THE SIEGE OF PALOTA
(The Ottoman's Most Humilating Defeat) 1566
Thury and his small army of defenders were so successful in thier raids and caused the Turks so much trouble and loss in terms of soldiers, horses, military equipment and supplies that the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman the Great, finally sent Arslan, the Pasha of Budapest, 8,000 soldiers to take Palota and put an end to Thury:
"On June 5, 1566, Pasha Arslan of Buda was preparing for the attack with great force and determination as well as with a lot of good military equipment, cannons and almost 8000 men. Two-tailed Turkish flags, lances and cannons were teeming on Mount Sintér and on the hills of the Kopasz promontory. The preparation of the Turkish side was frightening. Thury recruited some help from the border castles nearby, but even so the manpower was less than 200 strong. In vain was Captain Thury shooting at the preparing Turks and decimating their numbers, they were so many that it did not even show.
Despite the havoc wreaked by Thury's raids, the preparation for the siege did not cease, but on the contrary: the Turks answered by peppering the castle with cannon-shot. Therefore two soldiers, Péter Papp and Péter Literádi undertook the mission of sneaking into the Turkish camp and blowing up their gunpowder store. The two Hungarian soldiers accomplished their mission but the Turks captured, tortured and interrogated them. The two valiant soldiers misled the enemy by lying to them that the wall was extremely well fortified and very thick where the Turks were shelling it, whereas in reality it had almost fallen down. The scheme worked, the Turks started shelling the wall at another place and thus it did not collapse, thanks to the two brave soldiers. They paid with their lives to save the castle: the Turks cruelly impaled both of them.
Of course, Thury saw the great calamity and felt the end approaching. Therefore he asked his two bravest lieutenants, his brother Farkas Thury and Ferenc Pálffy to undertake a dangerous mission. They undertook the task of riding to Vienna, to let Emperor Maximilian know that unless he provided help they would not be able to keep this important castle. The two soldiers bandaged their horses' hooves and quietly, knowing the mysterious ways of the Bakony, they reached Emperor Maximilian and Count Salm in Vienna with the last warning. In the castle, desperation took over when the defenders saw the collapsing walls. The password was life or death, they knew they only had themselves to rely on.
On April 14, 1566, Pasha Arslan put an end to the shelling and was preparing for the final attack the next day, as he had been informed by one of his spies in Vienna that King Ferdinand had finally sent a large relief army and it was on its way to help the Hungarians. Turkish scouts were sent out to the Bakony to signal if the relief army was approacing. The Turks wanted to rest before the battle, so Arslan ordered his men in for the evening prayer and sleep. Using this state of mind and the fearful silence before the battle, Thury made up his mind to attack.
Night fell, it was pitch dark, the chains of the castle gates and drawbridges were greased and the 200 soldiers left the castle without any noise and attacked the sleeping Turks. There was wild uproar and panic in the camp. Storehouses, stables and haystacks were set on fire. Thury rode towards the pasha's tent, surrounded by a whole Turkish army, but Thury was ceaselessly slashing into the enemy with his broadsword.
This was when a fortuitous coincidence occured that seemed like a miraculous reward for their courage. The Turkish scouts that had been sent out came running in terror back to the camp and reported to the pasha what they had seen in the forest - that a huge relief army from Vienna was approaching. Upon hearing the news, Pasha Arslan, screaming and shouting, ordered his troops to retreat. By daybreak, the Turks retreated to Fehérvár with great losses, leaving behind provisions, animals, tents, cannons and gunpowder as well as many casualties from Thury's raid. In reality, what the Ottoman scouts had seen from the distance was a long caravan of workers and carts sent out by the mayor of Győr to cut down trees for wood to reinforce the dikes along the river Danube. They were raising a lot of dust, making a lot of noise and shouting in German and Hungarian, causing the scouts to think they were the relief army sent from Vienna.
King Ferdinand had finally sent troops from Vienna under the commmand of Count Salm, but they were late, arriving three days after the Turks' rapid retreat and it was certainly not thanks to them that the castle was saved!
Suleiman was furious when he heard and ordered that Pasha Arslan recieve the 'silk cord' for the humiliating defeat. The 'silk cord' referred to a method of formal execution reserved for high officials of the Ottoman Empire who disappointed or failed the sultan: strangulation with a silk rope.
Shortly afterwards in 1567, György Thury submitted his resignation as captain of Palota Castle and his younger, brother, Benedek took the post.