Today in European history: the Battle of Mohács (1687)

Today’s anniversary of the 1687 Battle of Mohács should not be confused with the August 29 anniversary of the other Battle of Mohács in 1526. The latter saw the end of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Hungary and opened the country up to Ottoman control. The former was part of the Great Turkish War, which ran 1683-1699 and pitted the “Holy League” (the Habsburg Empire, Russia, Poland-Lithuania, Venice, Hungary, Croatia, and some scattered Greek and Cossack forces) against the Ottomans. That war really kicked off with the Ottomans’ 1683 attempt to besiege Vienna, and when that siege failed the Ottomans spent most of the rest of the war losing territory to the various European powers. Ultimately the war would end with the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz, which was really the first time the Ottomans were forced to conclude a peace treaty entirely on European terms and which thus marks a real turning point in the Ottoman-European rivalry. It also set up the Habsburgs and an emerging Russia as the two rising powers in Eastern Europe. This second Battle of Mohács marks the end of Ottoman control in Hungary, and along with the first provides one of history’s neatest pairs of bookends, at least in my opinion.

Source: Today in European history: the Battle of Mohács (1687)


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