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"The Lack of a Western European Military Response to..." Topic


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Tango0117 May 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

… the Ottoman Invasions of Eastern Europe from Nicopolis (1396) to Mohacs (1526)

"On 25 September 1396, on the plains south of the central Bulgarian city of Nicopolis, a battle was fought. It was what military historians used to call a "decisive battle," a battle that changed history.

A truly diverse soldiery took the field that day. On the one side, Bayezid I, Sultan of the Ottoman Turks, led a force manned by troops from his homeland, Asia Minor, and from his and his predecessors' conquered and vassal countries, namely Serbs, Bulgarians, Bosnians, and Albanians. Added to these was the Turkish janissary corps, filled with young Christian tribute-children and prisoners of war, now converted to Islam and dedicated to the defeat of their former religionists. The total Turkish number, estimated by contemporary chroniclers, mostly western writers, at more than 100,000, was probably closer to 15,000.

Opposing Bayezid was a force composed of allied troops from throughout western and central Europe. Called a crusade army by all contemporary western authors, it was composed of Hungarian, Wallachian, Transylvanian, Hospitaller, German, Burgundian, French, and English soldier. Fewer in number than the Turks, although closer to a total of 12,000 than to the 100,000 found in contemporary sources it was controlled by the Franco-Burgundian cavalry troops and their leaders. This control became a problem, for these soldiers were foreigners to the region, and they refused to listen to the advice of those who lived closer to this enemy…"
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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2017 8:50 p.m. PST

Yeah, the westerners were burnt out on crusading by then, and didn't feel that a threat still hundreds of miles away was more important than a threat right across the next river/channel/mountain range.

They're lucky that attitude didn't come round to bite 'em on the BLEEP; thanks to the Hungarians, Austrians, Germans, and Poles, among others.

Tango0118 May 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

Agree!


Amicalement
Armand

goragrad18 May 2017 12:58 p.m. PST

Well, if those Hungarians hadn't been quite so keen on bringing the Orthodox Serbs into the fold, perhaps the Serbs wold have held the Ottomans up instead.

Rather ironic (not mentioned in the article) that in histories I have read of the Battle of Nicopolis that it was the charge of the Serbs that turned the tide against the Crusaders.

Could they have expected better treatment from their fellow Christians had the Serbs switched allegiances (given the propensity for treachery in the Balkans) the battle would have gone the other way.

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