Quellenbuch Zur Geschichte Der Neuzeit

Author: John Sobieski  | Date: 1890

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Schilling Berlin 1890

The Turks Are Routed at Vienna

13 September 1683

The Lord be praised forevermore for granting our nation such a triumph and such glory unrivalled in history! The entire camp of the enemy, with all their artillery and great treasures, has fallen into our hands. They are now retreating in great confusion. The approaches to the town, the camp, and the fields are covered with their corpses.

The cænels and other beasts of burden, the cattle, and the sheep of the enemy were captured to-day by our soldiers and the captive Turkish shepherds driven off.

Some deserters, beautifully appareled and well-mounted, have voluntarily come over to us. So extraordinary was their appearance that the townspeople were overcome with fright. Our soldiers were astonished, for they believed that the enemy had recovered and were coming back for further battle.

The losses of the enemy in powder and ammunition alone is worth a million. Several of our camp followers very foolishly set off the powder in several places, making a fearful noise, but no further damage was done. The grand vizier lost all his rich treasure and just managed to escape, on horseback, with nothing but the coat on his back.

It happened this way. Having forced my way into the enemy’s camp, I hurried forward in pursuit of the vizier when one of his chamberlains surrendered to me. He afterwards showed me the tent of his leader. This tent was so large that it might have contained within its circumference the city of Warsaw or Lemberg. The standard which the grand vizier always had carried before him with great ceremony fell into my hands, as did the Muslim banner given to him by the sultan for his campaign. The latter I sent by post to his Apostolic Holiness in Rome. Our army now possesses quantities of the most gorgeous gold-mounted sabers and other rare Turkish equipment.

The coming of night prevented us from continuing our pursuit. It cannot be denied that the enemy defended himself bravely, especially the company of foot-guards who guarded the approaches to the camp and bore the brunt of the battle. A part of these daring and courageous janizaries fought with us in the field, while the rest sought to storm the fortifications.

I estimate the number of the besieging army at three hundred thousand, not counting the Tartars. Others say there were three hundred thousand tents with three men to a tent, but that would make the number altogether too great to be believed. Yet, there must have been at least one hundred thousand tents. From each of these the victors take what they like, Even the townspeople are rushing out to take their share of the booty. I guess that it will take at least eight days to gather in all the spoils.

Some of the Austrian people—especially women—who had been taken captive by the Turkish army and who could not be taken away in flight, were cut down by saber. Many of them, however, can be healed of their wounds.

Early this morning I went into the town and learned that it could not have held out five days longer. Never have the eyes of men looked on such great damage done in so short a time. The enemy’s mines smashed great masses of stone and rock and tossed them about in heaps. The imperial castle is riddled by holes and ruined by Turkish cannon balls.

The vizier threw his entire force against my right wing, so that my troops of the left wing had little to do, and finally left their position and came to my aid.

When the victory was won, I was surrounded by Prince Von Waldeck, the elector of Bavaria, and many of the imperial princes, who embraced and kissed me. The generals clasped my hands and feet. The other commanders, with their regiments on horse and on foot, shouted: "Our brave king!"

Early this morning came the Elector of Saxony and the dukes of Lorraine, who could not speak to me yesterday because their position was on the outermost edge of the left wing. Finally, Count von Stahrenberg, the governor of Vienna, accompanied by a huge crowd of people of all social classes, came to greet me, kissing and embracing me and calling me their savior.

Later I visited two churches, where once more I found mobs of people who sought to kiss my hands, and even my feet and clothing. Most of them had to be content with touching my coat. One could hear them crying everywhere: "Let us through to kiss the hand of valor!" All shouted for joy. I begged the German officers to forbid this, but in spite of them a great crowd shouted loud: "Long live the king!"

There is a huge pile of captured tents and flags. The enemy has departed with nothing but his life. Let Christendom rejoice and thank the Lord our God that he has not permitted the heathen to scorn and ridicule us with such words as: "Where, now, is your God!"

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Chicago: John Sobieski, Quellenbuch Zur Geschichte Der Neuzeit, ed. Schilling in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Co., 1951), Original Sources, accessed December 5, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6YTVIM48T1DNUJW.

MLA: Sobieski, John. Quellenbuch Zur Geschichte Der Neuzeit, edited by Schilling, in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, edited by Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris, Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1951, Original Sources. 5 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6YTVIM48T1DNUJW.

Harvard: Sobieski, J, Quellenbuch Zur Geschichte Der Neuzeit, ed. . cited in 1951, History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. , Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, Pa.. Original Sources, retrieved 5 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6YTVIM48T1DNUJW.