In September of 1683, the Ottoman Turks laid siege to Vienna with no fewer than 100,000 men. Had they been successful, it most likely would have meant the end of Europe and the conquest of Rome was the ultimate goal. Conversely, Vienna’s troops constituted a small fraction of what the Turks had amassed.
The battle pitted Ottoman Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa against Archduke of Vienna Leopold I. However, as you will see in the 2012 movie below entitled, Day of the Siege: September 11, 1683 the real leader in Vienna turned out to be a monk named Marco d’Aviano. As a testament to d’Aviano’s courage, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
It’s difficult to know exactly how accurate the account of history is in the film but it certainly gets the end result and the players involved right.
For example, it’s historically correct that Poland came to Vienna’s rescue under the command of King Jan Sobieski who exploited divisions within the Ottoman military command and launched a successful flank attack that led to Turk retreat. In the film, arrogance is seen in the leaders of the Austrian war council who mocked Sobieski and were unwilling to allow him to lead the effort but ultimately relented.
What is also crystal clear is that this was a religious battle. Do NOT miss the speech by Marco to the troops. Western military forces would so benefit from speeches like it today.
As the world careens toward a repeat of this battle, something else is certain. Western leaders will need to unite and they will need to be men of faith. After watching the movie below, be sure to take note of another ironically significant date – the date of Mustafa’s death.
Enjoy this MUST-SEE film: