Battle of Kosovo

From Academic Kids

This page is about the Battle of Kosovo of 1389; for other battles, see Battle of Kosovo (disambiguation).

The Battle of Kosovo Polje was fought on St. Vitus' Day of 1389 (June 15 in Julian calendar) between Serbs and the Ottoman Empire.

The historical reality of this battle is a matter of conjecture, with little or conflicting evidence for any of the details. Most historians believe that tellings that have survived do refer to a clash between Ottoman invaders and Slavic peoples already in the area.

The Ruling Knez (Prince) of Serbia, Lazar Hrebeljanović raised an army amounting to about equal of the total Ottoman force, not just a Serb army but a real Balkan coalition. He received help from his neighbouring countries, most notably from Bosnia, Hungary, Albania, and even had a contingent of mercenaries made up mostly of Saxons (Germans). Sultan Murad I also gathered a coalition of soldiers and volunteers from neighboring countries in Anatolia and Rumelia, including the forces of Serbian prince Marko Kraljević to face the Crusade.

The army marched out to meet the Ottomans at the so-called "Field of Blackbirds" or Kosovo Polje. The battle started with Serbian noble and Lazar's sons-in-law General Vuk Branković on one wing, Lazar in the center, and Captain Miloš Obilić (a.k.a. Kobilic, Kopilic, Kopili) and Lord Ivan Kosančić commanding the third wing of the Christian army.

Opposite the Christians, Sultan Murad I led his Ottoman army of about the same size as the Serbian army. The two armies clashed and the Ottomans immediately gained the upper hand, especially because of the wing commanded by Beyazid I. But, as the day progressed, it seemed the Christians were gaining a tactical advantage. The two wings pushed forward and each side made their way into the Ottoman camp. But, the center army under Prince Lazar (a.k.a. "Tsar Lazar") was being stopped. This army was being beaten so badly that Lazar was caught in the melee and killed in battle. Tvrtko who had made a previous deal with the Turks betrayed the Serbs at this point and retreated. The other two armies fought on. Eventually the two sides had beat each other into the ground.

During the battle Captain Miloš Obilić went into the tent of Sultan Murad I, posing as a traitor and offering his knights and his loyalty. As he pledged allegiance, he stood up and slashed the Sultan's stomach open with a dagger. Murad died and Milos Obilic gave his head for his country, Serbia. This marked the Ottoman army's probable victory.

Results of the war

The new sultan, Beyazid I, reconciled with the Serbs by marrying princess Olivera, daughter of Prince Lazar. From then on, Serbs and Ottomans were allies. These policies eventually resulted in the Ottomans annexing Serbia in 1459, after the siege of Smederevo. When Beyazid I attacked the forces of Timur at the Battle of Ankara, the Ottoman army consisted mainly of Serbs, since most of the Turks chose Timur's side. See Battle of Ankara. The second Battle of Kosovo (1448) also featured Ottoman and Serbs, this time allied against Catholic Hungary.

The Serbian state became part of Ottoman Empire in 1459, after the siege of auf dem Amselfeld nl:Slag op het Merelveld pl:Bitwa na Kosowym Polu sr:Косовска битка


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