The Kazan campaign began on July 3, 1552 after the defeat of the Crimean horde of Devlet (the heroic defense of Tula and the defeat of the Crimean Turkish army on the Shivoron River).
The Russian army was moving in two columns. The Guard Regiment, the Left Hand Regiment and the Tsar's Regiment headed by Ivan Vasilyevich marched through Vladimir and Murom on the river. Suru, to the mouth of the river. Alatyr, where the city of the same name was founded. The Big Regiment, the Right Hand Regiment and the Advanced Regiment, led by Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky, marched towards Alatyr through Ryazan and Meschera. The union of the two troops took place at the Boroncheev Gorodishche across the Sura River. Passing an average of 25 km a day, the Russian army reached Sviyazhsk on August 13. The Russian army traditionally included service Tatars, headed by Khan Shah-Ali, and Astrakhan princes.
After the coup in Kazan, the Sviyazhsk fortress lived in fact in a blockade. Local tribes on the Gornaya side, unable to resist Kazan on their own, went over to the Kazan people. Ambushes, attacks and shelling have become commonplace. However, when a large royal army came to Sviyazhsk, the mountain residents quickly changed their minds. They sent elders to the Russian sovereign and obeyed.
Ivan Vasilyevich showed mercy, did not punish the local tribes, which could lead to unnecessary losses and bitterness of the natives (this word did not carry a negative meaning, "native of the local place"). Mari and the Chuvash helped the Russians to repair roads, build crossings, and deployed a 20,000-strong auxiliary militia.
On August 16, the troops began to cross the Volga, the crossing lasted 3 days. On August 23, a huge 150,000-strong army reached the walls of Kazan. The Tsar's army was also strengthened by the Cossacks. In some legends, Yermak Timofeevich was among them. But this is a folkloric fantasy of later times. The Cossacks came from the Don, Volga, possibly Yaik (Ural) and Terek. That says about the connection of the Cossacks between themselves and Moscow. They arrived by order of the sovereign, knowing when and where to come. They were headed by ataman Susar Fedorov.
Ivan Vasilievich, wishing to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, turned to Khan Ediger (Yadygar) and the Kazan nobility, demanding to hand over the perpetrators of the mutiny, promising mercy to the rest. But the citizens of Kazan decided that they would withstand the siege. The Tsar was sent a deliberately rude answer, in which they reviled him, his power and faith.
The Tatars managed to prepare well for war and siege. Kazan was supplied with everything necessary for a long-term defense. The city, located on the heights dominating the area, was protected by a double oak wall, filled with rubble and clay, with 14 stone "arrow" towers. The approaches to the city from the north were covered by the Kazanka River, from the west - by the r. Bulak. From other sides, especially from the Arsk field, the most convenient for attack, Kazan was surrounded by a large ditch - up to 6.5 m wide and 15 m deep.
The 11 gates were the most vulnerable to attack, but they were protected by towers and additional fortifications. The city walls had parapets and a roof to protect the shooters. In the city itself, an inner citadel was built, located in its northwestern part. The royal chambers and mosques were located here, they were separated from the rest of the city by stone walls and ravines.
In Kazan there was a garrison of 30-40 thousand, which included mobilized townspeople, several thousand nogai and 5 thousand merchants, their guards and servants from eastern countries.
A fortress was erected 15 versts northeast of Kazan, on Vysokaya Gora in the upper reaches of the Kazanka River. The approaches to it were covered with marshes and groves. In the prison there was a 20-thousand-strong horse army of Tsarevich Yapanchi, Shunak-Murza and Arsky (Udmurt) Prince Yevush. It also included the Mari and Chuvash detachments. This army was supposed to attack the rear and flanks of the Russian army, distracting the enemy from the capital.
However, this was not enough to stop the Russian army. This time the Russians acted decisively, prepared very well. In addition, the Russians used a new method of destroying city fortifications - underground mine galleries. Kazan residents have not yet faced such a threat and have not foreseen countermeasures.
The first battles and defeat of Yapanchi
The battles for Kazan began on the way to the city.
The moment for the attack was well chosen. The advanced Russian forces only crossed the Bulak River and climbed the slope of the Arsk field, while other Russian regiments were on the other side and could not help the Ertaul regiment (Yartaul).
The Kazanians came out of the Nogai and Tsarev gates and hit the Russians. The Tatar army numbered 15 thousand people (10 thousand infantry and 5 thousand horsemen). The attackers acted quickly and decisively and almost crushed the leading Russian detachment.
The situation was saved by the archers and the Cossacks. They opened heavy fire from their squeaks at the enemy. The Tatars mixed, halted their onslaught. At this time, new rifle orders arrived from the Advanced Regiment. The Tatar cavalry could not withstand the well-aimed fire of the Russians and turned back, during the flight the riders upset the ranks of their infantry. The Tatar army returned under the protection of the city walls.
Having begun the siege, the Russian troops surrounded the city with trenches, trenches and wicker shields, and in some places with a palisade. The clerk Vyrodkov supervised the siege operations. On August 27, 1552, an outfit (artillery) was installed and the shelling of the city began. Russian artillery under the command of Boyar Morozov numbered up to 150 guns. The archers guarded the cannons and also fired at the walls, preventing the enemy from showing up on them and making sorties from the gates. The cannons caused great damage to the fortress, and killed many people. Among the guns were the "great" cannons, which had their own names: "Ring", "Ushataya", "Serpent great", "Flying serpent", "Nightingale". The Kazanians did not have such powerful guns, and the city artillery quickly suffered heavy losses.
At the first stage, the actions of the Russian troops were hampered by the actions of the Yapanchi cavalry corps. At a special signal - on one of the towers of the city they raised a large banner, the Kazanians attacked the Russian rear "from all countries from the forests, very menacing and agile." The first such raid took place on August 28, the governor Tretyak Loshakov died. The next day, Prince Yapancha attacked again, at the same time the Kazan garrison made a sortie.
The Russian command, assessing the threat, took retaliatory measures.
The army of Prince Alexander Gorbaty and Peter Silver (30 thousand cavalry and 15 thousand infantry) was directed against Yapanchi. On August 30, the Russian commanders managed to lure the enemy out of the forests to the Arsk field with a feigned retreat (in fact, they used the ancient tactics of the Rus-Scythians and Horde) and surrounded the detachments of the "evil Tatars".
Kazan suffered heavy losses, only part of them were able to break through the encirclement and escape to their prison. The Russians pursued those fleeing to the river. Kinderkas. The captured soldiers were executed in front of the walls of Kazan, striking terror into the enemy. According to other sources, the prisoners were tied to stakes near the walls of Kazan so that they would beg the townspeople to surrender. The city was promised "forgiveness and mercy", the prisoners - freedom. Kazan themselves shot their comrades from bows.
As a result, the threat from the enemy cavalry corps in the rear was eliminated.
The deterioration of the position of the besieged
On September 6, 1552, the army of the governor Gorbaty and Serebryany set out on a campaign to the Kama, receiving the task "to burn the Kazan lands and villages to ravage to the ground."
First, the Russian army took by storm the prison on Vysokaya Gora, where the remnants of the equestrian Tatar army were hiding. The garrison was almost completely destroyed. 12 Arsk princes, 7 Cheremis governors, 200-300 centurions and elders were taken prisoner. Then Gorbaty's regiments passed more than 150 miles, destroying Tatar villages along the way. Having reached the Kama River, Gorbaty's troops returned victoriously to Kazan and freed thousands of Christian slaves.
For 10 days of the campaign, the Russian commanders took 30 stockades, captured several thousand people, drove a large number of cattle into the camp, solving the problem of supply. At this time, due to heavy downpours and storms, many supply ships sank, so the production was very useful.
After the defeat of the Yapanchi army and the Arsk side, no one could interfere with the siege work. Russian batteries were getting closer and closer to the walls of the city, their fire became more and more destructive for the besieged.
The Russians also erected a movable tower, on which they installed 10 large and 50 small cannons and squeaks. From the height of this tower (13 meters), the Russians shot down enemy guns, shot through the walls and streets of the city, inflicting significant damage on the enemy. The sorties of Kazan were not successful, they were thrown back before they had time to cause serious damage to engineering structures.
On August 31, the underground war broke out. "Nemchin" Rozmissel, who was in the Russian service (this is not a name, but a nickname - "engineer") and his students, trained in the "city devastation", began to dig under the walls and towers to install powder mines. On September 4, an explosion was made under the Daurovaya tower of the Kazan Kremlin under a water source (water cache), which worsened the water supply to the townspeople. There were reservoirs in the city, but the quality of the water in them was worse, and diseases began. Part of the wall also collapsed. On the same day, the tsarist sappers blew up the Muravlyovy gate (Nur-Ali gate). With great difficulty, erecting a new line of fortifications, the Kazanians repulsed the Russian attack that had begun.
Mine warfare has shown high efficiency.
Therefore, the Russian command decided to continue the destruction of the fortress with the help of powder mines brought under the ground. At the end of September, new tunnels were prepared, the explosion of which was supposed to be a signal for a decisive assault.
On September 30, the first violent explosion tore away part of the wall. The warriors burst into the breach, and the felling began. Kazan fought fiercely, did not yield. The army was not yet ready for a general attack, and the king ordered a retreat. Archers and Cossacks under the command of the governor Mikhail Vorotynsky and Alexei Basmanov, who seized a section of the wall at the Arsk Gate, refused to leave. They held the defense for two days and waited for a general assault. At this time, residents of Kazan were erecting a new wall on this site.
Fall of Kazan
On the eve of the assault, the Russian positions were pushed to almost all the gates. In some places the moat was filled up, in other areas bridges were erected across the moat. On October 1, 1552, the Russian command again offered to submit to the enemy. The offer was rejected, the citizens of Kazan decided to defend themselves to the end:
“Don't hit us with your forehead! … yes, we will all die or serve our time."
They still hoped to hold out until the rains and cold weather, when the Russians would have to lift the siege and leave.
On the morning of October 2, 1552, the Russian regiments took up their initial positions. The Kasimov (service) Tatars were taken to the Arsk field to repel a possible attack from the rear. Also, large cavalry regiments were set up on the Galician and Nogai roads, barriers against the Mari and Nogai, small detachments of which, apparently, still operated in the vicinity of Kazan.
The signal for the assault was the explosions of two mines. In the trenches they laid 48 barrels of "potion" - about 240 poods of gunpowder. The detonation was carried out with the help of candles, which ignited the powder tracks leading to the charges. Powerful explosions thundered at 7 am. Sections of the walls between the Atalyk Gates and the Nameless Tower, between the Tsarev and Arsk Gates were destroyed. The fortress walls from the side of the Arsk field were practically destroyed.
Russian troops - up to 45 thousand.archers, Cossacks and boyar children, rushed into the city on the move. But on the crooked and narrow streets of the city, a furious cabin was unfolded. Kazan residents fought back desperately and stubbornly, realizing that there would be no mercy. The strongest centers of defense were the main mosque on the Tezitsky ravine and the royal palace.
At first, all attempts of Russian warriors to break through the Tezitsky ravine, which separated the inner citadel from the city itself, ended in failure. The Russian command brought in new forces into battle, hurried and threw part of the Tsar's regiment into the attack. In addition, according to A. Kurbsky's news, all the wounded, trainers, cooks, horse breeders, boyar servants and others rushed into the city with the aim of robbery. The marauders, facing the detachments of Kazan residents, fled, created disorder and panic. The Russian command had to take the most severe measures against alarmists and looters.
The arrival of the reserves decided the outcome of the battle.
Russian troops broke through to the main mosque. All its defenders, led by the seid Kol-Sharif, were killed. The last battle took place on the square in front of the khan's palace, where several thousand Kazan soldiers gathered. Almost everyone died. No prisoners were taken. The Russians were embittered by the long resistance, the death of their comrades, and took revenge for decades of Tatar raids. And the Tatars themselves fiercely fought back, did not surrender. They captured only the khan, his brothers and prince Zeniet.
A few soldiers escaped, who threw themselves from the walls, fled under fire, were able to cross the Kazanka River and reached the forests on the Galician road. A pursuit was sent after them, which exterminated most of the fugitives.
During the assault, up to 20 thousand Tatars were killed, thousands of prisoners were freed. The liberated were taken out of the city, as strong fires began. The surviving townspeople were settled outside the city, near Lake Kaban (Old Tatar settlement).
After the victory, Tsar Ivan the Terrible entered the city through the Muravlyov Gate. He examined the royal palace, mosques and ordered to extinguish the fires.
The Kazan tsar, banners, cannons and the remaining gunpowder were taken out of the city. Later, Ediger was baptized with the name Simeon and served the Russian kingdom-"horde" (participated in the Livonian War), like many other Tatar princes, princes and Murza, who made up a significant part of the general imperial nobility elite.
Kazan Tatars became part of the core of the Russian superethnos, as bearers of the imperial, state tradition. It is worth knowing that the artistic tradition of depicting the Kazan Tatars (descendants of the Bulgars-Volgars) as representatives of the Mongoloid race does not correspond to the historical truth. Kazan Tatars are Caucasians, just like Russians-Russians.
On October 12, 1552, Ivan the Terrible left Kazan, leaving Prince Gorbaty as governor, in whose subordination were the governors Vasily Serebryany, Alexey Pleshcheev, Foma Golovin and Ivan Chebotov.
The capture of Kazan led to the release of tens of thousands of Russian prisoners.
The war on the territory of the Kazan Khanate continued for several more years. The attacks were carried out by the remaining Kazan feudal lords, local tribes subordinate to them. However, soon the entire Middle Volga region was subordinated to Moscow. The Russian state included Kazan Tatars, Chuvash, Mari, Udmurts and Bashkirs.
Thus, Moscow eliminated the threat from the east.
The military power of the Crimean Khanate was weakened, whose attacks were often accompanied by raids of Kazan detachments from the east. The way to the Urals and Siberia was opened. Russia received a significant part of the Volga region and the Volga trade route. The opportunity opened up to take Astrakhan.
The Volga peoples were introduced to the more developed spiritual and material culture of the Russians. The Russians began to populate the Volga region, and the massive construction of cities began. Many Russian lands, including the Volga region, which were recently dangerous borderlands, became deep rear and could live and develop in peace.