Pruth River, Campaign and Treaty of

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The Campaign of Pruth River was the Russian response to a declaration of war by the Ottoman Empire in November 1710. By June 1711, the Russian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Boris Sheremetev and Tsar Peter the Great arrived at the Pruth River in Ottoman territory. The Russians had about 38,000 infantry and 14,000 cavalry. The Ottoman forces, led by Grand Vizier Baltadji Mehmed Pasha, numbered about 120,000 infantry and 80,000 cavalry. Peter was counting heavily on an uprising of the Balkan Christians in Wallachia and Moldavia to redress the numerical imbalance. However, Wallachian support did not materialize, leaving the Russian armies without crucial supplies and reinforcements.

The fighting raged from July 911. The Russian situation quickly became critical because Peter had earlier sent the Russian cavalry to the Ottoman rear for the purpose of capturing or destroying Ottoman supplies. The outnumbered Russian infantry made a stand at Stanelishte on the banks of the Pruth without cavalry support. The Russians were completely surrounded by the larger Turkish force. Short of food and water, and with no possibility of breaking through the encircling Ottoman forces, the Russians opened negotiations.

The Treaty of Pruth was signed July 12, 1711, between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The treaty dictated that Russia give up the fortresses of Azov and Tagonrog, lose its permanent ambassador in the Ottoman Empire, and dismantle both its forts on the lower Dnieper and its Black Sea fleet. In addition, Russian troops were to leave Poland and King Charles XII of Sweden would be permitted to return to Sweden without Russian interference. In return, the defeated Russian army received the right to retreat unhindered to Russian territory. The effect of this treaty was to nullify the military gains Peter had accrued against the Ottoman Empire throughout his reign.

See also: peter i; turkey, relations with


Massie, Robert K. (1980). Peter the Great His Life and World. New York: Ballantine.

Jean K. Berger