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 Ottoman wars in Europe

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kosovohp
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PostSubject: Ottoman wars in Europe   Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:00 pm

Shortly after the Battle of Mohács, the Habsburgs unsuccessfully sought to stabilise the borders between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Croatia by creating a captaincy in Bihać. However, in 1529, the Ottoman army swept through the area and captured Buda and besieged Vienna; an event which brought violence and turmoil to the Croatian border areas (see Ottoman wars in Europe). After the failure of the first military operations, the Kingdom of Croatia was split into civilian and military units in 1553. The latter became Croatian Krajina and Slavonian Krajina and both eventually became parts of the Croatian Military Frontier which was directly under the control of Vienna.

Ottoman raids on Croatian territory continued until the Battle of Sisak in 1593, after which the borders stabilised for some time. The kingdom of that time became known as the Reliquiae reliquiarum olim inclyti Regni Croatiae ("The remains of the once famous Kingdom of Croatia"). An important battle during this time was the Battle of Szigetvár (1566), when 2,300 soldiers under the leadership of ban Nikola Šubić Zrinski held back for two months 100,000 Ottoman soldiers led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, fighting to the last man. Cardinal Richelieu was reported to have called the event "the battle that saved civilization."[22]

During the Great Turkish War (1667–1698), Slavonia was regained but hilly western Bosnia, which had been a part of Croatia until the Ottoman conquest, remained outside Croatian control and the current border, which resembles a crescent or a horseshoe, is a remnant of this historical outcome. The southern part of the 'horseshoe' was created by the Venetian conquest following the Siege of Zara and was defined by the 17–18th century wars with the Ottomans. The de jure reason for Venetian expansion was the decision of the king of Croatia, Ladislas of Naples, to sell his rights on Dalmatia to Venice in 1409.[23]

During more than two centuries of Ottoman wars, Croatia underwent great demographic changes. The Croats left the riverland areas of Gacka, Lika and Krbava, Moslavina in Slavonia, and an area in present day north-western Bosnia to move towards Austria where they remained and the present day Burgenland Croats are direct descendants of these settlers. To replace the fleeing Croats, the Habsburgs called on the Orthodox populations of Bosnia and Serbia to provide military service in Croatian and Slavonian Krajina. Serbian migration into this region, which had started in the 16th century, peaked during the Great Serb Migrations of 1690 and 1737–39. The rights and obligations of new populace of the Military frontier were decided with the Statuta Valachorum in 1630

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