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Thread: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

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    Default The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    This is the Army of Persia as it would have been under Nader Shah Afshar, the mighty conqueror and King of the Persian Empire.

    At the height of his career, having successfully reunited Persia from the ruin that followed the sudden collapse of the Safavid regime, having subdued the revolts and the rebellious Afghans, having beaten back the Ottomans to the gates of Baghdad, having forced the powerful Russians to a retreat from the Northern border, having devastatingly plundered the wealth of rich Mughal India before sacking Delhi and taking back the fabulous treasures of the Mughal Court back to Persia, having invaded and conquered Bahrain and Oman and having defeated the Khanates of Uzbek and Khwarezm, Nader Shah was assassinated in his tent - the Sword of Persia (as he was called by his countrymen), the Napoleon of Asia (as he was called by later orientalists) and the 2nd Alexander (as he was sometimes dubbed) fell as rapidly as he had risen - and as bloody!!!!




    this an overview of the Persian Army of this era. Due to the lack of firm historical evidence, finding information is a very hard task. However, I hope you like them and use them in your mod.

    I will post more pictures showing the detailed patterns on the uniform.
    Enjoy










    Sarbaz

    The most basic unit of infantry in the Persian army, the Sarbaz was equipped with the finest scimitars of the East. While equipped with pistols to fire at close range, their main duty was to reach the enemy lines as quickly as possible and defeat them in hand-to-hand combat. While their powerful swords were of much use to them, the disadvantage of having to brave the wave of bullets as they got close did mean that they were most vulnerable. While being one of the main units, it would have played as the secondary infantry, allowing the musketeers to fire and then joining in the mle that resulted.
    Being the cheapest units in the army, the Sarbaz did not possess the best armour and thus were easy targets for enemy guns. Their devotion to traditional warfare also made them less organised and more prone to routing.
    Their crowned turbans and red-orange coats with the white belt became quite fashionable in the 18th century and was kept throughout as the standard uniform. The boots were possibly made of leather and fur.

    Weak against cavalry and guns but very strong against infantry in close combat, it is possible that with the power of numbers, they would overwhelm the enemy and cause them to rout.
    They are best used as defensive pawns and are rarely the units to decide the outcome on the battlefield.



    Persian Infantry Officer

    Persian Infantry Commander




    Tofangci

    Recruited from the ferocious tribes in the West of Persia, these infantry units are famous for their steadfastness and accuracy. Born to shoot as a hunter, they are deadly on the field. Also adept with the sword, there seems little they cannot do. However, balancing their individual skills is their regimental skills. Difficult for them to keep formation, they are prone to any organised cavalry attacks. This is due to their lack of experience especially on the open battlefield. While very good as defensive archers, their weaknesses will show as enemy tactics get the better of them.
    Their guns are useful and they are very effective in repelling enemy attacks or supporting the main column. They are also loyal and routing them is a tough business, while instead they prefer to fight to the death – normally, this is the case.
    They wear tribal conical hats and turbans, and their belts support their daggers. They wear a golden coat with Persian patterns woven into the fabric.
    They have better armour, yet they will still find trouble against organised infantry, especially by Western standards.

    early 1700s

    mid 1700s
    Musketeer

    The elite infantry used in the Persian army, a unit of accuracy, determination and power, the musketeers are men to be feared. Armed with a musket and a sword, they are deadly from any range. Capable of keeping formation, these units are the main infantry body in the Persian army. Wearing good armour under the blue and pink uniform, their defensive techniques are as good as their offensive ones.
    It should be noted that Persian infantry were equals to Ottoman and Russian infantry on a good day and thus could tip the balance between victory and defeat.
    Strong against infantry and capable of thwarting cavalry, the musketeer was a necessity in the Persian war machine.
    They were equipped with a musket, a sword and a dagger. These were later upgraded to an elite body that bore pistols, bayonets and better muskets.
    The musketeers were normally one-half of the overall strategy, often coordinating with the cavalry to overcome the opponent.





    Dragoon

    Light cavalry in the Persian army consisted of dragoons. These units were scout units speeding around the battlefield and keeping enemy infantry at bay. They were also used to engage cavalry, however their light armour put them in excessive risk.
    Equipped with a sword and a pistol, they were the cavalry version of the Tofangci, which gave them great mobility.
    They were not effective in infantry charges or heavy cavalry attacks and would rout quickly, emptying the flank, thus inviting an enemy flank attack.
    However, they were at their best when charging from the flanks or behind, or engaging enemy dragoons.
    These units were then upgraded for better armoured, more experienced cavalry.






    Lancer
    Lancers were necessary in Persia to break the enemy attack through well crafted charges. Strong and efficient, they would strike at the flanks or the rear and would only shy away from heavy cavalry, despite having a sword as a secondary weapon.





    Heavy Archer

    While possibly extinct in the Western armies, the Persian still gave value to horse archery. This led them to produce a heavily armoured unit that along with the Savar, was capable of breaking the enemy. This feared combination led to many victories for Nader Shah.
    Equipped with a double-bow and arrows, heavily clothed in chain mail, and bearing a round shield, this unit was a dangerous foe. The sword as his secondary weapon, he was able to taken on heavy cavalry units as well.
    His feathered helmet celebrated his position as royal elite.



    Savar

    The most prized unit in the Persian army was the cataphract, or the Savar. Armoured in iron from head to toe, this ferocious unit fought with a mace, sword and shield. Having excelled in difficult training, this unit was probably the strongest cavalry unit in Asia, if not the world. Also with a feathered hat that distinguished is military rank, this horseman was not to be engaged and definitely not to be wasted. Expensive to recruit and to maintain, he is to be used wisely on the battlefield. Capable of defeating cavalry and checking infantry, these units are to be taken very seriously.
    Enemy units will find it difficult to control them. However, concentrated firepower and successive cavalry charges will neutralise them.







    Zanburakci

    Or the "camel swivel", these units became more of a formality as the 18th century gave way.
    Zanburaks are small pieces carrying balls of about a pound weight, and a few pieces of artillery. The camels are draped with red rags and each serves as a the carriage for a little cannon. They are well trained and can run, it is said, faster than a horse. The Zanburak is Persian light artillery unit with a mounted gun that inflicts great damage on heavy cavalry. A zanburak is a small weapon carried on and fired from the back of a camel. The name comes from the Arabic "zanbur," meaning hornet. Before gunpowder, early versions of the camel-mounted gun featured a bolt-firing crossbow that produced a buzzing twang at discharge, which gave the weapon its name.
    The zanburak would have acted as a strong musket.





    Camel Corps

    This unit of cavalry was often used by the Persian conqueror, Nader Shah. Since horses did not like the smell of camels, this gave the camel rider an advantage over enemy equestrians. They were equipped with lances and swords.


    Artillery

    Amongst the artillery used by the Persian army, one can mention cannon, howitzers, rockets and the zanburak guns.


    Qezelbash

    This lancer is a Qezelbash, a unit associated with the Safavid Empire of the 16th and 17th century. Great horsemen with much experience, they are a very loyal group, with great fighting skills. However, they are still mercenaries and this may cause them to flee. Their uniform is special, consisting of the unique Qezelbash cap and the blue coat. A very colourful unit, they represent the Iranian super class.


    The Afghan Corps

    A group of Afghans loyal to their master, Nader Shah, they are very loyal and ferocious in battle. They are led by Muhammad Durrani.







    The General's Bodyguard

    Wearing ceremonial pink and a conical hat, these units are equipped with deadly axes, striking fear and discord into the enemy. They also carry a pistol and a sword. Yet they exist to defend the Commanders who rally the troops and lead them to eventual victory.


    Commander

    The Commanders of the Persian army can be recognised by their lavishly decorated fur robes and their colourful turbans and uniforms. They also carry an axe along with a pistol and a sword.






    Shah

    The Supreme Commander of the Persian Armed Forces, the King of Kings, the Shahanshah of Iran, he is the most important unit of the lot.
    He is defended by the best bodyguards and he is equipped with a jeweled mace, a jeweled shield, a jeweled sword and a pistol. He wears fabulous clothes and wears his crown so that all can see him and recognise his presence.







    Hope you liked
    'Esfahan' Nesfe 'Jahan' -- Esfahan 'is' Half 'the' World
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Excellent stuff!

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    Zephrelial's Avatar Eternal Sorrow
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Very interesting and useful information.
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    Knight of cydonia's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Great info, pics and very interesting

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    persianfan247's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Cool, you wouldn't happen to know were I can find infomation on Prince Abbas Mirza's army would you

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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Great stuff mate!

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    cegorach's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Good work, even if I see a number of inconsistencies - according to my knowledge the Persians had a bit different structure of their armies.

    I cannot verify the XVIIIth century choices so I leave you the benefit of the doubt.

    The images are very good - I have seen only some of them till now, so +1 rep is what you get.


    May I ask what is the source of those names ? Especially the Savars - I thought the ordinary heavy cavalry was described as Ghulum/Ghulam (slaves) and no specific name existed for them.
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    Randarkmaan's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    I must say, very good work!
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    Praepositus
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    cool i am interested to play
    by the way i think persia should have access to indian units like balluchs and others.

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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    BTW those real parade photographs are from there 2500th celebration of the persian empire that took place in Pasargadae in 1971.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,500_year_celebration_of_Iran's_monarchy

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach View Post
    Good work, even if I see a number of inconsistencies - according to my knowledge the Persians had a bit different structure of their armies.

    I cannot verify the XVIIIth century choices so I leave you the benefit of the doubt.
    I have checked them with someone who has some familiarity with the eras after and preceding it - I must impress that these pictures are more about the Afsharid and Zand Dynasty and only the Qezelbash and one of the musketeer units (the early one of course) belongs to the Safavids.

    This is because Nader Shah, the King who united the country after the Afghan revolt, reorganised the army into a standing one and implemented very new tactics that only a brilliant general of his calibre could.

    The most basic units are the swordsmen (sarbaz), musketeers (tofangci), light cavalry (no name - similar to dragoon), heavy cavalry (no name - similar to cuirassier) and the commanders as well as the mercenary forces. Also, the zamburak and the camel corps existed.


    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach View Post
    The images are very good - I have seen only some of them till now, so +1 rep is what you get.
    Thank you - very kind - if you tell me how to give rep, I'll give all of you one
    Quote Originally Posted by cegorach View Post
    May I ask what is the source of those names ? Especially the Savars - I thought the ordinary heavy cavalry was described as Ghulum/Ghulam (slaves) and no specific name existed for them.

    Unfortunately, you are right. I had no sources, so forgive the mistakes.
    I chose "Savar" because they would probably in use in the Kadjar (Qajar) era. However, I believe that the term Ghulam was a term used only in the Safavid Empire (though I might be wrong) because of Shah Abbas' military reform, transferring the army from Qezelbash-based to Shahsavan-based. The Shahsavan were the special royal unit made up of Ghulams (that is, Georgian slaves).
    Tofangci and Zamburakci were terms used in that era however. As was most probably Sarbaz.
    'Esfahan' Nesfe 'Jahan' -- Esfahan 'is' Half 'the' World
    Espadana met del mondo
    Let's REPlicate the REPublic with our REPutation!

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Wonderful research. I was really curious what the military of Persia was like, as all my stuff centers on India. A lot of the metal armor still in use in India was used by the Persians too, I believe (hence the title of Indo-Persia). I'll post some of that here. Forgive me that some of them are exclusively Indian, I just did a copy and paste from a PM I had sent.

    ARMOR: Chahar-Ai-Ne
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Oriental Arms and Armor:
    http://www.oriental-arms.com/index.php

    I'd Highly suggest this link, and included it separate because it's got a wide amount of not just Indo-Persian but Ottoman, Arabic, North African, even Philippines arms and armor. For some reason searching the gallery only delivers weaponry, so I suggest searching for:
    ARMOR: Disc Armor
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by Ahiga; February 18, 2008 at 10:49 PM.

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    MehemtAli_Pasha's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    i dunno much about the persian history but i thought CA said they were covering the safavid empire of persia or am i wrong?

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    Erebus Pasha's Avatar vezir-i zam
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    It would be interesting if CA highlighted the conflicts between the Safavids/Afsharids and the Ottoman Empire as they included some famous campaigns and battles which aren't often covered by western historians.

    www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Quote Originally Posted by MehemtAli_Pasha View Post
    i dunno much about the persian history but i thought CA said they were covering the safavid empire of persia or am i wrong?
    They haven't, however they have said they will feature the Middle East in the geography of the map. It's quite possible that assuming we don't have a land mass connection to India, the Safavids would exist in the Baghdad/caucasus/Western Iran region featured in Rome Total war & Barbarian Invasion.

    Basically if the Safavids are featured, they'd be to the Ottomans what the Sassanids were to the east. Romans in BI.

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    persianfan247's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    I found this gallery on Persian uniforms
    http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypld...d=268527&word=





  17. #17

    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    did they get the Tufanci from the Ottomans?
    All in all, this looks a bit like the Turks in M2tw, only with more tribal units.


  18. #18
    persianfan247's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    Heres a good link, Im guessing this is where the images from the top of the page came from.

    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y23...an%20Soldiers/





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    Babur's Avatar ز آفتاب درخشان ستاره می
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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)







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    Default Re: The Mighty Persian Army (18th Century)

    This is amazing.

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