Guide The Siege of Vienna

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  4. Episode #44 – What Went Down at the Siege of Vienna? (Part I)

They provided some excellent troops who were disciplined and well-trained. The Papacy could use its extensive funds to pay the Polish army. At one time, the money from the Pope helped to persuade many Imperial soldiers to remain and fight. During the early modern period, unpaid soldiers often mutinied.


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The support of the Papacy for the Holy Alliance was very important. It is also highly likely that the backing of the Pope prevented Louis XIV and France from taking advantage of the Turkish onslaught and invading Germany, which would have benefitted only the Ottomans. It was too slow, they did not mobilize quickly enough, and they waited until they had assembled a huge force.

Siege of Vienna 1529 - Ottoman Wars DOCUMENTARY

The slow pace of the Ottoman attack allowed the Viennese crucial time to prepare and to withstand the initial assault. One Turkish tactic that failed was the use of terror to intimidate the defenders. The massacre of civilians by the Ottomans only made the Viennese more determined to fight to the death, as they knew that they would not be shown any mercy. The commander of the Muslim army, Vizier Kara Mustafa made several tactical errors. He failed to provide a sufficient force to guard his flanks, and he relied too much on the Crimean Tartars who were ill-disciplined and wild.

Perhaps the greatest weakness of the Vizier was that he was too confident and that he simply expected the city to fall and had not prepared for the possibility of a Christian alliance. Perhaps the greatest mistake he made was to attempt to take Vienna while fighting the Imperial army and the Poles. On the other hand Charles V, the Duke of Lorraine developed a strategy that sought to squeeze the Ottomans between Vienna, the Imperial army and the Poles which proved to be very effective.

One of the main reasons why the Ottomans failed to seize Vienna, was poor leadership. The Vizier was an arrogant man and known for his cruelty. He did not inspire any loyalty in his army. Furthermore, he hated Christians, and this was even though many of his allies and some of his army were members of that faith.

He did not inspire any loyalty, and he tried to terrify everyone to ensure that he was obeyed. Kara Mustafa was hated by many and was hated by nearly everyone. Despite its size, the Turkish army was demoralized, and this partly explains why they fled before the Polish and Imperial cavalry. This was not typical of the Ottoman army who were renowned for their fanatical bravery. The Polish king was an able leader, renowned for his bravery and he did much to inspire his hussars during the crucial cavalry charges that broke the Ottoman army before the gates of Vienna.

It was a turning point in the fortunes of the Ottoman Empire, and after it was no longer a threat to Christian Europe and went into a steep decline in the eighteenth century. The battle saved Vienna and the Hapsburg Empire, which became one of the leading powers in continental Europe. If Vienna had fallen in the great Viennese cultural flourishing of the eighteenth and nineteenth century would not have happened, and there may have been no Mozart. The reason for the defeat of the Ottomans was that the army was poorly led and its strategies and tactics were poor and ill-conceived.

This and the determination of the Viennese defenders and garrison all ensured that the Ottomans suffered their greatest defeat and saved Europe.

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Admin , Ewhelan and EricLambrecht. Armies of the Ottoman Turks — Osprey Publishing, , p. Journal of World History. It has the depth I usually enjoy, although some extra references and maps would have been helpful in the conceptualization of events. Apr 12, Elliott Bignell rated it liked it. The events covered in this book qualify as truly epochal.

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A millennium into its history, the tide of Islam finally turned, apparently for good. Or at least until further review. The Turkish wave that flowed and then ebbed back across the Balkans before the combined might of Habsburg Austria, Poles, Franconians, Bavarians and Saxons was not the same as that first wave of Arabs whose commanders had prayed alongside Muhammad, and the rise of Christianising Europe was secured in this moment. The S The events covered in this book qualify as truly epochal. The Scientific Revolution, invasion of the Americas, the Enlightenment, the Holocaust - all of this would be different had the Grand Vezier, Kara Mustafa, reduced Vienna instead of encountering the executioner's cord at the orders of his disappointed Sultan.

So why did the first half of this book have to be so dull? The author clearly understands in depth these momentous events, their historical context and even the lie of the land. Yet almost half the volume seems to dwell on political minutiae. The tempo picks up once the Turks arrive at the gates, but by that point the reader is almost lost.


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  8. This reader, anyway. I do not wish to be harsh, however, as the latter half of the book is perfectly engaging, if not bringing a surge to the pulse. And the consequences of this piece of history can hardly be overstated. An Ottoman Europe would have been a different animal to a Christian hegemony.

    Far from being a hegemonising theocracy, the Ottomans actually had a vested interest in letting subjects remain Christian so that they could be enslaved. Janissary troops in fact formed a large part of the military state that mobilised to besiege Vienna.

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    The Siege of Vienna

    The spread at sword-point of the Bible to the New World must necessarily have been different had Islam prevailed, but today's pluralistic and technological society could probably not have emerged in the same way or at the same speed. Might it have been a more tolerant Europe, a less murderous set of Empires, that resulted? This is very hard to say. So the book carries weight, and it's a shame that it had also to be so heavy. Truly, the tide turned at the gates of Vienna. Interessante saggio storico molto accurato sull'assedio di Vienna ad opera dei turchi nel Aug 20, Brendan Steinhauser rated it liked it.

    This book is a detailed study of the Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turks. It covers the diplomatic and political lead up to the siege, including the alliances formed by the Habsburgs to defend Vienna and preserve Christendom from an Ottoman invasion and occupation of central Europe. The book describes the siege tactics, and introduces the reader to the key military commanders and political leaders. The most famous of all, King John Sobieski of Poland, gets an interesting review in this boo This book is a detailed study of the Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turks.

    The most famous of all, King John Sobieski of Poland, gets an interesting review in this book. The author argues that he had the most effective public relations campaign of all the leaders, and etched his way into history and European consciousness for centuries to come. Jan 16, Yokosuka14 rated it really liked it Shelves: I was torn whether to rate this 3 or 4 stars. The book is impressive with the siege really just the axel around which a great wheel of history turns.

    The complex diplomacy of Europe at the time is fascinating, and not something that I knew a great deal about. The problem with the book is the lack of sources on the Turkish side. The author mentions frequently that the western sources are limited and the Turkish accounts are even more limited. Ultimately, the book suffers from the lack of a Turkis I was torn whether to rate this 3 or 4 stars. Ultimately, the book suffers from the lack of a Turkish perspective. Dec 06, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: history-islam-and-the-west. The Turks were half way across Europe at the end of the 17th century.

    This may have been te last Crusade, as the events thereafter led to the demise of the Ottoman Empire after ejection from Europe!

    Episode #44 – What Went Down at the Siege of Vienna? (Part I)

    Good account on this important watershed in european history with really good maps and descriptions which help to follow all tve events properly, the story is told in a muddly way in some parts though. Dec 28, Corey rated it really liked it Shelves: home-shelf. This was an excellent read. It gave a good overview of the politics of the time more so from the Habsburg side of things but it attempts to give a good introduction to the Turkish motivations as well.

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