Siege of Kolomna

Following the Battle of Voronezh River in December 1237, Yuri II of Vladimir sent both of his sons with "all his men"[1] and Voivode Yeremey to defend the fortress of Kolomna, which was on the border to the Wild Fields.

Mongol invasion of Rus
Part of Part of Mongol conquest of Eastern Europe
Vladimir mongols.jpg
Mongols under the walls of Vladimir.
DateDecember 1237–January 1238
Location
Modern Russia
Result Mongol victory; Vladimir and Moscow besieged afterward
Belligerents
Mongol Empire Coat of Arms of Vladimir (1781).png Vladimir-Suzdal
Commanders and leaders

Burundai

Kulkan 

Prince Vsevolod Yuryevich Prince Vladimir Yuryevich Voivode Yeremey 

Prince Roman Ingvarevich of Ryazan 
Strength
At least one tumen (10.000) of nomad cavalry Several hundred cavalry, up to 15.000 militia on foot, some Ryazan survivors
Casualties and losses
Significant Entire force

BattleEdit

In Kolomna, the Vladimir-Suzdal army met some of the Ryazan survivors from the Battle of Voronezh River led by Prince Roman Ingvarevich.[2] After some heavy fighting under the walls of Kolomna, the young princes Vsevolod and Vladimir retreated to Vladimir and Moscow, respectively.[1][3] The small Russian force left in Kolomna was besieged and annihilated a few days after the destruction of Ryazan.[4] This left the capital, Vladimir, open for the next Tatar onslaught.

Opposing forcesEdit

According to Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, the contemporary historian of the Ilkhanate, Kolomna was the fiercest battle of the entire campaign: Kulkan, son of Genghis Khan, died in battle.[5] Reasons for Mongol casualties, which were heavier than usual, might be:

  • Kolomna was attacked by only a fraction of Mongol force, while the main army was occupied with the siege of Ryazan.[2]
  • Russian forces at Kolomna included almost all the warriors of Vladimir-Suzdal, the strongest state of Kievan Rus' at the time. The capital city of Vladimir was probably left defencless, as it was taken after just 2 days[1]-much smaller Ryazan resisted longer, even after the defeat on the Voronezh River.[3] Soviet historians estimated the Russian army at Kolomna up to 15.000 men.[6]
  • Vladimir-Suzdal army was apparently a relief force,[3] and Voivode Yeremey is specifically mentioned as "captain of the guards",[2] so it is reasonable to assume that most of Grand Prince Yuri's Druzhina was there as well. So the army had a small, but well equipped core of professional soldiers.

AftermathEdit

According to The Tale of the Destruction of Ryazan, a few days after the fall of Kolomna, the main Mongol army was suddenly attacked "in the land of Suzdal".[7] On January 11, 1238, the last remnant of Ryazan defenders, 1700 men under Evpaty Kolovrat, made a last stand for their country. Though probably fictional, the tale of their sacrifice is "one of the greatest epics in the history of Russia".[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Никифоровская летопись. Никифорівський літопис. Том 35. Литовсько-білоруські літописи". litopys.org.ua. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  2. ^ a b c "Новгородская летопись". krotov.info. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. ^ a b c Michell, Robert; Shakhmaton, A. A.; Forbes, Nevill; Beazley, C. Raymond (Charles Raymond) (1914). The chronicle of Novgorod, 1016-1471. University of California Libraries. London, Offices of the society.
  4. ^ Grigorjevič., Jan, Vasilij (1991). Batu-kan : istorijski roman. Lobačev, Đorđe., BIGZ). Beograd: Prosveta. ISBN 8607005944. OCLC 438360055.
  5. ^ ад-Дин, Рашид (1952). Сборник летописей / Пер. с персидского О. И. Смирновой,редакция проф. А. А. Семенова. Издательство Академии Наук СССР. pp. Т. 1, кн. 2. – С. 71.
  6. ^ Маевский, И. В. (2004). Очерки по истории Коломенского края. Коломна: Тираж. p. 11.
  7. ^ Евпатий Коловрат // Советская военная энциклопедия. Военное издательство Министерства обороны СССР. 1977. p. 282.
  8. ^ Likhachev, D. S. (1987). "Великое наследие". Избранные работы в трех томах. 2. Leningrad: Khudozh. Lit. pp. 244–263.