Where is the dog of the Crimean king going? In the XVI century, Russia won the battle of Molodi

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 30. Not the only one in its Mavrodi 27/07/2022

If our warriors faltered, Russia, according to the plan of the Crimean Khan, would cease existence as an independent state. 

450 years ago, between July 29  and 3 August 1572 g., a multi-day battle took place, which decided the fate of the Russian kingdom. It happened 50 versts south of Moscow, near the village of Molodi.

In terms of its significance, the Battle of Molodinskaya is not much inferior to the Battle for Moscow in 1941  And in XVI and in XX century the question stood squarely — either the Russians will defend their capital, or they will lose everything in general, because although Russia is great, and, as you know, there is nowhere to retreat. But if about the events of 1941 g. everyone knows, what what happened on the banks of the Rozhayka River during the times of Ivan the Terribleis said to offensively little.

Fragment of the field fortification gulyai-gorod, 1572

Tsar — dog?

Remember the movie “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession”? That moment when at the feast the choir begins the song “And” not “a” strong cloud clouded up, but “not” strong thunders struck: where is the dog of the Crimean Tsar going? Bunsha's house manager immediately stops singing — let's say something modern. This song has the status of a literary monument and  in  historiography is called "Song about the invasion of Crimean Tatars on Rus in 1572 year». It tells with a high degree of historical authenticity where, in fact, the “Crimean Tsar’s dog”, Khan Devlet-Girey, is going. It turns out that neither more nor less but to reign in Moscow. Moreover — even on the approaches to the Oka, at the headquarters of the khan, the division of the skin of an unkilled Russian bear really took place. The Russian kingdom, according to the plans of the Crimean Khan and the Ottoman Empire behind him, was to cease to exist as an independent state, and its lands were distributed in advance among relatives and    " khan. That it didn't happen — the merit of the Russian governors and & nbsp; warriors, who managed to perform a real miracle. Unfortunately, this miracle fell victim to the stereotype. Since the time of Karamzin, everyone has “known for certain” that the reign of Ivan the Terrible is divided into two parts. First — light: the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, pioneer Ivan Fedorov, impressive reforms… A second — dark: mass executions, rampant oprichnina, obscurantism & nbsp; and, as a result, continuous military failures. The catastrophe of 1571 fit perfectly into this template. — burning of Moscow by Devlet Giray. But the Molodin triumph of Russian weapons, which took place a year later and became a disaster for the Crimea, categorically did not correspond to the template. And it like brackets  

Logistics masterpiece

However, even a cursory glance at the activities of Ivan Vasilievich on the eve of the decisive battle shows us not a coward who, they say, left Moscow in fear of the Crimean Khan, but an energetic and far-sighted sovereign. Yes, he moved to Novgorod. But cowardice has nothing to do with it. The Russian kingdom then fought on two fronts. Northwest — Livonian war. South — war with the Crimean Khan. And  since Devlet-Girey did not hide his intentions to destroy the Russian kingdom, the front against the Poles and  Swedes had to be closed at least for a while. With Polish king Sigismund back in 1571 g. a truce was signed. And against Sweden, Ivan the Terrible undertook a beautiful maneuver — announced the “Tsar's campaign against the Svia Germans”. That is, he openly came to Novgorod and dragged him there in the winter of 1571 & ndash; 1572 & nbsp; large invasion force. The Swedes did not expect this and "bashed the brow of the sovereign", after which military operations in the northwest were postponed. Now it was possible to deal with the most dangerous front — south.

Tsar Ivan IV is presented with the trophies taken from Devlet-Girey by Prince Vorotynsky after the Battle of Molodi. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

The command of the operation to cover Moscow was entrusted to Mikhail Vorotynsky. He was the most experienced military leader, the author of the first domestic military charter — "Boyar verdict on stanitsa and guard service". But letting things go by chance, even with such a commander, the tsar didn risk. And that's why all the winter and spring of 1572 g. Ivan the Terrible, his Boyar Duma and the clerks of the Discharge Order, as the main military department was then called, worked on an order to the governor Vorotynsky.

It was a masterpiece of logistics and accounting. At least five (!) Options for the development of events were envisaged. Each was scheduled almost by by hours. The Russian headquarters relied on field fortifications and superiority in firepower. More than a third of the Russian troops were armed with firearms — the mass character was phenomenal at that time.

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