Battle Of Karansebes, Friendly Fire Combat

In 1788, there was a war known as Karansebes between Austria and the Ottoman Empire. At that time, Austria was aided by the strength of soldiers from other nations namely Germany, France, Serbia, Crotia, and Poland.

The Battle of Karansebes took place in Karansebes (now Romania) more precisely around the Danube river on September 17, 1788. Austrian troops along with cavalry from other countries were well prepared. They had set up many camps the night before in preparation for the Turkish troops.


While they were preparing, a wine trader suddenly came across the river carrying Schnapps and offered to the cavalry waiting for the enemy to arrive.

Even tired soldiers who had been waiting for a whole day were drawn to buy the drink. Apparently not just one of the two people bought and drank the liquor, but many soldiers bought it until some of them were heavily intoxicated.

Soon another horseman came in and drank some wine and they all gathered like a party. Many were drunk and started shooting at each other. Some drunken soldiers shouted "Turks! Turks !!," while all they shouted were their friends instead of Turkey.


The commotion was becoming louder as they began to shout in their own languages that were not understood by other soldiers of different nationalities.

The rest of the soldiers were asleep in the night as they suspected that Turkish troops had come to attack.

In the darkness of the night, they could no longer distinguish between teammates and enemies. They start shooting at anyone they see because they are so panicked.

Things got worse after the panic-stricken Austrian commander began to order to shoot down those who were actually his own troops. This is because he also suspected that the Turkish army had arrived.


King Josef II, the supreme leader and also king of Austria at that time, was told to fall into the river during his escape. At least 10,000 soldiers were killed and injured as a result of this incident.


Two days later, Turkish troops arriving in Karansebes were shocked to find enemy troops dispersing everywhere. They then managed to conquer Karansebes without having fought at all without even firing a weapon.

Austria publicly revealed this incident in the Austrian Military Magazine only after 43 years of the war because of its shame.

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