Battle at the Gates of Vienna

September 12, 2018

On 12 September 1683, a coalition of European Christian forces defeated the Ottoman Empire – the last Sunni Islamic Caliphate (until 21st century ISIS) - in the famous Battle (at the Gates) of Vienna.

Since its foundation in 1299, the Ottoman Caliphate had never suffered such a humiliating defeat as it did at the Gates of Vienna that day. The Battle marked the turning point where nearly four centuries of Ottoman Islamic expansion shifted to nearly two and a half centuries of decline until, not long after World War I, the caliphate was dissolved on 1 November 1922 (see further details below).

Terrorist Osama bin Laden and his barbaric al-Qaeda network wanted to avenge the Vienna humiliation in the new millennium – on 11 September, being the day the Ottomans arguably should have struck Vienna (instead of waiting, as it turned out, a day too long).

Celebrate this day when European Christendom, under existential threat, united and reasserted itself in central, and eventually south-eastern Europe, by:

  • planning a visit to Vienna and central Europe for your next overseas holiday
  • viewing these clips or movies on this pivotal European battle for Christendom
  • watching this documentary film on “Islam: What the West needs to Know
  • researching further the Ottoman Caliphate’s two sieges of Vienna,
  • celebrating with some Viennese frankfurts, coffee, whirl biscuits or sacher torte cake, and/or
  • sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends, defenders of Western civilisation and those that value the freedom, prosperity and civility of our inheritance.

Further details on the (second) Viennese siege, battle and aftermath

For two months, Vienna – a key city for land and river trading routes across Europe – had been under siege (yet again) by the Ottomans (the first being in 1529), with little chance of food or supplies entering the city or messages getting out. Ottoman sappers were weakening and even breaching the city’s gates and walls. Surrender was not an option as the last city the Ottomans besieged - nearby Perchtoldsdorf, just before this siege - they had slaughtered its surrendering citizens.

In response, a coalition of Christian forces – mostly from central and north-eastern Europe, later to become the then Pope’s “Holy League” – had gathered to relieve Vienna’s siege. They included:

  • the Habsburg Monarchy (Vienna and other parts in or around now Austria and Hungary)
  • the Holy Roman Empire (greater Germany, the First Reich, 962-1806 AD), and
  • the Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania (although forces of the latter were delayed and arrived after the battle).

Notably, the French under the reign of King Louis XIV abstained, wanting to gain territory closer to home against nearer German and Spanish rivals. Arguably France hoped that the Ottomans would expend their resources rolling through the rest of eastern and central Europe, as they had been doing for several centuries, famously including the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Coalition relief forces were led by the King of Poland, John III Sobieski – a battle commander of proven merit whose own army comprised over a third of the non-Viennese forces (with around 15,000 Viennese troops inside their own city/garrison making about 90,000 Christians troops in all, against nearly 150,000 Ottomans).

In the early morning of 12 September – before the recently arrived Coalition forces could properly organise themselves and their strategies around Vienna – the Ottomans, led by top commander Kara Mustafa, mounted a surprise attack.

By that afternoon, the Ottomans were losing badly to the Coalition forces. Towards sunset, the largest cavalry charge in history (18,000 mainly Polish horsemen) smashed the remaining Ottoman resistance and brought the Viennese out beyond their garrison walls to join the fight. Within three hours of the charge, the Christian forces had won the battle and saved Vienna, with victorious commander, Polish King Sobieski, rephrasing the famous quote of Julius Caesar, “I came, I saw, God conquered”.

The Ottoman forces suffered massive losses relative to the Christian allies (20,000 versus less than 5,000), although the city of Vienna lost 12,000 or half its population in the siege overall. For the humiliating defeat, the Ottoman battle commander was punished by their traditional way – strangulation by a rope wrapped around the commander’s neck and pulled hard by men on both ends of the rope.

The successful Coalition forces was built upon by Pope Innocent XI to establish the “Holy League” which, over the next 16 years (until a truce/treaty in 1699), drove Ottoman forces further back toward Asia, enabling the reconquest of Hungary and parts of the Balkans.

At the Gates of Vienna, it was the first time that central and northern Europe had cooperated against the Ottomans. After this pivotal battle, the Ottoman Caliphate ceased to be a threat or menace to Europe. 

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