Polish-Ottoman War, 1683-1699

A.) Prehistory

In 1683 an Ottoman army 140,000 strong laid siege to the city of Vienna. If the city would fall, Royal Hungary would remain Ottoman and the city of Cracow, the former capital of Poland, would be located close to the Ottoman border. Thus, Polish King Jan Sobieski disregarded Poland's traditional animosity toward the Emperor and ordered a relief army to be assembled.

B.) The War

Polish King Jan Sobieski personally lead the Polish relief army to Vienna; outranking the commanders of the German relief armies, he was appointed commander over the Imperial armies, and he is credited with the victory in the Battle of Kahlenberg 1683. The anti-Ottoman Holy Alliance (Poland, Emperor, Venice) was concluded in 1684.
King Jan Sobieski and his Polish troops returned home. The Poles undertook two more campaigns, into the territory of the Ottoman vassal of Moldavia, in 1686 and in 1691. When peace was concluded in 1699, the Ottoman Empire returned Podolia to Poland (Ottoman since 1672).

C.) Analysis and Legacy

For the Ottoman Sultan, the war with Poland was only side show, as were the wars with Venice (1684-1699) and with Russia (1696); the main war was fought with the Austrian Habsburgs (1683-1699).

Note : the spelling of personal and placenames differs considerably, according to the nationality of the respective author (Polish, Ukrainian, German, Turkish etc.).

Turkish and Tatar Wars, 1667-1676, from Polish Renaissance Warfare, scroll down
Polish-Turkish War 1672-1676, from The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795)
The Turkish War and the Treaty of Buczacz 1672, from The Passing of Poland's Position as a Great Power; see also subsequent paragraphs
Türkisch-Polnischer Krieg 1671-1676 (Turkish-Polish War), from Kriege der Neuzeit (Wars of the Modern Era), in German
Jahreschronik 1650-1699, from : Chronologische Kriegsgeschichte (Chronological War History), in German; very detailed

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 27th 2003, last revised on November 19th 2004

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