Imperial Spain vs Ottoman Empire


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
it is logical that the Ottoman empire centuries XI XII XIII XIV was larger than the Spanish empire the Spanish empire was only born when Portugal took the initiative of the maritime discoveries but was in the fifteenth century.

What a mania to say that spain is the best.
I remember 1964
A thousand pesetas was worth 300 escudos

I can see....

ALMOGÁVARES.... expedition to.... Anatolia.... for your eyes.

14th Century.... they were thought Anatolia... they arrived to Armenia where they won a memorable battle and then they ruled Greece and sometimes Albania and Bulgaria´s area.

Yes, early 14th Century..

Feb 2019
Where did you have in mind Buck? Unless you count Ottoman proxys like the Barbarossa brothers in North Africa. I suppose the very end of the siege of Malta might count.
Thanks for the response John: "What Martin wrote (below)" I would say, except I would flip his Spanish/Ottoman percentages (though he is just as likely to be right as I am).


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
I wouldn't put the Almogavares as a 'Spanish Empire' expedition at all. They were shipped off out the way by Aragon because they became a nuisance to their own side after troubles with France and in Sicily were over. I've quite recently read that book written a couple of centuries later. But it's all pre 'Spain'


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
I wouldn't put the Almogavares as a 'Spanish Empire' expedition at all. They were shipped off out the way by Aragon because they became a nuisance to their own side after troubles with France and in Sicily were over. I've quite recently read that book written a couple of centuries later. But it's all pre 'Spain'

Well, John... your opinion is interesting... but I don´t agree... Of course you are right... Almogávares were sent to Sicily and then to Southeastern Europe because they were "trouble"... for the kings... and they worked as mercenaries in Byzantium till the Basileus betrayed them! From this moment, they decided to conquer a place under sun...

And they were loyal to the King of Aragon..they fought under the Aragonese Flag. In a small book, Los Almogávares. José A. Moreno Echevarria.Barcelona.1972 he wrote as the Almogávares wee bound to collapse the byzantinian Empire. They crushed Michale IX Palaiologos in the battle of Apros... they exterminated fierece Alans in the battle of Hemus Mountain...they broken the Turks in the battle of Taurus... in Anatolia... who other European just did it?

If they didn´t conquer Bizantine Empire and the whole of Anatolia was only (the great handicap in Spain) becuase lacked of man power... not enough number! They were only infantry (typically spanish.. the Infantry) and they lacked of siege machine to conquer the cities. If the kingdom of Aragon would have sent machines and more soldiers...everything suggests that the almogávares would have conquered the Eastern Empire and annihilated the new Turk Power in Anatolia.

If Aragon (that have conquered Sardinia, Sicily, Naples) didn´t conquer Anatolia and Bizantyne Empire was not because Turks, Alans, Greeks were able to defeat Almogáveres (they never lost a battle.. as you well know).. if they didn´t conquered Constantinople it was only because of the mediocrity of the aragonese king:

The overly cautious Jaime II .. a specialist in small politics who dedicated himself to waste his time in Sardinia, supporting the Pope ... and had "vertigo" to conquer the Byzantine Empire... instead of Jaime II, it would have been in the throne Jaime I, Peter III, Alfonso V or Ferdinand Anatolia and Balkan would have been Spanish "Autonomus Communities" ... The Aragonese Almogavares as the Castilian conquistadores in America... open a world for the Spanish Empire...
How would have been the history of the World if to the Spanish dominions in Sicily, Sardinia, Naples, Malta... we would have added the Bizantine Empire and Anatolia? Mediterranea sea would have been a Spanish lake... ruled in it two exist: Gibraltar Straits and Dardanelles...
And not turks at all... nor in Europe nor in Asia... Who Turk would have been able to defeat the "Almogávares"? None... The Almogávares only needed two campaigns to crush the Turks in Anatolia..drove them out further Taurus and Cilician gates!
George Finlay wrote Almogavares could have conquered the Byzantine Empire and exterminated the Turkish Empire at its birth if trhey would have been supported by the Crown of Aragon.

All these possibilities offered the almogávares to Aragón and therefore to the future Spanish empire. The doors of a new world in the fourteenth century. as later Cortes and Pizarro would do in 16th Century. The epic of the Almogavars in Anatolia and the Balkans was not an isolated event. It was the most glorious episode of the Aragonese expansion and the future announcer of the Castilians in the Indies.

¡Aragón, Aragón! ¡Desperta Ferro!

Roger de Flor, Bernardo de Entenza, Bernardo de Rocafort, Jiménez de Arenós, etc etc are in the same leval as Cortes, Pizarro, Almagro or Valdivia
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Sep 2014
As far as I recall these two power houses never met in open battle, maybe Naval battles but the Ottomans only ever faced the Austrian branch of Habsburgs but not the Spanish.

I'm wondering if 16th Century Imperial Spain met the Ottomans in field warfare, head on, no logistical advantages either way, who would likely be the victor?

I think its a tough one on the one hand you have the elite Tercio pike squares, Spanish Conquistador type cavalry, Spanish Sword & Buckler, Muskets etc vs Ottoman Jannisary corp, Sipahi Cavalry and Turkic hit and run tactics alongside and Imperial Kapikulu core.

I can't think of a bigger head on from two super powers since the Romans went head to head with the Parthian's ......... in fact I would say this would of been bigger than that all things considered.

My personal view ...........

Tercio's would be hard to stop, no one really managed it in Europe until the development by the Dutch of increasing the front firing lines for more muskets so I find it difficult to imagine the Turks even the Jannisary managing to halt their advance ........ however.
The Tercio's are quite sluggish and the Ottomans possessed not only a well drilled Jannisary musket and archer line, but also mobile horse archers firing in from the flanks so the Tercio gunners would of had spread targets all across the front and flanks which isn't great for them not to be able to concentrate their fire.

Cavalry wise again Spanish conquistador type Demi lancers vs Sipahi would be a thoroughly interesting match up, Spanish Demi-lancers at this time were not the lapsing behind France and England the way they may of been in the 14th or even early 15th Century, Spanish lancers at this stage were high level, the Sipahi have always been good quality and then we have the Kapikulu Sipahi and Silahdar which should be a match for any Spanish Cavalry.

Infantry wise I'd have to side with Jannisary polearms and Kilij infantry over the Spanish Sword & Buckler, as much as I know their skill was elite with the sword I think the fierceness and in particular the Jannisary polearm orta would have an advantage.
If it were Spanish Rodelero vs Jannisary Kilij its very tough but I'd fancy the expertise swordsmanship of the Spanish although again the Jannisary Kilij is deadly and they are likely to be tougher.

Any thoughts on how this would turn out based on the quality of their armies at this juncture?
The Spaniards and Turks met in North Africa.
Mar 2016
According to wiki page, this battle was a bit pre-determined considering the resources allocated by both sides, i.e., a sizable Ottoman force vs Spanish Garrison. Do you have sources for a proper pitched battle, e.g., Battle of Kosovo, between Turks and Spaniards in 16th century?


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
There were some direct confrontations, on land. And I think that in North of Africa they also fought, not just with Ottoman "proxies". But from my mind I recall this one: Siege of Castelnuovo - Wikipedia
Also Barbarrossa (wasn't Castelnuevo Venecian?). Obviously there would have been some small meetings somewhere, but Ottoman influence in the Magreb was often nominal and patchy, more patchy the further west you get. At one point there was more interest by the Sultan of Morocco (which then of course included Oran, Tremecen etc) to ally with the Spanish to avoid Ottoman interference. Last time I posted that I remembered which book I read it in - may have been Yuber Pasha/Timbuctu etc.

I don't recall reading of any sizeable Ottoman forces in the Western Magreb