Battle of Párkány

The Battle of Párkány (Turkish: Ciğerdelen Savaşı) was a battle fought between October 7–9, 1683 in the town of Párkány (today: Štúrovo), in the Ottoman Empire, and the area surrounding it as part of the Polish-Ottoman War and the Great Turkish War. The battle was fought in two stages. In the first stage Polish troops under John III Sobieski were defeated by the Ottoman army under Kara Mehmed Pasha on October 7, 1683. In the second stage Sobieski, supported by Austrian forces under Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, defeated the Ottoman forces, which were supported by the troops of Imre Thököly, and gained control of Párkány on October 9, 1683. After the Ottoman defeat, the Austrians would besiege Esztergom and captured it at the end of 1683.

Battle of Párkány
Part of Polish–Ottoman War (1683-1699)
Great Turkish War
John III of Poland during the battle of Párkány in 1683.PNG
John III of Poland at the Battle of Párkány in 1683
DateOctober 7–9, 1683
Párkány (Ciğerdelen, then Ottoman Empire; now Štúrovo, Slovakia)
47°47′57″N 18°43′05″E / 47.79917°N 18.71806°E / 47.79917; 18.71806
Result Christian Coalition victory
The Habsburgs take control of Párkány.
Royal Banner of Jan III Sobieski.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
 Holy Roman Empire
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ottoman Empire
Coat of arms of Hungary.svg Principality of Upper Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Herb Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodow (Alex K).svg John III Sobieski
Blason Lorraine.svg Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg
Coat of arms of Baden.svg Ludwig Wilhelm, Margrave of Baden-Baden
Herb Jabłonowskich.PNG Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Kara Mehmed Pasha
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Kara Mustafa Pasha
Coat of arms of Hungary.svg Imre Thököly
27,000 troops[citation needed] 17,000 troops
1,000 Janissary[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
1,000 killed[citation needed] 9,000 killed or captured[citation needed]

Prelude to battleEdit

On May 1, 1683, the Ottoman Empire attacked the Holy Roman Empire and besieged Vienna on July 14, 1683.[1] On September 6 the Polish army under John III Sobieski arrived in Tulln and united with Imperial forces and additional troops from Saxony, Bavaria, Baden, Franconia and Swabia who had answered the call for a Holy League that was supported by Pope Innocent XI.[2]

The Ottoman army, totaling around 150,000 men under Kara Mustafa Pasha, was defeated on September 11, 1683.[1] The main part of the Ottoman forces retreated to the Balkans. A part of the Ottoman army under Kara Mehmed Pasha encamped in Párkány, Hungary, where they were supported by Imre Thököly, a local ruler.[3] Polish forces under Sobieski followed the Ottoman troops to Párkány to destroy them as they retreated.[1]


First StageEdit

On October 6, 1683, the Polish army reached the environs of Párkány. The army commanders advised caution, suggesting the advanced guards should rest for a day.[1] Instead, Sobieski decided to surprise the Ottoman army by attacking it with his cavalry. On October 7, 1683, a Polish force of around 5,000 under Sobieski advanced in a rather disorganized manner towards the Ottoman positions. A Polish dragoon regiment under Stefan Bidziński was leading the advance.[4] Suddenly a mass of Ottoman cavalry surged forward to attack them. The dragoon regiment was caught completely by surprise—it did not even have the match-cords of its muskets lit—and was quickly overwhelmed. The surviving dragoons fled back in panic into Sobieski's main force, closely followed by the Turkish horse, and forced the Poles to beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the Imperial army, which was following several kilometers behind.[4] The Polish army lost around 1,000 soldiers; only the intervention of the Imperial cavalry prevented the Ottoman troops from causing far heavier losses.[5]

Second stage of battleEdit

On October 8, 1683, Imperial reinforcements totaling 16,700 troops under Charles V, Duke of Lorraine joined the Polish army. After defeating the Polish cavalry, Kara Mehmed Pasha was sent 8,000 elite cavalrymen by Kara Mustafa Pasha. The troops of Imre Thököly were waiting for attack orders on the outskirts of Párkány. On October 9, 1683, the Imperial Army formed three lines. In the center of the lines were positioned 7,600 infantrymen under Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg.[5] The Polish army was positioned on the wings. Sobieski led the right wing and Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski the left[citation needed] On the right side of the lines 4,500 German cavalry under Ludwig Wilhelm, Margrave of Baden-Baden were positioned. On the left side of the lines 4,500 cavalry were positioned under Johann von Dünewald.[5] The Ottoman forces attacked the first line of the Imperial army unsuccessfully and were flanked by the Polish cavalry. The Ottoman forces were defeated and lost about 9,000 men during the battle.[1]


After defeating the Ottomans in Párkány, the imperial forces continued their march and inflicted several more defeats on the Ottomans, while gaining control of Ottoman territories in Hungary. Kara Mustafa Pasha was executed by the sultan for failing to defend the Hungarian territories of the Ottoman Empire.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f John Stoye (2008). The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent. Pegasus Books. pp. 94, 151, 179–81. ISBN 978-1-933648-63-7.
  2. ^ Szántai, Gábor (December 5, 2017). 33 Castles, Battles, Legends: Hungarian-Ottoman War Series 1. Szántai Gábor.
  3. ^ Hötte, Hans H. A. (December 17, 2014). Atlas of Southeast Europe: Geopolitics and History. Volume One: 1521-1699. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-28888-1.
  4. ^ a b Richard Brzezinski (1987). Polish armies 1569–1696. Osprey Publishing. p. 37. ISBN 0-85045-744-0.
  5. ^ a b c Simon Millar, Peter Dennis (2008). Vienna 1683: Christian Europe Repels the Ottomans. Osprey Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-84603-231-8.