Firearms and Military Adaptation: The Ottomans and the European Military Revolution

TitleFirearms and Military Adaptation: The Ottomans and the European Military Revolution
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsÀgoston, Gábor
JournalJournal of World History
Date Published03/2014

The paper is divided into three sections. The first two sections examine the adaptation, manufacturing, and deployment of firearms in the Ottoman Empire as well as the role of gunpowder technology in establishing and maintaining Ottoman military superiority...these sections demonstrate the Ottomans' continued flexibility and pragmatism in adapting and improving on acquired weapons, as well as their self-sufficiency in the production of weapons and munitions. They also reveal that in addition to firearms, factors such as good intelligence; resourceful leadership; large and disciplined professional armies; superior supply and and the combined use of field artillery, infantry firepower, wagon fortresses, and cavalry charges were all important in Ottoman military successes. The last section of the paper examines the possible relationship between firearms and the growth of Ottoman military manpower... New evidence that the growth of the janissary corps was part of a general expansion that started under Sultan Süleyman I and accelerated during the Ottomans' Thirty Years War (1578-1611)...Ottoman military expansion also reflected increased supply of fighting men due to domestic socioeconomic changes, which resulted in the emergence of provincial governors and local strongmen as military entrepreneurs with private armies.[Author]

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