Battle of Tursko

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Battle of Tursko
Part of the First Mongol invasion of Poland
Date 13 February 1241
Location Tursko Wielkie, Poland
Result Decisive Mongol victory
Mongol Empire Kingdom of Poland
Commanders and leaders
Baidar Włodzimierz, Voivode of Kraków
1,000 1,000–2,000
Casualties and losses
High[1] High, about 800

The Battle of Tursko (or Tursko Wielkie) took place on 13 February 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland. It ended in the defeat of the Polish forces of the ziemia of Kraków.

In early February 1241, Polish forces under the voivode of Kraków Włodzimierz blocked the road towards Kraków, concentrating in the area of Miechow. Meanwhile, Mongol forces headed towards Kraków via Koprzywnica, Wislica and Skalbmierz, then withdrew to Tursko Wielkie. Following the order of the voivode, the Poles decided to pursue the Mongols. The Mongol commander Baidar was probably aware of it, using mock retreat to find a better position for the battle. According to Jan Dlugosz, the first clash ended in a Polish victory and the release of a number of prisoners. The second clash however, resulted in the complete defeat of the Polish knights.[2] One of the reasons for the success of the Mongols' counterattack was that the Polish forces, having captured the Mongol camp, focused on looting it rather than worrying about the still significant enemy forces.[3]

Despite their eventual victory, the Mongols are said to have sustained significant losses in this engagement.[1] The brief Polish victory at Tursko, even if only in the first phase of the battle, shook the Mongols. References to this battle can be found in a Taiwanese chronicle of the Chinese Yuan Dynasty, where Tursko is spelled Tulisseko.[4][5]

Remnants of fortifications were visible near Tursko until recently and were associated with a Mongol camp; the locals called this place "Zamczysko" ("castle remnants").[4] Construction of a monument commemorating the battle began in Tursko Wielkie in early 2012.[6]


  1. ^ a b Wacław Korta (1983). Najazd Mongołów na Polskę i jego legnicki epilog (in Polish). Śląski Instytut Nauk. p. 81. ISBN 978-83-00-00646-5. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Karol Szajnocha, Historical Sketches, 1876, p.14 (Google e-book) (Polish)
  3. ^ Gerard Labuda (1983). Zaginiona kronika z pierwszej Połowy XIII wieku w Rocznikach królestwa Polskiego Jana Długosza: próba rekonstrukcji (in Polish). Wydawn. Nauk. Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza. p. 218. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Tatarzy w Sandomierzu, by Tomislaw Giergiel, "Następnego dnia Polacy pobili najeźdźców pod Turskiem, na południe od Sandomierza. Bitwa była wstrząsem dla Tatarów" (Polish)
  5. ^ A footnote in Karol Szajnocha's Historical Sketches, p.42, footnote 44 quotes the History of Huns by Joseph de Guignes: "Les Chinois le nomment Tuliseko"
  6. ^ Dokończą pomnik w Tursku Wielkim (Polish)