Battle of Buda (1686)

Battle of Buda (1686)

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The Battle of Buda was fought between the Holy League
Holy League (1684)
Holy League of 1684 was initiated in by Pope Innocent XI, and composed of the Holy Roman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Venetian Republic. Tsardom of Russia joined the League in 1686. This alliance opposed the Ottoman Empire in the Great Turkish War and lasted until the Treaty...

 and Ottoman Turkey, as part of the follow-up campaign in Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 after the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

. The Holy League took Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 after a long siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

.

After the unsuccessful second siege of Vienna by the Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 in 1683, which started the Great Turkish War
Great Turkish War
The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.-1667–1683:...

, an imperial counteroffensive started for the re-conquest of Hungary, so that the Hungarian capital Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 could be freed from the Turks.

Formation of the Holy League


In 1541, Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 was conquered by the Turks in the Siege of Buda
Siege of Buda (1541)
The Siege of Buda in 1541 resulted in the capture of the city of Buda by the Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent, as he invaded central Hungary. The battle is part of the Little War in Hungary.-The Siege :...

, and was under Turkish rule for the next 145 years. Following the Turkish defeat at the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

 in 1683, Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

 saw the opportunity for a counterstrike. With the aid of Pope Innocent XI
Pope Innocent XI
Blessed Pope Innocent XI , born Benedetto Odescalchi, was Pope from 1676 to 1689.-Early life:Benedetto Odescalchi was born at Como in 1611 , the son of a Como nobleman, Livio Odescalchi, and Paola Castelli Giovanelli from Gandino...

, the Holy League
Holy League (1684)
Holy League of 1684 was initiated in by Pope Innocent XI, and composed of the Holy Roman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Venetian Republic. Tsardom of Russia joined the League in 1686. This alliance opposed the Ottoman Empire in the Great Turkish War and lasted until the Treaty...

 was formed on 5 March 1684, with King Sobieski of Poland
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, from 1674 until his death King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Sobieski's 22-year-reign was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and...

, Emperor Leopold I, and the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 agreeing to an alliance against the Turks.

First siege, 1684


In the spring of 1684, an army of about 38,000 men marched under Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Charles V , Karl V. Leopold, , son of Nicolas François, Duke of Lorraine, and Claude Françoise de Lorraine. Karl Leopold was born in Vienna and became the brother in law of Emperor Leopold and son in law of emperor Ferdinand III...

, to free the city of Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 from the Turks.

After the main army crossed the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 at Esztergom
Esztergom
Esztergom , is a city in northern Hungary, 46 km north-west of the capital Budapest. It lies in Komárom-Esztergom county, on the right bank of the river Danube, which forms the border with Slovakia there....

 on 13 June, the front of the imperial army under the command of Maximilian Lorenz von Starhemberg and the cavalry general Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
Louis William, Margrave of Baden was the ruler of Baden in Germany and chief commander of the Imperial army. He was also known as Türkenlouis...

 arrived at the castle town of Visegrád
Visegrád
Visegrád is a small castle town in Pest County, Hungary.Situated north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend, Visegrád has a population 1,654 as of 2001...

 on 15 June.

On 16 June, the town of Esztergom
Esztergom
Esztergom , is a city in northern Hungary, 46 km north-west of the capital Budapest. It lies in Komárom-Esztergom county, on the right bank of the river Danube, which forms the border with Slovakia there....

 was taken by storm by the imperial troops in spite of its strong walls, after a gate was destroyed by cannons. The majority of the Turkish occupation troops were killed and the city was plundered. Only a few Turks managed to withdraw to the castle on the rock above the city. After a siege of one-and-a-half days, the remaining Turkish garrison capitulated on 18 June.

On 27 June, the imperial army met a strong Turkish army of 17,000 men at Vác
Vác
Vác is a town in Pest county in Hungary with approximately 35,000 inhabitants. The archaic spellings of the name are Vacz and Vacs.-Location:...

. Although the Turks had entrenched themselves at a favorable position, Karl V opened the fight with cannon fire. The center of the imperial troops was led there by Maximilian Lorenz von Starhemberg and after a rather short fight knew that the Turkish troops were defeated. Vác fell to the imperial army the same day.

On 30 June, the imperial main army entered the city of Pest, to which the Turks had set fire shortly before. After the army crossed the Danube at Vác, it began the siege of Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

, which was defended by approximately 10,000 Turks. The imperial army, consisting of 34,000 men, began the bombardment of Buda's fortress with 200 cannons on 14 July 1684, the anniversary of the beginning of the siege of Vienna siege. Field Marshal Graf Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg
Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg
Count Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg was the army commander of Vienna during the second siege of Vienna in 1683, imperial general during the Great Turkish War and President of the Hofkriegsrat.Starhemberg fought in the 1660s under Raimondo Montecuccoli against the French and the Turks.In 1683 he...

 was assigned to conduct the siege.

On 19 July, the imperial troops took control of the lower part of the town of Buda. However, since too few troops were available to occupy it, Ernst Rüdiger ordered the houses in that part of the town burnt down.

Throughout July and August, the imperial army made several attempts to attack the fortress, but all were repelled by the Turkish defenders.

At the beginning of September, an imperial general reported that the number of the soldiers fit for service had shrunk from 34,000 to 12,500, and morale
Morale
Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others...

 was low. On 11 September, an imperial auxiliary corps reached Buda, providing new momentum to the campaign.

On 22 September, a Turkish relief army arrived, and immediately attacked the besieging forces. The imperial army managed to repel them, but was unable to defeat them. The Turkish relief army then engaged the imperial army in repeated nuisance attacks, which coupled with losses caused by the Turkish city garrison, caused a plunge in morale. Ernst Rüdiger, who was severely wounded and facing sustained criticism from his army, had to be replaced in command of the siege. The final blow was a spell of poor weather conditions throughout October, and the decision was made to withdraw.

On 30 October, the imperial army withdrew after a siege which had lasted 109 days. Several factors had caused the size of the allied force to shrink to about half its original size: battle losses, dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

 and a fever epidemic, poorly dug trenches, and tactical errors in the siege. The captain Paul Joseph Jakob von Starhemberg and the Christian allies after this failed enterprise had to regret losing 23,000 men. Ironically, the blame for the failure was laid with the man who had only led the army at the beginning of the siege: Ernst Ruediger von Starhemberg.

Second siege, 1686


In 1686, two years after the unsuccessful siege of Buda, a renewed campaign was started to take Buda. This time, the Holy League's army was twice as large, containing over 74,000 men, including German, Hungarian, Croat, Dutch, English, Spanish, Czech, Italian, French, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers, and other Europeans as volunteers, artillerymen, and officers.

By the middle of June 1686, the siege had begun. A Turkish relief army arrived at Buda in the middle of August, but its commander Abdurrahman Abdi Paşa shrank from a large-scale attack against the siege army and came on 2 September 1686 to the resisting Generalsturm (General's Tower) on the fortress. Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy , was one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris to aristocratic Italian parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV...

 and his dragoon
Dragoon
The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, dragoons evolved into conventional light cavalry units and personnel...

s were not directly involved in entering the city, but secured the rear of their army against the Turkish relief army, which could not prevent the city from being entered after 143 years in Turkish possession.

After the conquest, the victorious soldiers took out their fury on the hated "heathens". Knowledge of the Turkish threat was firmly embodied in the consciousness of Europe at that time, fueled by tales of Turkish atrocities against civilians and the religious attitudes of the Christian church:

"Buda was taken and abandoned to plundering. The soldiers committed thereby such excesses. Against the Turks, because of their long and persistent resistance, which had cost an amazing quantity of its comrades their lives, they spared neither age nor sex. The Elector of Bavaria
Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria
Maximilian II , also known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel, was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also the last Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg...

 and the Duke of Lorraine
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Charles V , Karl V. Leopold, , son of Nicolas François, Duke of Lorraine, and Claude Françoise de Lorraine. Karl Leopold was born in Vienna and became the brother in law of Emperor Leopold and son in law of emperor Ferdinand III...

, disturbed by knowing of men killed, and women raped, gave good orders that the butchery must stop, and the lives of over 2000 Turks were saved."


Over 3,000 Turks were killed in the slaughter perpetrated by imperial troops, and the violence was directed not only against the Muslims, but likewise against the Jewish population of Buda. (Jews were considered as collaborators and helpers of Muslims). It is assumed that in the first three days after the conquest of the city, the Jewish community of Buda was almost destroyed.

Consequences



As a consequence of the capture of Buda, as well as winning the Battle of Mohács (1687)
Battle of Mohács (1687)
The Second Battle of Mohács, also known as the Battle of 'Berg Harsány', was fought between the forces of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV, commanded by the Grand-Vizier Sari Süleyman Paşa, and the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, commanded by Charles of Lorraine...

, the Hungarian parliament recognized at Pressburg in November 1687 that the heritability of the Hungarian crown had passed to the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s, without the right to object as well as resistance. In addition the Hungarian parliament committed itself to crown the Habsburg successor to the throne still during his father's lifetime as king of Hungary. Thus on 9 December 1687 Joseph
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I , Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, King of the Romans was the elder son of Emperor Leopold I and his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg....

, the 9-year-old son of emperor Leopold
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

, was crowned, as a first hereditary king with the Stephanskrone crown. Hungary was a hereditary country of the Habsburgs and already in June 1688 the "commission for the mechanism of the Kingdom of Hungary" was now finally created, in order to create in the country of the Stephanskrone a strong monarchistic government, with consideration of the Viennese absolutism and mercantilism.