Battle of Petrovaradin
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The Battle of Petrovaradin or Peterwardein was a decisive victory for the Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Emperor in the war between the Archduchy of Austria of the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire (1716–1718), at Petrovaradin (then part of Military Frontier, Archduchy of Austria; today part of Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia).
|Battle of Petrovaradin|
|Part of Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18|
Archduchy of Austria (with the forces from the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary and the Habsburg Kingdom of Croatia)|
Duchy of Württemberg
|Commanders and leaders|
Prince Eugene of Savoy|
Infante Manuel, Count of Ourém
János Pálffy general
Charles Alexander, Duke of Württemberg
|Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha †|
|60,000–91,300 (41,000 German, c. 42,000 Hungarian and Croatian border soldiers c. 8,000 Serbian garrison troops)||
1,000 Kuruc cavalry.
|Casualties and losses|
In 1716, Grand Vizier Damat Ali gathered a 150,000 strong Ottoman army at Belgrade, at the core of which were 40,000 Janissaries, 20,000 Sipahi, and 10,000 Tatars, together with some renegade Kuruc cavalry. They crossed the Sava at Zemun at the end of July, and moved on the right bank of the Danube towards Sremski Karlovci (in the Habsburg territory). The Tatars, with Moldavians and Kurucs drove into Transylvania, but the Transylvanian forces were no match for the Tatars.
The commander of the Austrian forces, Prince Eugene of Savoy, decided to engage the Ottomans at Petrovaradin. He had arranged for the construction of a fortified encampment within the Petrovaradin fortress there, and set the 83,300 strong Imperial army on the march from their quarters in Futog. There was an 8,000 man garrison in the fortress consisting primarily of Serbs. In the Austrian army served Croatian and Hungarian infantry and cavalry regiments (approx. 42,000 men), Serbian border soldiers in the Vojvodina and the auxiliaries from Württemberg.
On August 2, the first skirmish between the Imperial vanguard and Ottoman horsemen occurred. By the next day, the Grand Vizier had already reached Petrovaradin and immediately dispatched 30,000 Janissaries against the imperial positions. They dug saps and began to bombard the fortress.
The core of the Imperial army only crossed the Danube on the night of August 5 by two pontoon bridges after which they encamped.
The battle and its effectsEdit
At 7 o'clock on the morning of August 5, Prince Eugene began the Austrian offensive. While the right flank under Prince Alexander von Württemberg stormed an Ottoman artillery battery, the Imperials rode into trouble in the center: deployment through the small gate of the Petrovaradin fortress proceeded slowly. The Janissaries went on the counter-attack immediately and forced the imperial army back into the fortress. Prince Eugene sealed off the central incursion with additional troops and sent his cavalry into the Ottoman flanks, by which means they were encircled. The Grand Vizier could not manage to break the encirclement with his sipahis nor could he regroup his troops. The Tatars even pulled back without engaging in combat.
After the defeated Ottomans were wiped out, Prince Eugene personally led his troops against the Grand Vizier's encampment. Supported by the guns of six frigates of the Danube fleet, the battle had been won by two o'clock, with the Grand Vizier himself among the slain. Barely 50,000 Ottomans returned to Belgrade. Soon, from Constantinople came a messenger from the Sultan with order of execution of Damat Ali. He is buried at the Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan, in the tomb known as Damad Ali Pašino Turbe.
After the war, a church commemorating this event was built on Tekije, on the hill over battlefield, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Tekije, also known as Our Lady of the Snows. The church is special, because it has both Catholic and Orthodox altars and both Christian denominations use it. The site is a place of pilgrimage on every August 5.
After Petrovaradin, Prince Eugene turned against Timișoara (in Ottoman territory) and captured it despite great resistance and desperate attempts by the Ottomans to relieve the town. Eventually, they admitted defeat and signed a treaty with Austria and her ally Venice.
At the place of the battlefield at the hill Vezirac in Petrovaradin the monument that honors the victory of Austrian army was erected in 1902. It was designed by Zagreb architect Herman Bollé.
Petrovaradin fortress, substantially rebuilt in the mid-18th century
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- Attribution: The information in this article is based on and/or translated from its German equivalent.