Even the best laid plans for an assassination can go awry, as one of the most famous military commanders of the Middle Ages, Vlad III, realized when he attempted to cut off the Ottoman Empire at the head.   The Night Attack at Targoviste came at the end of a particularly violent struggle between the …

  • June 18, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on Guerrillas in the Mist of Targoviste

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The Russo-Turkish War of 1877 – 1878 marked the end of the Ottoman domination of the Balkans, and set off the dominoes which would change the religious and political balance of power throughout Europe.  The Turks won the Crimean War against Russia in 1856, but the cost of victory was so high that it set …

  • January 4, 2021
  • Comments Off on Liberating Sofia

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In the 15th Century the Ottomans were racing through Europe, conquering everything in their path.  By 1493 they had reached Croatia and the last bastion of strong defense before Vienna. On 9 September 1493, the Battle of Krbava Field in Croatia began one hundred years of war between the Ottomans and what would become the …

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Royalty dictates that every dynasty and Kingdom is eternal, until history dictates that the dynasty abruptly ends and the Kingdom is shattered.  Often the end is peaceful, with one generation failing to produce an heir, and another family stepping in to take leadership and divide up the territory.  Sometimes the end is violent, on the …

  • August 26, 2020
  • Croatia
  • Comments Off on The End of Dynasties

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The nineteenth century wasn’t a great time for the Ottoman Empire.  It wasn’t the worst time, that would be the beginning of the twentieth century when everything collapsed.  But for an empire that had been the strong conqueror of Europe out of Asia, it was a catastrophe. The coming fall of the Ottomans was so …

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Prince Eugene of Savoy was relentless. With few exceptions he swept through the Balkans and set the Ottoman Empire, formerly the terrifying ascendent power galloping relentlessly through Europe, back on its heels. And so it was on 5 August 1716 when the Prince, with significantly fewer forces than those of the Ottoman Grand Vizier, managed …

  • August 5, 2020
  • Interesting
  • Comments Off on One Battle of Many

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The Vojvodina town of Petrovaradin, now part of Novi Sad, Serbia, was first settled in 4,500 BC during the Stone Age.  Since that time, it was the scene of battles between great and regional powers over a dozen times.  In a way, it exemplifies the fortunes of the Balkans themselves, caught between shifting alliances and …

  • July 31, 2020
  • Serbia
  • Comments Off on The Battle of Petrovaradin and a Tardy Death Warrant

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“God I fear slightly, the Sultan not at all, and the Grand Vizier no more than my own horse.”  A man who would say those words to the Ottoman Empire is not a man to be taken lightly, and Husein Gradaščević managed to prove that he deserved to say them before he died at the …

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On 6 August 1566, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent died in bed while the Battle of Szigetvar raged around him.  The Commander of the Ottoman Army, Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, immediately executed every witness to his death and had the word put about that Suleiman was merely ill and recuperating.  He proclaimed Ottoman victory in …

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Before the ink on the surrenders were dry in the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans, they began demanding a very special tribute from the inhabitants of the area – their children.  As the founder of the Janissaries, Candarli Kara Halil Hayreddin, said: The conquered are slaves of the conquerors, to whom their goods, their women, …

  • May 20, 2020
  • Comments Off on The Slaves Who Ruled an Empire

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