War With the Ottaman TurksAfter he had taken Brasov, Vlad turned his attention to the Ottoman Empire, the Moslem superpower of the day whose borders stretched right up to the borders of Transylvania. Vlad knew that it would not be long until he came under attack and needed to act first if he was to survive. To this end he got together a team of Transylvanian stonemasons along with thousands of workers and constructed a palace which today lies under the city of Bucharest and which would be a sort of functional fortress. This would later be added to throughout the ensuing centuries but the original walls can still be seen today.
The vicious tyrant Vlad Dracula (above right) would now in effect become the defender of Christian Europe if he could only hold back the advance of the Ottoman Empire.
By the winter of 1461 AD, Vlad Dracula was at war with the Ottomans and with the element of surprise and much daring, Dracula led attacks deep into enemy territory putting anyone who got in his way to the sword. He then retreated back to his fortress of Tirgoviste and wrote to the neighbouring kingdoms demanding help from his fellow Christians and as a demonstration of his military prowess, in one dispatch, he sent over 23,000 severed noses taken from the corpses of his enemies! The Turkish sultan Mehmed (pictured left) gathered an army three times the size of Vlads and set out to meet Dracula in battle knowing that the latter would not be able to withstand a protracted siege even considering Tirgoviste's formidable defences.
Vlad was forced to retreat and wage savage guerrilla warfare in Romania's thick forests using every vicious tactic he knew to break the Turks morale including attacking by night, poisoning wells and even paying sick or diseased men to infiltrate the Ottoman ranks. His terror tactics had reached their peak when the Turks reached Tirgoviste and found 20,000 of their men impaled on stakes. This was too much for the Sultan leader to take even though he was himself a battle hardened soldier and he retreated to his homeland leaving others in command to fight Vlad Dracula.