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Armies of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1774 (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – 28 Jul 1983

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About the Author

David Nicolle PhD was born in 1944 and was educated at Highgate School. For eight years he worked in the BBC Arabic Service. In 1971 he went 'back to school', gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a PhD from Edinburgh University. For some years he taught art and architectural history at Yarmuk University, Jordan. David has written many Osprey titles, including MAA 140 Armies of the Ottoman Turks, MAA 320 Armies of the Caliphates 862-1098, and Campaign 43 Fornovo 1495.

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The birth of the Ottoman state is shrouded in legend, but this reflects some interesting facts about the origins of an Empire which almost brought Christian Europe to its knees. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire 16 Oct. 2004
By Richard Brzostek - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1774" by David Nicolle briefly reviews the history, armies, weapons, uniforms, and battles of the Ottoman Empire. There are eight striking full-color plates illustrated by Angus McBride that help give the history a visual representation. As with other Osprey Men-at-Arms volumes, there is a lot of information in the 40 pages (including index) and serves as a great introduction to the topic.

As good as an introduction this book is, the author does use some technical terms that may confuse someone new to the subject. However, with a little work consulting a dictionary, one can get through most of this difficulty. "Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1774" also includes several maps, most of which are helpful (one of them is hard to read because it is jammed with the names of cities and it is hard to easily tell where the bodies of water and land meet). Furthermore, a chronology of the conquests and losses sums up nearly 500 years of the rise and fall of the Ottoman Turks.

I found this book to be a great resource in learning about the Ottoman Turks. The costumes, arms, and armor of the Ottoman Turks are interesting and elegant. I enjoyed not only learning about their military conquests, but also the images of who they were.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Angus McBride Forever! 23 Feb. 2008
By K. Murphy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like all Osprey books this title is an excellent visual source; though the text is also useful it does not go very deep. Buy this book for the pictures! As always, Mr. McBride's artwork is fabulous, richly portraying the beautiful arms and armor of the Ottoman Turks and the skilled warriors that used them.

Again, the text is not worthless or as far as I can tell inaccurate; in fact, I found this book to be one of Nicolle's best. The three-page chronology in the back, along with the examination of the tactics used at various battles are the most useful parts.

In summary, like the similar Osprey titles 'Saladin and the Saracens', 'Armies of the Muslim Conquest', and 'The Armies of Islam 7th-11th Centuries', this book's text would be a great introduction, but the photographs and especially the color plates can be used and enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the last and the greatest of the medieval Islamic Turkish states.
Good book for its time, 1983. The newer Osprey volumes have more color photos. A good, fast introduction. 31 Mar. 2015
By Andy McKinney - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1744
by David Nicolle, Illustrated by Angus McBride

Doctor David Nicolle has penned dozens of books on ancient and medieval warfare, many of them for Osprey. He wrote “Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1774” in 1983. I found it valuable and learned things that I had not known before.
Angus McBride has a wide renown for the detail and quality of his color drawings. He contributes 24 drawings to this volume illustrating the clothing, weapons and equipment of Ottoman fighters across a span of nearly 500 years. His artistic talents are clear to any sighted person.
The slender Osprey Men-At-Arms series pack a lot of information into only a few pages, 40 pages in this case. This can only be taken as a quick introduction to a vast subject. The span of four and a half centuries on any subject is much too wide for any author to cover in such a few pages. But we do get the outlines.
I will share two things that I took away. The first was a reminder of the Gazis. In the Islamic world, back a thousand years and more, foot lose young men would-as a deliberate religious vocation-seek service on the frontier as volunteer troops. They might or might not be paid. They might well subsist on plunder. But they would travel long distances to be where the action was at any given time, to fight against the enemies of Islam. This sounds all too familiar to us in the 21st century.
I, like most of us, have a long acquaintanceship with the feared Janissary soldiers, the conscripted sons of Christians forced into service to the Sultan. Dr. Nicolle informs us that these famous Ottoman troops were not the most important on the battlefield, but rather the horse mounted Siphai riders had that position. The Europeans who contested the Ottoman advances developed counters to the Siphai horsemen. The Janissary foot soldiers were apparently taken in stride, noting always their courage and tenacity.
This is an average volume in the long series of Osprey books and representative of the time it was published. I better enjoy the newer volumes with color photos.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Good Overview 23 Jun. 2005
By Saif T. Beg - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one source of good information that can be gotten without a large price tag on it. It gives a good detail on the weapons, armour and tatics that can be gotten in a form that is good for western readers. A 5/5 for this one.
18 of 28 people found the following review helpful
awful and incorrect 28 Jan. 2005
By Cenk Sumen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a misleading work in its entirety, especially the history section. Both the text and the drawings look like they came from WWII era history books. Recent re-evaluations of Ottoman historical records have led to a dramatic change of perspective, by eminent scholars such as Heath Lowry and Rhoads Murphey, on everything from the non-Turkish contributions to the founding of the empire (2 out of the 4 founders were Catalan mercenaries in Byzantine employ), to the reason why "gazi state" is a complete misnomer, and finally the pragmatism and flexibility in military organization that led to such brilliant early successes. These and many other essential factors are missing here. I would strongly recommend not wasting resources on this shoddy relic, and instead sampling more recent scholarly works, including ones by the aforementioned authors, and downloading more accurate and better drawn pictures of Ottoman soldiers for free on the web.
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