Siege of Kazan (1552)

Siege of Kazan (1552)

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The siege of Kazan in 1552 was the final battle of Russo-Kazan Wars
Russo-Kazan Wars
thumb|300px|[[St. Basil's Cathedral]] is a monument to the Russian conquest of Kazan in 1552.The Russo-Kazan Wars was a series of wars fought between the Khanate of Kazan and Muscovite Russia from 1438, until Kazan was finally captured by Ivan the Terrible and absorbed into Russia in 1552.- Wars of...

. It led to the fall of Kazan Khanate. However, it was not the last battle on the khanate's territory. After the fall of Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

, rebel governments formed in Çalım
Çalim
Çalım was a citadel and a staff of Tatar troops, which was constructed during the Kazan War for the restoration of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552-1556. The citadel was constructed by the people under Mameshbirde at the right bank of Volga at the Sundır hill in 1555. It was situated in 160 çaqrım...

 and Mişätamaq
Misätamaq
Mişätamaq /mee-shah-tah-MAHQ/, was a Tatar rebel castle, which was constructed during the Kazan War for the restoration of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552-1556. It was built in 1553 in the confluence of Misha and Kama. It was situated 60 km south of Kazan . In 1556 the castle was besieged and...

, and a new khan was invited from the Nogais
Nogai Horde
The Nogai Horde was a confederation of about eighteen Turkic and Mongol tribes that occupied the Pontic-Caspian steppe from about 1500 until they were pushed west by the Kalmyks and south by the Russians in the 17th century. The Mongol tribe called the Manghits constituted a core of the Horde...

. This continuation guerilla war
Kazan War
The First Cheremis War or Kazan War 1552-1556 was a rebel war against the Muscovite Russia for the restoration of the Kazan Khanate.The rebel armies mostly consisted of Tatars, Chuvashes, Cheremises, Mordvins and Udmurts. Some Nogays were also involved to the war. Independent rebel governments...

 was ended only in 1556.

The siege


The Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n forces included Streltsy as well as Moscow and Qasim
Qasim Khanate
Qasim Khanate or Kingdom of Qasim was a Tatar territorial formation , vassal of Russia, which existed from 1452 till 1681 in the territory of modern Ryazan Oblast in Russia with its capital Kasimov, in the middle stream of the Oka River...

 irregular feudal cavalry, but the main role was played by Russian artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 and sapper
Sapper
A sapper, pioneer or combat engineer is a combatant soldier who performs a wide variety of combat engineering duties, typically including, but not limited to, bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defences, general construction and building, as well as road and airfield...

s, both Russian and foreigners. At first they were opposed by the Tatar garrison of Kazan, 10,000 Nogay horsemen led by the khan of Kazan, who originated from the Nogai Horde
Nogai Horde
The Nogai Horde was a confederation of about eighteen Turkic and Mongol tribes that occupied the Pontic-Caspian steppe from about 1500 until they were pushed west by the Kalmyks and south by the Russians in the 17th century. The Mongol tribe called the Manghits constituted a core of the Horde...

. Cheremiss units and Kazan irregular feudal cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 were based in forests north and east of Kazan respectively. Their base was Archa stronghold. Before the battle Russians had a fortress on Volga, Ivangorod, later known as Sviyazhsk
Sviyazhsk
Sviyazhsk or Zöyä is a rural locality in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, located at the confluence of the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers...

, some miles above Kazan. This wooden fortress was built in 1551 by Russian military engineer
Military engineer
In military science, engineering refers to the practice of designing, building, maintaining and dismantling military works, including offensive, defensive and logistical structures, to shape the physical operating environment in war...

 Ivan Vyrodkov
Ivan Vyrodkov
Ivan Grigoryevich Vyrodkov was a Russian military engineer, inventor, and diak.Ivan Vyrodkov's name was first mentioned in 1538. It is known that he participated in Ivan the Terrible's military campaigns against Kazan, during the Russo-Kazan Wars. In 1551, Ivan Vyrodkov was in charge of the...

, when after the conclusion of peace the right bank of Khanate (Taw yağı
Taw yagi
The Taw yağı or Viryal was a historical region of Tatarstan, Khanate of Kazan, Volga Bulgaria, the name is known since 1550s. This land was situated at the Hill, i.e. right bank of the Volga. Since 1547 this region was disintegrated from the khanate. The Feudal lords of the Hill Bank Land were...

) passed to Russia. It would serve as a strong point for the capture of Kazan by the Muscovite army.

The 150,000 Muscovite army under Ivan IV came under Kazan's walls and besieged Kazan on August 22, 1552 (Old Style). Russian cannons shelled its walls from 29 August. Soon they smothered the fire of large-calibre Tatar cannons. During 30 August – 6 September Alexander Gorbatyi-Shuisky
Alexander Gorbatyi-Shuisky
Prince Alexander Borisovich Gorbatyi-Shuisky was probably the most celebrated and popular general of Ivan the Terrible. The town of Gorbatov in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast bears his name....

 defeated the inner cavalry under Yapancha ad the Ar units
Udmurt
Udmurt may refer to:*Udmurt people, people who speak the Udmurt language*Udmurt language, a Finno-Ugric language*Udmurt Republic, a federal republic of Russia*Udmurt Autonomous Oblast, an autonomous oblast of the Soviet Union...

 and burned Archa. Andrey Kurbsky
Andrey Kurbsky
Knyaz Andrey Mikhailovich Kurbsky was an intimate friend and then a leading political opponent of the Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible. His correspondence with the tsar is a unique source for the history of 16th-century Russia...

 defeated Cheremis troops. Sappers blew up the underground way to Kazan's underground drinking water source.

A 12-metre high Siege tower
Siege tower
A siege tower is a specialized siege engine, constructed to protect assailants and ladders while approaching the defensive walls of a fortification. The tower was often rectangular with four wheels with its height roughly equal to that of the wall or sometimes higher to allow archers to stand on...

 (referred to also as a "battery-tower" to distinguish it from the pre-gunpowder siege engines) was built by Ivan Vyrodkov out of wood on site for mounting siege cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

. This revolutionary new design could hold ten large-calibre cannon and 50 lighter cannon, allowing a concentration of artillery fire on a section of the wooden wall or city, which played a crucial role in shattering Tatar resistance. However, it is certain that the few cannon defending Kazan would first have to have been put out of action in order for the tower to be effective, as it would otherwise have been an obvious target for any remaining artillery.

On 2 October sappers (believed to have been led by Englishman Butler, also known as Rozmysl in Russian chronicles) blew up the wall near the Nogay and Atalıq
Ataliq
Atalıq were tutors of khan's children in the Golden Horde and later other Tatar khanates. In some cases they could rule regions or command units if the khan was a minor....

 Gates. Russian soldiers entered the city. The civil population as well as Kazan's army opposed them. After desperate slashing some survivors were blockaded in the citadel
Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans...

. Then, after khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

 Yadegar Moxammad and Nogai
Nogai Horde
The Nogai Horde was a confederation of about eighteen Turkic and Mongol tribes that occupied the Pontic-Caspian steppe from about 1500 until they were pushed west by the Kalmyks and south by the Russians in the 17th century. The Mongol tribe called the Manghits constituted a core of the Horde...

 leader Zaynash were captured, the defenders of the citadel tried to escape to the northern forests, but they were defeated.
60,000–100,000 Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

who had been held captive in khanate were released.