Polish–Ottoman War (1633–34)
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|Polish–Ottoman War 1633–1634|
|Part of Polish–Ottoman Wars|
Allied Zaporozhian Cossacks in chaika boats attacking Turkish galleys in the Black Sea, 1636
|Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth||Ottoman Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Stanisław Koniecpolski||Murad IV|
The Polish-Ottoman War of 1633–1634 refers to one of the many military conflicts between the mighty united Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), the Ottoman Empire and its vassals.
Mehmed Abazy was the governor of the Ottoman province of Sylistria (Silistra, today in Bulgaria). In 1632, after the death of the Polish king Sigismund III Vasa, the Tsardom of Russia broke an armistice and started a war with the Commonwealth (Smolensk War 1632–1634). Abazy mobilized his troops and called Moldavian, Wallachian and Nogai Tatar (of the Budjak Horde) as reinforcements. Abazy was ambitious and possibly acted without the sultan's or the grand vizier's knowledge as the Ottoman Empire was deeply involved with a war against the Safavids (1623–1639). The sultan claimed ignorance of Abazy's actions but it's possible that sultan Murad IV secretly agreed to the risky campaign against the mighty Commonwealth.
Around June 29, 1633 a strong Tatar group of Budjak Horde (about 1,000 strong) raided the area near the city of Kamieniec Podolski. This raid ended and the Tatars returned to Moldavia with their loot and jasyr. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth commander, Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski was in Bar and moved immediately in pursuit with 2,000 cavalry when the news reached him. The hetman crossed Dniestr river and entered the Ottoman-controlled territory of Moldavia, which had been the theatre of the previous Commonwealth-Ottoman war just a few decades earlier (the Moldavian Magnate Wars). The Tatars probably thought they were safe and slowed down thus allowing hetman to catch with them on July 4 near Sasowy Róg at river Prut. Several dozens of Tatars were killed and captured, the rest dispersed. Among captives were several high ranking Tatars and Khan Temir's son in law (Khan Temir, Kantymir – chief of Budjak Horde, a well known and ferocious Nogai Tatar leader). Most of loot, all captives, cattle and horses were recovered.
Koniecpolski, who had an extensive spy network through the region and was responsible for much of the Commonwealth foreign policy there, had probably known about Abazy's plans at this moment. He returned to the left bank of Dniestr, started the construction of a fortified camp near Kamieniec Podolski (an important city and a strong fortress in Podolia region) and called for reinforcement of about 3,000 regular troops in his disposition: Cossacks and private troops of magnates (about 8,000 men came). Abazy started his march in the second half of September with Ottoman troops from his province, vassal troops and about 5,000–10,000 Tatars, including almost the whole Budjak Horde led by Kantymir. In mid-October he was near Chocim (Khotyn) and learned about Koniecpolski's preparations. Abazy started negotiations, probably wanting to outmanoeuver Koniecpolski by diplomacy. It is possible that he got news about the sultan's increasing dissatisfaction, and decided to hurry his plans. Abazy crossed the Dniestr about October 20. Kantymir started his attacks on October 20 and continued during the next day. On October 22 Abazy attacked with his full forces but was repelled with heavy losses and ordered a retreat. One can only speculate why—did he get orders from Constantinople (Istanbul), did he not believe that he could defeat Koniecpolski or did he hear the false news that more Cossacks reinforcements were coming to aid Koniecpolski?
In next year a full war with the Ottoman Empire was close (according to one source, the sultan created a huge army, according to others, it was just near its creation), however the sultan suffered from another failure: his vassal, khan of Crimea Canibek II (Janibek, Dzhanibek), had decided to attack Muscovy. Muscovy troops were fighting with Polish troops, then-Polish Ukraine was bolstered by Cossacks and Koniecpolski's troops and besides, many times Tatars themselves offered to the Commonwealth to raid Muscovy in exchange for “gifts” (or were sent “gifts” to do so). About 20,000 strong Tatar army attacked Muscovy in 1632, probably stronger in 1633, attacks continued in 1634 (till 1637). In June 1634, Tatars operated in the area of Kursk, Orel; and Mtsensk. A year later they attacked Lesser Nogai Horde and Azov Horde. In 1636 Crimean Tatars attacked again and Greater Nogai Orde changed their allegiance to Crimea. Southern defenses were destroyed, the country depopulated (the number of jasyr captives sold in Crimea is estimated at 10,000). Russian historians accuse Poles of coordinating their attacks with those of Tatars.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth victories against Muscovy (Shein forces capitulation near Smolensk on February 1634, further plundering of Muscovy lands by Cossacks, the Commonwealth troops and Tatars) caused the tsar to decide to seek peace with the Polish new king, Władysław IV. A new peace treaty in Polanowo (or Polanówko, called pokój polanowski in Polish) was signed in June 1634. The terms of the previous treaty were confirmed and in exchange for a large amount of money Władysław resigned of the tsar title. After that Władysław with some of his troops went south to Ukraine.
In September 1634 about 29,000 Commonwealth soldiers were concentrated near Kamieniec Podolski. Expanded regular troops of Koniecpolski (6,500 including wybraniecka infantry), 5,500 infantry and dragoons that came with king from Smolensk, private troops of magnates and mercenaries hired by provinces. Commonwealth was making preparations for war, Smoleńsk campaign has shown that Polish infantry reform program had succeeded, new reforms in artillery were introduced which resulted in creation of new centers of cannon-making and additionally Cossacks could be mobilized. So the whole situation has changed dramatically: instead of opening a second front and attack on soft belly of desperately fighting Commonwealth, the sultan would have to confront the whole power of a victorious king. In order to explain the previous year's “misunderstandings” the sultan sent his envoy Chavush Shaheen aga (agha) to Warsaw, blamed Abazy and promised to punish him. Abazy tried to hide or cover his failure sending the sultan rich gifts, however was called to Istanbul and offered silk rope (sentenced to death).
The peace treaty was extended, and the sultan promised to displace the Budjak Horde but never did so. Additionally Abazy was “relieved” and the new governor of Silistria got orders not to make any mischief. In 1635 Murad IV started a war with Persia, conquered Azerbaijan, occupied Tabriz and captured Baghdad in 1638.