Today in European history: the Battle of Mohács (1526)

Today’s anniversary commemorates the first of two battles fought near the Hungarian town of Mohács a little over a century and a half apart, and so we should be careful not to confuse today’s engagement with the 1687 Battle of Mohács. While both of these battles involved the Ottoman Empire, the circumstances surrounding them could not be more different. That 1687 battle involved an Ottoman Empire that was retreating and shrinking, and represented its final expulsion from Hungary. This 1526 battle is its bookend, fought by an Ottoman Empire that was expanding rapidly and just entering Hungary for the first time. Needless to say in 1687 the Ottomans suffered a defeat at Mohács, while in 1526 they won a major victory.

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