Battle of the Vozha River (1378)

The first serious victory of the Russians over a big army of the Golden Horde

Battle of the Vozha River (1378)
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Battle of the Vozha River was a battle fought between the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Golden Horde on August 11, 1378. Mamai sought to punish the Russians for disobedience.

The Russians were led by Prince Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow who has not yet received his nickname Donskoi. The Tatars were commanded by murza Begich. The two armies met near the river Vozha, a tributary of the Oka. After successful reconnaissance Dmitri managed to block the ford which the Tatars intended to use for the crossing of the river. He occupied a good position for his troops on a hill. The Russians' formation had a shape of a bow with Donskoy leading the center the flanks under the command of Timofey Velyaminov and Andrei of Polotsk.

Battle of the Vozha River (1378)
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After waiting a long time, Begich decided to cross the river and to encircle the Russians from both sides. However, the attack of the Tatar cavalry was repelled and the Russian went over to a counter-attack. The Tatars left their tracks and began retreating in disorder, many of them drowned in the river. Begich himself was killed.

The Vozha battle was the first serious victory of the Russians over a big army of the Golden Horde. It had a big psychological effect before the famous Battle of Kulikovo because it demonstrated the vulnerability of the Tatar cavalry which was unable to overcome tough resistance or withstand determined counter-attacks. For Mamai, the defeat of Vozha meant a direct challenge by Dmitry which caused him to start a new unsuccessful campaign two years later.

From: August 11, 1378

To: August 11, 1378

Period 14th century, Dmitry Donskoy (1359-1389), Grand Duchy (1283–1547)

Useful Information

Battle of the Vozha River
Russian Битва на реке Воже

DateAugust 11, 1378
LocationVozha River (Ryazan Oblast)
ResultRussian victory
Belligerents
Grand Duchy of MoscowGolden Horde
Commanders and leaders
Dmitri Ivanovich of MoscowMurza Begich †
Strength
unknownunknown
Casualties and losses
unknownAlmost entire army killed