Turkish Cannons

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Turkish Cannons

Postby cannontickler » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:59 pm


Those devious Turks will stop at nothing! Must assume there is another cannon on the other side for balance. Notice the lit match - ready to fire?!?! Well, T. Kosciuszku in his 1800 treatise Maneuvers of Horse Artillery (prepared for the American army, published 1808) mentioned that when he first brought up the concept some officers apparently thought that he meant that the artillery pieces were to be strapped on the horse's back.

Seriously, though; the image may be an accurate portrayal of cannons in transit, and the artist may have misunderstood... the lit match may be a bit of his imagination. In fact the Turks' most numerous cannon in the field army was the one and half-pounder, called shahi zarbzen , which wieghed 125 pounds. Two such were carried by a strong packhorse; and a camel would have no problem with such a load plus rider as well. The field carriages were carried dismantled on other pack horses, or in wagons; or tripod firing stands could have been constructed in the field from local materials. (The Scots used a similar system, with their lightest cannons.)

The Turks were effective engineers and their artillery use was good, really excellent in sieges. Because so many of their operations were hundreds of miles from their major cities, they mastered the practice of casting large cannon locally, when preparing for a siege. For example, five 70 pdrs and three 50 pdrs were cast in preparation for the siege of Baghdad, and rafted the remaining few miles to firing position. (R. Murphy, Ottoman Warfare 1500-1700)

it was a quick process until they made it efficient .

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