[FIRST MODERN ARMY OF THE IMPERIAL OTTOMAN] Historical autograph document sealed 'Hüsrev Mehmed' addressed to Serkâtib of Humayûn sealed 'Mustafa Nuri', about the formation of the first modern army of the Ottoman Empire

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KOCA HÜSREV MEHMED PASHA, (Ottoman admiral, reformer, and statesman, who was Kapudan Pasha ("Grand Admiral") of the Ottoman Navy), (1769-1855), Autograph Correspondence & Document of Ottoman Court in the Period of Sultan Mahmud II], Constantinople, [AH [1]247] = 1831.

Original manuscript autograph historical document sealed 'Hüsrev Mehmed' sent to (and responded by) Serkâtib Mustafa Nuri. Written on polished paper with a watermark. 39x21 cm. In Ottoman script. (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). Slight foxing and stains on paper, otherwise very good. 12 lines in 1 page.

Extremely rare autographed historical document containing the formation of the first modern army of the Imperial Ottoman in the Reform period by Koca Hüsrev Pasha, who was the most authoritative person after Sultan Mahmud II, shortly before the Egyptian Campaign (1831-1833). 

The importance of this document is that it has many hints of modernization movements of the last period of the Empire, a depiction of the division of the first modern Ottoman army (Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye) and eight years before the proclamation of the Tanzimat [i.e. Reform] and after 22 years of Turkish Magna Carta (Sened-i Ittifak). Starting sentence (Elkab: "...oglum evlâdim hazretleri") of this document is used by Koca Hüsrev Pasha for the first time as a Reform period phrase in Ottoman diplomacy.

In the document, he organizes the battalions of the newly established army and distributes high-ranking soldiers such as Mehmed Namik Pasha (1804-1892), Dilâver Pasha, and Mehmed Pasha. He writes about the Istanbul and Anatolian parts of this new army. Another part of the document indicates in accordance with the courtly manners, the situation will be conveyed to the sultan. Countersigned by Sertkâtib Mustafa Nuri.

Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediyye [i.e. The Victorious Soldiers of Muhammad] was an ocak (military unit) of the Ottoman army established by Mahmud II, who also disbanded the Janissary Corps. After The Auspicious Incident and the disbandment of the Janissary Corps, Mahmud II established a new military ocak, and Agha Hussein Pasha was appointed to the command of the corps. Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha served as their serasker.

Janissary resistance to reform finally came to an end following the Auspicious Incident in 1826 when Mahmud II obtained a fatwa sanctioning the slaughter of the Janissaries and the abolition of the corps. The destruction of the Janissary Corps opened the door to a new period of Ottoman military reform. The state began recruitment for a new European-style army, the Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediyye (Victorious Troops of Muhammad). The state also began centralization of the military. In 1834, the state established reserve armies in the Anatolian and Rumelian provinces.

The state planned to create an army based on discipline and drill. The Ottomans invited many skilled officers from Europe to train recruits in European drills and maneuvers. In addition to infantry training, the new army developed regular cavalry squadrons which adopted the methods of Hungarian Hussars. Eventually the government devoted institutions to the study of military science and tactics. The Military School for Officers was inaugurated in 1836 and an artillery school opened soon after in 1837. In addition, the Ottomans sent cadets abroad to study at military institutions in Paris, London, Vienna, and Berlin.

He was an Ottoman admiral, reformer, and statesman, who was Kapudan Pasha ("Grand Admiral") of the Ottoman Navy. He reached the position of Grand Vizier rather late in his career, between 2 July 1839 and 8 June 1840 during the reign of Abdulmecid I. However, during the 1820s, he occupied key administrative roles in the fight against regional warlords, the reformation of the army, and the reformation of Turkish attire. He was one of the main statesmen who predicted a war with the Russian Empire, which would eventually be the case with the outbreak of the Crimean War.

In 1826, Hüsrev Pasha played vital roles both in the Auspicious Incident (the annihilation of the Janissary Corps in 1826) and in the formation of the new "Mansure Army", modeled after those of the European Powers. Appointed as serasker (commander of the army) of the Mansure in May 1827, Hüsrev reformed and disciplined the corps. Himself ignorant of modern military methods, he assembled a staff of foreign experts and other personnel to assist him, the "Seraskeriye", which constituted the first staff in Ottoman history. Due to his early championing of military reform and virtual control over the new Ottoman army, Hüsrev was able to install many of his protégés in senior military positions. In total, Hüsrev's household produced more than 30 generals.

Devletlü inâyetlü atifetlü refetlü seniü'l-niam oglum efendim hazretleri,

Diğer ariza-yi abîdânemde beyân-i ictihâd olundugu vechile insallah artik Ayastefanos'ta istikbâl-i hazret-i tacîdâr-i şerîfe nail olacak alaylardan Asâkîr-i Hassa-yi Sahâne'den Dilâver Bey bendelerini Birinci Alay'dan iki tabur ve Mehmed Bey bendelerini Ikınci Alay'dan iki tabur, ve Namik Bey bendelerini Üçüncü Alay'dan iki tabur, yirmibeser dizi üzerine tertîb olunmus ve mühimmât-i harbiyeden dahi (?) iki tabur ve Birinci Alay-i Mansûre'den (?) iki tabur, Asâkîr-i Mansûre-yi Muhammediyeler'i tertîb olunarak ihraca ictihâd olunacagi muhât-ı ilm-i alîleri buyurulduk da olbabda (?) emr ü irâde-i seniyye-i mülûkâne ve emr ü fermân ihsân-i hümâyûn hazret-i tacîdârâne efendimizin ifadesine ictihâd olunmustur efendim.

Fî 9, [12]47, [Seal of Husrev Pasha].

Devletlü, inâyetlü, atifetlü peder-i (?) efendim hazretleri,

Isbu sukkâ-yi sâmîleri [.] cenâb-i hilâfetpenâhî buyurularak Asâkîr-i Mansûre-yi Muhammediyye alaylarindan zikr ve beyâni buyurulan taburlarin olvechile tertîbini nezd-i mekâr-i müfd-i sahâneden dahi (?) nesb-i alî buyurulmakda oldugu malûm-i valâlari buyurulmak içün esâde-yi itidâd kilindi efendim.

Fî 11 sene [1]247 [Seal of Serkâtib Mustafa Nuri].