Ishmael is a fortress, where all that remains of the ancient city, whose history has not yet been fully investigated, is located.
The emergence of Ishmael, his early history
The appearance of Ishmael fanned by legends. Historians say that the first human settlements were here already in the second millennium BC, during the Bronze Age.
There is an assumption that in the sixth millennium BC, the settlement of Gumelnitsky culture was based in the area of Izmail. In 1979, during the excavations, various artifacts of ancient cultures were discovered. This amphorae and other ceramic products. The fortress of Izmail did not exist then, but there were Greek, Geto-Thracian, and Sarmatian settlements in its area.
Turkish troops in Izmail
The thirteenth century for Smil fortress was marked by the fact that it was almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Golden Horde. One hundred years later, the city of Sinil appeared on this place, and in 1538 the Turkish Sultan's troops broke in. The Turks looted the city and devastated it, but did not destroy it at all. The city was named Ishmasl (which means “hear, Lord”).
The Ottoman conquerors pursued a tough policy, and therefore the population of Budjak protested. Soon its inhabitants united with the Zaporozhye Cossacks and in 1594 attacked Ishmasl. The sultan's troops defended themselves desperately, and soon Izmail built a fortress.
The fortress was built with the help of specialists who were invited from Europe. They created massive stone walls, up to ten meters high. Deep moats were dug around the fortress, and water was immediately poured into them. Thirty thousand Janissaries occupied the fortress of Ishmael, and woe was the one who tried to take her by assault. 265 guns mounted there, the enemy troops were shot. The fortress has long been considered impregnable.
Attempts to assault the fortress
The end of the eighteenth century for the history of Russia is marked by constant conflicts with Turkey. The war of 1768-1774 did not end the dispute between the two states. The fortress of Ishmael was taken on July 26, 1770 by troops under the leadership of Prince N. Repnin, and in 1771 the Russian Danube flotilla was even formed here, but in 1774 the fortress was returned to the Turks. Such were the terms of the peace treaty then concluded.
In 1789, war broke out again between Russia and Turkey. This time Ishmael became a fortified garrison. Many believed that it was impossible to take this fortress. But the Russian army again tried to seize this stronghold.
In 1790, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, General Potemkin, gave the order to take Ishmael. The Russians were reluctant to move forward, and there was not much success. Then it was decided to use Suvorov’s troops.
General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov
Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov in his childhood was a weak and painful child. Everyone told him that because of his health he was unlikely to become a soldier, and he would not be able to hold heavy weapons. And no one then knew that this boy was the future commander of Suvorov, the fortress of Ishmael for which would be the most important achievement in his career.
In the winter cold Suvorov walked down the street in a light jacket. In the spring, he bathed in rivers in icy water. He traveled often, he rode very well. He did all this in order to prepare for military service. As a result, it turned out a great commander, who gave the army more than fifty years. At the very beginning of the service he was a soldier, and at the end of his service he became a generalissimo and field marshal. He counts over thirty five battles.
Preparations for the capture of Ishmael under the leadership of Suvorov
Suvorov came to the capture of Ishmael already an experienced commander. He established himself as a good boss, who was warm and caring towards the soldiers, thanks to which he repeatedly won victories. In 1787, the Russian soldiers under his leadership completely dispersed and destroyed the six thousand army of Turks, and then followed brilliant victories in Rymnik and near Focsani. The fortress of Izmail, the year 1790 for which was a turning point, was considered invincible at this time. In addition, the Turkish Sultan gave the order to execute all his soldiers, who would surrender to the Russian soldiers.
In December 1790, the Supreme Council in the Russian army decided that it would be better not to storm the fortress of Izmail, and proposed to switch to winter apartments. Russian troops at that time suffered greatly from hunger, cold, and illness began. Suvorov, who had arrived, instilled courage, because everyone in the Russian army knew that this commander did not like to wait long. So it turned out. It was Suvorov who took the fortress of Ishmael. He decided to do it as soon as possible, but first how to prepare.
When Suvorov appeared, the fortress of Izmail looked down upon the Russian soldiers. For ten days, he conducted active training of soldiers for the assault. At his command, a ditch was dug, a wall was piled next to it, and now the troops began to train. Suvorov himself showed the soldiers how to climb the walls and prick the Turks (they were depicted stuffed). At the age of sixty he was a very mobile and youthful man.
The beginning of the assault Ishmael
On December 9, 1790, Russian troops launched an assault on the Turkish fortress. Prior to this, on December 7, Suvorov sent an ultimatum to the Turkish pasha, who ruled Ishmael, with a proposal to surrender. Pasha refused outright and replied that the sky would rather collapse on the ground than Izmail would succumb to the onslaught of foreign troops.
Before the battle, Suvorov divided his army into three parts. Izmail fortress, the year 1790 in the history of which was a turning point, was attacked from three sides. The troops of Pavel Potemkin attacked from the west and from the north, the army of General Kutuzov marched from the east, the commanders in it were Orlov and Platov. The army of General Deribas took part in the battle, consisting of 3,000 men, it came from the side of the Danube.
The climax of the battle for Ishmael
The Russian army in the battle for Ishmael suffered great difficulties. The fourth column, consisting of Cossacks, commanded by St. George's commander Vasily Orlov, broke into Ismail’s fortress from the Bender’s Gate. Cossacks were poorly trained in military affairs. While they were storming the fortress, the Bender Gate opened. Turks jumped out and began to destroy the Cossacks with sabers.
Suvorov found out about this and sent to the aid of the Voronezh hussars and a squadron of Colonel Sychov. The battalion of soldiers from Kutuzov arrived in time. Thus, they managed to drive the Turks away, in part they were destroyed.
At this time, the commandant of the fortress, Ishmael decided to blow up the bridge in front of her, in order to prevent the Russians from penetrating there. The commander of hussars, Volkov, nevertheless organized a ferry, his three squadrons broke into the city and captured eight hundred people. Soon the city fortifications were captured, fighting started in the city itself. The fight against the Turks lasted until 4 pm, then the Russian army finally captured him.
The brother of the Crimean Khan Kaplan Giray made an attempt to recapture the city from the Russians. He gathered a detachment of several thousand Tatars, who went to attack. They did not succeed, as Suvorov sent a squad of rangers to meet them, and they brought the Tatars to the coastal swamps. Kaplan Girey and his sons were killed.
The end of the battle for Ishmael
The assault on the fortress of Ishmael led to huge losses among the Turks. They had killed about thirty thousand people, while the Russians had a loss of four thousand. The Russians seized all the weapons, as well as jewels worth 10 million francs. Mikhail Kutuzov became the commandant of the captured fortress.
The bodies of the Russians killed were buried in cemeteries, while the Turks were thrown into the Danube, and prisoners were engaged in this. A hospital was opened in the city itself.
For the capture of Izmail, Suvorov was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the Preobrazhensky regiment. The soldiers who took part in the assault were awarded silver medals, the officers who led the battles received gold crosses with St. George ribbon.
Ishmael in the twentieth century
In the twentieth century, Ishmael was experiencing an era of rapid development. This time is marked by the creation of the Russian-Danube Shipping Company. Works Izmail port. During the imperialist war, the city is experiencing hunger and lack of the most necessary.
In 1918, Ishmael became part of the lands of royal Romania. There he remained until 1940. Old-timers remember Izmail of that time as a well-groomed, patriarchal city. The cultural life in it was very developed. Constantly staged theatrical performances. The city had a female and male gymnasium in which different subjects were studied.
In the history of the Great Patriotic War, the Danube flotilla showed its best. Before the beginning of the war on June 22, 1941, the Soviet soldiers in Izmail had already taken up combat positions. And one and a half thousand Soviet soldiers for a long time successfully defended themselves from twenty thousand Romanians. Only when the order was given to leave Ishmael and go to defend Odessa, they left him. But after three years, Soviet troops returned and liberated Ishmael.
Diorama fortress Ishmael
The storming of the fortress of Izmail decided to perpetuate the artists of the twentieth century. A diorama “Storm of the fortress of Ishmael” was created, with the help of which it was possible to disassemble all the details. The diorama was installed in 1973 in the building of the Turkish mosque. It was created by the martial artists E. Danilevsky and V. Sibirskiy. The diorama presents to viewers a turning point in the capture of the fortress. You can see Russian soldiers moving over the moat and climbing the walls. They are desperately fighting defenders of the fortress. The flag of the Russian army is already installed on the main tower. In general, the city of Izmail, a fortress, is captured on the diorama. Many people took photos of this diorama more than once.
The main gate of the fortress is already open, and Russian grenadiers go into the city. On the right you can see the Russian flotilla moving along the Danube, and the Black Sea Cossacks approach the coast. On the left bank is the figure of Suvorov, who leads the battle.
Ishmael fortress in modern times
Now Izmail fortress is not in the best condition. Work is underway to create in its place new buildings and an arboretum. In this case, the fortress, which was once taken by the commander Alexander Suvorov, is destroyed. In the dumps of the earth, created with the help of construction equipment, penetrate archaeologists, whose main task is not the study of antiquity, and the search for jewelry.
As early as December 19, 1946, by the decree of the Izmail City Executive Committee, the territory of the fortress was declared a protected area. But since then much has changed, and now the barbaric destruction of the monument of architecture is taking place. Employees of the department of protection of monuments in the Odessa region believe that the power of the city should do everything to preserve ancient artifacts that have not been destroyed.