Ottoman Empire Military

Apr 2019
67
United States
#1
Can someone explain to me why the Ottoman military was so effective and why most sources say that the Ottoman Empire only had 125,000 troops. It's hard to believe that their military was so small compared to other empires during that time like the Ming.
 
Mar 2016
749
Australia
#2
Can someone explain to me why the Ottoman military was so effective
Adopting gunpowder weaponry earlier than most European states, having excellent cavalry because the terrain of Anatolia was suited for it, and in general their army was very experienced because of near-constant warfare with a large variety of countries. They also had a very good run of highly competent rulers that were natural warrior-kings.

and why most sources say that the Ottoman Empire only had 125,000 troops
In what period? The size of the Ottoman army changed over time as their empire expanded, and depending on how much regional autonomy the governors had, how weak central authority was, and if the empire was facing civil strife.

It's hard to believe that their military was so small compared to other empires during that time like the Ming
Literally any country's army looks small compared to Chinese armies, both in ancient, medieval and modern times. It's just the nature of how enormous China's population is. It isn't reflective of other empires being weak in comparison. The Ottomans at their peak in the 16th and 17th centuries had an enormous army that was larger than all of their rivals - the Spanish, the Austrians, the Russians, the Mamluks, etc.
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#3
If you give it some deep thought - to start conquering land you only need to outnumber the forces in front of you - which may just be a town garrison militia, or maybe a few armed peasants. Then you move onto the next villages and things sort of snowball. Unless you happen to come against a sizeable standing army it goes on - and who wants to leave protecting their homes to beef up an army? All adds to the mix if the people aren't that keen on their present rulers
 
Likes: Wazowski13
Apr 2019
67
United States
#4
If you give it some deep thought - to start conquering land you only need to outnumber the forces in front of you - which may just be a town garrison militia, or maybe a few armed peasants. Then you move onto the next villages and things sort of snowball. Unless you happen to come against a sizeable standing army it goes on - and who wants to leave protecting their homes to beef up an army? All adds to the mix if the people aren't that keen on their present rulers
But wouldn't hey need a fairly sizeable military to conquer the Mamluks and Hungary?
 

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