29.06.

Skenderbeg’s Great Victory over the Ottomans (1444)

Skenderbeg’s Great Victory over the Ottomans (1444)

Skenderbeg’s victory resonated throughout Europe because at that time the Ottoman army was superior to the Christian and almost regularly claimed victories.

On June 29, 1444, the Albanian military leader Skenderbeg achieved a great victory over the Ottomans at Peshkopi. This battle has been recorded in history as the Battle of Torvioll, and took place not far from today’s Albanian-Macedonian border (near the border of Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo). His nephew Hamza Kastriotić, who commanded part of the Albanian army, also took part in the battle on Skenderbeg’s side. The Ottoman forces were commanded by Ali Pasha, who were reportedly many times more numerous than the Albanian ones. Skenderbeg’s victory resonated throughout Europe because at that time the Ottoman army was superior to the Christian and almost regularly claimed victories. Skenderbeg was an Albanian national hero, real name Juraj Kastriotić (1433 – 1468).

Skenderbeg gathered an army of about 8,000 cavalry and about 7,000 infantry and ambushed the Ottomans at the lower Dibra. Part of the army hid in the woods and waited for the right moment. The Ottomans therefore thought that the Albanian army was much smaller and launched an attack. Albanian cavalry hidden in the woods attacked the weakened center of the Ottoman army and crushed them. The losses on the Ottoman side amounted to about 20,000 dead and wounded and about 2,000 captured. Albanians had less than 4,000 dead and wounded.

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