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From Crimea to Baghdad: Range and Subsistence Organization of the Crimean Auxiliary Forces in the 1638 Baghdad Campaign
The Crimean forces began to take part actively in Ottoman campaigns as auxiliary forces especially at the turn of the 16th century. These forces were called for duty regularly in the campaigns against Europe and Safavids, particularly in Caucasia. The Crimean forces, that usually served as vanguards and participated in vanguard operations, also contributed to the subsistence of the Ottoman army by capturing spoils. However, the function of the Crimean forces in Baghdad campaign was different from the function of the same forces in Middle and East Europe and Caucasia campaigns. Baghdad, geographically, was rather far form the homeland of the Crimean forces and it was not familiar to them. Thus, they had to pass through Ottoman provinces/territories to reach the battlefield. In this context, this article firstly deals with the situation of the Crimean forces, one of the most important auxiliary forces of the Ottoman army in the 17th century, until the Baghdad campaign. Next, their function in the Baghdad campaign is briefly evaluated considering that it was the furthest among the campaigns they participated. On the other hand, the focus of this article is the subsistence and range organization of the Crimean forces which took an out of the ordinary route. Within this framework, it will be discussed what was needed apart from the known subsistence and range organizations-different from the campaigns that Crimean forces participated before-and what kind of a range and subsistence organization the Ottoman Empire conducted. In addition, how the organization of the Crimean forces was financed and how this obligation was shared between the units of the state will be explained. Thus, the practical solutions that the Ottoman Empire devised during a campaign will be revealed. <

1. Auxiliary Forces, 2. Baghdad Campaign, 3. Crimean Forces, 4. IV. Murat, 5. Ottoman State

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