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Battle of Vienna, 12 September 1683

When it comes to actual events, the ratio of inspiring to distressing is distressingly low these days.  Yet, with a little background information, I find the video linked below an inspirational reminder of a crucial past defeat of Islam by Christendom.  It is also a reminder that it took those with Christian faith to do it.

This won’t speak to everyone.  There are some things that you want to share, but sometimes just can’t.  It takes two to share.

In July 1683 Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa of the Ottoman Empire arrived at the gates of Vienna with an army of 140 to 240 thousand troops.  The defenders numbered 15,500, including 5,000 civilians. By September the vastly outnumbered Christian defenders were depleted and exhausted.  If Vienna fell, it was an open road to Rome for Islam.

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On what was quite possibly literally the last possible day, Vienna, and indeed Christendom, was saved from Islam by a Christian relief force led by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland.

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On September 12 (Sobieski had arrived on 9-11!) Sobieski led against the Ottoman Turkish forces what is reputed to be the largest cavalry charge in history: 20,000 riders, with 3,000 Winged Hussars in the vanguard.

Sobieski didn’t order the charge, he didn’t direct the charge, he led the charge with his Winged Hussars.  Winged Hussars…?

Here they are:

To me, parts of this video are a glimpse of what Sobieski’s charge must have looked like.  Maybe to you too.

In reality, the Battle of Vienna was a brutal, God-awful bloody mess.  But without these men you’d be living in a seventh-century hovel, praying to Allah 5 times a day.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Brother Bob

Retired economics professor. Born again Christian. Now an OK country boy.


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