Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula)
In the early months of 1462 Vlad led a quite risky campaign against the Turks, led by Sultan Mehmed II whose forces out numbered Vlad’s troops tremendously. Vlad managed by impossible odds to secure many victories by the winter of 1462. Outraged by this, the Sultan decided to send out all of his troops, an army approximately three times the size of Dracula’s, to finally gain control of Walachia and claim it as a Turkish province. Vlad by this time had no alliances so he simply retreated to Tirgoviste. However this was not before he burned his own villages and poisoned the wells in hopes of starving his enemy and maybe even poisoning some with the wells’ water. When Sultan Mehmed II finally reached Dracula’s stronghold, he found that the 20,000 Turkish troops that Dracula had captured were now impaled on stakes, which was later given the name “The Forest of the Impaled.” This horrific feat was the turning point of this battle. The Sultan and his army then proclaimed defeat and dropped the battle. This is when Dracula’s own brother Radu took upon him a Turkish army which he then allied himself with Dracula’s rivals and pursued Vlad Tepes to Poenari Castle along the Arges River.
In legend, this is when it is said that Dracula’s wife committed suicide by throwing herself into the river. Vlad used a secret passage located in the fortress which deposited him into the mountain region in order to escape and exact his revenge at a later time.