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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jul, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Heavy armor of mamluk vs european knight via 1000-1600         Reply with quote

I believe the mamluke is the saracen that beat the crusaders back. Mamlukes had armor as heavy, if not as heavy as crusaders. They shared all of the weapons like a crusader, and they had horse archery along with damascus steel.

Any thoughts?

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Peter Lyon




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Training. If I remember right (and I know there are more knowledgeable people here to help) the Mamelukes were originally slaves taken to Egypt from the Caucasus region; they were impartial to palace politics originally so were good soldier material. They were trained specifically to fight from childhood without the burden of other duties that the European knight had (they were also trained soldiers, but in a different way). The mamelukes were superb horsemen and archers among other things, and very disciplined. They also had the advantage of fighting on "home" territory against the Europeans.

Command and control is another issue - Mamelukes were a unified force, the Europeans often suffered from disjointed and sometimes poor leadership.

Still hammering away
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with many things. The mamlukes had also great close quarters weapons. I do believe a knight is a great warrior whom is up there.

My personal belief is that europe and the middle east had the best ancient and medieval warriors, agreed?

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wars are rarely won because one force has better individual soldiers than other or slightly better equipment. Muslims didn't have much success in fighting Crusaders until they unified under Sultans like Saladin. Unity, numbers and resources won the Muslims a war, not superior weapons, not even superior discipline. Mamluks were good, disciplined, professional warriors, but so were knightly orders like Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights.
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Wars are rarely won because one force has better individual soldiers than other or slightly better equipment. Muslims didn't have much success in fighting Crusaders until they unified under Sultans like Saladin. Unity, numbers and resources won the Muslims a war, not superior weapons, not even superior discipline. Mamluks were good, disciplined, professional warriors, but so were knightly orders like Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights.



Muslims did not win because of numbers, in several battles the muslims won when outnumbered by the Crusaders such as the siege of Shaizar, battle of Harran, battle Harim, all the battles in the Second Crusade and many more. The numbers in many battles varied greatly

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
Wars are rarely won because one force has better individual soldiers than other or slightly better equipment. Muslims didn't have much success in fighting Crusaders until they unified under Sultans like Saladin. Unity, numbers and resources won the Muslims a war, not superior weapons, not even superior discipline. Mamluks were good, disciplined, professional warriors, but so were knightly orders like Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights.



Muslims did not win because of numbers, in several battles the muslims won when outnumbered by the Crusaders such as the siege of Shaizar, battle of Harran, battle Harim, all the battles in the Second Crusade and many more. The numbers in many battles varied greatly


Single battles don't win wars. Crusaders lost because they couldn't replace lost men as fast as Muslims could. Single battles were won and lost on both sides against both smaller and bigger enemy. hattin was a decisive battle only because Crusaders couldn't replace lost men fast enough. saladin could afford to lose battles like montgisard and few years later he was back with equally large army.
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
Wars are rarely won because one force has better individual soldiers than other or slightly better equipment. Muslims didn't have much success in fighting Crusaders until they unified under Sultans like Saladin. Unity, numbers and resources won the Muslims a war, not superior weapons, not even superior discipline. Mamluks were good, disciplined, professional warriors, but so were knightly orders like Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights.



Muslims did not win because of numbers, in several battles the muslims won when outnumbered by the Crusaders such as the siege of Shaizar, battle of Harran, battle Harim, all the battles in the Second Crusade and many more. The numbers in many battles varied greatly


Single battles don't win wars. Crusaders lost because they couldn't replace lost men as fast as Muslims could. Single battles were won and lost on both sides against both smaller and bigger enemy. hattin was a decisive battle only because Crusaders couldn't replace lost men fast enough. saladin could afford to lose battles like montgisard and few years later he was back with equally large army.


Hattin was won because of strategic superiority. The crusaders were cut off from water, at that point, they already lost

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Noah on Hattin. It was a very strategic battle and Saladin's movements leading up to the confrontation and timing of the battle are to be regarded as an example of excellent generalship. The haste and overconfidence of the Frankish army also accounts for much of the utter defeat of that encounter, however...

Otherwise, it is pointless to argue about manpower - the Franks were clearly outnumbered in Syria throughout the twelfth century generally speaking - though in some particular engagements they did gain numerical advantages, the records (both Frankish and Arabic) indicate that it was usually otherwise. Defensive strategies and the control of the coastlines were what provided the military lifeline for the crusaders, far more than any intrinsic technological or disciplinary advantages of European soldiers.

-Gregory
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's just kinda upsetting that people make the Crusades sound like a bunch of super all powerful Europeans vs thousands of I'll equipped amateurs.

In reality both sides had probably some of the best warriors in the medieval world *cough cough* not the samurai

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Pieter B.




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While Hattin was indeed a good move on Saladins side there was something else at play.

The movie Kingdom of Heaven depicts the choice to confront Saladin in open battle as a somewhat rash one. While it's true the Crusaders were a bit overconfident their decision to strike out is a somewhat sensible one. Open battle of which they had won a few in a recent string of victories seemed like a good thing to do rather than wait for Saladin to come to Jerusalem and play this game called: Not starving in the worlds worst supplied city.

As for the stereotype of all powerful crusaders. It is indeed the case that the cavalry arm of the crusaders was more heavily armed and armored than most of their adversaries and this can contribute to the idea that the troops were of a higher quality.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
My personal belief is that europe and the middle east had the best ancient and medieval warriors, agreed?


The Mongols might not concur.

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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
My personal belief is that europe and the middle east had the best ancient and medieval warriors, agreed?


The Mongols might not concur.


I guess, but the warriors who repeatedly defeated them were mamlukes.

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
Mart Shearer wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
My personal belief is that europe and the middle east had the best ancient and medieval warriors, agreed?


The Mongols might not concur.


I guess, but the warriors who repeatedly defeated them were mamlukes.


They did not defeat the Mongols repeatedly in any serious manner. Their only major victory against the Mongols was at Ain Jalut (1260) and no other major confrontations occurred after that time. The Mongol forces at Ain Jalut were not part of the main army and were technically a rather small force compared to many other Mongol armies that were actively fighting across Eurasia at the time. The victory is certainly a credit to the Mamlukes and it was a rather extraordinary battle both in scope and what was at stake, but it does not prove any sort of superiority of Mamlukes over the Mongols. They suffered great losses in order to win the battle, and scholars have noted that at various points during that long day's fighting the battle could have swung in either army's favor.

-Gregory
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
Mart Shearer wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
My personal belief is that europe and the middle east had the best ancient and medieval warriors, agreed?


The Mongols might not concur.


I guess, but the warriors who repeatedly defeated them were mamlukes.


They did not defeat the Mongols repeatedly in any serious manner. Their only major victory against the Mongols was at Ain Jalut (1260) and no other major confrontations occurred after that time. The Mongol forces at Ain Jalut were not part of the main army and were technically a rather small force compared to many other Mongol armies that were actively fighting across Eurasia at the time. The victory is certainly a credit to the Mamlukes and it was a rather extraordinary battle both in scope and what was at stake, but it does not prove any sort of superiority of Mamlukes over the Mongols. They suffered great losses in order to win the battle, and scholars have noted that at various points during that long day's fighting the battle could have swung in either army's favor.

-Gregory


That's completely false

Here's some battles the mamlukes defeated the Mongols in after ain Jalut

-1 First battle of Homs 2 Second battle of Homs 3 Marj al Saffaree

Mongols had one victory in which they severly outnumbered the mamlukes in the battle of Wadi al Khazander

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're right, Noah, I had forgotten about both Battles of Homs! My apologies. The second battle was a very serious engagement, however in the first battle only about six thousand Mongols participated and it was during a time of civil war within the Mongol Empire. I do not consider it a very serious engagement or a worthwhile showing of military might. I had never read about the Battle of Marj al-Saffar, though it does indeed seem like quite a handsome display of military skill on the part of the Mamlukes.

It is important to consider also that the Ilkhanate begun under the reign of Hulagu was not part of the main Mongolian empire, and no campaigns directed by an actual Great Khan were ever made against the Mamlukes - in other words, the best of the Mongol's armies never fought against the best of the Mamlukes.

-Gregory
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
You're right, Noah, I had forgotten about both Battles of Homs! The second battle was a very serious engagement, however in the first battle only about six thousand Mongols participated and it was during a time of civil war within the Mongol Empire. I do not consider it a very serious engagement or a worthwhile showing of military might.


Haha I understand. Its alot of battles to keep track of. But I would agree. Just wondering, did the Mongols have a large population compared to syria and egypt?

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Mongolian empire was more or less a confederacy of subordinate states run by Mongolian warlords, and was comprised of people of all of the "nationalities" that they successfully occupied. The Mongols themselves were not an extremely numerous people, but they incorporated dozens and dozens of different tribes into their military system as they extended their range throughout the Steppes and into Eurasia. By the time of the Mamluke wars only a small percentage of the fighting men in the Mongol armies would have been of true Mongolian descent, although many of them would have been raised in the same lifestyle and lived their lives under Mongol rule.

-Gregory
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The who-was-the-best question can't be answer with any clarity, especially outside of a shared social context with strong documentation. We can perhaps claim with a measure of a confidence that the Swiss were the best heavy infantry in Europe (or in Western Europe) from approximately 1450-1550, because so many period texts take or support this position. Declaring a best across time and space strikes me as reaching. The Mamlukes during the era of the Crusaders and after certainly had impressive warriors and equipment, but who can say how they compared with troops they never faced?
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Noah A. Sabouni




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
The who-was-the-best question can't be answer with any clarity, especially outside of a shared social context with strong documentation. We can perhaps claim with a measure of a confidence that the Swiss were the best heavy infantry in Europe (or in Western Europe) from approximately 1450-1550, because so many period texts take or support this position. Declaring a best across time and space strikes me as reaching. The Mamlukes during the era of the Crusaders and after certainly had impressive warriors and equipment, but who can say how they compared with troops they never faced?


Interesting , why were they the best in that time?

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 10:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
The who-was-the-best question can't be answer with any clarity, especially outside of a shared social context with strong documentation. We can perhaps claim with a measure of a confidence that the Swiss were the best heavy infantry in Europe (or in Western Europe) from approximately 1450-1550, because so many period texts take or support this position. Declaring a best across time and space strikes me as reaching. The Mamlukes during the era of the Crusaders and after certainly had impressive warriors and equipment, but who can say how they compared with troops they never faced?


Interesting , why were they the best in that time?


Two words: discipline and organization. The Swiss confederacy was comprised of a tightly knit and homogenous urban society, and for well over a hundred years prior to the period of their military fame, the Swiss towns had been defending themselves against incursions from foreign powers (such as the Holy Roman Empire) attempting to relieve them of their urban privileges.

The towns began banding together, forming very well-trained militias, and eventually found themselves in such a position (by the mid-15th century) that they were able to make themselves available as mercenaries and turn their attention outward, instead of just working defensively.

The premise of their organization was to use squares of pikemen interspersed with crossbowmen and hand gonners to work both defensively and offensively for rather magnificent, coordinated maneuvers that were virtually unheard of among infantry formations since antiquity. The Swiss tactics were quickly adopted among Germans and the famous Landsknechts were imitators of their success, and they were also picked up by certain Italian condottieri groups among others. By the mid-16th century it's arguable that the Swiss model of using infantry in such blocks had evolved to become the basis of the first early modern standing armies.

-Gregory
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