Long War (Ottoman wars)

Long War (Ottoman wars)

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The Long War took place from 1591 or 1593 to 1604 or 1606 and was one of the numerous military conflicts between the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 that developed after the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

.

History


The major participants of this war were the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Royal Hungary
Royal Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary between 1538 and 1867 was part of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, while outside the Holy Roman Empire.After Battle of Mohács, the country was ruled by two crowned kings . They divided the kingdom in 1538...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, and Bohemia
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia was a country located in the region of Bohemia in Central Europe, most of whose territory is currently located in the modern-day Czech Republic. The King was Elector of Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and...

), Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 opposing the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Ferrara, Tuscany, Mantua and the Papal State were also involved in the war to a lesser extent.

Skirmishes along the border were intensifying from 1591. In 1592, the fort of Bihać
Bihac
Bihać is a city and municipality on the river Una in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. Bihać is located in the Una-Sana Canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.-History:...

 in what was central Croatia at the time fell to the Ottomans. In the spring of 1593, Ottoman forces from the Eyalet of Bosnia
Bosnia Eyalet
The Eyalet of Bosnia or Bosnia Beylerbeylik was a eyalet and beylerbeylik of the Ottoman Empire, mostly based on the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as most of Slavonia, Lika, and Dalmatia in present-day Croatia...

 laid siege to the border city of Sisak
Sisak
Sisak is a city in central Croatia. The city's population in 2011 was 33,049, with a total of 49,699 in the administrative region and it is also the administrative centre of the Sisak-Moslavina county...

 in Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, starting the Battle of Sisak
Battle of Sisak
The Battle of Sisak was fought on June 22, 1593, between Ottoman forces of the Bosnian governor-general, or Beylerbeyi, Hasan-paša Predojević, and forces of the Holy Roman Empire under the supreme command of the Styrian general Ruprecht von Eggenberg...

 which eventually ended in a victory for the Christian forces on June 22, 1593.

The Long War started on July 29, 1593 when the Ottoman army under Sinan Pasha
Sinan Pasha
Sinan Pasha or Sinan Pashë Kahremanliu was an Albanian Grand Vizier, Ottoman military commander and statesman.-Life:...

 launched a campaign against the Habsburg Monarchy and captured Győr
Gyor
-Climate:-Main sights:The ancient core of the city is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Rába and Rábca. Püspökvár, the residence of Győr’s bishops can be easily recognised by its incomplete tower. Győr’s oldest buildings are the 13th-century dwelling tower and the...

  and Komarom
Komárno
Komárno is a town in Slovakia at the confluence of the Danube and the Váh rivers. Komárno was formed from part of a historical town in Hungary situated on both banks of the Danube. Following World War I, the border of the newly created Czechoslovakia cut the historical, unified town in half,...

 .

In 1595, an alliance of Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 European powers was organized by Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII , born Ippolito Aldobrandini, was Pope from 30 January 1592 to 3 March 1605.-Cardinal:...

 to oppose the Ottoman Empire; a treaty of alliance was signed in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 by the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

 and Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory was Prince of Transylvania.-Biography:Hailing from the Báthory family's Somlyó branch, he was the son of Christopher Báthory, Voivod of Transylvania, and nephew of Stephen Báthory, King of Poland...

 of Transylvania. Aron Vodă of Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Michael the Brave of Wallachia joined the alliance later that year.

The Ottoman's objective of the war was to seize Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, while the Habsburg Monarchy wanted to recapture the central territories of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 controlled by the Ottoman Empire.
The control over the Danube-line and the possession of the fortresses located there was crucial. The war was mainly fought in Royal Hungary (mostly present day western Hungary and southern Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

), Transdanubia
Transdanubia
Transdanubia is a traditional region of Hungary.-Traditional interpretation:The borders of Transdanubia are the Danube river , the Drava and Mura rivers and the foothills of the Alps roughly along the border between Hungary and Austria .Transdanubia comprises the counties of Győr-Moson-Sopron,...

, Royal Croatia and Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

, the Ottoman Empire (Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

 - present day Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, and Wallachia (in present-day southern Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

).

In 1595, the Christians captured Győr
Gyor
-Climate:-Main sights:The ancient core of the city is Káptalan Hill at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Rába and Rábca. Püspökvár, the residence of Győr’s bishops can be easily recognised by its incomplete tower. Győr’s oldest buildings are the 13th-century dwelling tower and the...

, 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....

 and 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...

, strategic fortresses on the Danube, but they did not engage in the siege of the key fortress 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...

. Ottomans launched a siege of Eger , conquering it in 1596.

On the eastern front of the war, Michael the Brave, prince of Wallachia, started a campaign against the Ottomans in the autumn of 1594, conquering several castles near the Lower 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....

, including Giurgiu
Giurgiu
Giurgiu is the capital city of Giurgiu County, Romania, in the Greater Wallachia. It is situated amid mud-flats and marshes on the left bank of the Danube facing the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the opposite bank. Three small islands face the city, and a larger one shelters its port, Smarda...

, Brăila
Braila
Brăila is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County, in the close vicinity of Galaţi.According to the 2002 Romanian census there were 216,292 people living within the city of Brăila, making it the 10th most populous city in Romania.-History:A...

, Hârşova
Hârsova
Hârşova is a town located on the right bank of the Danube, in Constanţa County, Romania, with a population of 11,000.The village of Vadu Oii is administered by the town...

, and Silistra
Silistra
Silistra is a port city of northeastern Bulgaria, lying on the southern bank of the lower Danube at the country's border with Romania. Silistra is the administrative centre of Silistra Province and one of the important cities of the historical region of Southern Dobrudzha...

, while his Moldavian allies defeated the Ottoman armies in Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

 and other parts of Moldova. Michael continued his attacks deep within the Ottoman Empire, taking the forts of Nicopolis
Nikopol, Bulgaria
Nikopol is a town in northern Bulgaria, the administrative center of Nikopol municipality, part of Pleven Province, on the right bank of the Danube river, 4 km downstream from the mouth of the Osam river. It spreads at the foot of steep chalk cliffs along the Danube and up a narrow valley...

, Ribnic, and Chilia and even reaching as far as Adrianople. At one point his forces were only 24 km from the Ottoman capital, Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

.

The conflict continued with the Battle of Călugăreni
Battle of Calugareni
The Battle of Călugăreni was one of the most important battles in the history of medieval Romania. It took place on 23 August 1595 between the Wallachian army led by Michael the Brave and the Ottoman army led by Sinan Pasha...

, considered one of the most important battles between Ottomans and Wallachians (Romanians). Although the Wallachians emerged victorious from the battle, Michael was forced to retreat with his troops and wait for aid from his allies, Prince Sigismund Báthory of Transylvania and Emperor Rudolf of Austria. The war between Wallachia and the Ottomans continued until in late 1599, when Michael was unable to continue the war due to the poor support from his allies.

The turning point of war was the Battle of Mezőkeresztes, which took place on the territory of Hungary on October 24–26, 1596. The combined Habsburg-Transylvanian force of 45-50,000 troops was defeated by the Ottoman army. The battle turned when Christian soldiers, thinking they had won the battle, stopped fighting in order to plunder the Ottoman camp. Despite this victory, the Ottomans realized for the first time the superiority of Western military equipment over the Ottoman weapons. This battle was the first significant military encounter in Central-Europe between a large Christian army and the Ottoman Turkish Army after the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

. As a result of the Battle of Mezőkeresztes, the Christians became unable to achieve their strategic objective and the war was reduced to smaller battles and sieges of fortresses, which often changed hands several times.
In August 1601, at the Battle of Guruslău
Battle of Guruslău
The Battle of Goroszló was fought on 3 August 1601, between the troops of the Habsburg Empire led by Giorgio Basta, the Cossacks and Wallachia led by Michael the Brave on one side and the Transylvanian troops led by Sigismund Báthory on the other side...

, Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta, Count of Huszt was an Italian general of Arbëreshë descent, employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to command Habsburg forces in the Long War of 1591-1606 and later to administer Transylvania as an Imperial vassal to restore Catholicism as a predominant religion in...

, and Michael the Brave defeated the Hungarian nobility led by Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory
Sigismund Báthory was Prince of Transylvania.-Biography:Hailing from the Báthory family's Somlyó branch, he was the son of Christopher Báthory, Voivod of Transylvania, and nephew of Stephen Báthory, King of Poland...

, who accepted Ottoman protection. After the assassination of Michael the Brave by mercenary soldiers under Basta's orders, the Transylvanian nobility, led by Mózes Székely
Mózes Székely
Mózes Székely was a Transylvanian nobleman of Székely descent and briefly ruled as Prince of Transylvania.- Biography :...

, was again defeated in 1603 at the Battle of Braşov
Battle of Braşov
The Battle of Braşov or Battle of Kronstadt was fought on July 17, 1603, between the troops of Wallachia led by Radu Şerban and the Habsburg Empire on one side and the Transylvanian troops led by Mózes Székely on the other side....

 by the Habsburg Empire, and Wallachian troops led by Radu Şerban.

The last phase of the war (from 1604 to 1606) corresponds to the uprising of prince of Transylvania Stephen Bocskay
Stephen Bocskay
Stephen Bocskai or István Bocskai Stephen Bocskai or István Bocskai Stephen Bocskai or István Bocskai (or Bocskay, (1 January 1557 – 29 December 1606) was a HungarianCalvinist nobleman, Prince of Transylvania (1605–06), who defended Hungarian interests when Hungary was divided into Ottoman...

 against the Habsburg ruler. The uprising was supported by the Hungarian nobility of Transylvania and by the Ottoman Empire as well. The goal of the uprising, beside receiving guarantees from the Habsburg emperor for the respect of freedom of religion and liberties of the Hungarian Estates, was to force the Habsburg ruler to make peace with the Ottoman Empire. The war devastated both Hungary and Transylvania without any further hope for a positive strategic outcome for the Christians.

Aftermath


The Long War ended with the Peace of Zsitvatorok on November 11, 1606. The Peace of Zsitvatorok confirmed the Ottomans' inability to penetrate further into Habsburg territories, which was their first geopolitical defeat. The Treaty also stabilized conditions on the Habsburg-Ottoman frontier and the Habsburg conquest of Hungary was delayed for the next 80 years. In 1686. Austrian took Buda and Pest during 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:...

.

The Christian allies learned that without winning major battles against the Ottomans, no long-term military success was possible. After the similar events of the 1550s, it was further demonstrated that Transylvania was out of the effective radius of action of the Habsburg army and thus could not be held against the Ottoman Empire.

External links