Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Battle of Bender (1877)

Charles Édouard Armand-Dumaresq: The Battle of Bender

The Skirmish at Bender was devised to remove Charles XII of Sweden from the Ottoman Empire after his military defeats in Russia. It took place on 1 February 1713 on Ottoman territory, in what is now the town of Bender, Moldova. After the Swedish defeat at the battle of Poltava on 27 June 1709 and the surrender of most of the Swedish army at Perevolochna three days later, Charles XII of Sweden fled together with a few hundred Swedish soldiers and a large number of Cossacks to the Ottoman Empire, where they spent a total of five years. The events of the Skirmish at Bender officially began on 31 January 1713 with the firing of Turkish artillery on the Swedish camp. On 1 February the Ottoman forces, commanded by the Serasker of Bender, attacked the camp. The fighting lasted for over 7 hours and the Ottomans eventually used both artillery and fire arrows when the initial assaults were beaten back and the later method proved to be effective. The fire arrows caught the building's roof on fire and forced the defenders to abandon it, the fighting then came to an abrupt end when the king tripped on his own spurs while exiting the burning house. He was assaulted by scores of Ottoman soldiers who managed to capture him and the remaining fighters. After some time as a prisoner, Charles XII and his soldiers were released when news about the Swedish victory in the Battle of Gadebusch reached the Ottomans. [Wikipedia]

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