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The Practice of StrategyFrom Alexander the Great to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Colin S. Gray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608638.001.0001

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The Ottomans: From Frontier Principality to Empire

The Ottomans: From Frontier Principality to Empire

(p.105) Chapter 5 The Ottomans: From Frontier Principality to Empire
The Practice of Strategy

Gábor Ágoston

Oxford University Press

From its rise around 1300, and continuing from the mid‐fifteenth century until its demise during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was a crucial player in European and Asian power politics: first as a major Islamic threat to Christian Europe and later as a weakening military power over whose territories and resources the European Great Powers competed. In Chapter 5, Gábor Ágoston examines the grand strategy of the early Ottomans, focusing on how a small Turkic principality evolved into an empire with the conquest of Byzantine Constantinople (1453). Ágoston suggests that until the late sixteenth century, the Ottoman rulers sought ‘the gradual expansion of earlier Ottoman frontiers into a world empire by defeating Christian and Muslim neighbours and rivals and incorporating their territories’. Changes in the geopolitical setting during the mid‐sixteenth century caused the Ottoman strategy to shift towards defending earlier gains, using fortresses, garrisons, and provisional forces.

Keywords:   Ottoman Empire, war, strategy, power politics, military power, Constantinople, Christian, Muslim

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