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Showing posts from December, 2011

King Ivan's Campaign of 1683

Shozod, the dusty Bordurian capital located in the Danube basin, had been transformed into an Ottoman military camp by the early spring of 1683.  On behalf of the Sultan, Kara Moustafa Pasha had amassed over 150000 men under arms from such places as Rumelia, Bulgaria, the Bosporus, Anatolia and the exotic oriental fringes of the vast Ottoman Empire; by early May, these troops were billeted in the city of Shozod, capital of Borduria and awaited orders there, or were on their way.  This astonishing army was rapidly stripping Borduria barren of food and fodder, despite the seemingly endless trains of wagons, mules and even camels bearing supplies for the army.  Kara’s Mustafa’s orders were to subjugate the upper Danube and the Kingdom of Hungary (comprising the territory of northern Hungary, now in rebellion against the Habsburgs; southern Hungary, or Transylvania, was already an Ottoman vassal), and secure a defensible frontier within Austrian territory.  Kara’s Mustafa was an extremely…

Happy Holidays!

It is time for the now-traditional Syldavian Christmas greeting and toast, brought to you by a chosen grenadier of the Polishov Musketeers Infantry Regiment.  Some of you might remember him from last year; he is back this year to wish you and your families the joy of this festive season and a happy and interesting year to come.  

It is a very busy time here, as we are travelling visiting with families and old friends and delighting in our three-year-old's excitement at the holiday's bustling social round.  And sleeping in so far as we are able - something lacking the frenetic last few months.  I'm away from my Syldavian army but I am scribbling away, in a few pleasant minutes here and there, at my next post on King Ivan.  As well,  in a few minutes before retiring each night, I am putting the primer and base colours on a unit of Bordurian cavalry I brought with me...   It is a time of happy progress on all fronts.
My thanks for dropping in this blog over the last year.  W…

Syldavian History 1681-1682: Dbrnouk at the centre of attention

King Ivan’s efforts after 1677 to modernize Syldavia’s military were timely indeed.  In 1681-82, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, the Ottoman Sultan’s chief minister and satrap of Rumelia (the western provinces of the Ottoman Empire, comprising the southern Balkans) put in motion a grand plan of aggrandisement, both Imperial and personal.  Kara Mustafa sought to mount an aggressive campaign against the Habsburg Imperium and to bring Hungary, then (as always) dissenting from Habsburg rule, firmly under his control in doing so.  In order to prepare the way for his plan, and through occupation and intimidation, Kara Mustafa attempted to consolidate his hold on the Balkans and to secure from that region both sources of men and materiel.  He also sought access to ports in the Adriatic from which he could sustain a naval threat to Venice or move troops around the Balkan Peninsula.  Kara Mustafa amassed troops in Borduria and Wallachia and turned those client states into forward bases for his push…