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Date Posted: 09:07:34 04/29/16 Fri
Author: John Tredrea
Subject: Re: New Info on Ottomans
In reply to: Cy 's message, "New Info on Ottomans" on 00:50:21 04/29/16 Fri

More that just interesting, it is transformational. Emir's research into the Ottoman navy during the 18th century will force a revision in long standing stereotypes about the nature of the Ottoman navy, the problems that it faced, the fundamentally different tactical and strategic assumptions underlying both their fleet structure and their methods of operation.

The Ottoman navy that faced the Western orientated Russian warships was intended primarily to deal with piracy and privateering activities against the Ottoman lines of communication ranging across the Maghreb in North Africa and even more significantly between Egypt, which was the breadbasket for Istanbul and Turkey herself. It was comprised of 50 gun lightly armed "line of battle" ships that had close similarities to contemporary Spanish navios designed to maintain Spanish lines of communication with the New World. Both navies were adequately designed for their traditional roles and it was only when they came up against northern European (and Russian) battle fleets designed for a more intense, close fought, and demanding kind of service that they ran into difficulties. Both the Ottomans and the Spanish restructured their building programs as a result of the incapacity of the fleet units when confronted with a fundamentally different kind of naval warfare and both found themselves half a step behind their rivals.

Emir has been able to back up his assertions with research into Ottoman records hitherto not available in the West or even in Turkey herself. R.C. Anderson and company based their historical coverage of the wars in the Levant on fundamental misconceptions about the Ottomans and Emir's work should be a first step towards balancing the books. This is not a white wash of the Ottoman naval efforts in this period. Emir recognizes and accepts Turkish shortcomings where they exist and he is to be commended for his balanced approach. I recommend this piece highly.

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