Russian Expedition into Khiva 1839

[ 1839 ]
Not for 122 years did the Russians mount another campaign in Turkestan. In 1839, General V. A. Perovsky, then governor-general of Orenburg, led a force of 5,000 men against Khiva in retaliation for nomad (usually Turcoman) raids into Russian territories. These raids had carried off not only cattle and sheep, but people for the Central Asian slave markets. Knowing the climatic and topographical difficulties which had confronted his predecessors, Perovsky decided to wage a winter campaign.

Heavy snowstorms and ice proved as daunting as the summer heat. The Russians had hoped for light snows, expecting to feed their animals on the grasses underneath. Running short of forage for the animals and having lost a good portion of his column, Perovsky was forced to return to Orenburg without coining close to Khiva. As it was, almost two-thirds of the men and nearly all the pack camels perished. Shortly thereafter, Perovsky was transferred.

Related Conflicts

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