The Sultan’s Raiders: The Military Role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire

From the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, the Christian nations of Europe and the Shiites of Persia were forced to defend their lands against the inroads of an ever expanding Ottoman Empire, an empire whose awesome war machine at times appeared strong enough to absorb its immediate neighbors. One of the most interesting, and militarily effective groups utilized by the Ottomans in their seemingly endless wars were the Tatars of the Crimean Peninsula. In their three hundred years of service, the Crimean Tatars contributed more to the Ottoman military than did any other of the Sultan’s non-Turkish subjects, and the account of their service with the Sultan is one of the most unusual chapters in European history. The Sultan’s Raiders: The Military Role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire by Tatar expert Dr. Brian Glyn Williams explores the role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire’s military campaigns against its neighbors with the aim of providing some insight into the controversial relationship between these two states and peoples.