The Ottoman Empire Season 2 Episode 2 Urdu | Suleiman the Magnificent | خلیفہ سلیمان عالی شان جب سلطنت عثمانیہ کا طوطی بولتا تھا
These crooked and leaning wooden posts standing in a small park of Hungary appear quite insignificant. But they cannot be ignored. This park is in the Hungarian town, Mohacs. Every wooden post is a memorial to the mass-grave. A historic battle between the Ottomans and the Hungarian army was held on this ground. A large number of Hungarians had lost their lives in this battle as well as their independence. It was 1526 AD when six years had past to the death of the first Ottoman Caliph Selim I. The new Ottoman Caliph Suleiman I, had conquered Belgrade and Rhodes, the Island of Mediterranean sea.
While Barbarossa Brothers conquered Algeria in North Africa and annexed it to the Ottoman Empire. The entire Europe lay open before the Ottomans. They could have easily got hold of it but a small army of 7000 forced the 100,000 Ottomans to retreat. Why and how?I will show you all this in the 2nd episode of the season II… of the series of Ottoman Empire by ‘Dekho, Suno, Jano.’ In 1526 two armies were eyeball to eyeball at the same place in the Hungarian town of Mohacs. 70,000 Ottoman troops stood on the one side while 30,000 Hungarians on the other.
The Hungarian emperor, Louis II was leading his army. It was the most crucial battle for the Hungarians. It was also the personal battle of every Hungarian soldier. They were well aware that defeat in this battle meant losing independence forever. Suleiman I also knew the significance of this encounter. This battle was a do or die for the Ottomans that reflected the importance of victory for them. Suleiman had also pulled down the bridge that served the most vital means to go back. On August 29, 1526 well equipped 100,000 Ottomans soldiers fiercely clashed with the enemy.
The Turkish guns were indiscriminately bombing the enemy. The Hungarians were also responding but they had less number of guns with them. Their gunners also lacked experience. This resulted in losses to the Hungarian army in the beginning of the battle. The horse-riders, Knights, were the real power of the Hungarian army. Louis II, in the first instance, ordered the Knights to attack the infantry of the Ottoman army. So that the Ottoman foot soldiers could be dispersed. The Hungarians horse-riders chanting slogans launched a forceful offensive on the front-line Ottomans.
But the Turks played a trick that the Hungarians could not even imagine. Turkish soldiers two stood shoulder-to-shoulder began to get apart from one another. So much so that the Hungarian horse-riders found an open way to move ahead through the Ottoman army. Now the Hungarian horse-riders could easily see Caliph Suleiman I at the end of his army. Apparently no hurdle stood in the way between the Hungarians and Caliph Suleiman. The Hungarians horse-riders might kill or arrest the Ottoman Caliph easily.
Tempted by this greed, thousands of Hungarians continued to ride ahead blindly. They galloped into this gap or trap. They reached very near to Caliph Suleiman. The Ottomans were already waiting for this moment. The falling apart Ottomans joined to line themselves up again. The Hungarian knights got surrounded by thousands of Ottoman troops. Had there been any other in stead of the Hungarian Knights, their morale would have been totally shattered. But they were the Knights like the Janissaries in the Ottoman army.
Highly trained and brave. Despite receiving arrows and lancers from all sides they continued attempts to target the Caliph. Remember they were not unsuccessful. They killed the guards and surrounded the Caliph. Lancers were tossed and arrows showered on the Caliph but he himself was a seasoned warrior. He escaped some assaults and took others on his chest but none proved fatal. Because he was wearing a strong body-armor But this tale of arrows, lancers and swords was just momentary. The Janissaries had taken over the Knights within no time.
Now the Knights were to face the powerful Janissaries in the first place and it was not a simple job at all. Because the Janissaries were equally sharp minded along with their fighting skill. First of all the Janissaries began to target horses of the Knights. The Hungarians Knights found imminent death as they saw killing and falling of their horses. The Knights continued to fall and lay down their life one after the other. All Knights died in the battlefield. The elimination of the Knights gave a big blow to the Hungarian military power.
The Hungarians had the only option to flee when 300 Ottoman guns opened fire on them in the evening. The leftover Hungarians might have returned to their city but a quagmire stood opening death-jaws on the way. The Hungarian soldiers fell victim to the quagmire and died. Hundreds others were drowned in a nearby river attempting to cross over the other side. The Hungary had lost its most precious 4000 Knights and 26000 soldiers in the day long fight. The Hungarian emperor Louis II, was also swallowed by the marsh.
It was the historic battle of Mohacs and this park is in its memory. Exhausted but filled with the delight of victory, Ottomans reached their camps and held celebrations at night. Next day Sultan Suleiman seated on a golden throne in his red tent. The chopped off 2000 heads of the enemy were piled up before him. This Ottoman victory sealed the fate of Hungary and it became a part of the Ottoman Empire. After conquest of Hungary the whole Europe stood open before the Ottomans. And Austria was the first country on that course. Suleiman did not take time in attacking Austria.
Only 3 years after conquest of Mohacs, the Ottomans were knocking the doors of Vienna, the Austrian capital On September 27, 1529, the Ottoman army of 120,000 besieged Vienna. Only 20,000 guards came from Vienna to face the Ottomans. They had only 72 guns against 300 of the Ottomans’. So the guards took position inside a fort in the city instead of fighting in the open. There was no comparison between the two forces in this battle that the Ottomans could have won easily. But it did not happen.. Why? The Ottoman guns opened heavy bombardment on the fort of Vienna.
On October 7, the Ottomans also got an important victory. 800 Knights had attacked the Ottomans from the rear but they were defeated and had 500 Knights beheaded. After that the continuous bombardment by the Turkish forces resulted in shattering the walls of Vienna fort. The Ottomans also blasted mines blasts at the bottom of the wall. This attack had collapsed the security wall of the city at many places. Now the Ottomans had found the way to move into the city and complete their victory. But here the Ottoman forces committed a historic blunder.
That they did not immediately attacked the city to capture it. The historians are failed to get the answer what deterred the Ottomans from attacking the city instantly. The reason may be any but delay in attack unduly prolonged the Ottomans’ besiege of the city. The Winter had started and heavy rains and the strong winds badly damaged camps of the Ottoman army. The Turkish soldiers losing their spirit. The food also run out of stock and Suleiman was mindful of all that yet he did not want to go back.
The problem was not the Caliph but the large army that was clearly changing its mood in this difficult situation. Caliph Suleiman also knew the time of his father Selim Yavuz. The Janissaries had encircled the camp of Selim Yavuz when he declined to go back during war with Iran. The Janissaries had pierced Selim’s tent with their lances. So Selim Yavuz was obliged to go back to escape any revolt within his army. Now Suleiman also feared insurgency in his army. Therefore he ordered his army to launch the last attack. He assured them of lifting the siege in case of defeat in that attack.
Ottoman forces made a forceful attack on the broken walls of Vienna fort but it was too late. By now the enemy had somewhat restored the dilapidated walls besides fortifying the defence. That was why the Ottomans failed in their last offensive. The guards of Vienna forced the Ottomans to draw back. After this defeat Suleiman I, lifted siege of Veinna. This defeat was the turning point for the Ottomans. The storm the Ottomans had raised from Anatolia and trampled the Eastern and the Central Europe… reverted from the shattered walls of Vienna.
Why? Later, the Ottomans made attempts to conquer Vienna but they failed. These failures also desisted them from making advancements to any other independent state of Europe. History shows the sequence of the Ottomans’ victories in Europe had also ended with their defeat in Vienna. Caliph Suleiman came back to Istanbul after defeat in Europe. But his aspiration for conquests remained intact. Now he turned to Asia. He attacked Iran and captured Tabriz. He also took away Baghdad from Iran in 1534.
But the Ottomans had faced much loss due to raids by the Iranians during the war and the interrupted supplies. Suleiman was himself commanding the Ottoman forces in Europe and Asia. But in African and the Mediterranean sea two brothers were the main force of the Ottomans. They were Oruc and Hayreddin; known in Europe as Barbarossa Brothers on account of their red beards. These Brothers lived in Lesbos Island, which is under the control of Greece at present. On the Ottoman ships the Brothers attacked the enemy ships and Islands.
They conquered Algeria in 1516 and included it in the Ottoman Sultanate. Oruc Barbarossa was killed in a fight with the Spanish army. Later Hayreddin Barbarossa took the command of the naval fleet and continued conquests. Barbarossa achieved many successes in the military campaigns of different nature. But two successes were such that inspired his fear in Europe and the North Africa. One was the success against Venice and the other was defeat to the naval fleet of the main European powers. Venice ships had attacked an Ottoman ship on which diplomatic staff was aboard.
This act highly infuriated Caliph Suleiman and he ordered Barbarossa… to capture all islands under the control of Venice in the Mediterranean sea. The chain of these Islands ran from Turkey to Italy. Leading 70 ships, Barbarossa attacked these islands and forced 24 of them to surrender. It was such a major success of the Ottomans that triggered hue and cry all over Europe. The Ottomans captured the most important sea coasts whereof the European trade had came under threat. So Venice, Geneva and Spain got united against the Ottomans to avert this danger and avenge the defeat.
On the command of the Pope, they also prepared a naval fleet. This fleet had 300 ships and 60,000 soldiers. This united fleet was named ‘Holy League.’ The command of this fleet was entrusted to the famous marine Commander of Geneva, Andrea Doria. Simultaneously with the war preparations, Spanish Emperor Charles V was trying a deal with Barbarossa. Historians say, Charles V had offered Barborassa many coastal areas of Africa including Libyan city, Tripoli In return he wanted Barbarossa to destroy the Ottoman fleet.
But Barbarossa insisted on getting the whole coastal belt of North Africa; from Morocco to Egypt. This demand was somewhat too much for Charles V. There were other reasons also. In short talks between them failed and failure meant war. In 1538 a historic battle took place between the fleet of Barbarossa and Andrea Doria at Preveza near Greece. History reminds it by the name of the ‘Battle of Preveza.’ Andrea Doria had 300 ships and 60,000 soldiers on his fleet. Barbarossa on the other had 150 ships and vessels of different size and only 12,000 soldiers.
The European ships were equipped with heavy guns; sufficient to sink the Ottoman fleet in the open sea. But Barbarossa made a great move. That instead of facing the whole European fleet, he drove his fleet to Arta near Greece. Here the sea mouth was wide enough to let only one ship to sail through at one time. Barbarossa stationed his ships in semi circle at this orifice. So that ships of Andrea Doria could be targeted one by one when they would pass through this narrow path. Andrea Doria with his fleet was chasing the fleet of Barbarossa.
When Andrea saw the narrow mouth of the strait from a distance he got the sense of Barbarossa’s maneuvering. So instead of going ahead, he drew back with his fleet. But a mistake was committed by his fleet while sailing back. That the European ships lost order and formation while going back. That the European ships got scattered in the sea. Despite efforts, Doria failed to bring his ships back to the desired military formation. Along with large ships of Spain, Andrea Doria went ahead of the rest of the fleet. A number of ships were left behind including that belonging to Venice.
Barbarossa was looking at all that. The Nature had given him a rare chance so he ended his defence position and attacked the scattered rival fleet. He formed his ships into ‘Y’ and surrounded and destroyed the enemy ships one by one. The Crusade ships were sinking. Unluckily, Andrea Doria did not come to the rescue of the European ships despite the fact he knew the situation. The colleague commanders beseeched Andrea to avail the chance of destroying the Ottoman fleet. They wanted Andrea Doria to move back with the Spanish ships.
But Doria did not agree to it or possibly he had failed to take a prompt decision as to what way… he should strike back that his victory was certain or he could rescue the ships from the siege of the Ottomans It was his timidity, inability to decide or anything else, but it resulted in destruction of two ships and… and capture of seven others by Barbarossa. Some counted 12 the number of Crusade ships destroyed at that time. Among the destroyed ships mostly belonged to Venice and not Spain. The government of Venice was distressed that Doria, the commander of Spanish emperor, did not help its ships.
Therefore Venice separated itself from the Holy League and became friend of the Ottomans. Venice also paid 300,000 Ducats as war indemnity to the Turkish government. And acknowledged the Turkish control over its number of Islands. Hence the Turks established their supremacy over the vital trade route, the Mediterranean sea. This supremacy of the Ottomans peristed for the next 30 years. This all had become possible due to the Turk Commander Hayreddin Barbarossa. These conquests were taking place during the rule of Suleiman I.
With the demise of Suleiman I in 1566, the downfall of the great Ottoman empire also started. Only five years later in 1571, another war took place near the Western Greece. This time the Turks had big war ships, heavy guns and large army but it missed Hayreddin Barbarossa. So how the Turks fought this battle? It is a very interesting story. We had promised in the last episode to show the accounts of that war in the present episode. And also encounter between the 7000 and 100,000 troops and tale of ending tradition of killing the brothers.
But we cannot show you all that in this episode due to paucity of time. With interesting details we will show you these stories in the next episode of ‘Ottoman Empire’ season II series. We have a little surprise for you in the next few days. Wait or guess and write in the comments section what that surprise may be? Meanwhile the surprise is announced,
Part 3 :: The Ottoman Empire Season 2 Episode 3 Urdu | Battle of Lepanto & Napoleon Bonaparte
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