The largest cavalry charge in history occurred in 1683 at the battle of Vienna. Lead by the Polish King, 20,000 Polish and German Knights charged the Ottoman army, breaking their lines and causing the ottomans to retreat in defeat. The battle marked the end of Ottoman expansion into Europe.
Sobieski’s greatest success came in 1683, with his victory at the Battle of Vienna, in joint command of Polish, Austrian and German troops, against the invading Ottoman Turks under Kara Mustafa.
Upon reaching Vienna, Sobieski had planned to attack on 13 September, but with the Ottoman army close to breaching the walls, he ordered a full attack on 12 September. At 4 am, the united army of about 81,000 men attacked a Turkish force of about 130,000 men. At about 5 pm, after observing the infantry battle from the hilltop, Sobieski led the Polish husaria cavalry along with Austrians and Germans in a massive charge down the hillside. Soon, the Ottoman battle line was broken and the Ottoman forces scattered in disarray. At 5:30 pm, Sobieski entered the deserted tent of Kara Mustafa and the Battle of Vienna ended.
The Pope and other foreign dignitaries hailed Sobieski as the “Savior of Vienna and Western European civilization.” In a letter to his wife, he wrote, “All the common people kissed my hands, my feet, my clothes; others only touched me, saying: ‘Ah, let us kiss so valiant a hand