The History of Jihad against Austria (1500 - 1683)
Islam Watch 7 September 2012
How the Jihad nearly overran Austria in 1683, threatening the Islamization of Europe. But in 1683 the Day was carried by Jan Sobeiski the Christian Braveheart from Poland who saved Austria and Europe from Islam.
Poland the Bulwark of Christendom "Propugnaculum Christianitatis”
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Christian inhabitants of southeast Europe lived in perpetual fear of Muslim invasions. The Mongol-Tartar raiding parties laid waste to the countryside, abducting captives for slaves and ransom; while Ottoman Turkish occupation meant at the least - pillage, sacrilege and extortion.
While for the Mongols-Tartars the sole purpose of waging war was material gain, before they had succumbed to Islam, the aim changed to imposition of Islam after the Mongol Khans after Hulagu Khan embraced Islam. The Turks who has embraced Islam in the 10th century, expressly invaded the Byzantine Empire and later Europe with the aim of converting the Europeans to Islam at the pain of death.
The Muslim invasion routes were through either the Danube Valley to the walls of Vienna, or through the Moldavian plain and southern Poland. Much of the Turkish effort was directed against Poland, whose heroic resistance earned her the name "Propugnaculum Christianitatis" the bulwark of Christianity.
The Jihadis besiege Vienna but Polish Heroism saves the day
The Turks after overrunning Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, now lunged at the heart of Central Europe by repeatedly attacking Cracow and Vienna. They focused on Vienna as that was the major city, the capture of which would open their advance into Poland and Germany. Sensing the danger, in the winter of 1682-3, Poland, Prussia (Germany) and Austria came to an agreement providing for joint action against a Turkish invasion and promising relief in case of a direct attack on Vienna or Cracow.
The threat of Turkish attack could not have been more real. A Turkish army of over 140,000 men started marching north in March of 1683, and arrived at the walls of Vienna on July 14, 1683.
As about March 1683, the Turks were preparing for an attack on the Hapsburg capital, Vienna, and were gathering their forces together rather rapidly. By June, they had invaded Austria, and King Leopold and his court moved to Passau. On July 14, the Turks reached Vienna.
They laid siege to the great city. One of the disadvantages that the Turks had was that they did not have sufficient heavy artillery. The defenders fought bravely but their food supply and their ammunition were running low. The Turks had made some breaches in the walls but their effort was hindered by the barricades erected by the people of Vienna.
Earlier that year on March 31, 1683, King John III had signed the Treaty of Warsaw with the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold. In this treaty, they had agreed to come to one another’s aid if the Turks attacked either Krakow or Vienna. Following his agreement in the treaty and the appeal of the pope, Sobieski marched to Vienna with an army of about 30,000 men. Sobieski said that his purpose for going to Vienna was "to proceed to the Holy War, and with God's help to give back the old freedom to besieged Vienna, and thereby help wavering Christendom."
Kara Mustapha Pasha lead an Ottoman force of 140,000 against Vienna, defended by 11,000. The Viennese gave up their suburbs, withdrew inside the fortified town and prepared for a siege; Emperor Leopold had moved to the western regions of his Habsburg domains. While the siege (July 14th - Sept. 12th) made progress and the area surrounding Vienna was subjected to raids, relief armies had gathered in various regions of the Empire and in Poland (which had been a French ally and thus a Habsburg enemy, but was drawn into the Habsburg camp by papal diplomacy).
Vienna was a strong fortress, but by the end of August 1683, the city was in mortal danger of collapsing to the Turkish attack. Food and ammunition were inadequate, and on September 1, the Turks exploded a mine under the walls and captured one part of the city. Outside the walls however the outlook was brighter. The defeat of a Turkish corps at Bisamberg allowed for the concentration of the allied armies northwest of Vienna. Most importantly 30,000 Poles under their warrior-king Jan Sobieski, the savior of Vienna and Europe, had arrived (...)