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Osprey Elite 58 : The Janissaries

Originally organised by Sultan Murad I, the Janissaries comprised an elite corps in the service of the Ottoman Empire. It was composed of war captives and Christian youths pressed into service; all of whom were converted to Islam and trained under the strictest discipline. The Janissaries gained great status in the Ottoman Empire and possessed the power to make and unmake sultans. By 1600, Muslims had begun to enter the corps, largely through bribery, and in the 17th century membership in the corps became largely hereditary, while the drafting of Christians gradually ceased. In 1826, Sultan Mahmud II finally rid himself of the unruly (and by now inefficient) Janissaries by having them massacred in their barracks by his loyal Spahis. In many ways, Jannisaries reflected Ottoman society, which was itself dominated by a military elite and where there was much greater social mobility than in Europe. On top of this, the Turks looked upon Europe much as the early Americans viewed the Western Frontier - as a land of adventure, mission and opportunity. David Nicolle examines the history, organisation, weapons and uniforms of these elite Turkish troops in a book packed with photographs and illustrations, including 12 attractive full page colour plates by Christa Hook.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Origins and Evolution of the Janissary Corps
  • Recruitment and Training
  • Ottoman Army Structure
  • Infantry Forces
  • Uniforms and Weaponry
  • Strategy and Tactics
  • Promotion, Pay and Morale
  • Support Services and Other Duties
  • Other Infantry Forces
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Elite


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