We remember in September

12 SEP 1683, at 1600 hours, Polish infantry skirmished their way to some flat ground outside of the besieged city of Vienna, and paused while their king — Jan III Sobieski — and 3,000 of his Winged Hussars emerged from the tree-line.

The Ottoman commander facing them sent a few companies to probe the Polish lines, at which point the Polish infantry fell back, leaving the heavy Hussars in place. 

Seeing the Polish infantry retreating, the Ottoman commander ordered his cavalry on the left wing to engage the Poles and drive them from the battlefield.

One can only imagine the shock of the Sipahis when the Hussars began a canter towards them; indeed, the German infantry troop of the Holy Roman Empire to the left of the Hussars paused in awe as the Polish heavy cavalry lowered lances and burst into a full gallop at 50 paces from the Ottoman forces. 

And then the Ottomans learned that in the Winged Hussars they faced the finest cavalry in the world, as they were smashed and scattered to the winds. 

At 1800 hours, the Ottoman cavalry dead or fled, King Jan III Sobieski linked up with allied elements and personally led his 3,000 Winged Hussars, an additional 17,000 friendly cavalry, and his set of ordnance-steel family jewels into the elite Janissary infantry of the Ottoman Empire like the fist of an angry god. 

The Janissaries, who were guarding the Ottoman encampment, did their level best against the Husaria. They really did, managing to slow the furious charge, before they broke under the lance-points and thrashing hooves of the Winged Hussars, and allowing the Polish king to drive straight through the heart of the Ottoman encampment. 

At that, Turkish lines collapsed, and routed. As many as 15,000 dead littered the wake of the charge. Another 5,000 Ottoman troops were taken prisoner. 

Three hours after the Poles entered the game, King Jan III Sobieski walked clanked into the empty tent of Kara Mustafa Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. 

Kara Mustafa probably should have hung around — on Christmas Day of that year, at the direct orders of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Kara Mustafa was strangled for the crime of having had his butt handed to him by 3,000 raging winged Poles and their steel-spined king. 

Thanks to Poland and her children, on 12 SEP 1683, the Turkish invasion of Europe took a metaphorical punch to the nose, and in 1699, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Karlowitz, which ended Turkish rule over Central Europe.

We remember in September.


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17 thoughts on “We remember in September”

  1. Sobieski was a good soldier but poor king, with little understanding of international politics and easily influenced by the foreign ambassadors and lobbyist (his french wife among them). Which is why he came from Vienna with empty hands (aside from some colorful turkish trinkets), just enabling the Austrian Empire to take part in future partition of Poland. He spent huge amount of revenue on the vainglorious expedition, instead of consolidating Poland and making attempt at creating stable government and ensuring his son election. For me as a Pole, Vienna is a lesson to not be a generous sucker.

    1. Yes, but to those of us who know history, Vienna was proof that polish soldiers clank when they walk. Sobieski definitely helped cement your fearsome reputation.

  2. Sabaton has a song about this very battle. If you do not know They do heavy metal with historical events. If you have not listened to them but like history they are definitely worth it.

  3. Sorry you already have the link up I saw a picture of Colo Noir and thought that was the video. you had embedded. This is a great song .

    1. I can't see the link…is it to "The Winged Hussars Arrived"? Love that song.

  4. Being the bridge between Prussia (Germany) and Russia tends to breed men who clank when they walk. It also breeds men (and women) with long memories. I hope the dems don't screw them over like they have some of our other allies. I'm glad Trump is moving our troops out of Germany and into Poland.

    P.S. Polish armor units should adopt the Sabaton song as the anthem.

  5. Love Sabaton. They have other songs based on historical events. A bit more frenetic than Johnny Horton.

    The movie "Day Of The Siege" depicts the historical event. The real Flying Hussars must have been something to behold. I liked the movie.


  6. Great song and awesome history.

    If Sabaton is ever playing nearby, do yourself a favor and go see them. They put on a hell of a show.

  7. The Poles are STILL saving Western Civilization today.
    Ulises from CA

  8. I was supposed to be seeing Sabaton open for Judas Priest on the 12th.

    Damn WuFlu

  9. Polish codebreakers were instrumental in breaking the Enigma codes in WWII.
    Polish pilots fought in the RAF in the Battle of Britain.
    Polish resistance through the Solidarity union was instrumental in the breakup of the Soviet Union.
    Poland (and Hungary) refuse to admit Islamist "refugees" to settle and establish cells in their countries, despite pressure from the EU.

  10. Posted something in similar vein on FB, love Sabaton's history lessons!

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