Talk:Russo-Turkish War (1787–92)

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Adding José de Ribas as commander.[edit]

I have added José de Ribas as a commander. He had a more important role in the war than John Paul Jones who already appears in the list. I've added him under russian and spanish flags for showing his origin(a spanish noble)and his service under napolitan flag with the napolitan kingdom being in the sphere of the spanish one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 29 July 2013 (UTC)


Someone reverted the Caucasus Front section on the assumption that Baddeley is not a reliable source. He is not only a reliable source, he is the only source. Most Caucasus books are superficial and Baddeley alone has a good detailed narrative. Footnotes appear to show nothing better in any language. I have read a dozen or so books on the Caucasus. All cite Baddeley and when they get serious they often paraphrase him (Blanch and Gammer). Potto's multi-volume work has not been translated. Allen and Muratoff is better, but it only deals with the military history of the Russo-Turkish wars from 1828. Baddeley has a boyish interest in warfare, cannot resist a good story and often quotes field commander's reports without trying to correct exaggerations. When Gammer tried to surpass his history of the Murid War he left out many of Baddeley's good stories, apparently thinking them ill-documented, but he never explicitly footnotes an error in Baddeley. If you know a better source, what is it? Benjamin Trovato (talk) 21:37, 30 September 2015 (UTC#

I see nothing here that states Baddeley has any expertise or academic training for the time period in question. The fact that Baddeley worked as a journalist in Russia further removes him as a neutral, reliable source when dealing in the area of Russian conflicts. --Kansas Bear #talk) 23:49, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
The best historians are Herodotus, Thucydides, Gibbon and Macaulay. None had academic training. There ain't no neutral source. He may once have been a journalist, but he does not read like Timesweek, or whatever its called. At Wikipedia we can only summarize the best available source, and that means Baddeley unless I have missed something very important. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 00:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
At Wikipedia we only use reliable sources, not journalists(especially writing 100+ years after the fact!), housewives, travelers, etc.
"At Wikipedia we can only summarize the best available source..."
Guess your "research" needs work, A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, is clearly a "better source". Baddeley's "work" is at best a questionable source backed by hearsay, and is in no way a reliable source. FYI, as to "Herodotus, Thucydides, Gibbon and Macaulay", modern historiography recognizes them for what they were, whereas Baddeley who was writing in the early 20th century applies nothing to his writing(ie. no bibliography.... hearsay). Therefore, Baddeley still is not a reliable source. Oh, and you need to learn how to write references properly, since page numbers are required. --Kansas Bear (talk) 01:15, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Baddeley has no formal bibliography, but his numerous footnotes point to his extensive reading, which amounts to the same thing. Baddeley should be corrected when he is contradicted by a better source, but I have not found one yet. Perhaps someone else will find a better source. Thanks for the link. I will check it from now on. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 17:30, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
"Numerous footnotes" is quite the exaggeration. Baddeley is not a reliable source and will not be used. You have brought nothing that proves Baddeley is a reliable source and clearly reliable sources(ie. Tucker) can be found, with some proper research. --Kansas Bear (talk) 20:14, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Is your edition different? On my Kindle footnotes run from 7093 to 8268 out of 10211. Is there a reliable source that says that Baddeley is not a reliable source? Since I don't know you I cannot tell if your opinion is a reliable source. Is there a more modern book that updates or corrects Baddeley? Is there a better history of the Caucasus? I would be happy to use a better source, but I don't know what it is. Tucker above is not a detailed narrative.Benjamin Trovato (talk) 22:17, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus, indicates the footnote per page(if even that many) appear as comments, nothing more.
"Since I don't know you I cannot tell if your opinion is a reliable source."
Making dumb ass remarks just means you have nothing that proves Baddeley is a reliable source.
"Is there a better history of the Caucasus?"
That is not the issue here. Time to wake up, this entire issue is the fact that Baddeley is not a reliable source, he was a traveler and journalist that clearly just wrote what he heard.
""Tucker above is not a detailed narrative."
So what? So now Tucker is not good enough, undoubtedly since you don't have him on your Kindle? LMAO. You have proven my point, and clearly refuse to get the point. You want Baddeley to be a reliable source beause he's on your Kindle, and you clearly can't or won't do proper research. --Kansas Bear (talk) 00:24, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

So far we have this:

Against: The assertion that he is not a reliable source; He was not an academic and was once a journalist and traveler (This is an argument from probability. The average professor is better than the average journalist, but a particular journalist may be better than most professors); The book was written in 1908 (I can find nothing better, including Gammer and Forsyth); Lack of bibliography and footnotes (your source has footnotes on the bottom of the page which makes them hard to use as a bibliography. Use link above and search ‘Akti’ to see how extensive they are); His habit of repeating reports of enemy numbers without explicitly expressing doubt. Gammer’s gentle criticism noted above; One date error (Murid War, note 7); two contradictions to GogglelEarth (Shamyl’s escape from Akulgo and the ‘ridge’ south of Dargo); Omission of most of the Veden campaign; His omission of the Circassian War is a problem since it might have improved his account of the east and south.

For: So far I have read 13 books on the Caucasus and can find nothing better in English, nor have I seen any hints that there is anything better; All other writers use him as a source and none clearly correct him; Forsyth, who wrote an excellent history of Siberia, could not surpass him; Gammer and Blanch paraphrase him; He was translated into Russian, which tells you something. His account is consistent with all other books and none contradict him on anything important. There is no definite evidence that he made any major mistake. If anything I extracted from Baddeley is incorrect, an editor with a better source will correct it. That is how Wikipedia works.

To the best of my knowledge Baddeley is the best account of the period in English. We have no evidence of major mistakes and no positive evidence that he is unreliable.Benjamin Trovato (talk) 00:00, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

As I stated before, Baddeley is a journalist not an historian and as such can not, by Wikipedia's standards, be considered a reliable source.
Per, The Balkans and Caucasus: Parallel Processes on the Opposite Sides of the , edited by Ivan Biliarsky, Ovidiu Cristea, Anca Oroveanu, page 22, states the Russian High Command made no plans for any operations in the Caucasus region during the 1787 war.
Per, A Global Chronology of Conflict, Vol. 3, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, pages 959, 960, 963, 964, 965, 966. Of these pages there are no mention of operations, battles, plans, in the Caucasus region during the Russo-Turkish war 1787-1792.
As such according to 2 academic sources, the original research posted using the Baddeley source will be removed. --Kansas Bear (talk) 23:05, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Since there have been more wars and conflicts than could be listed even in a 3-volume work, omission is not evidence of absence. Even if the high command made no plans, operations did take place according to all sources. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 03:55, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • "..omission is not evidence of absense."
Actually it is, since Wikipedia is written using reliable secondary sources. Your personal opinion of an academic work is meaningless, just like Baddeley's writings.
Spencer Tucker is an historian, the set consists of 6 volumes not 3, and compared to the outdated unreliability of some journalist, you clearly do not know what a reliable source is. You have taken a conflict during the same time period and stated it is part of this war, which it is not. What Baddeley is describing, rather poorly, is Mansur's rebellion which had no bearing on this conflict, which is clearly shown by reliable sources. As such, Baddeley's unreliability and your usage is simply original research. Your continued ignoring of what academic sources state is your problem. --Kansas Bear (talk) 16:09, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
These edit wars are usually pointless. The problem is that most people have an excessively high opinion of their own opinion. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 22:09, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Caucasus Front[edit]

Since one user thinks that Baddeley is not a reliable source this information is moved to the talk page to avoid an edit war. To the best of my knowledge Baddeley is one of the few accounts in English and is not contradicted by any source that I have seen.

As in the previous war, fighting on the eastern front was a sideshow. Russia now had more troops in the area, but fighting was confined to the far northwest.

{Footnote:This section from John F. Baddeley, The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus, 1908, Chapter III} Before 1774 the Turks dominated the Crimean Khanate and the Crimeans dominated the Nogai nomads north of the Caucasus. The Turks also held some ports on the Black Sea coast and influenced the mountaineers in the interior. With the final loss of Crimea in 1783 the main Turkish base became Anapa about 60 km southeast of the Kerch Strait. With the help of French engineers they turned it into a first-class fort . The Russians weakly held a line along the Kuban River and were fighting the mountaineers under Sheikh Mansur. The main events in the war were the following. 1. In the autumn of 1788 Tekelli marched to Anapa, saw no hope of taking it and returned to the Kuban. 2. Next January Bibikov marched on Anapa, harassed all the way by the Circassians. An attempted storm failed and he led a disastrous winter retreat. He lost between 1000 and 5000 of his 8000 men and they had to carry back 1000 sick and wounded, most of whom never recovered. 3. In 1790 Admiral Fyodor Ushakov fought a Turkish flotilla near the Kerch Strait. 4. In the autumn of 1789 Batal Pasha landed somewhere on the coast and marched inland, gathering the tribes. The Russian response was disorganized and the full weight fell on General Hermann who had 3600 men and six guns. It is claimed that he defeated 40000-50000 enemy with a loss of 150 men killed and wounded. {Footnote:Baddeley, page 51, with no footnote as to his source} Batal Pasha was captured and no prisoners were taken. The remnant of the beaten army was demolished by Baron Rosen. The site of the battle later became the Cossack stanitsa of Batalpashinsk. {footnote: The sources are not very good here. Batalpashinsk is 150km from the Black Sea over 8000-foot mountains. He might have landed at Anapa and marched 400km east across flat and roadless country north of the mountains. Baddeley says that the Russians on the Laba River were unaware of his presence, which makes no sense unless he somehow crossed the mountains, which would be difficult.} 6. On 22 June 1790 Ivan Gudovich stormed Anapa. The 15000-man garrison was annihilated and the Russians lost 4000 men, about half those engaged. They captured 83 cannon and, most importantly, Sheikh Mansur. Anapa was apparently returned by the Treaty of Jassy since it had to be re-taken in 1807 and again in 1828. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 03:33, 9 June 2016 (UTC)