Ishmael is a fortress, where everything that remains of the ancient city is located, the history of which has not yet been fully explored.
The emergence of Ishmael, his early history
The appearance of Ishmael is covered with legends. Historians say that the first human settlements were already here in the second millennium BC, in the Bronze Age.
There is an assumption that in the 6th millennium BC in the area of Ismail the settlement of the Gumel 'culture was based. In 1979, during excavations, various artifacts of ancient cultures were discovered. These are amphoras and other ceramic products. Ishmael fortress did not exist then, but in its area there were Greek, Geto-Thracian and Sarmatian settlements.
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. A hundred years later, the city of Cinhil appeared on this site, and in 1538 the troops of the Turkish sultan broke in here. The Turks plundered the city and devastated it, but they did not destroy it at all. The city was called Ishmasl (which means "hear, Lord").
The Ottoman conquerors carried out a harsh policy, and therefore the population of Budjak protested. Soon its inhabitants united with Zaporozhye Cossacks and in 1594 attacked Ishmasl. The troops of the Sultan desperately defended themselves, and soon they built the fortress of Izmail.
The fortress was built with the help of specialists who were invited from Europe. They created massive stone walls, up to ten meters high. Around the fortress were dug deep moats, they immediately flooded with water. Thirty thousand janissaries occupied the fortress of Ishmael, and grief was to those who tried to take it by storm. 265 guns installed there, shot the enemy's troops. Fortress for a long time was considered impregnable.
Attempts to storm 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. Izmail fortress was taken July 26, 1770 by troops under the leadership of Prince N. Repnin, and in 1771 there was even formed the Russian Danube flotilla, but in 1774 the fortress was returned to the Turks. Such were the conditions of the peace treaty concluded at that time.
In 1789, again broke out the war between Russia and Turkey. This time Ishmael became a fortified garrison. Many believed that this fortress can not be taken. 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 moved forward reluctantly, and there was no special success. Then it was decided to deploy Suvorov's troops.
Commander Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov in childhood was a weak and painful child. Everyone told him that because of his health he was unlikely to become a military man, and he would not be able to keep 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 the rivers in icy water. He traveled a lot, he rode well on a horse. All this he did in order to prepare for military service. As a result, he turned out to be 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 he became Generalissimo and Field Marshal. He has more than thirty-five battles on his account.
Preparing 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 about the soldiers, thanks to which he won many times. In 1787 the Russian soldiers under his leadership completely dispersed and destroyed the 6,000-strong army of the Turks, and then brilliant victories took place in Rymnik and near Focsani. The fortress of Ishmael, the year 1790 for which it was a turning point, at that time was considered invincible. In addition, the Turkish sultan ordered the execution of all his soldiers who surrender to Russian soldiers.
In December 1790, the Supreme Council in the Russian army decided that the fortress of Izmail better not yet storm, and offered to move to winter apartments. At that time Russian troops suffered greatly from hunger, cold, and illness began. Suvorov arrived cheered up, because everyone in the Russian army knew that this commander did not like to wait long. And it turned out. It was Suvorov - the one who took the fortress of Ishmael. He decided to do it in the very near future, but first how to prepare properly.
When Suvorov appeared, Izmail's fortress looked down on the Russian soldiers. Within ten days he conducted active training of soldiers for the assault. By his order, a ditch was dug, a shaft was piled up next to him, and now the troops began to train. Suvorov himself showed the soldiers how to climb walls and stab the Turks (they were depicted as stuffed animals). In his sixty years he was a very active and youthful person.
The beginning of the assault of Ishmael
December 9, 1790 Russian troops began the assault of the Turkish fortress. Before that, on December 7, Suvorov sent an ultimatum to the Turkish pasha, who ruled Izmail, with a proposal to surrender. Pasha refused flatly and replied that the sky would collapse to the ground rather than Izmail yield to the onslaught of foreign troops.
Before the battle, Suvorov divided his army into three parts. The fortress of Ishmael, 1790 in the history of which it became a turning point, was attacked from three sides. From the west and from the north, the troops of Pavel Potemkin were advancing, from the east was the army of General Kutuzov, the commanders in it were Orlov and Platov. The army of General Deribas took part in the battle, and in the composition of 3000 men it attacked from the side of the Danube.
The culmination of the battle for Ishmael
The Russian army in the process of fighting for Ishmael suffered great difficulties. The fourth column, consisting of Cossacks, commanded by St. George's commander Vasily Orlov, broke through into the fortress of Izmail from the side of the Bender Gate. Cossacks were poorly trained in military affairs. While they stormed the fortress, the Bender Gate opened. The Turks jumped out and began to exterminate the Cossacks with sabers.
Suvorov found out about this and sent Voronezh hussars and a squadron of Colonel Sychov to help. A battalion of soldiers from Kutuzov arrived in time. Thus managed to drive away the Turks, in part they were destroyed.
At this time, the commandant of the fortress, Izmail decided to blow up the bridge in front of her, so as not to let the Russians enter there. The commander of the hussars Volkov still organized the crossing, three of his squadrons broke into the city and captured eight hundred people. Soon the city fortifications were captured, fighting began in the city itself. The struggle against the Turks lasted until 16 hours, then the Russian army finally mastered it.
The brother of the Crimean Khan Kaplan Girey made an attempt to beat off the city from the Russians. He collected a detachment of several thousand Tatars, who went on to attack. They did not succeed, as Suvorov sent them a detachment of huntsmen to meet them, and they brought the Tatars into the coastal floods. Kaplan Girey and his sons were killed.
The end of the battle for Izmail
The storming of the fortress of Izmail led to huge losses among the Turks. They killed about thirty thousand people, the Russians lost four thousand. The Russians captured all the implements, as well as jewels for 10 million francs. Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov became the commandant of the captured fortress.
The bodies of the Russian dead were buried in cemeteries, the Turks were thrown into the Danube, this was done by prisoners. In the city was opened a hospital.
For the capture of Ismail Suvorov received the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Preobrazhensky regiment. The soldiers who took part in the assault were awarded silver medals, the officers who led the fighting, gold crosses with a St. George ribbon.
Ishmael in the twentieth century
In the twentieth century, Ismail is experiencing an era of rapid development. This time is marked by the creation of the Russian-Danube Shipping Company. Izmail port is operating. During the imperialist war, the city is experiencing a famine and a shortage of essentials.
In 1918, Izmail joined the lands of royal Romania. There he remained until 1940. Old-timers remember Ishmael of that time well-groomed, patriarchal city. The cultural life in it was very developed. Theatrical performances were constantly arranged. In the city there were women's and men's gymnasiums, in which various subjects were studied.
In the history of the Great Patriotic War, the Danube Flotilla proved to be the best. Before the outbreak of the war on June 22, 1941, Soviet soldiers in Izmail had already taken to fighting positions. And fifteen hundred Soviet soldiers for a long time successfully defended from twenty thousand Romanians. Only when the order was given to leave Ishmael and go to defend Odessa, they left him. But three years later the Soviet troops returned and liberated Izmail.
Diorama of Ismail fortress
The storming of the fortress of Ishmael was decided to perpetuate the artists of the twentieth century. The diorama "Storm of Ismail fortress" was created, with the help of which it was possible to disassemble in all details. Diorama was installed in 1973 in the building of the Turkish mosque. Created her military artists E. Danilevsky and V. Sibirsky. Diorama presents viewers with a turning point in the capture of the fortress. You can see how the Russian soldiers cross the moat and climb the walls. They are desperately struggling with the defenders of the fortress. The flag of the Russian army has already been installed on the main tower. In general, the city of Izmail, the fortress, is imprinted on the diorama. Many of the photos of this diorama were made more than once.
The main gate of the fortress is already open, and Russian grenadiers go to the city. On the right we can see how the Russian flotilla is moving along the Danube, and the Black Sea Cossacks are approaching the shore. On the shore to the left is the figure of Suvorov, who directs the battle.
Izmail fortress in the modern era
Now the fortress of Izmail is not in the best condition. Work is under way to create new buildings and a dendro park in its place. At the same time, the fortress that Alexander Suvorov once commanded was destroyed. Archaeologists penetrate into the heaps of land created with the help of construction equipment, the main task of which is not the study of antiquity, but 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 there is a barbaric destruction of the monument of architecture. Employees of the Department of Monument Protection in the Odessa region believe that the city should do its utmost to preserve the ancient artifacts that were not destroyed.