The History of Jihad against the Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians (1444 -1699)
Islam Watch 10 September 2012
The Battle of Varna was the first battle in which Polish arms crossed those of the invading Ottomans. Responding to the appeals of help from the Serbs and Bulgarians and a general appeal from the Pope to all Europeans to rush to the aid of Bulgaria which was being ravaged by the Ottoman Jihadis, the Poles joined in large numbers to challenge the Ottoman at Varna.
The Battle of Varna took place on November 10, 1444 in eastern Bulgaria. In this battle the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Murad II was challenged by the Polish armies under Ladislaus III of Poland (W³adys³aw III Warneñczyk in Polish) and Hungarian armies under Janos Hunyadi.
At Varna, a mixed Christian army consisting mainly of Hungarian and Polish forces, but with detachments of Czechs, papal knights, Bosnians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Romanians and Routeni (Belarusians and Ukrainians),met with a numerically superior force of Ottoman Turks. The Hungarians were ill-equipped, and the promised support from Wallachia, Albania and Constantinople did not arrive. They also had promises from Venetians that their fleet would not allow Turkish army to cross the Bosphorus.
But fate had willed otherwise, and the 30,000 Crusaders were overwhelmed by 120,000 Turks. Over half of the soldiers from the united Christian army perished at Varna. This defeat opened up the gates for the conquest and occupation of Eastern Europe by Turks over the next several centuries.
But in spite of this defeat, at every step the Poles lent their arms to fight back the Ottomans, frustrating Ottoman designs to march through Central Europe into Poland and Prussia in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Poles also played an important role in sending the Turks packing when they laid their first siege to Vienna in 1529.
Turks attack Poland from the rear through the Ukraine
To checkmate the Poles, the Turks struck from the rear by opening another bridgehead up north on the Black Sea by attacking Ukraine in 1650 making their way towards the Polish district of Podolia by 1669. In those days a large part of Ukraine was a part of the Polish empire, as seen from the map below.
In launching this invasion into Poland from the rear of the Polish domain, the Ottomans, teamed up with the Mongol-Tartars, who had by then embraced Islam, and had become fellow Jihadis.
Russian retribution against earlier Islamic misdeeds fuelled the Tartars to join the Ottomans in attacking the Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians Russians (Muscovites) and Lithuanians.
Although the Tartars were past their prime, the survivors of the once powerful Khanate at Kazan south-east of Ukraine nursed a grudge against the Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians and Lithuanians who had overthrown the Kazan Khanate a century earlier. The Tartars vividly remembered how they had been attacked by the Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians and Lithuanians and the stiff resistance they had put up to the Russian Crusaders, around the Kul-Sheriff Mosque at the center of the Kazan fortress.
All the Tartars had died in the battlefield as martyrs. Their leader Yadigar Khan was taken prisoner together with several persons in his retinue. At that battle the Muslims of Kazan fought until there had not remained a single person in the battlefield. And after the battle when the city was captured, a terrible massacre of the Muslims had ensued that constituted one of the valiant pages of the Russian retribution against earlier Islamic misdeed. Nobody was left alive among the men. The women and children were too were killed only some of the people were taken as prisoners.
However, a small warrior group got out of the city and they took shelter in the forests in order to continue their struggles. These were the ones who kept the memory of the Russian retribution alive and were now thirsting for revenge against their Christian tormentors. All the wealth of Kazan had then been despoiled, and all the mosques and houses were destroyed and incinerated. Thereafter the "Kazan Khanate" that had been established by Ulug Muhammed Khan in the year of 1437 and which existed for 115 years was abolished by the Russian Tsar, Ivan IV on the date of 15th October 1552.
The Tartars of Kazan remembered this vividly and when they saw in the Ottomans move towards an alliance between the Turks and the Tartars, an opportunity to avenge the war with the Christians. Although the target of this Ottoman led war was not the Russians, it was targeted at the Poles. But for the Muslim Tartars, fighting the ?infidel? Christians was one and the same, whether the ?infidels? spoke Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian or the Lithuanian language, whether, they were of the Roman Catholic or Orthodox schools of Christianity.
For the Tartars, the Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians and Lithuanians were fellow Christians, and so they joined the Ottomans in their Jihad against the Christian Poles, as retribution for having lost their kingdom, to the Russians who too were Christian, but belonged to the Orthodox school. Ukraine in those days was divided between the Poles, Ukrainians, and Belarusians. The Poles ruled the Western part of Ukraine, and the Russians ruled the Eastern part. These parts were divided by the Dnieper river. The first Ottoman attacks on Poland was launched in 1669 and was repulsed by the Polish king Michael Wisniowiecki
After tasting their first defeat at the hands of the Poles, the Turks now allied themselves with their Muslim co-religionists, the Tartars. The Tatars and the Turks joined forces and again invaded Poland in the summer of 1671. Here they met their match in a man who was to play a seminal role in crushing the Turks on various front overt he next few years. This man was then a Grand Hetman (chieftain) of Polish part of Ukraine. His name was Jan Sobieski. Sobieski beat the Tatar troops at the Battle of Podolia using his favorite and successful tactics of massed artillery attacks against the fast moving Tartar-Ottoman cavalry to crush their offensive. (...)