Bentsianov M.M., Lobin A.N. On the question of the structure of the Russian army at the Battle of Orsha

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Title of the article On the question of the structure of the Russian army at the Battle of Orsha
Authors Lobin, Aleksey Nikolaevich, Ph. D. in History, head of scientific and methodic development group of the National Congress palace, St.-Petersburg, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Bentsianov Mihail Mihajlovich, Ph. D. in History, Russia, Ekaterinburg
In the section Miscellanea / Miscellanea
Year 2013 Issue 2 Pages 155-179
Type of article RAR Index UDK 94(47).042+94(476) Index BBK 63.3(2)44
Abstract  Battle near Orsha can be used for a reconstruction of a picture of the organization of the Russian army.  For reconstruction lists of the captured have paramount value.  In total reached 5 lists made in an interval between 1518 and 1538.  Separate group captives of fight appear in them near Orsha 1514.  Clear split in places of capture was characteristic for early lists.  In the register of 1538 where there were new names, this rule was repeatedly violated.
Data of registers are supplemented with the certificate of the Belarusian-Lithuanian chronicles.
In total the 193rd name of service people, captives of Orshansky fight manages to count.  Additional data remained in other sources:  genealogical, cadastre descriptions, act materials.  Attracting methods of the sociological research, the given number can be considered as representative selection of participants of battle from the Moscow party.  It is important to note its casual character.
Considered selection gives the chance to define structure of the Russian army. Its studying is possible at observance of two main conditions: it is necessary to find out most precisely an origin and territorial accessory of the revealed persons, and also to determine reliable parameters by one or several corporations.
In the general result except for meshchersky Tatars (6 people) it is possible to count 18 territorial groups. 
The main striking power was made by the Novgorod landowners.  Among captives it is possible to identify 61 names (33,2%). 
Considering the made list captured as representative selection of structure of the Russian army, it is possible to try to determine its number, attracting data of the Novgorod cadastre descriptions, especially description of Vodsky pyatina and Derevsky pyatinas (1250 children of provincial knights or 22,8% from revealed captured), the total number of all service people – participants of considered battle together with Tatars and without taking into account "simple men" according to the principle of a proportion could reach 5500 people.  This ratio a little conditionally also could change slightly (in the smaller party) at detection of new names – landowners Vodsky and Derevsky pyatinas in considered selection.
The provided data are supported with the general supervision over mobilization abilities of service people of the North West the considered time. Taking into account absence among captured to Orshansky fight "Bezhetsky pyatina" and the carried-out local distributions in territories adjoining the Novgorod (first of all, in Velikie Luki and Pustaya Rzheva districts) seigniorial this region in considered battle it is possible to estimate the limit number of provincial knights at 2000-2300 people.
All persons which were registered in this or that corporation couldn't take part in any large campaign.  Taking into account isolated cases of evasion from service these figures, however, could reflect a picture close to the truth.  The Novgorod regiments weren't involved in previous campaign and could be fully completed.
The offered technique which at this stage has presumable character, doesn't allow to estimate the number of all Russian army. The done analysis of its territorial structure allows to speak convincingly about considerable exaggeration of scales of this battle in the Polish and Belarusian historiography. For the Russian party it there was an ordinary fight which, caused incommensurable losses for similar collisions, and for a long time entered into memory of contemporaries and descendants.
Keywords Battle of Orsha in 1514, lists of Russian prisoners of war, Russian-Lithuanian War, genealogy
Full text version of the article. Article language russian
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Tags: Battle of Orsha in 1514, religious studies, Russian-Lithuanian War, genealogy, MISCELLANEA / MISCELLANEA