Imperial Spain vs Ottoman Empire

Jun 2012
2,970
Brazil
View attachment 12119




How did such a strong union allow itself to lose so badly at Djerba?
Hello, Tsar I will not enter into the debate Spanish vs Ottomans, but Djerba happened 20 years before the Iberian Union, in 1560 the year of the battle, Portugal was ruled by the regent Catherine of Austria, king Sebastian the one that died in Alcácer Quibir and sparked the succession crisis, and later the Iberian Union was only a child he would became king with 14 years in 1568, until 1580 Portugal was not united to Spain.
 

Tsar

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
2,010
Serbia
Hello, Tsar I will not enter into the debate Spanish vs Ottomans, but Djerba happened 20 years before the Iberian Union, in 1560 the year of the battle, Portugal was ruled by the regent Catherine of Austria, king Sebastian the one that died in Alcácer Quibir and sparked the succession crisis, and later the Iberian Union was only a child he would became king with 14 years in 1568, until 1580 Portugal was not united to Spain.
Hi Tairusiano. I have explained myself in post #99. Regards.
 
Apr 2018
281
USA
There's also illustrations like this of the 1593 battle of Sisak which show christian cavalry armed with carbines routing large numbers of Ottoman lancers.



The Ottomans had been fighting against western-style pike infantry supported by shot since as least as far back as Mohacs in 1526. And as far as I can tell during the 16th century there seems to have been mixed successes for either side. In some cases imperial pike and shot infantry seems to have performed fairly well against ottoman or north african cavalry such as during Charles V's 1535 Tunis expedition, in other cases they seem to have performed very poorly such as during Charles V's 1541 Algiers expedition.

Over time you generally do see the Ottomans fielding larger numbers of infantry armed with muskets, especially after the Long War as I mentioned earlier in this thread, but they don't seem to have been at all interested in fielding large numbers of pikemen or copying the european brand of pike and shot. Similarly even when defeats occurred the Hapsburgs and other european powers don't seem to have ever been persuaded to stop trying to use pikemen against the ottomans and European military writers generally continued to interpret the Turks' lack of quality pikemen as a weakness.

(Not to imply that I agree with its assumptions, but anyone's interested in a curious bit of speculative fiction one Francois de la Noue's 1587 discourses was dedicated to planning a theoretical war in which all the christian kings in europe suddenly decided to put aside all their differences and assemble a massive force made out of all the best troops available at the time including French gendarmes, Polish and Hungarian lancers, German reiters, Swiss and landsknecht infantry, and English, Spanish, and Italian fleets, all in order to retake constantinople from the Ottomans: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A05074.0001.001/1:5.22?rgn=div2;view=fulltext)

I really don't think there's enough evidence to say that either side's "art of war" really was superior over the others. Similarly, to say that one side had a truely significant technological advantage over the other throughout this period really just sort of displays a misunderstanding about how technological transfer works in the first place. (It's kind of silly to criticize the Ottomans for a lack of ocean-going ships if they didn't actually have a pressing need for many ocean-going ships)

The currently most-agreed upon interpretation of the apparent gradual military "stagnation" of the ottoman empire during this period is that it was primarily a quantitative one more than anything else as gradually improving financial and bureaucratic instantiations in europe throughout ~1500-1700 slowly caught up with those of the ottoman empire until the Habsburgs and other western rulers were finally able to field the same kind of massive armies that the sultan could.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
@Maoistic

Please read more carefully what I write.






The only example I gave you was Buda 1541, it was a Western vs Ottoman battle. I also wrote that I don't know a lot about Western-Turkish battles and I know much only about Polish-Turkish battles.



They were, they met this and similar formations in many battles and won easily. Especially easily in battles against non-Russian commanders. I write a lot bout it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FTKXmG306ogTJ97Xng2lz-mmcK2hQ4RjBJ0Nvz-J7Z4/edit?usp=sharing



Tell me if you need more details.




Habsburg cavalry was laughable the more west you went. Those on the Ottoman border were quite good, but go to the west and you will find this what I discribed in one of previous posts in this thread, its also an answer to your other claims:








As for your other claims:




I didn't say anything like that.



But they just didn't. Did you even try to read about those wars? Europeans struggled a lot. As late as early 18th century Austria looses against Turkey (Russians did better).


Edit:


In my previous post, I confused Wimpfen 1622 with Stadtlohn 1623. I have already corrected it.
How many times will I have to repeat it? The Battle of Buda occurred under Charles V. Go read from page 3 onwards what I've said about Charles V. I thought you were referring to the Battle of Khutyn based on the image you gave me, where the Poles managed to fend off an Ottoman siege.

You base your assumptions on how fighting Austria is the same as fighting Spain. No, it doesn't work like that. Spanish troops simply did not fight for Austria most of the time and both fought with different tactics. Austria using inferior troops to those of Spain was still able to completely check the Ottoman advance after the Battle of Mohacs. Austria was part of the Spanish Empire and deviated Spanish resources to fight the Ottomans, but that is not the same as Tercios fighting for Austrians which wasn't the case.

Nor is Austria Western European, it is Central European, meaning you can't use wars between Austria and Poland and the Ottoman Empire as examples of equality with Western Europeans.

The example of Wimpfen is still not a good one because not only did the Spanish still win that battle anyway, you're using terms like "inept" which are incredibly subjective and don't say anything about the actual quality of the troops on both sides, both infantry and cavalry. This is also a single battle out of countless ones. The Tercios fought all over Western Europe, from the Iberian peninsula, to France to Italy to the Low Countries and Germany. This multiplicity of terrain and opponents proves they're not going to get stopped by simple tactics as the one you propose with the Ottoman cavalry, which proved numerous times to not be superior to Polish and Austrian cavalry.

Finally, your examples of Polish wars against Western Europeans just makes them look poor. You admit that Sweden humiliated Poland in the 16th century, that they lost against Teutonic knights in the same century, and your example of the Thirty Years War is pretty poor since sending cavalry mercenaries fighting alongside heavy infantry and artillery of Western European armies is no proof of anything.

Fact is, put an Ottoman army to fight against a Spanish Tercio of the time of the Iberian Union and beyond, and it gets annihilated, especially if they're supported by powerful cavalry from their international empire.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
It literally does say that they've been paying it. Perhaps a slight improvement of English is in order?

Anyways,

View attachment 12120

No, only says they were forced without saying they actually had been paying it, and the chart only assumes that they had been paying it yearly when they only did it at times.


My bad, meant alliance (seeing the lack of a capital letter and attribute of union). Anyways, there were no major naval engagements after the formation of the Iberian Union. Therefore, seeing that the Spanish navies lost 2 out of 3 major naval engagements of the 16th centuries (despite having all those impressive colonies) and that the Spanish Empire had smaller resources, one needs not ponder why you stick with theory.

I'll have to put another attachment to another post.
The Spanish Empire, the first intercontinental global empire in history and the biggest of the 16th and early 17th century, didn't have "smaller resources", especially not after the Iberian Union, and saying this with a straight face is ridiculous. And in one of those three engagements, the Ottoman fleet was annihilated in direct combat. Not in a storm nor because of lack of coordination.

Fact is, if the Iberian Union sends its Treasure Fleet and their Armada against the Ottoman navy, it's going to repeat Lepanto again and going to take every major Ottoman port, cutting off Ottoman supplies and thus a major source of resources to support its troops.

I stick with this theory because the Ottomans by the time of the Iberian Union were indeed outgunned, outnumbered and outsized, with inferior technology and logistical capacity, while before that they were already yielding to Spanish and Portuguese prowess.
 
Oct 2017
169
Poland
@Maoistic


How many times will I have to repeat it? The Battle of Buda occurred under Charles V.

And you said that the Ottomans didn't fight against pike-shot formations of Charles V. Besides, Buda is just one example, Turks fought such formations all the time.


You base your assumptions on how fighting Austria is the same as fighting Spain. No, it doesn't work like that. Spanish troops simply did not fight for Austria most of the time and both fought with different tactics. Austria using inferior troops to those of Spain was still able to completely check the Ottoman advance after the Battle of Mohacs. Austria was part of the Spanish Empire and deviated Spanish resources to fight the Ottomans, but that is not the same as Tercios fighting for Austrians which wasn't the case.


But the infantry of the German Empire had literally the same formations as Spanish and the name is the same: tercios. And Spanish soldiers took part in many battles against the Ottomans, for example Keresztes. And they were normal soldiers in the Thirty-Years War, not better than non-Spanish infantry, just similar.


Nor is Austria Western European, it is Central European, meaning you can't use wars between Austria and Poland and the Ottoman Empire as examples of equality with Western Europeans.

And Sweden is also not Western European, I know. But I'm talking about art of war here. Division into Eastern and Western European armies was a specific phenomenon in 16th and 17th century Europe. This is not a reference to geography or other historical periods. This period is not your specialty and you can trust me that I know what I'm talking about.
The example of Wimpfen is still not a good one because not only did the Spanish still win that battle anyway,

They won it despite making all possible mistakes. Because the enemy was as stupid as them. Wimpfen is an example of how bad were Western European armies in general, not only Spanish.


ou're using terms like "inept" which are incredibly subjective

Because transalting everything from Polish to English takes too much time and effort. But just look at this crazy way in which you discuss. You are completely blind on the arguments of the other side. Do you even allow the possibility of agreeing with the other side? If yes, then I will give you all you need to be convinced that the Spanish army was very weak in comparison to Polish one. Just tell me where do you need more details.

This is also a single battle out of countless ones.

And others were just as bad if we look at the quality of all Western European armies at that time.


simple tactics as the one you propose with the Ottoman cavalry

Which one?


which proved numerous times to not be superior to Polish and Austrian cavalry.

It was superior to Austrian cavalry, but Austrians were lerning from the Ottomans and getting better. And they had Hungarian and Balkan cavalry to help them, and they were probably better than the Austrian cavalry. Spanish didn't improve that much and even in early 17th century they were losing against other Western Europeans, like Swedes and Dutch, who combined their efforts against Poland but it didn't end well for them.


You admit that Sweden humiliated Poland in the 16th century

Eh, you didn't really read it. Zygmunt III humiliated himself without much help from the enemy. That's the only way for Poles to loose: fight against each other instead of fighting against the enemy. That case also happend in Zygmunt III army. But in general:
1. While Zygmunt's army was indeed Eastern European, there were almost no Poles there.
2. He himself was more Swedish than Polish, and especially at that point in time probably didn't really know Polsih art of war.
3. Swedish army at that time was before its westernisation and managed to "humiliate" the Polish army more then after the Swedish westernisation. So we can say that it proves that Western European armies were worse.
4. The whole thing was a kind of a joke. I was just making fun of the way in which western military superiority apologists prove its superiority. And now you fell into this obvious trap.


they lost against Teutonic knights

Lol, they didn't.
and your example of the Thirty Years War is pretty poor
I just had to describe all conflicts, that is also this one. It is better to pay attention to 1577, 1588, and to the wars against Sweden. Russia too had a large share of western art of war in its army.


Besides, those mercenaries were often winning without the help of other units. And their enemies came from all over Europe. German, English, French and others. And the same variety was in Swedish and Russian armies.


Fact is, put an Ottoman army to fight against a Spanish Tercio of the time of the Iberian Union and beyond, and it gets annihilated

But actual historical events completely disagree with you.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
I stick with this theory because the Ottomans by the time of the Iberian Union were indeed outgunned, outnumbered and outsized,
Outnumbered ? That’s funny. Don’t you know that number was one of the greatest advantage of the Ottoman Empire in the 16-17th century warfare.

Do you know how many troops were mobilized for both sieges of Vienna ? Do you realize how was the Habsburg always heavily outnumbered in the war prior to 1683 ?

The Ottomans could always mustered the great number of troops through the timar and kepikulu structure. Ten thousands of Balkan Christians were forcefully grouped into the Janissaries for augmentation of armies.

In the AD 1683 Siege of Vienna, the Ottomans even enlisted the aid of 30,000 Crimean Tatars. (though they deserted at the midst of siege, enabling the Polish winged hussars to trample upon the Turkish camp by marching across the river unopposed)
 
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Oct 2017
169
Poland
@hborrgg


There's also illustrations like this of the 1593 battle of Sisak which show christian cavalry armed with carbines routing large numbers of Ottoman lancers.

Yes, I always say that the Ottoman commanders were mostly bad. In this battle they divided their forces in such a way, that it seems the enemy had local superiority in numbers. And the Ottoman cavalry was probably too close to a river. I also don't know how often the Ottoman soldiers and horses were immune to the psychological effect of firearms. It was certainly the case for example in Parkany 1683, were they charged at Poles despite carabine(I think) fire.


Over time you generally do see the Ottomans fielding larger numbers of infantry armed with muskets, especially after the Long War as I mentioned earlier in this thread, but they don't seem to have been at all interested in fielding large numbers of pikemen or copying the european brand of pike and shot.

At the Sultan's court (or somewhere, I do not know enough about Turkey) there were aggressively combating factions. There was a faction praising everything that was Habsburg and demeaning the order prevailing in Turkey, especially Janissaries.

Similarly even when defeats occurred the Hapsburgs and other european powers don't seem to have ever been persuaded to stop trying to use pikemen against the ottomans and European military writers generally continued to interpret the Turks' lack of quality pikemen as a weakness.

However, in the fight against the Ottomans, the Austrians relied on field and permanent fortifications, where long pikes were less useful. They did differently in the fight against other opponents, where they fought more willingly with the infantry in the open field. Also, the Imperial cavalry in the fight against the Ottomans receives a lot of care from the commanders, while the great Turkish cavalry seem to fall into stagnation and the Turks want to win wars with sieges only, without caring about cavalry anymore.


I should also add, that I don't expect Ottoman cavalry to defeat pikemen as easily as Poles did it, this is why I'm especially curious about such events.



speculative fiction one Francois de la Noue's 1587

It was a popular topic at the time. Poles wanted Russians to go on this war. The Russians had great artillery.
I really don't think there's enough evidence to say that either side's "art of war" really was superior over the others.

Well, the Habsburgs ultimately went the eastern way. They started to depend more on trenches, light artillery and cavalry, their infantry focused on firepower. At the same time, the Ottomans didn't improve that much. But later, during 18th century, the whole Europe forgot how to fight. Infantry, making primitive maneuvers, was dying under fire in open field, cavalry was completely clumsy and neglected, equipement and horses were cheap instead of good, and even artillery was less numerous. But at least they forgot about sieges, that one was good. 17th century Western Europe had a fixation on sieges, though the Ottomans also always had that illness, which led them to neglect field battles, although certainly some parts of the Ottoman empire, like Tatars, didn't focus on sieges.
 
Mar 2016
763
Antalya
The currently most-agreed upon interpretation of the apparent gradual military "stagnation" of the ottoman empire during this period is that it was primarily a quantitative one more than anything else as gradually improving financial and bureaucratic instantiations in europe throughout ~1500-1700 slowly caught up with those of the ottoman empire until the Habsburgs and other western rulers were finally able to field the same kind of massive armies that the sultan could.
This is interesting and not my first time hearing it. I've seen Halil Inalcik, one of the most prominent Ottoman Historians, said in a TV show something along the lines of "Turks thought (implying forced) how to recruit villagers, train them and make massive armies to Europeans."