Osprey's study of a battle that was part of a triple conflict: the Polish-Ottoman War (1683-1699), the Great Turkish War (1667-1698), and the Ottoman Hapsburg Wars (1526-1791). The capture of the Hapsburg city of Vienna was a major strategic aspiration for the Islamic Ottoman Empire, desperate for the control that the city exercised over the Danube and the overland trade routes between southern and northern Europe. In July 1683 Sultan Mehmet IV proclaimed a jihad and the Turkish grand vizier, Kara Mustafa Pasha, laid siege to the city with an army of 150,000 men.
In September a relieving force arrived under Polish command and joined up with the defenders to drive the Turks away. The main focus of this book is the final 15-hour battle for Vienna, which climaxed with a massive charge by three divisions of Polish winged hussars. This hard-won victory marked the beginning of the decline of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which was never to threaten central Europe again.
"The siege of Vienna is outlined in great detail, with maps, paintings and breakdowns of the various attacks mounted by both sides... The author is a serving army officer with a strong interest in military history, and this interest is reflected through the sources utilized in the book for both text and illustrations. I found this book particularly relevant in light of current events in the Middle East, and a good introduction to military history. It provides an overview that is both succinct and richly detailed." -Renaissance Magazine (January 2009)
"All of [the campaign] is described here, with excellent maps as well as colour plates. Very highly recommended." -John Prigent, Internet Modeler (March 2008)
"In addition to the excellent and highly readable prose, there is a considerable amount of period artwork in the form of drawings and paintings to show what life was like and what some of the leading personalities looked like. This is ably enhanced by the superb illustrations of Peter Dennis, who has illustrated a large number of Osprey books depicting this era in history. Overall, a book I found to be quite engrossing and one that tells the story of the beginning of the eventual downfall of the Ottoman Empire." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (March 2008)