Andrew Gaudi, the Scot hero of Várad
13 September 1658: the siege of Várad has begun; its hero was a Scot officer, Andrew aka András Gaudi.
(Source: Gábor Szibler)
Gaudi was an artillery officer with a Scottish origin. He had fought successfully in the campaign of Prince Rákóczi György I of Transylvania in 1644-45, as one of the leaders of his army. He served in the Polish campaign of Prince Rákóczi György II as well and he was appointed as the captain of Brzezany Castle.
He distinguished himself in the siege of Várad during the following year, valiantly defending it. Grand Vizier Köprülü Mehmed took Borosjenő Castle in September 1658 while the Tatars tried to take Várad Castle.
Here is more about Borosjenő castle:
Accepting it, András Gaudi had made careful preparations in the castle before it. He reinforced the garrison with “some thousand good Hungarian and Szemény (?) infantrymen, with German musket-men” so he didn’t need to be afraid of the enemy taking the fort.
The castle’s fortifications were in quite bad shape because of the previous captain, Ferenc Gyulai could not restore it in his 8-year-long captaincy so Gaudi made amends and had them repaired quickly.
He based the role of the defense mainly on the cannons and he “had two light and small cannons fixed on-axis and they were drawn by two horses so they could be carried after him fast, he also placed good artillerymen next to them although he was a good master of this trade, too”.
During the siege, he had the cannons loaded either with balls or with grapeshot and under the cover of the soldiers, he had the cannons pulled as far as the first lines. Then, the covering soldiers moved to the left and to the right suddenly, and the killing shot was fired in the face of the besiegers from close proximity. The Tatars, although they had already got into the lower city, suffered tremendous losses from these cannons.
Led by Gaudi, the cavalrymen had sallied out from the castle many times and its mobile cannons cut deep lines into the thronged Turk and Tatar soldiers.
Wherever the trenches and the walls were breached, he had them quickly mended by empty barrels and sent them Hungarian and German riflemen, ordering them to keep their position until the last man, under the penalty of death.
The siege took place between 13-20 September and has been ended with the total defeat of the besieging Tatar, Turk, and Wallachian soldiers.
Gaudi later stayed with Prince Rákóczi during his fights against the Turks. It was he who persuaded the prince in 1660 to engage himself into the battle of Szászfenes where Prince Rákóczi got a lethal injury.
We don’t know anything about the Scottish officer’s life after this point. He may have died in this battle or left the country.
Read more about Scots in Hungary:
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