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Since the role of peasants in these wars was central to the thrust of the "setting the stage" sections in the diary, I should mention another factor behind the failure at Varna: the crusaders hoped for a peasant rebellion that would join them, but, ehm, they failed to inspire it...

While cleaning up the text, I also updated the 1552 invasion map (you have to reload) with all the other strategic positions where key battles were fought from 1396 to 1566.

The one I haven't mentioned in the diary or above is Jajce, in Bosnia. This castle above a narrow and deep valley did not see big battles, but it was so important that it saw several.

It was already contested between Hungary and Bosnia. The Ottomans first took it when crushing Bosnia in 1463, but Matthias Corvinus took it from them by Christmas the same year, and turned it into a key végvár. Failed sieges: 1464, 1501, 1502, 1516, 1524. Then it became an inconquerable island in Ottoman territory. Even when it fell in 1527, it was a surrender: the defenders were left without a captain, after he got hurt in a chivalric duel with an Ottoman officer.

Then Jajce became an insurmountable fortress for the Ottomans. It was taken by Austria-Hungary in 1878 in heavy battle.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 19th, 2008 at 06:49:09 AM EST
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