THE BATTLE OF VIENNA
September 11-12, 1683
A
S P E E C H
Delivered by the
King of Poland

To His
A   R   M   Y
Before the Battle, September 12th. 1683

Brave and Valiant Gentlemen of Poland, it is not here
only requisite to make good the Glory which your
Ancestors Valor have aquir’d, in making us consider’d
as the Bulwark of Christianity against the Arms of the
Ottomans: It is not only sufficient at this present to defend
your Country, which the loss of
Vienna would expose by a
necessary consequence to the Invasion of those Infidels, with
whom we are to fight. Here it is necessary to defend the
Cause of God, and to preserve the
Western Empire, which
hath done us the Honor to have recourse to our Alliance;
an Honor which our Ancestors dust never aspire unto, and
was reserved for your Valor. Entertain therefore no other
thoughts at present, but either to Conquer, or Nobly to end
your lives in this Just Cause, to which the Glory of our common
Master is annexed: Think now that you are to Fight in the fight
of so many Brave Commanders who are engaged in the same
Cause and Peril; reflect also that your King Fights at the Head
of you, whereby to have a share both in your Glory and Danger;
and withal be confident that the God of Battles whose Cause we
defend will undoubtedly Fight for us.

______________________________________________________________________________
Printed by N. Thompson at the Entrance into the Old Spring-Garden near Charing-Cross 1683.

One of the western world's most important events took
place in 1683, as a powerful Ottoman army advanced into
Europe.  Already having conquered Hungary and
Transylvania, 138,000 Ottomans laid siege to the city of
Vienna, the gateway to continental Europe.  11,000 troops
and 5,000 volunteers declared that they would defend the
city to the last man.  For almost two months, they held out
against the Turkish onslaught, suffering severe casualties as
the Turks breached the outer walls of Vienna, digging
tunnels and filling them with gunpowder.  

Enter Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, and the
husaria, or winged hussars.  As the battered
Austrians prepared to fight in the streets of
Vienna, Sobieski led a relief force of 30,000 Poles,
18,500 Austrians, 19,000 Franconian, Bavarian, and
Swabian troops, and 9,000 Saxons.  The Turks
attacked the relief force, resulting in 12 hours of
intense infantry combat before Sobieski saw that
the time was right to break the back of the Turkish
force.  Sobieski led a charge of 20,000 Polish and
German cavalry, the largest cavalry charge in
recorded history, with Sobieski and 3000 winged
hussars at the head of the charge.  The Turkish
lines crumbled, and the hussars pressed into the
Turkish camps as the elated remaining defenders
of Vienna poured out of the city, finally on the
offensive.

The Turks retreated and abandoned their attempts
to conquer Europe.  Sobieski, ever the statesman,
declared the following:

"Veni, vidi, Deus vicit."

I came, I saw, God conquered.
Jan III by Jan Matejko
"Sobieski Sending Message of Victory to the Pope" by Jan
Matejko
Download the Order of Battle