Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Kars; on the 23d the artillery oponed, and the place was carried by assault. Leaving a garrison at Kars, he moved on the 17th July upon Ahalkalaki, which he carried by assault on the 24th; on the 26th Hertwis fell into his hands. On the 16th August, after defeating a Turkish army beneath its walls, Akhaltzik was carried by assault, after a most obstinate resistance; Ardahan fell a few days after. During the winter the Turks made several, attempts to retake the captured places, but were in every instance foiled by the energy and ability of the Russians. In 1829, being somewhat reinforced, Paskévitch concentrated his available force at Kotanli, on the 9th June. The Turks were intrenched in considerable force on the Medjingherte road, while the Zevin road was entirely free from their presence, although the intention of the Turkish general was to occupy it in strong force, but he had delayed carrying his purpose into effect. As soon as Paskévitch ascertained the state of affairs, he determined to throw the mass of his troops at once, by the Zevin road, upon Hassan-Kalé and Erzeroum, while a false attack was to be made by a small detachment of the intrenchments on the Medjingherte road. On the 13th he advanced in accordance with this design, and on the 27th occupied Erzeroum, having effectually defeated and outmanæuvred the Turks. He subsequently sent an expedition to Baiburt, under General Bursof. A Turkish force now advanced to this place, when Bursof marched out and attacked them near Chart; here the Russians, greatly inferior in numbers, were repulsed, and Bursof killed. Upon this Paskévitch marched out from Erzeroum, attacked and carried the Turkish intrenched camps, and after several engagements completely dispersed them. He was prevented from marching to Trebizonde only by the great difficulties of the road. The peace of Adrianople soon put an end to operations in this quarter; under that treaty the Russians retained Akhaltzik, Ahalkalaki, Hertwis, and Gumri, and added much to their frontier on the Black Sea.

During the Crimean War the only operation of importance in the quarter in question was the long siege of Kars; the operations of Omer Pasha from Sugkum-Kalé towards Kutais really produced no effect upon the result of the war.

The permanent army of the Caucasus is not far from 130,000 men, with 168 guns; add to this the Cossacks of the Kuban

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

and the Caucasus, and there will be nearly 170,000. Of course a certain portion of these troops are required to watch the disaffected natives; but, allowing for this, and considering the facilities for bringing up troops from other parts of the Empire, by rail or by the Caspian, it is quite evident that it should be an easy matter for the Russians to collect sufficient troops to render the success of their operations reasonably certain. It is evident that the first important object of the Russians in this quarter will be to gain possession of the Ararat range, with the adjacent valleys of the Tchorokh, and the upper part of the Murad Euphrates, together with Erzeroum and the roads leading thence. Their next object would probably be to gain possession of Van, Bitlis, and Musch, in order to control the southern part of Armenia, and protect their flank from the direction of Kurdistan; while to the west they would probably move upon Trebizonde in one direction, and upon Erzingan or Sivas in the other. It is not probable that they have any present expectation of moving so far as Constantinople by the southern side of the Black Sea, but if successful in their military operations, it is not likely that they will be content with any acquisition of territory less than that including the Lower Tchorokh, Erzeroum, Musch, and Lake Van. The probabilities are that it is a part of their plan to gain actual possession of the region in question, before striking in Bulgaria the final blow which will force the Turks to agree to the conditions imposed by the victors. From the description of the country and roads already given, the Russian movements are clear enough. The main central column moving from Alexandropol marched directly upon Kars. Had the Turks attempted to maintain a position in front of that place, the roads from Erivan and Ahalkalaki enabled the Russians to turn both flanks, and force them back upon and behind Kars. The column from Akhaltzik had for its first object the capture of Ardahan; that accomplished, this column could either move to reinforce the central column at Kars, or by Kiskin to the aid of the troops in front of Batoum, or by Olti direct upon Erzeroum, and thus turn all the positions of the main Turkish army between Erzeroum and Kars. The column near Batoum was probably intended to isolate that place, so as to prevent an expedition moving up the Tchorokh to attack the rear of the Russians beyond Olti, and also to enable the Russians safely to send a column up the same valley to assist in the attacks on Olti and Erzeroum; or, if that should be unnecessary, to assist in the ulterior operations by moving direct upon Baiburt. The column from Erivan on Bayazeth was intended to protect the Russian left from the direction of Kurdistan; to aid, after passing Deli-Baba, in turning the positions on the Saganlugh, etc.; to assist in the attack of Erzeroum, and finally to occupy Musch, Bitlis, and Van. The central column, after leaving a sufficient force to mask Kars, would move upon

and E

chos

OCIT

duted:

od Bos

er SE ated to

the mi

3 in

k; onlar

ce int

ations

Jucar

Koh

the passes

of the Saganlugh, aided by the movements of the lateral columns.

Unless the Turkish army is much stronger and better than there is any reason to suppose, it is more than probable that at an early day these combinations will result in the fall of Erzeroum.

We will now give in a few words an outline of the Russian campaign in European Turkey in 1828 and 1829. Turkey having declared war before the close of 1827, Russia formally accepted it on the 28th of April, 1828. The army of operations was, by the middle of the month, concentrated in Bessarabia under the command of Wittgenstein. It was composed of three army corps, the third, sixth, and seventh, not numbering more than 65,000 effectives; at a later period of the campaign it was reinforced by the second corps and a part of the Guards, about 32,000 men in all. The Russian plan of campaign was that the sixth corps should occupy Moldavia and Wallachia, and observe Widdin, Rustchuk, etc., while the seventh corps was to capture Brailov, and then cross the river to assist the third corps and cover its right flank. The third corps was to cross into the Dobrudscha, reduce the fortified places therein, and advance into Bulgaria. On the 7th May the advanceguard of the sixth corps crossed the Pruth at Skuljany, and entered Jassy on the 8th.

The seventh corps and the mass of the sixth crossed the Pruth at Falschi and Wadubi on the 7th of May; and on the 12th the Cossacks, and on the 6th the sixth corps, entered Bucharest. The seventh corps occupied Galatz, and immediately invested Brailov. The latter place held out longer than was anticipated, and so great were the difficulties of constructing the approaches to the bridge over the Danube, that it was not until the 8th of June that the third corps effected its passage at Satunovo, near Isatcki. By the 5th of July the Russians were masters of all the fortresses on the Danube below Silistria, and in possession of all the Dobrudscha to Trajan's wall. The army now advanced towards Shumla, sending a detachment to observe Varna. All attempts upon Shumla failed, as did the attack upon Silistria; and it was not until October that Varna fell. During the winter and spring the Russians received further reinforcements, and Diebitsch was placed in command. About the 10th of May the siege of Silistria was resumed by Diebitsch in person. There was at Prawady a Russian detachment intended to cover the communications between Varna and the force besieging Silistria. The Turkish commander now determined to attack this force and threaten Varna, and for this purpose moved out from Shumla with 36,000 men, Diebitsch, aware of this, immediately took 20,000 men from the force besieging Silistria, and placed himself at the village of Kalewtcha, not far from Shumla; and when the Turks, having failed in their designs against Prawady and Varna, passed by this place on their return to Shumla, he attacked and completely routed them. The siege of Silistria was now pushed, so that it surrendered on the 30th of June. Diebitsch now determined to leave troops in observation before Shumla, and with the remainder to cross the Balkan. About the middle of July the movement commenced. The disposable troops consisted of three army corps. The sixth corps, ten battalions, sixteen squadrons of regular cavalry, two regiments of Cossacks, and thirty-two guns, moved out from Varna towards Devna, and thence towards Bourgas. The seventh corps, ten battalions, two regiments of Cossacks, and twenty-four guns, towards Koprikoi, on the Kamschick, thence to Aidos. The second corps, seventeen battalions, eight squadrons, and thirty guns, was the reserve, and moved by Jenibasar to support the other corps as might be necessary. On the ninth day from Shumla, after encountering very little opposition, the three corps were assembled south of the Balkans at Rumilikoi, one hundred miles from Shumla. There was no longer any serious opposition, so that Diebitsch on the 19th of August arrived at Adrianople, whence he communicated with the Russian Mediterranean fleet at Enos on the Ægean Sea. Although the Russian army was reduced by disease and the casualties of service to a very small force, the firm attitude of Diebitsch so imposed upon the Turks that on the 14th of September the treaty of Adrianople was signed, conceding all the demands of Russia.

The Russian operations on the Danube during the existing war

[ocr errors]

So we say

are not yet sufficiently developed to admit of description or discussion. It can only be said that they have occupied the entire left bank of the Danube in large force, and that their crossing is delayed either to give full time for the occupation of Erzeroum, or to await the action of Greece and Servia, or by the condition of the roads and the floods in the river. However this may be, it is not probable that they have repeated the error of operating with an insufficient force.

Not many months since we asked a veteran European diplomatist what was the condition of the Eastern Question. He replied: “I do not know. There is but one man in Europe who knows, and that is the man who controls the strongest and most numerous battalions the world has seen. Tell me what that man intends and I will tell you how the Eastern Question stands.” to our readers that, so long as we do not know the intentions of Germany, so long as we are ignorant of the real understanding existing between the three great Empires, we cannot know the intentions of Russia, or predict the spread and results of the existing war. Russia has not acted wisely if she has plunged into this war without being well assured of the support of Germany in certain eventualities. Whatever Russia's real aims,

Whatever Russia's real aims, - whether she intends to seize and hold Constantinople, or expects to make peace north of the Balkans, - she must, or at least ought to, carry on the war, so far as the Turks are concerned, precisely as if she intended to attack their capital both from the Danube and the Caucasus. The question as to the point in her course at which she will excite beyond endurance the susceptibilities of England and Austria, and what means will be at her disposal to meet their active hostility, she must have carefully considered and solved with certainty. It is unnecessary for us to consider these grave and important questions at present. But, as having a more immediate bearing on the war, it must be said that from day to day it becomes less improbable that Greece, Servia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina will, in addition to the gallant Montenegrins, take part in the struggle. If the hand of Austria be from any cause withheld, the situation would in this event become a complicated one for the Turks. Not only would it be necessary for them to maintain a considerable force in Thessaly, and on other portions of their western frontier, but there would probably enter upon the theatre

« ПретходнаНастави »