Battle of Breadfield


Battle of Breadfield

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Breadfield
partof=the Hungarian-Turkish Wars


date=October 13, 1479
place=The Breadfield "(Kenyérmező)," in Zsibód, near the River Maros, Transylvania
result=Decisive Hungarian victory
combatant1=
combatant2=
commander1=Pál Kinizsi
Stephen V Báthory
Vuk Branković
Basarab Laiotă cel Bătrân
commander2=Ali Kodsha bey
Basarab Ţepeluş cel Tânăr
strength1=15,000 men (hungarians, transylvanian saxons, serbs, szeklers and transylvanian romanians)
strength2=20,000 akıncı and asab, some janissary
1,000-2,000 wallachian infantry
casualties1=3,000 killed
casualties2=Few thousand Turkish killed
1,000 wallachian [ [http://crowland.uw.hu/images/csata/kenyermezo.html Battle of Breadfield] ]
The Battle of Breadfield ( _hu. Kenyérmezei csata, _ro. Bătălia de la Câmpul Pâinii) was one of the battles in the Hungarian-Turkish Wars which took place on October 13, 1479, in Transylvania, in the Breadfield Zsibód (Şibot), near the Maros River). The Hungarian army was led by Pál Kinizsi, István Báthory, Vuk Branković, and Basarab Laiotă cel Bătrân.
The result of the battle was an important Hungarian victory.

Eve of the battle

Turkish marauders attacked Transylvania and Vojvodina several times between 1474 and 1475. The attacks led to the depopulation of some areas with a number of villages abandoned by their inhabitants.
In the spring of 1479, a major Turkish army convened under Szendrő, above all Akıncıs. When King Matthias was alerted, he ordered Stephen Báthory, Voivod of Transylvania and his general Pál Kinizsi to mobilize.
The Turkish army entered Transylvania on October 9, near Kelnek (Câlnic), led by Ali Kodsha bey. The Akıncıs attacked a few villages, homesteads and market towns, taking a number of Hungarians, Vlachs and Saxons captive.
On October 13 Kodsha bey set up his camp in the Breadfield "(Kenyérmező)," near Zsibót. Kodsha bey was forced into doing the campaign by Basarab cel Tânăr, a Wallachian prince, who also induced 1000-2000 infantry to join.
The Turks continued pillaging and taking prisoners. Báthory and Kinizsi took an opportunity to set to forth against the Turks.

The Hungarian and the Ottoman army

The strength of he Turkish army is under debate; one estimate numbered them at 60 thousand, while the Hungarians placed it at 30 thousand. Jan Długosz estimated the Ottoman forces to have 100,000 men-at-arms, but King Matthias estimated there were 43-45,000 Ottoman and Wallachian soldiers in his letters.
A more probable number for the Ottoman forces was 20 thousand soldiers, and 1000-2000 Wallachians. The Ottoman army was almost entirely made up of Akıncıs and Azaps, with some Janissarys. Neither side had artillery, as this was not a full-fledged war, but rather a raid war.

Kinizsi's army consisted of Hungarian, Szekler, Serbian, Transylvanian Saxon forces, and some Vlach volunteer. [Transylvanian Romanians and cel Bătrân-party wallachians (ab. 1000 men).] The latter were commanded by Basarab cel Bătrân, quondam ruler of Wallachia and mortal enemy of cel Tânăr. Accordingly, cel Tânăr insisted on equality with with sy cel Bătrân, with that tenable one throne. All forces combined totalled 15,000 men.

The battle

The Hungarian and also the Ottoman army was to be composed of three columns. The right flank was led by Kinizsi, the left was the Serbian light cavalry under Vuk Branković and Demeter Jakšić with the Saxons and Báthory's forces in the center.
On the Ottoman side, Kodsha bey took the left flank, Isa bey the center and Malkoch Oglu the right flank.The battle began in the afternoon. Báthory fell from his horse and the Ottomans nearly captured him, but a valiant Antal Nagy whisked the voivod away.
In the beginning, the Ottomans were in ascendancy, but Kinizsi charged against the Turks with the Hungarian heavy cavalry and 900 Serbs under a Jakšić assisted by "numerous courtiers of the king". Ali bey was forced to retreat. Kinizsi moved laterally into the center and before long Isa bey also retreated. The few Turks who survived the massacre fled into the mountains, where the majority were killed by the local population. The hero of the battle was Pál Kinizsi, the legendary Hungarian warrior.

Aftermath

The Turkish casualties were high, with several thousand men killed. Oglu Malkoch and Isa bey were killed on the battlefield, together with two beys, one oglu and a thousand of their Wallachian allys.
Hungarian forces lost approximately 3,000 men in the battle. Few prisoner were set free and and the ransom was immense.

In 1480 Kinizsi raided Serbia and several times beat down Ali Kodsha bey. The Breadfield was a great psychological victory for the Hungarians, and as a result the Ottoman-Turks did not attack South-Hungary and Transylvania for many years thereafter.

References

Literature

* Dénes Lengyel: "Old Hungarian Legends," " (Régi Magyar mondák)" Móra Ferenc Publisher, Budapest 1972. → The chronicle of Antonio Bonfini ISBN 963 11 2928 4
* Csaba Csorba – János Estók – Konrád Salamon: "History of Hungary in Pictures," "(Magyarország Képes Története)" Hungarian Book-Club, Budapest 1998. ISBN 9635489617
* Franz Babinger: Mehmed the Conqueror and his time, ISBN 0 691 01078 1

External links

* [http://epa.oszk.hu/00000/00018/00005/pdf/szakalyfodor.pdf Ferenc Szakály Ferenc and Pál Fodor: The Battle of Breadfiled, October 13 1479. Military notice, 111. class (1998.) 2.numb.] hu icon
* [http://crowland.uw.hu/images/csata/kenyermezo.html Battle of Breadfield, October 13 1479.] hu icon


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