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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe

VII: The Ottoman Turks and the Crusades, 1329-1451,   pp. 222-275 PDF (24.1 MB)

Page 275

his struggle against the Ottomans after Varna. In 1445, while a Venetian
fleet under Alvise Loredan came to watch the Ottomans on the Dardanelles,
the Wallachian voivode Viad Dracul, with the support of Hunyadi, reconquered
Giurgiu from the Ottomans, and the following year Vlad defeated an invading
army under the frontier beg Davud (spring 1446). 
 In 1448, when Murad attacked Scanderbeg in Albania, Hunyadi invaded Serbia
as far as Kossovo, where a fierce three-day battle ended with Ottoman victory
(October 17—20, 1448). In this connection, two points should be made:
first, by now the Ottomans had learned wagenburg (in Turkish tabur-jengi)
tactics and increased their firepower. Second, since the 1444 agreement of
Yenishehir the Karamanids had cooperated with the Ottomans; a Karamanid contingent
fought against the Hungarians at Kossovo in 1448. Also, in this period, a
sense of solidarity and friendship ruled the relations between the Ottomans
and the Mamluks, who were both threatened by the Timurid Shährukh and
by the crusaders. The Mamluks, suzerains of the kings of Cyprus since 1426,
tried unsuccessfully to subjugate the Hospitallers of Rhodes by sending a
fleet against the island in the summer of 1444. 
 Perhaps most important of all, the defeat at Varna sealed the fate of Byzantium.
The union of the churches and the idea of the crusade suffered a deep setback
in all the Graeco-Slavic world. The Greeks and other Balkan peoples accommodated
themselves to the idea of living under an Islamic state rather than under
the Catholic Venetians and Hungarians. It should be added that by this time
the Ottoman state was fully transformed into a classic Islamic sultanate
with all its underpinnings, and that an actual social revolution was introduced
into the Balkans by a state policy efficiently protecting the peasantry against
local exploitation and the dominance of feudal lords and extending an agrarian
system based on state ownership of land and its utilization in small farms
in the possession of peasant households. As early as 1432, Bertrandon of
La Brocquière, a Burgundian spy, had observed that Murad II had immense
resources in his hands with which to conquer Europe if he wished to do so.'"
 157. I.e Voyage d'Outremer (Belgrade, 1950), p. 110: "s'il vouloit exquiter
la puissance qu'il a et sa grant revenue, veu la petite résistence
qu'il treuve en la crestienté, ce seroit a luy légiere chose
a en conquester une grant partie." 

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