Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

3 - The Wagon Laager Tactics and A Connected Military History of Early Modern Asia

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

In 1526, the Timurid prince Babur defeated a vast Afghan army on the fields of Panipat, near Delhi, paving the way for the Mughal Empire in South Asia. The same year, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent routed a Hungarian army at Mohacs in course on his westward expansion into Europe. Interestingly, the battle tactic that brought these two rulers their two landmark military victories was exactly the same. Was this merely a coincidence? Or was there more to this trans-continental military connection? The present paper argues that this battle tactic was developed by the Ottomans at the turn of the sixteenth century. They had forged together cavalry tactics of the Central Eurasian steppes and infantry warfare of Central Europe. The product earned them their famous victory over the Safavid king Shah Ismael at Chaldiran in 1514. The Safavids learnt this tactic in this battle, which they deployed against their Uzbeg adversaries in eastern Iran. Meanwhile, it was two émigré gunners – one Ottoman Turkish and the other Persian – who brought Babur this military knowhow when they joined his army in the 1510s. Through the agency of Babur, this battle tactic then helped establish Timurid military supremacy in North India in the mid-1520s. Charting out this trajectory of the movement and use of this tactic from Central Europe to South Asia through West Asia, Iran, and Central Asia, the present paper highlights the nature of connectivity and interaction that linked the seemingly distant parts of sixteenth century Asia.

Pratyay Nath

Ashoka University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Pratyay Nath


Assets

3 - The Wagon Laager Tactics and A Connected Military History of Early Modern Asia



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for The Wagon Laager Tactics and A Connected Military History of Early Modern Asia