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Battle of Slobozia
Part of the Russo-Turkish War (1806-1812)
DateJune 20, 1811-May 27, 1812
LocationMiddle Danube, Wallachia
Result Decisive Russian victory
Treaty of Bucharest
Belligerents
Russia Russian Empire Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russia Mikhail Kutuzov Ottoman Empire Grand Vizier Ahmet Pasha
Strength
45,000 soldiers 70,000 soldiers




Portrait of Mikhail I. Kutuzov.
G. Dawe, 1829

The Battle of Slobozia, Battle of the Danube or Kutuzov's Danube Operation occurred after the Russian victory at Rousse Kutuzov ordered his forces to cross the Danube to Bessarabia. This odd retreat made the Turks thought that they won: a big party was held in Constantinople to celebrate the Turkish "victory". Alexander became very angered and demand an explanation. However, Kutuzov had a secret plan behind that weird act and he decided to keep quiet for a while.

Seeing that the Russians retreated, the Turks prepared to launch a new attack.Several months later, 70,000 Turkish troops led by Ahmet Pasha cross the Danube river to assault the Russians and made camp across from Russe at Slobozia. Acquainted with his opponent at war he calculated that the Ottomans on the Lower Danube would use their main force directed to the Middle Danube, that crossed over there, to seize Bucharest. Therefore, destroying the fortresses of Silistria Nikopol, Kutuzov took off with his main forces to Ruse and Zhurzhe. Zass in Little Wallachia and O'Rourke in Belgrade, covered his right wing, the left guarded by troops, located on the Lower Danube and Slobozia. Along with these preparations Kutuzov entered into peace talks with the minister. Emperor Alexander did not agree to reduce their former demands, and the Ottomans, for their part, too, were extremely uncompromising, the negotiations were suspended. Russian inaction convinced of their weakness in the Vizier, and so he decided to launch an offensive to Ruse, as they outnumbered them and moved to the Danube to beat Kutuzov. At the same time, another Ottoman army, Ismail Bey gathered in Sofia, was about to cross in Viddina to invade Little Wallachia, and connect the two armies of the commander at Bucharest. The main force (50,000 personnels) garrisoned at the west bank, facing the Russian. The remaining 20,000 garrisoned at the east bank, guarding the ammunition and provisions. At the night of 2 November 1811, a separate Russian cavalry detachment secretly crossed the Danube and assault the east-bank Turkish troops, slain 9,000 troops and captured the remaining ones with all the Turks' provisions. The Russian casualties was low, about 25 cavalries and 9 Cossack troops KIA. Right after that, all the Russian forces attacked and quickly encircled the main Turkish army at the left-bank.

Kutuzov then received the information that Ahmet Pasha was trying to escaped the encirclement himself. The Russian commander let Ahmet escaped because he knew that, according to Turkish law, the encircled Grand Vizier could not take part in peace negotiation - and peace is that Kutuzov really needed. After that, Kutuzov contact Ahmet to congratulate his successful escape and offer a peace negotiation. But the Grand Vizier still had hope in reinforcement and tried to procastinate. In respond, the Russians took all the forts surrounding and cut all the supply lines to the encircled Turks.

With all the supply lines being cut off, the encircled Turks became threaten by hunger and diseases. Kutuzov then proposed supplying the Turks with food and provisions to keep them survive. Tsar Alexander I did not agree with Kutuzov's idea, but Kutuzov explained that when keeping the Turks alive, he actually was holding a large amount of hostage and that would force the Sultan to negotiate. The plan was successful and on May 28, 1812 Treaty of Bucharest was signed.

References[]

  • Petrov, А.N. The War between Russia and Turkey, 1806—1812, vol. 1-3. SPb, 1885—87.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from [[Wikipedia:Battle of the Danube Wikipedia]] (view authors).
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