UKRAINIAN COSSACKS IN THE BATTLE OF VIENA
Truly one of the most essencial battles for whole the European civilisation, also known in history as the Battle of Vienna, took place on 11 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. Gaining victory the united Christian forces stopped the Ottoman Empire's gradual penetration into the European lands through Balkans and actually made Austria most influenced state in Central Europe.
In this battle united army of Polish, Austrian, German and Ukrainian troops under the command of John III Sobieski - the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania - defeated the Ottoman army, leaded by Kara Mustafa, the Grand Vizier of Mehmed IV.
Turkish siege of the Austrian capital started 14th of July 1683, Army of Ottoman Empire numered around 90 000 soldiers. 12 000 janissaries directly sieged the city and 70 000 Turkish soldiers controlled suburbs of Vienna. The tug of war took place 11th of September, when united forces of the Holy League (84 450 - total number of soldiers) approached to the city.
Forces of the Holy League consisted of: 26 000 soldiers (pol. Zhovnier) of subjects to John III Sobieski (including 5 000 of Zaporozhian Cossacks, 25 troops of Hussars, 77 of panzer troops, 31 troops of light cavalry, infantry, dragoons, 28 cannons and 250 artillerymen); 18 400 Austrian soldiers ( including 8 100 cavaliers), 70 cannons - under the command of Charles V Duke of Lorraine; 20 000 of Bavarian, Franconian and Swabian soldiers with 38 cannons. Commander – prince George Friedrich of Waldeck; 9 000 Saxonian soldiers (including 7 000 of infantry) with 16 cannons, commander – John George III of Saxony. Total quantity: 84 450 soldiers (including 3 000 of soldiers whose main mission was protecting of drummers) and 152 cannons.
The Battle of Vienna became a critical event of the tercentenary war with the Ottoman Empire. During next 16 years Austrian troops assumed the offensive and returned the occupied terrotories of southern Hungary and Transylvania.
As regarding the Ukrainian contribution to the glorious victory - a number of numents were erected in Vienna in memory of Ukrainian Cossacks, among them:
- a memorial plaque in honor of Ukrainian Cossacks who took part in the liberation of Vienna was set on the wall of St. Leopold’s church (Vienna 19, Leopoldsberg) in 1983.
- a monument to Ukrainian Cossacks (Vienna 18, Turkenschanzpark). It was opened 15th of September 2003 on the 320th anniversary of the liberation of Vienna and on 12th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine. The monument was created by sculptors of the National Union of Ukrainian Artists, Professor V.A. Chelyk and architect V.P. Skulskyi. It was manufactured in Kyiv.
- - anothe rmonument was erected in 2013 near to the Ukrainian Catholic church with personal support of Michael Haupl, the mayor of Vienna. It was made by Ukrainian sculptors – Volodymyr and Olexiy Chepelyk.