The Siege of Vienna

The Siege of Vienna

The Siege of Vienna

The Siege of Vienna

Synopsis

The Siege of Vienna in 1683 was one of the turning points in European history. It was the last serious threat to Western Christendom and so great was its impact that hostile countries sank their differences to throw back the armies of Islam and their savage Tartar allies. The consequences of defeat were momentous: the Ottomans lost half their European territories and began the long decline which led to the final collapse of the Empire, and the Habsburgs turned their attention from France to the rich pickings of the Balkans. The hot September day that witnessed the last great trial of strength between Cross and Crescent opened an epoch in European history that lasted until the cataclysm of the First World War in 1914. The story is a chilling one, peopled with extraordinary characters.

Excerpt

I am delighted that there should still be a call for the story I tried to tell almost forty years ago. I remember vividly walking round and round the famous city where I was very much a stranger, trying to understand the complexities of an event and the stream of uncertain, often contradictory evidence about it, which had earlier caught my imagination in Oxford libraries. in this edition I have left the historical narrative intact, though removing certain errors and improving some of the detail. I am deeply grateful to Hugh Andrew and his skilful colleagues at Birlinn.

Magdalen College, Oxford

J.W.S. 25 March 2000 . . .

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