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Siege of Belgrade (1440)
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe and Serbian-Ottoman Wars
Dateend of April 1440 — October 1440
Location
Result Hungarian victory
Belligerents
Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Murad II
Ali Bey Evrenosoglu
Ivan Talovac
Strength
35,000 3000-5000
Casualties and losses
17,000 (early Christian sources)[1] unknown

The siege of Belgrade was a siege of Belgrade, an important fortified town of the Serbian Despotate and the key fortress of the Hungarian defense line after the Ottoman subjugation of Serbia in 1439, by the forces of the Ottoman Empire, spanning over five months in 1440.[2]

Background

The struggle over the throne of Hungary and Slavonia resulted in a civil war that provided the Ottomans with an opportunity for advancement. Seizing upon this opportunity, Sultan Murad II decided to capture Belgrade.[3]

Forces

The Belgrade castle was protected by the canons which were placed there during the period of Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević.[4] The Ottoman Army, commanded by Murad II and Ali Beg Evrenosoglu, built a wall around the city and used it to hurl stones at its fortifications.[5] They also used cannons cast in Smederevo, the Despotate capital they had captured a year before.[6]

The strength of the Belgrade garrison is unknown.[7] Besides Talovac's banderij of around 500 men from Croatia, the garrison was enforced with Czech and Italian mercenary archers. The local Hungarian population also assisted defenders[8] Talovac's forces had significant advantage because some of them used rifles, which was the first usage of the rifles against the Ottomans.[9]

Battle

Murad II approached Belgrade with his forces at the end of April 1440.[10] Taloci was not immediately aware of the size of the Ottoman forces. He had initially intended to defeat them on the open battlefield, but when he realized his forces were heavily outnumbered, Taloci retreated to the city.[8] Murad II ordered building of mobile towers and cannons of different sizes, fortified his position and besieged the city.[8]

According to Konstantin Mihailović, the title of bey and a corresponding estate was promised to the Ottoman soldier who waved the Ottoman flag on the Belgrade walls. Although Evrenosoglu already had the title of bey at that time, he decided to personally lead the assault on the walls of the Belgrade castle, in hopes of increasing his already great reputation.[11]

References

  1. ^ T͡Svetkova, Bistra Andreeva (1979). Pametna bitka na narodite: evropeĭskii͡a︡t i͡u︡goiztok i osmanskoto zavoevanie--krai͡a︡ na XIV i pŭrvata polovina na XV v (in Bulgarian). Kn-vo "Georgi Bakalov". p. 91. ...17 000 жертви в тия тежки сражения за овладяване
  2. ^ Jefferson 2012, pp. 236–240.
  3. ^ Magaš, Branka (2007). Croatia through history: the making of a European state. Saqi. p. 74.
  4. ^ Tasić, Nikola (1995). Istorija Beograda. Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti, Balkanološki institut. p. 67. Град јс био снабдевен топовима који су били распорсђени још у времс деспота Стефана Лазаревића.
  5. ^ Franz Babinger (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. pp. 18–. ISBN 0-691-01078-1.
  6. ^ Parry, Vernon J.; Yapp, Malcolm (1975). War, technology and society in the Middle East. Oxford University Press. p. 185.
  7. ^ Šolajić, Dragutin (1954). Ratna prošlost Beograda. Beogradske novine. p. 50. Колика је била јачина београдске посаде није познато
  8. ^ a b c Klaić, Vjekoslav (1901). Povjest Hrvata: od najstarijih vremena do svršetka XIX. stoljeća. Tisak i naklada knjižare L. Hartmana (Kugli i Deutsch). p. 175.
  9. ^ Prosvjeta. Društvo hrvatskih književnika. 1908. p. 415. Tako je dakle Ivan Talovac mogao prvi upotiebiti puške u ratu s Turcima.
  10. ^ Klaić, Vjekoslav (1901). Povjest Hrvata: Dio 1. Treće dova: Vladanje kraljeva iz raznih porodica (1301-1526) 1. knj. Anžuvinci i Sigismund do gubitka Dalmacije (1301-1409). Tisak i naklada knjižare L. Hartmana. p. 175.
  11. ^ Jefferson 2012, pp. 240–244.

Sources