Monday 25 February 2019

Vienna 1683 - Fighting in the suburbs

Historical Background

In the year 1683 the Ottomans started their second attempt to conquer Vienna, the seat of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the door to further conquest in Europe. It was a major effort with a huge army (170.000 men at the start of the campaign) - too much for the Emporer, who left the city before the Ottomans arrived. After an epic two months siege an allied relief army (Imperial and Polish troops) reached the outskirts of Vienna and in the final battle the Ottomans were decisively beaten and had to retreat the way they had come.

The moment depicted is when the Poles engage Ottoman Jannisaries in one of the burned down suburbs south-west of Vienna (e.g. Hernals, Dornbach). Street fighting was - and is also today - a vicious combat and this one was no exemption. No space, limited visibility, enemies from all directions, hand to hand fighting and so on - every army tried to avoid it, but to leave an enemy outpost in the back of the own troops was no option. Most of the Vienna suburbs were burned down - either by the Imperial defenders (to give the Ottomans no cover) or by the Ottomans (to spread terror in the hinterland and leave a safety belt outside the siege lines).

The diorama

The figures are from Zvezda (Poles) and Orion (Ottomans). For reaching the interaction between the figures some conversions had to made and also the Poles had to be trimmed additionally to reach the desired appearance (originally they were Russian streltsi). Uniforms were not very developed in this period, so each figure has its own colours or colour variations.

I tried to create burned down houses for the first time and I am quite satiesfied with the result. They are made of plaster, paper, wood, paint and toner from the printer.

Photos (click to enlarge)

Video (Youtube)


John Stoye - Die Türken vor Wien
Simon Millar - Vienna 1683 (Osprey Campaign 191)
Richard Brezezinski - Polish armies 1569-1696 Part 1 (Osprey Men-at-Arms 184)
Richard Brezezinski - Polish armies 1569-1969 Part 2 (Osprey Men-at-Arms 188)
David Nicolle - Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1774 (Osprey Men-at-Arms 140)
David Nicolle - The Janissaries (Osprey Warrior 58)