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Thursday, 12 September 2013

"Venimus, vidimus et Deus vincit": The Battle at the Gates of Vienna, September 12, 1683

The Battle of Vienna
The extent of the Turkish Empire by the late 17th century
Today, 330 years ago, King John III Sobieski led the allied armies in a crushing defeat of the Turkish forces at Vienna. This battle was a pivotal one for civilization as we know it. Had the Turks won, the road was open to Rome - a destination which the Turks had proclaimed was theirs. Indeed, the High Altar at St. Peter's was going to be used as a feeding station for the Grand Vezir's horse. A Turkish victory would have plunged the Pope into exile, the peoples of south central Europe into servitude. History would have changed....


However...."venimus, vidimus et Deus vincit"..... so were the words written by the King in a message to Pope Innocent XI that the Turks had been stopped. 

It should be noted - contrary to propaganda being spread in certain American circles - that the Battle did not begin on the 11th. All Polish language historical writings that I have read specify distinctly: September 12th. 

A not too well known anecdote is that John III was also the great-grandfather on Bonnie Prince Charlie's maternal line. 

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