The Blackbirds Field

The Battle of Kosovo Polje, also known as the Battle of Blackbird's Field took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I.

Serbian writers and artists have made extensive use of the legend and the battle has been used as a perennial symbol of heroism, national honor, holy ground and divine rights. The battle came to be seen as a symbol of Serbian patriotism and desire for independence in the 19th century rise of nationalism under Ottoman rule, including the Kosovo curse, and its significance for Serbian nationalism returned to prominence during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo War.

On 28th of June, 1989 Slobodan Milosevic, gives ”The Gazimestan speech” in front of a huge crowd at the historical battleground of Kosovo Polje. It came against a backdrop of intense ethnic tension between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo and increasing political tensions between Serbia and the other constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The speech has since become famous for Milosevic's reference to the possibility of "armed battles", in the future of Serbia's national development. Many commentators have described this as presaging the collapse of Yugoslavia and the bloodshed of the Yugoslav Wars. Critics claims that the speech was purposely wrong interpreted by western media and western politicians in order to break up Yugoslavia and that the Serbian people from that point became demonized in western media.