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History questions not worth their own thread IV

Discussion in 'World History' started by Plotinus, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Why Turkish Medieval / Early Modern Era armies were so massive (compared to their enemies) according to sources from that time?

    Well, if you count camp followers you get enormous strength of armies.

    For example the Turkish army in the battle of Vienna in 1683 had 50,000 horse-drawn wagons with it (and we must count one coachman and a few camp followers for each horse wagon). So apart from 150,000 soldiers the Ottomans would have probably 150,000 - 200,000 camp followers (including coachmen) with them at Vienna - and 50,000 horse-drawn wagons (one wagon for each 3 soldiers). The same would apply to European armies of course.

    And it seems that Turks actually had a habit of counting also camp followers and even horses and camels as "army strength" in their official military documents. I guess it had some propaganda impact on their enemies.

    But they didn't count camp followers and horses when counting casualties, on the other hand.

    For example Polish 17th century soldier Jan Ostrorog commented the discrepancy in numbers given on Turkish forces in the battle of Chocim in 1621. Turkish own counts said that their army at Chocim in 1621 was 300,000 Turks and 100,000 Tatars - in total 400,000. While Polish envoy who was also acting as a spy during his mission to Turkish camp, wrote that there were not more than 150,000 Turks and not more than 60,000 Tatars. And in fact the first number most likely includes all men and horses and the second one probably includes all men (including camp followers).

    And here is how Jan Ostrorog explains these great differences in numbers:

    "(...) Sir Zelenski [that Polish envoy] counted their forces using Polish method, which is considerably different than Turkish method - in the Turkish army they count separately each living creature, for example if they have a mounted knight and this knight has another horse, or a mule, or a camel - then they count all of this separately, and that's why they get so huge numbers of their armies (...)"

    And Ostrorog concludes:

    "(...) That's why when there will be a 10,000 strong Polish force, there will still be more actual soldiers among these 10,000, than in a Turkish force which is said to be 20,000 strong, or maybe even in a Turkish force which is said to be 30,000 strong (...)".


    Another Polish envoy - Krzysztof Zbaraski - who visited Turkey few years later, wrote:

    "Forces of the Turkish tyrant are bigger on paper than in actual armies, because when they count strength of their forces, they count both men and horses"
     
  2. tiko_history

    tiko_history Chieftain

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    Very interesting post , thanks author and everyone .
     
  3. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    With western sources the same issue can come up with relation to the difference between the figures in logistical and military contexts.
     
  4. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    The soon-to-be Hongwu Emperor crushed most of them during the decade before the Ming dynasty was established.
     
  5. r16

    r16 not deity

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    bias in Civ picking is not entirely bias , but being "accustomed" to what will happen . As experience of things decide lots of things .



    ( r16 subscribes to thread )
     
  6. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Guess what is this:

     
  7. Bowsling

    Bowsling Deity

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    How did Austria become so frosty towards Russia in the 1840's-50's? Where did the gratitude over crushing the Hungarian rebellion turn into numerous ultimatums during the Crimean War?
     
  8. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    Dachs can probably offer you more detail about this question, but the crux of the issue lay in Russia's designs on the Balkans. Austria's interests also lay in the Balkans, and while Russia and Austria may have friendly with Russia when the Ottoman's were still a viable empire in the area, once Ottoman authority began to really crumble - largely, it must be said, under pressure from both Russia and Austria - they were in direct competition for the spoils. Austria was already somewhat beholden to Russia, the clear hegemon of Eastern Europe; she had no desire to be completely marginalised.
     
  9. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    Ironically, after the Crimean War Austria became just that.
     
  10. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    Largely because they abandoned their relationship with Russia, their obvious and natural partner in the region. Ah, the vagaries of geopolitics.
     
  11. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    In the last thread I asked some questions about the Anglo-Saxons and supposedly genetic evidence. A few days ago the same person told me about that evidence again, and how that people in Cornwall were proven genetically to be Celtic, and that people from East Anglia were proven to be Germanic. I tried to tell him all I could remember from what I was told when I asked the question in the last thread, but he dismissed what I said as being wrong. I did find out the name of the programme, it was "The Face of Britain".
     
  12. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    You should reaffirm to him that phrases like "Germanic" and "Celtic" have no bearing beyond the linguistic. Yes the Cornish Language is a Celtic language and the English Language is a Germanic one, but that doesn't mean there's some compound in their DNA that identifies that. Hell, even distinctions such as "Germanic" and "Celtic" family trees aren't really in vogue these days in the Linguistic world as they're rather broad generalizations to make and often only show extremely superficial connections.
     
  13. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

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    I did say something like that. I didn't mention language, but I said Celtic was more of a cultural identity, but he just kept on saying that the Celtic British are genetically different from the English.
     
  14. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Polish cavalry about to charge German tanks?
     
  15. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    If he persists in this error despite your attempts to enlighten him - especially if you e-mail him links to our discussions and/ or some articles on the subject - then he's an idiot, not to mention a probable racist. Try to avoid dealing with him in future, at least on this subject.

    :goodjob:
     
  16. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    A brother of the Order of the Upside Down Christmas Tree Helmet?
     
  17. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    Some polishcirclejerk you're going to tell us about in the next half hour?
     
  18. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Sort of.

    Austria's central dilemma in this case was that a Russian occupation of the Danubian Principalities constituted an extremely grave security threat to the eastern part of the empire, both in the perceptions of Habsburg statesmen and in objectively viewed terms. The decision to turn Russia away from the path it was taking was therefore almost unavoidable; what the arguments in Vienna centered on was what policy would be required to fulfill that objective. And there were many arguments about this; the political clash between the statesman-economist Bruck and the foreign minister, Buol, effectively revolved around the two ultimata.

    In general, while it was reasonable for the Russians to expect some sort of quid pro quo for their 1848 intervention, that quid pro quo cannot have amounted to the effective abrogation of Austria's eastern security. (The Russians also tended to overestimate the amount of gratitude they were due for the fighting against the Magyars. It was not at all clear that Russian intervention was necessary for military victory when it happened, the Russians imposed significant costs on the Habsburg government for that intervention - albeit chiefly indirect ones - and the Austrians themselves tended to think of the whole thing as an effort by the tsar to force Austria into an indebted position from which he could then wring concessions. That last was awfully prophetic, or it would've been if the deduction weren't so obvious.) Nikolai I's government committed this blunder at other times during the runup to the Crimean War: he assumed that his role in the Eastern crises of the 1840s and the Anglo-Russian relationship he had forged with Palmerston would have at least brought the British into the sepulchral crisis as an honest broker instead of an out-and-out French ally. This was probably a more reasonable assumption, since no concrete British interests were threatened, but unfortunately for the tsar and tens of thousands of European soldiers, Palmerston was kind of a jackass.

    Anyway. Austria. Buol's initial policy was basically the same as Metternich's was in the 1820s: avoid an open breach with Russia for obvious reasons, but "convince" the Ottomans to offer Russia concessions on relatively irrelevant matters in order to forestall the Russians from gaining permanent control of the Principalities or achieving some sort of preeminence at the Porte. This was, fundamentally, the best policy available to Austria, although it was not a particularly good one due to the sheer difficulty of bringing it off, and Buol knew this. Bruck, his envoy, elected to ignore those instructions in favor of cooperating directly with the British in encouraging a Russo-Turkish armed conflict, while at the same time insisting to Vienna that such a conflict would be in Austria's best interests and advising the occupation of Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Serbia as Austria's "share" in an Ottoman partition following the war that Bruck was confident Russia could win. Bruck was unsuccessful in promoting Austrian involvement in the war, but he was successful at promoting the war itself, destroying Buol's original policy and forcing Austria to the point where it was forced to consider ultimata to Russia.
    Uh, no?
     
  19. r16

    r16 not deity

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    why , the helmet is of Turkish origin looted from a museum ?

    an outsider only familiar with a certain line of empty talk , coming to this thread simply by chance , would have seen the empty talk being sunk with solid numbers . But then ı post only to subscribe , after the Off-Topic was divided more pages to peruse , means less time for WH .
     
  20. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    Not immediately, of course. I know I was referring to the period immediately preceding WWI. I suspect tk was also.
     
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