Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bender (1713)

and that's the way it was

The Ottoman Empire of 1713 wasn’t the Ottoman Empire of 1513 or even 1613, but it was still a formidable enough power that it could play an active role in European affairs. The so-called “Skirmish at Bendery” (known in Swedish as the Kalabaliken i Bender, from the Turkish word kalabalık or “crowd”) shows that the Ottomans were still capable of the occasional muscle flexing. It’s actually a chapter in the 1700-1721 Great Northern War, which otherwise didn’t involve the Ottomans at all, but was fought between Charles XII’s (d. 1718) Swedish Empire and a coalition of opponents, led by Tsar Peter (the Great) of Russia (d. 1725). Sweden had spent most of the 17th century amassing a significant empire around the Baltic Sea, which left it holding Russia’s former Baltic Sea ports. Peter allied with Denmark-Norway and the German state of Saxony (whose elector also happened to be the…

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