Music to Write Realmgard to: Winged Hussars

Then the Winged Hussars arrived.

Vienna. September 12, 1683.

Ottoman Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha has laid siege to Vienna since July. His army is poised to undermine the walls and storm the city.

He promptly finds himself on the wrong end of the largest cavalry charge in human history.

Led by Polish-Lithuanian King Jan Sobieski and famous Winged Hussars, a relief force of about 74,000 deployed from the Kahlenberg just outside the city.

At 4:00 p.m. not to put too fine a point on it:

Then the Winged Hussars arrived.

The Ottoman siege lines are shattered by the force of a 18,000-strong cavalry charge, Vienna was saved and with it, according to later European chroniclers, all of Christendom.

Incidentally, the sacking of the Ottoman encampment is popularly held to be the moment that introduced coffee to Austria.

Kara Mustafa Pasha escapes with his life, only to be executed on the Sultan‘s command for his failure a few months later.

And, of course, we got an awesome song out of it.

"Sobieski at Vienna" by Juliusz Kossak,
Sobieski at Vienna: Juliusz Kossak.
via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Swedish power metal band Sabaton has put out a discography consisting largely of albums centring around various historical battles. 2014’s The Last Stand provides us with two of their most popular songs: the eponymous The Last Stand and Winged Hussars. I think a large part of their popularity is because of how quotable (and memeable) the lyrics of the two songs are.

Incidentally, Sabaton’s own website has a write-up about the battles that inspired their songs, you can find the one about Vienna here.

And then listen to the song about it here:

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