Battle of Tursko

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Battle of Tursko
Part of the First Mongol invasion of Poland
Date13 February 1241
Result Decisive Mongol victory
Mongol Empire Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Kingdom of Poland
Commanders and leaders
Baidar Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Włodzimierz of Cracow
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 Miechów. Meanwhile, Mongol forces headed towards Kraków via Koprzywnica, Wiślica 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 Długosz, 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]


Though the outcome was a decisive Mongol victory, course of the battle is difficult to determine due to the unreliability of the Polish sources and absence of Mongol sources. In all probability, given how they conducted numerous other campaigns, the Mongols may have issued a false retreat and lured the Poles into overconfidence. Then the Mongols struck the Poles when they were disorganized, routed, and slaughtered them.[4]

Remnants of fortifications were visible near Tursko until recently and were associated with a Mongol camp; the locals called this place "Zamczysko" ("castle remnants").[5] Construction of a monument commemorating the battle began in Tursko Wielkie in early 2012.[6]


  1. ^ 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) ‹See Tfd›(in 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. ^ Frank McLynn, Genghis Khan (20150.
  5. ^ Tatarzy w Sandomierzu, by Tomislaw Giergiel, "Następnego dnia Polacy pobili najeźdźców pod Turskiem, na południe od Sandomierza. Bitwa była wstrząsem dla Tatarów" ‹See Tfd›(in Polish)
  6. ^ Dokończą pomnik w Tursku Wielkim ‹See Tfd›(in Polish)