The Night Attack On Targoviste

The Battle of Targoviste

The Battle of Targoviste was fought on the night of June 17, 1462 between the armies of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. Better known as “Vlad the Impaler” or “Dracula,” the real Vlad was a hardened veteran of the long Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. Mehmed demanded a jizya, or tax on non-Muslims, from many bordering states, but Vlad refused to pay. In 1460, the Hungarian regent Michael Szilagyi (Vlad’s main ally against the Ottomans) was captured by the Turks and sawed in half.

When Mehmed’s forces crossed the Danube and began pressing young boys into military service, Vlad responded by capturing Turkish soldiers and impaling them. Mehmed attempted to trick Vlad into an ambush, but the Wallachians surrounded and massacred his force of 1,000 cavalry. By 1462, Vlad was engaging in outright ethnic cleansing—by his own estimate, his forces slaughtered over 23,000 Muslim civilians and sympathizers. In response, Mehmed invaded Wallachia with at least 150,000 men. Vlad could only field around 30,000.

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