The eagle's left head

One must stress that it was Murad who remained in control of the battlefields so far not the Sicilians. Th8s has a massive impact on the battte casualties. Murad may have lost 8,000 men at Kosynthos for example. But the dead and crippled would be only a portion of this. A larger portion, likely up to two thirds, will be back on campaign by the next year if not earlier. Not for the defeated who end if lucky prisoners of war, if unlucky dead on the battlefield.
Oh alright! I had thought permanent casualties. I misread the context then and it changes a lot !

Umur could field 15,000 men in 1348. Two thirds of that for Aydin post black death is a very reasonable assumption, particularly given full control of Smyrna's and the Meander river's revenues. The 20 galleys are roughly 40% of that 10,000 men which again reasonable for what the bey would directly control. Menteshe could likely recruit about two thirds that in turn.
So here's the problem with these numbers: I am under the impression that these armies didn't include just subjects of the Aydin Beylik but also gazis from elsewhere. Basically the same as the ottoman armies of the period. In at least one instance, it seems that Umur's army included Sarukhan warriors (and I think a mention for Germiyan men) as well. And then there is the matter that Yoruk tribesmen would make pretty bad rowers and sailors while they constitute superb light cavalry. The rowers and sailors of Umur's fleet should have been recruited from the coastal population, Greeks and Turks alike. At the same time, I doubt Greek rowers would participate in an army campaign. So basically, there are two different demographics for army and navy. The army is really tough to calculate since we are talking about warlords leading opportunistic confederations of tribes. That's why going backwards from later imperial ottoman statistics could be a better estimation for light cavalry and sipahis.

And at Ankara when the Ottomans definitely had the beyliks under control they fielded 95,000 men...
It seems that Black Tatars were a quarter of the total army. Recently annexed Karaman should have provided a large number of men. At some point, Karaman could field 20,000 cavalry of all types. Then there is the eretnid remnants. While I don't doubt that after Sivas fell, the authority of Beyazit over the former eretnid lands was nominal at best, tribes from their region moved west to escape Timur's wrath. I would guess that these had joined the Ottomans. Then there is Teke that before its annexation wasn't really a part of the ottoman sphere of influence like the Maritime Beyliks, Germiyan or Kastamonu.

The number of anatolian nomads were regarding the Anatolia Eyalet by the way - I forgot to mention. I might be wrong, but I think the 15th century sipahis from the Anatolia Eyalet were something like 17,000 , fewer than those of the Balkans - and that was after a proper integration and centralization process under Mehmed.

On the third hand the Ottomans also have a well established system of timars and these are not inheritable properties. They are tied down to military service. Color me unconvinced there isn't a sufficient surplus of younger sons/brothers that would not get the timar normally but have the military training to do so when empty timars either new or existing ones are around
Oh yeah, by Kosovo there were 5,000 Rumelia sipahis. The timars can reasonably replenish a lot of casualties. The difficult part will be to increase the number of timars at this point, since a lot of the land belongs to uc beys and their akinci hosts.

Where is this infantry, like the yaya, getting recruited from? Not nomads. Rather the sedentary populations including one must note Christians. So if someone expects the only or even main recruiting pool of the Ottomans by the 1380s was just Turkmen warriors... well it was not.
Certainly! The Turkmen/Yoruks were just an easy and quick to access manpower pool for light cavalry and timar-holders ( reward for clan chieftains or distinguished warriors). The infantry pool should be large although it has the caveat of producing low quality infantry. Infantry might have increased its overall percentage, but with the bright exception of the Janissaries, they were arrow-fodder for the most part.
 
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Hint. If Charles IV is not being invaded by Louis of Anjou what he was likely preparing for in 1383 and got opportunistically distracted?
Ohhhhh right I had forgotten about Anjou ! Or he could have been aiming for the Crown of Saint Stephen before he got an opportunity south.
 
Thessaly, November 1384

Ioannis Buas pulled back behind the Aliakmon river. His army was still intact. Thessaloniki was still free, if blockaded. But nearly the entirety of the rest of Macedonia had fallen to the Ottomans, who had further secured Prilep, Monastir and Stip from the Serbs to the north of Lascarid Macedonia.
"from the Serbs"...
Well, now that the Serbs have just been dragged into this war, something tells me that the pressure on Buas will come down with the spring.
What will it be? Kosovo or Plocnik? I can well imagine the battle being Murad taking on the incoming Serbs and ignore the much smaller Lascarid army, only to see Buas sneaking on from the rear.

Since the situation is dire on every front, has Ioannis II levied the "subvertio generalis" ? The communes most reluctant to it the last time are now in revolt.
 
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@Lascaris, has there been any use, or experiment of gunpowder and guns by the Lascarids so far?

I ask this because, as we near the age of gunpowder, I've read about a mention of "archibuxoli" in the employ of Bernabo Visconti in 1364. And in 1375, the French arrayed a battery of 32 cannons to bear against Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte.
Since nothing stimulates creativity and industriousness better than desperation, and the Lascarid Empire is in serious danger between the Turks, the Angevins and the Latin Revolt, I imagine we could see this war birthing some tactical and technical innovations in gunpowder artillery.
I suspect use of handcannons would still be too marginal, and artillery not mobile enough, to have any significant impact on battles and maneuvers until later in the 15th century. But a stationary use of gunpowder artillery, to defend Thessaloniki or to crush rebel castles in the Val di Mazara for example, could be within reach.
If the French could put 32 cannons together at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, how many could Ioannis II bring in his bagage train ten years later to besiege Palermo ?

I understand artillery in the Hundred Years War was a capital intensive endeavour, but the centralized administration and the fiscal apparatus of the Lascarid Empire would enable such developments. Cannons would be expensive, but require less manpower than galleys, though said manpower would have be high skilled to handle them.

 
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@Lascaris, has there been any use, or experiment of gunpowder and guns by the Lascarids so far?

I ask this because, as we near the age of gunpowder, I've read about a mention of "archibuxoli" in the employ of Bernabo Visconti in 1364. And in 1375, the French arrayed a battery of 32 cannons to bear against Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte.
Since nothing stimulates creativity and industriousness better than desperation, and the Lascarid Empire is in serious danger between the Turks, the Angevins and the Latin Revolt, I imagine we could see this war birthing some tactical and technical innovations in gunpowder artillery.
I suspect use of handcannons would still be too marginal, and artillery not mobile enough, to have any significant impact on battles and maneuvers until later in the 15th century. But a stationary use of gunpowder artillery, to defend Thessaloniki or to crush rebel castles in the Val di Mazara for example, could be within reach.
If the French could put 32 cannons together at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, how many could Ioannis II bring in his bagage train ten years later to besiege Palermo ?

I understand artillery in the Hundred Years War was a capital intensive endeavour, but the centralized administration and the fiscal apparatus of the Lascarid Empire would enable such developments. Cannons would be expensive, but require less manpower than galleys, though said manpower would have be high skilled to handle them.

It has been mentioned in a previous update that the Lascarids used cannons in a siege, although I can't remember in which update.
 
It has been mentioned in a previous update that the Lascarids used cannons in a siege, although I can't remember in which update.
I don't think so.
I checked the updates as far as 1348 and did not find any mention of gunpowder artillery.
At July 1368 entry on the second siege of Chalkis, where there is a summary of Lascarid siege operations, no mention either.
 
I don't think so.
I checked the updates as far as 1348 and did not find any mention of gunpowder artillery.
At July 1368 entry on the second siege of Chalkis, where there is a summary of Lascarid siege operations, no mention either.
In the 1st siege of Rhodes I think it was from the Hospitallers were it was mention that new machines were used but made more smoke than damage.
 
Rhodes, May 27th, 1346

Grand Master Helion de Villeneuve died aged 76. Dieudonne de Gozon who took over command of the knights forces was by all accounts a gallant man who claimed to had slain a dragon in Rhodes [1] This wasn't making his supply situation with Rhodes closely blockaded by 30 galleys on the seaward side and Buas on the landward side any better. And Buas unfortunately for De Gozon was not showing any hurry. After all he had plenty of supplies. Why lose men assaulting the fortifications the previous grand masters had reinforced? His siege engines had of course kept the walls under constant fire lest the defenders get any ideas, he had even used a couple odd contraptions brought from Sicily that made more noise and smoke than actual damage on the walls but otherwise he waited on the city to starve or someone to open a gate to him...
here you go @galileo-034
 
In the 1st siege of Rhodes I think it was from the Hospitallers were it was mention that new machines were used but made more smoke than damage.
So it's established they have a pre existing manufacturing base for guncraft.
And I surmise the Lascarids will develop an advantage in gunpowder artillery, over the Ottomans notably, that will only go growing over the next decades.

One just can look at the decisive role the French overwhelming advantage in artillery played in bringing about the English defeat in the Hundred Years War.
Unlike OTL adversaries of the Ottomans, in Anatolia, the Balkans, or Greece, the Lascarids have the resources to litterally "outgun" the Turks. No Hungarian engineer selling his skills to the Turks because the Byzantines can't afford him here.
 
@X Oristos, any idea of which locations in the Lascarid Empire might be the best suited to host foundries for guncrafting, and where would they procure the iron or bronze from ? Athens has its shipyards, Messina and Monemvasia their merchants and bankers, but who is going to end up as the pole of guncrafting?
 
@X Oristos, any idea of which locations in the Lascarid Empire might be the best suited to host foundries for guncrafting, and where would they procure the iron or bronze from ? Athens has its shipyards, Messina and Monemvasia their merchants and bankers, but who is going to end up as the pole of guncrafting?
The great iron masters of Bergamo and Brescia gradually started getting employed in other parts of Italy, There is some iron in Fiumedinisi near Messina and a blast furnace was built there in later centuries in OTL. Stilo in Calabria has a decent amount of iron and in 1490 the first blast furnaces were built there. There were more blast furnaces in Regio. The Visconti connection is an excellent way to attract miners, smiths and armorers in Calabria.

Cyprus is always an excellent source of copper. I guess they can buy cornish tin as most of Europe did.
 
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I understand artillery in the Hundred Years War was a capital intensive endeavour, but the centralized administration and the fiscal apparatus of the Lascarid Empire would enable such developments. Cannons would be expensive, but require less manpower than galleys, though said manpower would have be high skilled to handle them.

Artillery is there but at the time being is still in the "useful but not decisive" category. It will not be before the 1420s before siege artillery begins to turn decisive breaching walls and deciding sieges. Or for that matter can be have a serious effect in field battles with the Hussite wars.
 
Part 80
Calabria, February 1385

Fourteen thousand men under John Hawkwood advanced into Calabria. Here Neapolitan progress would prove quite more difficult as Hawkwood was starting to advance into territory solidly loyal to Syracuse. But as long as Ioannis II army was tied down in Sicily the Neapolitans would keep gaining ground slowly but surely.

Palermo, May 1385

Bombards, trebuchets and catapults begun bombarding the city. Black death and the wars had brought Palermo down to slightly over twenty thousand people a far cry from its heyday a century earlier when it had in excess of a hundred thousand. But the city was still proud and strongly fortified. Neither was going to stop Ioannis II as he put it under siege from both land and sea.

Cape Zafferano, Sicily, June 18th, 1385

The Neapolitan navy lacked the support of Genoese mercenaries this year. Charles IV had copied a trick from the Lascarid playbook granting letters of marque to anyone, no matter the nationality, who cared to attack Sicilian shipping but had given his gold to actually pay for more mercenaries under Alberico de Barbiano. Thus the fleet trying to supply Palermo had but 17 galleys to the Sicilians 29. Ioannis II would win the most crushing victory in his naval career to date taking or destroying a dozen enemy galleys barely losing a thousand men.

Constantinople, June 1385

Andronikos IV died. This would not end the internal trouble in the empire, or its remains anyway as Andronikos son Ioannis VII would continue to challenge his grandfather Ioannis V.

Palermo, July 28th, 1385

The city had held out for weeks after the failure to relieve it at Cape Zaffereno, Potentially it could had held out longer as its garrison was too strong for Ioannis II to storm it. But in the end this was a civil war and with supplies dwindling not everyone cared to fight to the bitter end in what appeared to be a lost cause. In the end one of the guilds would make a deal and throw open the gate it guarded. Ioannis II army would enter Palermo in triumph. Sicily was once more under the full control of Syracuse.

Messina, August 18th, 1385

The Sicilian army begun crossing to Reggio. By the end of the month it would be skirmishing with Charles mercenaries in Calabria. With the two armies roughly matched in numbers neither side would press for battle. But the Neapolitans further advance south would be stopped cold.

Nis, September 1385

The town fell to the Ottomans.. Murad had chosen against trying to break Buas position on the Aliakmon. Instead he had start consolidating the Ottoman conquest, continued besieging Thessaloniki, defended by Ioanna Lascaris Philanthropenos, much to the sultans chagrin. While Lala Sachin pasha held Buas army in check, Bayezid had advanced north at the head of twenty thousand men securing Serb and Bulgarian territory while smaller Ottoman raiding parties ranged even further out.

Thermi, October 10th 1385

Aydinid and Menteshe fleets had tried to effect a desultory blockade of Thessaloniki. Leon Kallergis had repeatedly broken it but had lacked the numbers to decisively engage the Turks. Now reinforced by a dozen galleys from Sicily, Kallergos had pressed home to permanently decide the issue. His Turkish opponents would stand their ground and lose fifteen galleys and over three thousand men for less than half as many Greeks.

Hungary, December 1385

Charles IV had crossed over to Dalmatia at the head of but a handful of men in a bid to oust Mary of Hungary and secure the throne for himself. Being the senior male Angevin around he had quickly gained the support of large sections of the population and nobility, entering Buda in triumph and being proclaimed king instead of Mary. It was not an event to make Ioannis II happy as the last think he needed was having Naples and Hungary united under the same king.

Syracuse, January 6th, 1386

Alexandros Lascaris Maniakes was married to Maria Olivera the youngest daughter of prince Lazar of Serbia. Given the bad blood over Adrienne the elder neither side was altogether happy at the idea of a marriage. But Adrienne was dead for years and prince Lazar could well recognize the need to hold back the Ottomans before it was too later for the Christan states in the Balkans...
 
Hungary, December 1385

Charles IV had crossed over to Dalmatia at the head of but a handful of men in a bid to oust Mary of Hungary and secure the throne for himself. Being the senior male Angevin around he had quickly gained the support of large sections of the population and nobility, entering Buda in triumph and being proclaimed king instead of Mary. It was not an event to make Ioannis II happy as the last think he needed was having Naples and Hungary united under the same king.
If that goes like OTL...

Nis, September 1385

The town fell to the Ottomans.. Murad had chosen against trying to break Buas position on the Aliakmon. Instead he had start consolidating the Ottoman conquest, continued besieging Thessaloniki, defended by Ioanna Lascaris Philanthropenos, much to the sultans chagrin. While Lala Sachin pasha held Buas army in check, Bayezid had advanced north at the head of twenty thousand men securing Serb and Bulgarian territory while smaller Ottoman raiding parties ranged even further out.
With third of the Ottoman army is stuck south keeping Buas in check or besieging Thessaloniki, how does that alter the outcome of a Kosovo style battle. Unlike OTL, the Ottomans can bring their full numbers against the Serbs alone, and then, if something goes bad Kosovo style, there is still an intact army in the south ready to jump in; not to mention if things go as OTL in Hungary, Buas' army would possibly double in number come the summer or the year after.
 
If that goes like OTL...
I don’t see why it wouldn’t unless the assassin just has bad luck. Charles has the churches backing here but I don’t see that changing the fact Mary’s mother wants her back on the throne. Ladislaus (assuming he has the same name and birth) is nine and is likely going to be in no position to continue the war, particularly if Hungary starts making angry noises at Naples which seems likely. So I think Status Quo Ante Bellum is likely agreed to quickly before Hungary might start actually supporting Sicily.

Which leaves the Sicilians the opportunity to move unitedly against a currently split Ottoman force. Honestly I’m not sure what the out come here is. I feel like a crushing Sicilian victory over the smaller force is possible and would leave the ottomans and the Sicilians at a bit of an impasse as neither would likely want to roll the dice on one big battle. So the ottoman’s probably keep what they took for the most part. I could see the Sicilians try to grab Gallipoli again though to try and strengthen their position for the next conflict.
 
I don’t see why it wouldn’t unless the assassin just has bad luck
Shhhhuuh... I'm already hearing Lascaris saying "that can be arranged" ^^'

Even if Charles IV is assassinated as OTL, his widow Margaret, as regent, won't abandon his conquests in Lascarid Italy as if nothing had happened. Ioannis II would have to reclaim the lost provinces.
Of course, if like OTL, between Urban VI shenanigans, the barons, and Joanna still alive, and Otto of Brunswick invading on her behalf, and possibly the infant Louis II's, behalf, so resistance might crumble, but I doubt this will all happen within a couple months.
Ioannis would have to push Hawkwood out of Calabria, then push into Basilicata, then free the Terra d'Otranto, and finally Bari. That took the Lascarids three years (1349-1351) the last time, at a time Naples was in a considerably worse state (five years of war, loss of Sicily, Black death, charles III dead, Hungarian invasion...), and the Lascarids in a comparatively better state (no Kosynthos disaster, no domestic revolt). The Albanian, Vlach, and Greek loyalists in Basilicata or Terra di Otranto might help a bit by putting pressure on the rear of the Angevins, but I'm skeptical that would be enough.
Ioannis would be the most lucky of men if he could pull this off in 1385, and be free to focus all of his manpower on Macedonia in 1386. He won't be able to divert a significant fraction of his manpower to reinforce Buas until, and if, Joanna invades.

Then, since Louis I of Anjou is dead, I'm curious to know who is going to be her successor now. Naturally, one would presume the infant Louis II would inherit his father's rights, but I suppose Joanna can still adopt someone else. And in the hypothese she still marries Otto of Brunswick, what are the odds of her adopting Otto's nephew, one John III Palaeologus of Montferrat ?
That's a silly idea, but consider a cousin of young Alexandros, not yet the Third of his name, on the throne of Naples...
 
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Charles IV had copied a trick from the Lascarid playbook granting letters of marque to anyone, no matter the nationality, who cared to attack Sicilian shipping
It would make sense that most of the privateers would be Genoese, Catalans and Provencals. The latter might be persuaded by Joanna not to assist the usurper, but in any case, there won't be any dearth of privateers.

While Lala Sachin pasha held Buas army in check
Interesting! In this timeline, Lala Sachin seems to be the Macedonia uc bey. He was certainly a capable commander, although his command at Plocnik left much to be desired. He had poor control over his akincis and he led his men in a trap. He was facing an army built around heavy cavalry and he wasn't just beaten back - he had to suffer heavy casualties. But how can knights inflict massive casualties to dispersed light cavalry ? My only guess would be that Lala Sachin's army was trapped in the narrow valley, indicating that he walked into a trap.

Aydinid and Menteshe fleets had tried to effect a desultory blockade of Thessaloniki. Leon Kallergis had repeatedly broken it but had lacked the numbers to decisively engage the Turks. Now reinforced by a dozen galleys from Sicily, Kallergos had pressed home to permanently decide the issue. His Turkish opponents would stand their ground and lose fifteen galleys and over three thousand men for less than half as many Greeks.
Kallergis lacks the men to use his new naval supremacy to go against a well-fortified and well-garrisoned target. Even so, there are a number of less important targets that could be of help to the sicilian war effort. There are a number of small islands off the ottoman coast that become useful raiding bases.

With third of the Ottoman army is stuck south keeping Buas in check or besieging Thessaloniki, how does that alter the outcome of a Kosovo style battle. Unlike OTL, the Ottomans can bring their full numbers against the Serbs alone, and then, if something goes bad Kosovo style, there is still an intact army in the south ready to jump in; not to mention if things go as OTL in Hungary, Buas' army would possibly double in number come the summer or the year after.
We might not get an ATL Kosovo at all. Murad can use Nis as an akinci base to raid Moravan Serbia, without forcing a battle with the Serbians. It wil depend on how confident his recent victories have made him.

Even if Charles IV is assassinated as OTL, his widow Margaret, as regent, won't abandon his conquests in Lascarid Italy as if nothing had happened. Ioannis II would have to reclaim the lost provinces.
He seems to have a personality similar to OTL since he crossed the Adriatic with just a handful of men and not an army. That is a huge bet on his popularity. Hungarian aristocracy was very rarely united and even when it happened it didn't last long. In order to secure Hungary he needs an army loyal only to himself or gold to disperse. Charles Robert secured his position by having angevin gold - and he was more capable than Charles IV. What gold Naples now has, is going to Hawkwood's sellswords and soon the sicilian fleet might do what the Sicilians have done best for the last century: appear in front of Naples and cause considerable economic damage.
 
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