Osman (Pasha) - Encyclopedia

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OSMAN (1832-1900), Turkish pasha and mushir (field marshal), was born at Tokat, in Asia Minor, in 1832. Educated at the military academy at Constantinople, he entered the cavalry in 1853, and served under Omar Pasha in the Russian War of 18 53-5 6, in Wallachia and the Crimea. Appointed a captain, in the Imperial Guard, he went through the campaigns of the Lebanon in 1860 and of Crete in 1867 to 1869, under Mustapha Pasha, when he distinguished himself at the capture of the convent of Hagia Georgia, and was promoted lieut.-colonel. He served under Redif Pasha in suppressing an insurrection in Yemen in 1871, was promoted major-general in 1874, and general of division in 1875. Appointed to command the army corps at Widin in 1876 on the declaration of war by Servia, he defeated Tchnernaieff at Saitschar and again at Yavor in July, invaded Servia and captured Alexinatz and Deligrad in October, when the war ended. Osman was promoted to be mushir, and continued in the command of the army corps at Widin. When the Russians crossed the Danube in July 1877, Osman moved his force to Plevna, and, with the assistance of his engineer, Tewfik Pasha, entrenched himself there on the right flank of the Russian line of communication, and gradually made the position a most formidable one. He repulsed the three general assaults of the Russians on the 10th and 30th July and the 11th September, inflicting on them great loss - some 30,000 men in the three battles. He held the position, after being closely invested, until the 9th December, when, compelled by want to cut his way out, he was severely wounded and forced to capitulate. This famous improvised defence of a position delayed the Russians for five months, and entailed their crossing the Balkan range in the depth of winter after the third battle of Plevna. The sultan conferred on Osman the Grand Cross of the Osmanie in brilliants and the title of "Ghazi" (victorious), and, when he returned from imprisonment in Russia, made him commandant of the Imperial Guard, grand-master of the artillery and marshal of the palace. In December 1878 he became war minister, and held the post, with a small break, until 1885. He died at Constantinople, in the palace built for him by the sultan near Yildiz Kiosk, on the 14th of April 1900, and his body was buried with great pomp in the Sultan Muhammad Mosque.

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