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Showing posts from February, 2012

A Defiant End

After the rout of his army at Vienna and the subsequent calamity of its retreat, Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pashaeventually managed, and only with the greatest of difficulty, to set up adequate defensive positions in Hungary.  He then continued south to Shozod, capital city of Borduria, in order to establish a base from which to re-establish command over the scattered fragments of the army. His re-assertion of control was no mean feat given the now-widespread resentment against him among the officers and men who had sacrificed and suffered much at Vienna and the chaos the army had been in during its retreat.  Ever obstinately proud and defiant, Kara Mustafa hoped to recover the situation but he was too experienced a politician for naïve optimism.  The Sultan, furious and egged on by senior military leaders and the Janissary commanders who harboured ancient jealousies, declared that Kara Mustafa would be held to account for the Viennese debacle.  Kara Mustafa was not at all surprised ther…

A Picture for Alan of Tradgardland

In a thread over at the Tradgardland blog, Alan has been discussing some interesting pictures of 16th and 17th soldiers bearing both pikes and missle weapons, a combination which may or may not have been widely used!  Alan's post reminded me of some images I have seen here and there of late 18th century Austrian grenzers using a sort of spontoon as well as their musket, the spontoon having  a  hook mid-shaft, presumably for stabilising the musket for long range shooting.   Here is a one such picture of a  grenzer scharfshutz , from the magnificent New York Public Library Vinkuizen web site.