Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms

1826 OTTOMAN ARMY UNIFORMS

1807 New Order Army

The pre-1807, nizam-i-cedid: new order army soldiers of Sultan Selim III (1789-1807), if fully formed had been planned to consist of an army of 16,000 all ranks (if the initial trainee army had not been eliminated in a revolt in 1807) [1]:

  • The BOUSTANGEE: Sultan’s gardeners raised two regiments of infantry.
  • Mounted Lifeguards provided two squadrons of cavalry.
  • TOPCHEE: artillerymen, provided a regiment of artillery.
  • Two infantry regiments raised in Kutahiyeh.
  • Eight infantry regiments raised in Carmania.

The pre-1807, nizam-i-cedid: new order army infantry regiment had ten fusiliers companies, of 100 men each, and one company of artillery [2].

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[1] [2] Marcel Roubicek. 1978 Modern Ottoman Troops, 1797-1915: In Contemporary Pictures. Franciscan Printing Press.

1818 Boustangee Infantry

After the fall of Sultan Selim III, following 1807, some of his nizam-i-cedid: new order army soldiers survived, and were illustrated in 1818, as “European-model troops” [1] [2]. In the pre-1826 period, the imperial household troops, such as boustangees, acted as the sultan's palace guard, and were only formalised into an actual imperial guard, formed along western lines after 1826, when sultan Mahmut II reformed the bostangis [boustangees; bostandji], and reorganised these into the muallem bostansyan-i hassa [hassa]: trained imperial gardeners [3].

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[1] Marcel Roubicek. 1978 Modern Ottoman Troops, 1797-1915: In Contemporary Pictures. Franciscan Printing Press.

[2] Thomas McLean 1818 The Military Costume of Turkey.

[3] Shaw, S.J. Shaw, E.K. 1977 History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey; Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey 1808-1975 (Volume 2). Cambridge University Press.

1826 Cannon Infantry

Well before 1826, Sultan Mahmud II had allowed a smaller reformed European-trained artillery corps, and gun-carters to remain. He also built up a European-trained mounted artillery unit (1,000 men), which became his HASSA: personal guard.

1826 Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye (Victorious Troops of Muhammad).

The new army organized on Western European lines by Sultan Mahmud II, in the 1820s, also saw an order given that 150 men were to be taken from each of the Janissary ORTA: battalions, to form new units, causing the 1826 rebellion [1].

Following the crushing of the Janissary Revolt of 1826, and formal disbandment of the Janissary Corps, the new European-style army, called the Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye: Victorious Troops of Muhammad, were organised into [2]:

  • TERTEB: regiment, commanded by a BIMBASHEE: major, and comprising 15 SAF: companies, amounting to some 1,526 all ranks for each regiment [1].
  • There were eight regiments in existence, commanded by a BASH-BIMBASHEE [2].
  • The SAF: company, had a YOUZBASHEE: company captain, followed by two MOULAZEEM: lieutenants, one SANJAQDAR: flag bearer, one TCHAOOSH: sergeant, ten ONBASHEE: corporals, and a crew for an accompanying gun [3].

Various illustrations (Vinkhuizjen Collection) show the early European-trained troops of Sultan Mahmud II wearing a large rectangular brass plate on their headgear. This was likely added after the 1826 victory over the Janissary, and displayed in Ottoman script - Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye: Victorious Troops of Muhammad.

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[1] Knotel, R. Knoetl, H. Sieg, H. 1980 Uniforms of the World - A Compendium of Army, Navy and Air Force Uniforms 1700 - 1937. Arms Armour Press, London.

[2] Marcel Roubicek. 1978 Modern Ottoman Troops, 1797-1915: In Contemporary Pictures. Franciscan Printing Press.

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