Serbian Militia

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Serbian Militia
Active 1686 — mid 18th century
Country Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Monarchy
Type Cavalry and Infantry
Size up to 10,000
Nickname Hayduks, Husars, Rascian Militia, Monasterlija's Serbs
Engagements

Great Turkish War:

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Jovan Monasterlija, Antonije Znorić, Pavle Nestorović Deak, Novak Petrović

The Serbian Militia (Latin: Rascianica militia;[1][2] Serbian: Српска Милиција or Srpska Milicija) was a military unit of the Habsburg-Austrian army consisting of Serbs, that existed in ca. 1686 — mid 18th century.

During the Great Turkish War (1686—1699)[edit]

Further information: Great Turkish War

After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain (present-day Hungary, Slavonia region in present-day Croatia, Bačka and Banat regions in present-day Serbia) joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia.[3]

In the first half of 1688 the Habsburg army together with units of Serbian Militia captured Gyula, Lipova and Ineu from the Ottoman Empire.[4]

After Belgrade had been liberated from the Ottomans in 1688, Serbs from the territories in the south of Sava and Danube rivers began to join Serbian Militia units.[5]

One of the first commanders of the Serbian Militia during the Great Turkish War was Antonije Znorić.[6] In the period 1689—1691, one of the commanders of Serbian Militia units in Banat was Novak Petrović.[7]

During the Great Turkish War Serbs gave big support to the Austrian side.[8] The Ottoman Empire had suffered partial military collapse against the Austrians in the 1680s, most notably at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, and the loss of Belgrade to Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1688 and Bosnia in 1689. However, with the beginning of the Nine Years War in the west, the early 1690s saw an end to Habsburg conquests in the Balkans and a partial Ottoman recovery.[9] Despite the Ottoman recovery and the weakening of the Habsburg military presence on the Danube (most Habsburg soldiers were sent to fight against the France in the War of the Grand Alliance) the Habsburg supreme command planned offensive activities against Ottomans, heavily relying on the Serb soldiers of Serbian Militia and Serb rebels in the Balkans.[10] In 1689 Louis William was appointed as chief commander of the Imperial army in its invasion of the territory of present-day Serbia.[11] Before the invasion Louis William recruited Serb rebels all over territory of present-day Serbia, whose infantry units were called hayduks while cavalry units of Serb rebels were called Serb husars.[12]

On August 29, 1689 Serbian Militia under the command of Pavle Nestorović Deak as a vanguard unit of the Habsburg army were victorious against a vanguard unit of the Ottoman army during the Battle of Batočina.[13]

Jovan Monasterlija, who was appointed as captain of Serbian Militia in 1690, recruited Serbs into his units in the summer of 1690 on the southern border of the Austrian Empire.[14]

During the Battle of Slankamen on August 19, 1691, Serbian Militia with 10,000 Serbs under the command of Jovan Monasterlija participated in the important victory over Ottoman forces.[15] When Austrian forces supported by Serbian Militia captured Oradea from Ottomans in the spring of 1692, the seat of the Serbian Militia's headquarter became Baja.[16]

The Austrian Empire had intentions to reduce the power and importance of Serbian Militia and its military and religious leaders by dividing it to smaller units and sending them to different distant parts of the Empire. Monasterlija's rank was changed from Serbian vice-voivode and Chief of the Serbian Nation to Rascian obercaptain.[17] Because of the constant Ottoman threat such plans were never fully implemented.

After the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699)[edit]

After the Habsburg Monarchy signed the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, Serbs who settled the Military Frontier began to lose their hopes to recapture Serbia from Ottomans and to return to their homes they left during the Great Serb Migration. Since they were subjected to continuous attempts of authorities to Catholicize them or to remove their privileges including their rights to own arable land, members of Serbian Militia began to consider migration to Russian Empire.[18]

In 1704 Monasterlija's Serbian Militia was defeated in the battle with Rákóczi's rebels near Baja and many Serbs escaped from the town.[19] Serbian Militia had important role in the struggle against Rákóczi's rebels. Austrian government supported privileged position of the Serbian Militia which they perceived as counterweight to separatist aspirations of Hungarian officials and well trained and cheap military force which could be used to fight against Ottomans or other enemy. From the same reasons, Hungaian officials had hostile relation toward Serbian Militia.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reizner, János (1900). Szeged története. Szeged (Hungary): Szeged szab. kirf város könzönsége. p. 282. Retrieved 21 December 2011. "Tam bene Hungariea, quam Rascianica militia in Palanka et Varosch mixtim reperitur" 
  2. ^ Gavrilović, Slavko; Ivan Jakšić (1987). Izvori o Srbima u Ugarskoj s kraja XVII i početkom XVIII veka, Volume 30 (in Latin). Belgrade: Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti. p. 194. Retrieved 21 December 2011. "Rascianica militia circa locum Becskerek contra hostes" 
  3. ^ Gavrilović, Slavko (2006), "ISAIJA ĐAKOVIĆ, Arhimandrit grgeteški, episkop jenopoljski i mitropolit krušedolski" (pdf), Zbornik Matice Srpske za Istoriju (in Serbian) 74, Novi Sad: Matica Srpska, Department of Social Sciences, Proceedings i History, p. 7, retrieved 21 December 2011, "U toku Velikog bečkog rata, naročito posle oslobođenja Budima 1686. srpski narod u Ugarskoj, Slavoniji, Bačkoj, Banatu,... priključivao se carskim trupama i kao „rašanska, racka” milicija učestvovao u borbama" 
  4. ^ Gavrilović, Slavko (2006), "ISAIJA ĐAKOVIĆ, Arhimandrit grgeteški, episkop jenopoljski i mitropolit krušedolski" (pdf), Zbornik Matice Srpske za Istoriju (in Serbian) 74, Novi Sad: Matica Srpska, Department of Social Sciences, Proceedings i History, p. 7, retrieved 21 December 2011, "...u Lipi, Jenovi i Đuli...carska vojska i srpska milicija oslobodile su u proleće i leto 1688,..." 
  5. ^ Gavrilović, Slavko (2006), "ISAIJA ĐAKOVIĆ, Arhimandrit grgeteški, episkop jenopoljski i mitropolit krušedolski" (pdf), Zbornik Matice Srpske za Istoriju (in Serbian) 74, Novi Sad: Matica Srpska, Department of Social Sciences, Proceedings i History, p. 7, retrieved 21 December 2011, "U toku Velikog bečkog rata, ... srpski narod.. od pada Beograda u ruke austrijske vojske 1688. i u Srbiji priključivao se carskim trupama i kao „rašanska, racka” milicija učestvovao u borbama" 
  6. ^ "Српски Биографски Речник". Matica Srpska. p. 95. Retrieved 12 December 2011. "Знорић Зич, Антоније (Antonius Valerius Zitsch von Znoritsch), пуковник, командант српске милиције (Знорова, Чешка, прва половина ХVII в. — Лугош, Румунија, 21. IХ 1695)" 
  7. ^ Gavrilović, Slavko (2006), "ISAIJA ĐAKOVIĆ, Arhimandrit grgeteški, episkop jenopoljski i mitropolit krušedolski" (pdf), Zbornik Matice Srpske za Istoriju (in Serbian) 74, Novi Sad: Matica Srpska, Department of Social Sciences, Proceedings i History, p. 7, retrieved 21 December 2011, "u toku 1689–1691. borbe su prenete na Banat. Srbe u njima predvodio je vojvoda Novak Petrović" 
  8. ^ Janićijević, Jovan (1996), Kulturna riznica Srbije (in Serbian), IDEA, p. 70, "Велики или Бечки рат Аустрије против Турске, у којем су Срби, као добровољци, масовно учествовали на аустријској страни" 
  9. ^ McKay & Scott. The Rise of the Great Powers 1648–1815, p.75
  10. ^ Tanić, Dejan (2005), Војно-стратешки значај средњег поморавља у Бечком Рату (1683-1699) (in Serbian), Istorijski Arhiv Jagodine, p. 73, retrieved 14 December 2011, "Значај српских војника и устаника постао је пресудан после француског упада у Палатинат, у јесен 1688. године, због чега је цар Леополд I морао да повуче 30.000 војника из Угарске и пошаље их на Французе. Ово слабљење аустријске војске на Дунаву није спречило цара Леополда и Дворски ратни савет да направе офанзивни ратни план за борбу против Турака" 
  11. ^ Tanić, Dejan (2005), Војно-стратешки значај средњег поморавља у Бечком Рату (1683-1699) (in Serbian), Istorijski Arhiv Jagodine, p. 74, retrieved 14 December 2011, "Одлучан поход хабсбуршке војске кроз Србију уследио је после постављења фелдмаршала Лудвига Баденског за главнокомандујућег царске војске на балканском ратишту." 
  12. ^ Tanić, Dejan (2005), Војно-стратешки значај средњег поморавља у Бечком Рату (1683-1699) (in Serbian), Istorijski Arhiv Jagodine, p. 74, retrieved 14 December 2011, "Пре поласка у поход, Лудвиг Баденски је по целој Србији разаслао прогласе, којима је позивао народ да се диже на оружје. Српски устаници били су организовани у чете и додељивани редовној војсци. Аустријанци су ове српске ратнике (пешадинце) називали хајдуцима, док су коњанике називали српским хусарима." 
  13. ^ Tanić, Dejan (2005), Војно-стратешки значај средњег поморавља у Бечком Рату (1683-1699) (in Serbian), Istorijski Arhiv Jagodine, p. 73, retrieved 14 December 2011, "Претходницу је чинила Српска милиција (хусари), под командом капетана Павла Несторивића Деака. У судару две претходнице, 29. августа 1689. године, код Баточине, Турци су били поражени и потиснути ка својој главнини." 
  14. ^ Cerović, Ljubivoje (1997), Srbi u Slovačkoj, OCLC 163390979, retrieved 22 December 2011, "Jovan Monasterlija se nalazio na južnoj granici, gde je od proleća 1690. godine prikupljao srpsku vojsku. Odatle je..., najavio svoj skori dolazak u Budim na čelu srpske vojske, pošto je neposredno pre toga imenovan za rackog, odnosno srpskog kapetana." 
  15. ^ Cerović, Ljubivoje (1997), Srbi u Slovačkoj, OCLC 163390979, retrieved 22 December 2011, "Hrišćanska vojska se u blizini Slankamena našla nasuprot turskoj 19. avgusta 1691. godine. ... U odlučujući juriš na Turke prvi je krenuo Jovan Monasterlija na čelu srpske vojske." 
  16. ^ Cerović, Ljubivoje (1997), Srbi u Slovačkoj, OCLC 163390979, retrieved 22 December 2011, "Već na proleće 1692. godine, srpska vojska je pod vođstvom Jovana Monasterlije upućena prema Velikom Varadinu, kako bi pomogla da ovo utvrđenje konačno padne u ruke carske vojske. Posle ove bitke, komandno mesto Srpske milicije postala je Baja." 
  17. ^ Cerović, Ljubivoje (1997), Srbi u Slovačkoj, OCLC 163390979, retrieved 22 December 2011, "Dvor je najpre oduzeo ingerencije Monasterliji. Od "vicegubernatora srpskog plemena" Monasterlija je sve više postajao "racki oberkapetan"." 
  18. ^ Kostić, Lalić & Gavrilović 2001, p. 13.
  19. ^ Davidov, Dinko (1990). Spomenici Budimske eparhije (in Serbian). Prosveta. p. 284. Retrieved 23 December 2011. "Убрзо, исте године, сукобила се српска милиција подвојводе Јована Монастерлије са устаницима Фрање Ракоција. Сукоб се завршио поразно по Србе па су се многи разбежали из вароши." 
  20. ^ Kostić, Lalić & Gavrilović 2001, p. 31.

Sources[edit]