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Gudhsten Patreksson

Open Discussion: Battle of Vienna

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The Battle of Vienna in 1683 (as distinct from the Siege of Vienna in 1529) marked the final turning point in a 250-year struggle between the forces of Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Over the 16 years following the battle Christian forces would permanently drive the Turks south of the Danube River, where they never again posed a serious threat to central Europe.

 

The battle, which took place on September 12, 1683, pitted a large Austrian and German army of about 100,000 troops and their allies, a 30,000-man relief force under Jan III Sobieski, King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, against their Turkish besiegers. The Turks, commanded by Pasha Kara Mustafa, numbered approximately 140,000 men, although a large number of them played no part in the battle.

 

Before the siege, the Viennese had demolished many of the houses around the city walls and cleared the debris, leaving an empty plain that would expose the Turks to defensive fire if they tried to rush the city. Kara Mustafa solved that problem by ordering his forces to dig long lines of trenches directly toward the city to help protect them from the defenders as they advanced toward it. One goal of this digging was to decrease the stability of the walls around Vienna. Additionally, the Ottoman siege cut virtually every means of food supply into Vienna, and the population started to starve. (For example, the Viennese cavalry had to start killing their own horses for food. After the later dispersal of the Turks, the Polish army reported many horse thefts.)

 

Sobieski began planning a relief expedition to Vienna during the summer of 1683, when the hard-pressed Turks launched an all-out offensive against Austria. The Ottomans and Austria had clashed repeatedly for more than 150 years, and Mustafa planned an expedition to put an end to this situation. Starting in March, the Turks moved toward the city, and finally invested it on July 14. The previous winter, Austria and Poland had concluded a treaty in which the Austrian Emperor would support Sobieski if the Turks attacked Imre Th?y, the leader of Hungary (then an Ottoman satellite), whom he threatened with destruction if he tried to take advantage of the situation.

 

Mustafa's men had managed to take part of the walls of Vienna by exploding mines under them, but he inexplicably did not make dispositions to defend against Sobieski even after learning of his arrival. At 4 in the morning on September 12, the Austrian army on the left and the German forces in the center moved forward against the Turks. Mustafa launched a counterattack with most of his force. Then the Polish infantry launched a massive assault on the right flank. After 12 hours of fighting, Sobieski's men held the high ground on the right.

 

At about five o'clock in the afternoon, four cavalry groups, one of them German-Austrian and the other three composed of Polish heavy cavalry (Husaria), 20,000 men in all, led by the Polish king, charged down the hills. In the confusion, they made straight for the Ottoman camps, while the Vienna garrison sallied out of its defenses and joined in the assault. In less than three hours, the Christians won the battle, as the Turks beat a hasty retreat to the south and east. Although no one realized it at the time, that day shaped the outcome of the entire war as well. The Ottomans fought on for another 16 years before giving up, losing vast territories in the process finalized by the Treaty of Karlowitz.

 

The Turks lost about 15,000 men in the fighting, compared to approximately 4,000 for the allied Christian forces.

 

In honor of Sobieski, the Austrians had a church erected in his honor atop a hill north of Vienna. Also, the train route from Vienna to Warsaw is named in Sobieski's honor.

 

OPEN FOR DISCUSSION. FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON ANYTHING.

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Mustafa's men had managed to take part of the walls of Vienna by exploding mines under them, but he inexplicably did not make dispositions to defend against Sobieski even after learning of his arrival.

 

Now that's just poor judgement. Any sensible military commander would make some effort to either drive the reinforcements off or prepare a defense, especially if the enemy's movements and whereabouts were known.

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Good Morning To You, Your Holiness,

 

Moi Of No Opinions has a tiny smidgen of a thought . . .

 

Your Holiness, You have such a vast knowledge of Military Affairs . . .

 

You must have studied this for quite some time . . .

 

We are most impressed, Your Holiness . . .

 

Have an absolutely splendiferous morning . . . forthwith . . .

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Lady Vesteralen,

 

Good question. I have been interested in the military since I was a boy of three. I always like to note that when everyone was watching Barney, I was watching movies about World War II and Rome (but as much as a little child can handle, so I was not an odd child). Since then, I have immersed myself in military history and science, which I hope shall help me on my future career.

 

I always said, I'm short, Italian, hot tempered, smart, ambitious, and love the military.... I'm one step away from Napoleon! (LOL laugh.gif , JK)

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Good Morning To You, My Gentle Friends,

 

Moi Of No Opinions has a tiny smidgen of a thought . . .

 

Your Holiness, You certainly have immersed Yourself in Military Culture, haven't You . . .

 

That should indeed stand You in good stead in Your future endeavours relating to a potential career headed in that direction . . .

 

In the meantime, we are fortunate enough to have the Supreme Benefit of Your Military Expertise here in this Great Nation of Stormark . . .

 

We are indeed so lucky!!! . . .

 

NOW, we shall all Possess Our Souls In Patience while You Gather Your Thoughts and prepare to enlighten us with more Wise Military Counsel . . .

 

Have a most thoughtful morning . . . forthwith . . .

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Greetings to all present. Apologies for reviving an old post. The primary mistake of Pasha Kara Mustafa was to not storm the city the moment he arrived. For while the city beyond the walls had been raised the size of his army would have been sufficient to endure those casualties and crush the Viennesse garrison. Instead he opted for a conventional siege and left himself open to attack by a relief army.

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Greetings to all present. Apologies for reviving an old post. The primary mistake of Pasha Kara Mustafa was to not storm the city the moment he arrived. For while the city beyond the walls had been raised the size of his army would have been sufficient to endure those casualties and crush the Viennesse garrison. Instead he opted for a conventional siege and left himself open to attack by a relief army.

 

Your Imperial Majesty:

 

We surely dont mind at all. You may post here whenever you like, as long as you provide comments such as the one above wink.gif.

 

sincerely,

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Good Evening To You, My Gentle Friends,

 

All of us enjoy Magnificent Discussions of Battles of the Past . . .

 

Each one of us has a Unique Perspective on the Discussion, and the rest of us are deeply interested in all aspects of Military Historical Events . . .

 

Have A Most Splendiferous Evening . . . Forthwith . . .

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