Ottoman Empire (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: The Turkish military structure and bureaucratic organization combined to form an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and resulted in armed conflict with European, Asiatic, and North African kings, emperors, and religious leaders.
In 1299, the Turkish ruler Osman founded the Ottoman state, using the military capabilities of his people to consolidate control over Arab lands. In 1326, the sultan Orhan organized the military into three principal contingents. The feudal armed forces received fiefs in exchange for military service and the provision of soldiers, but the land reverted to the sultan if the recipient failed to fulfill his military duties or committed a crime. Janissaries, recruited Christian youths trained in the ways of Islam, served as the standing infantry. Auxiliary troops consisting of scouts, armed nomads, and defenders of outlying fortresses rounded out the military structure.
After establishing administrative control over Anatolia, the Ottomans successfully invaded Europe many times during the next five hundred years. Although the Ottomans achieved many victories and expanded their territory considerably during the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the beginning of the empire period dates from the reign of Mehmed II in 1451. After expanding and improving the army and establishing a navy, Mehmed besieged Constantinople (1453). He was...
(The entire section is 622 words.)
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