Battle of Gilau - for Musashi

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Victor
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Battle of Gilau - for Musashi

Post by Victor » 11 Oct 2005 14:54

22 May 1660

The battle took place between Prince George Rákóczi II of Transylvania and Seydi Ahmet Pasha of Buda, who was bringing the new prince appointed by the Sultan. The Ottoman army was made up of the garrisons of Ineu and Timisoara and Christians recruited from the Bihor, Crasna and Szolnok Conties. The prince was outnumbered and wanted to fall back to Oradea and wait for reinforcements from Hungary, but his officers wanted to fight. To get more troops, he pardoned 600 criminals in the Cluj County, which formed a unit under the command of the Romanian priest Gheorghe from Ciurila.

He then moved his army to the plain between Gilau and Floresti. The right wing was commanded by Gregory Kovács with 1,000 professional soldiers and Szeklers from the Ciuc and Gheorghieni Counties. In center were the prince's guards and the men of priest Gheorghe. The left wing was held by the Szeklers of Trei Scaune, Mures and Odorhei Counties. The prince placed his 8 heavy guns on a nearby hill, from where he was surveying the battlefield. His reserve was made up of the mercenaries from Onód, that also ensured his protection. To deceive the enemy on his actual strength he placed the servants and other unarmed personnel behind the army, in battle formation.

The Ottomans started the attack with the troops from Timisoara commanded by Hussein Pasha. They crossed the Lona Creek and made a frontal assault on the Transylvanian line. Kovács counterattacked and threw them back over the creek, killing a considerable number of Turks, as the chronicle of Kraus says. In the meantime, the Janissaries and the Christian auxiliaries, with massive cavalry support tried to outflank the Transylvanian right wing. The Szeklers and the men of priest Gheorghe panicked and retreated. However, seeing the servants behind and thinking they were also Turks that surrounded them, priest Gheorghe and his pardonned criminals turned around and desperately charged the Ottomans. Only Gheorghe from Ciurila and a several men escaped the massacre. Kovács and his men had advanced deep into the Ottoman lines and were isolated. At that moment, George Rákóczi entered the battle personally. Unfortunately for him, the mercenaries from Onód didn't follow him and retreated. The prince was wounded at the head and he bandaged himself. Then he received another three wounds. Several servants managed to get him out of there. Kovács and his men were eventually destroyed after having put up a strong resistance. Most of the Transylvanian army was fleeing and the Ottomans captured the 8 guns and the baggage train and servants.

George Rákóczi II died from his wounds at Oradea on 7 June 1660.

Source: Gabriel-Virgil Rusu, Poarta Otomana se razbuna pe Rákóczi II, Magazin Istoric no. 9/2005

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 11 Oct 2005 15:35

Thank you.
I wonder if you consider George Rákóczi a Romanian or Hungarian. I can tell you Stephan Bathory, one of the greatest Polish kings came from there and is considered a Transylvanian prince, but also a Hungarian.

Regards,
Krzysiek

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Oct 2005 16:27

He was Transylvanian. :D
As ethnicity, he was Hungarian, but he ruled over a multi-ethnic region, which also included Romanians and Germans. Also, considering the fact that in those ages, ethnicity wasn't that important when compared to social status or religion, I don't think it matters that much.

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