Battle of Ivankovac
|Battle of Ivankovac|
|Part of the First Serbian uprising|
|Serbian revolutionaries||Ottoman Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Karađorđe Petrović
|initially 2,500 men, later reinforced with 5,000 more||20,000 men|
|Casualties and losses|
|less than 1000 dead||approximately 15.000 dead|
The Battle of Ivankovac was the first full-scale confrontation between Serbian revolutionaries and the regular forces of the Ottoman Empire during the First Serbian Uprising. The battle ended with a Serbian victory and prompted Ottoman Sultan Selim III to declare jihad (holy war) against the Serbs.
In the 1790s, the Ottoman Sultan Selim III granted the Serbs in Ottoman Serbia the right to run their own affairs in exchange for their cooperation with the governor of Belgrade, Hadži Mustafa Pasha. Following the Slaughter of the Knezes in February 1804, a revolt led by Karađorđe Petrović erupted against the Ottoman janissary in Serbia. The Serbs initially received the support of Selim and managed to defeat the corrupt janissary by the end of the year. Facing great pressure not to cooperate extensively with his Christian subjects, Selim began to view the Serbs as rebels by the spring of 1805. He appointed the Ottoman ruler of Niš, Hafiz Pasha, as the new governor of Belgrade and ordered him to confront the Serbian insurgents. The Ottoman Turkish forces were highly trained.
The village of Ivankovac is located near the town of Ćuprija. On 18 August [O.S. 7 August] 1805, the Ottomans attacked the Serbian revolutionaries, commanded by Karađorđe and Milenko Stojković, at Ivankovac. Hafiz Pasha was seriously wounded during the battle and died as a result. The Ottomans were defeated.
The battle was a major victory for the Serbian rebels. It marked the first time that a regular Ottoman Turkish unit was defeated by Serbian revolutionaries during the First Serbian Uprising. Victory meant that the Serbian forces had taken full control of the Belgrade Pashaluk. Smederevo was captured in November and became the first capital of the Serbian revolutionary government, while Belgrade was taken the following year. Defeat in the battle prompted Selim to declare jihad (holy war) against the Serbian revolutionaries fighting to expel the Turks from Serbia.
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