The Second Catherinian Russian-Turkish War
In 1786 Alexander Suvorov was promoted to the rank of general (General-Anshef - the highest general rank in the Russian army). He was appointed the commander of the Vladimir Division, then the St. Petersburg and Kremenchug Divisions.
The second Catherinian Russian-Turkish war of 1787-1791 began when Suvorov commanded the Kremenchug Division. And the star of his military talent rose just in this war.
General Suvorov commanded the defence of the Kherson-Kinburn region from the Southern Bug river to the Perekop neck (that connects the Crimean Peninsula with the mainland). Turkish troops threatened from the sea and the fortress Ochakov located across the estuary.
On October,1,1787 numerous Sultan's fleet landed strong troops on the Kinburn spit, they at once began to fortify themselves by lines of trenches. Suvorov attacked the Turks on the approaches to the Kinburn fortress. At first the Russian troops could pressed back the Turks to the end of the spit, but very soon they found themselves under the strong fire of the Turkish ship artillery and had to retreat under the charge of the new frsh Turkish forces. And at this moment Suvorov appeared in the middle of Russian troops and could organize a new counter-attack. There was a moment when Suvorov's life in danger: Suvorov was wounded and several janizaries rushed to him, but he was saved by a brave Russian grenadier.
Grenadier Novikov rescues Suvorov in the battle on the Kinburn spit
Wounded Suvorov stayed on the battle-field and continued commanding his troops. The last reserves were committed to action and the last stage of the battle began. The Turks were finally dislodged from their fortifications and thrown down to the sea. In the end of the battle Suvorov was wounded again - in the arm, but he did not leave the battle in spite of all.
For this victory Suvorov was rewarded with the Order of Saint Andrew First-Called.
Fokshani and Rimnik
The long siege of the huge Turkish fortress Ochakov ended for Suvorov with the conflict between him and Empress Catherine's all-powerful favourite Prince Potemkin. Suvorov insisted on the general assault of the fortress in a very short time because during the very long siege the Russian troops sustained heavy losses of illnesses. So as a result of this conlict Suvorov took part only in some actions at the walls of Ochakov, but he didn't participated in the general storm on December,17 and returned to the Kinburn spit.
Next year Suvorov commanded a division in Prince Repnin's army.
1789 became the year of two most well-known Suvorov's victories: at Fokshani and at the river Rimnik. In the campaign of 1789 the main military operations were in the lower reaches of the river Danube where Russian troops acted tohether with their allies Austrians under Prince Coburg. Suvorov was sent there too to command troops of III Division. They were to support the right wing of the Russian Army and act in contact with the Austrians. Suvorov received reports about the moving of Osman-Pasha's army 30 thousand in number and hurried to the aid to the Austrian Corps located in Adguda village. On July,21 near the Foksani village the Russian and Austians under the common command of General Suvorov took the offensive, crushed the enemy van-guard, attacked the fortified Turkish positions and dislodged them from there after 10 hours of fighting. It was the complete defeat of Osman-Pasha's army - they had only to escape away.
The battle at the river Rimnik happened on September,11. Grand Visier Usuph-Pasha's army more than100 thousand in number with 80 guns waged an attack upon the Austrian Corps under Prince Coburg settled near Foksani village. Prince Coburg had only about 18 thousand men with 43 guns.
After getting known about this Suvorov with his detachment of 7 thousand men came out of Birlad and marched about 100 kilometers for two and a half days and nights. The Russian Corps came to Foksani earlier than the Turkish army.
Suvorov placed himself at the head of the Allied Russian-Austrian forces, he found out that Turks stopped and camped in four fortified places: near Tirgu-Kukuli village (about 15 thousand of van-guard troops), in the forest near Kringlu-Meylor village (about 40 thousand), near the town of Martinesti (about 45 thousand) and over the river Rimnik near the village Oday. The Russian general decided to defeat the Grand Visier's army separatedly in parts.
On September,11,1789 at daybreak the Allies after making a night march of 14 kilometers suddenly attacked the Turkish camp in Tirgu-Kukuli and captured it. The the Allies went to the forest camp in Kringlu-Meylor and assaulted it.
Osman-Pasha sent his cavalry of many thousands on attacking Allied troops, but all its attempts were repulsed by rifle-volleys from Allied squares, and the camp in the forest was taken be storm. Suvorov's troops pursued the enemy and captured the Turkish camp near Martinesti with a swoop.
The next day the Allies took the last enemy camp over the river Rimnik. Osman-Pasha with the remainer of his troops had to escape away. The Turkish army losses in this battle were about 15 - 20 thousand men, all artillery and the huge transport.
The battle at the river Rimnik came into Military History as a brilliant example of complex troops manoeuvring on the battle-field for the purpose of defeating the superior enemy in parts. The victory was gained as Suvorov used to say "Not by number - but by skill".
For the victory at the river Rimnik General Suvorov was rewarded with the Russian Empire highest military reward - the Order of Saint Geogre of the I Class and the title "Graf Rimniksky" (Count of Rimnik). And also the Austrian Emperor gave him the title of Count of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Capture Of Ismail. The Ismail Fortress scheme
One of the most famous Suvorov's victories became the storm of the very strong Turkish fortress Ismail. This stronghold of the Ottoman Porte on the river Danube banks build by French and German fortificators was considered unassailable. In Turkish it was called "Ordu Kalesi" because this fortress could accomodate a whole army. It had the shape of an irregular triangle adjacent to the river bank. The length of the earthen rampart was more than 6 kilometers and the height was 6 - 8 meters with t earthen and stone bastions. The width of the fortress moat was about 12 meters with the depth of 6 - 10 meters. In many places the moat was filled with water. There were many stone buildings inside the fortress adapted to defensive actions.
The Ismain garrison was 35 thousand men and 256 guns. The commandant of Ismail was one of the most skilled Turkish commanders Aydos Mekhmet Pasha. The numerous Turkish Danube flotilla was based near the fortress walls.russian troops (31 thousand men and more than 500 field guns) blocked Ismail and tried to capture it twice but without any success.
When General Suvorov came to Ismail on December,2,1790 after scouting he decided to take this strong fortress be a swift attack. For the special training of soldiers Suvorov ordered to made in steppe the earthen rampart that was like the Ismail one. The troops were trained in secret at nights. In a very short time 70 big storm ladders and about 3 thousand faseines were made.
Under Suvorov's plan Ismail was stormed by 9 assault columns, three of that were based on the island Chatal and landed to the city from boats of the rowing flotilla. From dry land two groups of troops under Lieutenant-Generals P. S. Potemkin and A. N. Samoylov and Major-General M.I. Kutuzov attacked the fortress. Each column had its own reserves.
To avoid bloodshed Russian commander sent a letter to Aydos Mekhmet Pasha with the demand to surrender the fortress, but he refused decidedly.
On December,10,1790 Russian field and ship artillery bombarded the fortress. Next day (December,11) at 3 a. m. the assault columns began moving to their initial positions and at 5.30 a. m. the storm began. The Russians could not began storm in surprise and the attacking troops were met with strong artillery and rifle fire from the rampart. The Turks made a sortie. This fighting was especially hard for Don Cossacks armed with shortened lances.
After Russian troops had taken the fortress wall a heated hand-to-hand fight developed on the streets of Ismail. All the city was enveloped in flames. And at last after very hard and bloody battle Ismail was captured at about 4 p. m.
The Turkish losses were 26 thousand killed and 9 thousand wounded men, the Russian losses were 1815 killed and 2445 wounded men and the biggest losses were among officers because commanders went in front of the assault columns. The winners captured 265 guns (large-caliber in main), 42 river boats, 345 colours and bunchuks (Turkish standards).
The capture of Ismail brought Suvorov the glory of a great Russian commander, but he did not get the Field-Marshal baton, he got only the rank of colonel of the Leib-Guards Preobrazhensky regiment (in Russia in was a very high rank, Empress Catherine II herself had the rank of colonel of this Guards regiment too). The reason of this was Suvorov's terms with Prince Potemkin-Tavrichesky were very complicated. щодня з 9.00 по 17.00.