Today in European history: the Battle of Varna (1444)

Of all the 15th century Ottoman battles in the Balkans (“Rumelia” to use the Ottoman term) prior to the conquest of Constantinople, the most important was probably the Battle of Varna in 1444, particularly if you pair its effects with those of the (second) Battle of Kosovo in 1448. Varna broke a Hungarian-Polish alliance that had been formed to counter the Ottoman threat, an alliance so important to Christendom that it had been given the Crusader imprimatur (the “Crusade of Varna,” also known as “the Long Campaign”) by Pope Eugenius IV (d. 1447). The Ottoman victory here, combined with Kosovo, suppressed the Hungarian threat long enough to give the Ottomans time to focus on Constantinople, which was still the big prize even if the Byzantine Empire had seen better days.

Source: Today in European history: the Battle of Varna (1444)

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