Siege of Ochakov (1788)

Siege of Ochakov (1788)
Part of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792)
January Suchodolski - Ochakiv siege.jpg
Siege of Ochakiv 1788, by January Suchodolski
Date May 31 - December 6, 1788
Özi, Ottoman Empire (Now Ochakov, Ukraine)
Result Russian victory
 Russia Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Grigori Potemkin
Russian Empire Alexander Suvorov
Ottoman Empire Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha (POW)
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
956 killed, 1,829 wounded[1] over 9,500 killed, over 4,000 captured,[1] about 20,000 killed in the subsequent fight[2]

The second siege of Ochakov (now Ochakiv, Ukraine) was one of the major events of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). It was known as "Özi Kuşatması" in Turkish.

In 1788, Russian forces led by Prince Grigory Potemkin and General Alexander Suvorov besieged the city, held by Ottoman troops commanded by Hasan Pasha. Despite Suvorov's urging to storm the city immediately, Potemkin had the Russian forces encircled Ochakov (Özi), bombarding the city and cutting off the defenders' supply of food and ammunition. By keeping his soldiers out of direct battle, Potemkin minimized Russian casualties, though he was accused by his generals of cowardice. The argument about storming continued in the Russian headquarters during the entirety of the siege. Also, the Russians captured strategically important Pirezin Island on July 18, 1788.

The first combat was on May 31, with the arrival of the Turkish navy. The Russian flotilla lost a double-sloop while attempting to retreat. The Russian army began assaulting the city on July 9.[3]

The Turks made several attempts to break the siege. On July 27, about 5,000 Janissaries attacked positions held by Cossacks and forced them to retreat. Suvorov personally led reinforcements and drove the Janissaries to the gates of Ochakov, but was injured.

Hasan Pasha expected reinforcements from the Turkish fleet, which gathered in Limans. But after the attack of Admiral Senyavin's fleet, Turkish reinforcements were cut off.

The condition of both armies continued to decline, there was a threat of disease, and the weather was growing very cold. Potemkin ultimately gave in to Suvorov's arguments. On the night of December 6 (December 17 in the Gregorian calendar), the Russians attacked, and captured Hasan Pasha's palace, forcing its guards to surrender. Over 9,500 Turks were killed during the assault, more than 4,000 were taken prisoner,[1] including Hasan Pasha himself, but most of the city garrison was killed in the street fight, having lost about 20,000 men dead.[2] The Russians lost 956 soldiers and had 1,829 wounded by the end of the operation.[1]

The Russian victory was celebrated in a famous ode by Gavrila Derzhavin, and in a Te Deum by Giuseppe Sarti.


  1. ^ a b c d Duffy C. Russia's Military Way to the West: Origins and Nature of Russian Military Power 1700–1800. Routledge & Kegan Paul Books Ltd. 1985. P. 187
  2. ^ a b Jaques T. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2007. P. 746
  3. ^ Anderson, R. C. (1952). Naval Wars in the Levant 1559–1853. Princeton: Princeton University Press. hdl:2027/mdp.39015005292860. OCLC 1015099422.

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Coordinates: 46°37′07″N 31°32′21″E / 46.6186°N 31.5392°E / 46.6186; 31.5392