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CompleteMartialArts.com - Vienna 1683: Christian Europe Repels the Ottomans (Campaign)

Vienna 1683: Christian Europe Repels the Ottomans (Campaign)
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Manufacturer: Osprey Publishing
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 355
EAN: 9781846032318
ISBN: 1846032318
Label: Osprey Publishing
Manufacturer: Osprey Publishing
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 96
Publication Date: 2008-02-19
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Release Date: 2008-02-19
Studio: Osprey Publishing

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Editorial Reviews:

The capture of the Hapsburg city of Vienna was a major strategic aspiration for the Islamic Ottoman Empire, desperate for the control that the city exercised over the Danube and the overland trade routes between southern and northern Europe. In July 1683 Sultan Mehmet IV proclaimed a jihad and the Turkish grand vizier, Kara Mustafa Pasha, laid siege to the city with an army of 150,000 men.

In September a relieving force arrived under Polish command and joined up with the defenders to drive the Turks away. The main focus of this book is the final 15-hour battle for Vienna, which climaxed with a massive charge by three divisions of Polish winged hussars. This hard-won victory marked the beginning of the decline of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which was never to threaten central Europe again.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The Book presents very well the victory of the expedition force of army of King Sobieski's Poland over turks at Vienna 1683
Comment: Destroing, literally, turkich mitary surroudning Vienna, on urgent request of the Pope send to polish King Jan Sobieski , whilst the other european contries did almost nothing in that highly dramatic situation of Vienna, cannot be overestimated in respect of saving of european civilisation from barbarism. Yet, nor Austria, nor Pope, nobody, offered Poland some financial compensation of the costs of the organizing the expeditionary force, and Poland's economy soon had been ruined by that, and ... Sweeden used the moment to attack Poland from the North and occupy it. Nobody helped Poland.
Wiktor Nowicki, a polish-american.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: What Happened to the Maps?
Comment: In Osprey's Campaign 191, Vienna 1683, author Simon Millar tells the story of the last great Ottoman campaign of conquest in Europe. This is a dramatic period in history, charged with emotion and ideology on both sides, although these aspects are played down in favor of a strait-up campaign narrative. In describing the campaign, the author is able to stay on track and stick to essentials, resulting in a cogent summary of the military operations, although somewhat devoid of analysis. Furthermore, the narrative is weakened by the inadequate number and indifferent quality of the maps used to support it - in stark contrast to most Osprey volumes. On the other hand, the volume is enhanced by the superb artwork of Peter Dennis. In sum, good text, poor maps, good battle scenes.

The author begins with an introduction that sketches out the security environment facing Austria in 1683, which seems to stress that Louis XIV posed more of a threat to the Hapsburgs than the Ottomans, which seems a bit strange. Certainly France was interested in making gains against Hapsburg dominions in the Low Countries, Germany and Italy, but unlike the Ottomans, the French armies were unlikely to march on Vienna, massacre the population and burn the city to the ground. Indeed, the author appears to be confusing two different styles of warfare (limited, focused on exchange of provinces versus total, focused on exchange of cultures). The section on opposing commanders is decent, but devotes far more space to Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I who played only a small role in the actual campaign, as compared to the thin blurb on Count Ernst Starhemberg who led the actual defense of Vienna. I think most of us would rather know more about the soldiers who actually won/lost the battle, than the figureheads who watched afar from a convent window. The author does paint a convincing portrait of Kara Mustafa Pasha, the Ottoman grand vizier who staked his reputation on taking Vienna.

The section on opposing armies is a bit skimpy at four pages, covering the Imperial forces, the Polish-Lithuanian Army and the Ottoman Army. Four uniform illustrations by Peter Dennis did highlight this section. However, the order of battle is a complete disappointment, with only generic totals listed. Does the author mean that he can find no greater detail on the Vienna garrison that it consisted of about 12,000 men in 72 infantry companies and a regiment of cavalry? Seems a bit lame. The volume has a total of seven 2-D Maps (Central and Eastern Europe in 1683; Vienna and the River Danube in 1683; the siege of Vienna; the Tatar Raids into Austria; the opposing sides concentrate their forces on Vienna; the march of the Christian forces through the Wienerwald; the reconquest of Hungary) but only one 3-D Map (the Battle of Kahlenberg, 12 September 1683). There are also three battle scenes (the Ottomans arrive before Vienna; an Ottoman attack on the city walls is repelled; the charge of the Polish winged hussars) by Peter Dennis

The most difficult section of the book to follow is the 14 pages on the beginning of the campaign, since the maps don't show the Ottoman advance on Vienna and their outmaneuvering of the Austrian blocking forces. In this section, the author notes that Austrian mobilization was hindered by economic weakness and the Ottoman violation of an existing peace treaty. Certainly the best section in this volume is the 21-page section on the actual defense of Vienna. Unfortunately, the lack of proper maps makes it very difficult to follow the author's description of the various Ottoman assaults and mining operations, since the maps fail to identify the bastions. Furthermore, the one 2-D map he provides does not show the position of Ottoman artillery batteries or much detail on the siege works. Nor is there any real mention of casualties, so it is difficult to gauge whether the besiegers were gaining on the defenders.

The Austro-Bavarian-Saxon-Polish relief of Vienna is covered in the 17-page section on the battle of Kahlenberg. This action is described in some detail, particularly the effects of terrain on the Allied advance, but it is far from clear why the Ottomans lost this battle. The final sections cover the aftermath of the campaign, including the final defeat of the retreating Ottoman invasion army at the Battle of Parkany and the resultant execution of Kara Mustafa for his failure. Although the author provides a brief section on the battlefield today, I was surprised that he made no mention of the Museum of Military History in Vienna, which has exhibits on this battle. Overall, not a bad volume and one that certainly summarizes a less-well-known campaign, but with a little effort it could have been much better.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Good summary account on the last high tide of Islam against Europe
Comment: In less then 100 pages, Simon Millar managed to write an excellent summary account of the last major military offensive conducted by Islamic Ottoman Empire against Christian Europe in 1683 when the Turks tried but failed to capture the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire, Vienna.

The book follows the typical Osprey Campaign series format where the background information on the campaign, its leaders and the military forces involved were given in a brief summary. However, the author did a pretty good job making it informative but not too detail. The book comes with excellent maps and illustrations that convey the subject matter quite well. The narrative proves to be quite interesting and author writes with prose and insights that make the book easy to read as well as enjoyable. I thought it was pretty ironic that the Polish kingdom that saved Vienna in 1683 would be dismembered by the same political unit that they saved within the hundred years period. This also marked the long decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire that will end its existence after World War I and the last time an militant Islam wages a war against the Christian heartland until the current time. The Ottoman Empire's efforts against Vienna in 1683 is not a well known subject matter for many, including myself and I thought the book filled the void quite excellently along the basic level.

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