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Crusader Victory at Varna

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Wladyslaw III of varna
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OTL

On November, 10th, 1444, over 70,000 men clashed on the slopes and plains of Varna in the climactic battle of the Crusades of Varna. This was the last organized effort of Christendom to push the Ottoman Empire out of Europe.

The 24,000 strong Crusader Army, composed of forces from Hungary, Poland, Lituania, Croatia, Bohemia, Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal States and Teutonic Knights, hold back numerous assaults by the larger Turkish force. Despite a successful Turkish assault on the right flank, the Bohemian Wagenburgs successfully held against the offensive. Meanwhile, Hunyadi, Commander of the Hungarian Army led the Hungarian Cavalry to decimate the Turkish Cavalry. As the battle slowly seem to move in the Crusader's favor, the Polish-Lithuanian-Hungarian King Władysław grew reckless and charged the Turkish Center with 500 guards, against his ally general Hunyadi's advice.

The Polish assault was successful at first, as it overran many of the Janissary Infantry, and pushed to wards the Turkish Sultan. However, hopes of victory vanished as Władysław's horse fell into a trap and the King was slain in the fighting. With their commander and King dead, the Polish cavalry soon shattered against the Turks. The complete failure of the Polish Cavalry's assault caused chaos in the main army flanks, which was then overrun by Turkish forces. As Hunyadi organized a retreat, only a third of the Crusaders were standing, and the Polish King lay dead on the battlefield.

The Turkish Sultan Murad II, victorious, returned to Anatolia and convinced the Karamanids, who had razed the cities of Ankara and Kutahya to surrender, cementing his rule in Anatolia. 4 years later, Murad won another decisive victory in Kosovo, cementing Ottoman control of the Balkans.

The Crusader defeat in the battle and the overall campaign created political turmoil in Hungary, Poland and Lithuania; and also deterred Europeans from organizing a joint-effort against the Ottoman Turks, leading to the Ottoman Threat in South East Europe for more than 400 years.

However, what if Władysław had heeded Hunyadi's advice and stay put until Hunyadi supported him with 2 cavalry companies? What if Władysław had then manage to overrun the Ottoman Center and ensure a Crusader Victory? This TL seeks to explore the world in which Władysław won the battle of Varna.

Major Changes (OTL vs ATL)

  • Turkish expansion curbed, mainly focused in Asia instead of Europe.

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