Who will win?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Croatian-Austrian Pandur vs. Russian Strelsty Warrior Profile; Pandur


Long Range: Snaphaunce Tufenk Musket

By the 18 th century, firearms dominated the Austrian battlefield. Every infantry man was supplied a musket, from the lowest to highest ranks. The Pandurs used many different types of muskets, depending on their region. The Panders in my match up will have the Ottoman Turk style musket, the Tufenk.
The musket replaced the less accurate arqebues as the main firearm on the battlefield. It's longer range, accurately and power was desirable for both formation infantry and single irregular snipers.

The snapaunce musket was operated much like any other type of musket.  A bullet wrapped in cartridge paper was removed and tore open, an amount of gunpowder would be poured into the priming pan,  the musket ball would be rammed down the barrel of the gun by a ramrod, the musket was shouldered, aimed, cocked, and then fired. The flintlock had a small amour of flint in its firing hammer, which when the gun was fired would scraped against a piece of metal, creating sparks and lightning the powder. The cheap but re labile system was favourited all over Europe.

The tufenk was not to different from other European muskets, with only an Indian styled stock and much more design and decoration. The smooth bore of the musket (meaning the inside of the barrel was smooth unlike today's rifled guns) meant the musket could only fire accurately from 46 m to 64 m. The lack of range is why the musket was mainly used in large formations. The Pandurs used the musket as more individual weapons, using them to sharp shoot enemies at fairly far distances. The muskets fire could be used as a psychologically weapon, with the sound and flash distorting unsuspecting soldiers so very well, but could also give away the users location very easy. Reloading was also a trouble, taking up time and opening the shooter to attacks.

While the musket was almost always equipped with a bayonet, a long knife or spike at the end of the gun used for close range attacks, this match with not fetter them on ether side.

Musket ammunition consisted of smooth lead balls which was made by the muskets user himself. The size various from around 13mm to 20mm.

Medium Range: Twin Flintlock Pistols

Aside from their musket, Pandurs only carried one other type of gunpowder weapon, the flintlock pistols. Flintlock pistols were very cheap to make and distribute for a large army. Each pander was too have two pistols on him at all times. The reloading time on each pistol meant its user could only fire one shot from it per skirmish. by having two, the Pandur could not be handicapped in the middle of battle. Still, having only two shots still limited the effectiveness of it's user against a large host of foes.

The firing system is sailor to that of the musket, only the pistol would take less movement and energy to reload. While the pistol was cheap and very reliable compared to other misfiring prone guns of the time, its size and lack of rifling decreased both its accuracy and range. The average pistol could fire up to 10-20 feet, but could rarely hit a target accurately for a kill shot beyond 15 feet. The decreased power also meant an enemy at a fair range could survey a shot, even with just minimal armour.

The pistols, though limited in their capabilities, offer the ability to have two shots compared to one. When the pistols were fired, they could also be used as makeshift clubs in close range (which could happen very quickly in the single shot era), as well of being 'shock' weapons, with again the bright spark, thick smoke, and loud bang could scare the fight out of an enemy before they could even fire.

Pandurs would keep their pistols in makeshift belts of cloth around their waists. The pistol was used in many aspects of a battle, primarily if the Pandurs had to leave their defensive positions (all talk about that later). The pistol may proof to be a very lethal weapons against the Strelsty, but that has yet to be decided.

Specialized Melee: Yatagan

The yatagan has Turkish origins and became very popular in Europe from the 16 th to 19 th centuries. The light and short blade was made to be easily carried by light infantry men on the March, much like the Pandurs. The Pandurs would have gotten most of these type swords from Ottoman controlled lands where they had fought in.

The straight blade was curved forward half way through to increase the swords slashing and hacking power. the narrow tip made it very easy to puncture chain mail with. the lack of guards allowed it's user to use the sword both in one hand or in two hands. A simple amount of training was needed for this exotic blade, which could be used quicker and more lethally than many European swords of the time.

The yatagan was very common for the Pandurs, but not every Pandur would be able have one. As the sword is Turkish, the only way for most men to posses such sword was to take from the battle field of a slain Turkish army. Though Pandurs would commonly find this an easy task, younger men or those without experience in the Ottoman empire could rarely grab on to these swords easily.

shasmir, while others carried more of a European style.

The sabre was used primarily for slashing, with the design of a single edge curved blade to cut more quickly and cleanly through flesh. This was very important when the sword was used on horseback. The sword cold also stab and thrust vary quickly. The sabre did not require that much of training to use, which made it very easy for Pandurs to use. The sword was widely available for most any solider, who could use it for whatever purpose they would need.

Extreme Close Range: Hunting Knife

the Hunting Knife was the primary tool of most Austrian solider. The short blade could slice off animal flesh, cut cloth for bandage, cut through ground as an entrenching tool, and just about any type of other function a pander may need to have. a Pandur would carry up to around three knifes for various uses, including in combat. the knife could be used as a weapon of last resort, as well as an ambush weapon for sneak attacks (more about those later).

The knife will not be an overly effective weapon this fight, but could even the odds later on.


Head: Shako

The shako was a European based military cap, unique by its tall, round top and its short visor at the front.  The Pandur shako had heavy Turkish influence and design, sometimes being mistaken for other Ottoman war caps. The shako was just plainly a regular military cap, use to shade away light and heat while on the march, as well as keeping the soldiers head dry in rain or snow.

The shako was also a very versatile tool in times of need. The long, deep volume of the hat could be used to carry water or other supplies. The hat could also be placed on the ground and used as a gun rest for a musket. The shako was made of hard leather, Which would stop damage from certain explosions or blows, but the cap had very minimal protection around the face and neck area. Most Pandurs wore their caps very loosely, keeping them venerable to face shots or slashes to the neck.

A simple shako cap. The panders had a verity of colours, sizes, and designs. Pandurs also wore various types of caps and light hats in a casual manner.

Neck: See Dolman

Torso / Arms: Dolman / Pelisse:

The dolman was a simple battledress through out Europe, based on Turkish designs. The front was bound together with many layers of elaborate braids, which could stop a swords slash at a fair distance. The dolman covered both the torso and arms. The pelisse was a simple fur lined coat worn over the left arm to protect against slashes and hacks. Both of these articles lack lots of protection needed for effective defines, but still have a chance in this fight.

A simple dolman. Note the metal buttons and high collar covering the neck.

Pelisse can be seen on the left shoulder.

Legs: Pants, Boots:

Very basic clothing choices,  made of heavy materials, but both will not be very effective in this fight

Blocking: Sabre, Yatagan:

With the wide disappearance of armour and shields from the battlefield, Pandurs relied on basic blocking techniques from their two swords to keep an enemies melee attacks at bay. Still checking my sources, but the Pandurs may have been able to wield both their sabre and one of their side arms at the same time, using the longer sword to deflect and trap an opponent while keeping a fair distance away and then countering with a quick attack with the smaller, quicker blades. Either way, this section will only help the two warriors in a very close range, as nether have mobile arms that will be able to stop each others fire arms (just wait until the Strelsty, you'll see).

Formations: Defence positions

In all the past defence sections, the Panders have lack any form of protection from nearly all enemies attacks. This is because the Pandurs choose to relie on their tactics rather than bulky armour which would slow them down. Pandurs, unlike most other soldiers of the time, fight in small bands around certain, concealed areas. This allows them to use their surroundings, such as trees, bushes, hills, rivers, lakes, mountions, rocks, buildings, fences, and even animal herds as defence positions.

As the picture above illustrates,  a Pandur would use their surrounding to hide behind and protect them from enemy fire, while at the same time using it to improve their aim by propping their muskets on rocks, branches, or their hats. The use of distance is what also made this tactic deadly, as one Pandur, who could camp in the same area day in, could fire from a semi conceal location on a large group of unexacting enemy soldiers, reload, and continue firing on without the threat of return fire. Once an enemy charged to fight in melee combat, the position could be easily lefted behind as the solider could retreat to yet another position.

The only real weaknesses of the formations were the lack of protection in close range combat and the muskets smoke, noise, and flash possibly giving away the Pandurs location. Even with this, a fair amount of Pandurs in various locations around an enemy could do considerable amount of damage while at the same time defending themselves from return fire.


Training: Basic Drills, Gain of Experience, Life learned skills:

The Pandurs worked in some of the dangerous lands of their time. A Pandur would gain their fighting skill from experience on the battlefield.  A regular Pandur was only given a basic form of training before being deployed. Learning how to shoot muskets and pistols could be learned from a young age, along with basic survival skills. Pandurs were nether rich or stupid, and could care for themselves if an army or unit fell down.

Training with swords took place in camps, were it would be more of a hobby then serious training. Young Pandurs were taught on the spot how to hide, run, and conceal from enemies, and which tactics could be used in certain situations. Over time the Pandurs gain very basic skills and were able to use them very wisely. This lack of advance training done through out other armies of the time never effective the Pandurs.
                                                       Basic Pandur Style Sword Fighting

Motivation / Loyalty: Plundering, Good Employers:

Pandurs spend most of their "spare time" plundering surrounding towns and villages in the areas they were deployed in. If it was for food, equipment, or just riches, the Pandurs wanted it. These raids caused senior Pandur officers much grief, as nearly half a formation could be missing for a battle because they were plundering.

Pandurs had no true loyalty to the throne, but mostly relied on each other. Most soldiers would stay as long as they were paid. This would result in much friction between soldiers, officers, and the monarchs.

Overall Strategy: Irregular Warfare, Attack Supple Lines, Weaken Enemy for Main Army:

Pandurs were rarely deployed in wide spread battles. Instead, they were ordered to go behind enemy lines and disturb enemy supple carts and soldiers on the march. This allowed the soldiers to weaken the enemy before they even got onto the battlefield.

Lack of organization didn't bother the Pandurs one bit. Pandurs would view their job sometimes as game hunting, normally joking around fires at night in small bands. Irregular warfare was very effective against almost as enemies at the time. With elements of guerrilla warfare, the Pandur style was very deadly and ruthless.

Primary Strategy: Attack Un-Expecting Enemy, Shoot from defence positions, Close in with Pistols, Melee the Rest:

A typical Pandur attack went like this: A band of Pandurs would camp near the sides of an enemy supple route, take positions behind trees or fences, then wait. Once a risible size of enemies came by (small enough for a fight, but big enough to inflict damage on the main army) the panders would shoot with their muskets at their foes. This would cause confusion and fear that would break down their enemy. Once the enemy started to spread out, the Pandurs would move in with ether muskets or their pistols, and then finish them off with their swords.

this tactic is very effective, but could be broken if the Russian's can pull something out their sleeves. The Pandurs used this tactic as a template for many other types of conflicts. If it was small scale battle or taking a castle, the use of defensive areas with musket fire, moving in with pistols, and then finishing with swords proved to be fatal to even the most elite of enemy.

Rules of Combat: Ruthlessness, Ferocity, Never Be Afraid to Retreat, Fire Muskets Together, Move in Together, Close Range Fight Individually:

Pandurs were very ruthless, tearing apart nearly everyone who came in their way. They had no mercy and would use any cheap trick they could find. If a Pandur found a threat to big, he would call in a retreat. If his enemy started to pursue him, he would trap him and finish him off.

When it came to group combat, each man would fire their muskets at the same time, wait until they could all move in, and then fight hand to hand individually. Their ferocity was legendary in combat. The absolute killing instate of the Pandur makes up to a lot of their tactics.

1 comment:

  1. Great, Great warrior preview man. My knowledge of Enlightenment era warriors is scant, and I am happy to have learned more by reading your preview.