Babócsa was a Borderland castle in the southern part of Hungary, in Somogy County. Sultan Suleiman’s army moved along this way in 1532. It fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1555. The Turks put the fort on fire in 1556 and abandoned it. Please, note that I use the Oriental name order for Hungarian names so family names come first.
This was the year when the Hungarian troops led by Zrínyi Miklós aka Nicolas Zrinski and Nádasdy Pál had a battle with the army of Pasha Ali, near the Babócsa. The castle was in Hungarian hands in 1562, its captain was Perneszi Farkas. After the fall of Szigetvár (1566) the castle fell to the Ottomans again. According to the payroll list of the Turks between 1568-1569, there were 558 soldiers there. The Turks left the castle when the army of Zsigmond Herberstein and György Zrínyi and Hajmásy Kristóf was approaching.
„In the year of 1551 of the Lord, when the winter bridge of the Danube has got wet already and the fields began to blossom, the Turks, as it was their habit, set out to have adventures. It was almost July when a 1,500-strong Turkish unit arrived in the neighborhood of the small Babocsa castle. The warriors of this borderland-house had no idea of their approach. One night there was a great splashing heard near the water. The night guards of Babócsa thought they had heard the cattle being herded out. But the miller is running breathlessly and says that 1,500 Turks are crossing the water. It was then that Deli Horváth Markó and Porkoláb Márton jumped into the saddle, in a moment, and set out with his men in deep silence to ambush the Turks.
It turned out excellently: they hit the Turks all unexpectedly in their midst. A great slaughter and confusion broke out. Our soldiers gained more than 200 horses, 60 captives, many flags, and weapons. Deli Horváth Markó and Porkoláb Márton have gone with some of their trusted men to Vienna to give the usual gifts to the king. He himself took one flag and two captives, the man of Porkoláb brought along two flags, one captive, and 25 noses. In Vienna, they were summoned first by the chancellor who greeted them nicely. Soon they were summoned by the king.
22 July 1556 the battle of Babócsa
The two armies deployed against each other along the Rinya river and the first clashes began on 21 July. The Turks made an attempt to cross the river and a particularly pitched battle took place at the ford where even the horse of the Croatian Bán Zrínyi Miklós was shot. His dolman was also pierced by a bullet but he remained unhurt. Fortunately, the Ottomans were beaten back.
The Christian army sent their wagons and supply trains back during the night, giving the hint to the enemy that they were withdrawing. It was the reason why they wanted to scatter them with a powerful, decisive attack. However, they suffered huge losses because of the strong cannon and musket fire while they were getting through the river. When they succeeded in crossing the river, they found the Christian army fully deployed before them. Yet, the Turks attacked them in three waves, and they were repelled in a heavy fight each time.
The Ottomans lost 600 men, the Imperials had about 300 casualties. Jakab, the younger brother of Nádasdy also fell during the fight. The Christians could not take advantage of their victory fully, though. Instead of advancing against the foe, they withdrew to Kanizsa castle. They sent 200 infantrymen at once to aid Captain Horváth Márk. As for Babócsa castle, they exploded it.
Pasha Ali returned to Szigetvár but his army was demoralized and they could not achieve success. Captain Horváth had mended the walls, and the further siege was pointless. Ali quit the siege on 31 July and went home. Interesting enough, the battle of Babócsa took place exactly 100 years after the Triumph of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) that was in 1456…Now, the ruins of Babócsa are overgrown by forest. It would be nice to see there a memorial sign at least…
Sources: Szibler Gábor and Takáts Sándor
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Here are a few pictures of Babócsa castle:The gallery was not found!