- Battle of Molodi
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Molodi
partof=the Russo-Turkish (Crimean) War (1570-74)
30 July- 3 August 1572
place=Molodi, 60 km south of
result=Decisive Russian victory
Crimean Khanate Ottoman Empire
Tsardom of Russia
Devlet I Giray
strength1=80,000 Crimean Tatars,
strength2= 60,000 - 70,000
casualties1=100,000 - 115,000
The Battle of Molodi (Russian: "Молодинская битва") was one of the key battles of Ivan the Terrible's reign. It was fought near the village of Molodi, 60 km south of
Moscow, in July-August 1572between the 120,000-strong horde of Devlet I Girayof Crimea and about 60,000 Russiansled by Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky. The Crimean horde was defeated so thoroughly that both the Ottoman Sultanand the Crimean khan, his vassal, had to give up their ambitious plans of northward expansion into Russiaforever.
Tsardom of Russiawas involved into the Livonian War, the Crimean khan hoped to make profit from the weakness of its south borders. In the course of three expeditions, Devlet I Giray devastated South Russia and even set Moscow on fire (without capturing it, however). On 26 July 1572the huge horde of the khan, equipped with cannons and reinforced by Turkish janissaries, crossed the Oka Rivernear Serpukhov, decimated the Russian vanguard of 200 noblemen and advanced towards Moscow in order to pillage it once again. Little did they know, however, that the Russians had prepared for the new invasion, setting up innovative fortifications just beyond the Oka.
The Russian forces, variously estimated at between 60,000-70,000 men, were placed under the supreme command of Prince Mikhail
Vorotynsky. Prince Repninled the left flank, while the right flank was commanded by Prince Odoevsky. On 30 Julythe armies clashed near the Lopasnya Riverwithout so much as a prior reconnaissance. On that day, the murderous fray claimed the lives of just 70 Russians, while thousands of the Tatars were reported to have been slain. The fighting continued for several days, reaching its peak on 8 August. The large amount of close-in fighting made the Tatars' famed skill in archeryquite useless: the battle was fought principally with sabers and spears. Artillerywas also used by the Russians to great effect. The outcome was decided by Prince Khvorostinin who bypassed the horde with his " gulyay-gorod" (гуляй-город) mobile fortifications and infiltrated into the rear.
After the battle, only 20,000 Tatar horsemen returned to the Crimea, while the khan left his tent and banner on the battle-field and barely managed to escape alive. The battle claimed the lives of his sons and a grandson.
Great as the Russian victory had been, Vorotynsky's popularity with the soldiers and populace fueled suspicions of the cruel tsar, who had him tortured to death the very next year. Following that, the information on the battle was suppressed in Russian chronicles.
*ru icon [http://www.1september.ru/ru/his/99/his04.htm Viktor Gusev: "Mikhail Vorotynsky vs Devlet I Giray"] Dead link|date=July 2008
*ru icon [http://www.chekhov-city.ru/BOOK2.htm Reenactment of the Battle of Molodi]
*ru icon http://www.hrono.ru/sobyt/1500sob/molod.html
*ru icon http://www.kulichki.com/moshkow/HISTORY/ANDREEW_A_R/krym_history.txt#45
*ru icon http://www.magister.msk.ru/library/history/karamzin/kar09_03.htm
*en icon http://www.xenophon-mil.org/rushistory/battles/ivanbook.htm
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