Russo-Turkish war and the peace treaties of Belgrade & Nis

280 years ago on, 18th September 1739, the Russo-Turkey war concluded with the signing of Belgrade peace treaty. The Astro-Turkish war was a part of this war too and the Belgrade treaty ended this war as well. The war resulted in various territorial changes for Austria and Ottoman Empire. Let's analyze the war and the peace treaty through this small article.

Why the war Began?

In March of 1735, the Crimean Tatars raided the Cossack Hetmanate which led Russia to declare a war on Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire in December 1735. They planned to seize Azov and Crimea. The Russian Commander Field Marshall Burkhard Christoph Von Munnich raided Crimean fortifications at Perekop on May 20th, 1736. Along with his 62,000 troops, he captured the town of Bakhchysarai within 26 days. It was an effort of Russia to dominate the black sea.

Failure of Crimean Khans

Crimean Khans failed to defend their territory. Throughout the years of 1736, 1737 and 1738 the Russians destroyed the defense of Khans and forced Khan Fet'ih Girey in a condition where he had to take a refugee at sea. On the way to Azov, they destroyed and burnet palaces of Khans in various cities. In the end, they captured the Fortress of Azov. The Sultan of Ottoman Empire deposed Khan Fet'ih Girey and Khan Kaplan Girey for their respective failures.

Retreat of Russians

Everything was going as it was planned for the Russians until the nature interrupted. Plague and unsanitary conditions resulted in the forces going weak between the years of 1737 and 1739. Munnich retreated to Ukraine after his army was crippled with infectious diseases and short supplies. Later the new forces of General Peter Lacy and Vice Admiral Peter Bredahl captured the Fortress and Azov and Ochakov. They also captured the town of Karasubazar but later in the stages, Lacy's army suffered the same fate as that of Munnich. After losing 30,000 out of his 40,000 troops, he too retreated to Ukraine. Out of 30,000 troops he lost, only 2000 died in the war. Rest died either due to lack of supplies or some deadly infections. Due to further outbreak of plague, the Russian army had no other option but to let Kinburn and Ochakov go.

Entry of Austria

Austria entered the war in 1737 and that turned out to be a disastrous decision for them. They didn't just lose Belgrade; they also lost the battle of Garocka and the battle of Banja Luka despite having numerical superiority. According to the available official figures, Austria lost around 3000 soldiers in the battle of Garocka while 7000 were wounded.


Russians attacked and defeated the Turks at Stavuchany during the summers of 1739. Under the leadership of Field Marshall Munnich, they captured Khotin and Lasi by the end of August 1739. On the other hand, the Austrians decided to call off the war. They decided to sign a peace treaty with Turkey at the same time when Russians captured the Khotin and Lasi. The pressure from Prussia, Poland, and Sweden meant Russia had to call the war off as well. They signed the treaty of Nis. Russians decided not to claim the peninsula of Crimea and Moldavia. They were allowed to build a port at Azov but the treaty denied them rights to fortify it. Also, they were denied any rights to have a fleet at the Black Sea.

Territorial Changes

As a result of this war, Austria ceded the Kingdom of Serbia, Oltenia, Southern Banat and Bosnia to the Ottoman Empire while the Ottoman Empire ceded Azov to Russia.

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