A very rare broadside, issued in 1907, showcases the map of the Siege of Szigetvár, fought in 1566, which resulted in an Ottoman victory. The battle was known as one of the greatest military events in the Balkan wars, which coincidentally collided with the death of Sultan I “the Magnificent”, who died of old age during the battle in his tent. His opponent, the Croatian Ban Nikola Šubić Zrinski, was killed in the siege.
Sultan I “the Magnificent” (1494-1566) who reigned as the Ottoman Sultan from 1520 to 1566, was the most famous Turkish conqueror of the 16th Century. In 1521, he seized Belgrade and, from there, the road to Hungary and Austria lay open to the Ottoman army. Five years later he crushed Louis II of Hungary at the First Battle of Mohács (1526), which obliterated the once great Hungarian Kingdom. In 1529, Suleiman’s army unsuccessfully besieged Vienna, and then again, also unsuccessfully, in 1532. The notion that Vienna came within a whisker of falling to the Turks sent shockwaves across Christian Europe. As depicted, Suleiman’s final battle was fought in the autumn of 1566 at Szigetvár, Hungary, where his forces slayed the entire Habsburg army, including its commander Nikola Šubić Zrinski, the Ban of Croatia. Later the same day, Suleiman died in his tent of old age, bringing an end to the most illustrious chapter in Ottoman history.
The sheet was publshed in a series Ottoman State Military History (دولت عثمانيى تارخي عسكريسى) in the last year under the reign of Abdul Hamid II by a Royal War Office under the patronage of General Ahmed Muhtar (طويجى اركان حربيه سندن فريق احمد مختار). The series was suppose to educate people on the military history through the images of great Ottoman battles in the early 20th century, when the Ottoman Empire was undergoing a great crisis. In the following year Sultan Abdul Hamid was deposed in the Young Turk Revolution.
Traditionally the focus of Ottoman map making was not on historical cartography. As such the present battle plan of a key historical engagement in South Easter Europe is remarkable.
We could not trace any other examples of the map in instititutions worldwide.