Battle of Czarny Ostrów

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Battle of Czarny Ostrow
Part of Second Northern War / The Deluge
Date July 20, 1657
Location Czarny Ostrow in Podolia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Result Polish victory
Belligerents
Coat of arms of Transylvania.svgPrincipality of Transylvania Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Gerae-tamga.svg Crimean Khanate
Commanders and leaders
Coat of arms of Transylvania.svg George II Rakoczi Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow.svg Stefan Czarniecki
Jerzy Lubomirski
Stanislaw Potocki
Strength
unknown 10,000
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

The Battle of Czarny Ostrow took place on July 20, 1657, during the period in Polish history known as the Deluge. Polish Crown army commanded by Hetmans Stefan Czarniecki, Jerzy Lubomirski and Stanislaw Potocki, supported by Crimean Tatars, defeated a Transilvanian-Cossack-Moldavian-Wallachian army of George II Rakoczi.

In early 1657, following the Treaty of Radnot, southern Poland was invaded by Transilvanian army of George II Rakoczi. Since main Polish-Lithuanian forces were engaged in fighting the Swedish Empire, only a division of Stanislaw Potocki was sent southwards. Meanwhile Rakoczi’s army headed towards Krakow, and its march was marked by widespread looting and destruction.

In May 1657, during a meeting in Sokal, Polish leaders decided to carry out a revenge attack on the Principality of Transylvania. In June of the same year, Swedish forces abandoned Rakoczi, and headed to Denmark, due to the outbreak of the Dano-Swedish War.

Meanwhile, Hetman Lubomirski with 4,000 soldiers concentrated his forces in Sambor, and, together with thousands of peasants, invaded Transilvania. Lubomirski stayed in Transilvania until July, when it returned, and joined forces with the division under Potocki. This took place near Stryj.

On July 11, Stefan Czarniecki defeated the Transilvanian-Cossack-Moldavian-Wallachian army of Rakoczi in the Battle of Magierow. On July 16, Czarniecki’s division joined the forces of Lubomirski and Potocki, and the hetmans decided to destroy Rakoczi. Meanwhile, Cossacks of Anton Zdanowicz abandoned the Transilvanians, and their situation became desperate. Under the circumstances, Rakoczi sent envoys to the Poles, asking for a peace treaty. Lubomirski and Potocki were willing to sign a treaty, while Czarniecki and his soldiers wanted to fight, hoping for rich booty.

On July 20, near the village of Czarny Ostrow in Podolia, Polish forces attacked the Transilvanian camp. Rakoczi then decided to abandon all wagons with booty, and retreated towards Miedzyboz, where negotiations began. Czarniecki tried to prevent this, but was overruled by other leaders, and on July 23, a treaty was signed by both sides. Rakoczi was obliged to break the alliance with the Swedish Empire, pull his garrisons out of occupied cities of Krakow and Brzesc Litewski, and pay 1.2 million zlotys to the Polish-Lithuanian Treasury. Furthermore, he was obliged to pay 1 million zlotys to Polish hetmans, and 2 million to Polish soldiers.

The treaty did not prevent Rakoczi’s army from total annihilation. Three days later the Transilvanians were attacked by Crimean Tatars, who at that time were allied with Poland. The Tatars disregarded the treaty, and on July 31, they entered Rakoczi’s camp, located in Trembowla. Some 11,000 soldiers were captured, including high-ranking officers, such as Janos Kemeny. Rakoczi himself managed to escape the trap, and returned to Transilvania with a handful of men.

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