In order to remain militarily competitive in the gunpowder age, states needed cannons, cannon-proof fortifications, a sizable infantry armed with handguns, as well as, navies with shipboard artillery. In order to participate effectively in the attendant inter-state rivalry, monarchs had to create their indigenous weapons industries or supply the necessary weaponry and ammunition otherwise. In the long run, the adequate and steady supply of weaponry and military hardware proved to be more important than (usually temporary) technological or tactical advantages.
Thus, the examination of the supply of weapons can significantly enhance our understanding regarding the military capabilities of states and empires. Comparative data and analyses concerning the supply of weaponry and ammunition of competing empires in the gunpowder age might illuminate issues pertaining to larger questions, such as the shifts in the balance of power.
The aim of this book is to understand the Ottoman weapons industry, the systems and methods by which the Sultans procured their armaments during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, i.e. the crucial period of Ottoman conquests and of subsequent setback. This age was – at least in the major European theaters of war where the Empire was drawn into conflict – characterized by siege warfare rather than by pitched battles. In these sieges the supply of artillery and gunpowder was a crucial element of success, as was the defense of the Ottoman frontiers against the Sultans’ Hungarian, Habsburg, Venetian and Safavid adversaries.
2010, 384 pages, hardcover, black-and-white illustrations, maps, index, 17 x 24 cm;