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Old February 12th, 2017, 08:38 PM   #1

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Could Timur have destroyed the Ottoman Empire?


The Battle of Ankara might have destroyed the main forces of the Ottoman Empire, and it remains puzzling why Timur did not destroy the Ottoman Empire once and for all.
Bayazid I might have some remarkable military achievements, but why did he commit these tactical errors during the Battle of Ankara?
For example, water and food supplies were the life line of any military, and Bayazid I was cut from these supplies.
The battle of Ankara was considered the crash of two brilliant military leaders of the time, but why Timur won so easily?
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Old February 13th, 2017, 01:26 PM   #2
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Maybe that is why Timur played it safe - the victory was a bare one, rather than to waist another few thousand troops in finishing off the Ottomans, he played for time in order to build up his troops for his other military goal - taking Ming China and re-establishing the Mongol Empire.
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Old February 13th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #3

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Timur actually destroyed the Ottoman Empire. (Some historians call it "Bayezid Empire".) How the Ottoman state was re-established is still quite a mystery that modern historians should answer. Quite absurdly to the modern history writings, Manuel II helped the Ottomans to build their state again. (For the case of the prince Musa, the Romanian lords helped him. Though some Turkish historians explained it with the theory that "Romanian Turkomans" helped Musa to fight Suleiman Chelebi... No comment.)
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Old February 13th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #4

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Good thread good question.

To answer 2nd question, Timur won against a competent and brilliant enemy because he had better logistics. He had inferior force so he retreated, then turned back around to attack. Bayezid pursued him, and Timur's more mobile force seized the water source Bayezid had left, leaving the Ottomans thirsty and tired by the time they made battle.

As for whether Timur could have destroyed them, absolutely.

The Venetians, panicked by the victory, ferried the remnants of the Ottoman army across the Bosporus to Europe. The old line is that they "preferred the enemy they could control to the one they couldn't". Timur couldn't do anything, so he just released the sons to fight a civil war.

Timur's method never was to totally obliterate his enemies, just to cripple them to the point at which they'd never rise again for another 30 years. He did this with the Golden Horde, Ottomans, and Mameluks. His conquests were over countries that were weaker, such as the Central Asian Khanates, Chagatai, Georgia, and the Ilkhanid remnants.
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Old February 13th, 2017, 08:32 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alto View Post
Good thread good question.

To answer 2nd question, Timur won against a competent and brilliant enemy because he had better logistics. He had inferior force so he retreated, then turned back around to attack. Bayezid pursued him, and Timur's more mobile force seized the water source Bayezid had left, leaving the Ottomans thirsty and tired by the time they made battle.

As for whether Timur could have destroyed them, absolutely.

The Venetians, panicked by the victory, ferried the remnants of the Ottoman army across the Bosporus to Europe. The old line is that they "preferred the enemy they could control to the one they couldn't". Timur couldn't do anything, so he just released the sons to fight a civil war.

Timur's method never was to totally obliterate his enemies, just to cripple them to the point at which they'd never rise again for another 30 years. He did this with the Golden Horde, Ottomans, and Mameluks. His conquests were over countries that were weaker, such as the Central Asian Khanates, Chagatai, Georgia, and the Ilkhanid remnants.
The sons of Bayazid I escaped from the battlefield and were not captured by Timur.
In this way, did the Venetians contribute to the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire?
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Old February 13th, 2017, 08:58 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VHS View Post
The sons of Bayazid I escaped from the battlefield and were not captured by Timur.
In this way, did the Venetians contribute to the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire?
Some of the sons of Bayezid were captured, and eventually released, and some were killed - Timur wanted to create as much chaos as possible. If I remember right, the one that eventually one the civil war was in Timur's captivity.

The Venetians definitely saved the Ottomans from losing their armies and best leaders who were fleeing the battle. However, I find the old explanation of them being afraid of Temur as troubling, since they also applauded him and sent him letters of good will. Most likely the local Venetians in Constantinople were paid by the Turks very well to ferry them across the Dardanelles, and they made a healthy profit from it.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 01:49 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alto View Post
Timur's method never was to totally obliterate his enemies, just to cripple them to the point at which they'd never rise again for another 30 years. He did this with the Golden Horde, Ottomans, and Mameluks. His conquests were over countries that were weaker, such as the Central Asian Khanates, Chagatai, Georgia, and the Ilkhanid remnants.
Agree with this.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TURK View Post
Timur actually destroyed the Ottoman Empire. (Some historians call it "Bayezid Empire".) How the Ottoman state was re-established is still quite a mystery that modern historians should answer. Quite absurdly to the modern history writings, Manuel II helped the Ottomans to build their state again. (For the case of the prince Musa, the Romanian lords helped him. Though some Turkish historians explained it with the theory that "Romanian Turkomans" helped Musa to fight Suleiman Chelebi... No comment.)
What helped the Ottomans to rise again is the absence of another great power to finish them off. Timur raided and pillaged Anatolia, but then he turned his attention to the east. Balkan states were too weak to attempt anything, they would actually participate in the Ottoman Civil War, changing sides as the tide of the war turned. Sigismund was busy with the affairs in Bohemia. The Ankara battle coincided with Sigismund's attempt to depose Wenceslaus from Bohemian throne. So there was no one to really finish what Timur had started.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 10:56 PM   #9

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That is true, there was no other power in the region to finish off the Ottomans. Though I am wondering if this would have happened 50 years earlier then Byzantine were still be strong enough to recapture some parts in Anatolia. But I also wonder if they would have been able to reverse the Turkization and Islamization in Anatolia ?

On the other hand if Timur never attacked Golden Horde, then I wonder we would not have seen the rise of Russia and the fate of Eastern Slavs under Tatar Yoke would be same as those of Southern Slavs under Ottomans.

In the 19th century, Europe would have seen two sick men in the Eastern Europe and there would have been no obstacle in the path of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
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Old March 4th, 2017, 02:48 AM   #10

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Timur didn't finnish off the Ottoman Empire, just like he didn't finnish off several of his enemies, merely because he did not want to.He perpetually campaigned to keep control of his army and repeatedly raided his neighbouring territories for loot.If he was to have stopped this policy it could have encouraged a rival to try and replace him.
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