B bábi, Tibor

Border Fortress Battles –

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Border Fortress Battles – Battles fought at the forts of Hungary’s last defense line from the middle of the 15th to the end of the 17th century. The entire nation fought an endless battle against the expanding Turkish Empire. The Turks were defeated at Nándorfehérvár (now Belgrade, Serbia) by János (John) Hunyadi in 1458; but the battles continued, although the Hungarian Kingdom easily repelled the Turkish attacks for the next 50 years. The forces of Suleyman I in 1526 at the Battle of Mohács finally defeated the Hungarians and the Turks eventually occupied the central two thirds of Hungary, i.e. the Carpathian Basin. The center of Hungary along its temporary borders became a battlefield for the next 150 years. Fortifications changed hands several times. The rest of Hungary, except the Principality of Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania), became part of the Habsburg Empire; and as more and more Hungarian soldiers died, the defense was taken over by soldiers employed by the Viennese Court. In this endless struggle a special form of cavalry evolved and later became known worldwide as Hussars: these mounted warriors could match the Turkish cavalry riding on magnificent Arabian stallions. Emperor Ferdinand I recognized their skills. The names of the Hungarian defenders became legendary. Among them are István (Stephen) Dobó, György (George) Szondy and Miklós (Nicholas) Zrinyi. They defended forts under their command with a handful of troops against the numerically superior Turkish forces. – B: 1208, 1020, T: 7656.→Dobó, István; Szondy, György; Zrinyi, Count Miklós; Hunyadi, János.

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