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TUTRAKAN (Тутракан), Bulgaria & Oltenița, Romania: Plan de la Position des Turcs en Face Tortokan Le 4. Nov.bre 1853.


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A rare separately published map shows position of Turkish troops in the city of Tutrakan in Bulgaria on the South bank of the Danube and in Oltenița (today Bulgaria) on the North bank.

Tutrakan was conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th century and only liberated during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 by Russians to become part of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. 

The map was made during a Crimean War, fought between 1853 and 1856 between Russia and an alliance of France, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia, on November 4 1853, about a month after the beginning of the war.  It was made in French language, but signed by a captain Godfrey Rhodes. In 1854 Rhodes published a book on the Crimean War with a title A Personal Narrative of a Tour of Military Inspection in Various Parts of European Turkey, where he described the towns Oltenița and Tutrakan, and the battle between the Ottomans and Russians on November 4 in that area (Battle of Oltenitza, pp. 103-107). 

Godfrey Rhodes was born in England. He purchased a commission in the 60th Rifles in 1841, when he spent some time in Jamaica. He became lieutenant in 1844 and captain in 1849. In A Personal Narrative… he mentioned he came from Madras in 1853, when he joined the Ottoman army under Omar Pasha in 1853-54. In 1858 he became major. In that year he also published a book Tents and Tent-Life, from the earliest ages to the present time.

This map was most probably published separately at the same time as Rhodes’ book on the Crimean War and was based on his drawing. We could not trace any other examples of this map. 

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