What do you guys think were the greatest defeats suffered by the Ottomans between 1345 and 1530? These are my favourites, there is no particular order
- The battle of Ankara 1402 . It was a great tactical and strategic victory by Timur against the armies of Bayezid the Thunder, who just 6 years earlier had defeated the European crusaders at Nicopolis. While the size of the two armies are disputable, modern day historians estimate the army of Timur was of about 140,000 and that of Bayezid of no more then 85,000. Timur had outmaneouvered Bayezid before the battle and gained the favourable ground. He had also negotiated withe Bayezid's Anatolian and Tatar allies to switch sides during the battle. The Ottomans attacked first but were beaten back by the arrows of the Timurid horse archers. Eventually, the tired and thirsty Ottomans were routed. Bayezid himself was captured after the battle and died within a few months as a prisoner at Timur's court. The crushing victory of the Timurids resulted in the Ottoman Interregnum, civil war and postponed the fall of Constantinopole for 50 years.
- The first siege of Vienna 1529. The siege was the pinnacle of Ottoman expansion into Europe. After the victories over Hungary the sultan Suleyman the Magnificent seized the opportunity and besieged the city of Vienna. His army amounted to around 120,000 troops who were faced by about 23,000 defenders. Suleyman gambled on attackign Vienna because his troops were faced by harsh conditions, unwilling allies, many artilery pieces were bogged down and lost and the troops were in a poor state of health. After several failed attempts to take the walls of the city, the Ottomans beat a costly retreat, losing many men and baggages in the process. The failure of the siege marked the start of the empire's stagnation and their farthest point of expansion.
- The siege of Belgrade 1456. After taking Constantinopole, the sultan Mehmed II The Conqueror rallied all his forces and attacked Hungary. Belgrade, the key to the defenses of southern Hungary was besieged by a force of about 60,000 Ottomans (some sources say up to 100,000). The regent of Hungary, Hunyadi quickly gathered a small strike force and attacked the besiegers attempting to lift the siege. The resilience of the defenders and the bravery of Hunyadi's troops who charged against the Ottoman cannons brought fear in the hearts of the Janissaries who fled the field and along with them the whole Ottoman army retreated. The victory stopped the Ottoma advance into Central Europe by 70 years but came at a dear price as Hunyadi died soon after due to disease which had broken out in his army.
- The battle of Vaslui 1475. The Ottoman Beylerbey of Rumelia Suleiman Pasha was sent with an army of up to 120,000 troops against the Moldavian voivode Stefan III (known as the Great). Stefan attacked the Ottoman army with approximately 40,000 Moldavians and 9,000 allied Szekely, Hungarian and Polish troops at a bridge over the Barlad river, an ideal position for a defender. The Moldavians main force drew the Ottomans over the bridge while a concealed force attacked the Ottoman right flank. Under the pressure of the two-pronged attack the Ottoman force collapsed into panic and over 40,000 Turks were butchered or fell off the bridge and drowned. The battle was described as the greatest victory of the cross of the islam. It was a great tactical victory, however it did not have a long lasting effect as in the following years the Ottomans defeated the Moldavians and brought back the status quo.
I'm sure there are other great defeats like the wars of Skanderberg, the Battle of Breadfield, the Battle of Irong Gates, Krusevac etc. But i chose these four because they are either great strategic or great tactical victories. What other great battles would you consider and why?