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Spahis

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Post-Classical Middle East
Forum Description: SW Asia, the Middle East and Islamic civilizations from 600s - 1900 AD
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URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=23841
Printed Date: 22-Sep-2018 at 14:08
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Topic: Spahis
Posted By: Al Jassas
Subject: Spahis
Date Posted: 17-Mar-2008 at 09:04
Hello to you all
 
Reading the Ottoman military history, I could not help but observing the overemphasis on the role of the Janissaries in Ottoman conflicts, but the part the Spahis played was largely reduced or even ignored all together. My question here is were the Spahis really significant and where did they matter the most. Also since they only came from landowining individuals how strong were they on a provincial level and where did they hold the most lands.
 
Al-Jassas 



Replies:
Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 19-Mar-2008 at 22:30
I agree, there is an over-emphasis on the role of Janissaries. I think this may be because while cavalry such as Sipahis were normal for the time, Janissaries were not. So therefore, they got more 'press'.

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"O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give the pledge to this Prophet"
~ Heraclius, Roman Emperor


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 21-Mar-2008 at 14:59
Sipahis are not different than the european knights

basicly ofc




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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: kafkas
Date Posted: 22-Mar-2008 at 08:54
Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.

Unlike the Janissaries they didn't revolt during the modernization reforms, they honorably complied. They were known for their extreme loyalty and I believe they did have conflicts with the Janissary Corps at times.

If you're interested in the elite Ottoman Turkish cavalry units you should look up the Kapikulu and Akinci as well.




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Posted By: Roberts
Date Posted: 22-Mar-2008 at 10:12
Originally posted by kafkas kafkas wrote:

Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.

There were also non-Turkic and non-Muslim Sipahis as well (in Balkans mostly), since these troops recieved land and in return they owned military service to sultan. This wasn't ethnic unit.

Quote
Unlike the Janissaries they didn't revolt during the modernization reforms, they honorably complied. They were known for their extreme loyalty and I believe they did have conflicts with the Janissary Corps at times.

By the time when Janissaries revolted in early 19th century, the Sipahis seized to be of military importance becoming simply non-military landownders. (that happened during 18th century).


Posted By: kurt
Date Posted: 24-Mar-2008 at 14:53
At ustu baskaldirmaz!
 
By the way Roberts, sipahis participated in the 'auspicious event' (look it up on wikipedia) that resulted in the demise of the janissary corps. So I'm doubtful as to whether or not its right to say they ceased being a military asset until later on in Mahmud's reforms.
 
Too bad Al Jassas, I don't know the actual role Sipahis played in battles. All I know is they weren't despicable conspiring traitors like the janissaries, instead they were renowned for their loyalty. Osman II even tried to make a purely ethnic turkic corps to nullify the detrimental influence of the janissaries; the idea of the new corps was possibly inspired by the loyalty of the sipahis.


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Karadenizli


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 24-Mar-2008 at 19:10
Actually from what I read, the Spahis were far more effective in battles than the Janisseries, they were far more loyal and they helped police the provinces where they held land, of course by time and with the gradual weakening of the Ottoman empire they degraded and became a hereditary institution but they were still loyal. I think the fanaticism and astonishing discipline,for medieval and early modern armies, of the janissaries and their fight to death mentality in the early stages of the Ottoman empire gave them their fearsome reputaion.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: erkut
Date Posted: 25-Mar-2008 at 12:21

Sipahis were highly important for Ottoman empire. They were not just fighting army but they were also police force in their regions.

Timar system was simply creating cheap army-police, also by timar taxes were not wasted. In my humble opinion; turning timar system to muqata system caused the economic-social-military problems.


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DÜŞÜNÜYORUM O HALDE VURUN !


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2008 at 19:09
Hello to you all
 
What was the effects of the Spahis on the economy of the of the sanjaks where they ruled and what was exactly their geographical distribution. I mean they were first and foremost fuedals. did it harm the economy when these guys went on long campaigns?
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 14-Aug-2008 at 21:29
The Irony is that the sultan established the the kapikulu (slave army with the janissaries as elite) to be certain of loyalty, because he didn't trust the Turkmen Warlords . In the end they came to the sultans rescue when the janissaries revolted

And when the time came for the sipahi division to end they did so without any revolts or any type of bloodshed.



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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 13:36

Irony is the base of history.

Al Jassas - the economy is seldom hurt when the landlords aren't there. There are deputies and such plus the people still have to work even when the lord is away. Of course, longer times of absence might have been troublesome but I doubt it. 



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There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 15:41
But here is the thing, Spahis did revolt particularly during the turbulent years of the jelali revolts and they cited continuous wars as their problem. Also I don't think that such a system existed in th Spahis case because these weren't major landowners but limited landowners.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 15:55
Quote My question here is were the Spahis really significant and where did they matter the most. Also since they only came from landowining individuals how strong were they on a provincial level and where did they hold the most lands.
 
Your question is too vague. Which Sipahis? Timarli Sipahis (land holding ones- not land owning) or Kapikulu Sipahis (Sipahis of the Porte)? Also which century? They were really significant before 1600, after 1600 not as much. Virtually all of the 'Timar' lands were in the Balkans and in Anatolia, AFAIK.
 
"Turks noticed the increased importance of firearms after Hacova and changed the compositon of their armies accordingly. In Suleyman's era, there were at least 16000 janissaries and 87000 sipahis, in 1609, 36000 janissaries and 40000 sipahis."
 
I wrote this in this thread: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10538&OB=ASC - http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10538&OB=ASC  The information come fron Inalcik, OE Classical Age.
 
Quote Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.
 
Bullocks. Majority of the Timar holders were 'of kul (slave, i.e. non-muslim) origin', just like the Janissaries, according to Inalcik. I posted the detailed quote here before:
 
"Most timarli sipahi were of 'kul' (converted slaves or POW's like the Janissaries) origin.
 
I translate the following from Halil Inalcik's, Ottoman Empire Classical Age (1300-1600), p.119:
 
'In the 15th and 16th centuries most of the Timarli Sipahis were of kul ('slave') origin. Among Muslim Turks, only those who volunteered and gained honours in battle, and the followers of frontier lords ('ucbeylerinin yandaslari') could get a timar ('fief'). Statistics of Albania region of the year 1431 show that %16 of the sipahi were former Christian nobles, 30% were Anatolian Turks, 50% were slaves of the Sultan or other Beys. Remaining 4% of the timars belonged to Kadis, 'Piskopos' (Orthodox Bishops) and palace favourites. Later, the ratio of sipahis with Turkish origin slowly declined.'
 
Also note that the Muslim Anatolian Turks he mentions need not be Turcomans. They were mostly already settled Turks."
 
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=14409&PN=5 - http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=14409&PN=5
 
Quote If you're interested in the elite Ottoman Turkish cavalry units you should look up the Kapikulu and Akinci as well.
 
Timarli Sipahi are not elite. Akincis are not elite either, they are just raiders; light cavalry. Kapikulu Sipahi are the only ones that could be called elite. h http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Divisions_of_Cavalry - ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Divisions_of_Cavalry  

Quote Actually from what I read, the Spahis were far more effective in battles than the Janisseries, they were far more loyal and they helped police the provinces where they held land, of course by time and with the gradual weakening of the Ottoman empire they degraded and became a hereditary institution but they were still loyal.
 
I don't think we can compare the Janissary to the Timarli Sipahi in term of loyalty or 'effectiveness'. Sometimes one is better sometimes the other. What is for sure is that in time importance of the cavalry declined, as they were basically a medieval unit type and did not adapt to changes very well.
 
In any case the differences were not that great, no simple Janissary traitors vs loyal Sipahis. Also, Timarli Sipahi did not 'help police the provinces', they were the police in their provinces. What's more they were always a hereditary institution, they did not become at a later point.
 
Quote did it harm the economy when these guys went on long campaigns?
 
Under the Timar system, they collected the taxes and acted as law enforcement. They did not like not being able to return to their holding on time at the end of the campaigning season. Sultans who campaigned a lot, such as Mehmed II, were not popular in the army. That's a major reason why smart enemy commanders like Hunyadi Janos attacked the Ottomans at the end of the campaigning season. That's also a big reason why Ottomans could not invade Western Europe, no matter what the wiki nationalists and various fanboys in 'Best General' threads believe. 
 
Quote The Irony is that the sultan established the the kapikulu (slave army with the janissaries as elite) to be certain of loyalty, because he didn't trust the Turkmen Warlords . In the end they came to the sultans rescue when the janissaries revolted
 
Sipahis were not 'Turkmen Warlords'. 'Loyalty' of 'Turkmen Warlords' was seen clearly in 1402 in Ankara fighting Timur. In my opinion the worst case of betrayal in Ottoman history, caused by 'Turks', while Serb vassals fought to the end...


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Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 16:15

Hello Beylerbeyi

So, can Spahis, timariots that is, be considered as fuedal lord. I mean did they have the same powers as fuedal lords in europe because if they police the provinces this means that they were actually stronger than the governors especially those with big holdings, Zamat.

By the way I do have Inalcik's book but haven't read it yet. Is it very good?
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 16:33
Quote So, can Spahis, timariots that is, be considered as fuedal lord.
 
Yes and no. They are more similar to Byzantine pronia, rather than Western feudal lord. 
 
Quote I mean did they have the same powers as fuedal lords in europe because if they police the provinces this means that they were actually stronger than the governors especially those with big holdings, Zamat.
 
A Timarli was responsible for collecting the taxes, policing his area, and he had to join the army together with retainers (varies depending on the size of his timar) but he did not own that area (it belonged to the Sultan/State), or the people on it. He could not set the amount of tax, neither could he punish anyone without a verdict from the resident judge (Kadi) who answered directly to Kostantiniyye. In contrast, the European feudal lord owned not only the land but also the peasants' asses.
 
Quote By the way I do have Inalcik's book but haven't read it yet. Is it very good?
It is not the end-all but a good to get a general picture, and handy as a reference source as you see.


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Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 07:35
Since the Janissaries are mentioned here i would like to make a question. As far as I remember they were celibate in the beginning until that changed at a certain period of time. When was that?

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Så nu tar jag fram (k)niven va!


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 08:19
yes they demanded that for themselfs and were given the right to marry,but there sons where muslims and couldn't be janissaries

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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 11:28
Hello to you all
 
Thanks Bey for info, I appreciate it.
 
As for when was celibacy ended, I think it was about 1600 but I will check it out.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 12:07
Thank you guys!
Around late 1600 is what i could hardly remember but i was not sure at all.

Btw xi_tujue, Jenisaries were muslims as well since they brought up at a very early age with muslim traditions. Their ethnic and religious background is what made them different.


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Så nu tar jag fram (k)niven va!


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 21-Oct-2008 at 17:10
Oh sorry I ment muslim & free the janissaries where slaves

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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 30-Nov-2008 at 05:37
Quote
'In the 15th and 16th centuries most of the Timarli Sipahis were of kul ('slave') origin. Among Muslim Turks, only those who volunteered and gained honours in battle, and the followers of frontier lords ('ucbeylerinin yandaslari') could get a timar ('fief'). Statistics of Albania region of the year 1431 show that %16 of the sipahi were former Christian nobles, 30% were Anatolian Turks, 50% were slaves of the Sultan or other Beys. Remaining 4% of the timars belonged to Kadis, 'Piskopos' (Orthodox Bishops) and palace favourites. Later, the ratio of sipahis with Turkish origin slowly declined.'
 
Also note that the Muslim Anatolian Turks he mentions need not be Turcomans. They were mostly already settled Turks."
 


Ive actually been looking for a translated version of Inacik's Sancak i-Arnavud for quite some time but have had no luck whatsoever...


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2008 at 05:23
Topic stickied 

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Posted By: gezgin
Date Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 17:23
Sipahis got dressed heavy silk armours.Silk armour is stronger than metal armours.Also silk gives confort activity.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 09:11
Originally posted by gezgin gezgin wrote:

Sipahis got dressed heavy silk armours.Silk armour is stronger than metal armours.Also silk gives confort activity.
 
Sorry, but it doesn't hold facts. There are descriptions from the battle of Chocim 1621 that single blows of hussar lances, were piercing 2, 3 and even 4 sipahis at once (BTW, it doesn't apply only to Ottomans; there are sources from other battles which show that piercing a couple of enemies, who didn't use metal armors, by the hussar lance, was an usual event). On the other hand, there is Ottoman relation from the battle of Vienna which states that sabres and lances of Ottoman soldiers did nothing to Polish hussars who wore metal armors (so Ottoman cavalrymen had to strike Polish horses).


Posted By: Bulldog
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 16:13
Quote Beylerbeyi
Timarli Sipahis (land holding ones- not land owning) or Kapikulu Sipahis (Sipahis of the Porte)?... Timarli Sipahi are not elite. Akincis are not elite either, they are just raiders; light cavalry. Kapikulu Sipahi are the only ones that could be called elite.


The Timarli were irregular cavalry who are confused with the elite Sipahi force as colloquially they were also called Sipahis. The "Sipahi" was the elite divison of the "six divisions of the cavalry". Akinci were the raider divison, they served as scouts and disrupted the enemy units.

Quote Beylerbeyi
Bullocks. Majority of the Timar holders were 'of kul (slave, i.e. non-muslim) origin', just like the Janissaries, according to Inalcik. I posted the detailed quote here before:


This was true during Murad I reign, however, Mehmed II changed this making Sipahi's chosen ethnic Turks.

Quote Beylerbeyi
I don't think we can compare the Janissary to the Timarli Sipahi in term of loyalty or 'effectiveness'.


Sipahi were regarded as being loyal, the phrase "Atlı er başkaldırmaz" ("Horsemen don't mutiny".) is testonomy to this.

Quote Beylerbeyi
In my opinion the worst case of betrayal in Ottoman history, caused by 'Turks', while Serb vassals fought to the end...


I'm not so certain we can call this a betrayel, those lands wern't Ottomans, they were still under the hegemony of beyliks. The Ottomans underestimated Emir Timur and the Beyliks, when some of the Beyliks decided to accept Timur as the leader along with other escalations made war immenant. Many of the early Ottoman battles were with other Turks, like against the Karamanogullu beylik and the Mamluks both who were older than the Ottomans (athough the Mamluks by then were dominated by Circassians.)




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      What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine



Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 17:06
Originally posted by Bulldog Bulldog wrote:

The Timarli were irregular cavalry who are confused with the elite Sipahi force as colloquially they were also called Sipahis. The "Sipahi" was the elite divison of the "six divisions of the cavalry". Akinci were the raider divison, they served as scouts and disrupted the enemy units.

I already explained it above, no need it to repeat it, least of all after quoting me.
Anyway, Sipahi is also a generic name for cavalry, and it is not a mistake to all cavalry Sipahi. 'Timarli' by itself is an adjective. Therefore, the proper names are 'Timarli Sipahi' and 'Kapikulu Sipahi'. Of the two types, the latter are the 'elite' ones.

Quote This was true during Murad I reign, however, Mehmed II changed this making Sipahi's chosen ethnic Turks.

Not true. Never heard of such a thing. What are your sources for this claim? 

In the quote I posted above Halil Inalcik give a breakdown of the situation in 1431, which shows majority of the timarli sipahi are of slave origin. And the quote ends like this: 'Later, the ratio of sipahis with Turkish origin slowly declined.' So the ratio of Turkish background after 1431 did not increase as you claim, but actually declined further.
 
As to the Kapikulu Sipahi, there were Turkish nobles before Mehmed II, but their numbers declined as he replaced them with slaves, exactly the opposite of what you have written.

Quote Sipahi were regarded as being loyal, the phrase "Atlı er başkaldırmaz" ("Horsemen don't mutiny".) is testonomy to this.

Again, never heard of this phrase and it proves nothing. It is nonsense, not the least because Turks were the least loyal of all ethnicities in the Ottoman Empire in the classical age. So even if the horsemen are more loyal, it is not a proof of their Turkishness, to the contrary. It is true that there was enmity between the Kapikulu Infantry (Janissary) and the Kapikulu Sipahi, but there were cases where the Janissary were more reliable. If you like historical phrases on this enmity, here is a real saying: 'tut keli percheminden' ('grab the bald (man) from his locks'- it originally refers to the hair style of the Janissary, today has a different meaning in Turkish).    

Quote I'm not so certain we can call this a betrayel, those lands wern't Ottomans, they were still under the hegemony of beyliks. The Ottomans underestimated Emir Timur and the Beyliks, when some of the Beyliks decided to accept Timur as the leader along with other escalations made war immenant.
It was textbook betrayal, because those troops actually switched sides in Ankara, pointless to try to whitewash. They were deployed with the Ottoman army, but switched to Timur. Can't get any more treacherous than that. Almost destroyed the whole country, it took 50 years to recover.

Quote Many of the early Ottoman battles were with other Turks, like against the Karamanogullu beylik and the Mamluks both who were older than the Ottomans (athough the Mamluks by then were dominated by Circassians.)
Karaman and other Anatolian Beyliks are Turks, but Mamluks can not be called Turks.

As to Sipahi armour, 

Some wore metal armour, but their retainers may not have worn them. Holder of a Timar was obliged to bring a certain number of armoured troops (and that is metal armour) and retainers depending on the size and value of his timar. Wearing of silk was common in history, especially among the Mongols and other nomads because silk is strong and flexible makes it easy to remove an arrow (nomads were horse archers) from a wound. So it was commonly worn under the metal or leather armour. Polish Winged Hussar armour was probably heavier than an average Sipahi's or horeseman's so they would be hard to damage, that account I'd believe. They are more comparable to the Kapikulu Sipahi as a formation. The shish kebab story (4 people skewered on a lance) OTOH, was funny, but I don't believe it.

Another interesting point is that Western Knights (French, German etc) believed it is not honourable to kill the horse of another knight. First thing the Turks (and all nomads) kill (shoot), however, is the horse. Since you like them, here is a Turkmen saying from Dede Korkut: 'yayan erin umudu olmaz' ('infantry has no hope'). That's one of the reasons why Western Knights got slaughtered by the Ottomans in Nicopolis and such battles. 


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Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 17:21
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

Originally posted by gezgin gezgin wrote:

Sipahis got dressed heavy silk armours.Silk armour is stronger than metal armours.Also silk gives confort activity.
 
Sorry, but it doesn't hold facts. There are descriptions from the battle of Chocim 1621 that single blows of hussar lances, were piercing 2, 3 and even 4 sipahis at once (BTW, it doesn't apply only to Ottomans; there are sources from other battles which show that piercing a couple of enemies, who didn't use metal armors, by the hussar lance, was an usual event). On the other hand, there is Ottoman relation from the battle of Vienna which states that sabres and lances of Ottoman soldiers did nothing to Polish hussars who wore metal armors (so Ottoman cavalrymen had to strike Polish horses).
I agree with you that the polish armor was heavier than turkish ones but the turkish sipahis mostly used metal armor also. The Kapıkulu sipahis were heavy horseman which numbered total 5-6000 at the 16th century era. The tımarlı sipahis also wore metal armor however their retainers  equipment were poorer than their masters. The story of single blow killing  3-4 sipahi is I think illogical but this exxagrated stories of turkish losses are common in Europe(satisfaction probably).  


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 17:34

There are accounts of cataphracts running two people through so why not a Hussar?

How is it illogical?
 


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 17:38
Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

I agree with you that the polish armor was heavier than turkish ones but the turkish sipahis mostly used metal armor also.  
 
Are there any accounts that sipahis used metal armor at Chocim in 1621? I believe that all these sources which describe piercing of 2-4 soldiers are correct, but they refer to these sipahis who didn't wear metal armor.
 
Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

The Kapıkulu sipahis were heavy horseman which numbered total 5-6000 at the 16th century era. The tımarlı sipahis also wore metal armor however their retainers  equipment were poorer than their masters. The story of single blow killing  3-4 sipahi is I think illogical but this exxagrated stories of turkish losses are common in Europe(satisfaction probably).  
 
As I already written, they weren't just Ottomans who were 'impaled'. There is a letter of Lithuanian hetman from 1660, where he stated that in the battle of Polonka 6 Russian infantrymen were pierced by single blow of the hussar lance.
And this is not only a feature of hussar lances. I know military treaty written by Swedish officer, who stated that piks were piercing 2-3 (unarmored) enemies at once. And he certainly refered to Christian enemies, not to Muslim ones.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 18:24
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:


Another interesting point is that Western Knights (French, German etc) believed it is not honourable to kill the horse of another knight.
 
Maybe, but European cavalrymen had to learn very fast. German, French and English military treaties from 16th and 17th c. advice to kill enemy horses first of all. It was much easier to dismount armoured enemy than to kill him.


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 18:46
Quote As I already written, they weren't just Ottomans who were 'impaled'. There is a letter of Lithuanian hetman from 1660, where he stated that in the battle of Polonka 6 Russian infantrymen were pierced by single blow of the hussar lance.

I don't think it is an anti-Ottoman or anti-Turkish thing. It just seems highly unlikely. If you run through one person, that's it. You can't change the heading of the lance anymore. So you'd have to impale everyone in one strike. Now, if you are charging onto infantry in close formation, it may be possible to impale a few people. On the other hand, if you are charging cavalry, they must be unarmoured, practically touching each other, and you should charge them perfectly from the side, and even then the horses take much more space than men. In a stretch, I can believe two horsemen getting impaled, but four? I don't think so. 

Quote Maybe, but European cavalrymen had to learn very fast. German, French and English military treaties from 16th and 17th c. advice to kill enemy horses first of all. It was much easier to dismount armoured enemy than to kill him.
I read the memoirs of a German knight (or squire) who was captured by the Ottomans in Nicopolis and that's what he wrote, e.g. the knights charged the Turkish cavalry but Turks shoot the horses first, so they were soon fighting on foot. Now, he also wrote that there were dragons in Anatolia, which is funny, but I don't see anything wrong with his comments on the knights and Turks shooting the horses. 


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Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 18:55
the lance used by the Polish Hussaria was hollow wood, so it would break on impact, otherwise it would unhorse the Hussar because of the velocity of the impact. so i cannot seriously believe this at all for the reasons stated.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:00
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

You can't change the heading of the lance anymore.
 
I agree
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

So you'd have to impale everyone in one strike. Now, if you are charging onto infantry in close formation, it may be possible to impale a few people.
 
I agree
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

On the other hand, if you are charging cavalry, they must be unarmoured, practically touching each other, and you should charge them perfectly from the side,
 
And it could have happened at Chocim, because hussars charged the wing of Ottoman cavalry.
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

and even then the horses take much more space than men. In a stretch, I can believe two horsemen getting impaled, but four? I don't think so. 
 
If spahis rode knee to knee it was possible. 4 cavalrymen occupied about 4 m side by side, while hussar lances were even 21 feet long in that time.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:06
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

the lance used by the Polish Hussaria was hollow wood, so it would break on impact, otherwise it would unhorse the Hussar because of the velocity of the impact. so i cannot seriously believe this at all for the reasons stated.
 
Human body, unprotected by metal armor is like a butter for a lance.
Anyway, there are too many sources, written by too many soldiers and eyewitness, from different times and different battles to ignore all of them.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:09
i have read a lot of such primary sourcesabout the use of the lance in ww1 (which doesn't break) and so far there was only one mention where one body was completely impaled and most of the time the lance did but only light wounds despite many stabs. those modern soruces are by far more reliable. but if you think you have so many sources that proove the contrary then give me those sources.


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:26
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

i have read a lot of such primary sourcesabout the use of the lance in ww1 (which doesn't break) and so far there was only one mention where one body was completely impaled and most of the time the lance did but only light wounds despite many stabs.
 
There is one huge difference between WW1 and 17th c. The manner of using long hussar lance in 17th c. was different than the manner of using short lance in 20th c. 
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

those modern soruces are by far more reliable.
 
Because...?
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

but if you think you have so many sources that proove the contrary then give me those sources.
 
Ok, just a couple of examples:
1. The battle of Chocim 1621 - relation of hussar rotemaster (I hope it's a good translation :)) Rudomina. Rudomina commanded his unit in this charge. Auxent (the eyewitness of this battle). They both wrote about 3-4 Ottomans pierced by single blows of hussar lances.
2. The battle of Połonka 1660 (vs Russians) - grand Lithuanian hetman (the main commander) Sapieha. He commanded Lithuanian army in this battle. He wrote to the king about 6 Russian infantrymen pierced by hussar lance.
3. The battle of Cudnów 1660 (vs Russians and Cossakcs) - colonel of Polish cavalry and member of the battle Leszczyński (5 Russians pierced by hussar lance)
4. The battle of Vienna 1683 - hussar comrade Kochowski (2-3 Ottomans pierced by hussar lances)
 


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:42
those are only four sources and from a time period of 60 years, you said you had "too many" and from "different times"...


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 19:59
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

those are only four sources
 
5 sources from 4 battles
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

and from a time period of 60 years, you said you had "too many" and from "different times"...
 
62 years between the battle of Vienna and the battle of Chocim is 'the same time' in your opinion?
I've given you primary sources written by members of the battles, by commanders of hussars and commander of an army. Is it not enough? Ok, so look at the list of sources only to the battle of Chocim 1621:
1. Potocki (3 Ottomans pierced at once)
2. Auxent (3 - 4 Ottomans pierced at once)
3. Rudomina (3 - 4 Ottomans pierced at once)
4. Marchocki (2 Ottomans pierced at once)
5. Sobieski (3 Ottomans pierced at once)
6. Lubomirski (2-3 Ottomans pierced at once)


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 09-Jan-2009 at 23:13
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

those are only four sources
 
5 sources from 4 battles
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

and from a time period of 60 years, you said you had "too many" and from "different times"...
 
62 years between the battle of Vienna and the battle of Chocim is 'the same time' in your opinion?
I've given you primary sources written by members of the battles, by commanders of hussars and commander of an army. Is it not enough? Ok, so look at the list of sources only to the battle of Chocim 1621:
1. Potocki (3 Ottomans pierced at once)
2. Auxent (3 - 4 Ottomans pierced at once)
3. Rudomina (3 - 4 Ottomans pierced at once)
4. Marchocki (2 Ottomans pierced at once)
5. Sobieski (3 Ottomans pierced at once)
6. Lubomirski (2-3 Ottomans pierced at once)
İt really seems unbelieveable, because with the impact of the lance ,the lancer will also loose its stability with the first clash(momentum: speed*weight, single arm power against the clash).But with the powerful clash the formation of their opponents would crack. Maybe 2 soldier at once could be but 3-4 is impossible


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2009 at 08:45
Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

İt really seems unbelieveable, because with the impact of the lance ,the lancer will also loose its stability with the first clash(momentum: speed*weight, single arm power against the clash).But with the powerful clash the formation of their opponents would crack. Maybe 2 soldier at once could be but 3-4 is impossible
 
Here is the secret of the hussar manner of wielding the lance:
http://www.radoslawsikora.republika.pl/materialy/husaria3.pdf - http://www.radoslawsikora.republika.pl/materialy/husaria3.pdf
Look at the second picture in the article. It is not the hussar's arm which has to endure the impact. It is the hussar's saddle where the impact is transfered.
There are even accouts that hussar lances were able to pierce an armour in this way.
 
When hussars attacked unarmoured cavalrymen, they aimed enemy navels. Potocki describes that hussar lances at Chocim 1621 struck livers. This part of the body is very easy to penetrate.


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2009 at 11:48
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

İt really seems unbelieveable, because with the impact of the lance ,the lancer will also loose its stability with the first clash(momentum: speed*weight, single arm power against the clash).But with the powerful clash the formation of their opponents would crack. Maybe 2 soldier at once could be but 3-4 is impossible
 
Here is the secret of the hussar manner of wielding the lance:
http://www.radoslawsikora.republika.pl/materialy/husaria3.pdf - http://www.radoslawsikora.republika.pl/materialy/husaria3.pdf
Look at the second picture in the article. It is not the hussar's arm which has to endure the impact. It is the hussar's saddle where the impact is transfered.
There are even accouts that hussar lances were able to pierce an armour in this way.
 
When hussars attacked unarmoured cavalrymen, they aimed enemy navels. Potocki describes that hussar lances at Chocim 1621 struck livers. This part of the body is very easy to penetrate.
This is more accurate but again let us think the lance penetrated to a man, how could the rider use its lance when it is inside the body of a man?(even let us think it is out of the body)


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2009 at 16:18
Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

This is more accurate but again let us think the lance penetrated to a man, how could the rider use its lance when it is inside the body of a man?(even let us think it is out of the body)
 
Lancer couldn't use his lance more than once. When the lance was in enemy's body, lancer couldn't change direction of the lance. The lance either pierced everything in front of its tip or it broke.


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2009 at 16:19
The point of the lance was to break up the formation a twenty four foot lance isn't much use 1-on-1 that is why hussars carried back up weapons
 
BTW this thread is about Spahis not Hussars


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2009 at 23:02
The sipahis differs in quality. The kapıkulu sipahis(altı bölük halkı) had 6 titles: Silahdar(Arm bearers), Sipahi oğlanları(Sipahi sons), left and right garips(poor foreigners), left and right ulufeci(salaried men). The silahdars were prior sultan bodyguards than sipahi sons were in charge to protect sultans. As I mentioned before they were elite soldiers and their prestige were higher than jannisaries.
 
Their equipments were afforded by the state so their armaments were better than the provincial troops. When we look to the numbers;
 
1527   total number 5088
1574   total number 5957
1597   total number 17000
1609   total number 20869
1679   total number 14070(From Rhoads Murphey "Ottoman Warfare"
 
As we can see the number increased in years , maybe the rising number also could demonstrate the falling quality but I am not so sure. 


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 07:38
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

BTW this thread is about Spahis not Hussars
 
My point is that silk armour wasn't better than metal one. I've mentioned winged hussars only to show you experience of battles, which prove my opinion.
 
Originally posted by Evrenosgazi Evrenosgazi wrote:

As we can see the number increased in years , maybe the rising number also could demonstrate the falling quality but I am not so sure. 
 
It is possible. Anyway, describing the battle of Chocim Potocki many times states that Ottomans (spahis) don't wear armours. There are also desriptions of 'duels' between hussars and spahis. Hussars always wore armours, while spahis didn't use any metal armor.


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 10:23
Hello Ataman
 
You are right. There were unarmored sipahis. Probably they were the provincial ones. As I mentioned before there were sipahi retainers(cebellü), they were raw recruits, all provincial sipahis were obligated to bring this retainers to the army. The number of these retainers were paralel with the extent of the timar.The total number of these provincial soldiers exceeded 100000 and most of their equipment must be inadequate. 


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 17:23
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

 
My point is that silk armour wasn't better than metal one. I've mentioned winged hussars only to show you experience of battles, which prove my opinion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I agree BTW who said that silk is better than Plate? (Let me at him I'll tear him a new one)  


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 18:46
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

 
I agree BTW who said that silk is better than Plate? (Let me at him I'll tear him a new one)  
 
 
Originally posted by gezgin gezgin wrote:

Sipahis got dressed heavy silk armours.Silk armour is stronger than metal armours.Also silk gives confort activity.


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 19:02
The provincial sipahis were different in their origin. The other name was tımarlı Sipahi they were the backbone of the army. They formed the wings of the army.They were grouped as Anatolian and Rumelia. The Anatolian corps were mainly previous fief holders and they had managed to keep it. They were accepted to the ottoman army. With the imperial domination kapıkulus had tımars also, even noncombatant multezims were tımar holders. Initially Rumeli sipahis were mainly natives . Constantine Dejanovic and Marko Kraljevic were tımar holders at Rumelia and they died in 1395 for ottomans in Wallachia. Approximately the christian sipahis consisted 30% of sipahis at Rumelia in the mid 15th century. However most of them accepted Islam and with the 16th century no christian sipahi were left. The total sipahi numbers at a campaign in the mid 16th century was between 30-40000. The most of them were equipped with pistols through the late 16th century. Their number and importance were decreased in the 17th century, infantry were know the primary forces  


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2009 at 16:45
Thanks for the useful info, Evrenos.

Quote As we can see the number increased in years , maybe the rising number also could demonstrate the falling quality but I am not so sure.

I think after the wars with Austria (ended in 1606) total number of cavalry in the army was reduced greatly, so the number of the timarli went down and infantry went up, janissaries and other gunpowder infantry as the Ottomans adapted to the new Western warfare. Probably the household cavalry increased along with the Janisarries. The quality naturally went down. 

Also after 1600,  the country became less centralised, which means that local lords gained power and incorporated individual timars.


-------------
Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2009 at 19:49
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Thanks for the useful info, Evrenos.

Quote As we can see the number increased in years , maybe the rising number also could demonstrate the falling quality but I am not so sure.

I think after the wars with Austria (ended in 1606) total number of cavalry in the army was reduced greatly, so the number of the timarli went down and infantry went up, janissaries and other gunpowder infantry as the Ottomans adapted to the new Western warfare. Probably the household cavalry increased along with the Janisarries. The quality naturally went down. 

Also after 1600,  the country became less centralised, which means that local lords gained power and incorporated individual timars.
In 1596 Ottomans occupied Eger and when they were returning home their way was cut down by Habsburgs. Two army set against and wait for to fight. The first 2 days were clashs between the vanguard and in the 3rd day the ottoman army start to lost its cohesion and the imperial army started to penetrate through the encampment. The sipahis were one of the first who flee from the field. While the habsburgs were ravaging the ottoman camp Cağaloglu Sinan Pasa(The Cigalla`s from Genoa) attacked the habsburgs and win the war for the ottomans. Cağaloğlu Sinan Pasa disbanded a lot of sipahi after this battle and they were the major population who consisted the Celalis. This was the first splitting of sipahis from the state and their official decrease of importance


Posted By: Evrenosgazi
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2009 at 19:50
By the way this battle was the battle of Kerestes(Haçova)



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