Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

The Ottoman Empire was around for an impressive 624 years, from its (murky but generally accepted) beginnings in 1299 with the reign of Osman I (the guy who put the “Ottoman” in “Ottoman Empire”), to its official downfall in 1923. But historians have this irritating need to periodize everything, especially something that goes on for… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

Today in European history: the First Battle of Kosovo (1389)

Yes, I know this is late. I lost track of time, sorry. Today is the anniversary of the First Battle of Kosovo, in 1389, the one that, as I said when talking about the Second Battle of Kosovo, in 1448, is the one most people will probably think of when you say “the Battle of… Continue reading Today in European history: the First Battle of Kosovo (1389)

Today in European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

The Ottomans were not the first Islamic power to threaten the Byzantine Empire, and in fact the empire was by this point in 1453 a hollowed out husk of its former glory. Successive waves of Turkish and Mongol invasions had taken almost all of Anatolia out of Byzantine control, and the Ottomans had by this point… Continue reading Today in European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

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

Originally posted on 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,…

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

Originally posted on 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,…

Today in World War I: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
The Battle of Sarikamish was an overwhelming Russian victory whose outcome put the Ottomans on the defensive in World War I’s Caucasus theater of operations right up until the 1917 October Revolution took Russia out of the war altogether. Its military impact was fairly substantial–World…

Today in European history: the Battle of Vaslui (1475)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
“Moldavia” as it existed back in the late Middle Ages isn’t really a thing anymore. Its successor, I suppose, is the Republic of Moldova, but they’re not entirely the same thing. Moldova is the direct successor state to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia, but…