|A couple of Dixon(?) figures I made into a command stand|
|A Mulazin (lieutenant) of Nizan-i Cedit and standard-bearer|
|The officer on the other end (in the round cap) is a kolugasi or senior lieutenant - the title meant 'chief of slaves in the Sultan's service' (typical Ottomans!) although they were recruited from Turks rather than subject or conquered peoples|
The Nizams actually worked well despite the opinion of many Europeans that they were a barely organised rabble. In truth they were relatively well equipped and trained at first by European officers. Their Turkish officers were a bit of a mixed bunch by all accounts - court favourites of the Porte getting the plum appointments etc, but when it came down to it they generally acquitted themselves well. Napoleon faced them at Aboukir during the Turks attempted invasion of Egypt (they lost that one big-time) and also at Gaza (lost again) but surprised the French by fighting like demons to the last. In fact Napoleon was so impressed by the danger the few thousand survivors posed to his tenuous line of supply that he had them all killed (a very Ottoman-like gesture) in a slaughter that besmirched his career and reputation. He finally encountered them at Acre where a small orta (regiment) of about 400 joined with a motley collection of Turks, Syrians and British sailors and marines under Sir Sydney Smith to completely stymie Napoleon in one of the great turning points in history. All of which makes for endless 'what-if' wargaming possibilities. I think the French in Egypt one of the most neglected and underrated of all the episodes of the Revolutionary/Napoleonic period. The whole enterprise was astonishing in its scope - the largest (successful) sea-borne invasion force at least in modern warfare, before the Allied armada at D Day in 1944. Had Napoleon been successful in the siege of Acre, it would have opened the entire Middle East to him - there was little to oppose a march on Istanbul and there was nothing between him and British India. The forced French retreat back across the waterless Sinai to Egypt was a disaster unparalleled until that in Russia thirteen years later.
|March column of Nizam led by a kolugasi|
Anyway, pretty pleased with the way they turned out. The flags are sort of conjecture - the green one is anyway - but they match the first Turkish national flags that appeared around that time. Nizams may have carried unit standards similar to those of other Turkish units like the Janissaries but the flags appear unique to them during this period. The next lot to tackle are the Janissaries and I am unashamedly going to plagiarize those wonderful Old Glory ones that Vinnie has on his Lonely Gamers blog. If I can paint them half as well I'll be very pleased indeed. BUT for the moment I have to drop everything and paint WWII Italians in anticipation of my first game in ages next month - a Bolt Action Alamein series of games. So I'd better stop blogging and get cracking on my Italians!
I've just now looked at the photos and realised that I've done something that's punched the red up to a horrific purple-pink - dammit! They did NOT look like that when being processed for the blog! Grrrr....