Medieval Armies DBA Page

Anatolian Turkoman:
Variant Army #160c

By David Kuijt


The DBA army lists are often a little simple; at the back of the DBA manual the authors admit that, and recommend that omissions be corrected by taking the DBM army list for a given army and translating it into a 12-element DBA army list. One particular omission is the armies of the Anatolian Turkish Emirs from the defeat of the Seljuqs in 1260 until the last one is conquered by the Ottomans in 1515.

Anatolian Turkoman

In 1260 the Mongols under the Ilkhans attacked and severely weakened the Seljuqs, resulting in the fragmentation and dissolution of the Seljuq Sultanate. Their DBA army disappears soon thereafter, as the various individual emirates became independent. The only DBA army representative from Anatolian Turkey after 1260 is the Ottomans, who were originally just one of a dozen Emirates, and don't begin until 1280.

In the west the Ottomans began the gradual envelopment of the other Anatolian emirates in the middle 14th century. The first of them to fall to the Ottomans was Karasi, in 1346. In campaigns in 1389 and 1390 Bayezid conquered the five Aegean coastal emirates: Saruhan, Aydin, Menteshe, Germiyan, and Hamid. He conquered Karaman in 1397, but in 1402 Bayezid was crushed by Tamerlane at the Battle of Ankara, and all the Anatolian Emirates except Karasi were reinstated. Saruhan was reconquered in 1410, but it wasn't until 1425-1427 that the Ottomans managed to regain most of the others. Karaman retained its independence until the later 15th century. Dulgadir, on the border of Syria and the Mamluks, wasn't finally conquered until 1515, in the war where the Ottomans conquered the Mamluks and became sole rulers of the Eastern Mediterranean.

#160c Anatolian Turkoman (1260 AD - 1515 AD)

Based upon DBA Army Book IV, army 49.

Enemy Notes

Note that a number of the armies listed as enemies are variant army lists not in the DBA listings. They are intended to give more detailed definitions of under-represented armies in the Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia.

The Cilician Armenian kingdom was a major participant in the later crusades, and a stalwart opponent of Muslim raids. In the 13th and 14th centuries its territory was gradually conquered by the Emirates of Hamid and Karaman, and by 1375 the Mamluks conquered the remainder.

The Byzantine so-called Empire of Trebizond was invaded by neighboring Anatolian Turkish Emirates off and on until its final conquest by the Ottomans in 1460.

The Byzantine Empire proper (#153d Palaiologan Byzantine) was a major target for Emirates on its border until they were cut off by the rising power of the Ottomans. After the absorption of Karasi by the Ottomans in 1346 there was no common border between Byzantium and any non-Ottoman Turkish powers, so conflicts between Anatolian Turks and Palaiologan Byzantium only occurred before 1346.

After the fall of Armenia in 1375 some of the Turkish Emirates, in particular Dulgadir, bordered upon Mamluk territory. Dulgadir was allied with the Mamluks from the early 14th century until its fall in 1515, with a brief interlude (1485-1491) when the Mamluks attempted to replace the Dulgadir Emir and they called in Ottoman support. and others against them.

After the Ilkhans of Persia broke the Seljuq Sultanate they enjoyed theoretical overlordship over Eastern Anatolia, but warfare was endemic and the Il-khans could not exert control.

In 1401 Tamerlane attacked a number of Turkish Emirates on the way towards crushing the Mamluks, and in 1402 he invaded for real, crushing the Ottomans at Ankara and reinstating all the Turkish Emirates that had previously been conquered by the Ottomans.

The interactions between the Ottomans and the other Turkish Emirates have been discussed at length.

The coastal Emirates were sites for raiding on Christian commerce, and were often raided in return. Some of these raids were full-scale invasions that involved long-term capture of important port cities. Interactions between the Anatolian Turks and any of armies 162a (Knights of St. John on Cyprus), 162b (Knights of St. John on Rhodes), 162c (Lusignan Cypriot) 165 (Catalan Company) 169a (Venetian in Greece), and 169b (Genoese in Cyprus) would be of this nature.

Army Notes

Cavalry would represent the better equipped troops of the Emir, possibly supplemented by mercenaries. They would have bows and hand weapons, but few lances. Many would be wearing leather lamellar armour, some with mail or iron lamellar armour and limb defences.

Light Horse are unarmoured Turkoman horse bowmen.

Psiloi were unarmoured archers; Auxilia would be poor spearmen from the larger towns.

Some of the coastal emirates had extensive artillery by the late 14th centuries.

February 21, 1999: some text modified (small mods)

Page created: February 19, 1999

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