Azov campaigns of Peter 1 and their results
Since the 16th century, Moscow Rus, in a constant struggle against the Crimean and Nogai Tatars, tried to take possession of the coastal zones of the Azov and Black Seas. Numerous wars with the Ottoman Empire until the end of the XVII century did not lead to certain results. And only with Peter I's ascension to the throne, the decisive step was taken on the way to the southern seas, as well as to the creation of the Russian fleet - the capture of the Turkish fortress of Azov. These events, called the Azov campaigns, were the first significant achievements of the young autocrat.
Personality of Peter I
The presence of strong personal qualities, will, and worldview, in the first place, Peter is obliged to Mother Nature, which endowed him with a living, receptive to the sciences mind and many talents. Peter remained at 4 years without a father, and at 10 years - without a brother. All adolescence and youth, he was left to himself, his education was neglected, no one was engaged in educating the future sovereign. Those years when the main qualities are formed in man, he spent in some way in disgrace, in the village of Preobrazhensky, with his mother.Natalya Kirillovna, by virtue of her feminine perception, could not give her son the education that was necessary for his high purpose. However, Peter himself found an example to follow - Genevain Lefort, who settled in the German Quarter near Moscow and immediately gained prestige from the young Tsar.
Subsequently, together with Peter Lefort went to the Azov campaigns, personally captured the Turkish flag, soon was appointed admiral of the Russian fleet. From this clever, educated military lad, the king first heard about Europe, famous commanders, navigation, and he himself set about trying to launch a new type of army and fleet.
Since the conquest of Crimea by Turkey in 1475, Russian-Turkish relations have remained rather tense for several centuries.
In the second half of the 17th century, Turkey, in addition to conquering the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Podolia, and Venice - the island of Crete, tried to seize the Right-Bank Ukraine. This was met with opposition, and as a result of the Chigirin campaigns (1677, 1681), Russian and Ukrainian Cossack troops completely thwarted the capture attempts.
As a result, an armistice agreement was signed in Bakhchisarai between Russia, Turkey and the Crimean Khanate (Bakhchisarai Peace Treaty, 1681). It was of great international importance.
However, the conditions of the Bakhchisarai Agreement were canceled when the “Eternal Peace” was signed with Poland, which stopped the Russian-Polish war, but ordered the Russian kingdom to resume military campaigns against the Crimean Khanate.
In 1687 and 1689, under the command of Queen Sofia, Prince V. Golitsyn, a favorite, two campaigns were undertaken against the Crimea and Turkey, which did not bring success. Then it was obvious that Russia did not have enough potential to win.
Preparation for the Azov campaigns
Adolescence enthusiasm for military affairs led to the creation of Peter in the village of Preobrazhenskoye amusing company, which recorded his peers. Over time, their number has increased so much that a part was transferred to Semenovskoye. It was from them that two regiments were subsequently formed - Semenovsky and Preobrazhensky, where the military case was studied according to the rules of European military science. That was the beginning of the Russian Guard.
Having come to autocracy, Peter does not give up adolescent games, they gradually become more and more serious strategic. But the young king is still obsessed with maritime affairs. At his whim, the construction of ships in Arkhangelsk begins.
In 1693, he personally visited Arkhangelsk, the only seaport at that time, and clearly realizes that there is little for the development of foreign policy and the economy of the White Sea alone. Indeed, Russia still does not have access to the freezing sea space. There is an acute need for access to the Black Sea waters, where the Ottoman Empire reigns. As early as the beginning of the 90s, Poland and Austria, the allies of Russia, concluded peace agreements with Turkey that did not meet the interests of the Russian lands. Peter I himself entered into negotiations with the Crimean Khan and put forward demands for free movement in the southern seas, the termination of raids and the payment of tribute. The negotiations of the Tatars for a long time disputed and dragged out.
Then Peter begins to prepare for a new war with Turkey. This necessitates the holding of serious exercises in the village of Kozhukhovo in the autumn of 1694, which last for 3 weeks. The main task of the maneuvers is the crossing over the Moscow River and the taking of the fortress, specially built for this purpose. Petrovsky regiments triumph over the traditional Streltsy. After that, the king takes a firm decision next year to go on a campaign and initially strike at the fortress of Azov, which is located at the mouth of the Don.
First Azov campaign
The training took the winter and spring of 1695, when efforts were made to create the first fleet. Sea boats and planes were built on the Don, as well as rafts for the delivery of troops, ammunition and provisions.
In the spring, 3 groups of troops under the command of Gordon, Lefort, Golovin in the areas of the Volga and Don began to move south. Part of the army under Sheremetyeva went to the lower reaches of the Dnieper, where it was joined by Ukrainian Cossacks. In fact, Peter led all actions, but at the same time served as a scorer. During the 1st Azov campaign, the king himself filled the shells and fired.
Two small fortresses of the Turks managed to capture, but the main goal - the fortress of Azov, surrounded by ramparts and moats, while it was inaccessible. In June, Peter’s troops began the siege of Azov. But the besieged received help from the sea. The Russian army was not ready to act away from the supply bases.
The Dutchman Jacob Jansen - a foreigner, an engineer caressed by the king, caused great damage. He knew Peter’s plans and, having gone over to the side of the enemy, betrayed the Russians to the Turks. As a result, the Janissaries attacked from the weak side of the Russian army. However, General Gordon arrived in time to help and beat them off.This clash still weakened the Russian army.
The attempts of assault made on August 5 and September 25 were not crowned with success. In October, Peter I gave the order to lift the siege.
1 Azov campaign was not successful. But this not only did not plunge Peter into gloom, but on the contrary - strongly provoke him. Already in the winter of 1695, Peter began preparations for a new march. Now all the forces were thrown into Voronezh, to create a rowing Russian flotilla. Within a few months, various vessels were built, headed by the 36-gun ship “Apostol Peter”.
Already in May 1696, the 40-thousand Russian army began the Second Azov campaign. Don and Zaporizhia Cossacks actively joined her. He commanded the military actions of Generalissimo Shein. Now the Russian ships from the sea blocked the fortress. Peter I along with everyone in the rank of captain, took part in the siege.
On July 19, the Azov fortress capitulated, and for the first time Russia opened access to the southern seas. In the course of the 2 Azov campaign, the Russian army produced 16 Turkish flags, 130 guns.
This was the first significant success of the 24-year-old king in foreign policy. In a sign of consolidation of success, Peter gives the order to build a fortress and harbor at Cape Taganrog.
The historical significance of the Azov campaigns of Peter I
That was how Tsar Peter the Great began his state and military career. Azov campaigns brought him not only fame and authority, but also experience. It was then that he realized that for new achievements and gaining prestige, Russia needs a strong fleet. Already on October 20, 1696, a meeting of the Boyars Duma decided to expand shipbuilding. This day is considered the birthday of the Russian fleet.
The Azov campaigns, the results of which influenced the development of the fleet and military affairs in Russia, became the starting point for the further activities of Peter I to strengthen the country's defense capability.
The results of mastering the fortress
Azov campaigns of Peter 1 - a very important step of Russia on the way to the Black Sea, to the further advance of the state to the south. As a result of these campaigns, the following goals were achieved:
- capture of the fortress of Azov;
- the first exit of the Russian fleet in the southern seas;
- an attack from the sea became possible;
- the port of Taganrog began to be built;
- Russia's southern borders have become safe;
- prerequisites for the creation of a professional fleet.
In 1699, on the 46-gun Russian ship “Fortress”, the Russian ambassador arrived in Constantinople for peace talks.Sultan was struck by the greatness of the ship and in July 1700 made peace, leaving the fortress of Azov behind Russia.
Peter understood well that in order for Azov to remain with Tsarist Russia, it is not enough just to conquer it. It was necessary to make it a Russian city. To do this, the king relocated there 3,000 families, put in the city a cavalry detachment of 400 soldiers and 3,000 infantry to keep order.
Azov strengthened, mosques reincarnated in the church, merchants, townspeople, artisans moved to the Azov region. As the Russian population grew, customs changed. In the historical archive there is evidence that Peter, having visited Azov after a while, was in very good spirits, hearing Russian at every corner.
Azov - the starting point
Azov was captured and finally assigned to Russia. Now this passed line did not seem so important to Peter. He had far-reaching plans. The Azov campaigns of Peter the Great became the starting point in the most important matter - mastering the Black Sea.
Possession of Azov did not satisfy the tsar, it was perceived by him only as a point that opened the way for the further movement of Russia to the south.
Already on November 4, 1696, Peter I in the Preobrazhensky village gathered a Duma from the Russian boyars and close foreigners, where it was decided to create a fleet for a new military campaign in the shortest time and develop a strategy to suppress stubborn opposition from the Turks and Tatars. A new page was opened in the history of Russia.