Europe vs Asia in 1500 AD in military capability and technology

Jan 2019
106
Southeast Asia
#1
From what I found there are several comparison of European and Asian military during the 16th century, however most of the military compared appear mostly in the later part of the 16th century like Japan and the Mughal Empire.

Comparison of the Ming, Mughal and Japanese militaries in the 1590s

Spanish Conquset of Ming China

Who was 16th century leading world power?


So far I have never seen a comparison of both in the late 15th century.

The early 15th century show strong Asian powers like the Timurid, Ottoman and Ming dynasty having large advantage over European military.

Most of the comparison show that Asian powers could even the odds in the later 16th century with muskets and artillery adopted from Europe, but how about in 1500, when muskets and other European weaponry had not yet been introduced to a large part of Asia?
 
Likes: Wazowski13
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#2
Not being a topic I'm very familiar with but Portugal fought several wars in Asia in that century and by the time of the wars of Cochin the Malabares had been equiped by the Turks and even got the help of some Italian dissidents.
Nevertheless wether in Asia or somewhere else always got the impression military tactics seem to have been the decisive factor. Mentioning this from memory but Luís Mendes de Vasconcelos who had extensive military experience wrote that military experience in Asia was of little benefit to youths as battles there were carried in a too chaotic manner when compared with Europe. He used this as part of an argument against the territtorial conquests in India as he thought a small colony was enough as a landbase for the trade.
 
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Apr 2019
67
United States
#4
I'd say it definitely goes to Europe. Although the Ming Dynasty was very powerful (third greatest dynasty of China), Portuguese and Spanish (Castile, Aragon, and Navarre) militaries and technology were outstanding. The rest of Europe was also becoming more civilized and in the heart of the Renaissance and the HRE was also fairly powerful. Although if you count the Ottomans definitely Asia. Ottoman military was very advanced and organized and the Ottomans were the most powerful empire during that time period.
 
Feb 2014
246
Miami
#5
The gun powder empires, none of them European, were at their height in the early to mid 1500s. Such a battle that is famous is the first battle of panipat where the armies lead by babur annihilated the empires lacking gunpowder lead by Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi Sultanate.

I think it will be after Europe gets flooded with new world bullion and resources that Europe will be anything but a backwater.

The portuguese did have excellent ships, the best of their time; however, could not project power beyond the shores of a few out posts nor did they have the manpower for such.

Don't forget that gun powder weapons did not begin in Europe, the Europeans were able to revolutionize gun powder with the match lock which replaced the hand cannons. The match lock was still limited by weather.
 
Apr 2019
12
Vancouver
#6
I'd say it definitely goes to Europe. Although the Ming Dynasty was very powerful (third greatest dynasty of China), Portuguese and Spanish (Castile, Aragon, and Navarre) militaries and technology were outstanding. The rest of Europe was also becoming more civilized and in the heart of the Renaissance and the HRE was also fairly powerful. Although if you count the Ottomans definitely Asia. Ottoman military was very advanced and organized and the Ottomans were the most powerful empire during that time period.
The Ottomans were advanced, but could never permanently defeat the Safavid Empire.

And the battle of Chalidran between the Ottomans and Safavids was one of the first where gunpowder was used.

Finally, gunpowder was invented in China, and came to Europe though the Arabs.