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"The Effect of Killing the Christian Prisoners ..." Topic

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971 hits since 7 Jan 2013
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 9:50 p.m. PST

…at the Battle of Nicopolis.
Of possible interest.

"…So wrote the anonymous biographer of the French marshal, Jean II le Meingre dit Boucicault, as he concluded his account of the battle of Nicopolis, lost to the Ottoman Turks on September 25, 1396. The marshal himself was held as a prisoner, captured that day when he, with most of the European crusaders who had ridden out of France, England, Burgundy, the Low Countries, Italy, Germany, and Hungary met defeat at the hands of Sultan Bayezid I (1389-1402). But Boucicault was one of the lucky ones. He was not yet a "saint in Paradise." The marshal had been spared execution because of his noble status and friendship with John the Fearless, count of Nevers, heir to the lands of Burgundy, titular leader of the crusaders at Nicopolis, despite his youth (he had not yet reached the age of twenty-five). According to Boucicault's biographer, John pleaded with Bayezid on behalf of the marshal. Putting his thumbs together to indicate their brotherhood, the future duke of Burgundy convinced the Ottoman military leader not to slay Boucicault. Jean Froissart, whose chronicle also contains a version of this story, asserts that the future duke's gesture really indicated how much ransom money Boucicault was worth rather than any feelings of friendship that the two men shared. The result was the same, however: Boucicault's life was spared.
… The Ottoman Turks acted against the customary laws of war, which bound both Christians and Muslims even when fighting one another: no prisoner of war was ever to be executed, especially if he was a noble! Following the battle, the sultan put to death the majority of prisoners. It was this act more than any other which caused the mourning throughout Europe referred to in the opening quotation, and it was this act which stayed in the memory far longer than even the defeat in battle did. Invariably, it provoked an outpouring of Ottoman atrocity stories, stories which would grow and be embellished throughout the next century. Finally, it was this act more than anything else that terrified western armies, many of which would refuse to go against the Ottoman Turks again until the sixteenth century…"


Hope you enjoy!.


KTravlos Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 3:45 a.m. PST

interesting read but is not he forgetting the Battle of Varna? Were not some westerners (I guess he means Anglo-Franco-Burgundians in the christian army at Varna?

vtsaogames Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 11:40 a.m. PST

Not to excuse Bayezit for his atrocities, but Richard the Lionhearted executed thousands of prisoners. I'm sure there were other atrocities on both sides of the religious line.

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