Siege of Calafat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Siege of Calafat
Charles Vernier - Devant Kalafat - Une fois... deux fois... trois fois... je vous somme de mettre bas les armes... (Charivari, 1854).jpg
French cartoon mocking the Russians, published by Le Charivari.
DateFebruary – May 1854
LocationCalafat, Principality of Wallachia, Ottoman Empire
Result Ottoman victory
Belligerents
 Russian Empire  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Joseph Carl von Anrep Ottoman Empire Ahmed Pasha
Strength
40,000 30,000–36,000[1]
Casualties and losses
20,000, including the sick[1] 12,000

The Siege of Calafat took place in 1854 during the Crimean War.[2] The Russians unsuccessfully besieged the Ottoman army at this place for four months before finally withdrawing.

In July 1853, the Russian army invaded the Principality of Wallachia, which was an Ottoman vassal. Their army had some 91,000 men under command of Prince Gorchakoff with some 240 field artillery and 90 siege guns. In response, war was declared by the Ottomans and they assembled an army of some 60-70,000 under the command of Omar Pasha. The Ottomans had several fortified fortresses on the southern side of the Danube river, of which Vidin was one. The Turks made several plans to advance into Wallachia. On 28 October their army in Vidin crossed the Danube and established themselves at the village of Calafat and started building fortifications. Another army crossed the Danube at Ruse on 1-2 November in a feint attack to lure the Russians away from Calafat. This operation was unsuccessful and they retreated on 12 November but in the mean time Calafat's defenses and the communication with Vidin had been improved.

In return to these events, the Russians marched towards Calafat and unsuccessfully engaged the Turks at the end of December. They then entrenched themselves at Cetate, where they were attacked by the Turks. There was several days of fighting 10 January the Russians retreated towards Radovan. After January the Russians brought troops to the surroundings of Calafat and started the unsuccessful siege which lasted 4 months, they withdrew on 21 April. During the siege the Russians suffered heavy losses from epidemics and attacks from the fortified Ottoman positions. The Turks were led by Ahmed Pasha, the Russians by General Joseph Carl von Anrep.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Herbert von F. W. The Chronicles of a Virgin Fortress: Being Some Unrecorded Chapters of Turkish & Bulgarian History. Osgood McIlvaine & Company, 1896. P. 98-99
  2. ^ Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 184.