On September 12th, to be precise.
Even though the Christian army could not get most of its artillery
over the mountains and into place, its steady attack and greater numbers
proved impossible to withstand. First, the Saxons and Imperial troops
attacked from the Kahlenberg heights; then additional Imperial troops
advanced on the Ottoman center. The Ottomans launched a counterattack,
but in twenty minutes they had been beaten back. Because of deep ravines
and other terrain problems, the Poles had been slow to engage, but when
they came in on the Christian right, the battle was decided. At about 4
p.m., the various Christian forces advanced on all sides, Sobieski
leading his “winged hussars” in what was a decisive charge against the
Ottoman cavalry. By late afternoon, the Turkish lines began to waver. A
desperate Kara Mustafa led his personal escort into the fray, hoping to
withstand the Christian onslaught, but could do no more than rescue the
flag of the Prophet.
“We came, we saw, and God conquered,” wrote Sobieski to Pope Innocent
XI, echoing Julius Caesar’s famous remark on the conquest of Pontus, in
modern Turkey. The siege was ended.
Those Turks who had not been killed or captured fled back toward
Belgrade. Kara Mustafa succeeded in taking most of his treasure with
him, but it would do him little good. As so often happened to those who
had failed the sultan, he was strangled two months later.