Ottoman Conquest of Balkans

1329 to 1566
Ottomans conquer European territories in the Balkans.

Noteable Battles

Battle of Pelekanon   Turks victory
Fought 1329, between the Turks, under Orkhan, and the forces of Andronicus the Younger, Emperor of the East. The Imperialists were defeated. This is the first occasion in which the Byzantines met the Ottoman invaders in battle.
Battle of Kossova   Turks victory
Fought June 15, 1389, between the Turks, under Murad I, and the combined army of the Servians, Bosnians, and Albanians, under Lazar, Despot of Servia. The Turks gained a signal victory, though Murad was mortally wounded in the battle. This success secured the Turkish domination over Servia and the neighboring states.
Battle of Nicopolis   Turks victory
Fought September 28, 1395, between 10,000 French and 50,000 Hungarians, under the Duc de Nevers and Sigismund of Hungary, and the Turkish army of Bajazet I. The French charged the Turkish lines, without waiting for the Hungarians, and penetrated the two first lines, killing 1,500 Turks, but they were then overpowered by the Janissaries in the third line and 3,000 killed, while all the survivors were captured. Bajazet then turned upon the Hungarians, who fled without striking a blow. Bajazet massacred all his prisoners, excepting 25 nobles.
Battle of Rakersberg   Austrians victory
Fought 1416, between 20,000 Turks, under Ahmed Bey, and 12,000 Austrians and others, under Duke Ernest of Styria. Duke Ernest marched to the relief of Rakersberg, which the Turks were besieging, and drove them from the field utterly routed. It is said that the Turkish losses amounted to more than the whole Christian army. Ahmed Bey was among the slain.
Siege of Constantinople   Greeks victory
On June 10, 1422, Amurath II, with 200,000 Turks, laid siege to the city, which was defended by the Greek garrison under the Emperor Manuel. After a siege of two months, in which the Turks lost heavily in their numerous assaults, and in the defenders' sallies Amurath, was called away to Boursa by a domestic revolt, and raised the siege.
Battle of Vasaq (Huniades ) Magyars victory
Fought 1442, between 80,000 Turks, under Shiabeddin Pasha, and 15,000 Hungarians, under John Huniades. The Turks were utterly routed, with a loss of 20,000 killed and wounded, and 5,000 prisoners, including the Pasha.
Battle of Hermanstadt (Huniades ) Magyars victory
Fought 1442, and notable as being the first appearance of John Huniades in arms against the Turks. With an army of Hungarians he totally defeated Mejid Bey, who was besieging Hermanstadt, inflicting on the Turks a loss of 20,000 men, and relieving the place. The Hungarians lost 3,000.
Battle of Kunobitza (Huniades ) Magyars victory
Fought 1443, between the Turks, under Amurath II, and the Hungarians, under John Hunniades. The Turks were utterly routed, and in consequence Amurath concluded with them a ten years' truce.
Battle of Morawa (Huniades ) Magyars victory
Fought November 3, 1443, between the Hungarians, under John Hunniades, with 12,000 horse and 20,000 foot, and a greatly superior Turkish army, under Amurath II. The Turks were defeated, with a loss of 2,000 killed and 4,000 prisoners. This battle is also called the Battle of Nissa.
Battle of Varna (Huniades ) Turks victory
Fought November 10, 1444, between the Turks, under Amurath II, and the Hungarians, under King Ladislaus. The Hungarians attacked the Turkish camp, but were beaten off with heavy loss, the King being killed. On the following day Amurath stormed the Hungarian entrenchments, practitcally the whole of the defenders being put to the sword.
Battle of Kossova (Mohammed II ) Turks victory
Fought October 17, 1447, and two following days, between the Hungarians and Wallachians, 80,000 strong, under John Hunniades, and a vastly superior Turkish army, under Murad II. The Hungarians left their entrenchments to attack the Turks, and throughout the day the battle was evenly contested. On the 18th, however, the Wallachians deserted to the Turks, and the Hungarians, assailed in front and rear, were hard pressed, while on the 19th they were unable to maintain their position, and were forced to retire, defeated, with a loss of 17,000 killed and wounded. The Turks are said to have lost 40,000 men in the three days.
Fall of Constantinople (Mohammed II ) Turks victory
On April 6, 1453, the Turks again laid siege to Constantinople with 258,000 men under Mohammed II. The garrison, consisting of 5,000 Greeks and 2,000 foreigners, though short of ammunition, made a gallant defense, but were overpowered by numbers in a general assault on May 25, and the city was captured. Constantine Palnologus, the last Emperor of the East, was killed by an unknown hand, in the tumult which followed the storming of the ramparts.
Siege of Belgrade (Solymon ) Serbians victory
Siege was laid to this city by a large Turkish army under Mohammed II, the defense being in the hands of John Hunyadi. After a gallant resistance of 40 days, the Turks were compelled to raise the siege, September 4, 1456. This was Hunyadi's last exploit, and he died a month later. Mohammed was wounded in the course of the siege.
Siege of Trebizond (Mohammed II Huniades ) Turks victory
This city, where the last representative of the family of Comnenus had taken refuge after the fall of Constantinople, was besieged by the Turks, under Mohammed II, in 1461. After a brief resistance the city surrendered, and the last vestige of the Empire of the East was swept away.
Siege of Scutari   Turks victory
This place, held by a Venetian garrison, under Antonio Loredano, was besieged by the Turks, under Suleiman Pasha, May, 1474. The garrison held out stoutly till the middle of August, when Suleiman raised the siege.
Four years later, in June, 1478, Mohammed II invested it, the garrison now being under the command of Antonio di Lezze. Though few in numbers, the Venetians withstood a continuous bombardment, repulsing two serious assaults, until September 8, when Mohammed retired, leaving behind him only a blockading force. When on the conclusion of peace the place was handed over to the Turks only 450 men and 150 women were alive in the town. In the first assault the Turks lost 12,000 men, and an even greater number, it is said, in the second.
Battle of Krakovicz   Moldavians victory
On January 17, 1475, 40,000 Moldavian peasants, aided by 7,000 Hungarian and Polish regulars, under Stephen of Moldavia, fell upon Suleiman Pasha, with 100,000 Turks, in an untenable position near Lake Krakovicz, and totally defeated them, driving them into the lake. Very few of the Turks escaped death, either by the sword or by drowning.
Siege of Rhodes   Templars victory
This place, defended by the Knights, under their Grand Master, Pierre d'Aubusson, was besieged May 23, 1480, by a Turkish army, under Meshid Pasha, aided by a fleet of 160 ships, The siege lasted three months, and was raised after the failure of the second assault, the Turks having by that time lost 10,500 killed and wounded.
Battle of Issus   Egyptians victory
Fought 1488, between the Turks, under Bajazet II, and the Egyptians, under the Sultan of Egypt. The Turks were defeated.
Battle of Sapienza   Turks victory
Fought 1490 between the Turkish fleet, under Kemal Reis, and the Venetians. The Venetians suffered a severe reverse, this being the first naval victory of the Turks in the Mediterranean.
Battle of Villach   Austrians victory
Fought 1492, between the Turks, under Ali Pasha, and a Christian army, under Rudolph de Khevenhuller. During the battle 15,000 Christian prisoners in the Turkish camp broke out, and fell upon the rear of the Turks, who were in consequence totally defeated. The Christians lost 7,000 killed, the Turks 10,000 killed and 7,000 prisoners, including Ali.
Siege of St. George   Venetians victory
This place, the capital of the island of Cephalonia, was besieged in October, 1500, by the Spaniards and Venetians, under Gonsalvo de Cordova and Pesaro. The garrison consisted of 400 Turks only, but being veteran soldiers they made a most gallant defense; but at the end of two months the place was stormed from two quarters simultaneously, and the survivors of the garrison, some 80 only, laid down their arms.
Battle of Mohacz (Solymon ) Turks victory
Fought August 29, 1526, between 30,000 Hungarians, under King Lewis, and Tomore, Bishop of Kolocz, and over 100,000 Turks, with 300 guns, under Solyman the Magnificent. The Hungarians made a heroic resistance against overwhelming numbers, but were finally routed, leaving 22,000 dead on the field, including the king, 7 bishops, 28 magnates, and over 500 nobles. This disaster placed Hungary at the mercy of Solyman, and was quickly followed by the fall of Buda-Pesth.
Siege of Vienna (Solymon ) Austrians victory
This city, held by a garrison of 16,000 men, under Count de Salm, was besieged by Solyman the Magnificent, at the head of 120,000 Turks, in September, 1529. From the 27th of that month till October 14, the garrison withstood a series of assaults, culminating in an attempt to storm the breach, which were repulsed with heavy loss. Solyman thereupon raised the siege and withdrew.
Battle of Rinya (Solymon ) Austrians victory
Fought July 21, 1556, between 40,000 Turks, under Ali Pasha, and a comparatively small force of Austrians and Hungarians, under Thomas Nadasdy. The Turks were defeated with heavy loss, the Christians losing 300 men only.
Siege of Szigeth (Candian War ) Turks victory
This small place, held by a Hungarian garrison, under Count Zrinyi, was besieged by the Turks, under Solyman the Magnificent, in 1566. The siege was prosecuted with vigour but was fatal to the great Sultan, who died on the night of September 4. On the following day, however, the Turks stormed and sacked the town, and Count Zrinyi and his little garrison perished in the flames.
Siege of Astrakhan   Russians victory
Siege was laid to this town, 1569, by the Turks under Selim II, who required it as a base for his projected invasion of Persia. It was held by a small Russian garrison, which made an obstinate defense, and was finally relieved by an army dispatched to its assistance by Ivan the Terrible, which attacked the Turkish lines, and utterly routed them.
Battle of Keresztes (Huniades ) Turks victory
Fought October 24 to 26, 1596, between the Turks, under Mohammed III, and the Imperialists and Transylvanians, under the Archduke Maximilian and Prince Sigismund of Transylvania. The battle at first went badly for the Turks, and Mohammed would have fled but for the remonstrations of the Grand Vizier. In the end, however, they gained the upper hand, and the Archduke was totally defeated.

Story Links
Book Links

Image Links

Triumphal entry of the Turks
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Incident of the Turkish Invasion
 in Famous Men of Modern Times
Huniades at Belgrade
Huniades at Belgrade
 in Back Matter

Tidings of Nicaea's capture brought to Brusa
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Solyman at the Hellespont; Entry of the Turks into Europe
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

The end of the crusades; The field of Nicopolis
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Turks and Tartars return from the ravaging of Servia
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Scanderbeg demands the surrender of the Turks
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Constantine encouraging his troops
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Mahomet II urging on his sailors
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Janizaries seizing christian children
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

The Turks entering the church of St. Sophia
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

The fall of Albanian freedom; Departure of Scanderbeg
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Solyman's ambassador slain by the Hungarians
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Destruction of Szigeth; Countess Zrinyi blows up the powder magazine
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Count Stahremberg heading a sortie from Vienna
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Janizaries in Servia returning from a raid
 in Greatest Nations: Vol X—Turkey

Working at the Fortifications
 in Brave Men and Brave Deeds