Battle of Szina

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Battle of Szina
Part of the Hungarian campaign of 1527-1528
DateMarch 20, 1528
Locationnear Seňa (Szina), near Košice, in Slovakia
Result Decisive Austrian victory
Kingdom of Szapolyai Hungarians; Serb, Transylvanian, and Polish mercenaries Habsburg Monarchy
Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg-party Hungarians
Commanders and leaders
János Szapolyai Johann von Katzianer,
Bálint Török
15,000 13-14,000

The Battle of Szina (Slovak language: Bitka pri Seňa, Hungarian language: Szinai csata) took place near Seňa (Hungarian language: Szina, now Abaújszina) in present-day Slovakia. The battle was fought on March 20, 1528, between King János Szapolyai of Hungary, and Austrian forces under command of Bálint Török and Johann Katzianer, a Styrian mercenary commander of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. The battle was the second military defeat for Szapolyai.


After the Battle of Mohács, where King Louis II of Hungary was killed, János Szapolyai, voivod of Transylvania, ascended to the Hungarian throne. However, the Austrian Ferdinand also had a claim to the throne via the House of Habsburgs intermarriages with Louis II's Jagiellon dynasty. In 1527 Ferdinand mounted an offensive against King János. He was initially successful, with an early victory in the Battle of Tarcal (near Tokaj).

Szapolyai recruited a new army, and in 1528 advanced into Hungary with an army of approximately 15 thousand men, including Transylvanian, Polish and Serbian forces, but few Hungarians. The Slovenian-born Johann von Katzianer and Bálint Török marched against Szapolyai with a Hungarian-Austrian-German army (approximately 13-14 thousand men) and met Szapolyai's army near Košice.

The battle

The presence of Török and Katzianer near Košice prevented Szapolyai's army from marching on the capital city Buda. In the meantime, discord broke out in Szapolya's army between the Serbian and Polish mercenaries. Szapolyai's cavalry and infantry was less skilled than the German infantry (the landsknechts), but the Polish mercenaries fought gallantly against the Austrians. In Szapolyai's army, 300 Polish soldiers and a few thousand other men were killed.

After Szapolyai's defeat, he was pursued by Bálint Török and Lajos Pekry; he fled into Poland seeking help. When Polish King Sigismund I the Old declined to proclaim war against Austria, Szapolyai turned to Suleiman I, Sultan of Ottomans for help. Suleiman then sent Peter, voivod of Moldavia, into Transylvania. Voivod Peter defeated Ferdinand in the Battle of Feldioara, and the Ottoman army (including Moldavians and Serbs) lay siege to Vienna.


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