One of the things that still astonishes me is how much stuff I was taught in school that either was wrong or incomplete. Therefore, when Philip Augustine left the following comment behind at this post, DO WE HAVE THE WILL TO PRESERVE OUR CIVILIZATION?, it occurred to me I ought to post something about the man.

Poland! Jan Sobieski!

(from here)

Why did  mention Jan Sobieski? On September 11, 1683, Jan Sobieski led the combined forces of an army that saved Western Civilization. Why the need for a post? I did not recognize the man’s name, and we all should. The Battle of Vienna was that important.

When people talk about the wars between Christendom and the various Islamic Caliphates, what usually comes up are the Crusades. For some mysterious reason many forget that Muslim invaders spread their religion through the Middle East and beyond as conquerors.

So who was Jan Sobieski? Well, he was a decent military commander, but he was not a saint. Since Encyclopædia Britannica is still a respected reference, I checked Sobieski’s bio there. Just out of curiosity, I looked up the 1911 version of Sobieski’s bio. That was even less flattering. So I went with Wikipedia’s description of Sobieski’s role in the great battle.

Sobieski’s greatest success came in 1683, with his victory at the Battle of Vienna, in joint command of Polish and German troops, against the invading Ottoman Turks under Kara Mustafa.[27][32]

Upon reaching Vienna, with the Ottoman army close to breaching the walls, Sobieski ordered a full attack on 12 September. On early morning of that day, the united army of about 65,000[33]–76,000[32] men (including 22,000,[33]-27,000 Poles[27]) attacked a Turkish force of about 300,000[33]–350,000[32] men. At about 5 pm, after observing the infantry battle from the Kahlenberg hilltop, Sobieski led the Polish husaria cavalry along with Austrians and Germans in a massive charge down the hillside. Soon, the Ottoman battle line was broken and the Ottoman forces scattered in disarray.[34] At 5:30 pm, Sobieski entered the deserted tent of Kara Mustafa and the Battle of Vienna ended.[30][32]

The Pope and other foreign dignitaries hailed Sobieski as the “Savior of Vienna and Western European civilization.”[35] In a letter to his wife, he wrote, “All the common people kissed my hands, my feet, my clothes; others only touched me, saying: ‘Ah, let us kiss so valiant a hand!'”[36]

The war with the Ottomans was not yet over, and Sobieski continued the campaign with the Battle of Párkány on 7–9 October.[37] After early victories, the Polish found themselves a junior partner in the Holy League, gaining no lasting territorial or political rewards.[37] The prolonged and indecisive war also weakened Sobieski’s position at home.[37] For the next four years Poland would blockade the key fortress at Kamenets, and Ottoman Tatars would raid the borderlands. In 1691, Sobieski undertook another expedition to Moldovia, with slightly better results, but still with no decisive victories.[37]

So what did the Battle of Vienna look like? Well, here is a bit of September Eleven 1683.

Think about that date. How accurate is the movie? Don’t know. I suppose I have more studying to do, but that date almost certainly meant something to somebody.

Does it sound like an overstatement to say that Jan Sobieski‘s victory at the Battle of Vienna saved Western Civilization? Does it sound absurd to call Jan Sobieski‘s victory highly important for the sake of mankind. Look at that part of the world where Islam rules, and you tell me.

10 thoughts on “POLAND! JAN SOBIESKI!

  1. Great Informative and timely Post Tom

    As you know unfortunately, history tends to repeat. I have a conundrum to ask you..

    Who will be the next Jan Sobieski who may have to defend the Western Civilization from another invasion which seem to be taking place in Europe?

    Clue, the invaders have the same religious beliefs as the previous Turks, in my opinion.

    Don’t answer though, or you will be accused of being a paranoid …..aphobic.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You beat me to the punch Tom…I too immediately looked up Jan Sobieski. I was actually standing in the grocery store yesterday when I saw the comment by our friend Philip Augustine.
    I was then waiting for when I could find the time to do a proper post about this important historical figure. So I thank you for doing so as I think most non Europeans are not familiar with Poland and her importance in who we as a people are today—

    I was basically familiar with the battle—I think it was from reading one of George Weigel’s books about the life of Pope John Paul ll.

    It was in one of Weigle’s books which first examined Poland and her history. A history which has actually been an innate component, a building block as it were, going into a key formation in the character of many Poles… with one in particular being Karol Wojtyla .

    The pivotal role Poland has played throughout the history of Western Civilization as a nation, ever on the forefront of defense, is what Poland has in turn endowed her people with— a basis of understanding the importance of defending a particular way of life, for her it has always been a Christian way of life, a Catholic way of life.

    And isn’t it funny how these key leaders who, throughout the annals of time, have risen to the occasion at pivotal moments in the course of humankind when their characters were always less than saintly or virtuous…. yet it appears as if God uses those roughest around the edges in order to step up to the plate.

    I think it behoove most in the US, particularly the US, to revisit various courses on history!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. God makes use of whom He will. For a little time, at least, Jan Sobieski helped to make a resounding difference in the shape of things to come. Was he unwitting in the Lord’s service? I guess so, but I hope for his sake he was not.

      The Bible is explicit about leaders serving God’s purpose, not their own. The vast majority of us live our lives quite puzzled as to what God thinks He is doing.

      Are there great leaders? The Bible speaks of a few, at least. I read somewhere that a truly great leader is someone who knows what God wants to happen and finds his calling in implementing God’s plan. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and so many others found their calling in the Lord’s service. Eleven of the original apostles and the Apostle Paul were certainly such men.

      I am not a great leader, just an ordinary soul. At best, I am able to look back into the past and wonder how some things could have happened without the Hand of God. What gifts do I have? Well, I hope I have sufficient faith, hope, and love. If I do, then God will provide whatever else I need. That will be enough.

      I think it behoove most in the US, particularly the US, to revisit various courses on history!!!

      Over the years I have discovered that it is best to read historical documents, not history books. What historical documents would be best to read with respect to the Battle Of Vienna? Here there is a certain irony. In order to figure what historical documents to read, I will probably have to read a few history books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Citizen Tom!

    And a 1000 years earlier Charles Martel saved Western Civilization at the Battle of Tours.

    The Jihad had been attacking the human race since it stormed out of Arabia in the 7th century.

    Liked by 2 people

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