Battle of Bila Tserkva (1651)

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Battle of Bila Tserkva
Part of the Khmelnytsky Uprising
Date 24-25 September 1651
Location Bila Tserkva, Ukraine
Result Polish-Lithuanian tactical victory, Treaty of Bila Tserkva
Belligerents
Herb Viyska Zaporozkogo (Alex K).svg Zaporozhian Host
Gerae-tamga.svg Crimean Khanate
Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Commanders and leaders
Bohdan Khmelnytsky Mikolaj Potocki
Janusz Radziwill (1612-1655)
Strength
50,000[1] 12,000 Crown Army[2]
? Lithuanian Army
Casualties and losses
? ?

The Battle of Bila Tserkva was fought on 24-25 September 1651 near the city of Bila Tserkva as part of the Khmelnytsky Uprising. It was fought between the Zaporozhian Cossack Army and their Tatar allies and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Setting[edit]

Following the Battle of Berestechko, under orders from the departing king, the Polish army under Potocki advanced into the Ukaraine, reaching Liubar on 4 August, the same time Janusz Radziwill's forces entered Kyiv.[3] Poticki's forces soon encountered Cossack positions near Bila Tserkva, and Khmelnytsky's main camp to the east, preventing the Crown and Lithuanian forces from uniting.[4] The death of Prince Jeremi Wisniowiecki, "the prince who constantly insisted on the most energetic and ruthless tactics possible against Cossackdom", delayed movement of the Crown army until 23 August, when it moved "to the vicinity of Trylisy", taking the garrison of 600 Cossacks the next day.[5] On 3 Sept., Radziwill "agreed to merge" his Lithuanian army "with the Polish army near Vasylkiv", and "took up a position with it near Hermanivka" on 13 September, followed by "the entire camp" being moved "toward Bila Tserkva" on 16 September.[6] After peace negotiations all month failed to progress, the "Polish Hetmans moved - probably on 22 September [N.S.]- in a defensive formation from the area of Hermanivka..to the vicinity of Bila Tserkva", the Crown army at the center and right flank, the Lithuanian army on the left.[7]

Battle[edit]

According to Potocki, who was commanding from the center with Zygmunt Przyjemski, "Thus on 23 September [N.S.] I was approaching Bila Tserkva. A good mile ahead, Cossack and Tatar horseman came out to engage us, and I moved against them in a formation similar to that at Berestechko, adhering to the information given by His Royal Majesty, and attacked the enemy in a broad line. I committed the right flank to the Prince Hetman of Lithuania, Janusz Radzwill, and the left flank to the Palatine of Chernihov, Marcin Kalinowski, together with the Palatine of Podilia, Stanislaw "Rewera" Potocki. [8] He "ordered the vanguard regiment..into battle" and "drove the enemy right into their camp, littering the field abundantly with Cossack and Tatar corpses."[9]

"On Sunday, 24 September, the "Cossacks were building a rampart near a dike" and Potocki "ordered our army to go into the field...our skirmishers fought against the Tatars" and "the Cossacks withdrew to the marshes".[10]

"On the 25th", according to Potocki, "the Cossacks moved into the field, with Tatars, and so did our army" and "did considerable harm to them and drove them back to their camp."[11]

"On 26 September, a Tuesday, rain was falling in torrential downpours...Khmel sent his emissaries again, begging for mercy and asking that no more blood be shed...and it was decided to make peace", according to Potocki.[12]

Outcome[edit]

Potocki listed five reasons for seeking peace including 1) "the auxiliary cavalry troops...quarter-year term was ending", 2) "an epidemic of some sort had developed among the infantry...partly because of hunger...partly because of bad weather...they began to die in large numbers", 3) Janusz Radzwill "could not help us long", 4) "predictions of the arrival of the khan himself and his army", 5) hunger befell us and our horses". [13] The Treaty of Bila Tserkva was signed on 28 September.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orest, Subtelny. "Cossack-Polish War". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  2. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 361
  3. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 362
  4. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, pp. 363-365
  5. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 366
  6. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, pp. 374-379
  7. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, pp. 384-385
  8. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 387
  9. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 387
  10. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 387
  11. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 388
  12. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 388
  13. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 388
  14. ^ Hrushevsky, M., 2004, History of Ukraine-Rus, Volume Nine, Book One, The Cossack Age, 1650-1653, Toronto: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, ISBN 1895571227, p. 394