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Non- Mediteranean Naval Warfare

Discussion in 'Research' started by trentonian7, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

    I've been researching dhows and sea travel in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea in antiquity and up until the 1500's or so and while I've found information on that, I've struggled to find information on naval combat. What kind of warships did ancient Indians, Iranians, and other peoples on the Indian Ocean sail and what kind of tactics did they use? Anything, really would be great.
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

  3. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    Found this, although I am unsure of its accuracy.
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I know I probably sound like a broken record, but ... library. You may happen upon something with some meat on it, but it's unlikely. That said, this search string "medieval naval warfare in the indian ocean" returned some worthwhile hits. This one might prove even better
    "medieval naval warfare in the indian ocean bibliography site:edu"
    Also, sometimes a single word can make a significant difference
    "medieval naval tactics in the indian ocean bibliography site:edu"
  5. Peat

    Peat Sage

    Slightly later than your requested period, but this still has some useful info.

    World History Connected | Vol. 12 No. 1 | Andrew de la Garza: Command of the Coast: The Mughal Navy and Regional Strategy

    Which also told me that for the medieval period in India, you're looking at the Chola Empire - Chola Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - and that their invasion of Sri Vijaya in 1025 was probably the high point of Indian naval warfare in that era. This - https://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/publication/1210 - might be a useful book if you can somehow order it through your library.

    The Chola Navy does extend far back enough that we get ancient as well and a bit of poking at that got me this link - Naval Warfare in ancient India - Naval Warfare in ancient India. Published in 1930 so a little out of date, but better than nothing.
  6. AJ Stevens

    AJ Stevens Minstrel

    This might seem a bit silly, but I ran into a mine of information while playing Total War: Attila. It's very much based around the Mediterranean, but includes some of the middle eastern empires, such as the Sassanid.

    Here's the link, you should be able to navigate from here. Total War Encyclopedia

    Here's an excerpt as well. See if this is the sort of thing you're looking for.

    A heavy warship, the dromon is the master of the waves.

    The word 'dromon' is derived from the Greek word ‘dromao’, which means ‘to run’, and was applied to light, swift vessels built in a variety of forms and sizes. At the very minimum a dromon had a crew of 200; 50 men to the lower bank of oars, 100 on the oars above, and 50 combat marines. It is thought that lateen sails were used rather than square ones, and that for some reason it was armed with a spur at the bow of the ship, rather than a ram. Some were reported to carry pipe-like weapons used to project Greek Fire onto enemy ships.

    Fighting effectively at sea takes skill, courage, and sea-legs in abundance.

    Naval warfare in the ancient world was just another way for infantry to fight one another. The earliest documented naval battles are those of ancient China, 'grapple and hook' battles where boarding operations and close-quarters combat decided the victor. During the Second Punic War, Rome famously broke Carthage's mastery of the waves by creating the 'corvus' - a bridge that allowed its soldiers to board and fight. The distinction, then, in antiquity, between fighting on land and at sea was small, yet chiefly a matter of 'sea legs' - maintaining balance whilst toppling your opponent.

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