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Notable Battles of Medieval Hungarians

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Notable Battles of Medieval Hungarians
    Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 04:07
Originally posted by BigL

"A southern army attacked Transylvania, defeated the voivod and crushed the Transylvanian Hungarian army" any info on this battle?

"The Tartar casulties were so large that Batu didnt wanted to pursue the Hungarians" ,Where did you get this from, i know the mongol casualties at the bridgehead were high,but werent the other mongol divisions relatively untouched.

 "A camp of 100 000 or even  60 000 horsemen would be simply too large to this actions." mongol bow can shoot roughly 300m ,the mongols surrounded the camp so shooting from all directions,does this mean the camp has a diameter of 600meters/

How many of the hungarians are horsemen?

1. My reference do not give details, because it concentrates to the Mohi battle. I will search for further information.

2. According to the footnotes of my reference the primary source was The History of the Yuan dinasty - Biography of Subodai.

3. There were no infantry only cavalry in the Hungarian army, but there were the servants and other camp followers.

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 04:08

No infantry where do the hungarians get all there horses from

The History of the Yuan dinasty - Biography of Subodai where can i access this source please



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 04:30
Originally posted by BigL

No infantry where do the hungarians get all there horses from

The History of the Yuan dinasty - Biography of Subodai where can i access this source please

1. I'm sorry, but I can't understand you first sentence.

2. The essay of Ngyesi refers a Hungarian translation, but I do not know how to find an english copy.

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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 05:41
Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by Maljkovic

I made a little mistake, it should of said no translation.

The military system was basically feudal. Each noble had a given area of governing and a set number of troops he had to mobilize at the kings request. In the Arpad times the numbers were lowered in favor of quality, as oposed to the situation during the independent kingdom.

P.S. I have another correction to make, it seems I mixed up two brothers, Ivan and Jakov. Jakov was the one who was at Mohi and was not captured,  while Ivan was part of the kings rear guard after Mohi and was captured.

Were this warriors horsemen or foot soldiers? What kind of weapons did they use.

There wasn't any big difference between the Hungarian and Croation forces, that's probably why they weren't mentioned separatly. In Slavonia the mainstay was made up of heavy horsemen (lance, shield and sword), while in Croatia there was more armoured infantry, but like I said, only Slavonians came to Mohi.

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Mar-2006 at 15:49

Question wat was the compostition of Hungarian armies,All cavalry ,so no infantry what about crossbowmen or archers.

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 02:35
Originally posted by BigL

Question wat was the compostition of Hungarian armies,All cavalry ,so no infantry what about crossbowmen or archers.

Well the first information about crossbowmen is connected to the Mongol invasion. The Castle of Esztergom was successfully defended by the Spanish count Simon and his crossbowmen. On the other hand there is no information about the usage of crossbow or any other type of infantry in field battles during the Arpad age. So Hungarian armies of this age were exclusively cavalry forces.
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 08:47

The Battle of Drnkrut (or the 2nd battle of Marchfeld)

Background:

a) Military force and internal situation of Hungary

In the XIII. century the power of the lords continuously grew thanks to the plentiful royal land donations. Bla IV tried to restore the old days, but he failed and after the Mongol invasion the donations continued to the faithful barons. Though these barons were faithful indeed (due to the shocking Mongol invasion), their sons chose a different way. During the rule of the child king Ladislaus IV (the Cuman) the barons became so powerful that one of them even murdered a member of the royal family (Bla the Duke of Macs and Bosnia) in public and remained unpunished. As Ladislaus reached the age of majority he made an attempt to beat them. Instead of restoring the old land-structure of the kingdom he chose an eastern autokratic way of governing by the help of the Cumans. (His mother was a Cuman princess.) Practically  he spent all of his life in internal warfare.

The disintegration of the royal estate and power structure changed the old military system of the country. The rising class of the royal servants (servientes regis) or in their new name nobles (Originally nobilis was an exclusively aristocratic title) had the right to serve directly under the royal banner instead of the  counties. Many of them became the familiaris of some lord. Familiarity is often called the Hungarian form of vassality, but in truth the Hungarian familiares  were very different from the western type vassals in some aspects. In the time of the battle of Drnkrut the king was still able to raise an army from the remnant of the county system, and from the Cumans, but he needed some of the barons and their private armies to have a capable army.

After the Mongol invasion Bla IV also reformed the army to increase the ratio of heavy cavalry, but the overall number of the heavy cavalry was still low compared to a Western European army. On the other hand the Cumans brought new blood to the horse archer traditions and had a great role in the royal army.

b) Alliance against Bohemia

king Ladislaus meets emperor Rudolph: a copy of Mr Than's original painting:

During the Mongol Invasion Frederick the Duke of Austria and Styria blackmailed, robbed the Hungarian king Bla IV. Altough in the following year Bla recaptured the lost territories and the status quo ante bellum was restored hostilities didnt ceased to exist. In 1246 the last of the Babenbergs Frederick died in a battle between Austrians and Hungarians. His duchies became masterless. Hungary and the rising power of Bohemia also wanted to seize the Babenberg legacy and a long struggle began between the two kingdoms. After some years of war Bohemia and Hungary divided the territories. Hungary got Styria while Bohemia got Austria. But this treaty didnt solve the problem. And the war continued. In 1260 Ottokar II of Bohemia defeated Bla IV in the battle of Kroissenbrunn (or the first battle of Marchfeld) and annexed the whole Babenberg legacy. Ottokar also tried to conquer Hungary itself. He failed, but the Hungarians could regain the last castle from him only in 1277.

With these conquest Bohemia became the strongest within the Holy Roman Empire and Ottokar had the ambition to become the Emperor. He failed. The electors did not want an emperor so powerful, and elected an insignificant count, Rudolf Habsburg (1273). The Bohemian king did not recognized him as an emperor, because the Duke of Bavaria took part in the elections instead of him as an elector. In 1274 Rudolph declared that the Ottokar had illegally captured the Babengberg lands. According to law the emperor had the right to donate masterless lands.

Rudolph was too weak to defeat Ottokar, so he tried to ally himself with Ladislaus IV of Hungary. Realising this danger Ottokar also tried to arrange problems with Hungary, but he wasnt trusted and the Hungarian court chose Rudolph. After his failed attempt to ally with Hungary Ottokar offered Rudolph the Babenberg territories, but the emperor wanted to crush him and rejected. The war began.


The Battle:

In August 26th 1278 the three armies clashed. Rudolph and Ladislaus had the high ground, thanks to the kings Cumans who served as excellent scouts and destroyed every Bohemian troops fell behind. Their actions slowed down Ottokar and practically blinded his army.

Imperial and Hungarian troops stood separately: Hungarians on the left side, Imperials on the right side. The Hungarians had cca. 15 000 cavalry among them 5000 Cumans. Rudolph had 2000 knights all of them with their retinues. All together cca. 10 000 men.

The first line of Ladislaus army were the Cumans and the Hungarian light cavalry. The second and the third line consisted medium and heavy cavalry. The second line was led by palatine Matthew Csk, the third line was led by Stephen Gutkeled  the royal judge (iudex curiae regis) two immensely powerful baron. The young king (he was only 16 year-old) stood on a hill behind his army and personally did not fight. A German chronicle mentions that Hungarian kings usually stand in well protected places because Hungarian troops generally moves fast and often change their position in battle, while Germans usually stand still in melee.

Rudolph made two lines from his knights (Austrians, Styrians and Suabians) and providently he formed a reserve of 60 knights under Ulrich von Kapellen. The emperor fought alongside his knights.

Ottokar had a large army of 30 000 men. This army consisted auxilliary troops of different countries. The Bohemian king divided his army to fought separatedly with the two enemy. On the right against the Hungarians he placed Bohemians (1st line), Moravians (2nd line) and Poles (3rd line) led by Milota Dedic. On the left stood German knights from Thuringia and Messen (1st line), Poles (2nd line) with Bavarians and Brandenburgians (3rd line.) Ottokar fought in the left in front of Rudoph.

The battle started with the attack of the Cumans and Hungarian light cavalry. The showers of arrows hurted or killed many Bohemians and disintegrated their formation. This disarrayed Bohemian right was charged by the Hungarian heavy cavalry. They fought well, a German source compared their capacities to the famous French knights. The Hungarians reached the Bohemian camp and began looting.

Meanwhile Ottokar pushed back Rudolphs troops. Even the emperors life was in danger. In this moment the Imperial reserve under Ulrich von Kapellen flanked the Bohemian army and now Ottokar had to retreat. Finally the return of the Hungarians to the back of the Ottokar crushed retreating Bohemians and the Iron and Golden King -as Ottokar was called- died with his men.


Aftermath:

Although the short lived Bohemian great power was defeated, the great king was dead, Bohemia managed to preserve its influence and remained an important power of the region.

Emperor Rudolph donated the Babenberg lands to his sons and these lands became the core of the future world-wide Habsburg Empire.

emperor Rudolph I

King Ladislaus returned to Hungary with the loot. The continuous Bohemian danger was ceased to exist and the western border was secured. The victory temporary gave him a bright reputation, but his struggle for restoring royal power ultimately failed. A papal legate forced him to accept anti-Cuman laws and only two years after Drnkrut, where he won with the help of the Cumans, he had to beat a Cuman rebellion. Finally he was killed by Cuman assassins in 1290.

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 23:00

"Hungarian troops generally moves fast and often change their position in battle" Interesting how Hungarian art of warfare differs alot from German,Is this due to a Steppe influnce(Magyar/cuman)??

"They fought well, a German source compared their capacities to the famous French ", What was good about the French knights ,all i know about about their battles is being defeated by English alot and the disaster crusade vs the ottoman turks?

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 03:07
Originally posted by BigL

"Hungarian troops generally moves fast and often change their position in battle" Interesting how Hungarian art of warfare differs alot from German,Is this due to a Steppe influnce(Magyar/cuman)??

"They fought well, a German source compared their capacities to the famous French ", What was good about the French knights ,all i know about about their battles is being defeated by English alot and the disaster crusade vs the ottoman turks?

1. The composite bow remained an important weapon of Hungarian troops. Horse archer tactics was used generally against western knights while against eastern enemies Hungarians used usually western style melee tactics. (see. Battle of Zemun) Naturally the arrival of the Cumans also had an impact.

2. The battle of Drnkrut was in 1278. Crecy was in 1346. Osman I declared his independence only in 1299.

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  Quote Nagyfejedelem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 12:54
Good work!Clap
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2006 at 06:48

The Battle of Rozhanovce (Hung. Rozgony)

June 15 1312

Background:

In the last decades of the XIII. century anarchy fell to Hungary. Powerful barons ruled vast teritories and usurped royal rights. The continuous efforts of the kings to reestabilish royal power failed.

Domains of the reguli in the begining of the 14th century:

green- name of the oligarch or his family

red - important battle against the oligarchs

purple - seats of the oligarchs

In January 14 1301 Andrew III the Venetian died heirless. With his death the royal line of rpds died out. The kingdom remained without king, but at least it remained. It was not unusual that a kingdom ceased to exist after the dinasty died out, but in Hungary the ideology of the kingdom remained strong and all of the oligarchs (in Latin: reguli, little kings) agreed that Hungary need a king, and they all agreed that this king had to be without power.

A king of Hungary had to be the descendant of the Arpad kings. Authority of the Arpad dinasty was still unquestioned. There were three candidates: Venceslaus Premysl the son of the king of Bohemia, Otto Wittlesbach of Bavaria and Charles Robert dAnjou from Naples. After the struggles of the interregnum Charles I was generally recognized as king and had a valid coronation in August 27 1310. Though Charles I was a king, but he had no real power. The reguli did not obeyed to him. Peaceful solutions failed the only way to regain royal power was war.

The most powerful and most notorious regulus Matthew Csk of Trecin (Hung. Trencsn) openly rebelled against the king and forced him to relocate the royal seat from Buda to Timisoara (Hung. Temesvr) in 1311.

The Aba was an old aritocratic family in Hungary. One of them [Samuel I 1041-44] even became king as a brother in law of king St. Stephen I. In this time they ruled over a large portion of Northern Eastern Hungary.

In the autumn of 1311 Amd Aba  was killed by the citizens of Kosice (Hung: Kassa) because he tried to deprive the town of its royal priviliges and extend Aba power above the town. Some of his sons were captured and held in custody.

The sons of Amd Aba wanted revenge, and the king to keep peace mediated between the Abas and Kosice (Kassa). In fact the king supported Kassa and forced an agreement wich would have crushed the Aba power. The sons of Amd Aba did not accept the agreement and attacked Kosice (Kassa). The rebellion of the Abas was supported by Matthew Csk while other oligarchs remained neutral or nominally helped the king.


The battle:

The royal army and the rebels finally met near to Rozhanovce (Rozgony). The Abas had approximately 4000 men amongst them 1700 Moravian heavy cavalrymen, mercenaries sent by Matthew Csk. The others were also cavalrymen mostly medium or light cavalry.  The rebel army was led by Big Aba.

The king had cca. 3000 men. His army consisted of the medium/light cavalry of the lesser nobles, who prefered royal power instead of the local lords, the infantry of the local towns (mainly Kosices, the main target of the Abas.) and the royal retinue of knights. The king was also helped by Hospitaller knights who had at least 30 chapters in Hungary.  The king personally led his army.

The battle began as a tipical battle of the knights. Both armies tried to crush the enemy with a frontal cavalry charge. The Abas had more men and more heavy cavalry so they could push back royal forces. Even the royal standard bearer (Gyrke Csk) died and Charles had to continue fight under the banner of the Hospitallers. The rebel cavalry nearly  overwhelmed the royal cavalry. In this moment the infantry of the townfolks, who were practicaly ignored by both the king and the Abas, sideattacked the rebels and they managed to kill the rebel leaders. They saved the king and saved the day.

This was the first time in Hungarian military history when infantry played a decesive role in the outcome of a battle.

The battle of Rozhanovce:

Right side - the royal army and the king

Left side - the rebels

Behind - Kosice and its infantry flanking the rebels


 

Aftermath:

This was only the first step. In the following decade the king defeated the reguli one by one. He practically had to conquer his own country. There was only one oligarch whom he couldnt defeat. Matthew Csk managed to preserve his power though he lost some of his territory. Charles was able to submit Csk domains only after the death of Matthew Csk.

Charles I d'Anjou:

Charles I consolidated royal power and his reforms became strong base of a Golen Age in Hungarian medieval history under the reign of his son Louis I the Great.

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  Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2006 at 13:35
I have a question with the background origin of Hungary. Wasn't Hungary founded by the Huns? With "Hun"gary i think it kind of makes sense
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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2006 at 16:48

Think it was named after Onogars,a later  tribe

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2006 at 09:35
Originally posted by Ponce de Leon

I have a question with the background origin of Hungary. Wasn't Hungary founded by the Huns? With "Hun"gary i think it kind of makes sense
BigL is right. The word Hungary,  more precisely the latin Hungarus originates from the name of the Onogur (= ten arrows) steppe federation.

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2006 at 09:41

Anyway It is interesting that in the picture illustrating the battle you can see both element of the Hungarian coat of arms. Red and Silver stripes as the symbol of the Royal House (with additional fleur-de-lys of the Capet-Anjous) and the triple mound with the patriarchal cross as a symbol of the nobilitas, the country itself. The later is broken to sign the defeat.

Coat of arms of Hungary:



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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2006 at 14:11
Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by DayI

Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by BigL

Can u inform me about hunyadi
Well, I am planning to insert some of his battles (Varna, Belgrade). What do you want to know about him?

I have problems with who he really whas, a Hungarian (thats what i think) or Romanian (thats what some romanians think of).
Well, It's a difficult question. He was a real christian hero not only among the Romanian and Hungarians, but Serbs etc. also.

The Hunyadi family originated from Wallachia. The name Hunyadi means of Hunyad in Hungarian. The family got this name after Hunyadi's father migrated to Transylvania and received the Castle Hunyad from the king.

Some Hungarian historians presumed that the family had a Cuman origin, because of their names (Vajk, Serbe etc.) But most of the historians rejected it because only the origin of their names is not enough to prove the origin of the family. By the way Cumans in the XV. century were fully assimilated to the Romanians. So I think we could say that the Hunyadi's father were a Romanian.

The father of Hunyadi, Vajk (hung.) or Voicu (rom.) married a Hungarian woman and presumably convert to the catholic faith. Being a catholic was necessary to became a nobleman in Hungary and this were usually the first step of assimilation to the Hungarians.

So John Hunyadi was a catholic nobleman of Hungary whose father was a Romanian and mother was a Hungarian. I do not know his personal ties or his mother tongue.

All in all I think both Romanians and Hungarians could rightfully consider him as theirs.

I've actually heard a version where he was the illegitimate son of king Mathias Corwin. I suspect this was only a rumor, but it's an interesting one

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 02:48
Originally posted by Maljkovic

Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by DayI

Originally posted by Raider

Originally posted by BigL

Can u inform me about hunyadi
Well, I am planning to insert some of his battles (Varna, Belgrade). What do you want to know about him?

I have problems with who he really whas, a Hungarian (thats what i think) or Romanian (thats what some romanians think of).
Well, It's a difficult question. He was a real christian hero not only among the Romanian and Hungarians, but Serbs etc. also.

The Hunyadi family originated from Wallachia. The name Hunyadi means of Hunyad in Hungarian. The family got this name after Hunyadi's father migrated to Transylvania and received the Castle Hunyad from the king.

Some Hungarian historians presumed that the family had a Cuman origin, because of their names (Vajk, Serbe etc.) But most of the historians rejected it because only the origin of their names is not enough to prove the origin of the family. By the way Cumans in the XV. century were fully assimilated to the Romanians. So I think we could say that the Hunyadi's father were a Romanian.

The father of Hunyadi, Vajk (hung.) or Voicu (rom.) married a Hungarian woman and presumably convert to the catholic faith. Being a catholic was necessary to became a nobleman in Hungary and this were usually the first step of assimilation to the Hungarians.

So John Hunyadi was a catholic nobleman of Hungary whose father was a Romanian and mother was a Hungarian. I do not know his personal ties or his mother tongue.

All in all I think both Romanians and Hungarians could rightfully consider him as theirs.

I've actually heard a version where he was the illegitimate son of king Mathias Corwin. I suspect this was only a rumor, but it's an interesting one

John Hunyadi was the father of Mathias Hunyadi, who had the epithet of Corvinus.

King Matthias had an illegitimate son who was named John after Matthias' famous father. His full name was John Corvin, because as illegitimate, he can't wore the name Hunyadi.

And there was a fabricated origin of the Hunyadi family, because the real one wasn't too aristocratic. It was said that John Hunyadi was the illegitimate son of king Sigismund of Luxemburg. (By the way Sigismund was a known womanizer who chased women even in his old age.)



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  Quote The Chargemaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2006 at 09:15

Hello , look what site about the hungarian medieval history i have found today: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/matthaywood/main/Medieval_Hungary .htm ===> http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/matthaywood/main/Hungarian_Battle s.htm - with information about some of the famous hungarian battles in XIV - XV century. There are also few maps.



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2006 at 10:20
Originally posted by The Chargemaster

Hello , look what site about the hungarian medieval history i have found today: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/matthaywood/main/Medieval_Hungary .htm ===> http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/matthaywood/main/Hungarian_Battle s.htm - with information about some of the famous hungarian battles in XIV - XV century. There are also few maps.

They are mainly John Hunyadi's battle. It seems that non-Hungarians interest lies in his battles against the Ottomans.
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  Quote The Chargemaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2006 at 05:48

Originally posted by Raider

It seems that non-Hungarians interest lies in his battles against the Ottomans.  

Yes, i think so. Just for me the Turkish empire was the cruelest enemy of Hungaria and of all other christian states around. The Mongols in the middle of XIII century were also very cruel, but the turkish invasion continue much longer, than the mongol invasion, and because of that the hungarian victims(military and civilian) were many more in the wars with the turks. Therefore every christian people in the Balkans is proud with the hungarian glorious battles against the turks.



Edited by The Chargemaster - 14-Jan-2008 at 17:52
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