Armies of the Volga Bulgars & Khanate of Kazan

9th–16th centuries

Armies of the Volga Bulgars & Khanate of Kazan cover

Armies of the Volga Bulgars & Khanate of Kazan

9th–16th centuries

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The Bulgars were a Turkic people who established a state north of the Black Sea. In the late 500s and early 600s AD their state fragmented under pressure from the Khazars; one group moved south into what became Bulgaria, but the rest moved north during the 7th and 8th centuries to the basin of the Volga river. There they remained under Khazar domination until the Khazar Khanate was defeated by Kievan Russia in 965. In the 1220s they managed to maul Genghis Khan's Mongols, who returned to devastate their towns in revenge. By the 1350s they had recovered much of their wealth, but they were caught in the middle between the Tatar Golden Horde and the Christian Russian principalities. They were ravaged by these two armies in turn on several occasions between 1360 and 1431. A new city then rose from the ashes – Kazan, originally called New Bulgar – and the successor Islamic Khanate of Kazan resisted the Russians until falling to Ivan the Terrible in 1552. The costumes, armament, armour and fighting methods of the Volga Bulgars during this momentous period are explored in this fully illustrated study.

Table of Contents

Introduction: origins – from Great Bulgaria to the Volga Bulgars /Conversion to Islam, in relation to Christian conversion of Russia and Jewish conversion of Khazaria /Chronology /Rise and survival of the Volga Bulgar state – freedom from Khazar domination /Wars: Kievan Russia – the Mongol invasion and conquest – the Volga Bulgars under the Golden Horde – resistance to Novgorod /From Volga Bulgaria to the Khanate of Kazan /Arms and armour: swords and sabres – spears and javelins – battle-axes and maces – helmets – body armour – clothing /Fortifications /Siege warfare: siege machinery and firearms /Aftermath /Bibliography /Plate commentaries /Index

Product details

Published 20 Oct 2013
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 48
ISBN 9781782000792
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 40 b/w; 8 col
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Men-at-Arms
Short code MAA 491
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


David Nicolle

David Nicolle is Visiting Research Fellow at the I…


Gerry Embleton

Gerry Embleton has been a leading illustrator an…


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