Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brought to the throne by the revolt of Halil Pasha , Mahmud swiftly asserted himself by winning over the Janissaries and having Halil Pasha murdered. The rest of Mahmud's reign was dominated by wars with Persia and Russia. The Persian wars saw Ottoman forces ranged against the military genius of Nadir Shah. The Turks managed to retain control of Baghdad, but Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia fell back within the Persian sphere of influence.
The Russian war was fought primarily in the Crimea and the Danubian Principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia). In this war, the Russian commander Von Munnich routed Mahmud's Crimean Tatar vassals and then led his forces across the Dniestr, bringing much of Bessarabia under Russian control. The Austrians, however, did not fare as well, as Ottoman forces brought Belgrade and northern Serbia back under their control.
Although no weakling, Mahmud entrusted government to his viziers and spent a large part of his time composing poetry.
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