Siege of Kars (1744)

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Siege of Kars
Part of the Ottoman–Persian War (1743–46) and the Campaigns of Nader Shah
Date29 July - 9 October 1744
Result Ottoman victory
Commanders and leaders
Ottoman Empire Nişancı Ahmed Pasha
Ottoman Empire Kazıkçı Hüseyin Pasha
Nader Shah

The siege of Kars, in 1744, occurred during the Ottoman-Persian War of 1743-1746. Nader Shah, ruler of Persia, laid siege to the city on 29 July 1744.


After the Iranian army under the command of Nader Shah suffered a major defeat in the Siege of Mosul in 1743, the Governor of Mosul, Abdülcelilzade, negotiated an armistice with Hüseyin Pasha, including the exchange of prisoners. Then, as Governor of Baghdad returned Kirkuk and Erbil to Ottoman Empire, which he occupied by agreement with Ahmed Pasha, Basra also lifted the siege.[1]

In the winter of 1743-1744 Nader Shah engaged in rebellions (some of which were supported/encouraged by the Ottomans). Nader, who barely neutralized the Lezgin's attacks from Dagestan in December 1743, and within the country, Persian Beylerbeyi Taki Khan's Shiraz and he encountered the Esterabad-based uprisings of the Qajars. Ottoman Empire completed its military preparations on the Iranian front, with the help of Baghdad Governor Ahmed Pasha's distraction policy against Nader Shah, who suppressed them until Nowruz, and Kars Serasker (former Grand Grand Vizier) Nişancı Ahmed Pasha, to the Eastern Anatolian Seraskier Aleppo Governor Kazıkchı Hüseyin Paşa and Iraq to the Seraskier Governor of Baghdad Ahmed Pasha was appointed.[2]

The commander of the garrison at Kars, Nişancı Ahmed Pasha, was ordered to support the Iranian prince Safi Mirza, who claimed the throne. Nader Shah's first his goal was to eliminate this danger, and after he caught and blinded Safi Mirza, he sent him to Kars.[3] He then attacked towards Kars.


Posthumous portrait of Nader Shah from 1774
Kars Castle Today

The Iran army under the command of Nader Shah crossed Arpaçay via Tabriz-Nakhchivan and arrived in front of Kars on 29 July 1744. After Nader Shah set up his headquarters on a hill south of the city, he had metrics dug around the Kars fortress. He then sent a letter to the garrison commander, Nişancı Ahmed Pasha, with an offer of surrender. Nader claimed there was no need to employ artillery to capture the castle as it would be sufficient to simply cut off the castle's water supply.[4]

Ahmed Pasha left the offer unanswered. The Persian army took the necessary defensive measures around the castle before they arrived, made the lake larger by pouring water from Kars stream into Kars Lake, had a wide and deep ditch dug around the castle, built two-meter-long trenches with cannons, and fortified them with cannons. had formed a line of defense[5]

Despite these preparations, the chain of command in the Ottoman garrison showed weakness and gave the Serasker's order. When a group of disobedient Ottoman soldiers wanted to leave the castle and attack the Iranian army, Ahmed tried to establish order, at least partially, by sending Veli Pasha as a commander. The Ottoman troops were unsuccessful and retreated to the castle.

Thereupon, Nader Shah, who wanted to tighten the siege, decided to connect Kars with Erzurum. He moved his headquarters to the village of Kümbet on the Kars-Erzurum road to cut him off and started the attacks. However, in ten general attacks carried out in a month, the Iranian army had to withdraw with heavy losses as the Ottomans knew Persian weaknesses of in siege warfare.[6] The most severe of these attacks happened on 25 August. However, the Iranians were still unable to break through the castle's defenses.[7] Two Hans and 1,700 soldiers from the Iranians, two Pashas, and 80 soldiers from the Ottomans. soldier died.

Nader Shah, who could not bring down the castle with his attacks, turned to his familiar tactic to cut off the water of the castle. Although he tried to change his bed by blocking the Kars Stream by placing the cotton equivalents he had brought from Revan by camels on 2 September, between the tree stakes, but with the onset of heavy autumn rains, the Kars Stream regained its old bed.

Nader Shah, who could not get results from this tactic, invited the Ottoman ambassador Defterdar Kesriyeli Ahmet Efendi to his headquarters and offered new peace offers, but these were not accepted either.

Thereupon, Nader Shah intensified the siege from 13 September 1744. The Ottoman forces in the castle were deployed as follows: Tırhala Beylerbeyi Murteza Pasha, at the Behrampaşa Gate Ankara, Nevşehir, under the command of the Janissaries in Gözcütepe At the head of the soldiers of the Niğde and Kütahya banners Trabzon Governor Selim Pasha, at the bastion in front of the Mosque Erzurum Governor Veli Pasha, Mustafa Pasha to the right wing, to the western bastion Izmit soldiers, militias, and under the command of Levent, Nişancı Ahmed Pasha was deployed. The camp sergeant commanded the artillery forces placed in front of the hill inside the castle. The hill slopes were held by soldiers from the Alâiye, Karahisar and Icel banners. Bayrakdar Ahmed Pasha, who guarded these troops, commanded the Timurpasa Bastion metris Karaman Beylerbeyi Abdullah Pasha.[8]

Nâder Shah, leaving his headquarters around Kümbet, approached the castle he had besieged with trenches and towers, and started salvo fire towards Timurpaşa Bastion with field artillery (18 September). He was planning a general offensive the next day. However, the Ottoman garrison left the fortress before dawn and surrounded the Iranian army, preparing to attack with the huruç operation they carried out. Leaving all their weight with nine field guns, the Iranian army fled (September 19).[9]

For three weeks following this general attack, the Iranian army took positions in a valley leading towards the castle and continued the bombardment with the fire of 16 large cannons. However, the bombardment did not destroy the fortress, and the onset of severe cold increased the losses. Finally, on 9 October 1744, Nader Shah gave the order to withdraw after an unsuccessful siege of 73 days.[10]



  1. ^ "History of Nadir Shah", V. Minorsky, Trans. Rashid Yasemi, Tehran 313, p.97.
  2. ^ "History", Süleyman İzzi Efendi, Istanbul 1119, vrk.6/a.
  3. ^ "Alem-ara-yi Nadiri", Muhammed Kazım (Vizier-i Merv), I-III, arrow. M. Emin Riyahi, Tehran, 1374, p.1042
  4. ^ "Makale-i Vaka-i Muhasara-i Kars", Sırrı Efendi, Es'ad Efendi Library (Süleymaniye), no. 2417, vrk.9/b.
  5. ^ I. H. Danişmend, ibid, IV, p.31.
  6. ^ "The Siege of Mosul and Ottoman-Persian Relations", Robert W. Olson, Routledge (2017)
  7. ^ "The Great Ottoman History", Joseph von Hammer, c.15, p.62
  8. ^ "The Great Ottoman History", Joseph von Hammer, vol.15, pp.62-63
  9. ^ "The Great Ottoman History", Joseph von Hammer, vol.15, p.63
  10. ^ History of Kars", F. Kırzioğlu, Istanbul (1953), p.544