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The “Battle of Karansebes,” in the Austro-Turkish war took place in the town of Karansebes, in present day Romania, on September 17th, 1788.

The battle started with a number of Austrian cavalrymen soldiers on a night patrol looking for Turkish soldiers in the area when they chanced upon some Gypsies who offered them Schnapps to drink and relax. Later, a contingent of Austrian infantry men found the cavalrymen drinking and wanted to join in. However, the cavalrymen refused them the alcohol, and that started a quarrel that turned into a fight.

Shots were fired across the river, and other infantrymen in the distance shouted, “Turks, Turks,” mistaking the gunshot as coming from the enemy Ottoman Turks. This prompted the majority of the Austrian Army to start shooting at each other. Everyone commenced shooting at fellow Austrian and even shadows, thinking the enemy was upon them.

The casualties were enormous, and amounted to about 10,000 Austrian soldiers dead and wounded. The Turkish Army arrived two days later, and took over the town easily and without any effort.

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