Battle of Berestechko

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Berestechko
partof=the Khmelnytsky Uprising


caption=Ivan Bohun fighting the Poles in the Battle of Berestechko.
date=June 28 - June 30, 1651
place=Berestechko, Ukraine
result=Polish-Lithuanian victory, Treaty of Bila Tserkva
combatant1=Zaporozhian Cossack Army
Crimean Khanate
combatant2=Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
commander1=Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Khan İslâm III Giray
Toğay bey KIA
Ivan Bohun
commander2=King John II Casimir
Jeremi Wiśniowiecki
Mikołaj Potocki
Stefan Czarniecki
Marcin Kalinowski
Stanisław Lanckoroński
strength1=100,000 Cossacks and peasants
40,000 Crimean Tatars (est.)
Few thousands Turks, and Vlachs
strength2=17,000 cavalry
16,000 infantry
30,000 levy in mass
casualties1=about 40,000-70,000 [Henry Krasinski. "The Cossacks of the Ukraine." Partridge and Oakey, 1848. page 49]
casualties2=The first day -minimal
The second day-300 [Zbigniew Wójcik, "Jan Kazimierz Waza." p. 76.] (est.)
The third day - 400 [Tadeusz Wasilewski, "Ostatni Waza na polskim tronie." p. 108.] (est.)
The Battle of Berestechko (Polish: Beresteczko; Ukrainian:Берестечко) was fought between rebellious Zaporozhian Cossack, Ukrainian peasant forces, and their Crimean Tatar allies, led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, and a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army under King John II Casimir.

Lasting from June 28 to June 30, 1651, it took place in Volhynia. The number of Polish troops is uncertain. Duke Bogusław Radziwiłł (one of Polish commanders) wrote that the Polish army had had 80,000 soldiers. [Jan Widacki, "Kniaź Jarema" p. 255.] Modern historians [Zbigniew Wójcik, Józef Gierowski,Władysław Czapliński] estimate that the Polish army had 60,000-63,000 soldiers. [Zbigniew Wójcik, "Jan Kazimierz Waza", p. 75; Władysław Czapliński, "Glosa do Trylogii", p.45; Józef Gierowski, "Historia Polski", p.223.] The Cossacks had around 100,000 plus 40,000 Crimean Tatar cavalry and a few thousand Turks and Vlachs. Both sides had about 40,000 cavalry each. Fighting was close, with the core of excellent Cossack infantry making up for the weakness of their cavalry; much of the decisive fighting was by the infantry and dismounted dragoons of each side.

The Polish Army

On June 19, the Polish Army totaled 14,844 Polish cavalry, 2,250 German type cavalry, 11,900 German type infranty and dragoons, 2,950 Hungarian type foot soldiers, 1,550 Lithuanian volunteers, 960 Tatars [Tadeusz Wasilewski, "Ostatni Waza na polskim tronie." p. 102.] and 30,000 levy in mass.

The Cossack-Tatar Army

Before the battle, the Uprisers army totaled 80,000 Cossacks, 28,000-33,000 Tatars and uncertain number of Ukrainian peasants. [Tadeusz Wasilewski, "Ostatni Waza na polskim tronie." p. 103.]

First day of battle

2000 Polish cavalry (one regiment under the command of Aleksander Koniecpolski, supported by Jerzy Lubomirski, six pancerni cavalry companies of Jeremi Wiśniowiecki and winged hussars under the command of Stefan Czarniecki ) repulsed the Tatars, who suffered heavy losses.During the first day of the battle, the Poles were victorious.

econd day of battle

The Poles, encouraged by their victory in the first day, deployed all available cavalry. Polish infantry and artillery stayed in the camp and didn't support the cavalry. But, this time, the tide turned. The Tatar cavalry won against its Polish counterpart. The Tatars came near to the Polish camp but were repulsed by heavy fire from the Polish infantry.The Poles lost 300 soldiers, including many officers.During the second day of the battle, the uprisers were victorious.

Third day of battle

At 3 p.m. Duke Jeremi Wiśniowiecki led a successful charge of 18 cavalry companies against the right wing of the Cossack-Tatar Army.The Polish centre, under the command of John Casimir, moved forward. The Tatars tried to attack it, but were repulsed. During the fight, a Polish nobleman called Otwinowski noticed a banner of the Khan. Polish artillery started to fire in that direction. A Tatar standing next to the Khan fell dead. Panicked, the Khan escaped and the Tatars retreated, kidnapping Khmelnytsky. Only the Cossack wagons remained at the field of battle.

The siege of the Cossack wagons

Polish forces laid siege to the Cossack wagons. Initially, the wagons were commanded by colonel Filon Dzhalalii but after some days, he was replaced by Ivan Bogun. On July 10, the Cossacks got into a panic, believing that their commanders had escaped. The Polish forces attacked the panicked Cossacks and the battle turned into a slaughter. There were 30,000 dead in the camp, including some women and children.

Results of the battle

As a result, Khmelnytsky was forced to sign the Treaty of Bila Tserkva with the Poles. As the battle ended, King Kazimierz committed an error by not pursuing the fleeing and disoriented Cossacks. Later, Khmelnytsky, who was released by the Khan, and the Zaporozhians would continue the revolt.


=Polish noble families=

Members of noble families had the personal obligation to take part in the battle with men from their towns and villages. The officers and their supplied men for this battle were:Fact|date=February 2007

*Czarniecki, Stefan
*Dołęga-Ossowski, Piotr
*Grzymała-Kazanowski, Adam
*Janina-Rzeczycki, Mikołaj
*Kalinowa-Kalinowski, Marcin Hetman
*Leliwa-Czapski, Franciszek
*Rawicz-Przyjemski, Zygmunt

Quotations

"Naszego wojska było doboru effective ośmdziesiąt tysięcy."
"In fact, there were 80 000 our troops"
Duke Bogusław Radziwiłł, "Autobiography"

External links

* http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/Berest.htm
* [http://edu.clk.pl/~pinio/] - Alphabetical List Of Polish Battles

Notes


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