Austro-Ottoman War 1592-1606

A.) Prehistory

The areas adjacent to Ottoman Hungary and Bosnia were constantly exposed to the threat of raids undertaken from Ottoman soil. Such a raid, by the Pasha of Bosnia in 1592, into Habsburg Croatia, started the Habsburg-Ottoman War.

B.) The War

In the Battle near Sisak, a Habsburg force under Ruprecht von Eggenberg defeated the raiding party lead by the Pasha of Bosnia. Over the following years, the war was fought aa a low-scale border conflict; both sides attempted to wrest fortified places from the opponent. A rebellion in Wallachia, beginning in 1594, distracted the attention of the Ottoman forces. In 1596 the Ottoman force scored a victory at Keresztes. The Habsburg force retook Györ and Veszprem in 1598, the Ottoman force took Kanisza in 1600; in 1603 and 1605, Ottoman troops raided Styria.
Early in the war, Transylvania had sided with the Habsburgs; attempts to introduce the Counterreformation in Transylvanian areas defended by Habsburg mercenary troops, commanded by Gen. Basta (an ethnic Albanian), as well as atrocities committed by the latter, alienated the Transylvanians. In 1599 the country was conquered by Voyevod Mihail of Wallachia (-1601). After the Wallachian interlude, Istvan Bocskai established himself as ruler of Transylvania, for which he sought Ottoman protection.
When war broke out between the Ottoman Empire and Persia, the Habsburg-Ottoman War was concluded by the Peace of Zsitva Torok. As both sides held on to their conquests, the peace treaty meant slight border revisions; Royal Hungary had lost Kanisza and Erlau, and gained Nacz and Nograd. The Emperor ceased to pay tribute to the Sultan.

C.) The Legacy

Both sides did not fight the war with the intensity they could have. The policy of implementing the Counterreformation backfired. Peace on the Ottoman frontier remained uneasy; other wars were to follow.

Die Sieben Türkenkriege der Habsburger (The Seven Turkish Wars of the Habsburgs), from Flacker Seiten, in German
The House of Osman, the Sultanate of Murad III, 1574-1595, (- 1606) from The Age of Transition, 1350-1650 (timeline)
Chronology of the Ottoman Empire, by John Holevoet
REFERENCE Istvan Lazar, Transylvania, a Short History, Safety Harbor : Ingram 1997, pp.94-96

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 8th 2003, last revised on November 17th 2004

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