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Medieval Wallachia first gained its independence in 1330 when it defeated the Hungarians and established a principality. They allied with the Mongols but by 1368 again fell under Hungarian control. By this time the Ottoman Turks approached their frontiers and under Mircea the Old they defeated Ottoman attacks four times between 1394 and 1408. After the disaster of Nicopolis the pressure built and the Wallachians had to accept Ottoman suzerainty in 1417.

Of all the princes who seized power in the 15th Century the best known is Vlad the Impaler (1418-56). He had a number of successful attempts to hold off the Ottomans but eventually conceded (see The Real Dracula). Despite this Wallachia remained a Christian state and was never absorbed fully into the Ottoman Empire.

The core of the army was the noble cavalry, largely armoured with lighter armoured followers. Light horse archers on the flanks and foot archers provided the main infantry base. Smaller numbers of mercenary and locally raised armoured foot, crossbows and handgunners were also available.

15mm Wallachian Horse

Light horse




and some 28mm Wallachians from the Essex range

Further Reading

Fine, John                      

 Late Medieval Balkans                                                

 Michigan 1994

Heath, Ian                    

 Armies of the Middle Ages-2                                         

 WRG 1984

Nicolle, David               

 Hungary and the Fall of Eastern Europe       

 Osprey 1993



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Copyright 2005 Balkan Military History
Last modified: 01/23/12