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Jeton Osmani





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PostPosted: Tue 10 Sep, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: Effectiveness and cost of islamic maille and plate armour?         Reply with quote

good day to you's

i have 2 questions regarding islamic ( and russian/indian) maille and plate armour?

1. how effective was maille and plate armour at stopping heavy crossbow/longbow and lance strikes, i know that maille by itself is very effective against peircing strikes(although i have seen maille being peirced by heavy longbow/crossbow attacks and lance strikes), but most maille and plate armours i have seen have plates protecting the stomach and neglect reaching all the way to the chest area, so how did maille and plate armour protect if heavy peircing blows missed the plate sections.

2. how much did it cost to make such armour and who could afford it, i heard that such armour was only affordable by the emirs and pashas?


thank you for your time

p.s this is my faviroute armour. so thats why i am asking
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Sep, 2019 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, Jeton, the type of armour you are describing existed in the thousands. Though often shown in museums on horseback, I think it best suited light cavalry use, with the shield protecting the upper chest. I would not be surprised if it was common for infantry use as well, but hopefully someone more qualified than I can comment on that. I have one in the shop right now, and the plates in their present condition are not that thick; perhaps about 0.050" thick. The attachment I have added shows the sort of thing that the heavy cavalry would have worn, although some of the details look a little off to me, such as the lower legs and gauntlet/bazubands.


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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Sep, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
Hello, Jeton, the type of armour you are describing existed in the thousands. Though often shown in museums on horseback, I think it best suited light cavalry use, with the shield protecting the upper chest. I would not be surprised if it was common for infantry use as well, but hopefully someone more qualified than I can comment on that. I have one in the shop right now, and the plates in their present condition are not that thick; perhaps about 0.050" thick. The attachment I have added shows the sort of thing that the heavy cavalry would have worn, although some of the details look a little off to me, such as the lower legs and gauntlet/bazubands.


I would disagree with this notion of "thousands", Islamic Word (with the exception of Persia perhaps) had a noted lack of armor in their armies, that's something even their enemies would recognize. For example, the 14-15th century Mamluk infantry is described by Catholic Sources as "miserably armed" and even the Ottomans, during their apex of power, had a fairly amount of poorly armed infantry in their raids on Central and Eastern Europe; a western source, a French traveller if I remember correctly, said some would be even armed with nothing more than slings or quarterstaffs.

Although the Islamic World was undoubtedly richer than Byzantine or Catholic areas, they would lack the density of arms and armor industry their enemies had. If we could get an earlier example, Mohammed once gave a mail shirt to a local Arab authority as dowry to marry his daughter. In the first stages of Islamic Conquest of Arabia, Mohammed had to attack a local jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, which was known for its production of swords, in order to better equip his followers for upcoming wars.

I remember also that in a whole 11-12th century army of Seljuk Turks only a small number of horsemen would have a lamellar cuirass. And during arab conquest only a small portion of the army would have actual iron armor..

That's why Ottomans sometimes imported munition-grade sabers and mail armor from Milan and Venice (canons too, through smugglers). Artistic evidence for Moorish enemies in Granada or Morocco shall also point to a relative lack of armor even in cavalry. To all effects, 10-16th century muslim infantry didn't used armor, with the exception of the Ottoman Janissaries, private bodyguards, infantry officers and so ...
From what I've seen, Ottomans were also the most densely equipped military faction of the entire Muslim World, whether in the sense of armor or in firearms and canon adoption. Even still, Turkish Cavalry had a sort of rejection to the adoption of pistols compared to their German enemies in 16th and 17th centuries, considering it unfair and for cowards.

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Sep, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:

From what I've seen, Ottomans were also the most densely equipped military faction of the entire Muslim World, whether in the sense of armor or in firearms and canon adoption. Even still, Turkish Cavalry had a sort of rejection to the adoption of pistols compared to their German enemies in 16th and 17th centuries, considering it unfair and for cowards.


With regards to the pistol it was an advance weapon for it's time due to the skill needed to make the wheel lock mechanism, the Ottomans never mastered making it and instead went with various forms of snaphaunce, firelock or flint lock for their pistols once they began making them.

And it was not just supply pistols which was a problem, pistols required new skills to use and mantain, together with the cost this add layers of difficulty when it came to adopting pistols even if there had not been a cultural resistance to fire arms among the feudal Ottoman cavalry. (It is worth noting that even western cavalry who could purchase pistols a lot easier had some trouble getting these skills, for example French writers complain that their nobles made poor use of their pistols compared to the Germans because the French left loading and mantainance to their servants who did not have the necessary skills.)

Last but not least the Ottomans did not experience the effectiveness of cavalry with pistols until very late in the 16th Century (1593-1606 war with the Habsburgs) and they still had some success in that to which they could cling to as justification to not upgrade their weaponry. It did not help that 17th C Ottoman rulers were disinterested in making military reforms.

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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Sep, 2019 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Pedro, today there are whole wheeled racks of Ottoman armour in Istanbul, there is so much that some of it is rusting away. And keep in mind that a favourite kind of Central European cavalry helmet in the 16th/17th century, the zischägge, was copied from the Ottomans!

I would recommend reading some books by specialists in Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid warfare. It sounds like you are projecting some of the stereotypes which arose when Frankish milites encounted Turkomen cavalry who fought on horseback but did it in a completely different way than the Franks. But in the 12th century Arab, Armenian, etc. cavalry were just as heavily armed as the Franks, check out the works of David Niccole.

Every culture with a militia had soldiers with just a staff and no iron armour, because those were the only weapons poor people could afford. You need to compare like with like. Saying that if metal armour was rare in Arabia in Mohammed's day, it must have been rare for all Arabs a thousand years later, is like saying that because ancient Germanic warriors used bone-tipped spears and shields with wooden bosses, stories of an armour industry in 15th century Innsbruck and Nürnberg and Augsburg must be exaggerated Happy

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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Sep, 2019 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:

Every culture with a militia had soldiers with just a staff and no iron armour, because those were the only weapons poor people could afford. You need to compare like with like. Saying that if metal armour was rare in Arabia in Mohammed's day, it must have been rare for all Arabs a thousand years later, is like saying that because ancient Germanic warriors used bone-tipped spears and shields with wooden bosses, stories of an armour industry in 15th century Innsbruck and Nürnberg and Augsburg must be exaggerated Happy


Another factor is also that in some places militia soldiers were given equipment by the "state" or had the opportunity to buy at reduced cost. That means that certain militias would be vastly better equipped than others.

In Scandinavia middles ages [certainly from the 13th century] the leding soldiers were supplied by their local community, that each equipped a man from their own pocket (and a greater area had the responsibility of having a ship ready with supplies for the campaign). If they didn't do it adequately they would get an extra fine making it more expensive, so that not equipping their elected solider well would end being more expensive!
Later in Norway the Danish-Norwegian King sold tessaks to the Norwegian peasant militia to much reduced prices.

To what extend smilar systems were used around the world impact greatly the equipment quality of the militia. Unfortunately I have no knowledge of whether it was used in the middle east; but didn't India at least at a later time have arsenals of german produced swords, they could supply to their soldiers?

Could a somewhat similar system account for the heavily armoured arabs and armenians in the 12th hundreds or are they a nobility comparable to western european knights??
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Sep, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, remember that the Franks exported iron products to the Moslem world, but from the 12th century onwards they imported cotton by the shipload to stuff their aketons, gambesons, jupons, pourpoints, jacks, and doublets. Technologies like counterweight trebuchets and gunpowder probably came from the east as well. So its important to look at the whole picture, not just pick one technology that your favourite culture was good at.

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Sean Manning wrote:

Every culture with a militia had soldiers with just a staff and no iron armour, because those were the only weapons poor people could afford. You need to compare like with like. Saying that if metal armour was rare in Arabia in Mohammed's day, it must have been rare for all Arabs a thousand years later, is like saying that because ancient Germanic warriors used bone-tipped spears and shields with wooden bosses, stories of an armour industry in 15th century Innsbruck and Nürnberg and Augsburg must be exaggerated Happy


Another factor is also that in some places militia soldiers were given equipment by the "state" or had the opportunity to buy at reduced cost. That means that certain militias would be vastly better equipped than others.

In Scandinavia middles ages [certainly from the 13th century] the leding soldiers were supplied by their local community, that each equipped a man from their own pocket (and a greater area had the responsibility of having a ship ready with supplies for the campaign). If they didn't do it adequately they would get an extra fine making it more expensive, so that not equipping their elected solider well would end being more expensive!
Later in Norway the Danish-Norwegian King sold tessaks to the Norwegian peasant militia to much reduced prices.

To what extend smilar systems were used around the world impact greatly the equipment quality of the militia. Unfortunately I have no knowledge of whether it was used in the middle east; but didn't India at least at a later time have arsenals of german produced swords, they could supply to their soldiers?

Could a somewhat similar system account for the heavily armoured arabs and armenians in the 12th hundreds or are they a nobility comparable to western european knights??

I am not a specialist in the Near East in the Middle Ages and my books on that period are in Canada, but when the First Crusade arrived I think many settled societies relied on the old land-for-service system which kings kept reinventing when they realized that they could not pay as many soldiers as they wanted (and if the king is strong, he often announces that everyone with a certain amount of property has to provide that amount of service). But the Middle East is a big, diverse place and its always safer to look somewhere specific than try to generalize!

Pretty much any army had some hangers-on with a knife or a club who just wanted to steal things, and some eager, well-trained, well-armed soldiers. If you want to disparage an army, you present the first guy as typical, if you want to praise it you present the second guy.

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Jeton Osmani





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PostPosted: Mon 16 Sep, 2019 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i will ask questions of how common armour was in the medieval islamic nations in another topic.


the question of how effective maille and plate armour was against crossbows and lances still needs to be answered fully.




i tend to think that becuase islamic armies where much bigger than european armies, that the ratio of soldiers wearing armour must be smaller than european armies, but then i could be wrong.
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2019 1:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeton Osmani wrote:
the question of how effective maille and plate armour was against crossbows and lances still needs to be answered fully.

I don't know of anyone who has measured even one of these armours (the thickness of the plates and the wire, the size of the rings). Then after they had measured several dozen armours and analysed the metal, and figured out which were for which kinds of soldiers (a pasha probably wears stronger armour than an ordinary timariot horseman), they could start building and testing replicas or scraps of original armour. Some European plate armour in the same period will barely stop a sword thrust, and some will stop a musket ball, it all depends on how thick it is, how carefully the metal is distributed, what kind of metal is used and how it was heat treated. Even Alan Williams' study of what kinds of arrows and bullets plate armour could stop is a bit 'theoretical.'

LindyBeige owns one of these from Bikaner, India, with an inscription saying it was captured at a siege of Adoni, probably the siege in 1688/1689 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gPrBbXykwM

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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one period source about behter* armour saving wearer from gun shot.

From Mohylew, A.D . 1655, not Islamic or Russian, but Polish (Ruthenian?) officer Samuel Jan Januszkiewicz, but still:

Quote:
drugim pod samo serce (lubo tam bechter) i wszystko na nim, aż do samej skóry przebiwszy, dziury nie uczynił, suchy jednak raz ciężki zadał, który mu dech i siły odjął, uderzony.

I would translate it roughly as :

" Second (shot) hit him under the very heart, but the bechter'd been there, and got punctured to the very skin, but the skin wasn't torn. Nevertheless, "dry " shot struck him heavily, taking away his strenght and breath,"



*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_and_plate_armour
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Yes, Pedro, today there are whole wheeled racks of Ottoman armour in Istanbul, there is so much that some of it is rusting away. And keep in mind that a favourite kind of Central European cavalry helmet in the 16th/17th century, the zischägge, was copied from the Ottomans!


That`s doesn`t prove much in terms of how proportionally well armoured the Ottomans Armies would be; perhaps the Porte simply stocked armor or preserved it in a single deposit, the thing is that all the sources point out to the fact that ottoman infantry and the Akinji light cavalry (which composed the larger part of the army) was entirely unarmoured, except perhaps for helmets. But let's talk about sources, this one from Ian Heath's Armies of Middle Ages vol.2; he even consulted David Nicolle as Heath admitted in the foreword:

Quote:
One of the earliest Western descriptions of Ottoman military costume is that of Bertrandon de la Brocquière, a Burgundian traveller who visited the Ottoman Empire in 1433. He describes their dress as comprising 2 or 3 long cotton robes ‘which fall to their feet’, over which was worn another robe called a capinat, this time of felt, ‘in the manner of a mantle’; he records that this was light and waterproof. Knee-length boots were worn, plus ‘large drawers, some of crimson velvet, others of silk or fustian and common stuffs.’ He adds that ‘in war, or when travelling, to avoid being embarrassed by their robes, they tuck the ends into their drawers, by which they can move with greater freedom.’ For this practice see figure 3. From other sources we know that a turban wrapped round a red cap completed the costume. The turban was usually white, but it is worth noting that the battlefield of Kossovo Pole in 1389, strewn with turbaned heads, reminded one Turkish chronicler of a vast field of tulips. We know from Arnold von Harff’s account (1499) that the Silihdars at least all wore white turbans. Finally, all Turks wore beards.

Interestingly several contemporary Western sources are scathing regarding Ottoman arms. At his most optimistic Brocquière says that ‘the arms of those who have any fortune are a bow, a tarquais, a sword, and a heavy mace with a short handle, the thick end of which is cut into many angles. This is a dangerous weapon. … Several have small wooden bucklers, with which they cover themselves well on horseback when they draw the bow.’ Elsewhere, however, he reports that an eye-witness told him how amongst an Ottoman force returning from a raid into Hungary ‘there was not one in 10 that had both bow and sword’, and Brocquière himself confirmed that ‘of those I saw there were many more that had neither bow nor sword than there were armed with both’; this time he stated that only ‘the best-equipped’ had a small wooden targe. Pero Tafur too (1435-39) stated that the Ottomans ‘want [for] many of the essentials of war’, describing ‘the whole of their fighting outfit’ as comprising an iron staff (a ghaddara - see note to figures 17 and 18), bow, quiver and ‘tambourine’ (possibly meaning a small shield, but more probably a drum, for which see figure 31). Janus Lascaris, who wrote 1489-92, similarly described the sipahis (who, he says, were ‘assembled only with difficulty’) as ‘poorly-armed. Some carry a lance, but others only a scimitar or a bow.’ In another passage he even says that only ‘a part’ even of the cavalry of the Porte had bows and ‘carquois of arrows’. Basically, then, Ottoman cavalry were variously equipped with any or all of the following: lance, mace, sabre (kilij), shield, bow and tarquais or carquois, these latter being two variant corruptions (Italian turcassa was another) of the Persian word terkesh or tarkash, meaning a quiver. Brocquière described one he bought as ‘a white tarquais complete, to which hung a sword and knives’.



No armor at even in the shock cavalry units of the Ottoman Empire. By the way, I'm not saying the janissaries didn't wear armor, because even artistic evidence shows that and they were treated as 'heavy infantry' in the Siege of Belgrado and in other stances of Eastern European battles.


Sean Manning wrote:
in the 12th century Arab, Armenian, etc. cavalry were just as heavily armed as the Franks, check out the works of David Niccole.


I guess artistic evidence would usually point out that non-turkish muslim cavalry would wear lamellar or mail armor without the chausses, so they would generally be lighter except in cases were multiple types of armor were been worn altogether, like scale and lamellar over mail hauberks and so ... The Mamluks were known to wear themselves that way, though

We also have to remember that Muslims had a great apreciation for frankish mail; Saladin's close retainers were described using imported Frankish mails between the padded layers of their Jazerants.

By the 11th and 12th centuries I believe the andalusian cavalry was the most densenly armoured of the entire muslim world, Heath seens to agree with that. Things changed, however, when more radical north-african dynasties came to power, then the style of heavily armored cavalry between the andalusians and granadines start declining until they disapeared. Another relevant information from his Armies of Feudal Europe

Quote:
Horsemen of this type equipped in unmistakably European-style armour and using the higher saddle favoured among their Christian enemies, were first introduced in large numbers by Mohammed I of Granada (1235-73). They adopted the same shock tactics as were employed by Christian Spanish knights but in battle were still backed up by traditional javelin-armed light cavalry. Such heavy cavalry feature frequently in 13th century Spanish sources, notably the 'Cántigas' mss., from which this figure is taken. The surcoat was not always worn, nor the cloth hood (which conceals a mail coif). Some substituted a turban for the coif and helmet, but others resembled Christian knights even more closely (though some at least of the latter are probably in fact Christian mercenaries). Ibn Sa'id's 13th century 'Kitab al-Mugrib' describes the equipment of such Granadine heavy cavalry as full mail armour, heavy shield suspended on the back (presumably of Western European design as shown here, though adargas are also depicted in use by such horsemen in the 'Cántigas' mss.), a 'solid helmet', and a long, heavy thrusting lance with a pennon, Ibn Sa'id adding that each soldier 'had his device by which he could always be recognised' (witness the lance pennons carried by most heavy cavalrymen in the 'Cántiga' mss. where the device is often repeated on helmet and shield). Ibn al-Khatib adds that although armour of the type described above had 'previously' been worn, heavy cavalry of his time (the early-14th century) were equipped with smaller ('short and light') corselets, light helmets, long, slender lances, leather shields and Berber saddles, which he regarded as an improvement.

Artistic Evidence from the Cantigas:

http://warfare.gq/Cantiga/Cantigas_de_Santa_Maria-187a-5.htm

This one has a horse barding:
http://warfare.gq/Cantiga/Cantigas_de_Santa_M...-large.htm

After this period, some nobles, their bodyguards and who-knows else would have some degree of western armor, both imported of made locally. The altarpiece of the Battle of Montiel (about 1400) shows a dead granadine cavalryman with western helmet and blue-cloth corazzina. Nicolle's Granada 1492 shows artistic evidence with some granadines with either mail or brigandines (or even both) fighting heavier armoured Christian cavalry. This one below is from early 16th Morroco, you can see their armor is still lighter than of the spanish jinetes; Oran, 1509.

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Eh8MYGQ-U8Q/VbszqUn0jUI/AAAAAAAAA-g/P8HimS2jLe0/s640/jinetes%252C%2Bhombres%2Bde%2Barmas%2By%2Bescopeteros%2Btras%2Bcaballer%25C3%25ADa%2B%25C3%25A1rabe%2B-%2BOr%25C3%25A1n%2B1509.jpg

Full publication: http://ejercitodeflandes.blogspot.com/2015/07...elves.html

This one I got from a Portuguese Historian, +/- the same time,

https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/71082866_2287854477992273_6342048442709180416_o.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_oc=AQncR4ZV_GGAPcK4hJCgnfTOzvu8uahCEUxKM0Bh_mBlqCLcCEJhw11U99dy7-QFw-8&_nc_ht=scontent-msp1-1.xx&oh=572f149161fa08687425529aa87dcc59&oe=5E043D9F

A knight of Santiago with castillian jinetes at his left and andalusian cavalry at his right.
Since the English intervention in the Castillian Civil War of mid-14th century, the jinetes were obbliged to have at least a set of mail+gambeson, this also being confirmed in the Ordinance of Burgos of 1385, after the Castillians were expelled from Portugal. I don't know if they obbliged to wear more and more armor by 15th century, though.

Quote:
Every culture with a militia had soldiers with just a staff and no iron armour, because those were the only weapons poor people could afford.


Not exactly, the kind of people who went to war were better equipped than simply peasants and city commoners who were throwing rocks from walls and such. The English, for example, had a minimum standard for padded jacque, helmet, sword and buckler; in Portugal or Castille the low tier foot soldier had a spear and a sling, or just one of these, things like that. The sources of the Battle of Aljubarrota (1385) I'm aware, though, says that the slingers were basically kids and teenagers sent to protect the wagoons of the army and were not expected to fight in the battle; some say there were rocks being thrown by the Portuguese, but it's likely that such stones were being shot by the spearmen themselves, since the sling was a sidearm for them (oddly enough, the Portuguese Spears were actually pikes; 2,5 times the size of an adult male).
In Wales, infantry often went to war without any sort of armor, but due to their fame as violent warriors, the English would just ship them to France with English ones, but receiving less than the most basically-equipped archer.
I discussed with Graham Turner regarding his inspirations for the painting of Mortimer Cross and so, when welsh soldiers were present alongside with english ones; he justified the fact they're represented because no source at that time distinguished their equipped, though they mentioned the irish were actually unamoured.

To give you something, anyways, from Armies of Middle Ages vol. 2:
Quote:
Giacomo Tetaldi, who was present, says that at the siege of Constantinople in 1453 about a quarter of the Ottomans wore some sort of armour, either hauberks or leather jacks, a few even wearing French or Hungarian styles of armour. The ‘leather jacks’ are doubtless kazaghands, seemingly popular in this period even though no Turkish examples have survived


Just to remember: the Ottomans had italian mercenaries fighting in the Siege, and probably many others european vassals doing mandatory service. This could be the reason not just for the "French and Hungarian Styles of Armor" being notable, but also in the lighter armor like hauberks.



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Jeton Osmani





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Sep, 2019 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

after reading pedros post about the quality of ottoman troops i am quite surprised as to how they managed to conquer all that territory if most ottoman soldiers were lightly armed and armoured.

it just begs the question of how can ottoman and in wider cases islamic soldiers go to battle with with minimun or no armour at all. at least just make some brigandine or lammellar armour as munitions armour as its cheaper than maille or solid breastplates and equip your basic soldiers so that you dont have to suffer atrocious casualties or humiliating losses.

i can imagine most muslim soldiers being sitting ducks with their tiny shields and civilian garments, while being hacked by their superior european enemies.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Sep, 2019 1:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bertrandon de la Brocquière specifically described the Ottoman armor he saw, which was mail with some plate reinforcements. He did note that many Ottoman soldiers were minimally equipped, perhaps lacking even helmets.

Early 15th-century Ottoman soldiers probably were less likely to have armor than Western European ones of the same period, but the best Ottoman cavalry had equipment rather similar to European light/medium cavalry. & at least later (16th-century) Western European armies often contained significant numbers of troops equipped with no armor other than helmets. There's a lot of evidence that indicates it simply wasn't cost-effective at the time to equip all or even most infantry with armor in larger armies. Captains like Machiavelli & Raimond de Fourqueveaux ideally wanted to do so, but Fourqueveaux acknowledged that his arming scheme might not really be practical.

Also note that Bertrandon de la Brocquière, like many other Western European Christian observers, was making the case that Christians could defeat the Ottomans. While most everything he wrote seems plausible enough, he may well have downplayed Ottoman military strength for the purpose of his argument. In any case, he noted the impressive discipline & coordination of Ottoman armies. Numerical superiority & excellent organization can matter more than high-quality equipment. Additionally, the Ottomans rather quickly adopted firearms & artillery.

While certainly armor or more/better armor could constitute a major advantage against Ottoman troops, the Ottomans nonetheless defeated various armies that contained well-armored units, whether Western European, Eastern European, Persian, or what have you.

As far as general claims about Islamic soldiers go, keep in mind that Persian cavalry was famously heavy throughout the 16th century. (I'm not sure about earlier & later.) At the end of it, Sir John Smythe remarked that the Persians were one of the only nations to still deploy proper men-at-arms: fully armored riders on armored horses.

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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Sep, 2019 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:


Early 15th-century Ottoman soldiers probably were less likely to have armor than Western European ones of the same period, but the best Ottoman cavalry had equipment rather similar to European light/medium cavalry. & at least later (16th-century) Western European armies often contained significant numbers of troops equipped with no armor other than helmets.


Some hungarian descriptions of local Amirs and Pasha's armor are bulky as it should, barded horses and full mail-and-plate armor in the Ottoman fashion. Besides this, I guess only the Porte's Sipahis and noble turks would have such complete harness. Our main problem here is to say how many Porte Sipahis, Amirs and nobles went in battles, so we could have numbers to make estimatives.

Regarding late 16th century soldiers, harquebuses and muskets dowplayed the role armor as it was in late 15th century and such. Even still, all the Dutch pikemen wore considerable amounts of armor, while the Spaniards drew a division between Picas Secas and armoured pikemen, who were to carry the bulk of the battle. In late 15th century or in early 16th century, however, Spaniards had a sort of fame performing heavy infantry roles with considerable amount of armor; I guess that's why there were spaniards mentioned in Corvinus' Black Army, alonside Swiss and Bohemian Infantrymen. [/quote]

Quote:
There's a lot of evidence that indicates it simply wasn't cost-effective at the time to equip all or even most infantry with armor in larger armies. Captains like Machiavelli & Raimond de Fourqueveaux ideally wanted to do so, but Fourqueveaux acknowledged that his arming scheme might not really be practical.


Depends in the type of armor and how large your army is. The French often sent armor to the Scots when they were expected to invade England. At Flodden (1513) it does seens the Scots were densily armed, perhaps in quantity rather than in the amount covered. Consider also that Flodden had the hugiest army ever mustered in Scotland.

When did Fourqueveaux wrote about military? The lived a long life so context could be clarifying. I'm mean, I don't disagree about filling the whole army with armor is not worth of the cause, but I recently saw many portuguese, spanish and other tapestries showing reasonable armoured cavalry, pikemen and two-handed swordsmen in late 16th century.

Quote:
Also note that Bertrandon de la Brocquière, like many other Western European Christian observers, was making the case that Christians could defeat the Ottomans. While most everything he wrote seems plausible enough, he may well have downplayed Ottoman military strength for the purpose of his argument. In any case, he noted the impressive discipline & coordination of Ottoman armies. Numerical superiority & excellent organization can matter more than high-quality equipment. Additionally, the Ottomans rather quickly adopted firearms & artillery.

While certainly armor or more/better armor could constitute a major advantage against Ottoman troops, the Ottomans nonetheless defeated various armies that contained well-armored units, whether Western European, Eastern European, Persian, or what have you.


Heath quotes some sources who say the opposite regarding firearms, also, there is the pistol problem that happened with the Sipahi in late 16th and in 17th centuries. What Heath says, however, is that most of the harquebusiers who weren't the Janissaries usually came from Balkan christian subjects in Serbia and so ...

Reading about the Crusade of Nicopolis and Varna gives an impression on how these such different armies behave: the ottoman infantry shot an massive amount of arrows, but dismounted men-at-arms easily beat them off, until troops with better armor would gave them some match. It's interesting to note, however, that at some point, besides continuous harassment and outnumber, the burgundian commander put his men-at-arms into a circle-formation and endured quite a bit.

I think the Europeans were downplayed by the lack of cohesion in his troops, specially boosted by the knights and young nobles who were not eager to win "easy battles" or be shadowed by the infantry. The King of Hungary was even called a coward by the French who perceived him act so much carefully when dealing with the ottomans

Also, crusader commanders were not used to ottoman tatics, which basically had them into disadvantage. Also, we must remember that ottomans put a lot of confidence in their Serbian cavalry, who fought exactly as the armoured knights of the Catholic cavalry; they were usefull not only by diminishing the advantage of the enemy's men-at-arms in Europe but also when fighting East; the Serbians endured the bulk of Tarmelan forces which prevented the Timurids from getting an even easier victory.

Lastly, I don't think Brocquière was so unjustly downplaying the Turks, they lack of armor or full set of weapons is something others sources point out. But, as said, when you have the capacity to bring a huge amount of troops (as in the Battle of Mohacs, for example), maintain them and have efficient system of tatics to lure out the enemies, it's not such an unfair conflict. Look for example how the Transylvanians and Wallachians fought; with even smaller numbers and humbly equipped.

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Jeton Osmani





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Sep, 2019 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks pedro

at least question 2 is sort of answered, although i do think that maille and plate armour looks cheaper and quicker to make due the fact that the plate sections may have saved up the time compared to making a full maille haubark. maybe a maille and plate huabergon or byrnie should at least be affordable to a person with a modest amount of money, or maybe people in the ottoman and mamluke states might actually be poorer than the europeans commoners.

but i think the discussion of how common armour was in the islamic world should go to a different thread. i look forward to see the discussions their.
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Samuel Bena




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Sep, 2019 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:

Last but not least the Ottomans did not experience the effectiveness of cavalry with pistols until very late in the 16th Century (1593-1606 war with the Habsburgs) and they still had some success in that to which they could cling to as justification to not upgrade their weaponry. It did not help that 17th C Ottoman rulers were disinterested in making military reforms.


I'd say Ottoman troops from Europe (Rumelia) were probably aware of pistols before the long war. IIRC German and Czech cavalrymen using firearms fought for Habsburg agains the Turks in Hungary since the 1540s or so in many actions.

Cheers
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Jeton Osmani





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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

for anybody still curious about question 1, i have done some research and i will try my best to answer my question that i posted earlier.


most of the maille and plate armours that i have seen usually have the plates protecting the stomach while the chest is protected by maille.

so the question is how did the maille sections of this armour protect the wearer from heavy crossbows and lance strikes. from digging around the internet and even on a ian heath book called "armies of the middle ages, volume 2", the maille sections where made from very thick or very small links to increase the protective power of this type of armour, according to what i read on the internet, smaller or thicker links were very protective against heavy peircing strikes, there are some theories that small or thick rings may have been double maille which was known for its protection against almost all types of peircing shots.


if i have put in wrong information, please feel free to correct me.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Oct, 2019 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Regarding late 16th century soldiers, harquebuses and muskets dowplayed the role armor as it was in late 15th century and such. Even still, all the Dutch pikemen wore considerable amounts of armor, while the Spaniards drew a division between Picas Secas and armoured pikemen, who were to carry the bulk of the battle.


From what I've seen across a range of sources, the first few ranks of pikers were always supposed have, & typically did have, considerable armor: half or three-quarters harness. These front ranks contained the best troops in terms of equipment, size, strength, experience, training, and morale. Commanders expected them to carry the day. The pikers farther back in the formation often had little or no armor, & rarely saw direct combat in pitched battles. Raimond de Fourquevaux described and criticized this approach in his 1548 treatise. Other evidence indicates it was common in the 16th century to have a large percentage of unarmored or lightly armor pikers, but that the front ranks almost always had decent armor.

Quote:
Depends in the type of armor and how large your army is. The French often sent armor to the Scots when they were expected to invade England. At Flodden (1513) it does seens the Scots were densily armed, perhaps in quantity rather than in the amount covered. Consider also that Flodden had the hugiest army ever mustered in Scotland.


That's true. Sources do say that the Scottish pikers at least were well-armored at Flodden 1513, though it's unclear how far into the formation this extended. As I recall the army included other Scottish troops, particularly Highlanders, with less or no armor.

Quote:
Heath quotes some sources who say the opposite regarding firearms, also, there is the pistol problem that happened with the Sipahi in late 16th and in 17th centuries. What Heath says, however, is that most of the harquebusiers who weren't the Janissaries usually came from Balkan christian subjects in Serbia and so ...


My understanding is that Ottoman armies quickly adopted artillery and infantry firearms, but indeed held out on adopting pistols for cavalry.

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Oct, 2019 11:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Samuel Bena wrote:
Daniel Staberg wrote:

Last but not least the Ottomans did not experience the effectiveness of cavalry with pistols until very late in the 16th Century (1593-1606 war with the Habsburgs) and they still had some success in that to which they could cling to as justification to not upgrade their weaponry. It did not help that 17th C Ottoman rulers were disinterested in making military reforms.


I'd say Ottoman troops from Europe (Rumelia) were probably aware of pistols before the long war. IIRC German and Czech cavalrymen using firearms fought for Habsburg agains the Turks in Hungary since the 1540s or so in many actions.

Cheers

While the Ottomans were aware of the pistol as early as 1543 IIRC it was only in the context of the border warfare in Hungary and the Austrian frontier provinces, while we know from German sources that the mounted use of pistols and wheellocks were effective in this warfare it was small scale and had little overall impact on the Ottoman army.

This changed in 1593 with the battle of Sisak/Sissek where Beylerbey Telli Hasan Pasha's army suffered grevious losses when it was defeated by a significantly smaller Habsburg-Croat force. The Habsburg army included 1100 Schützen zu pferd/'Reiter' who played an important part in the victory. This would set the tone for a lot of the battles and actions in the war that followed with the Habsburgs getting an even larger advantage with the arrival of experienced French and Walloon troops who had previously seen action in the French Wars of Religion. These veterans brough with them two new styles of cavalry armed with pistols & long firearms, the Cuirassier and what was then known as the 'Burgundian' style of mounted arquebusiers. Both proved very effective in combat and it was only the Habsburgs flaws and shortcomings at the operational and strategic levels which prevented them from taking full advantage of their tactical superiority. (The Ottomans on the other hand performed a lot better at those levels of warfare).

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