Talk:Siege of Vienna

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Untitled[edit]

The print shown is an engraving. A lithograph is drawn on limestone with a greasy pencil and the stone is then acid-etched: a later technique with a different effect: cf. Gustave Doré. --Wetman 23:26, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

History is always the same. France always, always allied with the enemies of Europe, always against the Christendom. Today allied with the muslims against Europa & USA. 500 years ago in favor of turks against Rome,Spain,Italy or Austria. Frenchmen = europe traitors.

History is All About Point of View[edit]

The conflict was seen in religious terms by those taking part in it. You can check contemporary sources and see for yourself. I'm not going to tell you what they are because you all should have read them before banging on about this article's point of view.

Inconsistency in article[edit]

Parts refer to a fight between Christian V Muslim, other Ottomans Vs Austrians. As previous Ottoman conquest as left the nations under its rule more or less "Christian", it could be argued that this war was for not for religion but for political/Economic and military reasons. Thus I think all references to Christain v Muslim should be removed and replaced with Ottoman vs Austrian.

Particualry as part of the Ottoman army were made up of Christians.--SolDrury 13:55, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Note: One more important guidline for this discussion page would be to allow posts only from people who know the difference between "Viennese and Venetian". Criticism from any individual who belives a resident of Vienna, Austria is called a Venetian automatically nullifies the validiy of said POV.

Please sign your posts. -- KarlHallowell 03:27, 22 September 2006 (UTC)


There are many problems related to this article. First neutrality is lacking, it has the feeling (use of adjectives, descriptions of Ottomans etc.) as if being drawn from an Austrian school textbook. Numbers too are confused. It begins with 325,000 soldiers for Ottomans (an impossible number for any state in that era, even for Ottomans), then it revises downward to 100,000. This is rather inconsistent. The composition of the Ottoman armies too is inexact. Janissary force (which may be thought as stormtroopers) was rather smaller at Suleiman I's era, around or barely above 10,000 at his earlier reign. Contributions from vassals (Serbians, Wallachians, Crimean Tatars etc.) aren't shown too. Casualties are skewed too. Saying just that Austrian side has "minimal" casualties, and inflating the other side's, seems grossly inexact. The rest of the text also comprises many portrayals and quotes quite negative (and unsubstantiated) about Ottomans, while lavishly praising Austrians (in the manner of defender of Christendom). Putting it straight, it is just Austrian Habsburgs and Ottomans fighting for Hungary. At a time just after the sack of Rome, continiuous squabbling with France, Venetians, Low Countries peoples, Polish etc., it is not correct to say Austrians were representative of "Christendom". As conclusion, the article needs quite a rewrite. --Jensboot 09:05, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

I couldn't agree more.
Accuracy disputes, NPOV disputes, inconsistencies... As if we had an Austrian Wikipädien in 1529... Sad, needs a rewrite...
I disagree. I don't see much of adjectives used used in POV fashion, where they are, they could be simply deleted (murderous brutality). The numbers could be the problem though - numbers from modern studies should be entered. Contributions from vassals should be shown, but not showing them precisely doesn't imply inaccuracy nor POV. The article nowhere says that the Austrians were defenders of the Christendom, only that the city residents viewed themselves as such - which is likely true. Your notice about "Austrian Habsburgs and Ottomans fighting for Hungary" is gross oversimplification - had Turkey captured Vienna and thus Austria, it would have free passage to Italy and Germany and thus endanger entire Europe. A few flaws might be fixed, but this article definitely doesn't deserve a rewrite. Nikola 09:39, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Its not that bad, before you get anry at the use of terms like murderous lets not forget that they were murderous, they depopulated much of Austria, call a spade a spade. That being said the writing style could use some work.

What is with the strange insistence on camels, camels, camels. Clearly they used horses, no? Camels might have been used for transport, but other than that -

"The rest of the text also comprises many portrayals and quotes quite negative (and unsubstantiated) about Ottomans, while lavishly praising Austrians " This is a story about a small group of people defending their city against an imperialist invader and (in a rare event in human history) winning against the dominant empire's aggressions. The Islamic Caliphate was the superpower of its time, it was the largest empire in human history at that time. The defenders of the city were protecting their homes, famalies, culture and freedom, against a theocratic, foreign, imperialist, invading army which had already raped and pillaged the countryside in a genocidal manner. On one side of the war was a rag-tag group of people trying to protect their homes and families from theft and rape, and on the other side was a theocratic imperial army. In our modern global society, imperialism is widely seen as cruel and unethical. Under the Nuremberg Principles, the supreme international crime is that of commencing a war of aggression, because it is the crime from which all war crimes follow. It goes without saying that the Ottomons were guilty of this supreme crime of war. Meanwhile, the Geneva Conventions recognize the right of resistance and self-defense against invasion. The Venetians resistance had the moral right and obligation duty to defend their city against invasion. Venetians did Right by defending their home, and the Ottomans did Wrong by waging wars of aggression and invasion. This is basic morality. Only sociopaths or the criminally insane cannot distinguish between Right and Wrong. Humanity, as a whole, sees those who wage wars of aggression as evil and those who resistance against such evil as heros. Only in the mind of an Islamist is it moral for an Islamist empire to invade the world in order to spread the Islamic system of dictatorial government to the whole world. According to every modern treaty and standard of ethics, the Siege of Vienna was a battle of good against evil in which the the Ottomans were in on the side of evil (as an invading aggressor) and the Venetians were on the side of good (as people defending their homes and city against foreign invasion). You are completely out of line with your insistence that the Ottoman aggression portrayed as positively as the Venetian resistance, or that the Venetians resistance be portrayed as negatively as the Ottoman aggression. -- 24.43.241.45 02:37, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
What exactly do the resident of Venice, Italy have to do with this article?... "You are completely out of line with your insistence that the Ottoman aggression portrayed as positively as the Venetian resistance, or that the Venetians resistance be portrayed as negatively as the Ottoman aggression."
Please sign your posts. Before I wrote this correction, the above appeared as part of what I had written. I was willing to overlook the confusion between Venice and Vienna in order to address what I felt were deeper issues. It is after all quite possible that the above author understood the difference between Venice and Vienna and just made a mental blunder, much as people sometimes call others by the wrong name even when they know the correct one. Eg, I've been called "Kirk" instead of "Karl". -- KarlHallowell 03:27, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
You are applying modern standards, such as they are, to an era where they didn't exist. Vienna was the capitol of the Habsburg Empire which also engaged in the same sort of activities (sometimes on the same scale as in the 30 Years War) that would be characterized as human rights violations and genocide these days. And the morality of the Geneva Conventions isn't universally recognized. One needs to have significant infrastructure in order to comply with several of the requirements of the Conventions (eg, wear a uniform, proper treatment of prisoners).
I feel it's a big mistake to cast this ancient war in modern terms. You lose insight into what was going on. For example, calling the Ottoman Empire "Islamist" ignores that that culture has little to do with modern Islam. Nor did the Battle of Vienna have much to do with the modern world aside from delineating the extent of Turkish influence in Europe.
While most people may be able to distinguish between right and wrong, there's a lot of disagreement on what falls in those category. I agree with the NPOV in this respect. It's not the job of Wikipedia to make moral judgements. In historical stories like this, I think it's best to report what happened impartially as well as the points of view of the people involved. -- KarlHallowell 23:32, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Definitely not NPoV[edit]

This article was apperantly written by someone who was a witness to the Siege. Writing as if a journalist reporting from the warzone, and a very Austrian nationalist one. Lots of tales and myths that don't deserve to be in a factual article. Words put in Sultan Suleyman's mouth or this 325,000 Ottoman soldiers thing... and let me guess there were only 300 Austrians defending? This article is definitely not NPoV, it actually reminded me of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.--Kagan the Barbarian 10:48, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Historical basis Remains unchallenged

There is a disappointing tendency amongst pseudo-historians nowadays to downplay the cruelty and barbarism of medieval and early-Modern warfare - particualry when committted by the followers of Islam. The depredations of the 100-Years War, the Jacquerie and the Dutch Revolt stand out, not to mention the Turkish invasion of Crete and Cyprus (including the skining alive of captured Venetians). Cruelty and horror where stock weapons of warfare - don't pretend otherwise. I think that the article is fair and balanced.

Hardly "fair and balanced", this arcticle biased against the Ottomans. I believe the number of 300.000 men shoudln't even be mentioned, as it is, ridicolously exaggerated. No state at the time could've raised a field army of such size, and moving it would've been an logistical nightmare. As to the message above, medieval Europeans were far more brutal and barbaric then Muslims in middle east, I believe. Europe was ravaged by war, while Muslims often brought peace to the areas they conquered during their history.

 The above comment needs a reply - the Muslims bought peace because they subjected the native populations to servitude and slavery, and they became a valuable source of revenue. Peace through servitude. To say that the medieval Euopreans were more brutal and barbaric than muslims is absolute nonsense.  The skinning alive of the Venetian leader after the fall of Cyprus in 1570 by the Turks, the slow torture and death of the captured Franks after the Ager Sanguinis in 1119, the rape of the sons of Byzantine nobles after the fall of Constantinope in 1453 are a handful of examples as to why one 'side' was no better than the other203.20.153.128 06:16, 30 May 2006 (UTC).
What about the Polish Army? If not for the Polish army, Austria would have most likely fallen. The Siege of Vienna is considered one of the most famous battles in Polish history and it is disturbing that the several-thousand-man Polish force including their King is not even mentioned!
Please sign your name in future.
Also, you're thinking of the Battle of Vienna, called also the Second Siege of Vienna. This original siege had little or nothing to do with the Poles.
Additionally, who says that the Ottomans cannot have fielded such a force? The Ottomans had the most advanced military organization of the day, and forces of that size, though rare, were hardly unprecedented (see the fall of Constantinople, for example). Also, this was specifically determined to be the full force, or nearly that, of the Ottoman Empire. Granted the number is rather large, but not necessarily impossible, especially when you consider the poor nature of the soldiers the Ottomans fielded. Wally 06:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Hello there!

This is a nice article but I found a few problems:

"The Turks quickly packed their campsites that night, tossing captured Austrians into the fire as they did." - Is there actually any evidence that this happaned? Who is the source?

"Result: Decisive Christian victory" - I do not think that it was a victory. Yes, Vienna did not fall but the Ottoman army managed to return without any significant losses as opposed to the Battle of Vienna more than a century later.

Thank you. --85.104.141.117 16:43, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

It would be good to have some citations in this article. In general, the level of detail is quite stimulating, but sources would help with credibility. Particularly interesting was the information concerning the mining. If true, it is amazing that the fate of Vienna depended on a single miner getting away and warning the city's regent about the Ottoman mining efforts. Ronsard 02:52, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds to me like a lot of opinion without the appropriate citations. The bottomline I received from it is that the Ottomans tried to subject Europe to their rule and using cruelty to intimidate was definitely a common practice. Islam is an imperialistic religion that has always sanctioned force as a means of converting the world to Islam. Imams speak frequently of forcibly subjecting all the world to Islam virtually on a daily basis. Where the non-religious says, 'let me do my own thing', and Christianity says 'love thy neighbor and even thy enemies', Islam says, 'to kill them or enslave them unless they convert'. Islam is not and never has been a benign belief. It was born with violence and it grows by violence.

I think that the problem, on the whole, is not the unbalanced view of either the Muslims or the Christians as cruel, but the typification of this battle as Christian vs. Muslim. When one defines battles as something other than what they really were, especially when religion is used, there is a tendency to have a biased POV. However, some struggles (Crusades, French Huegenots and Catholics) were about religion, at least partly. Also, if the words "glorious victory" and "the fate of ..." are used, that at least creates the feeling of a biased POV.

I don't have any books about this, but I tried hard yesterday to track down some idea of the sources online and could find virtually nothing. I don't even know who wrote this original text; I thought it might be in the old Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, but I couldn't even find it there. For the time being, I still think it's a cracking read, but it definitely sounds a bit like a boys' adventure story.
As for the Christian-Muslim thing, I'm sure there was an element of that. The year after the siege, Emperor Charles V made an attempt to sort out the religious disputes in the empire at the Diet of Augsburg, specifically to create unity against the Turks.qp10qp 22:58, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


This is a story about a small group of people defending their city against an imperialist invader and (in a rare event in human history) winning against the dominant empire's aggressions. The Islamic Caliphate was the superpower of its time, it was the largest empire in human history at that time. The defenders of the city were protecting their homes, famalies, culture and freedom, against a theocratic, foreign, imperialist, invading army which had already raped and pillaged the countryside in a genocidal manner. On one side of the war was a rag-tag group of people trying to protect their homes and families from theft and rape, and on the other side was a theocratic imperial army. In our modern global society, imperialism is widely seen as cruel and unethical. Under the Nuremberg Principles, the supreme international crime is that of commencing a war of aggression, because it is the crime from which all war crimes follow. It goes without saying that the Ottomons were guilty of this supreme crime of war. Meanwhile, the Geneva Conventions recognize the right of resistance and self-defense against invasion. The Venetians resistance had the moral right and obligation duty to defend their city against invasion. Venetians did Right by defending their home, and the Ottomans did Wrong by waging wars of aggression and invasion. This is basic morality. Only sociopaths or the criminally insane cannot distinguish between Right and Wrong. Humanity, as a whole, sees those who wage wars of aggression as evil and those who resistance against such evil as heros. Only in the mind of an Islamist is it moral for an Islamist empire to invade the world in order to spread the Islamic system of dictatorial government to the whole world. According to every modern treaty and standard of ethics, the Siege of Vienna was a battle of good against evil in which the the Ottomans were in on the side of evil (as an invading aggressor) and the Venetians were on the side of good (as people defending their homes and city against foreign invasion). You are completely out of line with your insistence that the Ottoman aggression portrayed as positively as the Venetian resistance, or that the Venetians resistance be portrayed as negatively as the Ottoman aggression. -- 24.43.241.45 02:37, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I can't believe someone actually said that the Europeans were far more brutal than the Muslims and that Islam has always brought peace....that statement smacks of either naive political correctness or sheer ignorance. Both sides were brutal in the Crusades...both sides massacred each other and both sides were noble at times. The history of Islamic conquest shows that no, they don't bring peace unless you define peace as slaughtering all who resist, enslaving thousands and imposing Islamic law on the survivors as has been the case throughout history. By the time the Ottomans entered Eastern Europe, things were changing in Europe. The Catholic church was undergoing changes and new beliefs. The Ottomans made use of the divisions to their own well-being. And understand this...every land that Islamic armies captured were predominatly non-Muslim...Assyria, North Africa, Turkey, Constantinople...they were mostly Christian at the time of their conquering. Not so much a few generations afterward. If you look at the way Dhimmi status was applied to people, you can understand this...so no, peace and happiness don't accompany Islamic armies in the field.

This article is pretty accurate in terms of events and general feelings. The numbers...someone said that it would be impossible to amass 300,000....says who? Sure the logistics make it difficult but not that difficult that you couldn't create such an army. It's been a long-held tenent of warfare that you want a 3-1 ratio when attacking. The Turks knew that they were going into enemy territory...going in with a small force wouldn't cut it. I think self-proclaimed historians today would do well to just accept first-hand accounts of the day. We should give them more credit, they aren't as dumb as many people would like to think they were. These pseudo-historians also claimed that there never was a city of Troy, and now we accept that there indeed was. We shouldn't let our own arrogance cloud our judgement of history. Large armies were quite capable of being formed and sent on campaign. The very reasons why this campaign failed are evident; the slow-going, the weather, etc. The larger a force is, the more those issues factor in.

Trambaul?[edit]

Possibly, somebody could help with info on the Battle of Trambaul (or Terembowl, I don't know the correct or historically correct spelling), July 1524? Some kind of folk militia supposedly defeated Turks gloriously. Where was this place? Not knowing the right spelling I can't find anything on WP or via google. ---Yury Tarasievich 12:35, 21 August 2006 (UTC

Oh go away!

My god is this POV or what....[edit]

This is article has a number of key things wrong with it......

1. Extremely biased in favour of the Austrian side, with a tone of writing that is far more sympathetic to the Austrian Resistance. The poor, innocent people of Vienna are treated as heroes, while the Barbaric "Asian Horde" of Ottomans coming to pillage, rape and burn the last standing symbol of Christian hope and deterrence in Europe, as essentially some sort of bogeyman. There is far too much details that can never be ascertained in the this Article, and thus should be removed all together. Like knowing exactly what kind of weapons soldiers used, how and when men attacked and retreated and describing in detail battles with lines like "..the ottomans were greeted with Halberds as they approached the breach, then suddenly!!....", sounds more like an Austrian child's story book of Medieval Folklore. These kinds of irrevelant, and almost impossible to verify or ascertain details should be left out if no one is sure of them.

2. Certain lines of clear POV and bias... that I think should be removed.

"Of all the clashes between the armies of Christianity and Islam, this one arguably did most to turn the tide against the Ottomans"

Clashes between Christianity and Islam? So now the battle has a religious nature to it, this epic struggle between two ideologies; but then a few further lines down its referred to as the clash between the Ottoman Empire and Austria? This is very misleading statement, there is little to show this siege was at all driven by religious nature or a desire by the Ottomans to crush Christianity. They had just gotten a foothold in Europe and with a relatively weakened and disorientated force of Austro-Hungarians, and Europeans in the way; Vienna was an obstacle that stood in the way of a clear Ottoman presence in Europe. It was pure military stratergy and from a tactical standpoint a good objective. Mehmed II wasn't after Vienna's Christians, as some sort of 'vengeful' quest, and the European's own religious Zealotry and fervor were self-evident in this battle as the primary means of stirring up a fanatical civilian resistance. If anything that should be mentioned first.

The inhabitants of the city reacted with terror when news reached them of the advancing Ottoman force. Stories of the janissaries' murderous brutality

Yes, stories. Old wives' tales of the day, Bar room gossip and Unverified wild claims and historical trivia about the fearsome brutality of groups of Muslim Holy Warriors.... *ahem* much like today's world, eh? Its scare tactics and propaganda mainly used to stir up nationalism and a sense of importance in the Viennese Armed Resistance. They truly believed they were the last "bastion" for Christianity, and they had to fight to the death for what they believed in; however, the reality of the situation was that Vienna was simply a major strategic and tactical metropolis that if captured would just give the Ottoman's a firmer foothold in Europe. Surely if they did capture Vienna, they most likely would have been driven sooner from Europe by the united religious zeal of the European armies; BUT, Vienna was just a way of Mehmed insuring his Empire actually could stay in power in Europe.

Yes occaisonally, like many nations of the era, European ones can hardly be excused; the Ottoman Empire's human rights record was quite abismal, even for the standards of the time, and usually to non-Muslims. Jannisarries while being a highly professional force did pillage and loot as means of paying for their own services, but this was MORE OFTEN than not comitted by the irregular Forces of the Ottoman army. The Jannisarries were a far more disciplined force than this sentence makes them out to be.

By the time it arrived, the Turkish army was more formidable on paper than in reality.

Again, really understating the still very potent Ottoman force, and speculating on the strength of it with no evidence really. More formidable on paper than reality? What on Earth does that imply? Such unsourced crap should be removed promptly.

The results were predictably negligible

Predictably? Since when are 300 Cannons bombarding a City predictably going to have little effect? 62 Cannons demolished Constaninoples defenses in 2 months, if it weren't for the weakened state of the Ottoman Force in Vienna, the the Viennese determined effort to counter their attacks, and terrible conditions, it could have been a bad end for the famed Capitol. Predictably neligible is understating it a bit too much. Unless the writer was a 16th Century Siege Technician who had his fair share of epic battles, get rid of this crap.

Janissaries immediately stormed the breach but were met by twelve-foot pikes and halberds, repulsing them with heavy losses.

Again, one of the many lines that state in effect, "so and so was greeted in the such a violent manner, and they suffered terribly and those awful Muslims were kicked out on their asses by the great Europeans...". Far too much "Impossible-to-verify-detail", I mean, 12ft Pikes and Halberds, knowing the time they attack, it's really hard to say these things unless you were there. Instead of going into petty unverified details, such lines should just simply state "the Ottomans QUICKLY launched a SMALL invading force, but however they were repulsed SHORTLY by PIKEMEN/HALBERDIERS before any impact was made. They suffered greater losses than the Austrians"... or so on. Something not too general but also not too specific to the point where it reads as if it was written by an Austrian Boy watching from the rooftop of his house.

bringing them down and opening it to assault; but the advance was held back by Spanish harquebusiers

Impossible to know what divisons and units exactly held back which attack and so on. Should be verified or removed, simply changed to the 'held back by the combined European Mercenary armies...' would be fine. There's really no need to state what men or exactly what types of mercenaries held back the attack.

the Turks broke through the breaches with screaming battle cries, only to be faced again with palisades and long pikes.

Screaming battle cries and being faced with long pikes? Come on, now it's just getting sick and sadistic as if this were story in which the evil protagonists are being slayed to the audience's delight. Hell why not cut out all the stops "the barbaric Muslim Horde ran blindly into the sharpened stakes of the Viennese Resistance, screaming out in terrible pain as the fanatics slowly died..." too much it just reads as if it's written by an Austrian bystander. It's sick, stupid and POV. Screaming battle cries??? I'm sorry, was the author a former Janissary in a past life by any chance?

3. MILITARY FACTS AND FIGURES MUST BE VERIFIED or not included. The Ottoman Army drops in size in about 2 months to 80,000 or so from a grand strength of 325,000? I don't think the heavy rainy season in Europe killed a good 250,000 men with colds, and damaged most of their artilley. These figures need to be verified they sound far too extact, and more like rough, educated guesses at what was happening to the Ottoman army.

The table's figures are now where near the purported claims of 325,000, 90,000 Camels and so on. This needs to be rectified.

Also stating 20,000 to 25,000 Ottoman casualites and then saying the number of Austrian Casualties is unknown is a load of POV crap, again undercutting the Ottoman impact and damage, while praising the Austrians for their successful defence. While your making educated guesses you might as well rougly estimate the Austrians lost about much the same, maybe a little less in the military strength, with double if not triple civilian casualties who participated fanatically and were fighting to the death. I'd personally put in for the Austrians around 40,000 for now until it's verified, seems close to double the Ottomans figures, as usually the besieged city suffers enormous civilian casualties, especially post-war due to lack of food, disease, etc...

211.27.205.70 18:52, 24 September 2006 (UTC)BosnaAmir

Have to agree with most of this. The article is currently quite entertaining, but reads it more like a Boys' Own adventure story than an encyclopedia article. Almost nothing is sourced. And I'm very dubious whether large parts of it can be sourced. I mean, "Dozens or possibly hundreds of men wearing black cloaks and armed with homemade bombs, possibly one of the first appearances of the Molotov cocktail"? I'd really like to see a source for that. They had glass bottles and petrol? Whose idea was it? Hundreds of men independently had the idea to dress in black, create homemade bombs, and go on a suicide mission into the Turkish camp? Where were the Turkish sentries while all this was going on?

Also, the link doesn't work, so I'm going to remove it.

--Merlinme 16:53, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This article reads like an exaggerated account of the actual battle, and many of the results are biased against the Ottomans, or read like a bad movie. Perhaps get rid of the entire description of the battle and merely state the fact that the Ottomans were turned back and the Viennese defenders were spared... either way, this needs changing. Bronzey 07:41, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • apparently, this article needs cleaning. it is more like a story than history Ati7 12:44, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Ottoman Threat[edit]

apparently siege of 1683 was a greater failure for Ottomans than siege of 1529. it ended with Treaty of Karlowitz which was marked the first clear 'defeat' of Ottomans. Whereas siege of 1529 has no significant result. Ati7 12:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Forces[edit]

Qp10qp, if "...the commonest estimate is 100,000-120,000. The defenders usually estimated at c. 17,000." (your edit summary), strength section in the battlebox should be like this; ~ 17,000 (garrison) | ~ 100,000-120,000 Ottomans. Lysandros 16:24, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

That's true; by all means change it. The trouble was that I haven't found a book that actually says the Ottomans numbered "100,000-120,000". Some say 100,000, others 120,000 (and a few older ones go as high as 350,000). I feared that "100,000-120,000" might sound like original research, so I chose one of the figures sometimes given. But I take your point. (I think the truth is that no one has the faintest how many Ottomans there were.)
Incidentally, I'm stumped by this article, which is one of the trickiest on Wikipedia to sort out. Much of the information is ludicrous and POV, as pointed out above on this page by several people; yet many books—-I've found a good five—written in the nineteenth century, when this appears to have been a popular subject (plus one dubious twentieth-century one)—endorse this information. Later books ignore this information but don't mention or attack it. I could satisfy some of the citation requests by referencing nineteenth-century accounts, but I can't bring myself to do that. I wish I could find accounts written by the participants—which could then be placed in the context of their natural bias—but at the moment I can't. I'm thinking of offering this article up to the Military History Project for peer review, in the hope that some experts might be lured out of the woodwork to help put it in order. qp10qp 17:48, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Which is the source for 350,000 Ottoman soldiers, i can't find it in 'references'. Lysandros 21:50, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, there are some crap nineteenth-century books giving this figure, plus the crap twentieth-century book Battles that Changed the World by Fletcher Pratt ("There were nearly 350,000 attackers", p 144). Basically, it's all guesswork IMO, and it might be better to change the article wording there to something like "more than 300,000"; but let's give it a while, and I'll scrape about for a quotation that I won't be ashamed to place in the references (if one exists). What I've utterly failed to discover is the original sources that various figures are based on (other than Sanuto), or in fact the original sources for this subject altogether—the few I've seen referred to are in German, Italian, and Latin, and, though I can read those languages, I can't find the texts anywhere to have a look at; no authors actually reference them, either, so I can't even use parasite references (quote a secondary author quoting a source).
I'm actually going nuts with the figures, because what I long to say in the notes is something like "nobody *$&@*ing knows; I think these figures are all speculation!" But I can't say that, which is original research (and profane), and all I can do is rather boringly stack up a few of the ludicrously wide range of estimates that have been published. One mild source of satisfaction is that this article is probably the only extant stab at the subject (as far as I can see) which confronts the elephant in the room, the fact that such a range of wildly contradictory figures exists.
You'd think someone (let's ignore Pratt for a moment, who was a science-fiction writer at heart) would break up the figures, to say how many were fighters, and how many were camp-followers, logistics, supplies, catering etc. I read somewhere that Suleiman had 20,000 camels just to carry flour; but even that gets us nowhere...was that at the beginning, before the flood problems, or at Vienna? I can't use that quote because I don't know where it would help.
qp10qp 22:07, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the section "The Moles" en lump[edit]

I finally lost patience with this thrilling piece of melodrama, and so I am placing this here for other editors to assess. I'm not saying the material is all untrue—merely that the only sources I can find for this stuff are nineteenth century (apart from the work of amateur historian and science-fiction writer Fletcher Pratt), and that it should earn its return to the page through sourcing. In any case, it seems to me from looking at modern texts that the garrison were fully aware of the mining right from the start, as would be normal, and that they raided the mining operations before some of the discoveries below are supposed to have taken place. I think there's a lot of folklore at work here.

I should say that this is not the only questionable material in the article, by a long chalk.

The Moles[edit]

Intelligence reached the defenders that the real purpose of the bombardment was to mask tunnelling efforts beneath the city. The Carinthian Gate, one of the city's four entrances, was the apparent target of this new assault, the intent being to blow up the towers and then attack with assault troops. Salm, an expert in tunnelling, quickly took ingenious steps against the efforts, including placing buckets of water and dried peas on drums near the cellar walls of homes adjacent to the gate: when they shook, an alarm was sounded and counter-miners would commence digging "like moles". What they discovered were six different tunnels advancing through the earth towards the helpless bastions.

The Austrians dug until they struck the enemy tunnels, some of which they found deserted but with powder kegs ready to be lit, and some which were still occupied by miners and immediately became the site of unconventional combat. Guns were unusable due to the proximity of the kegs, so the men fought hand-to-hand with whatever weapons or tools they could muster, many dying, in the words of one witness, like "devils from the nether pit of hell[this quote needs a citation]". As the battle continued and the fighting below ground grew even more fierce, new weapons were devised for the underground war, including Turkish cavalry maces and Austrian sharpened spades. At one point, a powderkeg exploded prematurely, killing dozens on both sides. The total death toll from the underground fighting is unclear, but it gave rise to the term that would come to define the battle: the Siege of the Moles.

The majority of the mines had been discovered before any damage could be done, but constant digging exhausted Viennese capabilities and on 5 October two mines exploded beneath the Salt Gate, leaving room enough for a company of soldiers to break through. Janissaries immediately stormed the breach but were met by twelve-foot pikes and halberds, repulsing them with heavy losses. Within hours the breaches were refilled.

The next night, the Austrians replied with a new form of deadly assault. Dozens or possibly hundreds of men wearing black cloaks and armed with homemade bombs, possibly one of the first appearances of the Molotov cocktail, exited the city in silence and strode into the Ottoman camps, tossing their bombs into tents before making their escape. As many as 2,000 Turks died unaware, while sleeping[citation needed]. The fighting continued unabated. Some days later a mine finally exploded under the two towers of the Carinthian Gate, bringing them down and opening it to assault; but the advance was held back by Spanish harquebusiers, German pikemen and Bohemian two-handed swordsmen who killed 1200 Janissaries[citation needed] before the Janissaries retreated from the breach.

qp10qp 21:50, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Chunk no.2[edit]

Here's another chunk I've taken out. We need a good description of the fighting, but the POV language fails to convince me that this is it.

Endgame[edit]

On October 11 more rain fell and thousands more camels died[citation needed], while the Viennese began mounting cannons on rooftops, including the so-called "royals", with a greater range than any Turkish gun, that raked the Ottoman camps with nonstop fire....

...On October 14, the attack began, with serasker Ibrahim leading the charge personally. The assualts were aimed at the ruined Carinthian Gate and the bastion at the citadel or burg. The attack was led by bashi-bazouks, militia intending to overwhelm the Austrians with sheer numbers, followed by the janissaries, who for the first time were offered the incentive of a bounty of silver. Suleiman ordered that regardless of losses the attack be launched three times: he would either win or suffer dearly in the attempt.

After one mine had been exploded and another had failed, the Turks broke through the breaches with screaming battle cries, only to be faced again with palisades and long pikes. The bashi-bazouks charged twice and fell back twice as they were cut down repeatedly by pike and musket. Next came the Ottoman janissaries struck with murderous fervor who were also beaten back under a hail of grenades and grapeshot fired from the cannons sited within the Burg, leaving behind piles of their dead and wounded. Fearing Austrian collapse, Salm descended from St. Stephen's to assume personal command of the battle, he was hit almost immediately and fatally wounded.

Finally, without being ordered, the janissaries fell back, despite Ibrahim's efforts to whip them into another charge. They swarmed back to the camps, unpursued, and struck their tents. The siege was over.

qp10qp 17:16, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Final cuts[edit]

Two last cuts. Once again, I'm not saying these aren't true but that I can't source them (except from palpably unreliable books, like Pratt's Battles that Changed History, which treats history as if it is fiction).


In order to preserve what food the city had stored in the event of siege, the Austrians expelled 4,000 women, children, and elderly men out of the city in an escorted column. Unfortunately the column was intercepted by Ottoman forces and attacked at Traismauer. The Austrians later reported that some of the victims were impaled on stakes[citation needed], whilst some young women were sold as slaves[citation needed].


The Ottoman archers fared little better, causing a mild annoyance to the sheltering garrison, indeed it is reported that as balls crashed into the roof of St. Stephen's, Salm calmly remarked: "These pebbles are like the little pills my medico bids me swallow.[this quote needs a citation]"

Reported by who? Without that information, the quote is less than worthless.

qp10qp 21:47, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Good job Qp10qp, the whole article looks much better after all your modifications:) Ati7 13:45, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

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15-year-long Battle of Vienna?[edit]

The introduction refers to the "15-year Battle of Vienna." This must be a typo; the battle took place over two days (11-12 September). Perhaps the original author meant to say "weeks," in reference to the siege that preceded the battle at which the city was relieved, but even then, it would have been less than two months (from July 14). Does anyone know what this could be referring to? Otherwise, I would delete the "15-year".

Cdecoro (talk) 15:00, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Weird numbers[edit]

The numbers in the infobox are extremely odd. It gives 53,000 defenders though the reference actually says that they were between 17,000 and 20,000. And 60,000 ottomans even though the reference says that they were 120,000 (numbers are usually very unreliable for ottoman armies. They are often very exagerrated). The casualty numbers do not look very reliable either. From other sources, i've seen 25,000 casualties for the Turks. To be honest, since we don't even really know the number of soldiers involved, I don't suppose we have the casualties, so to me, it would be sounder to say that their number was not known. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.181.126.68 (talk) 00:48, 29 October 2014 (UTC)