Battle of Mohács (1526)
In the Battle of Mohács , the army of the Kingdom of Hungary under King Ludwig II and Pál Tomori suffered a crushing defeat on August 29, 1526 against the Ottoman army under Suleyman I near Mohács in southern Hungary. A little later the Ottomans were able to conquer large parts of Hungary and Croatia .
While Hungary had weakened the defensive forces needed for the fight against the Ottomans by the peasant uprising of György Dózsa in 1514 and its suppression, the Ottomans had expanded their empire in 1521 by conquering Belgrade in a north-westerly direction. Another campaign followed in 1526, directed against Hungary. Suleyman had taken a toll on Hungary ; When Hungary refused to pay, he marched north with an army of about 60,000 to 70,000 men (to which 10,000 horsemen (" Sipahis ") and 12,000 Janissaries belonged as elite troops). King Ludwig set out from Tolna on August 15th with his army. According to the Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga , the army, about 25,000 to 40,000 men in total, consisted mostly of peasants. In contrast, the German historian Michael Klein points out that the Hungarian peasantry behaved passively during the Turkish war. After being forced into serfdom in the wake of the suppressed uprising of 1514 , the peasants saw no difference between the oppression of the Hungarian magnates and that of the Turks. Since the nobility did not trust the peasants, the army going into battle had very few foot troops .
The army camp was set up near the village of Mohács; here they wanted to wait for more troops. The Transylvanian prince Johann Zápolya had received several requests to join the king with his troops. But he was a long time coming. The Ottoman army crossed the river Drava on August 20th and faced the Hungarian army on the 29th.
The Hungarians wanted to drive the Ottomans to flight without any prior knowledge of the Ottoman order of battle . When an Ottoman unit of Sipahis appeared, the entire heavy cavalry of the Hungarians attacked, although only a part of the Hungarian army (28,000 to 30,000 men) had been made ready for action. The Sipahis, however, withdrew in an orderly manner and lured the Hungarians into an ambush by Ottoman artillery ( Topçu ). Numerous Hungarians were killed in gunfire and general panic set in. The fleeing Hungarian units were driven into the swamps by the advancing Ottomans. 12,000 Hungarians were beheaded. King Ludwig II drowned in the Csele brook (his body was found two months later). A total of 24,000 men died in this battle, including 4,000 armored riders. The village of Mohács was burned down, farmers who were nearby, and all prisoners were killed as a deterrent. Suleyman reached Buda on September 10, but then withdrew and led more than 100,000 Hungarians into slavery .
The battle, in which tens of thousands of people were killed, gave the Habsburgs a larger territory. Due to the death of the Hungarian King Ludwig II , Bohemia and Hungary fell to the later Emperor Ferdinand I due to the double wedding in Vienna .
The Hungarian territory of the Habsburg Monarchy is called Royal Hungary from 1526 to 1700 . Large parts of Hungary were occupied by the Ottomans as a result of the Hungarian defeat, and the Kingdom of Hungary was divided into three parts after the end of the Hungarian civil war in 1541. Pressburg became the capital of Royal Hungary .
The other two parts were the central territory conquered by the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom in the east, which became the Principality of Transylvania in 1570 . This area was a vassal state of the Ottomans for much of its history .
The Habsburgs were elected kings of Hungary after 1526 who swore an oath on the constitution of the Kingdom of Hungary at the coronation . After Ottoman Hungary had been conquered by the Habsburgs after 1683, the term Royal Hungary was no longer used. Instead, after conquering the Ottoman part, the Habsburg kings referred to their Hungarian possessions again as the Kingdom of Hungary .
Even contemporaries attached great importance to the battle of Mohács. Before he advanced towards Vienna in 1529, Sultan Suleyman received his vassal , King Johann Zápolya , on the battlefield to receive his hand kiss. When ambassadors had developed in the second half of the century , the Austrian ambassadors used to stop on their way through Hungary to visit the battlefield in Mohács, where the first memorial stone was soon erected.
In later centuries the defeat of Mohács became just as important for Hungarian history as the Battle of the Blackbird Field (1389) for the Serbian or the Battle of the White Mountain (1620) for Czech history. All three losses were to national myths to symbols, in which the age of the rise of nationalism , the collective identity compacted. If you want to express in Hungarian that it could have been worse, the saying is still used today : Több is veszett Mohácsnál - “More was lost with Mohács”. Mohács has become the archetype of catastrophe .
In the school books of the 19th century, the story of the young king was told again and again, who went into battle without the necessary support of his magnates, was forced to flee by his followers and finally drowned in a stream. It was repeatedly pointed out that Ludwig supposedly had gray hair at the age of sixteen, which was interpreted as a sign of his early completion. The fact that when his cook asked where lunch should be served he replied: "God knows where we will have our lunch" was a sign of his death again and again. Depending on the political orientation of the day, the story wrested a different meaning from the defeat: After the suppression of the revolution of 1848 , the allegedly faithless behavior of the magnates, who did not want to take part in the Turkish war, also appeared typical of the present. After achieving national equality with the Austrians in 1867, when it seemed inappropriate to speak of the “death of the Hungarian nation”, Mohács was reinterpreted as a reminder to love the country .
In 19th century Hungarian history painting, too , scenes from the defeat at Mohács were depicted. In 1856, while in exile in Paris , the painter Mór Than created a depiction of the battle, centered around the heroically falling young king. The painting Soma Orlai Petrich dates from around 1856 and shows the funeral of the Hungarian fallen in a melodramatic way, with the woman of a fallen palatine in the center with hands raised to the sky. From 1860 to 1866, Bertalan Székely painted several depictions of the battle, all of which hang in the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest: One shows the discovery of King Ludwig's corpse, in another he depicts the gruesome scene in which the noble Mihály Dobozi his A woman would rather stab it by hand than let her fall into the hands of the victorious Turks. On a third painting, Székely paints the triumph of the Ottomans and the night in which Hungary's statehood was to sink for 150 years as a result of the battle in strong light and dark contrasts.
To mark the 450th anniversary of the day of the battle, a state monument was erected on the site in 1976, designed by the architect György Vadász .
- György Dalos, Hungary. Myths - teaching - textbooks , in: Monika Flacke (Ed.): Myths of Nations. A European panorama. An exhibition of the German Historical Museum under the patronage of Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl. Volume accompanying the exhibition from March 20, 1998 to June 9, 1998 , Köhler & Amelang, Munich and Berlin 1998, pp. 544–548
- Nicolae Jorga: History of the Ottoman Empire , Salzwasser, Paderborn 2011, ISBN 978-3-86382-408-2 .
- Josef Matuz: The Ottoman Empire. Basics of its history , 7th edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2012, ISBN 978-3-86312-326-0 .
- Klaus-Peter Matschke: The cross and the half moon. The history of the Turkish wars , Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 2004, ISBN 978-3-538-07178-0 .
- Nicolae Iorga: History of the Ottoman Empire. Depicted according to the sources . Second volume. Reprint of the 1909 edition. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1990, p. 398 f.
- Michael Klein: Historical thinking and class criticism from an apocalyptic perspective . Hamm 2004, p. 101, 102 ( fernuni-hagen.de [PDF; 841 kB ; accessed on February 20, 2013] Dissertation at Fernuni Hagen ).
- Klaus-Peter Matschke, The Cross and the Crescent. The history of the Turkish wars. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 2004, p. 242.
- Spencer C. Tucker (Ed.): A Global Chronology of Conflict. From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East . ABC Clio, Santa Barbara 2010, p. 498
- World of the Habsburgs / Battle of Mohács 1526 , Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.mbH, accessed on December 15, 2017
- Historians refer to the 15 years between the battle of Mohács and the final fall of Buda as the Hungarian civil war, in: Peter F. Sugar, Péter Hanák, Tibor Frank: A History of Hungary , p. 84
- Klaus-Peter Matschke, The Cross and the Crescent. The history of the Turkish wars , Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 2004, p. 248
- Klaus-Peter Matschke, The Cross and the Crescent. The history of the Turkish wars , Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 2004, p. 287ff
- also on the following György Dalos, Hungary. Myths - teaching - textbooks , in: Monika Flacke (Ed.): Myths of Nations. A European panorama. An exhibition of the German Historical Museum under the patronage of Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl. Volume accompanying the exhibition from March 20, 1998 to June 9, 1998 , Köhler & Amelang, Munich and Berlin 1998, pp. 544–548.
- Memorial to the Battle of Mohács ( Memento from January 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive )