Battle of Cecora, 18 September- 6 October 1620

The battle of Cecora (or Tutora) was a crushing Polish-Lithuanian defeat during the Polish-Ottoman War of 1620-21. The Polish-Lithuanian army had entered Moldavia to support a rebellion by Gratiani, the ruler of Moldavia, against Ottoman authority. The army, led by Hetman Stanislas Zolkiewski, was only 8,000 strong, but Gratiani had promised to raise an army 25,000 strong. When Zolkiewski reached Moldavia he discovered that Gratiani had only been able to find 600 men. The allied were opposed by a somewhat larger Ottoman army under Iskandar Pasha.

The two armies clashed near Cecora on 18 September. The Polish-Lithuanian army held its own on this first day of fighting (sometimes referred to as the battle of Jassy), but was clearly outnumbered. An eleven day standoff followed, before Zolkiewski was able to organise a retreat (29 September). For eight days the Polish-Lithuanian army maintained its discipline, holding off Ottoman attacks, but on 6 October that discipline collapsed during another Ottoman attack. The Polish-Lithuanian army was virtually annihilated. Zolkiewski was killed, and his head sent to the Sultan.

The victory at Cecora encouraged Sultan Osman II to lead a massive army on an invasion of Poland-Lithuania. This invasion would be halted at Chocim, a drawn battle that ended the war. The failure of this military expedition was a significant factor in the fall of Osman II, who was deposed in 1622.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 August 2007), Battle of Cecora, 18 September- 6 October 1620 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_cecora.html

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies