Battle of Grocka
The Battle of Grocka, also known as Battle of Krotzka, (Turkish: Hisarcık Savaşı) was fought between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire on July 21–22, 1739, in Grocka, Belgrade. The Ottomans were victorious and took the city of Belgrade. The battle was part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars.
|Battle of Grocka|
|Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe and Ottoman-Habsburg wars|
Description of Battle of Grocka by Henry Köpp, 1753
|Habsburg Monarchy||Ottoman Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg
|Grand Vizier İvaz Mehmet Pasha|
|Casualties and losses|
|7,000 killed 7,000 wounded||Unknown|
The Habsburgs had direct orders from Emperor Charles VI to engage the enemy at the first possible opportunity.
The Habsburg army broke up camp at Vinča (Zweibrücken) on July 20 between 22:00 and 23:00h and moved south through difficult terrain. On the morning of July 21, the Imperial cavalry consisting of the Pállfy and Savoy regiments encountered the Turkish army and attacked without waiting for the infantry. The Ottoman forces were better prepared and, outnumbering their opponent, could fire on the Habsburgs from higher hidden positions.
The Habsburg cavalry was then cut off and only the Savoy Regiment was able to break out. When the Habsburg infantry arrived, the battle raged on until nightfall, when the Habsburgs decided to retreat to Vinča. The Ottomans did not pursue.
On July 23, the Habsburgs withdrew further to Belgrade.
The Ottoman Army followed and laid siege to Belgrade, until the Habsburgs signed the Treaty of Belgrade on September 18 and left the city.
In this battle, the Habsburg cavalry alone had suffered 2,142 killed and wounded, between 25 and 50% of their total effectives.
The defeat at Grocka had an enormous psychological impact at the Austrian Court. After a series of resounding victories against the Ottomans under Eugene of Savoy, a short and victorious campaign was expected again this time. The unexpected defeat made the Habsburgs eager for peace. The Ottoman diplomats took advantage and obtained the very advantageous Treaty of Belgrade, in which all Habsburg conquests in the Balkans were given back, including Belgrade, with the exception of the Banat.
The Habsburg Monarchy paid a high price for neglecting to maintain an efficient army and to look for a worthy successor for Eugene of Savoy. Fieldmarshal Wallis, charged with negligence, was court-martialled and condemned to imprisonment in the castle of Spielberg. He was released three months later, when he was pardoned by the new Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
- Wheatcroft, Andrew, The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe, (Bodley Head Random House, 2008), 240.
- Nicolle, David (1983). Armies of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1774. Osprey Publishing. pp. 33–34. ISBN 0-85045-511-1.
- Abbott, John Stevens Cabot (1859). John Stevens Cabot Abbott, The Empire of Austria. p. 406–407.
- Battle of Grocka (1739), Alexander Mikaberidze, Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol.1, ed. Alexander Mikaberidze, (ABC-CLIO, 2011), 350.
- Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, 4th Edition, (HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), 689.
- Lund, Eric A. (1999). War for the Every Day: Generals, Knowledge, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe, 1680-1740. Greenwood Press. p. 180. ISBN 0-313-31041-6.
- Bodart, Gaston (1916). Losses of Life in Modern Wars, Austria-Hungary: France. H. Milford. pp. 39.