Battle of Kulikovo

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Battle of Kulikovo

Single combat of Peresvet and Temir-murza
Date September 8, 1380
Location Kulikovo Field near the Don River
Result Russian victory
Combatants
Combined Russian armies The Golden Horde
Commanders
Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow Mamai
Strength
About 80,000 About 125,000
Casualties
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Kulikovo (Куликовская битва in Russian), also called Battle on the Snipes' Field, was fought by the Tartaro-Mongols (the Golden Horde) against the Russians. The battle took place on September 8, 1380 at the Kulikovo Field near the Don River (now Tula Oblast) and resulted in a Russian victory. The battle's site is commemorated by a memorial church, built to a design by Aleksey Shchusev.

Combined Russian armies under the command of the Grand Duke of Vladimir, Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow (called "Dmitry of the Don" afterwards) faced a much larger Mongol force under the command of Mamai, the strong military leader of the Golden Horde. Mamai's allies, Grand Prince Oleg of Ryazan and Grand Prince Jogaila of Lithuania were late to the battle. The old Russian poem Zadonshchina says 150,000 Russians and 300,000 Tartaro-Mongols, but the actual size of the Kulikovo Field would not allow such a quantity of troops. Most likely the figures were closer to 80,000 Russians and 125,000 Tataro-Mongols.
Image:Yvon kremlin.jpg
Dmitry Donskoy in the thick of fray.

The battle was opened by a single combat of two champions. The Russian champion was Alexander Peresvet, a monk from the Trinity Abbey sent to the battle by Saint Sergius. The Horde champion was Temir-murza (also Chelubey or Cheli-bey). The champions killed each other in the first run, though according to Russian legend, Peresvet did not fall from the saddle, while Temir-murza fell.

After approximately three hours of battle (from noon to 3 p.m.) the Russian forces were successful, although suffering great casualties, in holding off the Horde's attack. The cavalry of Vladimir, Prince of Serpukhov (Dmitri's cousin), led by the chief strategist of the battle, Dmitri Bobrok, Prince of Volynia launched a flanking surprise counter strike and achieved victory over the Horde forces. Mamai escaped to Crimea, where he was assassinated by his enemies, leaving the Horde under the command of Tokhtamysh.

This victory was the beginning of the end of Mongol rule in Russia, which officially finished with the great standing on the Ugra river a century later. Its spiritual importance for the unification of the Russian lands was even more important. As one historian put it, the Russians went to the Kulikovo Field as citizens of various principalities and returned as a united Russian nation.bg:Куликовска битка da:Slaget ved Kulikovo de:Schlacht auf dem Kulikowo Pole eo:Kulika batalo ko:쿨리코보 전투 it:Battaglia di Kulikovo lt:Kulikovo mūšis pl:Bitwa na Kulikowym Polu pt:Batalha de Kulikovo ru:Куликовская битва tt:Kulikovo suğışı

Battle of Kulikovo

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