John III Sobieski (1629-1696)

John III Sobieski

1629 John III Sobieski was born at Olesko, Ukraine, on the 9th of June. He was the last king of Poland whose defining achievement is the victory against Turkish people. Ioan Sobieski was born during a storm that coincided with a Tatar ride at Olesko, near Lvov, within an old noble family and was grown up in world that was not used with the war: maternal grandfather and his brother were both beheaded by the Tatars within a battle, and his uncle had died in captivity, as a prisoner of the same Tatars. The South-East side of Poland, where he grew up, was close to warrior Ottoman Empire’s border that had been putting back the Southern boundaries of Europe.

1648 Sobieski embraced a military career at an early age, enrolling in the army.

1655-1660 He remarked himself during Polish-Swedish war.

1666 He became the leader of Polish army.

1667 He fought against Caucasus and Tatars and led the troops for the first time.

1668 He became supreme commander of Polish army.

1673 Hotin battle happened. Sobieski had become one of the successful generals in the country, so next year he was appointed to follow to the throne King Michael as King Ioan III of Poland. He continued to be a soldier-king and dedicated a big part of his time and energy to modernize Polish army.

Externally, he firstly allied with French people who, in their turn, were allied with Turkish people in order to focus on conquering some territories in the East of Prussia. Partially encouraged by France, Sobieski tried to make peace with Turkish, but he returned to the instinctive conclusion that Turkish people represented a death danger for Poland and for the entire Europe.

1683 He broke up alliance treaty with France and established a mutual defense treaty with Holy Roman Empire, respectively Leopold I, peace by which both countries agreed to defend each other, in case Ottomans would have attacked their capitals. Few months later a huge Turkish army, led by great vizier Kara Mustafa, attacked Vienna, Leopold’s capital, with the obvious intention to destroy the Habsburgs.

1683 Sobieski defended Vienna and as the greatest officer took over the control of the entire Liberation Army and got a wonderful victory against Ottoman army near Vienna’s bridges, in Kahlenberg, on the 12th of September.

Despite of a cool reception and not very grateful by Leopold, Sobieski continued his campaign and followed the Turkish in Hungary, but neither after many years of military campaigns did not succeed to get them out from Romanian Principates, Moldavia and Wallachia and could not have extended Polish domination until Black Sea shore.

Overview, Sobieski defeated Turkish people, but he made it the detrimental of his country. He gave Ukraine to Russia almost for nothing and allowed the fact that Lithuania was comprised of anarchy. Sobieski left behind him a weak and divided kingdom, hackled by its neighbours, kingdom that one century later would have been wiped off the Europe’s map.

1696 He died on June 17th, at Wilanow, near Warsaw and buried at Krakow. His successor on the throne of Poland was not his son, but August der Strake, Prince of Saxons.

Victory gained by Sobieski against Ottoman Turkish people at Vienna was one of the most important battles in Europe’s history.

Sobieski married to one of the extraordinary women of that age, a very beautiful French woman, widow, Marie-Casimire from Grange d’Arquien, spoiled Marysienka. Their correspondence was kept until nowadays. The letters are very passionate and compose a fascinating confession of those ages and of his reign.[1]




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