Literature Review on Ottoman Warfare

Ottoman warfare is one of the most neglected fields in Ottoman historiography to the extent that no Turkish equivalent of the term ‘warfare' has ever been suggested to date. This article is an attempt to review the literature on Ottoman warfare between 1300-1800 and it largely covers the literature in Turkish and English. After analysing the general studies on the field, it is aimed to discuss the themes and approaches that have shaped the field under the subtitles of “General Studies”, “General Themes and Approaches”, and “In lieu of Conclusion.” A special emphasis will be done to the nature of the Ottoman expansion, frontier studies, transformations in the manpower sources of the Ottoman army and its implications for the state and society, Ottoman logistics, military technology and the tactics, and finally the navy with a view to familiarize the reader with the problematics and shortcomings of the field. In spite of the dominance of popular eurocentric and conventional views, new approaches have emerged in the last decade owing to the utilization of new archival sources as much as of comparative perspective. In the conclusion part, thus, it is dealt with possible interdisciplinary and comparative approaches that are likely to enrich the Ottoman warfare studies.


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