Above picture: President Trump in Poland, 2017
Let me say that when the Republican field of potential candidates for President first stood at seventeen, as a conservative, Trump was seventeenth on my list in terms of who I felt should be the candidate. And while I greatly admire the tirelessness with which he ran his campaign and many of the conservative initiatives he has advanced during his first six months in office, I very much dislike his ‘shooting-from-the-hip’ style of histrionics and late-night tweeting which cause him to shoot himself (and the movement) in the foot.
This said, I want to be counted among those who applaud him for the speech he gave in Warsaw, earlier this month. It seems that only a President Trump could proclaim, “Let us all fight like the Poles, for freedom, for our country, and for God,” and still provoke an avalanche of attacks from the left and its legions of media allies. His speech was his finest so far because it drew the left and the right out, compelled us to respond, and was a defining moment, especially for them.
Trump went on to warn of the threats to our way of life, that being to Western Civilization, stating that we are obliged to “confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.” And by calling out the undermining forces from “inside” he was referencing the gossamer globalism and multiculturalism of the Clintons, Obamas, and the left.
It was a stroke of genius that Trump chose Warsaw as his first stop on his tour of Europe and the place to give this speech because Poles played a pivotal role in saving Western Civilization on three climactic occasions, two of which he referenced. The most recent was when Poland’s native son, Pope John Paul, returned to his native land, in 1979, during the height of the Cold War, and millions of Poles came out to see him and pray with him while starring down their atheist Soviet overlords. The second was when Poland’s brave men and women fought to the death against the invading Nazi’s in the Fall of 1939. And the third time (not mentioned in the speech) was when the King of Poland, Jan Sobiesky, defeated the invading hordes of Ottoman Turks at the battle of Vienna September 11, 1683.
In my first book, Lessons from Fallen Civilization, Vol I, my protagonist is quite literally Western Civilization. In it I chronicle the numerous times Western Civilization is nearly destroyed, beginning with the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. and including the two times the invading armies of Allah very nearly conquered the West. The first was at the battle of Poitiers in 732 and the second at Vienna in 1683. Also, I point out that Osama bin Laden picked September 11 for the attacks because it was a very important anniversary for Muslims—it was the high point when Islam controlled the largest portion of the Christian World. After his speech, Trump, was escorted in a large hall for a photo shoot a Polish President Duda and was seated under a portrait of King Sobiesky. Like the Muslims, the Poles know their history.
What follows here is an excerpt from my book which depicts the Battle of Vienna in a historic fiction format…
…By noon all three allied armies were moving forward inexorably and performing similar feats of synchronized bombardment and heroic infantry charges. Their progress was good enough to allow Sobieski the chance to send a rider with notes to his commanders, Charles and Waldeck, congratulating them on their progress with encouragement to keep moving. Charles messaged back to him, “When do you send the Hussars forward?” The Hussars were the finest cavalrymen in all of Europe, an elite force that made up a new Greek phalanx of lightening speed, men who rode armored stallions and carried long pikes, men who could ride with amazing precision. Charles messaged back that he could not send them in because the terrain was too rough.
The Christian armies’ advance slowed to a crawl as the afternoon wore on and the ground in front of them became more difficult with small barns, abandoned cottages, and rock walls forming defensible positions for Turks. Suddenly amidst the smoke and confusion, Sobieski realized that his forward line had reached the level ground. He could see that his forward troops were standing no more than a thousand yards from the Turkish camp! Meanwhile, Moustapha (the Turkish commander) galloped back and forth just behind his front lines and shouted orders for men to move to shore up his left flank which was succumbing to the Polish advance. This in turn, thinned the line in front of Waldeck’s Germans who continued to decimate the Turkish regulars with high-precision canon fire.
With only two hours left of daylight, the Germans also reached the flat open plain. Additionally, they were breaking holes in the center of the Turkish line, allowing portions of Waldeck’s infantry to emerge on its other side, without any combatants in front of them. A mounted adjutant then came galloping up to Sobieski, shouting at the top of his lungs over the enormous din, “The Germans have broken free!”
Sobieski threw his spyglass up to his face to see if he could corroborate the report. He saw two hundred yards away, through the cloud of dust, the melee and abject confusion being wrought against the center of the Turkish line. Some of the Turks were being assaulted from the front and back, while others were running toward their encampment. With that, Sobieski screamed to his adjutant, “Hussars to the front!” Next, he rode back and forth along the rear of his lines, shouting to every cavalry officer to prepare for a charge.
On his command, three thousand Hussars spurred their horses to galloping speed, headed toward the center of the Turkish line. They maintained an extremely tight formation, each holding a gleaming fifteen-foot pike as they charged. They were followed by five thousand superior cavalry and thirteen thousand horsemen composed of petty noblemen and farmers who were good riders and well-trained military men. It was largest single cavalry charge in the history of European warfare and was a demonstration of Sobieski’s military genius.
The charge impaled and instantly killed several thousand Turks and conscripts, and ruptured a massive hole in their defenses. And with that nearly every Turkish fighter, except the five thousand Janissaries who held their positions at the base of the city’s walls, began a full-scale retreat toward their camp.
As they ran with their backs to their mounted pursuers, many more Turks were hacked down. Moustapha (the Turkish commander) galloped ahead of his retreating hordes and attempted to rally them to take up positions at the edge of the camp. Some regrouped and took up defensive positions. Many Turkish regulars and conscripts did not heed the general’s command and instead began looting the nearest tents or running for their mounts.
Soon, the Germans and the Polish infantrymen began a hurried march in formation toward the Ottomans’ camp with some of the disengaged cavalry on the outside flanks. As they approached with pikes and battle axes at the ready and with darkness gathering, full-scale panic and looting enveloped the Turkish army. Moustapha looked to his left and saw a Bulgarian hurriedly looting an officer’s lavish tent. He shouted at him, “You! Get back to your position!” And when the lowly conscript did not even acknowledge the command, the Grand Vizier knew all was lost. He then shouted to his bodyguard to take what they could. He looked back toward Vienna, wondering how it was that its walls were still standing, and rode away from the battlefield.
As Sobieski’s and Waldeck’s armies captured the last straggling Turkish looters inside the sprawling camp, Charles’ Austrian army was still attacking the Janissaries positioned below the city walls. Surrounded, the Janissaries, in their customary manner, fought to the last man. Most of them had been absconded, as young boys, from villages in Turkish Hungary or the Balkans. They had been trained by their kidnappers to grow up as ruthless Muslim soldiers, the sons of anguished Christian parents they no longer remembered.
Through the gathering darkness, the starving inhabitants inside Vienna could see the Turks retreating. This set off a spontaneous flood of emaciated men and boys who ran out of the city’s main gate toward the portion of the abandoned encampment which contained the Turks’ buffalo and livestock. So crazed by hunger, they ran directly past their liberators without greeting them, in a near rabid desperation to kill and butcher some of the animals. Sobieski, seeing this, rode promptly toward the vast livestock pen. There he beheld the pitiful sight of a Venetian man who had just run up to a buffalo, slashed its throat, involuntarily fell upon the still dying beast, and was ravenously drinking its warm spurting blood.
As he watched the pitiful scene, Sobieski began to issue an order to his mounted adjutant, “Find Count Lubonski and tell him to bring some men here with sharp swords.” Before he could finish his order, a man appeared on foot, and stood beside his horse. In the gathering darkness, he saw a man whom he had not seen since college—General Lubomirski. He had left Poland twenty years earlier to marry a Venetian princess and had commanded the defense of Vienna for this long and brutal summer. He was gaunt and frail—and alive. Sobieski dismounted. They hugged and wept.
By nightfall, the entire Turkish encampment was completely in the hands of the Christians. The size of the spoils was unprecedented in European warfare. There were more than seven hundred cannons, forty thousand horses, twenty thousand mules, two thousand camels, one hundred thousand bags of corn, vast numbers of prisoners, and seventeen million crowns, all left in the camp by the fleeing Turkish invaders.
Sobieski was used to living modestly while on military campaign. When he first entered Mustapha’s abandoned headquarters, he was astonished by what he saw: a golden basin for washing his hands, a marble tub for bathing, walls draped with silk, and hundreds of hanging swords and daggers studded with jewels. It was what he would later call a “voluptuous effeminacy.” No self-respecting commander would allow himself this kind of debauchery, he thought.
When he walked into Moustapha’s harem chambers, he found the corpse of a beautiful Circassian slave woman so highly prized by the Ottomans. Undoubtedly to prevent her from falling into the hands of the victors, her head had been severed and it lay in a pool of blood and at a grotesque angle to her body. For the first time, on a day where he had already witnessed so much death, Sobieski rushed outside the tent and vomited.
He spent much of the night overseeing the exhausting task of allocating the Ottoman plunder—some of the spoils went to the allied soldiers, while the largest portion was apportioned fairly to government treasuries. Sobieski elected to break away from the necessary mendacity of the task and rode out of the camp to inspect the burial of the fallen Janissaries.
When he arrived at their position by the city’s southern walls, where they had made their last stand only a few hours earlier, he found a priest whom he recognized as Piotr. The priest was praying over the Janissaries, dead young men who were from Christian families. By the light of the priest’s torch mounted on its stanchion, Sobieski could see that many of the fallen were clearly boys as young as fifteen or sixteen. “Greetings, Father.
Your entreaties to the Almighty were clearly heard today. The Polish nation is grateful,” he said reverently.
“My King,” Piotr said, “I have found one soldier alive. It is for you to decide his fate. Please follow me over here.”
Sobieski dismounted and followed the priest, who led him down a row of dead, those that Piotr and his fellow priests had placed there in preparation for cremation. “Here he is, my King,” he said holding the torch over the boy who lay on the ground still in his armor. Sobieski could see by the torch light that the wounded Janissary was very young. He had only a few whiskers growing from his chin and none emerging from his cheeks. His long dirty-blond hair protruded from his helmet, and the blue of his terrified eyes reminded the general of the Aegean Sea on a cloudless day.
“What is your name, my boy?”
“Muhammad!” he shouted with his voice cracking. “Please kill me! I wish to be martyred in the name of Allah!” he sobbed.
“Your name is not Muhammad. Where are you wounded?”
As the boy broke into inconsolable sobs, Piotr said to Sobieski, “He was unconscious when I found him. I suspect that he was knocked down, but that he is in good health, my King.”
“Good,” Sobieski said to the priest. “Please see that he is fed and made ready for the trip back to Warsaw. I wish to learn a few things from this boy.”
He walked back to his tethered horse, mounted, and rode into the darkness toward Moutapha’s tent. Once inside it, his total exhaustion allowed him to fall into a dreamless sleep.