Battle of Grocka
|Battle of Grocka|
|Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe and Ottoman-Habsburg wars|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Grand Vizier İvaz Mehmet Pasha||Marshal Wallis
Wilhelm Reinhard von Neipperg
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Grocka, also known as Battle of Krotzka, (Turkish: Hisarcık Savaşı) was fought between Austria and the Ottoman Empire on July 21–22, 1739, in Grocka, Belgrade. The Turks were victorious and took the city of Belgrade. The battle was part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars.
The Austrians had direct orders from Emperor Charles VI to engage the enemy at the first possible opportunity.
The Austrian 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 Austrians from higher hidden positions. The Austrian cavalry was then cut off and only the Savoy Regiment was able to break out. When the Austrian infantry arrived, the battle raged on until nightfall, when the Austrians decided to retreat to Vinča. The Ottomans didn't pursue.
On July 23, the Austrians withdrew further to Belgrade. The Ottoman Army followed and laid siege to Belgrade, until the Austrians signed the Treaty of Belgrade on September 18 and had to abandone the city.
In this battle, the Austrian 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 Austrians eager for peace. The Ottoman diplomats took advantage and obtained the very advantageous Treaty of Belgrade, in which all Austrian conquests in the Balkans were given back, including Belgrade, with the exception of the Banat.
Austria 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.
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