Sultan Mehmed III was born on 26 May 1566 and died on 22 December 1603. He was the son of Sultan Murad III and began his reign at the beginning of 1595, having ordered the assassination of his 19 brothers. At this time, the 15-Year-War had been going on for one and a half years with the Habsburgs. This war was the main thing in Mehmed’s short reign. You can read more about this war here:
Mehmed led his army against Hungary just once in person, in 1596 which resulted in the taking of Eger and in the dubious victory in the Battle of Mezőkeresztes. Here is more about the taking of Eger castle in 1596:
The Sultan was usually called a bit coward but in the Battle of Mezőkeresztes, he was brave because he didn’t escape when the Christians attacked his army, although the gossip said it so. On the contrary, he has even gained a wound. His steadiness and his orders had a great role in the reforming of the Jannissary lines and caused the return of his fleeing wings which gave him the victory. Here you can read the details of the greatest battle of the 15-Year War:
Yet, it was a quite shocking experience for Mehmed and he never led his troops in person anymore. He didn’t care much about the affairs of the state, either. It was managed by his mother, Valide, instead of him. The war was going on, though, but the Ottoman army was led by the appointed Serdars and Grand Viziers.
The Sublime Port lost Pápa Castle in 1597 (which they had occupied a year before) and they also lost Győr, Tata, Veszprém, and Palota during the following year. On top of that, the Christians have laid siege on Buda three times, albeit unsuccessfully.
The Muslims were able to take the important castle of Kanizsa, on the other hand, and they also had Wallachia and Moldova forced back to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire.
The Sultan died young, at the age of 37, without having settled the war. In addition to this, the Empire had to face the Persians again in the East and there have been revolts of the Dzselals going on in Asia Minor for years, too.
His son, Achmed I succeeded him on the throne.
Source: Szibler Gábor
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