In this way German influence was enormously increased, and was represented by men of considerable capacity holding the highest official positions, such as Biren, Miinnich and Ostermann.
While Miinnich conducted a systematic devastation of the peninsula, forces were detached under his lieutenants Leontiev and Lascy to attack Kinburn (Kilburun) and Azov.
Russia, regarding it as the main obstacle to the possession of the Black Sea littoral, besieged it in 1737, when it was captured by Marshal Miinnich, but in the following year it was abandoned, and in 1739 restored to Turkey.
It was occupied by the Russians under Marshal Miinnich in 1736, and in 1771 by Prince Dolgorukov.
Fortunately, Biren was, sufficiently prudent not to meddle with foreign affairs or with the army, and these departments in the able hands of two other foreigners, who thoroughly identified themselves with Russia, Andrei Osterman and Burkhardt Miinnich (q.v.) did great things in the reign of Anne.
Miinnich had at least dissipated the illusion of Ottoman invincibility, and taught the Russian soldier that 100,000 janissaries and spahis were no match, in a fair field, for half that number of grenadiers and hussars.
C.Grafen von Miinnich (Oldenburg, 1803); Claudius Rondeau,Diplomatic Despatches from Russia, 1728-1739 (St Petersburg, 1889-1892).
The chief events in its annals are the defeat of the Turks in 1621 by Ladislaus IV., of Poland, in 1673 by John Sobieski, of Poland, and in 1739 by the Russians under Miinnich; the defeat of the Russians by the Turks in 1768; the capture by the Russians in 1769, and by the Austrians in 1788; and the occupation by the Russians in 1806.