Among nationally oriented historians, disputes about why the Kazan Khanate fell in 1552 do not subside.
In fact, there were many reasons. The idea that in the post-Horde space there was an uncompromising struggle not for life, but for death, does not fully reflect the historical reality. In fact, yesterday's enemies became allies, and allies became enemies. This is clearly seen in the history of the Crimean Khanate - the most powerful at that time (XVI century) fragment of the Golden Horde, which claimed its former territories, which was also helped by the powerful Ottoman Empire.
However, from 1531 to 1551, there was a fierce struggle for power and influence in the Crimean Khanate, first between Khan Sahib-Girey and his nephew Islam-Girey, and then between Sahib-Girey and representatives of the local nobility. Having established himself on the throne in 1541, Sahib Giray began a campaign against the Moscow kingdom, where at that time the very young Ivan IV (the future Terrible) was already ruling. The purpose of this campaign was to alleviate the situation of the Kazan Khanate, which at that time was already fully experiencing the ever-increasing military and political pressure from Moscow.
And if the campaign of the Russian army against Kazan in 1538, the Crimean Khan managed to prevent the threat of an invasion of the territory of Muscovy, then her constant attempts to install a loyal khan there demanded decisive action from Sahib Giray, who himself once sat on the Kazan throne. How well the rebellious prince Semyon Belsky, who wanted to separate the Ryazan principality from the Muscovite kingdom and settle scores with Ivan IV's closest associates, turned up on his arm. The Russian prince informed Sahib-Giray that he knew the location of the fords on the Oka River, which would make the Moscow campaign of the Crimean troops possible.
All these circumstances prompted Sahib Giray to organize a campaign against Moscow in the summer of 1541. He gathered a large army (according to various sources, about 40 thousand people with artillery), but the Russians, through their agents in the Crimean Khanate, learned about these plans and prepared for the invasion. On July 30, 1541, the advance detachment of Russian troops met the army of the Crimean Khan on the Oka in the area of \u200b\u200bthe modern village of Sosnovka (Ozersky district of the Moscow region) and did not let him cross the river on the move.
Having learned about the direction of the main attack, the regiments of the Russian army began to pull up to the battlefield. All day long there was an artillery duel between the Russians and the Turkish gunners serving the cannons in the army of the Crimean Khan, in which the Russian side won.
The battle on the Oka was characterized by the widespread use of firearms and not only cannons, but also squeakers. The Crimean army tried several times to cross the river, but retreated again under enemy artillery and gunfire. By the end of the day, the entire Russian army, numbering 30-35 thousand people, had already concentrated at the crossing.
According to the khan's chronicler Remmal-Khoja, the second main reason for the unsuccessful crossing of the Oka was the position of the Nogai Baki-bek, who plotted the murder of Sahib-Giray and, in anticipation of a convenient moment for the execution of his plan during the battle, did not participate in it along with his detachment, despite Khan's repeated orders.
Russian sources write aboutcome of the battle in the following way: “Many Tatars were beaten by the tsar's good, and the Turks smashed many cannons.” Sahib-Giray was forced to retreat.
The battle on the Oka on July 30, 1541 was a turning point in the fate of the Kazan Khanate. The campaign of Sahib-Giray, which was conceived as a help to the citizens of Kazan, did not reach its goal. It became completely clear to Ivan IV and his inner circle that no one would be able to provide any significant assistance to Kazan.
In 1551, Sahib-Girey was removed from the throne by the new Crimean Khan Devlet-Girey, appointed by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman Kanuni, and killed along with all his children and grandchildren by his order. Less than a year remained before the fall of Kazan.