Battle for freedom on Kulikovo Field

Автор: Maks Ноя 20, 2020

The Mongol-Tatar yoke that began in 1244 gripped Rus in an iron gauntlet. Yet the Russians never gave up hope, certain that one of their number would eventually take up arms against the tyranny of Genghis Khan’s descendents. Their hope was realized in the person of Muscovite Grand Prince Dmitry.

On 9 August 1378 the grand prince and his army stood on one side of the River Vozha near Ryazan; on the other were amassed the Tatar troops. As soon as the Tatars crossed the Vozha, the Russians attacked on three sides. The battle lasted till nightfall, by which time the Tatar horsemen had been routed. The victory, the first achieved against those who had imposed the odious yoke, renewed the Russians’ spirit.

Two years later, in July 1380, word reached Moscow that the Tatar-Mongol commander, the dreaded Mamay himself, was moving his troops westward, preparing to join forces with the army of Lithuanian Prince Jagailo. The combined armies would then proceed to accomplish the dream that obsessed their commanders, the complete and final annihilation of Moscow.

While Mamay’s forces were setting up camp, Grand Prince Dmitry gathered his armies in Kolomna and then hastened to receive the blessing of Ser-gy Radonezhsky. To keep Dmitry out of harm’s way, the great holy man presented the prince with two giant monks, Peresvet and Oslyaba.

To prevent the forces of his two enemies from uniting against him, the grand prince deceived Jagiel-lo into halting his forces and lingering behind.

On 7 September 1380 Dmitry led his army across the Don and into Kulikovo Field. As the mist lifted on the morning of 8 September a struggle to the death began between the giant Russian monk, Peresvet, and the most powerful Tatar, Temir-Murzoy. Though the fight was intended to foretell the outcome of the battle before it actually began, both combatants succumbed to fatal wounds. Then tens upon tens of thousands, swinging swords and battleaxes, battled until it was clear that the Russians, commanded by Grand Prince Dmitry, now called Donskoy, had won a decisive victory.

Загадки истории » Russian history » Battle for freedom on Kulikovo Field

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