Battle of Devina


Battle of Devnya
Part of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars
Date17 July 1279
Location
Devina, near Kotel Bulgaria
Result Bulgarian victory
Belligerents
Bulgarian Empire Byzantine Empire
Commanders and leaders
Ivailo of Bulgaria Murin
Strength
Small force 10,000
Casualties and losses
Few 10,000

The Battle of Devina occurred on 17 July 1279 near the small fortress of Devina, close to the modern town of Kotel, Burgas Province, south-eastern Bulgaria. Ivailo of Bulgaria attacked the Byzantine army sent to help his rival for the crown Ivan Asen III.[1]

Contents

Origins of the conflict


In 1277 in a popular uprising led by Ivailo broke out in north-eastern Bulgaria against the incapability of Emperor Constantine Tikh Asen to cope with the constant Mongol invasions which devastated the country for years. The Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos decided to make use of the instability in Bulgaria. He sent an army to impose his ally Ivan Asen III on the throne. Ivan Asen III gained control of the area between Vidin and Cherven. Ivailo was besieged by the Mongols at Drastar (Silistra) and the nobility in the capital Tarnovo accepted Ivan Asen III for Emperor.

The battle


In the same year, however, Ivailo managed to make a breakthrough in Drastar and headed for the capital. In order to help his ally, Michael VIII sent a 10,000-strong army towards Bulgaria under Murin. When Ivailo learned for that campaign he abandoned his march to Tarnovo. Although his troops were outnumbered, the Bulgarian leader attacked Murin in the Kotel Pass on 17 July 1279 and the Byzantines were completely routed. Many of them perished in the battle, while the rest were captured and later killed by orders from Ivailo.

Aftermath


After the defeat Michael VIII sent another army of 5,000 troops under Aprin but it was also defeated by Ivailo before reaching the Balkan Mountains. Without support, Ivan Asen III had to flee to Constantinople. The internal conflict in Bulgaria continued to 1280 when Ivailo had in turn to flee to the Mongols and George I Terter ascended to the throne.

References


Sources









Categories: 1279 in Europe | 13th century in the Byzantine Empire | 13th century in Bulgaria | Battles involving the Second Bulgarian Empire | Battles of the Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars in Thrace | Military history of Bulgaria | Conflicts in 1279 | 1270s in the Byzantine Empire




Information as of: 16.07.2020 02:49:14 CEST

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