It would seem that a well-known comical character, in fact, turned out to be an officer of the Russian army and, moreover, participated in a campaign against Bender back in 1738.
It is known how reverently the inhabitants of the city of Bendery treat their fortress, its history and everything connected with it. Therefore, the history of this object is overgrown with all sorts of incredible stories, legends, fairy tales, etc., which, although they give a special flavor to the fortress, are, unfortunately, often very far from the truth.
As for Munnich and Munchausen and the unsuccessful campaign against the Bendery fortress, we decided to turn to historical facts and evaluate them in the general outline of the history of the fortress and the city. The truth, as is often the case, is somewhere in between.
Indeed, the Russian army led by Minich during the Russian-Turkish war of 1736 - 1739. repeatedly set itself the goal of taking one of the main fortresses of Turkey in the Northern Black Sea region - Ochakov and Bendery. In 1737, the Russian court, preparing for the hostilities of Minich's army (100 thousand), set the task of interrupting Turkey's land communication with the Crimea, capturing Ochakovo, and then Bendery, and after that proceed to the Danube. The second army, led by Lassi (40 thousand), was ordered to follow to the Crimea.
Unlike Bender, on July 2, 1737, Minich's army was able to take Ochakov by storm, most likely by pure chance, since one of the randomly fired bombs hit the powder magazine and the resulting explosion caused complete confusion among the enemy, as a result of which the Russians broke into the fortress and staged a terrible massacre there, leaving only 4 thousand people out of the 17 thousandth garrison alive. After the capture of Ochakov, Minich was unable to build on his success and move to Bender, as the lack of food and fodder forced him to retreat from Ochakov to the Bug for 80 miles to the Andreevsky fortification.
Here, failures continued to haunt the army. Minimal diseases, typhus, plague mowed down 15 thousand people in the army, including 3 thousand oxen, in connection with which Minich was forced to move to Ukraine, abandoning all artillery and convoy in the Andreevsky fortification. The loss in people in that company was up to 35 thousand people. As the Austrian military agent Berenklau reported - “After the capture of Ochakov, the army was brought into such a disorder that it could no longer do anything, and if the Turks had attacked it from Bender, they would not have met with any resistance.” But the Turks rescued Munnich with their inaction.
However, as soon as Minich retreated to Ukraine, 50 thousand Turks and Tatars arrived from Bendery to Ochakov, whose attacks were heroically repelled by the Ochakov garrison led by Shtofeln. Having lost 10 thousand killed near Ochakovo, as well as the same number who died from the plague, the Turkish-Tatar horde returned to the Bendery fortress.
The main goal of the company in 1738 was the main Turkish stronghold on the Dniester River - the Bendery fortress, under the walls of which the Turks deployed a 60,000-strong army. Owning Bendery and Ochakov, the Russians could completely push the Turks across the Dniester. An auxiliary strike was again planned to be delivered to the Crimea.
On May 18, 1738, the 55,000-strong army of Field Marshal Munnich with 40,000 convoy carts moved from the Dnieper River to the Dniester. It was Minich's longest trip, during which more than 300 km had to be overcome. continuous steppe. Having reached the Dniester on July 26, north of Bendery, the Russian army was never able to cross to the right bank and move to the Bendery fortress to besiege it. On the right bank, the army of Minikh was waiting for the 60,000-strong army of the Bendery seraskir Veli Pasha, who placed artillery on the commanding heights and completely blocked the crossing. Russian attempts to cross the Dniester by the Turks were repelled. Then Minich decided to maneuver along the river, assuming to find another place for the crossing, but he did not achieve anything. The Bendery fortress remained out of reach for him.
August passed in hot clashes between the Russian army and the Turkish-Tatar detachments, which crossed to the left bank of the Dniester and inflicted sensitive blows on Minich. At the end of August, Minich was forced, leaving Bender alone, to retreat behind the Bug. A considerable part of the artillery had to be left because of the death of horses and oxen, cannons were thrown into wells, shells were buried in the ground. Due to the outbreak of a terrible plague, the Russians were also forced to leave the fortresses of Kinburn and Ochakov. Thus ended the unsuccessful campaign against Bendery.
The following year, in 1739, Minikh, with an army of 68,000, moved again to the Dniester, but his goal was no longer Bendery, but Khotyn, located in the upper reaches of the Dniester. Having spread false information through spies that the army was moving towards Bendery, on July 19, Minikh approached the Dniester, passing through the populated Podolia. Having deceived the Khotyn serasker Hussein Pasha, placing the main forces of his army in front of him on the left bank, Minikh secretly crossed the Dniester near the village of Sinkovtsy with 20 thousand. The misled Bendery seraskir Veli Pasha very late came to the aid of Hussein Pasha, and when they united at the village. Stavuchany, the Russian army in full force was ready for a general battle. On August 17, 1739, the Russian army utterly defeated the united Turkish army, which had one and a half superiority in people. At the same time, during the attack, the Bendery seraskir Veli Pasha was the first to falter, who, together with his forces, could not withstand the onslaught of the Russians and fled from the battlefield.
The Stavucani victory forced the Turkish army to leave the Danube, and Moldova accepted Russian citizenship, on August 19 the Khotyn garrison capitulated, and on September 3 the Russians entered Iasi. However, all the results achieved were reduced to zero by the conclusion of a separate peace with Turkey, Russia's ally, Austria.
As can be seen from this story, Minich really wanted to capture the Bendery fortress more than once, but, in the end, the circumstances were such that the Russian troops could not even get close to it, leaving it to wait under its walls after 31 years for the Second Army led by the general-in-chief Panina P.I.
As for Baron Munchausen, his participation in the campaigns of Minich's army was fully confirmed.
The biography of Baron Karl Friedrich Jerome von Munchausen (1720-1787) is by no means unique for the 18th century. For many, Münzhausen is a literary character, a mythical hero, whose "afterlife" fate is to match the "stories" that glorified him.
The Baron was born in the small German town of Bodenwerder and was the fifth child in a large family. His family has been known since the 12th century, and this surname was worn by more than one officer or minister in various great German duchies and principalities. From the age of 15, the baron, according to tradition, was appointed a page in the retinue of the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
In the autumn of 1737, the duke received a letter from his younger brother, Prince Anton Ulrich, from Russia asking him to find two pages for him. In the summer of 1737, Prince Ulrich participated in the assault on the Ochakov fortress and was with his entire retinue at the epicenter of the battle. The prince's horse was killed, the adjutant wounded, and both pages died of their wounds. After a long search, the duke finally informed his brother that von Hoim and von Munchausen would go to him, who voluntarily wished to set off and gave their word with all zeal to serve under the prince.
The pages left for Russia on December 2, 1737, and, having arrived in Munnich's army, they replenished the retinue of Prince Ulrich, consisting of a good dozen people. Those. our hero got into the army of Minich in the company of 1738, just when the unsuccessful campaign against the Turkish fortress of Bendery took place. Prince Anton Ulrich in this campaign commanded a detachment of three regiments, and it was his detachment that encountered on August 14 near the Belochi River with the combined Turkish-Tatar cavalry, which he met with rifle fire and, as Minich reported -"They scattered them like straw in the wind." But the main goal of the campaign, the city-fortress of Bendery, remained inaccessible, and as it is written in the biography of Munchausen - "although Munchausen honestly fulfilled his duty, flying around the fortress on the core and collecting valuable information." As mentioned above, the Turkish artillery did not allow the army of Minich, in which our hero was, to cross to the right bank of the Dniester.
Prince Anton Ulrich no longer took part in the next company, but remained in St. Petersburg, where the young Munchausen met Princess Golitsyna. The result of this meeting was the birth of an illegitimate child. The girl was subsequently transferred to be raised in the family of the Cossack ataman Nagovitsyn.
From December 1739, Munchausen left the retinue of Prince Ulrich and went to serve in the cuirassier Braunschweig regiment of the Russian army. Like many compatriots, the baron was looking not so much for adventure as for secular success and a career, especially in Russia foreigners were clearly favored.
At the age of 24, the baron commanded a guard in Riga and met the future Empress Catherine the Great. Then he participated in the Russian-Turkish war, and by the age of 30 he had risen to the rank of captain in the Russian army. He lived in both capitals, traveled most of the empire and, thanks to his lively and sociable disposition, made many different acquaintances. Not too successful financially, having retired, he returned to his ancestral castle Bodenwerder, where he entertained the guests with entertaining stories about his incredible adventures. His first 16 stories appeared in 1781 in the Berlin magazine A Guide for Merry People.
How amazingly the destinies of different people intersect ......
Munchausen in the steppes of Ukraine
Author: Oles BuzinaSeptember 30, 2011
Wow! Kyiv streets still remember Baron Munchausen from Braunschweig.
Who is Baron Munchausen, everyone knows. But they hardly think that his adventures - both fictional and real - took place, including in our area! The baron walked the streets of Kyiv, ate Ukrainian sausage, drank beer and probably strove to pinch a puffy Ukrainian girl in the ass, whose virtues were emphasized better than any current mini-skirts by the then plakhta. The famous liar and visionary was an absolutely real person who left a lot of documentary evidence of his existence in the archives. If you think about it, Munchausen is the most famous foreigner who has ever visited Ukraine. Nevertheless, there is neither a monument to him in Kiev, nor a memorial plaque, although he fully deserved it, and the vast majority of our compatriots have no idea of his many years of service in the Russian Empire and participation in campaigns across the Ukrainian steppes.
Baron Munchausen - original documents
In July 1737, during the assault on the Turkish fortress of Ochakov, a high-ranking volunteer of the Russian army, Prince Anton Ulrich of Brunswick, distinguished himself. During a heated fight, one of his pages was killed and another wounded. But the German prince did not have to worry about replenishing his staff. The young servants who were at the Braunschweig court eagerly asked for every journey.
And indeed, in November-December of the same 1737, news came from Wolfenbüttel about the imminent departure of new pages to St. Petersburg. One of them was named Hieronymus Karl Friedrich von Munchausen.
Thus began the "Russian" biography of the legendary Baron Munchausen, a man of amazing fate and unparalleled fame.
In almost fifty years, he will become the prototype of the most popular literary hero. The talented books of Raspe and Burger, the wonderful illustrations of Dore, the happy graphic image - a tricorne hat, over the knee boots, a sword, a pigtail with a bow, the name itself - everywhere arouse constant sympathy.
However, in the minds of many contemporaries, and even more so descendants, the historical baron and the literary baron merged into a single image.
Readers and researchers were occupied, as a rule, by his book adventures, although the real-life Munchausen was not ignored.
The main milestones of his life path have been restored according to sources available in Germany.
Hieronymus von Munchausen was born on May 11, 1720 at the hereditary estate of Bodenwerder, near Hannover. From 1735 to 1737 he was a page of the ruling Duke of Brunswick Karl, who sent him to his brother in Russia. In 1739, Munchausen was assigned as a cornet to a cuirassier regiment; in 1740 he was already a lieutenant, and in 1750 a captain. Back in 1744, he married the Livland noblewoman Jacobine von Dunten; once he went home on vacation, finally leaving the borders of the Russian Empire at the end of 1750. At home, he led the life of a typical landowner: he was engaged in farming, suing peasants, amused himself by hunting, having become known at friendly feasts as an incomparable narrator of incredible stories. The appearance in the press of his double, at least outwardly, Munchausen met with displeasure. In 1790 he lost his wife. The last years of his life were overshadowed by the unsuccessful marriage of a childless baron, litigation and illness. He died on February 22, 1797 and was buried in the ancient monastery church…
Unfortunately, information about Munchausen's stay in Russia was limited to a few meager facts. Meanwhile, it was precisely the impressions of youth that passed in a distant and mysterious country for a European that formed the basis of fascinating and, perhaps, not so fabulous stories.