View Full Version : Tuetonic Turkopolen
08-31-2005, 06:22 PM
The Tuetonic Orders list has two elements of LH, which on reference to the DBM list could be either Turkopolen or Livonian horse archers. Turkopolen are described as "natives who scouted and formed a second line of battle" Livonians were also natives. So how do you distinguish your Turkopolen from your Livonian horse archers? Suggestions welcome.
08-31-2005, 07:21 PM
Interestingly, the same question was asked recently on the Toy Soldier e-mail list, and I immediately promised to provide details from my historical sources.
And now I can't find them.
So my now unsupported answer is that I modeled the Turkopolen as being similar to Cuman or Tatar light horse, with a more Eastern-style dress and red caps. (And yes, this was mostly because I had some spare Cuman and Tatar figures, but my sources did support that decision. If I could just find them.)
08-31-2005, 07:35 PM
Here's an excerpt from DK's 1.1 army essay on the Teutons. It should help I think:
"The remainder of the mounted contingent was formed of subject horse called Turkopolen after the native mounted Turcopoles in Outremer. These would be Livonian and Lithuanians, fighting in their own fashion as light horse. The Lithuanians favored distinctive ribbed shields and fought with a lance, although they also carried a bow. Livonian light horse seem to have been primarily horse archers."
08-31-2005, 08:41 PM
Chris wrote: The Tuetonic Orders list has two elements of LH, which on reference to the DBM list could be either Turkopolen or Livonian horse archers. I believe the two types reflect the period and location of the order. Turcopolen; the Order is stationed in the Outremer and Livonian would characterize the Order's relocation to Prussia. The difference between the two would be their clothing; one arabic influenced the other Baltic. To distiquish them from their enemies I painted a small square on their left shoulder with a black cross following the placement of red or white crosses by other crusaders.
Just an idea.
08-31-2005, 09:30 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. The name Turkopolen certainly came from the experience of the Crusaders in Outremer with Turkish auxiliaries or Turcopoles, but unfortunately, the Teutonic Orders list only spans their presence in the Baltics, starting with the Livonian Sword Brothers founded by the Bishop of Riga in 1201. So the TO Turkopolen represent light horse recuited from Baltic tribes, which is why I'm not sure how to differentiate them from the Livonian horse archers also provided.
Most TO armies that are available to peruse on-line tend to field Turkopolen as mounted sergeant-types, with helmet, shield and spear, but no metal armor. This is how the Essex army pack is put together as well.
As an aside, it seems strange to me that we have army lists for Estonians, Prussians and Lithuanians (including Samogitians), but none of the other major Baltic tribes: Curronians (Curs), Semigalians, Latgalians (Lats or Latvians), Selonians, Nadruvians, Prussians, Jotvingians, Skalvians, etc.
[ September 01, 2005, 00:13: Message edited by: Chris Brantley ]
09-02-2005, 07:16 AM
So the TO Turkopolen represent light horse recuited from Baltic tribes, which is why I'm not sure how to differentiate them from the Livonian horse archers also provided. Chris,
As mentioned in the Later Crusade DBM list, the Turkopolen offered support for the Knights and are classed as regular so would they not have had some uniformity of dress? The change from Cv to LH possibly reflects the adaptation to terrain and the enemies they fought. My own Livonian horse archers have a variety of colours, but do have a pennon or banner of the Order. In fact all the elements have some kind of banner, pennon or gonfalon with the exception of the horde; they have priests leading them.
The above mentioned tribes were quickly subdued by the Danes, Livonian Order or picked apart by the Russians of Novgorod. The Estonians seemed to have lasted long enough to have a list created. According to the Chronicle of Livonia, it was not an easy conquest.
09-02-2005, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by Timurilank:
[QUOTE]As mentioned in the Later Crusade DBM list, the Turkopolen offered support for the Knights and are classed as regular so would they not have had some uniformity of dress? The change from Cv to LH possibly reflects the adaptation to terrain and the enemies they fought. I'm not sure that Livonian "Turkopolen" would have had the same level of proficiency and discipline as the Turkish/Armenian "Turcopoles" of Outremer and don't have my DBM book to see whether DBM classes the TO Turkopolen as regulars. I certainly agree they were probably recruited and used in similar roles. I envision them with spears/light lances and bows, and possibly some light body armor, as contrasted with bow-armed Livonian "native" horse archers. I want to use Gladiator Prussian horse, but they are throwing javelins. The Gladiator Lith horse is bow armed and will work for native horse, but I prefer the look of the Prussians for the Baltic tribes. So I'm in a quandry.
Other figure suggestions welcome.
09-02-2005, 04:18 PM
Essex has two packs of light horse you could use:
EMED22 is holding a lance and ribbed shield and has a bow in a bowcase.
EMED24 is firing a bow and has a javelin
There are two poses in each pack; you can see pictures of both of these on David Kuijt's figure review webpage.
I used both of these for my bbdba Teutonics and am happy with the results.
09-12-2005, 02:24 PM
In the rather over-simplistic DBM classifications and interpretations, I believe the relevant point is that the Turcopoles are classed as LH(O) whereas the Livonians are classed as LH(F). The key text in the generic descriptions of these classes (as I'm sure that you know) is that the LH(O) relied on javelins and other close-order weapons to skirmish (light lances perhaps) whereas the LH(F) were essentially exclusively horse archers alone...
Thus for me I've gone for some javelin / shield armed chaps for the Turcopoles (I think I used Museum's Turcopoles for some and Essex EMEDs for some others) and some baggy-hatted archers types for the Livonians (I think I used a mix of all sorts for these but mostly Essex EMEDs again).
However if I were to start again I think that I'd get some of the Gladiator Lithuanians etc. for them instead...
Does that help at all?
09-12-2005, 05:32 PM
Yup..and thanks again for all the helpful posts.
I can also confirm that Teutonic Order Turkopolen are classed as regular LH (O), suggesting they deployed and fought with more cohesive formations and tactics than the LH(F) native horse archers. I've decided to go with the Essex EMED22 to represent them.
10-03-2005, 07:24 AM
My personal interpretation is that Turkopolen refer to domesticated Baltic type cavalry. I would discount the "horse archer" concept immediately.
The rationale is that Baltic countries are more or less taiga - wooded and marshy land amongst with rivers, lakes and arable land. No open ground for horse archers - steppe, puszta or desert - in Baltic lands. Full stop. Any light cavalry would be javelineers and fight with bows only when dismounted.
My personal idea would be of light javelineers equipped with a bow case not unlike the contemporary Lithuanians. Gladiator Miniatures provides nice Lithuanian LH. I would use them.
The name "Turkopole" (plural Turkopolen) refers clearly on Order's Christianized Turcoman light cavalry at Outremer. It implies the troops were either members or confrates of the Order, and would wear insignia of the Order in battle. Natives would be there just because of opportunity to loot, or to conscripted to defend the lands against Lithuanians, Swedes or Novgorodians.
I would distinguish Turkopolen by having them wear either surcoats or shields of the Order, and the Livonians by having them be fully native.
10-03-2005, 10:20 PM
Susanna wrote: The rationale is that Baltic countries are more or less taiga - wooded and marshy land amongst with rivers, lakes and arable land. No open ground for horse archers - steppe, puszta or desert - in Baltic lands. Full stop. Any light cavalry would be javelineers and fight with bows only when dismounted. At the moment only Knights may dismount as blade or spear class foot troops. I would like to see that ruling extended to include other mounted troops that could dismount as 3/4Bw; such as Lithuanians and Mongols. For my scenario games this is possible.
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