Jan Sobieski, Ukrainian Cossacks and the strategy of the raid war on the Ottoman border
Oleksii Sokyrko

Coalition wars of European states against the Ottoman Empire of the late XVIIth century were the last period of Turkish expansion to the West Europe. Just then the talent of Jan Sobieski was most discovered as a diplomat and commander. As a military commander, Sobieski had the reputation of a brilliant cavalry general, a master of lightning maneuvers and a raid warfare. This experience was gained in the military campaigns of the 60’s and 70’s of the XVIIth century against the right-bank Cossacks of Petro Doroshenko. During the time of Jan Sobieski’s kingship, relations with the Cossacks have changed. In the Cossacks, the king saw a valuable military potential, relevant in the war against Ottomans. The Left-Bank Cossack Hetmanate became a partner of the Holy League. In the military campaigns of the 80’s and 90’s of the XVIIth century the Crown Army and the Hetman Samoilovich and Mazepa army conducted a series of raids against the Turks and Tatars in the area between the Dnieper and the Danube. Many of these military operations were organized and conducted under the rules of the steppe war, in which the Ukrainian Cossacks had considerable experience. Comparison of the Raid War of the Crown Troops and the Cossack Army reveals many common features, for example, in the organization and planning of campaigns, scouting etc. In fact, we can talk about the experience of the Raid War, jointly produced at the Ottoman border of the Rzeczpospolita and Cossack Hetmanate in the time of Jan Sobieski.

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