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"Battle of Sisak, 1593?" Topic

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huevans01 Jun 2008 11:39 a.m. PST

Does anyone know anything about this battle, which is totally undocumented in English?

Apparently, it was a large and decisive victory by the Holy Roman Empire over the Ottomans and halted Turkish aggression in Southeastern Europe for 20 years.

Qurchi Bashi01 Jun 2008 12:42 p.m. PST

Actually it was a moderately large victory of HRE aligned local forces over an Ottoman aligned warlord and raider. The death of the Ottoman leader angered the Ottoman court enough they launched a war (the Long Turkish War – Langeturkenkrieg, in European designations) which ran through til 1606 with many bloody sieges, one major field battle – Mezokeresztes, and ended up with a peace treaty that pretty much re-established the status quo ( which wasn't a bad deal for the HRE, it was the first time the didn't lose territory).

There's a bit of documentation in English – in books on Ottoman history. I can look them up tomorrow and post references. None of the English sources give much detail, but they do tell a little about it. As I recall mostly a big cavalry battle with Hungarian border forces getting the drop on the Turkish raider light cav. I recall a river and lots of drowning Turks who were trying to retreat. But, like I said, I can look up more tomorrow.

huevans01 Jun 2008 1:24 p.m. PST

Mezokeresztes seems a more interesting battle from what you've written. Is there any material on it?

rdjktjrfdj01 Jun 2008 1:35 p.m. PST

The ceasefire in the Austro-Turkish wars, concluded in 1568, and extended until 1593, did not bring peace to the Croatian border. The Turks still raided Croatia and Kranjska and Stajerska from Bosnia. The defence of Croatia was removed to the rivers Kupa and Korana. For some time Croatia still held the exposed, but strongly fortified Bihac. From Sisak to the fortified Karlovac the kraina of Kupa (Confinia Colapiana) was defended by castles with permanent garrisons of haramias, who received their permanent captain 1589.

Ban Toma Erdedi actively sought to secure the reliquiae reliquiarum of the kingdom of Croatia. In the first year of his reign he defeated Turkish raiders returning from Kranjska at Slunj. Two years later he defeated the sanjak beg of Cernica-Pakrac at Ivanic. But the victories did not ease the pressure on Croatia.

In 1591 Hasan pasha Predojevic became the Bosian beglerbeg. He has strengthened the Turkish forces, equipped them with better horses and erected a bridge at Gradiska so that he could maneuvre between Bosnia and Slavonia with greater ease. In the beginning of August he attacked Sisak, but retreated after a four day bombardment before the forces led by ban Erdedi and the supreme captain of the Slavonian kraina, Stefan Grasswein.
After receiving permission from the sultan Murat III for more serious actions against Croatia, in the spring of 1592 he built a fort Jeni Hisar (later named Petrinja) at the confluence of Petrisnjica into Kupa. It was to be a base for attacks on Sisak. The cehaja (deputy) of Hasan pasha, Rustem beg, erected a bridge across Kupa at Brest, while Hasan pasha assaulted Bihac and captured it on the 19th of June. Upon his return to Slavonia he defeated the troops from Stajerska and the Croatian ban on the 19th of July at Brest, and again bombarded Sisak on 24th July. He lifted the siege on the 29th.

By the beginning of June 1593, Hasan pasha moved on Sisak for the third time. The large guns and the train was carried by 29 shajkas by the Sava to Gradiska. In just several hours he captured Drencina on the 14th June. On the next day he made camp on the right bank of the Kupa.
The sources disagree considerably on the size of his army. He most probably did not have more than 12000 combatants – janissaries, azaps, spahis, akindjis. Only a small number could have been armed with firearms.
In this campaign participated the sanjak begs of Zvornik, Klis-Livno, Lika, Hercegovina, Cernica-Pakrac, Pozega, Orahovac, Bihac and Vucitrn, and the captains of Petrinja and Gradiska.
The army probably also contained some troops from the sanjaks of Osijek and krka.

After receiving the news of Hasan pasha's move on Sisak troops began to gather at Sveta Klara, near Zagreb. About 5000 feudal troops of Croatia and Kranjska, Kraisniks, Imperial troops, and uskoks. Ban Toma Erdedi came with his company and feudal troops, in all 1240 troops. Colonel Ruprecht Eggenberg with Reitenau imperial regiment of 3 companies – about 1500 men. Colonel Andria Auersperg Turjacki, the supreme captain of Croatia, with 300 arquebusiers (armoured horsemen) of Karlovac, 100 arquebusiers of Koruska under captain Kristof Obrucan, 200 feudal horsemen of Kranjska under captain Adam Rauben and 160 musketeers from Karlovac and Koruska under captains Georg and Sigismund Paradeiser. Colonel Melhior Redern with 500 Silesian horsemen (archers? armed with firearms?). Lieutenant Colonel Grasvajn, captain of the Slavonian kraina with 400 soldiers. Petar Erdedi, captain of Uskoks, with 500 uskoks. Martin Picnik with about 100 horsemen of the Montecuccoli regiment.
To this number several hundred more light horsemen can be added(hussars) and irregular infantry.
The Croatian-German forces had 1760 arquebusiers or musketeers, not counting musketeers that must have been present in other units.

The army of Hasan pasha was numerically superior, but the Christians had the edge in firepower, efficiency and strength.
Only the unified command gave some advantage to the Turks.

The Christian army moved on Sisak. After defeating a Turkish detachment of 300 men it reached the castle Zelina on the 19th June. It remained there on the next day, awaiting Juraj Zrinski from Medjumurje. Since he did not arrive, the army proceeded on the 21 to Novigrad on the Sava. fter a dispute in a council it was decided to fight the battle immediately, without reconnaissance.

Sisak was defended by Blaz Djurak and Matijas Fintic with 300 soldiers, and some recruited men and volunteers from the vicinity, and about 100 men Egenberger from Slovenia. In all, 800 men.
After erecting a bridge over the Kupa, Hasan has positioned his guns on the left bank of the river, and targeted the gate and the tower by the Kupa. He soon breached a segment of the wall. Scaling assault was repulsed, but the garrison was demoralized.

On the move from Novigrad to Sisak Auersperg positioned the Christian force in two battle lines, as was usual in the imperial army. In the first line went Croatian soldiers, light horsemen (hussars), infantry and Auerspergs troops, and in the second line Redern's and Montecuccoli's horsemen and rajtenau's infantry. In such order the army moved on.

After crossing to the right bank of the Sava Hasan moved on the Christian army with about 10 000 men. On the left wing, by the Odra, were foot archers, in the center and on the right cavalry. The battle began around noon. The Croats (horsemen) under Erdodi were the first to attack. After they have been repelled, the arcquebusiers went into action, and then other troops with firearms. For a time it seemed that Turkish cavalry could outflank and envelop the Christians, but their second line stopped them. The Turks were under pressure and retired from fire. Then the garrison attacked their rear and captured the bridge. The Turks could not retreat. Only several hundred saved themselves. The remainder was killed, captured or drowned in Kupa or Odra.
The whole battle lasted less than an hour. The Christian losses were insignificant, 40 to 50 dead according to their own records.
The Turkish sources admitt losing 8000 killed, among those Husein pasha and 4 sanjak begs.
The Turks on the opposite bank of the Kupa burnt their camp and retreated. The way to Petrinja lay open, but Egenberg could not attack it without imperial permission.

Qurchi Bashi01 Jun 2008 3:27 p.m. PST

Great, nikola. That's more detail than I've seen. Do you have references? I study this period, so I would like to know where to look. Non-english sources (especially if in German or Russian) are ok for me, if not the original poster.

Qurchi Bashi01 Jun 2008 3:31 p.m. PST

There's a web page with info on Mezokeresztes, including maps, but its in Hungarian, which I don't read very well.
There's an annoyingly large number of languages needed to cover this conflict adequately. I'm (slowly) working on it.

Daniel S02 Jun 2008 1:57 a.m. PST

I have the following order of battle for Sisak which was posted on the now gone Rempas Yahoo group by Brian Hodson in 2004.


Commander: Andreas v. Auersperg
1) Count Don Plaggei – 300 mounted, armored arquebusiers (Auersperg's
life guards)
2) Adam Rauber zu Weineck u. Kreutberg (Krainisch-ständischer
Rittmeister) – 200 mounted arquebusiers
3) Christoph v. Obrutschan zu Altenburg (Kärnten Rittmeister) – 100
mounted arquebusiers (both the Carinthian and Carniolan compaines
were in cuirass and `tiger hides')
4) Ruprecht v. Eggenberg (k.k. Kriegskommissär) – 300 men or 3
banners of German fußknechts
5) Thomas Erdödy (Ban of Croatia) – 350 hussars, 900 infantry
6) Melchior von Rödern auf Friedland – 500 Silesian "Schützen zu
Pferd" (mounted arqubusiers)
7) Alban Grosswein – 400 foot and horse (soldier-peasants of the
Zagrab cathederal)
8) Peter Erdödy (Captain of the Uskoks) – 500 uskoks and Hussars
9) Stefan Tachy von Stättenberg – 80 Hussars
10) Martin Pietschnik zu Altenhof – 100 men
11) Sigmund Paradeiser v. Neuhaus and George Paradeiser – 160
Carinthian musketeers
12) Ferdinand Weidner – one banner of German knights – 100 men


Commander: Hassan Dervis, Pasha of Bosna
1) Hassan Dervis – 4000 foot and horse
2) Ferhad beg – 1000 men
3) Opardi Beg of Clissa – 3000
4) Mesni Beg – 2500
5) Zeffar Beg of Svornik – 700
6) Mehemed Beg of Hercegovina – 3000
7) Kurd Beg – 1500
8) Rustan Beg of Petrina – 500
9) Ibrahim Beg of Likka – 2000
10) Gradiska Captain – 1000
11) 2000 Siphai, unknown akindjis, 9 large cannon

Alfred H. Loebl, "Das Reitergefecht bei Sissek vom 22. Juni 1593,"
Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung IX
(1915): 767-787.
Peter Radics, Die Schlacht bei Sissek, 22. Juni 1593 (Ljubljana:
Josef Blasnik, 1861).

rdjktjrfdj02 Jun 2008 9:51 a.m. PST

Sorry for not replying sooner, I've just had time to roughly translate this text and post it without even checking it last night. It is from the Yugoslav military encyclopaedia.

As references it lists, of course, Hammer's Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches, while all the other are either in Serbocroat or Slovenian:

- R. Lopasic, Spomenici Hrvatske krajine, III, Zagreb, 1889.
- A. Koblar, Boji na Krajinah in Zmaga pri Sisku, Izv. Muzejskog drustva za Kranjsko, III, Ljubljana, 1893.
- V. Klajic, Povjest Hrvata, III/I, Zagreb, 1901
- S. Basagic, Kratka uputa u proslost Bosne i Hercegovine, Zagreb, 1931.
A. Olesnicki, Tko nosi odgovornost za poraz turske vojske kod Siska, Vjesnik hrvatskog arh. drustva, XXII-XXIII, 1941-2.
- P. Tomac, Bitka kod Siska, Vojnoistorijski glasnik, 5/1957.
- Monumenta spectantia Slavorum meridionalum, XV, Zagreb, 1884.
- Starine, XIX, Zagreb, 1887.

Daniel S03 Jun 2008 1:52 a.m. PST

Velimir Vuksic has done several full colour images of soldiers at Sisak

Croatian heavy hussar
Croatian hussar officer
Croatian light hussar
Imperial Infantry NCO

Not directly linked to the battle but still reasonably representative of how the troops looked
Mounted arquebusier
(While the image is labled 1646 the gear is all late 16th century in the style which was common in Germany up until the 1590's. The arms and armoru are directly based on items preserved in the Graz armourys 16th Century section.

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