September 12, 2018

BATTLE OF VIENNA: Good morning, Instapundit readers. It’s September 12th, the 335th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna.   That day in 1683 was a turning point in history with the forces of the Habsburg imperial monarchy, the Holy Roman Empire’s principalities, and the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, combining to stop the Ottoman Empire’s expansion into Europe. John III Sobieski, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, was their military leader.

Vienna, which had been under siege since July, was near collapse. The Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I had fled and was now begging for help from the rest of the Empire, from Poland-Lithuania and from France. Poland as well as Saxony, Bavaria, Swabia, and some other HRE principalities answered the call. (France’s Louis XIV said no, and the Lithuanians, though willing, arrived too late for the battle.)

Sobieski personally led the 18,000-man cavalry charge that scattered the Ottomans. This was the beginning of a long end for the Ottoman Empire. After the battle, Sobieski gave credit to both the High and the low, “Venimus, Vidimus, Deus vicit (“We came, We saw, God conquered”).

Here’s my question: Why isn’t John III Sobieski more famous in the USA? The last person to mention his name to me was Mr. Newlove, my 12th grade European history teacher.