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The first conflict between Moldavia and the Ottoman Empire for which there is a historical account occurred during the reign of Alexandru cel Bun, in 1420, when the Ottomans tried to capture Chilia. The attack was unsuccessful.

Moldavian–Ottoman Wars
LocationWallachia, Moldova and Transylvania, present-day Romania
Result Moldavia becomes an Ottoman vassal for almost four centuries.
Coat of arms of Moldavia.svg Moldavia
Stema Tarii Romanesti II.jpg Wallachia
Coat of arms of Transylvania.svg Transylvania
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders

Coat of arms of Moldavia.svg Voivode of Moldavia most notably Alexander the good, Bogdan II, Stefan the Great, and John III the Terrible as well as Michael the Brave

Stema Tarii Romanesti II.jpg Voivode of Wallachia most notably Mircea the Elder, Vlad the Impaler and Michael the Brave
Ottoman Empire Ottoman Sultan

Variated greatly during the centuries

~20,000 active men[1] - 60,000[2]

Variated greatly during the centuries

Capable of raising more than 100,000 men
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

In 1439, King Sigismund of Hungary argued with King Wladislaw of Poland about dividing Moldavia between their two countries. Sigismund complained that the Moldavians refused to aid him in his expeditions against the Turks, but King Wladyslaw argued that the Moldavians couldn't aid Sigismund with troops because they aided him, instead, and Sigismund had to give up on his claims.[3]

In 1444, Moldavia sent troops that joined King Władysław III of Varna at the Battle of Varna. The Turks had camels with them and in case of defeat, they would spill gold and silver coins on the ground in order to slacken the enemy. The Moldavians went after the camels for the money.[4]

Between 1451 and 1457, Moldavia was in civil turmoil and under Petru Aron, the principality paid the Porte an annual tribute of 2,000 gold coins. In 1470, during the rule of Stephen the Great, the relationship between Moldavia and the Porte became hostile, and resulted in several confrontations, most notable being the Battle of Vaslui, where the Ottomans were heavily defeated, and the Battle of Valea Albă, where Mehmed II was victorious, but was forced to retreat. In 1484, the Ottomans managed to annex Chilia and Akkerman. After 1504, Moldavia fell into decline and was forced to accept vassalage for the Porte, but conflicts continued to rage until the 19th century, giving the country brief periods of independence.


  1. Grant, R.G. (2005). Battle a Visual Journey Through 5000 Years of Combat. London: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 122.  The Hungarians, |with Vlad the Impaler had some 30,000 men whilst at Mohacs there was roughly 20,000 men
  2. The Royal army for Mohacs had an initial strength of 60,000 before disease and desertion decimated it
  3. The Annals of Jan Długosz, p. 449
  4. The Annals of Jan Długosz, p. 496


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