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Battle of Humenné

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Title: Battle of Humenné  
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Battle of Humenné

Battle of Humenné
Part of the Thirty Years' War
Date November 23, 1619
Location Humenné
Result Polish victory
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Principality of Transylvania
Commanders and leaders
Walenty Rogawski George Rákóczi
8,000-10,000[1] 7,000[2]
Casualties and losses
850 2,100

The Battle of Humenné (Hungarian: Homonnai csata, Polish: bitwa pod Humiennem or pierwsza odsiecz wiedeńska) took place on November 23, 1619 near Humenné (eastern Slovakia) during the first period of the Thirty Years' War between the Transylvanian army and the Polish forces of Lisowczycy. It was the only battle of that war to involve the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The battle was won by the Polish cavalry led by Prince of Transylvania.


A lot of nations of the Holy Roman Empire saw the Thirty Years' War as a perfect opportunity to (re)gain their independencies. One of them was Hungary led by Gábor Bethlen, Duke of Transylvania. He joined Bohemia in the anti-Habsburg Protestant Union. In a short period of time, he conquered Bratislava and in November, he started a siege of Vienna - the capital city of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire. The situation of Emperor Ferdinand II was dramatic.

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did not want to participate in the war so it remained neutral. Sigismund III of Poland, being a strong sympathizer of the Catholic League and the Habsburgs, decided to send the Lisowczycy cavalry in the number of 10,000 to help the endangered city of Vienna.


The Lisowczycy faced George Rákóczi's corps near Humenné in the Carpathian Mountains. Walenty Rogawski did not manage to hold the cavalry together and it split up. Encouraged by that Rákóczi decided to send his infantry in order to pillage the enemy's camp. While it was doing so, Rogawski finally gathered his troops and unexpectedly attacked the Transylvanians. In a short time, Rákóczi had to announce a retreat. The battle was won by the Polish.


When Bethlen found out about Rákóczi's defeat, he had to break the siege, gather his soldiers and return to North Transylvania in order to secure it against the Lisowczycy. Ferdinand II made him sign a cease-fire and on January 16, 1620 they signed a peace treaty in Pressburg (now Bratislava).

The battle of Humenné was an important part of the war as the Polish intervention saved Vienna - the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire - from Transylvania. That is why some Polish sources call it the first Vienna relief - the second being the famous Battle of Vienna in 1683.

See also


  1. ^ Witold Biernacki, Biała Góra 1620, Wydawnictwo Finna, Gdańsk 2006, p 238, ISBN 83-89929-90-2
  2. ^ Witold Biernacki, Biała Góra 1620, Wydawnictwo Finna, Gdańsk 2006, p 239, ISBN 83-89929-90-2

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