Siege of Moscow (1382)

The Siege of Moscow in 1382 was a battle between Tokhtamysh, khan of the Golden Horde, and the Muscovite forces

Defense of Moscow in 1382
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Background

After the death of Berdibeg, the Blue Horde fell into anarchy, with local khans in various places of the Horde's domains. During this time, Mamai Khan emerged as a kingmaker in the political scenario of the Blue Horde.

Medieval illumination representing defense of Moscow from the hordes of Tokhtamysh
pinterest button Medieval illumination representing defense of Moscow from the hordes of Tokhtamysh гтлтщцт, Public Domain

However, in 1380 Mamai was defeated by Dmitri Donskoi in the Battle of Kulikovo, and shortly after was assassinated in Caffa.

However, in 1378 Tokhtamysh, descendant of Orda Khan and ally of Tamerlane, assumed the power in the White Horde, and then annexed Blue Horde by fording across the Volga and quickly annihilated an army sent by Muscovy. After that he united the hordes and formed the Golden Horde.

The siege

After uniting the two hordes, Tokhtamysh promoted a military campaign to restore the tatar power in Russia.

After ravaging some small cities, he besieged Moscow on 23 August. However his attack was beaten off by the Muscovites, who used firearms for the first time in Russian history.

Defense of Moscow in 1382
pinterest button Defense of Moscow in 1382 Г. Лисснер, Public Domain

Three days later, two sons of Tokhtamysh's supporter Dmitry of Suzdal, dukes of Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod Vasily and Semyon, who were present in Tokhtamysh's forces, persuaded Muscovites to open the city gates, promising that forces would not harm the city in this case.

Tokhtamysh's troops to burst in and ravage Moscow, killing around 24,000 people
pinterest button Tokhtamysh's troops to burst in and ravage Moscow, killing around 24,000 people unknown, Public Domain

This allowed Tokhtamysh's troops to burst in and ravage Moscow, killing around 24,000 people.

Aftermath

This defeat reasserted the Horde's rule over some of Russian lands, which only overthrew Tatar rule 98 years later, with the Great stand on the Ugra river.

Tokhtamysh also reestablished the Golden Horde as a dominant regional power, reunifing the Mongol lands from Crimea to Lake Balkash and defeating Lithuanians at Poltava in the next year. But he made the disastrous decision to wage a war against his former master Tamerlane, and Golden Horde never recovered from that.

From: August 23–27, 1382

To: August 23–27, 1382

Period 14th century, Grand Duchy (1283–1547)

Useful Information

Siege of Moscow (1382)