The 1683 Siege of Vienna was a turning point in modern European history, explains John Stoye in this gripping chronicle. It was the last serious threat to Western Christendom from the East, and countries normally jealous and hostile toward one another set aside their differences to throw back the armies of Islam and their Tartar allies. The consequences were momentous: the Ottomans lost half their European territories and began the long decline that led to the collapse of their empire, while the Hapsburgs turned their attention from France and the Rhine frontier to the rich pickings of the Balkans, opening an epoch in European history that lasted until the cataclysm of World War I in 1914.
"Worthy of the pen of a Thucydides or a Herodotus.... It is a measure of the fascination of Mr. Stoye's subject that one should think of comparing his treatment of it with the work of the greatest historians."—Times Literary Supplement