Polish-Turkish Wars of the 17th Century

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polish-Turkish Wars of the 17th Century


wars between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzecz Pos-polita) and the Ottoman Empire, primarily over the possession of the Ukrainian lands.

The war of 1620–21 started when the Turks virtually annihilated a detachment near Tsetsora (Cecora) under S. Zółkiewski, which had invaded Moldova in October 1620. K. Chodkie-wicz, commanding a Polish army of 30,000 men and 40,000 Ukrainian cossacks, repelled attacks of superior Turkish-Tatar forces at Khotin on the Dnestr River in September 1621. (The Crimean Khanate, a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, fought in all the Polish-Turkish wars of the 17th century.) A truce between Poland and Turkey, signed in October 1621 and reaffirmed by a peace treaty in 1623, reestablished the frontier between the two states on the Dnestr.

In 1672, Turkey, attempting to gain possession of the Ukraine, started a war against Poland that lasted until 1676. Turkish-Tatar forces captured Kamenets-Podol’skii in August 1672 and continued their offensive toward Buchach and L’vov. Poland was forced to conclude the Buchach Peace of 1672 with Turkey, but the Sejm of the Commonwealth, meeting in April 1673, did not recognize the treaty. The war resumed, and J. Sobieski routed the Turkish troops at Khotin on Nov. 11, 1673. In 1676, Polish troops repulsed with difficulty an offensive of Turkish-Tatar troops on L’vov. Despite victories won at Zhuravno in September and October 1676, Poland concluded the Zhuravno Peace of 1676 with Turkey.

The Polish-Turkish War of 1683–99 broke out and developed in connection with the Austro-Turkish War of 1683–99, in which the commonwealth allied itself with Austria. Sobieski’s forces, acting jointly with Austrian troops and troops of the German principalities, routed the Turkish Army at Vienna in September 1683. After Poland concluded the Eternal Peace of 1686, Russia in the same year joined the Holy League, which was a coalition of Austria, Poland, and Venice that had been formed in 1684. According to the Karlowitz Congress of 1698–99, which terminated the war between the Holy League and Turkey, Poland obtained the part of the Right-bank Ukraine that had been held by Turkey, as well as Podolia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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