A oto krótki tekst przesłany do prasy, radia i tv w nadziei, że wiadomość ta dotrze także do anglojęzycznych Kanadyjczyków.
Today Polish communities around the world commemorated yet another anniversary of one of the several battles that changed the history of Europe. It was on September the 12th, 1683 that the Polish army saved the capital of Austria, Vienna from a massive Turkish Ottoman invasion.
Kara Mustafa, leader of the army of Turks and their allies numbering about 200 000 (some say 300 000) soldiers had Vienna tightly surrounded. The city had 5000 defenders left after 2 months’ siege and loss of the 6000 soldiers. Polish king Sobieski who set off with Polish (and some allied) armies to save Vienna – and Europe – from the Ottoman slavery, had about 70 000 soldiers, half of them cavalry, including famous Polish” husars”, winged heavy cavalryman, human tanks of that age.
Once the rescue army arrived at Vienna, Polish cavalry climbed a heavily wooded hill overnight and attacked the main camp of the Turks, who did not prepare for any problem from this side. The camp was taken and by the end of the day the Turkish army was routed. Kara Mustafa was sent a silk rope by the Sultan and his death marked the end of the Turkish advance into central and western Europe.
If not for that one battle, the Europe would have become a Muslim dominion.
Why did king Sobieski go to the aid of Vienna? Poland had no political interest in deepening its conflict with the Turks who had attacked the country in the past. The Ottoman dynasty proved to be a formidable foe and until the moment the Turkish army reached Hungarian territory it was unclear which country it would attack – Austria and Vienna, or Poland and Krakow. To great relief of the war-weary Poles, no doubt, the Ottomans turned against Vienna. It would have been enough just to stay home, pretend that this was not happening. Polish support for Austria had an additional disadvantage – France definitely wanted Austria down on its knees at that point of history.
King Sobieski, however, a good son of Catholic Church as he was, listened to the pleading of the Pope and signed a mutual treaty with Austria – each country would help the other, should it come to the Ottoman invasion. And being a man not only of courage, but also of honor, he rushed to help the helpless Vienna.
However, had he slowed down his preparations for this war.. and also had he slowed the march of his army, no one could have said that he broke his word, the written agreement.. and the Ottomans would have ruled Europe. Christian Europe would have been annihilated.
This is why we Poles remember both King Sobieski and the need to be truthful to our allegiances.