Akinji: The ferocious cavalry force of Ottomans
Akinji Bahini was the name of a fearless guerilla group of the Ottoman Caliphate. Numerous poems and stories have been written about their bravery and bravery in Turkish literature. This force, composed of various Turkic groups, was not part of the regular Ottoman army. These light-armed cavalries were like the Crusaders to the Templars and the Knights. Apart from guerilla warfare, they were well-versed in frontline battles.
In hand-to-hand combat, they were so feared by the enemy that they were called the sharp scythes of wheat - cutting the enemy in front like wheat. They would attack the enemy with arrows, shields, swords, axes, and spears. However, they were not made part of the regular army under the Ottoman Caliphate. However, along with the regular forces, they fought on the front line and received a share of the spoils of war. These forces were particularly adept at secretly destroying enemy supplies and infiltrating their trade routes.
Identity and characteristics of Akinjid
Malakoşglu, Turhanli, Omerli, Mihali, and many other Turkic groups were included in Akinji's army. The valor of these Akinjids was so great that in many battles the Akinjids ended the war before the main army of the Ottoman Caliphate entered the battle. Akinjira were the frontline warriors of the Ottoman army. In the beginning, the enemy could not cope with the light cavalry Akinjider in surprise guerilla attacks or hand-to-hand combat. As a result, the heavy cavalry also fled the battle at the beginning of the battle. Many times the Ottoman generals did not deploy heavy cavalry on the battlefield relying on Akinzid. Because Akinji was very skilled in overcoming the heavy cavalry of the enemy. For example, in the Battle of Karvaba in 1493, the Ottomans won without deploying any heavy cavalry, relying only on the skill of the Akinci forces. Akinjid's horses were very swift. Especially this horse's breed was preserved and bred further.
Heroic saga of Akinjid in the battle of Karvaba
During the reign of the Ottoman Caliph Bayezid II, this battle was fought with the army of the Croatian Empire on 9 September 1493, when Croatia voluntarily merged with the Hungarian Empire. Ancient historians describe this war as the first dissolution of the Croatian kingdom. This field of Karvabara is a part of the Lika region of Croatia. The Ottoman forces were led by Hadim Yakub Pasha, the sanjak-bey (local governor and general) of Bosnia. And the Croatian army was commanded by Emeric Derenčin, the High Military Administrator of Croatia—under King Vladislaus II Jagilo. In the early summer of 1493, the Ottomans marched through Croatia into Carniola and Styria. The Ottomans entered the Karvabara field through the narrow mountain pass of Gorica. After a meeting with the generals, the Pasha sent about 3,000 Akinji cavalry to ambush the enemy in a jungle near the Karbhabar field. Although it was an open-field battle. Meanwhile, the Croatian army was initially deployed on the slopes of the eastern part of Karvabara field.
The army was divided into three groups. The first consisted of Slavonian troops led by Franzo Berislavić, the second was under Ivan Frankopan Cetinski, and the third was led by Nikola VI Frankopan and Bernardin Frankopan. Croatian infantry and cavalry were divided equally into all three divisions. The commander-in-chief of the army was Ban Emerick Derenchin. The Ottoman army was also organized into three groups. The first was led by Ismail Bey, the governor of Bekrushevak, the second was led by Sanjak Mehmed Bey of Uskup, and the middle group was under Hadim Yakup Pasha. Isak Bey Kraloglu, son of Stephen Thomas, King of Bosnia, also fought on behalf of the Ottoman Caliphate. The Ottoman plan was to drive the Croatian forces further west to the side of the forest where they set up an ambush. Croatian forces advanced on the left while Ismail's right flank attacked first. The Croatian army then left the shield and rushed toward the Ottoman troops, and the battle began in the open. The battle was fought with swords, bows, and arrows that could not be used. The Ottoman forces retreated at first and began a planned retreat. which lured the Croatian army into pursuit, leading to certain destruction. A 3,000 cavalry Akizni in the wooded area of the Karvabar field crossed the Karvabar river and attacked the Croatian rear. Then Hadim Yakup Pasha's main army launched a frontal attack.
Similarly, the Croatian army was attacked from the front, rear, and right. The left wing of Bernardin Francopan's Croatian forces could not withstand the attacks of Akinji's Turkish light cavalry and began to retreat. Eventually, most of the Croatian infantry was surrounded and had no chance to retreat. The Croatian army suffered a complete defeat and only a small number of men managed to reach the nearby fortified town of Udbina safely. The battle started around 9 am and ended in the afternoon. According to the historian HE Effendi, one of the striking events of the battle is the Croatian general Derenčin wrestling with an Akinji soldier, who threw him from his horse. But the daring Akinji guerilla tied ropes around Derenchin's hands and neck and dragged him to Pasha. The pasha then ordered Derenčin to be tied and marched alongside the dead and captured Croatian soldiers. Derenchin died in captivity. His brother and his son Pavao were also killed in this battle. Nicolas VI Francopan Trazaki was also imprisoned but was released by ransom.