 84—132, contains a full account of the campaign of 1606—1607.

l4. Chernov, op. cit p. 110.

15. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 45.

l6. ibid. p. 67. Prince Urusov figured in Crimean military and political affairs until the 1630's.

17. ibid. p. 55. There were no polki on defense duty in the south from 1607 until 1613.

18. Chernov, op. cit. p. 110. In the fall of 1607 the first Kalmyk embassy started for Moscow, where they were greeted by Tsar Shuiski in February of 1608. (Vernadsky, op. cit. vol. V p. 294. The same year local Siberian natives attempted to storm Tobolsk and were repulsed with the help of the Siberian Tatars. In 1608 a large scale Tatar operation was conducted in the region of Temnikov. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 69.

l9. Vernadsky, op. cit. vol V p. 246-7; Chernov, op. cit. p. 115. Jacob De La Gardie was the son of Pontus De La Gardie, who fought Russia in the Livonian War. G. N. Bibikov, “The Experience of the Military Reform of 1609— 1610 in Istoricheskie Zapiski, no. 19, 1946, gives a very interesting account of the campaign. He notes that De La Gardie had personally studied the latest tactics under Maurice of Orange in Holland. Thus the most up-to-date innovations of the founder of modern European military science were quickly brought to Russia, where they were on their way to being adopted when the death of Prince Skopin Shuiski disrupted the experiment and the state itself.

Razin, op. cit. vol. III p. 150—194 gives an excellent account of the campaigns of 1609 - 1612 including indispensable maps.

20. Michael Roberts, op. cit. Vol 1. p. 34, shows that the Swedes were interested in much more than the cash and territories promised them by Tsar Shuiski. He gives the best description of the Swedish involvement in the Time of Troubles that I have found. The picture of half-starved Swedish troops looting the nearly starved peasants in order to survive makes the reality of war much more vivid to the reader.

21.Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol. V p. 247; Chernov, op. cit. p. 115.

22. Bibikov, op.cit. p. 7-9.

23. ibid. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol. V p. 247

24. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol. V 247.

25. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 69, 70

26. Vernadsky, Vol. V p. 248; Bibikov, op. cit. p. 9

For Skopin—Shuiski's entrance into Moscow, see S. M. Solov'ev, Istorila Rossia a Drevneishikh Vremen, Moscow, 1962, Book 7. p. 565,

27.Bibikov, op. cit. p. 9; Soloviev, op. cit. p. 568.

28.Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V p. 249; Chernov, op. cit. p. 115. Joseph Hamel, England and Russia Comprisung the Voyages of John Tradescant the Elder. London l968 p. 406. The author says that the Scotish Captain Robert Carr commanded one of the six companies of British cavalry which remained the longest on the field at Klushino against the Poles. The Captain had 1,200 to 1,400 men against the 8,000 Poles. Evidential all the mercenaries did not desert to the Polish side.

29. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 62.

30. ibid. p. 70—71.

31 Vernadsky, Vol V_p. 249.

32. ibid._p. 258.

33. ibid. and Roberts, op cit. Vol I p. 75.

34. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 73.

35. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 268-9; Chernov, op. cit. p. 117—120. Vasilii Kliuchevski, Coure in Russian History — 17th Century, translated by Natalie Duddington, Chicago, Quadrangle, 1968, p. 62. Marina was the widow of both of the False Dmitri' and a duly crowned Tsarina of Russia.

The Russians do not emphasize the role the Tatars played in freeing Moscow from the Poles, Jerome Horsey however emphasized the Tatar role. He says the “national” uprising on the Volga was Nagoi, Mordvins, Kazan Tatars, and Chermis who were used to obedience to the Tsar and hated the Poles. They were excellent horsemen and warriors who “stood the Rus and themselves now in most oportun steed”. “They took head and arms in great numbers besett the Poles and so endangered their safety... and freed the country of them.” Sir Edward Bond, Russia at the Close of the 16th Century, London, Hakluyt Society, 1856, p. 263.

36. Vernadsky Vol V p. 269; Soloviev, op. cit. p 680— 683.

The most thorough study of this battle, from which these details are taken, is G. N. Bibikov, “The Battle of the Russian People’s Militia with the Polish Interventionists, 22-24 August 1612 at Moscow” in Istoricheski Zapiski, no. 32. 1950

38. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 74.

39. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 290

40. ibid. p 280, 283. The government forces were led by

Prince I. N. Odevsky. The Don Cossacks wrote to the other Cossack hosts urging support of the government.

4l. ibid. p. 286.

42. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 66.

43. ibid._p. 75.

44. Vernadsky Vol. V p. 287.

45. Gustavus' campaign is described from the Swedish point of view in Michael Roberts, op. cit. vol. 1. The possibility that Gustavus’ brother, Karl Filip, might have been elected Tsar instead of Michael Romanov leads to speculation on what the military history of Russia would have been like if that had occurred. There surely would have been a western influence in military organization and tactics.

46. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 66.

47. Vernadsicy, Vol. V p. 295.

48. ibid. p. 283; Novoselski, op. cit. p. 76. The streltsi were supported by Terek Cossacks.

49. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 85 — 87.

50. ibid. p. 77.

51. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V, p. 290, 291.

52. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 78. The Russian ambassadors to the Ottoman Empire, P. Mansurov, and S. Samsonov, discussed the Tatar — Cossack problem with the Grand Vizier. The Vizier accused the Russians of supporting Cossack raids and the Russians asked him to prevent raids by the Azov and Lesser Nogais. The Russians agreed that the Crimean Tatars were not currently at fault. The Vizier replied that the Nogai were a free and independent people, full nomads who were not under the control of the Sultan. But the Azov Tatars were diverted to raiding of the right bank Ukraine. The lesser Nogai were the most unruly of all the hordes; they attacked their Tatar neighbors as well as the Russians.

53. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 87, 99.

54. At the Treaty of Stolbovo, in 1617, Sweden gave Novgorod back to Moscow ànd Moscow gave up Ingria and its entire sea coast area on the Baltic. Vernadsky, Vol. V p. 290; R. Nisbet Bain, The First Romanovs, London, l9O5, p. 40—50. For an excellent explanation of the strategic problems that faced Sweden and Russia in the Baltic sea area see, Robert Kerner, op. cit. He includes excerpts from Gustavus Adolphus' speech to his parliament on the occasion of the Treaty of Stolbovo to show how well Gustavus knew the strategic situation.

55. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 99. The only frontier raids on Muscovy in 1618 were private affairs by the Azov Tatar clans. ibid. p. 150.

56. ibid.__p. 102.

57. ibid. p. 159, 160, 66. The strength reports for the southern order guard polki and town garrisons are very incomplete. For comparison, note that in 1616 the main polk had 1,649 men at Tula, the lead polk had 884 men at Mtsensk and the guard polk had 801 men at Novosi1. In 1619 the polk moved from Novosil to Dedilov, the guard polk from Ntsinsk to Krapivna, and the reserve polk to Mtsinsk. In 1619 the only border raids were again those of the Azov T Tatars,. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 150.

58. Vernadsky Vol V p. 329; Novoselski, op. cit. p. 100. The Poles need Cossack help against the Turks, The Cossacks in turn demanded recognition of Orthodox religious rights in Ukraine as a proce for their help.

59. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 129, 142, 158, 160.

60. Vernadsky, Vol IV p. 331; Novoselski op. cit. p. 100. According to David Eggenberger, A Dictionary of Battles, New York, Thomas; Crowell, 1967, when the ailing Hetman died he was replaced by Prince Stanislaw Lubomirski. The Turkish defeat was due to the decline in discipline of the Janissaries, who broke under the Polish attacks and fled the field. See also, Dupuy, op. cit. p. 573. There were no Tatar raids on Muscovy in 1620. (Novoselski, op. cit. p. 150.

61. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 100, 160. In 1622 the Kalmyks attacked the Nogai, who fled across the Volga, despite Muscovite efforts to stop them by providing streltsi units to defend them from the Kalmyks. The movement of the Nogai from the Volga—Ural area to the Kuban—Don area was regarded as a very dangerous development by Moscow because in the new location, closer to Crimea, the Nogai would be more tempted to renew their raids on Moscow. The government continued to press for the Nogais to return to the Volga region.

62. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 100, 114. During the Khotin campaign the Sultan made Kantimir Murza of the Belgorod Tatars independent of Crimea. The Sultan also replaced Dzhanibek Gerei as Khan for alleged incompetence on the campaign. In 1623-4 the Crimeans captured the Belgorod Tatars and took them to Crimea. In doing this the Crimeans were rebelling against the Sultan. In 1625 the Crimeans and Zaporozhie Cossacks reached an agreement on joint action against the Ottoman Turks. The Zaporozhie sent two fleets to Crimea and landed troops on the coast. They blocked the Turkish naval forces and prevented them from landing in Crimea, and disrupted the Turkish military effort against Poland and Persia as well. This Cossack campaign assumed international significance and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean, where the Turks confronted Spain and Venice. There were many small raids by the Azov Tatars in 1623, but no Tatar raid on Russia in 1624. However, the Don Cossacks raided Crimea, near Balaclava in the spring of 1624.

63.ibid. p. 129.

64. ibid. p. 117. In 1626 the Don Cossacks raided the lesser Nogai villages, while the Nogai were away raiding the eastern part of the Muscovite border. The Swedes and Poles were still at war in 1626. The Poles wanted to divert the Cossacks against Sweden, but feared for the consequences of Turkish attacks in the Ukraine if they removed the Cossack forces. The Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, also sought Cossack help and that of Moscow. For details of the Polish Swedish War of 1617—1629 see Dupuy, op. cit. p. 573, 574. and Roberts, op. cit. p.182-255.

65. ibid. p. 129

66. ibid. p. 120—136. There were a few frontier raids on Russia by the Azov Tatars in 1629.

67. The year 1630 was not without its military action, as the Don Cossacks attacked Kerch with 1,500 men in 28 vessels and then raided the Turkish coast from Sinope to Iconium. Novoselsiki, op. cit. p. 129. The Russian government asked the Don Cossacks aid the Turks at Ochakov against the Poles, but the Cossacks refused to do this on the grounds of religious; belief, they also refused to stop raiding Turkey, for which the government seized some Cossack leaders and officially condemned the Cossack host. (ibid. p. 216.) The Cossacks killed the voevode Ivankar Anishev. During 1630 the Kalmyks continued moving west into Bashkir lands. Kliuchevski, op. cit. p. 283, discusses the mission of Colonel Les1ie to Sweden. Colonel Van Dam was sent at the same time to other Western countries to recruit mercenaries. The mercenaries regiments were a great financial burden. Kluchevski estimates that each regiment cost 1.5 million rubles a year in the currency of 1900.

68. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 183, 205—7. He has studied these raids in great depth and describes them exhaustively, giving the names of the Tatar leaders, the size of the raiding party the towns attacked and the names of the leaders of the defense, The Tatar practice was to sweep large area; with many sma11 detachments and avoid battle or long sieges.

69. Vernadsky Vol V p. 347—8; Bain, op. cit. p. 59-60; Novoselski, op. cit. p. 215; 0. L. Vainshtein, Rossiya i Tridtsateletnaya Voina, Leningrad, 1947, Vainistein suggests that the desire to coordinate with Gustavws Adolphus on an invasion of Poland was behind the delay in the attack on Smolensk. He also gives a good account of the Russian diplomatic efforts to bring the Turks into the war against Poland. Novoselski shows the connection between the Tatar raid and the delay in the campaign. For details of the Polish and Swedish campaigns which were interrupted by the Truce of Altmark in Sept 1629 see, Roberts, op. cit. and Dupuy, op. cit. p. 574. Gustavus died at Leutzen on 6 November 1632. At the time, his government had been negotiating with the Crimean Tatars for two years on the Tatar offer of 30,000 men against whichever enemy Gustavus would select. Vernadsky gives the details of Shein’s appointment as voevode of the Main polk with Artemi V. Izmailov as second in command. Shein had been held prisoner after his capture in 1611 at the defense of Smolensk and had sworn never to fight Poland again as a condition of his release. He had served since 1619 as head of the Pushkarski Prikaz. The boyars opposed Shein and used the issue of his previous oath to Poland against him in 1634, securing his execution. The Russian public was concerned about the morality of breaking the truce a year ahead of its expiration, and was self conscious about the possible effects this might have. There was also concern about the use of foreign troops.

70. Novoselski , op cit. p. 209 —213; Vernadsky Vol V. 347 The Tatar Khan led these attacks himself, but later tried to deny this fact. He again blamed the Azov and Kantimir Tatars In 1632 the new Sultan, Murad IV, planned war on Poland and ordered Khan Dzhanibek Gerei, to keep the peace with Russia while preparing to fight Poland. That the Tatar khan was anxious to find someone to fight during the period 1629 — 1632 is indicated by his sending ambassadors as far as Stockholm for this purpose. He risked his job in attacking Russia against the Sultan’s orders, but did so again in 1633 due to the pressure far action from his subordinates.

71. ibid. p. 225—226. The streltsi attempted to operate in the steppes against the Kalmyks by using mobile wagon forts containing six cannon and two prikazi of streltsi, but against upwards of 10,000 Kalmyks even these measures were fruitless.

72. Vernadsky, Vol V. p. 348—350; Bain, op. cit. p. 60. Kliuchevski, op. cit. p. 283, notes that the army had six foreign trained, regiments of l,500 Germans and 13,000 Russians. He comments that never before had Russia had so many infantry trained with firearms.

73. Vernadsky, Vol V p.350; Novoslski op. cit. p. 214—271. Novoselski gives detailed information on the raids at each town and the results. He considers this to be one of the most destructive Tatar raids in the first half of the 17th century. Hundreds of homes were burned and about 5,700 prisoners were taken the central provinces alone. Some of the representative figures he gives are as follows: Ryazan -1,350 ;Kashir — 1,276; Serepukhov — 893; Pronsk — 200; Zapaisk 38; When the Tatars returned home they found themselves ordered to undertake an immediate winter campaign against Poland or else Dzhanibek Gerei would lose his job.

74. ibid. Novoselski gives more details of the government reaction and of desertions; from the army not prompted by the Tatar raid. The Don Cossack contingents were especially active in revolt against the government and even captured some towns during their movement east.

75. The dates of the various troop movements given by Vernadsky and Bain differ, as do their troop strength data. Vernadsky says there were 9,000 Poles and 15—20,000 Cossacks, Bain gives Wladislaw 16,000 Poles and 15,000 Cossacks. Vernadsky says Shein's execution was due to boyar revenge.

76. Vernadsky Vol 1 _p. 510, mentions the Campaign in the Kuban. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 216—20, gives the details. There was a surprise attack in the spring, which captured the Tatar Mursa Saltan Murat’s family and 700 other Tatars. Then on March 31st it was decided to attack the lessor Nogai using troops from the lower Volga region. The The main force left Astrakhan in July and assembled in the steppe. Prince Volkonski had 8,250 Cherkass, Terek Cossacks and Yedisan Tatars, 685 Astrakhan mounted streltsi, 570 Volga service men, and 350 others from the Terek region. He freed at least 870 Russian, whom he sent back to Astrakhan. The number of prisoners freed by the Cossacks is unknown. Volkonski. complained to the government on behalf of his troops and the Nogais that the Cossacks had arrived late for the campaign, yet were appropriating all the booty for themselves.

77. Vernadsky, vol. V p.352.

78 Novoselski,op. cit. p. 238.

79. ibid. p. 223-238.

80 ibid. 204, 222, 293, 295. The fortified lines were well illustrated by Razin op,. cit. Vol III p. 224—228

81. ibid. p. 237.

82. Vernadsky, Vol V P. 355.

83. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 251—3. 233, 245.

84. ibid. p. 234, 295,243.

85. Vernadsky , Vol V,p. 357

86. The siege and occupation on Azov from 1637 to 1641 is described by Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V p. 360, and by Novoselski op. cit. p. 260. But the most complete study is “Azovskoe Sidenie” by U. A. Tikonov, in Voprosii Istorii number 8, August 1970; from which this account is taken The ambassador, Forma Kantakuzin, was captured by the Cossacks and held in their camp on the grounds that the snow was too deep for travel.

87. The Ottoman ambassador sent messages out of the Cossack camp informing the Tatars and his government of the Cossack strength. Some of the messengers were intercepted and the ambassador was executed for his pains. But a 4,000 man relief force was assembled from the garrisons of Kerch, Taman and Temruk. The Cossacks learned of this in time and succeeded in meeting this force at the river Kazulnik and defeating it.

88. Novoselski, op cit. p. 304, 295, 265. Yablomov, for instance, was connected to the Oskol River by a fortified line of ditch and palisade with two earthen forts and three stockades. The garrison had not all arrived in July when the Tatars attacked, but it still blocked the raiders front passing through on the Izumski Tral. However, in September the garrison was overwhelmed by a mass attack.

89. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 263, 265—266, gives the details of this raid. Tikhanov and Vernadsky both mention the execution.

90. ibid,

91. Tikhonov, op. cit. p. 105. On the way back to Crimea the Tatars fell into an ambush. This so irritated the Murzi that they decided to vent their anger on the Russian ambassadors to Crimea. These men were subjected to humiliation and torture to such a degree that popular opinion in Moscow, expressed in the Zemski Sobor of 1639, called for war. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 270—271, 275.

92. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 282; Tikhonov, op. cit. p. 105.

93. ibid. 295. That this line was already having some effect is seen by the ultimatum the khan sent demanding that it be destroyed.

94. This defense line, and specifically the reconstruction program of 1638, is the subject of a fine monograph, Zasechnaya Cherta, written by A. Yakovlev in 1916. He has studied the archives of the financial organs of the Tsar's government to be able to give a section by section account; of the construction, who was responsible, what their problems were and how the work was accomplished. The defense line will be examined in more detail in the section of this paper on Fortifications.

95. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V p. 358.

96. Tikhonov, op. cit. p. 105.

97. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 295.

98. ibid. p. 279.

99. Tikhanov, op. cit. p. 106; Novoselski, op. cit. p. 289.

l00. Tikhanov,_op.cit. p. 106.

101, Novoselski, op. cit. p. 286. There was one small raid by 1,000 Tatars in May.

102. Tikhanov, op. cit.~.106—168. The Turks blockaded the Don River, but the Cossacks succeeded in entering Azov anyway, by swimming underwater, breathing through straws.

103. ibid. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 286—289.

104. Novoselski, op. cit._p.245.

105. ibid. p. 285. Tikhanov, op. cit. p. 108. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 365.

106. Tikhanov, op. cit. p. 109. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 372, says Azov could have been the key to Russian expansion into the Caucasus, Black Sea area. It controlled the Nogai and Circassians and would have helped control the Crimeans. But with Smolensk still in Polish hánds only a few miles west of Moscow, it seems hard to fault the Tsar’s decision.

107. Novoselski, op. cit.p. 315—320.

l08. Novoselski, op. cit.p. 358. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V p. 548, says that the Kalmyks attacked Astrakhan, but failed to capture the city. From Novoselski's account it is clear that they were not trying to attack the town, but only the nomads living near it.

l09. Vernadsky, Vol. V p.372, Mentions the unusually heavy raiding which took place in 1644. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 326-7, 335-45, gives the details.

110. Novoselski, op. cit.368.

111. Novoselski, op. cit. 350—357. Prince Pozharski died. In battle against the Tatars in the famous Russian defeat at Konotop in 1659. It is not indicated in the sources I have used whether or not the death of Tsar Michael and the accession of Alexis in 1645 disrupted the administration and control of the border defense.

112. ibid._p. 371.-372.

113. ibid. p. 373—382.

114. ibid. _p. 385, 331; Vernadsky, Vol V. P. 663.

115. Vernadsky Vol V. p., 664.

116. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 293

117. ibid p. 293

118. ibid._p. 394

119. ibid. Bain, op. cit. p. 89. Carl O’Brien, Muscovy and the Ukraine, From the Pereyaslavl Agreement to the Truce of Andrusovo 1654- 1667, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1963, p. 12. Razin, Vol III p. 307 — 312, provides excellent maps of Korsun and Zolte wody battles and illustrations.

l20. Novoselski, op. cit. p. 395.

121. Bain, op. cit. p. 91; 0'Brien, op. cit. p. 17; Kliuchevsky, op. cit. p. 151—53 discusses the Ulozhenie of 1649 which established military service responsibilities and serfdom. He notes that this law code remained in force until 1833.

122. Bain, op. cit. p. 94

123. 0'Brien, op. cit. p. 18 — 27.

124. Bain, op. cit. p. 107; Kliuchevski, o,p. cit. p. 289 notes that the foreign suburb was established in 1652 when the foreigners were forced out of Moscow.

125. Vernadsky, op. cit. p. 662.

126. Bain, op. cit. p. 109.

127. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 498.

128. ibid. Bain, op._cit. p. 109 O'Brien, op. cit. p. 31.

129. 0'Brien, op. cit. p. 33.

130. ibid. p. 35; Bain, pp. cit. p. 110. Vernadsky,Vol V p. 501. Patrick Gordon, Passages from the Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchlenchries, Aberdeen 1859. Patrick Gordon was one of the Scotish adventurers, hired by King Charles X in Germany. His diary is a practically day by day account of his service in the Swedish, Polish, Swedish and again Polish armies during this war. The picture of looting and general banditry practiced by the soldiers cannot be reproduced in an historical summary such as this.

131. Gordon, op. cit. He was almost captured in this siege and was captured several times during later periods of the war. The ease with which he changed sides when captured is illustrative of the general practice in dealing with mercenary troops at that time.

l32. 0'Drien, op. cit. p. 38—39; Bain, op. cit. p. 110; Vernadsky, Vol V p. 501.

133. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 550.

l34. ibid._p. 504. Bain, op._cit. p. 112; O’Brien, op. cit. p. 40. Gordon, op. cit. Patrick Gordon was among the several thousand mercenaries King Charles brought to Riga. Bain says Riga was defended by Simon Helmfelt, but O'Brien gives Magnus De la Gardie as the Swedish commander. Sir Alexander Leslie was in disgrace with the Tsar due to the suspected collaboration of the foreign officers with the Swedes. But he apparently regained the royal favor because he was Governor of Smolensk when he died in 1663.

135. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 506—507; Bain, op. cit. p. 115—116.

136. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V p. 550.

137. ibid,_p. 517—526; Bain op. cit. p. 115-116. O’Brien, op._cit. p.50

138. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 517—529; O'Brien, op cit. p. 63; Bain, op. cit. p. 117. Kliuchevski, op. cit. p. 128-9. During 1659 Patrick Gordon was captured by the Poles and accepted service in their army as a quartermaster. He was occupied with the fighting which continued in western Poland during the year.

139. O’Brien, op. cit. p. 68. The size of the armies and their commander's names very from one source to another. Patrick Gordon writes that the Polish Field Marshal Lubomirski was at Cudno. He gives the Russian losses at 36,000 men, 67 cannon and 115 standards. Gordon himself was wounded in the action. Gordon, qp.cit.p. 31.

140. Vernadaky, Vol V p. 552. He notes that Stepan Razin was one of the envoys of the Don Cossacks who met with the Kalmyks in March 1661 to plan joint campaigns. To placate the Kalmyks, the Russian government forbade the Bashkirs from raiding Kalmyk villages. This led to the Bashkir uprising of 1662. In 1664 the government gave the Kalmyks a special state banner as a token of their service.

141. O'Brien, op. cit. p. 75. Gordon, op. cit. p. 34, describes conditions in the Polish camp, where mutinies were started by the unpaid soldiers. He and, several friends, decided in July to quit the Polish service and go to Moscow. They arrived in Moscow in September 1661 and were accepted into the Russian service. Gordon's description of the testing process whereby the head of the Foreigners office E. Miloslavski, verified the skills of the foreign applicants is especially interesting. Gordon, op cit. p. 40.

l42. Vernadsky, Vol V p 534.

143. O'Brien, op. cit. p. 82.

144. Bain, op., cit p. 117.

145. O'Brien,_op, cit. p. 83.

146. Alton Donnelly, The Russian Conquest of Bashkiria, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1968 p.22—25, Vernadsky, Vol V p. 555. The government policy regarding the Kalmyks did not remain so wise for long. After using their excellent services in war for a century, the government of Empress Catherine II allowed the Kalmyks to be exploited by local governors. The typica1 Russian attitude when dealing with the nomads was one of condescension and a “like it or not you are dependent on us” attitude. But the Kalmyks were not to be treated like Tatars or Bashkirs. In January 1771 they picked up their tents and moved back eastward clear across the semiarid steppe, from the Volga to beyond Lake Balkash and reentered the domain of the Manchu Emperor. It was estimated that 300,000 people made this trek of nearly a year's duration. They were forced to fight their way across the lands of a number of peoples in the process. Harold Lamb, The March of Muscovy, New York, Doubleday, 1948, p. 282—289.

147. Bain op. cit. p 117; Vernadsky, Vol V p. 534.

148. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 535·

149. ibid, p. 535.

150. Vernadsky, op. cit. Vol V, p. 536, Bain, op. cit. P 118.

151. O’Brien, op. cit. p. 96; Vernadsky, Vol V.p. 539.

152. Bain, op. cit. p. 121; Vernadsky vol V p. 614. Donnelly, op. cit. p. 26.

153. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 628.

154. ibid. p. 635, Bain, op. cit. p. 179. The initial defeat of Poland alarmed Moscow. The Tsar agreed to a treaty with Poland. On November 11, 1673 Jan Sobieski routed the Turka at Chocim (Khotin). He became King of Poland in May 1674. The Tsar’s army united with the Poles at the Dnieper. Kliuchevski, op. cit. p. 135.

155. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 637; Donnelly, op. cit. p. 26. The Poles and Turks agreed to peace on 16 October 1675.

156. Vernadsky, Vol V p. 641; Gordon, op._cit. Soloviev, op. cit. Book 13, p. 209. For the reforms of V. V. Golitsin see Kliuchevski, op. cit. p. 380~ 382. B. H. Sumner, Peter the Great and the Ottoman Empire, Oxford University Press l949, p. 7, points out that the Ottoman Empire was much strong militarily in the last half of the 17th century than it had been in the first, due to the military reforms effected by the Kuprili Vizer.

157. Vernadsky, Vol V. p. 644; Soloviev, op. cit. p. 213.-214

158. O'Brien, C. Bickford, Russia Under Two Tsars~, 1682-1689 The Regency of Sophia Alekseevna, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1952, p. 89. Bain, op. cit. p. 196.

159. ibid. p. 91-93, 111.

160. ibid. p. 93, 127, Bain op. cit. p. 204.

161. 0'Brien, op. cit. p. 128; Bain, op. cit. p. 205 Razin, op. cit. Vol IV, p. 252—2 gives full descriptions with tables of organization and march diagrams. He says Gordon warned Golitsin about the need for water, but nothing was done. Before the second campaign Gordon again urged that careful preparations be made. The water and food supplies were improved but Gordon's suggestion that siege engines and ladders be taken on the campaign went unheeded. Therefor when the Russian army finally reached Perekop they had no equipment to use to overcome the fortifications.

162. O'Brien, op. cit. p. 135—138.