Batih, Battle of

Batih, Battle of (Батозька битва; Batozka bytva). On 23 May 1652, during the Cossack-Polish War, the army of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky defeated the Polish army, led by Grand Crown Hetman Marcin Kalinowski, near Batih Hill in southeastern Podilia. In order to prevent a military alliance between the Hetman state and Moldavia, Polish forces, over 30,000 strong, had intercepted the Cossack regiments that were marching to Moldavia. Expecting reinforcements, the Polish troops encamped at the foot of Batih Hill. They were encircled by Khmelnytsky’s army and its Tatar allies. On the morning of 23 May the Cossacks attacked the Polish camp, pierced the defense lines, and by the end of the day destroyed almost the whole Polish army, including Kalinowski and a large part of his staff. The Battle of Batih was one of Khmelnytsky’s greatest victories and overturned in fact the harsh terms of the 1651 Treaty of Bila Tserkva. But the battle did not abolish the threat of new Polish incursions into Ukraine. The battle is described in detail by I. Storozhenko in his 1996 monograph about Khmelnytsky’s military campaigns.

Hrushevsky, M. History of Ukraine-Rus', vol 9, bk. 1, The Cossack Age, 1650–1653 (Edmonton and Toronto 2004)

[This article was updated in 2005.]

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