Austro-Turkish War (1663–64)

The Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664) or fourth Austro-Turkish War was a short war between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman aim was to resume the advance in central Europe, conquer Vienna and subdue Austria. However, the Habsburg army under Raimondo Montecuccoli succeeded in halting the Ottoman army on its way to Vienna in the Battle of Saint Gotthard and destroy it, while another Austrian army won another victory at Léva. Despite these serious Ottoman defeats, the war ended for them with the rather favourable Peace of Vasvár.

Austro-Turkish War of 1663–64
A szentgotthárdi csata (német kép)

Battle of Saint Gotthard

Austria and allies military victory
Ottoman commercial and diplomatic victory[1]

Peace of Vasvár
Ottoman acquires Nové Zámky (Turkish: Uyvar) and establishes Uyvar Eyalet (present day Slovakia)

 Holy Roman Empire

Savoy Piedmont-Savoy
League of the Rhine:

 Kingdom of Hungary

CoA of the Kingdom of Croatia.svg Kingdom of Croatia

 Ottoman Empire

90,000 100,000


The cause of this war was the invasion of Poland in 1658 by Prince George Rákóczy II of Transylvania, without the permission of the Porte. Transylvania had after the Battle of Mohács in 1526 recognized Ottoman suzerainty and paid a tribute to the Porte and were given political and religious autonomy in return. On hearing about Rákóczy's unauthorized war, the Ottomans declared war on their vassal. It was not long before Grand Vizier Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (Vizier 1656–1661) defeated Rákóczy and conquered Transylvania. The new Transylvanian prince, János Kemény, fled to Vienna seeking Austrian support.

Emperor Leopold I, not wishing to see Transylvania fall under direct Ottoman control, sent Montecuccoli into Hungary with a small army. Montecuccoli was severely outnumbered by the Ottomans.

Meanwhile, in order to liberate Croatia and Hungary, Nikola Zrinski, the Ban of Croatia, had since 1661 been doing his best to start a new Austro-Ottoman conflict by organizing raids into Ottoman territory from his stronghold, Novi Zrin (Hungarian: Zrínyiújvár). These raids and the presence of Montecuccoli's army made the Ottomans end the status-quo with Vienna, which had existed between them since 1606.

1663 campaign

Count Raimondo Montecúccoli

In the summer of 1663, an Ottoman army of more than 100,000 strong under Grand Vizier Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed entered Habsburg Hungary and in September conquered the town of Érsekújvár.

The Habsburg commander Montecuccoli had only his 12,000 men and the 15,000 Hungarian-Croatian troops of Nikola Zrinski to oppose the Turks.

Emperor Leopold I summoned the Imperial Diet in January 1663, to ask the German and European Kings for help, with success. An army of 30,000 Bavarian, Brandenburg and Saxon troops was raised. Even arch-enemy Louis XIV of France sent an army corps of 6,000 under Jean de Coligny-Saligny in support.

1664 campaign

At the beginning of 1664, the Imperial Army was divided into three corps: In the south, 17,000 Hungarian-Croatian troops under the command of Nikola Zrinski. In the center, the main army of Montecuccoli, which was 28,500 men strong, and in the north some 8,500 men under General Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches. There were some 12,500 men in reserve to defend the fortresses.

This army of 66,500 men was not united, as the differences of opinion between the commanders were very strong, especially with Zrinski.

As a preparation for campaigns planned for 1664, Zrinski set out to destroy the strongly fortified Ottoman bridge (the Osijek (Hung.:Eszék) bridge) which, since 1566, had linked Darda (Hung.:Dárda) to Osijek across the Drava and the marshes of Baranya. Destruction of the bridge would cut off the retreat of the Ottoman Army and make any Turkish reinforcement impossible for several months. Re-capturing strong fortresses (Berzence, Babócsa, the town of Pécs, etc.) on his way, Zrinski advanced 240 kilometers on enemy territory and destroyed the bridge on February 1, 1664. He didn't succeed in conquering Nagykanizsa, the main objective. The siege had to be lifted when in June the main army of Köprülü approached.

The Turks besieged and conquered Zrinski's stronghold Novi Zrin, which had to be abandoned when Montecuccoli refused to come to its rescue. Zrinski would never forgive this, which would eventually lead to the Magnate conspiracy ("Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy" (Croatian: Zrinsko-frankopanska urota) in Croatia, and "Wesselényi conspiracy" (Hungarian: Wesselényi-összeesküvés) in Hungary).

Battle of Saint Gotthard

Battle of Mogersdorf/Saint Gotthard/Szentgotthard (1664)

After the conquest of Novi Zrin, the Ottoman main army marched towards Vienna, but was stopped at the Rába river between Mogersdorf and the Szentgotthárd Abbey by Montecuccoli's army. The Ottomans lost 16,000 to 22,000 of their best troops.

In the north of Hungary the army of de Souches had won some smaller victories against Küçük Mehmed Pasha. The most important of this victories was the Siege of Léva.

Peace of Vasvár

Only nine days later, on August 10, 1664, the Peace of Vasvár was signed, a truce which would last 20 years. Despite the Austrian victory at Saint Gotthard, Ottoman control of Transylvania and Érsekújvár was recognized, and the Austrian Empire agreed to pay an annual 'gift' to the Ottoman Empire, which it never delivered on time. Novi Zrin was to be dismantled. On the other hand, the Ottomans agreed to send an annual 'present' to the Austrians

The major factor in the Habsburgs' decision was the French threat to the much more valuable estates in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Moreover, the Imperial war effort lost some of its momentum after the victory of Saint Gotthard, as the French withdrew from the coalition while other German princes were reluctant to advance further east.[2] Hence, the Austrians did not believe they could liberate the whole of Hungary and were unwilling to leave the French advance unchecked for a few Hungarian fortresses.


The Croats and Hungarians were outraged at the loss of the conquered territories and felt the initiative and momentum after the victory of Saint Gotthard should have been maintained.

This led to the Magnate conspiracy.

The peace in fact held for 20 years until the Ottomans attacked Vienna for the second time in 1683 and were pushed back from Hungary in the following Great Turkish War (1683–1699).


  1. ^ Ágoston, Gábor (2009). "Hungary". In Ágoston, Gábor; Bruce Masters (eds.). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. pp. 256–7.
  2. ^ Histoire de l'empire Habsbourg, (History of the Hapsburg Empire), Jean Bérenger.


Battle of Köbölkút

The Battle of Köbölkút (Slovak: Gbelce) was fought on August 5, 1663 as part of the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), between a Habsburg army and an Ottoman army under the command of Grand Vizier Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed. The battle took place near Köbölkút in present-day Slovakia and was an absolute Ottoman victory.

Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664)

The Battle of Saint Gotthard (Hungarian: Szentgotthárdi csata; Turkish: Saint Gotthard Muharebesi; German: Schlacht bei Mogersdorf and Schlacht bei St. Gotthard; French: Bataille de Saint-Gothard) was fought on August 1, 1664 as part of the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), between the Imperial Army led by Generalleutnant Raimondo Montecuccoli, Jean de Coligny-Saligny, Wolfgang Julius, Count of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein, together with the Army of the Holy Roman Empire led by Reichsgeneralfeldmarschall Prince Leopold of Baden and Reichsgeneralfeldmarschalleutnant Georg Friedrich of Waldeck and the army of the Ottoman Empire under the command of Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Paşa.

The battle took place near Szentgotthárd and Mogersdorf in Western Hungary, near the present-day Austro-Hungarian border and is known as the Battle of Mogersdorf in Austria. The Turks were militarily defeated but were able to negotiate the Peace of Vasvár, which was highly favorable to them until their empire collapsed at which point it was no longer favorable to them.

Bernát Csányi (soldier)

Bernát Csányi (Hungarian: Csányi Bernát; 1630 – 1 August 1664) was a Hungarian soldier from the old noble Csányi family.

First Battle of Zrínyiújvár

The First Battle of Zrínyiújvár (Croatian: Novi Zrin) was fought on August 13, 1663 as part of the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), between the Kingdom of Hungary under the command of Ban Miklós Zrínyi and an Ottoman army. The battle took place near Zrínyiújvár (Zrínyi family's fortress) in present-day Croatia and was a Hungarian-Croatian victory.

Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches

Count Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches (La Rochelle France, August 16, 1608 – Jevišovice Moravia, August 12, 1682) was a Field Marshal of the Habsburg Imperial Army of French descent. He was the son of a Huguenot French nobleman, who left France after the Huguenot-war of 1629. Having fought against Louis XIII at the siege of La Rochelle, Souches went so serve into the Swedish Army during the Thirty Years' War, when he fought under Gustavus Adolphus and Johan Banér and rose to the rank of colonel.In 1642 Jean-Louis felt insulted by the Swedish general Torsten Stalhansk and challenged him to a duel. As regulations forbid to challenge a superior officer, Jean-Louis joined the Imperial Army to continue the feud and distinguished himself as the commander of Brno's defense against the overwhelming numerical superiority of Swedish forces in 1645. After this success he was promotet to the rank of general and rewarded by previously confiscated estates in Moravia.

Between 1657 and 1660, he fought in the Second Northern War where he invaded Swedish Pomerania in 1659. In the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), he commanded the Habsburg Northern Army operating in Upper Hungary. In 1664 he conquered Nitra and Levice. On July 19, 1664 he won the important Battle of Levice against the Ottomans.

De Souches became Kammerherr, member of the Hofkriegsrat and Fieldmarshal-Lieutenant. In 1674 he fought the French in the Low Countries, but suffered unnecessary casualties in the Battle of Seneffe due to his wilfulness. He was recalled after the battle and not given any further commands. He died in 1682.

Jean de Coligny-Saligny

Jean de Coligny-Saligny, (Saligny, December 25, 1617 – April 16, 1686) was a French noble and army commander, best known for his part in the victory in the Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664).

He was the son of Gaspard II de Coligny-Saligny and Jacqueline de Montmorin Saint-Hérem,

and thus a member of the well-known House of Coligny.

He first followed Louis, Prince of Condé (1621–1686) in his revolt against the King, but they had a dispute so serious, that Coligny reconciled himself with the court and became Condé's greatest enemy.

As lieutenant-general, he was sent to Hungary at the head of a corps of 6000 men, to help the Emperor stop an invasion by the Turks. Coligny played a crucial role in the Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664), in which the Turks were decisively defeated.

This battle was exceptional for the fact that French and Austrians, for once, fought on the same side.

Coligny wrote his Mémoires, which were only published in 1844 by Louis Monmerqué, and which are very negative for the prince of Condé. These memoires are now being reedited by Axor-Danaé.

Coligny married Anne Nicole Cauchon de Maupas and had 3 children.

Johann von Sporck

Johann von Sporck (1595 – 6 August 1679) was a German nobleman and Generalfeldmarschall. Sporck was born in 1595 and he began his military career at the start of the Thirty Years' War as a private. His personal bravery and mastery of cavalry tactics led to his steady advancement through the ranks as well as his ennoblement. He later fought in the Second Northern War, the Austro-Turkish War (1663–64) and the Franco-Dutch War. He retired in 1676, having received the rank of Generalfeldmarschall and accumulating great riches. He died three years later. His son Franz Anton von Sporck became a publisher and a patron of arts.

Köprülüzade Fazıl Ahmed Pasha

Köprülüzade Fazıl Ahmed Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: كپرولى زاده فاضل احمد پاشا‎, Turkish: Köprülü Fazıl Ahmet Paşa; Albanian: Fazıl Ahmed Pashë Kypriljoti; 1635 – 3 November 1676) was a member of the renowned Köprülü family originating from Albania, which produced six grand viziers of the Ottoman Empire.

Leopold Wilhelm, Margrave of Baden-Baden

Margrave Leopold Wilhelm of Baden-Baden (German: Leopold Wilhelm Markgraf von Baden-Baden; 16 September 1626 in Baden-Baden; 1 March 1671 in Warasdin) was Field Marschal of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

Miklós Zrínyi

Miklós Zrínyi or Nikola Zrinski (Hungarian: Zrínyi Miklós, Croatian: Nikola Zrinski; 5 January 1620 – 18 November 1664) was a Croatian and Hungarian military leader, statesman and poet. He was a member of the House of Zrinski (or Zrínyi), a Croatian-Hungarian noble family. He is the author of the first epic poem, The Peril of Sziget, in Hungarian literature.

Paul I, Prince Esterházy

Paul I, Prince Esterházy of Galántha (full German name: Paul Fürst Esterházy von Galantha; full Hungarian name: galánthai herceg Esterházy Pál) (8 September 1635 – 26 March 1713) was the first Prince Esterházy of Galántha from 1687 to 1713, Palatine of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1681 to 1713, and an Imperial Field Marshal. Paul was also an accomplished poet, harpsichordist, and composer. He actively participated in various battles against the Ottoman Turks during the Fourth Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664) and the Great Turkish War (1662–1669). Paul is credited with establishing the wealth, power, and influence of the Princely House of Esterházy.

Peace of Vasvár

The Peace of Vasvár was a treaty between the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire which followed the Battle of Saint Gotthard of 1 August 1664 (near Mogersdorf, Burgenland), and concluded the Austro-Turkish War (1663–64). It held for about 20 years, until 1683, during which border skirmishing escalated to a full-scale war and culminated with the Ottoman's siege of Vienna for the second time.

At the time of signing, the military of the Habsburgs was in a better position than that of the Ottomans. Instead of maintaining initiative and momentum, negotiations began and fighting stopped. In fact, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor wanted peace to be signed so that he could be better prepared against France. However, factions within the monarchy insisted on further operations, particularly Croats and Hungarians, mainly because most of their territory was in Ottoman hands, and they wanted to use the opportunity to reclaim their land. Noble Croatian families, the Zrinski and the Frankopan, viewed the treaty as particularly supplicating to the Ottomans, as they actually having to give up territories that had just been liberated back to the Ottomans as terms of the treaty. Some of the territories had belonged to them before the occupation. The treaty caused internal strife and instability in the monarchy, which would eventually culminate with the rebellion of the two Croatian noble families and Hungarian nobles led by Ferenc Rákóczi I against the king of Hungary (also Emperor to the German states in the monarchy).

With the treaty, Ottoman control of Transylvania and Uyvar (administered as the Uyvar Eyalet of the Empire) was recognized, as well as both empires paying a financial tribute (presented as a "gift") to the other. That was the only time the French king, a traditional ally of the Ottomans since Francis I, fought against them. It was also one of the major factors in the Habsburgs' decision, as the much more valuable estates in the Holy Roman Empire and Italy were threatened by France. The concessions were very minor for the Austrians, as their emperor could now turn to western affairs. The Habsburgs also got some economic rights in the Ottoman realm.

Philip Florinus of Sulzbach

Philip Florinus of Pfalz-Sulzbach (Sulzbach, 20 January 1630 – Nürnberg, 4 April 1703) was an imperial field marshal.

Prince Georg Friedrich of Waldeck

Prince Georg Friedrich of Waldeck (31 January 1620, Arolsen – 19 November 1692, Arolsen) was a German and Dutch Field Marshal and, for the last three years of his life, Grand Master of the Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg).

In 1641, Waldeck entered the service of the States-General of the Netherlands; later in 1651, in the service of Brandenburg, he reached the highest rank as minister. He changed the foreign policy completely by abandoning the alliance with the Emperor and trying to forge a coalition with the Protestant princes.

In 1656 he arranged a coalition with Sweden, and commanded the cavalry in the Battle of Warsaw (1656) against Poland. He was dismissed in 1658 when Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg made peace with Poland.

After that he fought under Charles X Gustav of Sweden against Denmark, as German Reichsfeldmarschall in 1664 near Sankt Gotthard. In 1683 he commanded Bavarian troops during the Battle of Vienna. In 1685 he fought as a free-lancer for the Duke of Lorraine and the Elector of Bavaria.

After William III left for England in 1688 to claim the English throne, Waldeck was appointed Field Marshal of William's forces during the War of the Grand Alliance in the Spanish Netherlands. Although he was victorious at the Battle of Walcourt in 1689, the following year he suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Marshal Luxembourg at the Battle of Fleurus.

In 1691, he was again outmanoeuvred by Luxembourg and defeated at the Battle of Leuze.

After this defeat Waldeck was appointed chief-of-staff of the Dutch States Army. He died on 19 November 1692 in Arolsen.

Raimondo Montecuccoli

Raimondo, Count of Montecuccoli (Italian pronunciation: [raiˈmondo monteˈkukkoli] German: Raimondo Graf Montecuccoli; 21 February 1609 – 16 October 1680) was an Italian-born professional soldier who served the Habsburg Monarchy. He was also a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and Duke of Melfi, in the Kingdom of Naples.

Montecuccoli was considered as the only commander to be the equal of the French general Turenne, (1611–1675), and like him, was closely associated with the post-1648 development of linear infantry tactics.

Second Battle of Zrínyiújvár

The Second Battle of Zrínyiújvár (Croatian: Novi Zrin) was fought on November 27, 1663 as part of the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), between the Kingdom of Hungary under the command of Ban Miklós Zrínyi and an Ottoman army. The battle took place near Zrínyiújvár (Zrínyi family's fortress) in present-day Croatia and was a Hungarian-Croatian victory.

Siege of Léva

This page is partially a translation of the French version

The Siege of Léva (Slovak: Levice) was fought on July 19, 1664 as part of the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664), between a Habsburg army led by Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches and an Ottoman army under the command of Ali Pasha. The battle took place near Léva in present-day Slovakia and was a Habsburg victory. It is also known as Battle of Garam St.Benedek.

Siege of Novi Zrin (1664)

The Siege of Novi Zrin (New Zrin Castle); Croatian: Utvrda Novi Zrin; Hungarian: Új-Zrínyivár; Turkish: Zerinvar) in June/July 1664 was last of the military conflicts between the Croatian forces (with allies) led by Nikola Zrinski, Ban (viceroy) of Croatia, and the Ottoman army commanded by Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha, Grand Vizier, dealing with possession of Novi Zrin Castle, defended by Croats, situated on the bank and marshy islands of Mura River, that formed a border line between Međimurje County in northern Croatia and southwestern part of Hungary, at the time occupied by the Ottomans. The battle resulted in destruction of the castle, and retreat of the Croatian crew, that was forced to withdraw to safer territory of inland Croatia.

Siege of Érsekújvár (1663)

Siege of Érsekújvár refers to capture of Érsekújvár (Turkish: Uyvar, modern Nové Zámky in south Slovakia) by Ottoman Turks in 1663.

Austro-Turkish War (1663–64)
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