Slobozia


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Slobozia

 

a town in Ilfov District in Rumania, near which, in October and November 1811, Russian troops under the command of General M. I. Kutuzov defeated the Ottoman army of Grand Vizier Ahmed Pasha during the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–12.

After repulsing an offensive by superior Ottoman forces at the battle of Rushchuk (Ruse) on June 22 (July 4), 1811, Kutuzov withdrew to the left bank of the Danube, attempting to lure the enemy there and defeat him. From August 29 to 31, Ahmed Pasha, who saw the Russian retreat as a sign of weakness, crossed the Danube near Rushchuk and seized a small bridgehead southwest of Slobozia, where he established a fortified camp and concentrated about 36,000 men. Kutuzov, after blockading the Ottoman camp with his main forces, numbering about 18,000, ordered General E. I. Markov’s detachment of 7,500 to secretly cross to the Danube’s right bank at a point 18 km above Slobozia and to capture the Ottoman camp near Rushchuk.

On October 1 (13), Markov’s detachment crossed the Danube and carried out its mission brilliantly, taking the Ottoman camp on October 2 (14) and driving the enemy back. Ahmed Pasha’s troops on the left bank found themselves surrounded, and the grand vizier himself fled to Rushchuk on the night of October 2 (14). The encircled Ottoman troops, bereft of military supplies and subjected to unceasing attacks and artillery fire, suffered heavy losses from disease and hunger. Ahmed Pasha was thereby compelled to sign an armistice on November 13 (25) and an act of capitulation on November 23 (December 5). The surviving Ottoman troops, numbering only 12,000, were taken prisoner.

The victory at Slobozia had a decisive impact on the Russo-Turkish negotiations at Bucharest, which culminated in the signing of the Bucharest Peace Treaty of 1812.

N. I. KAZAKOV

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