On June 15, 1389, the battle of Kosovo Field (northwest of Pristina) took place. It involved, on the one hand, a united Christian army, which met the Ottomans marching against Moravian Serbia, accompanied by combat units of the Ottoman vassals.

Battle of Kosovo Field, June 15, 1389.

On June 15, 1389, the battle of Kosovo Field (northwest of Pristina) took place. It involved, on the one hand, a united Christian army, which met the Ottomans marching against Moravian Serbia, accompanied by combat units of the Ottoman vassals. The united Christian forces consist of troops of Moravian Serbia, the Despotate of Kosovo, the Kingdom of Bosnia, the Principality of Muzaka, as well as Bulgarian, Albanian, Wallachian and Czech combat units, as well as a unit of Knights Hospitallers - a total of about 20 thousand people. The Ottoman army was deployed from the south - a total of about 30 thousand people. In the historical literature, especially the most recent, there are many other calculations of the number of opposing troops.

It is likely that Bulgarians participated on both sides, given that the Serbian possessions occupied the western parts of the Bulgarian ethnic land. Of the sultan's vassals, the most active were the Vidin ruler Ivan Sratsimir (1356-1396) and Konstantin Dragash (1378-1395), the ruler of the Velbazhda despotism. Ottoman sources are sparing about the participation of Christians in this battle, suggesting that the Christian vassals' troops were more in the rear, a common practice among the distrustful, and rightly so, Ottomans. Probably Tsar Ivan Shishman (1371-1395), the ruler of the Kingdom of Tarnovo, Despot Ivanko (1385-1396/1397), the ruler of the Principality of Dobrudja, and perhaps King Marko (1371-1395), the ruler of the Kingdom of Prilep, refused to fulfill their vassals duties and to take part in this campaign on the side of the Ottoman army.

The site of the Battle of Kosovo today - a view from the north, from the positions of the allied Christian army.

The battle ends with huge losses for both sides. Sultan Murad I (1362-1389) died first. The romantic story, according to which the Serbian nobleman Miloš Obilić killed the Sultan in his tent while posing as a deserter, is considered by most experts to be a late legend that arose a century or so after the Battle of Kosovo. However, Obilić is today celebrated as a national hero in Serbia. In all probability the Sultan led the core of the Ottoman army in the center and perished in the initial successes of the left wing and the center of the united Christian forces.

Image of the Battle of Kosovo according to the great Russian Decorated Chronicle of the XNUMXth century.
Scroll to Top