- Battle of Kulikovo
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Kulikovo
caption=Single combat of Peresvet and Temir-murza
September 8, 1380
Kulikovo Fieldnear the Don River
result=Decisive Russian victory
commander1=Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow
strength1=between 60,000 and 80,000
strength2=between 75,000 and 125,000
casualties1=up to 40,000 killed or wounded
casualties2=Almost entire army killed
The Battle of Kulikovo ( _ru. Куликовская битва, битва на Куликовском поле) was fought by the Tartaro-
Mongols(the Golden Horde) and the Russians. The battle took place on September 8, 1380at the Kulikovo Fieldnear the Don River (now Tula Oblast) and resulted in a Russian victory. The battle's site is commemorated by a memorial church, built to a design by Aleksey Shchusev.
Moscow, along with many other Russian lands, was conquered by the armies of
Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khanin the 13th century, and was made a tribute payer to the Golden Horde. Russian leaders long sought for independence. Under Prince Dmitri Ivanovich, Grand Duchy of Moscowbecame the most powerful of Russian princedoms.
In 1370, Tatar
warlord Mamaitook the power in Golden Hordeand accepted the title of Great Khan. As he wasn't a Genghisid, his position remained vulnerable as there were legal descendants of Genghis Khan who were in a position to lay claim to the throne. Mamai sought to affirm his sovereignty over the tributary lands of the Golden Horde. In 1378 he sent forces led by warlord Murza Begich to enforce the Moscow Prince's obedience. But the Horde army was defeated at the battle of the Vozha Riverand Begich was killed.
Two years later Mamai led his armies to Rus himself. Prior to invading, he conducted negotiations with Prince
Jogailaof Lithuania and Russian prince Oleg of Ryazan, a fierce enemy to Dmitry. The armies of Lithuania and Ryazan were sent to join the Tatars. Mamai set his camp on the shore of Don, waiting for allies.
Dmitry mobilised his troops and allies in
Kolomnato resist the invasion. In Troitse-Sergieva Lavrahe met St. Sergius of Radonezh, who blessed the Russian armies to fightFact|date=January 2008. Dmitri knew about the approaching armies of Lithuania and Ryazan, and decided not to wait but to attack Mamai immediately, before he could be reinforced. On September 7, 1380, the Russians crossed the Don.
Combined Russian armies under the command of the Grand Prince of
Vladimir, Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow (called "Dmitry of the Don" afterwards) faced a much larger Tatar force under the command of Mamai, a strongman of the Golden Horde. Mamai's , Grand Prince Oleg of Ryazanand Grand Prince Jogailaof Lithuaniawere late to the battle. The old Russian poem Zadonshchinalists 150,000 Russians and 300,000 Tartaro-Mongols, but the actual size of the Kulikovo Field would not allow such a quantity of troops. Most likely the figures were closer to 80,000 Russians, including seven thousand rebel Lithuanians, and 125,000 Tatars.
On the morning of
September 8, a thick fog covered the Kulikovo Field. The fog cleared around 11 A.M, at which point both armies began simultaneously advancing on each other.The battle was allegedly opened by a single combat of two champions. The Russian champion was Alexander Peresvet, a monk from the Trinity Abbey sent to the battle by Saint Sergius. The Horde champion was Temir-murza (also Chelubey or Cheli-bey). The champions killed each other in the first run, though according to Russian legend, Peresvet did not fall from the saddle, while Temir-murza fell.
After approximately three hours of battle (from noon to 3 p.m.) the Russian forces were successful, although suffering great casualties, in holding off the Horde's attack. The cavalry of Vladimir, Prince of Serpukhov (Dmitri's cousin), led by Dmitri Bobrok, Prince of
Volynialaunched a flanking surprise counter strike and achieved victory over the Horde forces. Mamaiescaped to Crimea, where he was assassinated by his enemies, leaving the Horde under the command of Tokhtamysh.
This victory was the early signal of the end of the Mongol yoke, which officially ended with the
great standing on the Ugra rivera century later. Its spiritual importance for the unification of the Russian lands was even more important. As one historian put itFact|date=March 2007, the Russians went to the Kulikovo Field as citizens of various principalities and returned as a united Russian nation. This view was possibly not shared by prince Oleg of Ryazan, who allied with the losing side.
minor planet 2869 Nepryadvadiscovered in 1980 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykhwas named to honor the Russian victory over Tataro- Mongolsin the battle at Kulikovo near Nepryadva River on September 8, 1380. [cite book | last = Schmadel | first = Lutz D. | coauthors = | title = Dictionary of Minor Planet Names | pages = p. 236 | edition = 5th | year = 2003 | publisher = Springer Verlag | location = New York | url = http://books.google.com/books?q=2869+Nepryadva | id = ISBN 3540002383]
Sergius of Radonezh
Mongol invasion of Rus
Grand Duchy of Moscow
Timeline of the Tataro-Mongol Yoke in Russia
* [http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Zadon.html The Zadonshchina]
* [http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/battles/Kulikovo/index.html The Battle of Kulikovo]
* [http://www.kulpole.ru/english.php?ld=history History of Kulikovo Battle]
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