The Battle of Eupatoria, 5 February 1855.
Report of the Commander of the Azov Infantry Regiment.
(Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Voenno-Istoricheskii Arkhiv [RGVIA], Fond 14940 Shtab 4-go Armeiskago korpusa 1830-1864, O. 1-2, d. 469, l. 1-8)
To the Commander of the 4th Infantry Corps, General-Adjutant and Cavalier Baron Osten-Sacken.
Report of the Commander of the 12th Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Liprandi.
I have the honor to hereby present to Your Excellency a copy of my report from the Azov Infantry Regiments commander, from 8 February, No. 407.
Lieutenant General Liprandi.
15 February 1855.
The Inkerman Heights.
For the cannonade and assault on the fortified town of Eupatoria.
For the planned cannonade and assault, the forces are divided into three separate columns, with the infantry under the overall command of Major General Prince Urusov of His Majestys Suite.
Right Column: Under the command of Major General
Infantry: 1st Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division: the Transdanube and Poltava regiments.
Artillery: Light Foot No. 3 Battery of the 8th Artillery Brigade; horse batteries: Heavy [batareinyya] No. 21 and Light Nos. 19 and 20 Batteries. All these batteries under the command of Colonel Kolobov.
Cavalry: 1st Brigade of the Reserve Lancer Division and two sotnias of cossacks.
Center Column: under the command of Major General
Infantry: 2nd Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division: the Aleksopol and Kremenchug regiments, with the volunteers of the Greek Battalion.
Foot artillery: Heavy No. 3 and Light Nos. 4 and 5 Batteries of the 8th Artillery Brigade All these batteries under the command of Colonel Wegenkrantz.
One sotnia of cossacks.
Left Column: under the command of Major General Ogarev.
Infantry: the Azov Infantry Regiment from the 12th Infantry Division and the 5th and 6th Reserve Battalions of the Podolia Jäger Regiment.
Artillery: Light No. 3 and Heavy No. 4 Batteries of the 14th Artillery Brigade, 4 heavy [batareinyya] guns from the 10th and 11th Artillery Brigades, Light No. 4 Battery of the 11th Artillery Brigade, and Light Horse No. 23 Battery. All this artillery under the command of Colonel Pushchin.
The Tsesarevichs Dragoon Regiment and 2 sotnias of cossacks.
From 3 to 4 February the cossacks are to set up a line some 500 yards from the town. At about 12 oclock at night, they are to be relieved by a line of infantry, and along with this the artillery is to send forward gun sergeants [orudiinnye feierverkera] to occupy positions 600 yards from the fortifications, keeping an interval between guns of 40 paces, while the infantry sends forward detachments of 60 men with shovels from each regiment to construct separate epaulements for each gun and pits for riflemen in the intervals between guns, as directed by the chief of artillery for each column. Upon finishing these epaulements the workers are to return to their regiments, while the artillery occupies the prepared positions until dawn. On the right flank: from the road to Aisabai, Light No. 3 Battery of the 8th Artillery Brigade alongside Light Horse No. 21 Battery (which, like the foot artillery, will have sent the horse holders back with the horses [konovody s stroevymi loshad'mi]), 20 guns in all. In the center are deployed Light No. 4, Heavy No. 3, and Light No. 5 Batteries of the 8th Artillery Brigade, 36 guns in all. On the right flank: up to the road to Chotai, Light Nos. 3 and 4 Batteries of the 14th Artillery Brigade and 4 heavy guns from the 10th and 11th Artillery Brigades. A total of 76 guns in the line. The remaining batteries are to remain in reserve: Light Horse Nos. 19 and 20 Batteries on the right flank, and Light Foot No. 4 Battery of the 11th Artillery Brigade and Light Horse No. 23 Battery on the left.
To cover the guns from the effect of musket fire, 5 riflemen are to be placed in each of the intervals between guns, calculating that the center batteries (36 guns) will have 180 riflemen assigned from the infantry of the center column, while the flank echelons (20 guns each) will have 100 riflemen each from the infantry of the flank columns. The remaining riflemen in the flank columns are to be used as required for the reserve batteries.
In these positions, the artillery will open fire at daybreak and try to apply its superiority to the enemy guns and overturn them. Firing is to be conducted without haste using sight vanes [dioptry], at a rate calculated to have each gun firing one shot every five minutes, or 1316 shots in an hour from 108 guns. The ammunition supply for 108 guns12,288 rounds exclusive of canisterwill then last for almost 10 hours of battle. With this, the rate of fire must not be increased without explicit orders, for the success of the undertaking depends of the successful action of the artillery, the small number of enemy cannons (for it is known that the enemy has only 30 guns in the town), and on the fact that the enemy has the possibility of leaving the town via a spit some 8 miles long and there embark onto ships to sail away from our shores. Along with this, tell the batteries that in the current ammunition park there are only 2449 rounds besides canister, therefore the rounds must be conserved.
If the bombardment is successful, and it becomes possible to advance the affair further, then upon specific orders the batteries are to move up to 300 yards from the fortifications to fire with canister, providing cover for the riflemen. This movement is to be done by echelons.
The infantry, as related above, is divided into three columns and deployed on the slopes outside firing range from the town. Each column will have in the 1st battle line two battalions in company columns in two lines. The 2nd line will also have two battalions, in half-battalion columns, and the other regiment will be in reserve. In the left column two battalions will be in reserve. Nonetheless, in each column it will be left to the good judgment of the infantry commander, Major General Prince Urusov of His Majestys Suite, to alter the deployments in accordance with circumstances and terrain, but without mixing the troops of one column with those of another.
Consequently, I respectfully ask His Eminence to himself issue detailed orders to the major generals commanding the columns.
When the artillery in the fortifications is destroyed, the columns will advance into the assault in battle formation: the right column along the road from Ais, the center along the road from Oraz, and the left along the road from Chotai. Each column will have cossack guides who are familiar with the layout of the towns streets. To facilitate the assault, each column will receive 40 ladders from force headquarters. After crossing the wall and occupying the fortifications, companies are not to spread out. The right column will occupy the town from the church to the quarantine station; the central columnthe area around the church, and the leftthe part of the town towards Putrid Lake [Gniloe ozero], as indicated on the town map in black. Upon pushing the enemy out of the town, in accordance with the wishes of His Eminence the commander-in-chief an attempt will be made to hold it with a limited number of units protected by lodgments and buildings from bombardment from the sea. The rest of the infantry is to be withdrawn out of range, but only so far as to still be able to support its vanguard in the town, i.e. each column commander will detach a vanguard, construct lodgments, and take measures for the withdrawal of the remaining troops. Along with this, I ask His Eminence Prince Urusov to make preparations for the seizure of the town and assign a detachment from each column, with officers, for saving and carrying away icons and church-plate from the Orthodox church. These are to be distributed to the forces regiments and batteries for the beautification of their regimental churches and battery icons.
No provisions are being made in regard to the fortified quarantine, but it is held in mind to open up a cannonade on it with the two horse batteries deployed behind the right flank.
Cavalry for this operation is to be initially deployed as follows: the Tsesarevichs Dragoon Regiment at the stone bridge on the left flank, as part of the left column; 1st Brigade of the Reserve Lancer Division behind the right flank, as part of the right column. In all events the regiments are to be located out of firing range.
In front of the village of Bogai are to be located the second and third caissons of the heavy batteries and the second caissons of the light batteries, under the command of officers.
Mounted artillerymen are to be with the caissons and continuously riding from them to the batteries so that there will be no delays when second and third caissons are needed. On the day of battle the flying park will be located behind the Bogai so that it will be continuously replenishing ammunition. I further add that battery commanders will receive detailed directives from Colonel Scheideman.
The setting up of the medical aid point [perevyazochnyi punkt] and rules for helping the wounded during the battle will be explained to the troops in a special order.
Signed, Lieutenant General Khrulev.
True and correct: Lieutenant General Liprandi.
Copy of the report of the commander of the Azov Infantry Regiment to the Commander of the 12th Infantry Division, 8 February 1855, No. 407:
Submitting along with this to Your Excellency a copy of the deployment orders [dispozitsiya] issued on the 5th of February by the commander of the Eupatoria Force, I have the honor to most respectfully report that on the 4th at 6 oclock the regiment entrusted to me marched forth from the native village of Tyuk-Mamai to the stone bridge on the road leading to the town of Eupatoria. Upon arriving there, the regiment halted and was joined by the 5th and 6th Reserve Battalions of the Podolia Jäger Regiment, Light Nos. 3 and 4 Batteries of the 14th Artillery Brigade (each of eight guns), four guns of Heavy No. 4 Battery of the 12th Artillery Brigade, and the battalion of Greek volunteers.
At 12 oclock noon, workers assigned from the reserve battalions of the Podolia Jäger Regiment, covered by the 1st Battalion of the Azov Infantry Regiment and the 5th Reserve Battalion of the Podolia Regiment, were sent out to construct epaulements for artillery and riflemen at 400 yards distance.
The next day, 5 February, at 4 oclock in the morning, the whole left column moved from the stone bridge into position. On arriving it was deployed in the following manner: the artillery and riflemen were placed in the already built epaulements; to the left of the artillery and 100 paces behind it were put the 4th and 3rd Battalions in company columns with 2 companies from each battalion in a first line and 2 more companies each in a second line at an interval of 60 paces. In a third line at an interval of 300 paces were placed the 2nd and 1st Battalions in half-battalions [popolubatalionno], with 40 paces distance between them.
In reserve 600 paces behind the third line were positioned the 5th and 6th Battalions of the Podolia Jäger Regiment, formed in half-platoon columns from the center [poluvzodnyya kolonny iz serediny]. After the left column had been positioned as described, at daybreak the enemy opened fire on it, with the 2nd Battalion suffering the most from his large-caliber guns.
In a short time our artillerys accurate firing blew up several ammunition caissons and powder magazines.
After several shots had been fired by our artillery, on the orders of the force commander the battalion of Greek volunteers, under the cover of the horse artillery and Heavy No. 3 Battery, advanced on the Azov Infantrys left to a cemetery occupied by concealed enemy riflemen, who were pushed out. The Azov Regiments 2nd Battalion was sent to reinforce them, and together with the Greeks they seized the enemy fortifications built opposite the cemetery, but were met with murderous enemy musket fire from bannitsy formed up at the stone wall in three ranks and after heavy casualties were forced to take cover in the cemetery behind stones. At that time, on the orders of the force commander, the 3rd Battalion of the Azov Regiment and the two reserve battalions of the Podolia Jägers were sent to the cemetery, but they also met with heavy musket fire. Nevertheless, the lower ranks of the Azov Regiment were unshaken and did not hesitate to form up again in the cemetery for an attack, and sent forward a rifle detachment with ladders. In this manner, on orders from Major General Ogarev, and regardless of the fact that the Greek battalion was beginning to fall back under murderous fire, I led my regiment into the assault. After passing through the cemetery the regiment was completely in the open and the enemy fire increased even more with canister and muskets being fired from houses on the left flank, so that in the very first moments the assault detachment lost some 200 men. Still, the rest with two ladders ran up to the ditch in order to put down these ladders and cross it, but it turned out that the ditch was too deep and full of water and our ladders were too short. They hindered our intentions and there was no way to get up the wall. Therefore I ordered the battalions to retreat, not wishing to leave them exposed to the annihilating enemy fire any longer. The 3rd and 4th Battalions retired behind the line of the 2nd and 1st Battalions, which had occupied positions in the cemetery and taken cover behind stones and in pits. The 4th and 3rd Battalions were in disorder after the loss of their battalion and company commanders, but they reformed under the leadership of junior officers and on the orders of Major General Ogarev were ready to again make an attack, but the horse artillery already ran out of ammunition and withdrew. Enemy cavalry then advanced on our retiring battalions. The commander of the 1st Battalion, Major Fredro, was covering the retreat of the 4th and 3rd Battalions and under enemy fire he formed his battalion into a square. The cavalry approached this battalion at a quick trot but upon seeing its firmness and fearlessness from the way it held its fire, they stopped, fired some shots which killed one man and wounded two, and without making any further attack on the battalion turned to the left and went off in ranks, carrying out this maneuver through the intervals of their fortifications. This made the 1st Battalions withdrawal easier as the enemy was not firing any more from his fortifications. Only firing from the steamships accompanied the withdrawing battalions almost to the medical aid point.
In this affair our losses in killed were: the commander of the 3rd Battalion, Major Stepanov, two company-grade officersLieutenant Kubenskii and Ensign Vitoshevskii. Wounded: the commander of the 4th Battalion, Major Dvigubskii, and 10 field-grade officers. Contused: myself and 5 field-grade officers. Of lower ranks, 80 were killed, 380 wounded, 52 contused, and 18 missing.
I have the great honor to report to Your Excellency.
True and correct: Lieutenant General Liprandi.
Translated by Mark Conrad, 2001.
General of Cavalry Baron Dmitrii Yerofeevich Osten-Sacken, recently transferred
from command of the 3rd Infantry Corps to that of the 4th Infantry Corps.
Lieutenant General Stepan Aleksandrovich Khrulev, at the disposal of Prince Menshikov, and recently appointed commander of the Eupatoria Force.
Lieutenant General Pavel Petrovich Liprandi, commander of the 12th Infantry Division.
Major General Aleksei Thedorovich Bobylev, commander of the 1st Brigade of the Reserve Lancer Division.
Major General Mikhail Vasil'evich Ogarev, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 12th Infantry Division.
Major General Nikolai Kozmich Teterevnikov, recently appointed commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 12th Infantry Division.
Major General Prince Pavel Aleksandrovich Urusov, general-adjutant in His Majesty's Suite, recently assigned to command the 8th Infantry Division.
Colonel Valentin Alekseevich Kolobov, commander of Horse-Artillery Heavy No. 21 Battery.
Colonel Wegenkrantz. Apparently a mistake for Colonel Robert Thedorovich Segerkrantz (Swedish Segercrants), commander of the 8th Artillery Brigade.
Colonel Pushchin. Apparently a mistake for Colonel Vladimir Stepanovich Opochinin, commander of Horse-Artillery Light No. 23 Battery.
The commander of the Azov Infantry Regiment was Major General Fabian Mironovich Kridener (German Krüdener).