The Battle of Vaslui
(also referred to as the Battle of Podul Înalt
or the Battle of Racova
) (January 10, 1475) was fought between Stephen III of Moldavia
and the Ottoman Beylerbeyi
, Hadân Suleiman Pasha
. The battle took place at Podul Înalt (the High Bridge
), near the town of Vaslui
, in Moldavia (now part of eastern Romania
) between Barnaba
. The Ottoman
troops numbered between 60,000 and 120,000, facing about 40,000 Moldavian troops, plus smaller numbers of allied and mercenary troops on both sides.
Stephen inflicted on the Ottomans a decisive defeat that has been described as "the greatest ever secured by the Cross against Islam," with casualties, according to Venetian and Polish records, reaching beyond 40,000 on the Ottoman side. Maraym Khanum (Mara Brankovic), who had formerly been the younger wife of Murad II, told a Venetian envoy that the invasion had been worst ever defeat for the Ottomans. Stephen was later awarded the title "Athleta Christi" (Champion of Christ) by Pope Sixtus IV, who referred to him as "Verus christiane fidei aletha" (The true Christian of the true faith). The Polish chronicler, Jan Długosz, hailed Stephen for his victory in the battle:
||Praiseworthy hero, in no respect inferior to other hero soldiers we admire. He was the first contemporary among the rulers of the world to score a decisive victory against the Turks. To my mind, he is the worthiest to lead a coalition of the Christian Europe against the Turks.
According to Długosz, Stephen did not celebrate his victory; instead, he fasted for forty days on bread and water and forbade anyone to attribute the victory to him, insisting that credit be given only to "The Lord."