Battle of Mohács 1526: Hungarian Kingdom vs. Ottoman Empire - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14469339
The Battle of Mohács was fought on 29 August 1526 near Mohács, Hungary and was a decisive event for the history of East-Central Europe for the following centuries. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.



Preparations

he loss of Belgrade (Nandorfehervar) in 1521 caused great alarm in Hungary, but the too-late and too-slowly-recruited 60,000 strong royal army – led by the king - forgot to take food along, so therefore the army disbanded spontaneously under the pressure of hunger and disease without even trying to recapture Belgrade, the southern key of Hungary, from the newly installed Turkish garrisons. In 1523, Archbishop Pál Tomori, a valiant priest-soldier, was made Captain of Southern Hungary. The general apathy that had characterized the country forced him to lean on his own bishopric revenues when he started to repair and reinforce the second line of Hungary's border defense system.

Three years later, an Ottoman army set out from Istanbul on 16 April 1526, led by Suleiman the Magnificent personally. The Hungarian nobles, who still did not realize the dimensions of the approaching danger, did not heed their King's call to the colours. Louis II ordered them to encamp on 2 July but no one reported on that day – not even the King. Only when Louis himself furnished an example with his appearance in the camp did things start to move. The Hungarian war council – without waiting for their reinforcements only a few days march away – made a serious tactical error by choosing the battlefield near Mohacs, an open but uneven plain with some swampy marshes.

The Hungarian army was divided into three main units: the Transylvanian army under John Zápolya, charged with guarding the passes in the Transylvanian Alps, with between 8,000 and 13,000 men; the main army, led by Louis himself (beside numerous Spanish, German, Czech and Serbian mercenaries); and another smaller force, commanded by the Croatian count Christoph Frankopan, numbering around 5,000 men. Due to geography, the Ottoman army's ultimate goal could not be determined until it was crossing the Balkan Mountains. Unfortunately for the Hungarians, by the time the Ottoman army had crossed, the Transylvanian and Croatian army was further from Buda than the Ottomans were. Contemporary historical records, though sparse, indicate that Louis preferred a plan of retreat, in effect ceding the country to Ottoman advances, rather than directly engaging the Ottoman army in open battle.

The Hungarian forces chose the battlefield, an open but uneven plain with some swampy marshes near Mohács leading down to the Danube. The Ottomans had been allowed to advance almost unopposed. While Louis waited in Buda, they had besieged several towns and crossed the Sava and Drava Rivers. Louis assembled around 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers (with Croatian and Polish contingents and about 800-1,000 soldiers of the Papal States) while the Ottoman army numbered around 50,000. However, military history books from the 21st century calculate the number of the Ottoman Army around 100,000 men. The Ottomans are said to have numbered over twice as many — though this figure is exaggerated — and had up to 160 cannon. "The Hungarian army was arrayed to take advantage of the terrain and hoped to engage the Ottoman army piecemeal. The only advantage the Magyars had that day was that their troops were well-rested, while the Turks had just completed a strenuous march in scorching summer heat. But rather than attacking their fatigued enemy then, the Hungarians just watched as they struggled through the marshy terrain. It would have been "unchivalrous" to attack the enemy when they were not yet ready for battle.



Battle

Hungary built up an expensive but obsolete army, structured similarly to that of King Francis I at the Battle of Pavia mostly reliant on old fashioned heavily armoured knights on armoured horses (gendarme knights ). The Hungarian line consisted of two lines, the first with a center of mercenary infantry and artillery and the majority of the cavalry on either flank. The second line was a mix of levy infantry and cavalry.

Like the uncertainty over the number of actual combatants, there is debate over the length of the battle. Its starting time is generally placed between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM, but the endpoint is difficult to ascertain. While some historians have placed the length of the battle at two to three hours, this seems unlikely given several important factors. The Ottoman army did not retreat from the field and enter camp after the battle; instead, they remained on the field all night without food, water, or shelter. Given that the Ottoman historians all note that it was raining, it seems likely that had the battle been short and ended early in the afternoon, by 5:00 PM at the latest, the Sultan would have ordered his army to camp or at least to return to their baggage. The few reliable sources indicate that Louis left the field at twilight and made his escape under cover of darkness; since the sun would not have set until 6:27 PM on 29 August 1526, this would imply that the battle lasted significantly longer than two to three hours (perhaps as long as four or five).

As the first of Suleiman's troops, the Rumelian army, advanced onto the battlefield, they were attacked and routed by Hungarian troops led by Pál Tomori. This attack by the Hungarian right was successful in causing considerable chaos among the irregular Ottoman troops, but even as the Hungarian attack pressed forward, the Ottomans rallied with the arrival of Ottoman regulars deployed from the reserves. While the Hungarian right advanced far enough at one time to place Suleiman in danger from Hungarian bullets that struck his cuirass, the superiority of the Ottoman regulars and the timely charge of the Janissaries, the elite troops of the Ottomans, probably overwhelmed the attackers, particularly on the Hungarian left. The Hungarians took serious casualties from the skillfully handled Turkish artillery and musket volleys. The Hungarians could not hold their positions, and those who did not flee were surrounded and killed or captured. The result was a disaster, with the Hungarians advancing into withering fire and flank attacks, and falling into the same trap that John Hunyadi had so often used successfully against the Ottomans. The king left the battlefield sometime around twilight but was thrown from his horse in a river at Csele and died, weighed down by his heavy armor. Some 1,000 other Hungarian nobles and leaders were also killed. It is generally accepted that more than 14,000 Hungarian soldiers were killed in the initial battle.

Suleiman could not believe that this small, "suicidal" army was all that once powerful country could muster against him, so he waited at Mohacs for a few days before moving cautiously against Buda.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Moh%C3%A1cs
#14470004
Beating up a 3rd rate european power.

Hang on. Hungary had one of the most sophisticated militaries in Europe in the 15th century. They were among the first to adopt gunpowder technology on the battlefield and even had a standing army.

Well it was an important battle. Wikipedia has just been used as a preliminary reference.
This is the history section. Even at school, history lessons mostly treats or refers to battles.

I'm not complaining that you posted a thread about a battle. I complaining that that all you did was copy-paste a wikipedia article without expressing any opinion or original commentary. It defeats the purpose of a forum.

I am going to make a million threads in this subforum about all the battles in history posted on wikipedia.

Start with Blenheim. Because why not?
#14470014

Hang on. Hungary had one of the most sophisticated militaries in Europe in the 15th century. They were among the first to adopt gunpowder technology on the battlefield and even had a standing army.



Right. They were the South-Eastern stronghold of Europe.
The Hungarian Kingdom, back then, covered Slovakia, Croatia and most of what Romania is today.
They were the most powerful Kingdom in all that area.

Actually, Hungary was a powerful nation.
They became irrelevant after Mohacs and never recovered.
#14470226
Right. They were the South-Eastern stronghold of Europe.
The Hungarian Kingdom, back then, covered Slovakia, Croatia and most of what Romania is today.
They were the most powerful Kingdom in all that area.

Actually, Hungary was a powerful nation.
They became irrelevant after Mohacs and never recovered.

Right. Because the Turks did it. If it weren't for us, Hungary would have gone on to become a hegemonic state that would have taken over all of Europe.
#14470308
Not the whole Europe but the Carpathian for sure.
It is like Serbia, they were assimilating both Bulgars and Albanians when Turks foot stepped in the Balkans.
Serbia would have covered between the Adriatic and the Black Sea; it is the Ottomans who stopped them.

Actually the battle of Kosovo can be my next thread
#14470323
And failed for the third time.

Austria was never able to fully dedicate its forces to the east. It had a whole host of european powers to contend with, not least the french.

The ottomans were still great individual warriors and could still do a seige or defend a fortress. They were useless in set piece battles though because they didnt embrace the professional and scientific developments of war. I am not sure why that is the case when they were so far head of the game in the early years.
#14486857
Doomhammer wrote:Hang on. Hungary had one of the most sophisticated militaries in Europe in the 15th century. They were among the first to adopt gunpowder technology on the battlefield and even had a standing army.


Did that army advance during the subsequent century? There were no more Hussite veterans to swell their ranks and give them an edge. Resting on the laurels of past rulers (Corvinus) only lasts so long.
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