Battle of Otonetë

Battle of Otonetë
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe
DateSeptember 27, 1446
LocationOtonetë, Upper Debar, modern-day Macedonia
Result Victory of the League of Lezhë
League of Lezhë Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Skanderbeg Mustafa Pasha
5,000 15,000 cavalry in the campaign; unknown number during the battle
Casualties and losses
Unknown 5,000 dead or wounded, 300 prisoners
Location within Macedonia

The battle of Otonetë occurred on September 27, 1446, in upper Dibra in Albania. The Ottoman commander, Mustafa Pasha, was sent into Albania, but was soon intercepted and defeated by Skanderbeg. It was one of the many victories won by Skanderbeg.


Soon after Skanderbeg united the Albanian princes in 1443, the Ottoman Empire sent forces to quell the rebellion. The first army to be sent was defeated in 1444 at Torvioll. Another force was sent one year later but was again defeated by Skanderbeg at Mokra. After establishing diplomatic relations with many major European powers, Murad II resumed his campaign to crush all remaining resistance in the Balkans.

Prelude and battle

As Murad prepared his forces to launch a campaign against Hunyadi, who was in that year proclaimed regent of Hungary, he sent a force of 15,000 cavalry under Mustafa Pasha into Albania. The Turkish plan was to fight a war of attrition, pillaging the land and inflicting terror on the population, while avoiding pitched battle. Mustafa split his force into two and sent one contingent into combat while keeping the other in a fortified position: Otonetë. When Skanderbeg learned that the Ottoman army was split, he attacked Otonetë with 5,000 men. The camp was set in disorder as the Albanians pierced through, "turning it into a slaughterhouse".


5,000 Ottoman soldiers fell and 300 were made prisoners. The whole camp and its supplies fell into Skanderbeg's hands. After this defeat, Murad ordered Mustafa to defend the border and to not perform any actions which may cause another defeat. The year was successful for the Albanians except that Pal Dukagjini, one of Skanderbeg's closest and strongest allies died of natural causes.


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