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The siege of Kazan in 1552 was the final battle of Russo-Kazan Wars. It led to the fall of Kazan Khanate, total destruction of the city and massacre of its population. (However, it was not the last battle on the khanate's territory. After the fall of Kazanmarker, rebel governments formed in Çalım and Mişätamaq, and a new khan was invited from the Nogais. This continuation guerilla war was ended only in 1556.)

The siege

The Russianmarker forces included Streltsy as well as Moscow and Qasim irregular feudal cavalry, but the main role was played by Russian artillery and sappers, both Russian and foreigners. At first they were opposed by the Tatar garrison of Kazan, 10,000 Nogay horsemen led by the khan of Kazan, who originated from the Nogai Horde. Cheremiss units and Kazan irregular feudal cavalry were based in forests north and east of Kazan respectively. Their base was Archamarker stronghold. Before the battle Russians had a fortress on Volga, Ivangorod, later known as Sviyazhskmarker, some miles above Kazan. This wooden fortress was built in 1551 by Russian military engineer Ivan Vyrodkov, when after the conclusion of peace the right bank of Khanate (Taw yağımarker) passed to Russia. It would serve as a strong point for the capture of Kazan by the Muscovite army.

The 150,000 Muscovite army under Ivan IV came under Kazan's walls and besieged Kazan on August 22, 1552 (old style). Russian cannons shelled its walls from 29 August. Soon they smothered the fire of large-calibre Tatar cannons. During 30 August – 6 September Alexander Gorbatyi-Shuisky defeated the inner cavalry under Yapancha ad the Ar units and burned Archa. Andrey Kurbsky defeated Cheremis troops. Sappers blew up the underground way to Kazan's underground drinking water source.

A 12 metre high Siege tower (referred to also as a "battery-tower" to distinguish it from the pre-gunpowder siege engines) was built by Ivan Vyrodkov out of wood on site for mounting siege cannon. This revolutionary new design could hold ten large-calibre cannon and 50 lighter cannon, allowing a concentration of artillery fire on a section of the wooden wall or city, which played a crucial role in shattering Tatar resistance. However, it is certain that the few cannon defending Kazan would first have to have been put out of action in order for the tower to be effective, as it would otherwise have been an obvious target for any remaining artillery.

On 2 October sappers (believed to have been led by Englishman Butler, also known as Rozmysl in Russian chronicles) blew up the wall near the Nogay and Atalıq Gates. Russian soldiers entered the city. The civil population as well as Kazan's army opposed them. After desperate slashing some survivors were blockaded in the citadelmarker. Then, after khan Yadegar Moxammad and Nogai leader Zaynash were captured, the defenders of the citadel tried to escape to the northern forests, but they were defeated.

Ivan the Terrible sacked Kazan to pay his soldiers. As the result the rest of civil population was massacred or enslaved. The city was totally burned. The Kazan Chronicle reports about 110,000 killed Tatars, both civilians and garrison, and 60,000 – 100,000 Russians who had been kept captive in khanate released, however those reports are likely to be overstated.


Image:Qazanqamapalu.GIF|The siege of Kazan (1552).Image:Firinat xalikov war.jpg|Qolsharif and his students defend their madrassa and the Cathedral Mosquemarker.Image:Firinat xalikov internal kazan.jpg|The City of Kazan before the storm.File:ChurchMilitant.jpg|Blessed is the Host of the King of Heaven (alternatively known as Church Militant). Russian icon, ca. 1550 - 1560. This icon is traditionally perceived as an allegorical representation of the conquest of Kazan.

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