|1329||Battle of Pelacanon (Pelecanum)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A costly defeat by the Turks and the final loss of Asia Minor for Byzantium||10-11 June 1329|
|War & Enemy:||
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Maltepe in modern Turkey, in Bithynia, near Nicomedia
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Andronikos III Palaiologos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Andronicus III||Sultan Orhan I|
|Background story:||By the accession of Andronicos III on the throne of Byzantium in 1328, the Byzantine territories in Anatolia had dramatically shrunk from almost all of the west of modern Turkey forty years earlier to a few scattered outposts along the Aegean Sea and a small core province around Nicomedia within about 150 km of the capital city Constantinople.
Everywhere the Turks were attacking and taking land from the Byzantines. Andronicos decided to relieve the important besieged cities of Nicomedia and Nicaea and hopefully restore the frontier to a stable position. Together with the Grand Domestic John Kantakouzenos, Andronicos led an army of about 4,000 men, which was the greatest he could muster along the Sea of Marmara towards Nicomedia.
At Pelekanon, near Nicomedia, an Ottoman Turkish army blocked the advance of the Byzantine army. Parts of each army clashed and the Turks were driven off. However, the bulk of the Turkish army withdrew into the hills north of the battlefield and Andronicus could advance no further while it was intact. Further skirmishes resulted in the emperor sustaining light wounds. A rumor was spread that he was mortally wounded and morale plummeted, resulting in panic. The Turks attacked the Byzantines, causing them heavy casualties until the Kantakouzenos was able to organize the return of the army to Constantinople by sea.
|Aftermath:||A defeat with long-term consequences. Never again did a Byzantine army attempt to regain any Asian territory. The historic cities of Nicomedia and Nicaea were soon captured and Byzantine control across the Bosporus was lost for ever.|