Battle of Pločnik

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Battle of Pločnik
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe
Central balkans 1373 1395.png
Central Balkans in 1373-1395. The battle was fought near Prokuplje.
Date Sometime between 1385 and 1387[A]
Location Pločnik
Result Serbian victory[1]
Grb Lazarevic.png Serbian Principality 25px Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Lazar Hrebeljanović Lala Şahin Pasha[2][1]
~30.000[1] ~18,800
Casualties and losses
few[1] very heavy at least 13.000[1]

The Battle of Pločnik was fought sometime between 1385 and 1387[A] near the village of Pločnik, near Prokuplje in today's southeastern Serbia, between the Serbian forces of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović and the invading Ottoman Turks of Sultan Murad I.


Battle of Pločnik was the second clash between the Ottomans and forces commanded by Lazar, the first being the 1381 Battle of Dubravnica, and this battle would precede the ultimate Battle of Kosovo in 1389. After Battle of Dubravnica, Sultan Murad I campaigned against the Karamanids and defeated its army near Konya. Serbian soldiers (from some vassal Serbian princes) accompanied the Ottoman Army. On the other hand some of the soldiers (including some Serbian soldiers) were executed because of looting civilian's property by disobeying the Sultan's order. The execution of these Serbian soldiers, aroused the hatred of the Serbs. Many Serb princes started to support Lazar Hrebeljanović against the Ottomans. At that time, one prince in Shkodër wrote a letter to the Sultan. In the letter this prince wrote that if the Ottomans sent some troops to Bosnia and Albania to protect him, he would recognise the sovereignty of the Ottomans and aid them. Murad I ordered one Akinji commander "(Kula)Sahin Bey" (that commander was not Lala Şahin Paşa) to prepare his troops.[1]


The Serbian army emerged victorious, although details of the actual battle are vague. Sahin Bey entered Serbia with 20.000 akinjis at that time he learned that Serbian princes had prepared an army to attack his troops. He advanced to Pločnik, near Prokuplje but he could not detect the position of that army. He believed that there was no army. At that time, many akinjis (about 18.000) lost their temper and began looting civilian properties in the surrounding villages by disobeying orders. Sahin Bey stayed alone with 2000 soldiers.[1] On the other hand the battlefield was observed by Serbian expeditionary forces.

Suddenly an allied army with 30.000 soldiers appeared, many of them were cavalry. The Serbian army used heavy knight cavalry charge with horse archers on the flanks.The Serbs first attacked the Ottoman center (2000 soldiers),although they were unprepared and tasted nasty shock to heavy Serbian knights,the outnumbered Ottoman center resisted for some time but later began to withdraw with Sahin Bey[1] who barely escaped with his life.

Then the Serbian army turned to the other 18.000 akinjis that were busy plundering; unprepared, ill-disciplined, surprised akinjis couldn't do anything without their general. Only 5.000 of them returned home alive.[1] More than 60% of the Ottoman army was destroyed. According to some sources Miloš Obilić participated in this battle on Serbian side and distinguished himself.[3] This sources explain that Obilić, who later became a hero in Serbian folklore because of his role in the Battle of Kosovo, was wounded by an Ottoman arrow in the battle.

According to some sources Gjon Kastrioti and troops sent by Tvrtko I of Bosnia[4] also participated in this battle.[5] Some sources even attribute Serb victory to him claiming that Ottomans were defeated because of his clever maneuver made in cooperation with troops from Bosnia.[6] Vjekoslav Klaić also emphasize importance of troops from Bosnia for Serbian victory.[7]


This victory gained gave prestige to the Serbs and their rulers. It was this battle that made Murad consider the possibility of abandoning his Balkan campaign. However he decided to make one more powerful thrust aimed at the heart of the now seemingly revitilised Serbian Empire-Kosovo. The Serbian victory temporarily slowed the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans, and set the stage for the Battle of Kosovo between the two armies in 1389.

According to the Ottoman historian Neşri this battle was not even fought because Prince Lazar was afraid to fight Ottoman army after Murad captured Niš, so he accepted to pay tribute and give 1,000 soldiers to serve the sultan.[8][9]

The Ottoman army was seriously defeated for the first time on the Balkans[1] The Ottoman advance into Europe was temporarily slowed.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Dating:


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Kemal,Namık -Osmanlı Tarihi Cilt:1 (History of Ottoman Empire-Volume I) Page:200,219,250(Turkish)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kissling, H. J.; Spuler, Bertold; Barbour, N.; J. S. Trimingham; H. Braun; H. Hartel (1 August 1997). The Last Great Muslim Empires. BRILL. p. 10. ISBN 90-04-02104-3. ...and at the battle of Plochnik in 1387 their united forces had been able to decimate the hitherto ever- victorious troops of Lala §ahin.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Mirčetić, Dragoljub (1994). Vojna istorija Niša: deo 1. Od najstarijih vremena do prvog srpskog ustanka. deo 2. U sredjem veku (700-1459). deo 3. U razdoblju Turske vlasti (1459-1878). Prosveta. p. 102. Него, у овоме боју код Плочника највећма се прослави цар Лазарев војвода Милош Обилић, потоњи јунак косовски.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Hoić, Ivan (1900). Slike in obćega zemljopisa: Slike iz obéga semljopisa. Matice Hrvatske. p. 302.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Mandrović, Kosta (1885). Ilustrovana istorija srpskog naroda od najstarijih vremena do proglašenja nove kraljevine: Sa 120 slika i jednom kartom Balkanskog poluostrova. p. 183.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Đerić, Branislav (1989). Kosovska bitka: vojno-istorijska rasprava. Naučna knjiga. p. 25. Нарочито о боју код Плочника наводе се разне версије, као да је у вези са босанским трупама и лукавством некак- вога Кастриоте задобивен.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Klaić, Vjekoslav; Macan, Trpimir (1981). Povijest Hrvata od najstarijih vremena do svršetka XIX stoljeća. Nakladni zavod MH. p. 288. I baš s pomoću bosanskih četa razbi knez Lazar slijedeće godine 1387. kod Pločnika na rijeci Toplici (u prokupačkom ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ćirković, Sima M. (1990). Kosovska bitka u istoriografiji: Redakcioni odbor Sima Ćirković (urednik izdanja) [... et al.]. Zmaj. p. 64.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Tomac, Petar (1968). Kosovska bitka. Vojnoizdavački zavod. p. 87.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Velikonja, Mitja. Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Texas A&M University Press, 2003), 48. ISBN 1-58544-226-7
  11. Evans, Arthur. Through Bosnia and the Herzegóvina on Foot During the Insurrection, (Longmans, Green and Co, 1877), lxiv.