June 2024

The Battle of Vienna – is history about to rhyme?

The most important battle in history?

Most British people over the age of 30 will know about our country’s great battles – Agincourt, Spanish Armada, Trafalgar, Battle of Britain etc. As for younger people, who knows what history they’re taught? It’s probably all about what nasty, racist, slave-owning colonialists the British were.

But I doubt there are many British of any age who know anything about the Battle of Vienna. Yet the Battle of Vienna was probably the most important battle in European, or even world, history.

The Battle of Vienna took place at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on 12 September 1683 after the city had been besieged by Ottoman Empire forces for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire (a group of Central European territories) under the command of Polish King John lll Sobieski against the invading Muslim Ottoman Empire and is often seen as a turning point in history after which the Muslim Ottoman Turks ceased to be a threat to the Christian world.

The Polish king had about 70,000 to 80,000 soldiers under his command facing an Ottoman army of 150,000.

The decisive point in the battle is generally believed to have come at about 6.00 pm when the Polish king ordered his 18,000 cavalry to attack in four groups. Sobieski himself led the charge at the head of 3,000 Polish heavy lancers. In what was probably the largest cavalry charge in history, Sobieski’s horsemen smashed through the Muslim armies who started to flee pursued by Christian forces.

Why is this battle is so important?

Had the Ottomans won the Battle of Vienna, then much of Christian Central Europe would have fallen under Muslim control. There would also have been Muslim attempts to conquer parts of Western Europe. That would have meant hundreds of years of oppression, backwardness and poverty. There would have been little to no scientific or technological progress. Little to no agricultural development. Little to no cultural achievement. The greatest civilisation the world has ever known might never have happened. This was truly a battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of progress. Thankfully, the forces of progress won.

Is history about to rhyme?

Most people will know the quote generally attributed to Mark Twain ” history never repeats itself, but it does rhyme”. As I’ve written before, what I believe Twain was explaining was that different countries have different cultural and behavioural characteristics which cause each country to act in a certain way even though the historical circumstances obviously change.

For example: the Germans will always try to dominate and rule Europe, usually with disastrous consequences. The French will always be devious, arrogant, selfish and cowardly and will always submit to centralising bureaucratic control by the elites. The British, due partly to their island history, will always cherish freedom and independence. Hence, although many Brits didn’t know much about what the EU was up to, their innate belief in individual freedom and their country’s independence caused them to vote to leave the EU.

So, what’s the relevance of the Battle of Vienna?

Well, at the battle of Vienna, we saw mainly Central European Christians standing up to defend their civilisation against an invading Muslim army. And what do we see today? Almost the same thing. While the Germans try to force their latest crazy plan on the rest of Europe (a new Muslim invasion), it’s the Central Europeans – Poland, Hungary and others – who are are standing firm and refusing to allow this latest Muslim invasion and its destruction of European Christian civilisation.

History may not be repeating itself. But it does seem to be rhyming.

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