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Pruth campaign

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Pruth campaign

Pruth Campaign
Part of Great Northern War and Russo-Turkish wars
Date 1710–1711
Location Pruth River
Result Decisive Ottoman victory[1]
Treaty of Pruth[2]
Belligerents
 Ottoman Empire

Sweden Swedish Empire
Cossack Hetmanate (fraction of Pylyp Orlyk)
Zaporizhian Sich

Russian Empire Tsardom of Russia

Cossack Hetmanate (fraction of Ivan Skoropadsky)
 Moldavia

Commanders and leaders
Ottoman Empire Baltacı Mehmet Pasha

Autonomous Republic Crimea Devlet II Giray
Sweden Charles XII of Sweden
Pylyp Orlyk
Kost Hordienko

Russian Empire Peter the Great

Russian Empire Boris Sheremetev
Ivan Skoropadsky
Moldavia Dimitrie Cantemir

Strength
200,000[3] 80,000
Casualties and losses
8,000 38,000

The war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire erupted after the Russians had defeated Sweden in the Battle of Poltava. The wounded Charles XII of Sweden escaped from the battlefield to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III,[4] who tiring of Russia's demands for Charles, declared war on Russia on 20 November 1710.[5]

The main event of the conflict was the ill-prepared Pruth Campaign of 1711, during which Russian troops under command of Peter the Great and Boris Sheremetev attempted to invade Moldavia with the aid of Moldavian ruler Dimitrie Cantemir but were surrounded and defeated by the Ottoman troops under Grand Vizier Baltacı Mehmet Pasha, in a decisive battle at Stănileşti (started on 18 July 1711).[6]

The conflict was ended on 21 July by the Treaty of the Pruth, to the disappointment of Charles XII. The Treaty stipulated to return Azov to the Ottomans; Taganrog and several Russian fortresses were to be demolished; while the Tsar pledged to stop interfering into the affairs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Alexander Mikaberidze argues that Baltacı Mehmet Pasha made an important strategic mistake by signing the treaty with relatively easy terms for the Russians.[7] Since Peter himself was commanding the Russian army, and had Baltacı Mehmet Pasha not accepted Peter's peace proposal and pursued to capture him as a prisoner instead, the course of history could have changed. Without Peter, Russia would have hardly become an imperial power, and the future arch-enemy of the Ottoman State in the Balkans, the Black Sea basin and the Caucasus.

Although the news of the victory was first received well in Constantinople, the dissatisfied pro-war party turned general opinion against Baltacı Mehmet Pasha, who was accused of accepting a bribe from Peter the Great. Baltacı Mehmet Pasha was then relieved from his office.[8]

Charles XII and his political pro-war ally, the Crimean khan Devlet II Giray, continued their lobbying to have the Sultan declare another war. On next Spring the pro-war party, which accused the Russians of delaying to meet the terms negotiated in the peace treaty, came close to achieving their goal. War was avoided by diplomatic means and a second treaty was signed on 17 April 1712. A year after this new settlement, the war party succeeded, this time accusing the Russians of delaying in their retreat from Poland. Ahmed III declared another war on 30 April 1713.[9] However, there were no significant hostilities and another peace treaty was negotiated very soon. Finally the Sultan became annoyed by the pro-war party and decided to help the Swedish king to return to his homeland. Ahmed III also deposed Devlet II Giray from the throne of the Crimean Khanate and sent him into exile to the Ottoman island of Rodos because he didn't show enough respect to Charles XII during the campaigns against Russia (Devlet II Giray considered Charles XII a prisoner and ignored his commands.) Charles XII left the Ottoman Empire for Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania which by then was besieged by troops from Saxony, Denmark, Prussia and Russia.

References

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