Skip to comments.June 17, 1462: The Battle of the Blood Drinkers
Posted on 06/17/2013 9:34:36 AM PDT by NYer
Like flaming demons, Wallachians rushed out of the night and into the Turkish camp, striking terror in an army of terrorists. Leading the charge was a gore-spattered chieftainhewing and hacking a path to the central tents where the Sultan huddled in fear. On he came, Vlad Dracul, raining down slaughter and raging for Mehmeds blood.
On June 17, 1462, outside Targoviste, Romania, the world was given a rare instance of how the good can be accomplished though the grotesquefor God can deploy His enemies as allies. Vlad Dracul III, Prince of Wallachia, can hardly be considered a warrior of faith; but he was certainly a warrior for the Faith.
When Constantinople fell in 1453, 21 year-old Sultan Mehmed II boasted that finally Trojans were given vengeance over Greeks, and that he should be known as the Caesar of the Caliphs. He was more widely known, however, as the Blood Drinker. Mehmed enjoyed torture and execution for its own sake, making him a terrifying conqueror whose ambition was bent on the Christian West.
Mehmed launched his conquest of Eastern Europe, but was repelled at the Siege of Belgrade by John Hunyadi of Hungary in 1456. The retreating Ottomans regarded Wallachia (present day southern Romania) as a buffer between them and Hungary, and so, for a yearly jizyah (tax for non-Muslims), they left Wallachia alonethough both Hungary and the Turks vied to make Wallachia their vassal.
At that time Vlad III, a savage and sadistic prince of the Dragon Order, ruled in Romania. Vlad, like Mehmed, was also known for the pleasure he took in murdering people through excruciating procedures. Impaling was his trademark method, and it is said that in his lifetime Vlad the Impaler impaled in the tens of thousands.
Also at that time Pope Pius II, a saintly and savvy prince of the Church, ruled in Rome. Pope Pius called for a crusade against Islam in 1459, appointing the King of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus, with the task of organizing a Catholic military resistance to the Moslem threat that loomed on the eastern horizon.
Seeing an opportunity to maintain independence from Mehmed, Prince Vlad allied himself with the Hungarians in 1461. Later that year, when envoys from Mehmed arrived at Vlads capital of Targoviste to collect the annual tribute, Vlad refused to paysuggesting instead that the emissaries remove their turbans in the presence of a prince. When this demand was in turn refused, Vlad ordered the turbans nailed to their heads.
In response, Mehmed sent a punitive troop to Wallachia under pretense of making peace but intending an ambush to crush the insubordinate prince. Spies brought Vlad intelligence of this treachery, however, and he ambushed the Ottoman soldiers himself. Any who were not killed by Vlads cannons, were captured and impaled. Then Vlad Dracul marched his army across the frozen Danube and utterly devastated the Turkish outposts in Bulgaria, leaving twenty-four thousand dead behind him. Furious, Mehmed sent his own Grand Vizier with an army of eighteen thousand to end the routing. The router marched out to meet them, and not eight thousand Turks survived.
By March 1462, Vlad III found himself the keenest participant in the Popes crusadethough his motivation was hatred for the Turk rather than love for the Church. When reports of his violent victories over the Ottoman Empire spread throughout Europe, however, Te Deum was sung and Catholics rejoiced with Pius II at these campaigns that continued to drive Mehmeds forces further from Rome.
It was then that Mehmed abandoned his siege of Corinth and determined to go after Vlad personally. He assembled a force of nearly one hundred thousand, and set forth to conquer Wallachia, which would put Vienna within his graspthe doorstep to Rome.
Vlad III, whose peasant infantrymen and boyar cavalry only numbered thirty thousand, could not prevent Mehmed from crossing the Danube into his country. The Turks began their march toward Targoviste, while Vlads army lurked just beyond their reach, employing sudden guerilla strikes and scorched earth tactics. Hidden archers shot down janissaries. Scores fell into pits covered with brush and lined with stakes. Waters were poisoned. Livestock was slain. The Wallachian prince even paid people with leprosy or the bubonic plague to mingle with the Turks and infect them. Mehmeds militia was severely impaired by these strategies as they dragged heavy artillery through disease-ridden marshes, sustaining great loss from Vlads hit-and-run maneuvers.
Finally, Mehmed trapped his enemy in a mountain pass and set up siege, determined to wait till Vlad and his followers starved or surrendered. Recognizing his peril, the Wallachian prince determined to meet death in a manner befitting the temper of his blood. He laid his plans on that June evening, and waited till nightfall.
The Ottoman camp lay in silence. Suddenly, a trumpet blast brayed out. The rumble of rushing feet and roaring voices swelled over the tents as Vlad III lead a surprise attack in the dead of night, blades gleaming in the torchlight. The prince threshed a path toward Mehmeds tent, spreading chaos and carnage with the ferocity of his invasion. The panicked Turks reeled beneath the blow, until the Janissaries rallied themselves. Encircling the Sultan, they drove the Wallachians back into the gloomonly after fifteen thousand Turks had been butchered.
This famous skirmish of June 17, 1462, allegedly left Mehmed II petrified. With his forces in tatters and demoralized, he abandoned the chase of Vlad Dracul, allowing the Wallachians to return to Targoviste. Soon afterwards, however, Mehmed repented pulling away and marched on the capital after Vlad. Another surprise awaited him there. The gates of the city stood open. No resistance was offered.
And twenty thousand dead Turks surrounded the city, impaled on stakes.
The Sultan beheld this masterpiece of horror and knew that here was a match for Turkish terrorsa man who knew his enemy well enough to give them a taste of their own brutality. Though Mehmed shrank from the sight, something like admiration burnt in his eye. He wheeled his army southward, and retreated. Barbarism put the barbarians to flight, the Moslem Moon waned in the east, and a shadow was lifted from Vienna.
It is common and commendable that Christians defend the truths and beauties of heathen things. History, however, provides moments of mystery when it is heathens that defend Christian things. The overawing of Mehmed II by Vlad III is one of those moments. Though Vlad Dracul isand for good reasonthe historical basis for the blood-drinking Dracula, he is still the prince who waged war against the Ottoman Blood Drinker. The story surrounding the 1462 Night Raid is both terrible and triumphant, featuring an unholy hero for the Faith who bore the Standard of Christ without really intending to. There are realities here that are worth wrestling with: God can inspire the ungodly to save His Church; many who fight for the Faith are not among the faithful.
It can be argued that the attitude of bold and brutal attack against the infidel that the bloodthirsty Vlad Dracul exhibited was embraced and ennobled a century later by Don John at the Battle of Lepanto, and a century after that by Jan Sobieski at the Siege of Vienna. Each of these victories was pivotal in keeping the Cross over Rome instead of the Crescentand even savages like Vlad the Impaler should be given credit where credit is due.
Just as sending a thief to catch a thief is sometimes advisable, so too, perhaps, is sending a devil to conquer a devil.
IMO, Vlad III gets a bad rep in history ... and his story is one reason I leave the judgment of souls to God.
If you take no other lesson from the story,
coat the tips of your bullets with bacon fat.
No 72 virgins for you! /soupnazi
twenty thousand dead Turks surrounded the city, impaled on stakes.
Wow. For an idea of what that looked like, think of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena filled to capacity.
How can that be?
Everyone knows violence never solves anything!
Alternatively, if the stakes were in rows and columns 10’ apart, it would cover a square roughly a quarter-mile on a side.
Vlad Dracul III was a freedom fighter.
May we all take lessons on how to deal with islam from him.
send Assad to kill off the jihadis... one devil to kill another
The only thing that Islam respects is savagery.
To paraphrase (and presage) Orwell, many in western Europe slept peaceably in their beds because rough men stood ready to do violence on their behalf.
“Though Vlad Dracul isand for good reason”
Technically, Dracul was the name of his father. It’s a common error I’ve noticed. For our Vlad, it is Dracula, the suffix containing the meaning “son of the dragon.”
He also, so far as I know, wasn’t an atheist. Though, in the books I have read on the subject, they treat him as a religious opportunist. He was Orthodox, and then converted to Catholicism in order to secure the support of Rome. He also married a Catholic bride, or at least that’s how I remember it from the books I’ve read on the subject (it’s been a few years).
His impaling of enemies was most likely learned from the Turks themselves, as Vlad spent some time as a political prisoner among them. His father was forced to deliver him and his brother to the Turks, and it was there that they were trained and educated. Vlad’s brother evidently became the boy toy of the Caliph and would later side against his brother in the conflict.
When Vlad was released, they expected him to be a good vassal, as they had trained him and prepared him for that purpose. Instead, however, he set to work getting revenge almost immediately. First, on the nobles who had hindered the war effort and who had worked against his father. He killed most of them in various strange and unusual ways, and had them replaced by his own people.
It’s difficult, however, to ascertain how bloody he actually was, because a lot of the tales were told by Vlad’s enemies. Since Vlad was the only one fighting the Turks, he put a lot of the other rulers to shame for their inaction. It seems likely that a lot of his cruelty was exaggerated, or perhaps even invented by those who opposed Vlad’s actions.
His tale ends tragically though. I think there are various stories on how exactly he died, but his life does not end in victory. It’s possible someone either killed him by accident in the confusion of the night, or he was murdered. His head was later delivered to the Turks and impaled on a stake, and his body buried elsewhere. His son was also assassinated, and I think his brother later rules for a time.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read my books on the subject, so it’s best to double check my recollection before quoting me on it.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Cronos for the ping, nice GGG topic.
That was a nice touch — “no, really, c’mon inside, we’ll welcome you appropriately.”
Sheesh. Send flowers to your Mom on her birthday every year but do they call you Vlad the Flower Sender? No! Brush your horse and pet your dog your whole life but do they call you Vlad the Animal Lover? No! But impale a lousy hundred thousand people...
Vlad Tepes was a soldier of God. I hope he rests in Paradise with Christ.
Thanks for portraying this great and little recognized hero.
Yipes! Awful stuff.
But, as another comment here says, this sounds like the best way to deal with the jihadis.