Tag Archives: Ottoman

this day in the yesteryear: Bulgaria Regains Independence from Ottoman Empire (1878)


Bulgaria Regains Independence from Ottoman Empire (1878)

Though the April Uprising of 1876, a Bulgarian revolt against the perceived Ottoman oppression, failed as a revolution, it succeeded in raising international support for the Bulgarian plight. News of atrocities committed by Ottoman troops suppressing the uprising quickly spread to the international community, and Russia soon declared war on the Ottomans. The subsequent Treaty of San Stefano created a large autonomous Bulgaria within the Ottoman Empire, but it was later revised. Why? More… Discuss

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Siege of Pleven (Plevna): The fight to disrupt the expansion of the ottoman empire costed many precios lives but for the most noble of causes: the right to self determination, Liberty and Independence from an evil empire


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Siege of Pleven
Part of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)
Grivita 1877.jpg
Date 20 July – 10 December 1877
Location Plevne, Ottoman Empire
(now Pleven, Bulgaria)

43°25′N 24°37′ECoordinates: 43°25′N 24°37′E
Result Russian/Romanian victory[1]
Belligerents
 Russian Empire
Romania Romania
Flag of Stiliana Paraskevova.svg Bulgarian volunteers
 Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Tsar Alexander II[2]
Russian Empire Grand Duke Nicholas
Russian Empire Eduard Totleben
Romania Prince Carol I of Romania
Ottoman Empire Osman Nuri Pasha Surrendered
Strength
150,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
40,000 killed or wounded 10,000 killed or wounded
30,000 surrendered

 Map

The Siege of Plevna, or Siege of Pleven, was a major battle of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), fought by the joint army of Russia and Romania against the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman defense held up the main Russian advance southwards into Bulgaria, encouraging other great powers of the time to actively support the Ottoman cause. Eventually, superior Russian and Romanian numbers forced the garrison to capitulate.

Background

In July 1877 the Russian Army, under the command of Grand Duke Nicholas, moved toward the Danube River virtually unopposed, as the Ottomans had no sizable force in the area. The Ottoman high command sent an army under the command of Osman Nuri Pasha to reinforce Nikopol, but the city fell to the Russian vanguard in the Battle of Nikopol (16 July 1877) before Osman reached it. He settled on Plevna, a town among vineyards in a deep rocky valley some twenty miles to the south of Nikopol, as a defensive position. The Ottomans quickly created a strong fortress, raising earthworks with redoubts, digging trenches, and quarrying out gun emplacements. From Plevne (Plevna) Osman’s army dominated the main strategic routes into the heart of Bulgaria. As the Turks hurried to complete their defenses, Russian forces began to arrive.

The Siege

First Battle

Gen. Schilder-Schuldner, commanding the Russian 5th Division, IX Corps, received orders to occupy Plevna. Schilder-Schuldner arrived outside the town on 19 July and began bombarding the Ottoman defenses. The next day his troops attacked and succeeded in driving Ottoman forces from some of the outer defenses; however, Osman Pasha brought up reinforcements and launched a series of counterattacks, which drove the Russians from the captured trenches, inflicting 4,000 casualties at a cost of 1,000 of his own men.

Second Battle

Osman Pasha strengthened his defences and built more redoubts, his force growing to 20,000 men, while the Russians obtained reinforcements from the army of Prince Carol of Romania (later king Carol I of Romania), who made the stipulation that he be given command of the joint besieging force. Gen. Nikolai Kridener also arrived with the Russian IX Corps. On 31 July Russian headquarters ordered Kridener to assault the town, attacking from three sides, with every expectation of a Russo-Romanian triumph. General Schakofsky’s cavalry attacked the eastern redoubts, while an infantry division under General Mikhail Skobelev assailed the Grivitsa redoubt to the north. Schakofsky managed to take two redoubts, but by the end of the day the Ottoman forces succeeded in repulsing all the attacks and retaking lost ground. Russian losses amounted to 7,300, and the Ottomans’ to 2,000.

Third Battle

 King Carol I salutes the Romanian army crossing the Danube

After repulsing the Russian attacks, Osman failed to press his advantage and possibly drive off the besiegers; he did, however, make a cavalry sortie on 31 August that cost the Russian 1,300 casualties, and the Ottomans 1,000. The Russians continued to send reinforcements to Plevna, and their army swelled to 100,000 men, now personally led by the Grand Duke. On 3 September Skobelev reduced the Turkish garrison at Lovech, guarding the Ottoman supply lines, before Osman could move out to relieve it (see main article: Battle of Lovcha). The Ottoman army organized the survivors of Lovech into 3 battalions for the Plevna defenses. Osman also received a reinforcement of 13 battalions, bringing his total strength to 30,000—the highest it would reach during the siege.

In August, Romanian troops led by General Alexandru Cernat crossed the Danube and entered the battle with 43,414 men.[3]

On 11 September the Russians and Romanians made a large-scale assault on Plevna. The Ottoman forces were dug in and equipped with German Krupp-manufactured steel breech-loading artillery and American-manufactured Winchester repeaters[4] and Peabody-Martini rifles. For three hours they poured murderous fire into the waves of advancing Russians.[5] Czar Alexander II and his brother Grand Duke Nicolas watched from a pavilion built on a hillside out of the line of fire.[6] Skobelev took two southern redoubts. The Romanian 4th division lead by General George Manu took the Grivitsa redoubt after 4 bloody assaults, personally assisted by Prince Carol. The next day, the Turks retook the southern redoubts, but could not dislodge the Romanians, who repelled three counterattacks. From the beginning of September, Russian losses had amounted to roughly 20,000, while the Ottomans lost only 5,000.

 The Plevna Chapel on St Elijah’s Square in Moscow, opened in 1882, commemorates the Russian soldiers who died in the Battle of Plevna.

Fourth Battle

Growing Russian and Romanian casualties put a halt to frontal assaults. Gen. Eduard Ivanovich Todleben arrived to oversee the conduct of the siege as the army chief of staff. Todleben had proven command experience in siege warfare, having gained renown for his defense of Sevastopol (1854–1855) during the Crimean War. He decided on a complete encirclement of the city and its defenders. Osman requested permission from his superiors to abandon Plevna and retreat, but the Ottoman high command would not allow him to do so. By 24 October the Russians and Romanians had closed the ring. Supplies began to run low in the city, and Osman finally made an attempt to break the Russian siege in the direction of Opanets. On 9 December the Ottoman forces silently emerged at dead of night, threw bridges over and crossed the Vit River, attacked on a two-mile front, and broke through the first line of Russian trenches. Here they fought hand to hand and bayonet to bayonet, with, at first, little advantage to either side; however, outnumbering the Ottoman forces almost 5 to 1, the Russians eventually drove them back across the Vit, wounding Osman in the process (he was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, which killed his horse beneath him). Rumours of his death created panic. After making a brief stand, the Ottoman forces found themselves driven back into the city, losing 5,000 men to the Russians’ 2,000. The next day Osman surrendered the city, the garrison and his sword to Romanian Col. Mihail Cerchez. He was treated honorably, but his troops perished in the snows by the thousands as they straggled off into captivity.

Results

 Sword surrendered by Edhem Pasha after the defeat at Plevna.

 The monument 2008

“Plevna is one of the few engagements which changed the course of history” A. J. P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848-1918, (Oxford 1954) p. 245. The Siege of Plevna seriously delayed the main Russian advance into Bulgaria, but its end freed up Russian reinforcements, which were sent to Gen. Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko, who then decisively defeated the Ottoman forces in the fourth battle of Shipka Pass. The siege was widely reported on and followed by the public in Europe and beyond. Although the declining Ottoman Empire was by this time often regarded as “the sick man of Europe”, the Ottoman Army’s five-month-long resistance in the face of overwhelming odds earned a degree of admiration, which may have contributed to the unsympathetic treatment of the Russian Empire at the Congress of Berlin. The siege of Plevna also signalled the introduction of the repeating rifle into European warfare.[5] Russian troops at Plevna were largely armed with the M1869 Krnka, a single shot lifting breech block conversion of the muzzle loading M1857 rifled musket even though some units had been reequipped with the more modern, but still single shot, Berdan rifle.[5] The old Krnka was soundly outperformed by the more modern single shot Turkish Peabody-Martini rifles and it became clear that the new Berdan rifle had also been rendered obsolete even as it was being introduced into service, outclassed by the Turkish Winchester repeaters. Reports of the heavy losses suffered by the Russian army at the hands of the Turks at Plevna forced armies across Europe to begin the process of either reequipping with repeating rifles or finding a way to convert their existing single shot rifles into magazine fed weapons.

Legacy

  • A large new factory building, completed in 1877, of the Finlayson & Co cotton mill in Tampere, Finland was named Plevna commemorating the battle and the Guard of Finland that took part.[7]
  • The city of Plevna, Montana in the United States was given its name by Bulgarian immigrants building the railroad there in honor of the battle of Plevna.
  • In other countries, there are five cities and towns named after Plevna, and there are eighteen Plevna streets in Britain alone.
  • At least one main Street in Bucharest Romania has received the name the  PLevna’s Way (Calea Plevnei)  to comemmorate the marching regiments of Dorobants (Romanian Army),  of which many have never returned home!

In popular culture

  • The best-selling Russian detective novel The Turkish Gambit, the second book in the Erast Fandorin series, is set at the Siege of Plevna.
  • A famous Mehteran (Ottoman military band) piece “Osman Paşa Marşı” (Osman Pasha March) honors the courageous defense of the Plevna; and is one of the most well-known marches in Turkey.
  • Under the Red Crescent by Charles Snodgrass Ryan, Australian Surgeon at the Siege of Plevna, who later operated in the Gallipoli campaign and negotiated with his old friends for burial armistices.

from wikipedia: Defeat and dissolution (1908–1922) of the ottoman empire


from wikipedia

Defeat and dissolution (1908–1922)

Main article: Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) was one of a series of treaties[1] that the nations that constituted the Central Powers were made to sign subsequent to their defeat that marked the end of World War I
The terms of the treaty brew hostility and nationalistic feeling amongst Turks. The signatories of the treaty, themselves representatives of the Ottoman Empire, were stripped of their citizenship by the Grand National Assembly led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,[4] and the treaty ultimately led to the Turkish War of Independence, when a new treaty, the treaty of Lausanne was accepted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Turkish nationalists, and which effectively brought into being the modern day republic of Turkey.

 

Declaration of the Second Constitutional Era by the leaders of the Ottoman millets in 1908. The chaos involved in the revolution paved the way for the loss of Bulgaria (5 October 1908) and Bosnia (6 October 1908) immediately afterwards.

The Second Constitutional Era began after the Young Turk Revolution (3 July 1908) with the sultan’s announcement of the restoration of the 1876 constitution and the reconvening of the Ottoman parliament. Although it began a series of massive political and military reform over the next six years, it marked the beginning of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. This era is dominated by the politics of the Committee of Union and Progress, and the movement that would become known as the Young Turks.

Profiting from the civil strife, Austria-Hungary officially annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, but it pulled its troops out of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, another contested region between the Austrians and Ottomans, to avoid a war. During the Italo-Turkish War (1911–12) in which the Ottoman Empire lost Libya, the Balkan League declared war against the Ottoman Empire. The Empire lost the Balkan Wars (1912–13). It lost its Balkan territories except East Thrace and the historic Ottoman capital city of Adrianople during the war. Fearing religious persecution, around 400,000 Muslims fled to present-day Turkey. Due to a cholera epidemic, many did not survive the journey.[97] According to the estimates of Justin McCarthy, during the period from 1821 to 1922 alone, the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Muslims in the Balkans led to the death of several million individuals and the expulsion of a similar number.[98][99][100] By 1914, the Ottoman Empire had been driven out of nearly all of Europe and North Africa. It still controlled 28 million people, of whom 15.5 million were in modern-day Turkey, 4.5 million in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan, and 2.5 million in Iraq. Another 5.5 million people were under nominal Ottoman rule in the Arabian peninsula.[101]

In November 1914, the Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers, in which it took part in the Middle Eastern theatre. There were several important Ottoman victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut, but there were setbacks as well, such as the disastrous Caucasus Campaign against the Russians. The United States never declared war against the Ottoman Empire.[102]

 

Mehmed VI, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, leaving the country after the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate, 17 November 1922.

In 1915, as the Russian Caucasus Army continued to advance into ancient Armenia,[103] aided by some Ottoman Armenians, the Ottoman government started the deportation and massacre of its ethnic Armenian population, resulting in what became known as the Armenian Genocide.[104] Massacres were also committed against the Greek and Assyrian minorities.[105]

The Arab Revolt which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans at the Middle Eastern front, where they initially seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. The Armistice of Mudros, signed on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre, and was followed with occupation of Constantinople and subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. Under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was solidified. The last quarter of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century saw some 7–9 million Turkish-Muslim refugees from the lost territories of the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrate to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace.[106]

The occupation of Constantinople and İzmir led to the establishment of a Turkish national movement, which won the Turkish War of Independence (1919–22) under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later known as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk). The sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922, and the last sultan, Mehmed VI (reigned 1918–22), left the country on 17 November 1922. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923. The caliphate was abolished on 3 March 1924.[107]

Christianity and Judaism

In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were treated as second-class citizens. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride on horseback, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, and their religious practices would have to defer to those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations.[154] Many Christians and a few Jews voluntarily converted to secure full status in the society.[155]

In the system commonly known as devşirme, a certain number of Christian boys, mainly from the Balkans and Anatolia, were periodically conscripted before they reached adolescence and were brought up as Muslims.[156]

Slavery was a part of Ottoman society.[160] Female slaves were still sold in the Empire as late as 1908.[161] During the 19th century the Empire came under pressure from Western European countries to outlaw the practice. Policies developed by various Sultans throughout the 19th century attempted to curtail the slave trade but, since slavery did have centuries of religious backing and sanction, they never directly abolished the institution outright.[citation needed]

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Memorial in Yehud, Israel

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Memorial in Yehud, Israel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: TUNISIA GAINS INDEPENDENCE FROM FRANCE (1956)


Tunisia Gains Independence from France (1956)

Over the centuries, many nations have fought over, won, and lost the African country of Tunisia. It was under Ottoman rule from 1574 until the late 19th century, when France, England, and Italy contended for it. France emerged the victor. In 1955, it granted Tunisia complete internal self-government. Full independence came in 1956. A year later, the monarchy was abolished and Tunisia became a republic. Prior to the 2011 revolution, how many presidents had Tunisia had since gaining independence? More… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: THE MAMLUKS


The Mamluks

The Mamluks were members of a warrior caste that ruled Egypt from about 1250 to 1517. Islamic rulers created the caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys, grooming them as cavalry soldiers, and converting them to Islam during training. The Mamluks initially served the Ayyubid sultans but grew powerful enough to challenge them and claim the sultanate. Though the Ottomans crushed the Mamluks and took Cairo in 1517, the word “mamluk” lives on in various cultures today. What meanings does it have? More… Discuss

 

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