Russo Turkish Wars

1877 to 1878
In a series of 18th and 19th century wars, Russia gained much territory from the Ottoman Empire

Noteable Battles

Siege of Bender (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
This place, held by a Turkish garrison, was besieged by the Russians under Count Panin, August, 1768. After a defense of two months, the place was taken by storm, and the garrison put to the sword.
Battle of Choczim (russturk 1768 ) Turks victory
Fought 1769, between the Russians under Galitzin, and the Turks under Mohammed Emin Pasha. The Russians, who were endeavoring to capture Choczim by a coup de main, were met and defeated by the Turks with considerable loss.
Battle of Scio (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
Fought July 5, 1769, between a Russian fleet of to sail of the line, under Admiral Spiritoff, and 15 Turkish ships, with some small vessels, under the Capitan Pasha. After a severe engagement, in which both the flagships were blown up, the Turks were driven into the Bay of Tchesme, where a few days later their fleet was destroyed by fire-ships.
Battle of Dniester (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
Fought September 9, 1769, between the Russians under Prince Gallitzin, and the Turks under Ali Moldovani Pasha. The Turks crossed the river in the face of the Russian army, and attacked their lines with great impetuosity. After severe fighting, however, they were beaten off, and forced to withdraw from Choczim.
Battle of the Pruth (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
Fought August 2, 1770 when the Russians, under General Romanzoff, stormed the triple entrenchments held by the main Turkish army, 120,000 strong, under Halil Bey, and drove out the Turks with a loss of 20,00 killed and wounded.
Battle of Kagul (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
Fought August 3, 1770, between 17,000 Russians, under Roumiantsoff, and 150,000 Turks, under Halil Pasha. The Russian rear was threatened by a force of 80,000 Tartars, under the Khan of Crim Tartary, but Roumiantsoff boldly attacked the Turkish lines, and after severe fighting drove the Turks out of their entrenchments in headlong flight, capturing all their artillery and baggage.
Battle of Tchesme (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
Fought July 7, 1770, between the Russian fleet of 50 sail, under Count Alexis Orloff, and the Turkish fleet of nearly 100 sail of the line, under Hassan Bey. With the exception of one ship, which was captured, the whole of the Turkish fleet was destroyed.
Battle of Bucharest (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
Fought 1771, between the Turks under Mousson Oglou, and the Russians under General Romanzoff. The Turks were totally defeated.
Battle of Foksani (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
Fought July 21, 1789, between the Turks, under Yusuf Pasha, and the Russians and Austrians under Suwaroff and the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. The allies stormed the Turkish entrenched camp and drove out the Turks with a loss of 2,000 men.
Battle of Rimnitz (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
Fought September 22, 1789, when 25,000 Austrians and Russians, under the Duke of Coburg and Suwaroff, routed an army of 90,000 Turks, under the Grand Vizier. The Turkish losses were enormous, the whole army being killed, captured, or dispersed.
Battle of Martinesti (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
Fought September 23, 1789, between the Austrians and Russians, 27,000 strong, under the Prince of Coburg and Suwaroff, and the Turks, 80,000 strong, under Osman Pasha. The allies stormed the Turkish entrenchments, and drove out the defenders, of whom 7,000 were killed and wounded, while 8,000 were drowned in crossing the Rymna. The victors lost 617 killed and wounded.
Siege of Belgrade (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
On October 8, 1789, the city was surrendered by the Turks, after a brief siege, to an Austrian army under General Laudon.
Siege of Ismail (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
This fortress was taken by assault by the Russians, under Suwaroff, December 22, 1790. The Russians lost enormous numbers in the storm, and in revenge they massacred the garrison and inhabitants without mercy.
Battle of Gulf of Yenikale (russturk 1787 ) drawn battle victory
Fought July, 1790, between the Turkish fleet, and the Russians, under Admiral Onschakoff. The battle was fiercely contested, but eventually both fleets drew off without any decisive result.
Battle of Matchin (russturk 1787 ) Russians victory
Fought July 10, 1791, between the Turks, under Yussuf Pasha, and the Russians, under Prince Repnin. The left and centre of the Turkish army held its ground manfully, and the victory was long in doubt, but a brilliant charge of the Russian left, under General Kutusoff, drove back the Turks who were defeated with heavy loss.
Battle of Kara Burur (russturk 1828 ) Russians victory
Fought August 11, 1791, when the Russian fleet, under Admiral Ouschakoff, totally defeated the Turks after a sanguinary engagement.
Siege of Askultsik (russturk 1828 ) Russians victory
Fought 1828, between 30,000 Turks and the Russians, 17,000 strong, under General Paskiewitch. The Turks were routed, and their camp, with all artillery and baggage, captured. Paskiewitch then laid siege to the town, which was defended by a garrison of 50,000 men, and after a siege of three weeks, carried it by storm, August 28.
Siege of Varna (russturk 1828 ) Turks victory
This fortress, held by a Turkish garrison of 20,000 men, was besieged July, 1828, by the Russians, under Prince Mentschikoff, and though a feeble attempt to relieve it was made by Omar Vrione Pasha, the place was taken by storm on October 11.
Battle of Kulevtcha (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought 1829, between the Russians, under General Diebitsch, and 40,000 Turks, under Reschid Pasha. The Russians were lying in wait for Reschid in the Kalevtcha defile, and after a severe struggle, totally routed the Turks, with a loss of 5,000 killed and wounded, and all their guns. The Pasha himself escaped with difficulty.
Battle of Elena (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought 1877, between the Russians under Loris Melikoff, and the Turks under Muhktar Pasha, in which the former were victorious.
Battle of Aladja Dagh (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought 1877, between the Russians under General Loris Melikoff, and the Turks under Mukhtar Pasha. The Russians were victorious, and Mukhtar was compelled to take refuge under the walls of Erzeroum.
Battle of Dolni-Dubnik (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought November 1, 1877, when General Gourko, with two divisions of the Russian guard, dislodged the Turks from the redoubt of Dolni-Dubnik, and forced them to retire upon Plevna. There was little actual fighting, the Turks retiring without much resistance, but the action is important, because the capture of the redoubt made the investment of Plevna complete.
Battle of Plevna (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
On December 10, 1877, Osman Pasha, at the head of 25,000 Turks, accompanied by 9,000 convalescents and wounded in carts, attempted to cut his way through the Russian army, now 100,000 strong, under the King of Roumania, with Todleben as Chief of the Staff. The attempt was made on the east of Plevna, and was directed against the Imperial Grenadiers, under General Ganetzki. Having successfully crossed the Yid, Osman charged down upon the Russians, on a line two miles in length, and carried the first line of entrenchments. Todleben, however, hurried up reinforcements, and the Turks were in turn attacked, and driven back in confusion across the river, Osman being severely wounded. Here they made their last stand, but were overpowered, and driven into Plevna, which before evening capitulated, after a defense lasting 143 days. In this engagement, the Turks lost 5,000, and the Russians 2,000 killed and wounded.
Battle of Plevna (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
On the 11th and 12th of September, 1877 the investing army, 95,000 strong, under the Grand Duke Michael, attacked Plevna on three sides, Osman Pasha having now 30,000 men under his command. On the 11th an attack on the Omar Tabrija redoubt was repulsed with a loss to the Russians of 6,000 men. The attack on the Gravitza redoubts resulted in the capture of the "Bloody Battery," which the Russians held till the end of the siege. On the south-west, Skobeleff captured two of the six inner redoubts which protected that angle of the fortress. On the 12th, the attack on the second Gravitza redoubt was repulsed, and the two redoubts captured by Skobeleff were retaken, after a terrible struggle, The losses in the two days' lighting amounted to 20,600 including 2,000 prisoners, on the Russian side, on that of the Turks to 5,000, Of these, 8,000 Russians, and 4,000 Turks fell in Skobeleffs attack.
Siege of Nicopolis (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
This place was captured July 16, 1877, by the 9th Russian Army Corps, under General Krudener, after two days' bombardment, when the garrison of 7,000 Turks surrendered. The Russians lost 1,300 killed and wounded.
Siege of Kars (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
This fortress, garrisoned by 24,000 Turks under Hussein Pasha, was stormed by the Russians under Loris Melikoff on the night of November 17, 1877. The attacking force was led by Lazareff, and after severe fighting captured all the eastern forts. Hussein then endeavoured to cut his way through to the west, but the bulk of his force was driven back, and only he and a few of his officers succeeded in the attempt. The Russians lost 2,293, killed and wounded; the Turks 2,500 killed, 4,500 wounded, 17,000 prisoners, and 303 guns.
Battle of Zeim (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
Fought April 20, 1877, between the Russians, under Loris Melikoff, and the Turks, under Mukhtar Pasha. Melikoff attacked the Turks in a strongly entrenched position, but was repulsed with considerable loss.
Siege of Plevna (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
Four battles were fought in the course of the siege of Plevna, the first three being attacks on the Russian defenses, and the fourth, Osman Pasha's final attempt to cut his way through the besieger's lines. On July 20, 1877, the advance guard of Krudener's corps, 6,500 strong, under Schilder-Schuldener, attacked the defenses to the north and east of Plevna. The Russians advanced with impetuosity, and carried some of the advanced trenches, driving the defenders back to the outskirts of the town, but their heavy loss, and a failure of ammunition compelled a retreat, and the Turks rallying, drove them from the positions they had captured and pursued them for some distance. The Russians lost two-thirds of their officers, and nearly 2,000 men.
Battle of Schipka Pass (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought August 21, 1877, and following days, when the Russians, 7,000 strong, under General Darozhinsky, holding the pass, were attacked by 25,000 Turks, under Suleiman Pasha. The Russians were driven from point after point of their defenses, and were on the verge of being overwhelmed, when the arrival of reinforcements enabled them to assume the offensive and recover their lost positions, and on the 26th fighting ceased. The Russian losses amounted to 4,000, including Darozhinsky, while the Turks lost about 11,500.

On September 16 Suleiman, reinforced to 40,000 men, made an attempt to carry the Russian position on Mount St. Nicholas, but was repulsed with a loss of 3,000, the Russians losing 31 officers and about 1,000 rank and file.

By January 8, 1878, the Russian force in the Schipka had been increased to 60,000 men, under General Radetski, while the Turks, numbering 40,000 were under Vessil Pasha. General Mirsky, with 25,000 men, attacked the Turkish entrenchments and drove them out of all their positions, and on the following day Vessil Pasha surrendered with 36,000 men and 93 guns. The Russians lost 5,000.
Battle of Gorni-Dubnik (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought October 24, 1877, between the 2nd Division of the Russian Guard, under General Gourko, and the Turks, who were holding the redoubt of Gorni-Dubnik, under Achmet Hefzi Pasha. After very heavy fighting, the Russians succeeded in dislodging their opponents, with a loss of 1,500 killed and wounded, and 53 officers and 2,250 men captured, including the Pasha. The Russians lost 3,300 killed and wounded, including 116 officers of the Guards.
Battle of Kizil-Tepe (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
Fought June 25, 1877, between the Russians, under General Loris Melikoff, and the Turks, in superior numbers, under Mahktar Pasha. The Russians were defeated, and forced to raise the siege of Kars.
Battle of Simnitza (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought June 26, 1877, between the Russians, under the Grand Duke Nicholas, and the Turkish garrison of Sistova. On the night of the 26th, the Russian advance-guard, 15,000 strong, under Dragomirofi, crossed the Danube in boats, and then, under Skobeleff, drove the Turks headlong from their entrenchments. On the morning of the 27th, Sistova was occupied, the Russians having lost 820 only in the operations.
Battle of Tashkessen (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
Fought December 28, 1877, between 2,000 Turks, under Valentine Baker Pasha, and a Russian division, under General Kourloff. In order to cover Shakir Pasha's retirement from the Shandurnik heights, Baker's greatly inferior force withstood throughout the day, the determined onslaughts of the Russians, when Baker finally withdrew, having effected his object, He had lost 800 men, and had inflicted a loss on his assailants of 32 officers and over 1,000 men.
Battle of Loftcha (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought September 3, 1877, between 20,000 Russians, under Prince Imeretinsky, and 15,000 Turks, under Adil Pasha. The actual attack on the Turkish positions was made by Skobeleff, at first with 5,000, and afterwards with 9,000 men, and the Turks were driven out of Loftcha with a loss of 5,200 killed. The Russians lost 1,500 killed and wounded.
Battle of Pelischat (russturk 1877 ) Russians victory
Fought August 30, 1877, when the Turks, 25,000 strong, with 50 guns, made a sortie from Plevna, and attacked the Russian lines in front of Poradim. The Russians, 20,000 strong, under General Zotoff, succeeded in repulsing all the Turkish attacks, with a loss of about 3,000 killed and wounded. The Russians lost 1,000.
Siege of Plevna (russturk 1877 ) Turks victory
The second battle took place, July 30, 1877 when General Krüdener, with 30,000 Russians in two divisions, assailed the Turkish redoubts to the north and east of the town. Schakofsky had command of the latter attack, Krüdener himself leading the assault on the Gravitza redoubt on the north. Krüdener was absolutely unsuccessful. Schakofsky by 5.30 p.m. was in possession of two of the eastern redoubts, but before nightfall these were retaken by the Turks, and the Russians retired, defeated all along the line. Their losses amounted to 169 officers and 7,136 men, of whom 2,400 were left dead on the field.
Battle of Philippopolis   Russians victory
Fought February 17, 1878, between the Russians, under General Gourko, and the Turks, under Fuad and Shakir Pashas. The Turks made a stubborn defense of the approaches to Philippopolis, but were over-powered by superior numbers, and forced to retreat with a loss of 5,000 killed and wounded, 2,000 prisoners, and 114 guns. The Russians lost 1,300.
Siege of Geok Tepe (russturk 1768 ) Russians victory
This place, the stronghold of the Tekke Turcomans, defended by a garrison of 15,000, was besieged, September 9, 1878, by the Russians, under General Lomakine. After a short bombardment, an attempt was made to storm the fortress, which was repulsed with a loss of 500. The breaching guns were with difficulty saved, and the Russians retired on the following day. About 4,000 Turcomans were killed by shell fire.

In 1881, a second attempt was made by Skobeloff, with 10,000 Russians, the garrison being now nearly 30,000 strong. After a regular siege, lasting from the 8th to the 17th of January, the place was stormed, 6,500 Turcomans falling in the assault, and 8,000 in the subsequent pursuit.

Story Links
Book Links
Wars with Russia  in  Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey  by  Charles F. Horne
At the Gates of Constantinople  in  Historical Tales: Russian  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

Repulse of the Russians by Bairactar's troops
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Surrender of Varna to the Russians
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey