Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 and Zenta: Remember

This date is associated with the horrible tragedy of the events of 2001AD, and the great courage of some of those that selflessly reacted to such a vile and cowardly destruction of innocent life.

We ought not forget, however, that today is also the anniversary of one of the most decisive and crushing defeats ever sustained by an Islamic army.

On 11 September 1697 the Islamic Ottoman Empire was dealt a crippling blow.  Never again would this once powerful Empire seriously threaten the Christian world as it had.  This was the Battle of Zenta.  Deus lo vult!

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Prince Eugene of Savoy by Jacob von Schuppen.

The great strategist and general, Prince Eugene of Savoy, who would later make his mark in the War of the Spanish Succession led the army of the Holy League (primarily an Imperial army of Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians) against the Ottomans in the area of what is now Serbia.  At Zenta, or Senta, the Christian force of about 50,000 was able to set upon and strike a surprised Ottoman army of 100,000 as they were in the process of fording the River Tisa.

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The Battle of Zenta by Parrocel.

Despite being much larger, and under the direct command of the Sultan Mustafa II and his Grand Vizier, panic took the Islamic host, and the victory of the Holy League was complete: Prince Eugene lost 500 men killed and just 1,500 wounded to 20,000-30,000 Ottoman killed or drowned in the river.  This was as lopsided and dramatic a victory as you will find in the annals of history.
(cf., Encyclopedia Britannica: Battle of Zenta)

This victory resulted in the great 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz in which the Ottoman Empire was forced to cede Hungary and Transylvania.  The Islamic power that just a few years before, in 1683AD, was able to threaten the Imperial capital at Vienna, Austria, was humbled.

Even as we mourn those tragically murdered on this day in 2001, let us also drink a toast to the victory of 1697AD.  Deus lo vult!

Live well!

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