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Hadst thou seen any churches demolished, the crosses sawn in sunder, they garbled gospels hawked about before the sun, the tombs of thy nobles cast to the ground...then thou wouldst have said, 'Would God that I were dust!'
— Baybars's letter to the Crusaders

Mameluks is a military caste in medieval Egypt, composed of non-Arab origin people, mainly Turkic Kipchaks, Georgians and Circassians. Over time, Mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies. Particularly in Egypt, but also in the Levant, Iraq, and India, Mamluks held political and military power.

The use of Mamluk soldiers gave rulers troops who had no link to any established power structure. Local non-mamluk warriors were often more loyal to their tribal sheiks, their families, or nobles than to the sultan or caliph. If a commander conspired against the ruler, it was often not possible to deal with the conspiracy without causing unrest among the nobility. The mamluk slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble, making them a great military asset.

Mamluks were proud of their origin as slaves and only those who were purchased were eligible to attain the highest positions. The privileges associated with being a mamluk were so desirable that many free Egyptians arranged to be sold in order to gain access to this privileged society. Mamluks spoke Arabic and cultivated their identity by retaining an Egyptian name. However, despite humble origins and an exclusive attitude, mamluks were respected by their Arab subjects. They earned admiration and prestige as the "true guardians of Islam" by repelling both the Crusaders and the Mongols.

Battle vs. Winged Hussar (by BattleGames1)[]

Mamelukes: Orange Orange Orange Orange Orange

Winged Hussar: Green Green Green Green Green

5 Mamelukes on horseback are making their way across a steppe, looking for enemy combatants. They search the area not being able to locate any until they come to the foot of a hill when they hear some rattling and rumbling. Sensing danger coming in, the Mameluke leader has his men ready their recurve bows and lances. Just then, a stampede of horses come charging down from the foot of the hill followed by 5 silhouettes of what appear to be angels on horseback. With the Mamelukes tricked into lowering their weapons, the Hussars upon the hill fire their crossbows and despite the shakiness of the ride, one arrow manages to kill a Mameluke archer Orange. The Mameluke horsemen are forced to retreat to a safe distance but as they do, they also turn back and return fire. The first volley of arrows miss but the horses the Hussars are hiding amongst suddenly disperse. The Hussars, seeing the tactic in play, try to disperse as well but the crossbowman from before is too slow and is killed with an arrow to the neck Green. Firing off more arrows, the Mamelukes continue to make the horses disperse faster than the Hussars can react. Before long, the lead Hussar (also known as the rotmistrz) and two of his soldiers unsheath their lances ready to charge head on while the remaining crossbowman provides covering fire. The 4 Mamelukes turn around with three of them unsheathing their lances and swords and the fourth continuing to fire off his arrows. The three Mamelukes charge towards the Hussars who too are charging headlong towards them. For every shot the crossbowman could fire, the Mameluke archer could fire almost two, which was enough to make the horses frightened enough to slow down and make themselves a sitting target. Soon, the two charging parties clash. The Mameluke leader manages to fend off one Hussar swinging his lance and counters with a jab from his lance, piercing through the Hussar's armour and killing him Green. The archer manages to shoot down another Hussar just as the latter was about to swing his szabla into a charging Mameluke Green, leaving the leader to retreat. The crossbowman before tries to aim for the archer but is knocked off his horse by the Mameluke archer's arrow. Before the Mameluke archer can fire off another shot, the Hussar fires his crossbow first and kills the Mameluke Orange. The crossbowman then gets on his horse and rides away with the rotmistrz towards some large rocks, leaving the pursuing Mamelukes behind. When the Mamelukes reach the rocky area, they stop and dismount. Unsheathing their swords as they walk through the rocks, the two Hussars hide behind a large boulder unsheathing their own szablas in preparation for an ambush. However, the clattering of their wings accidentally give away their position and the Mamelukes charge in. Coming out of hiding, the rotmistrz blocks a sword swing with his wings and counters with a slash to the thigh and another fatal slash to the Mameluke's chest with his szabla Orange. The other Hussar manages to also do the same thing and blocks the sword blows with his wings but soon he gets too tired out and tries to run. Before he can reach his horse, the Hussar is stabbed in the nape by one of the Mameluke with his sword Green. The lone Hussar leader mounts his horse and prepares his lance for a direct charge at the two Mamelukes, who by now are starting to run back to their horses. As the Mamelukes sprint back, the rotmistrz charges headlong and before the Mameluke soldier in front of him could react, he is stabbed in the chest with a kopia lance Orange. The Hussar then slows down, seeing the Mameluke leader mount his horse. The two eye each other for a few seconds before charging into each other again, both horsemen with their swords drawn. When they first make contact, the Hussar swings at the Mameluke's face which almost knocks the latter off the horse. As the Mameluke soldier gets on his saddle, he sees the Hussar charge at him again. The two again clash swords for a while and while each can block each other's blows, the Hussar seems to be getting the upperhand. Soon, the Mameluke leader becomes tired and has his horse gallop away. Seeing this apparent 'coward' run away, the Winged Hussar prepares his crossbow bayonet (since he lost his lance) for the final kill. However, as the rotmistrz closes the gap between himself and the Mameluke, the Muslim warrior turns around and jabs his lance into the Hussar's chest, killing him Green. The Mameluke lets go of his lance and watches his opponent fall off his steed. The Mameluke silently thanks Allah before wandering down the steppe, looking for a nearby town.

Winner: Mameluke

Expert's Opinion[]

The experts believed that the Mameluke Cavalry weapons were more lethal and versatile against the Hussars, whose weapons and gear were only good for horseback fighting (save the szabla, which was at least more powerful the Mameluke sword). If you think this battle is unfair in any way, shape or form, go ahead and do a rematch.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Cossack (by The Deadliest Warrior)[]

In the swirling sands of Egypt rides a proud Hetman warrior, lost but confident as always. His horse stops to drink by a small oasis, one where another man is watering his mount - but this man is an Egyptian Mamluk warrior.

Seeing the foreigner as a threat to his lands and as a danger to his family, the Mamluk gives a loud cry and swings round his sling, letting fly the rock inside, which bounces harmlessly off of the Hetman's shield. The Hetman angrily retaliates by throwing his axe, which scrapes the Mamluk's arm. Undeterred, the Mamluk quickly mounts his horse, grabs his lance, and charges at the dismounted Hetman. The Hetman scrambles onto his horse and is stabbed in thes houlder with the lance.

The Hetman breaks the lance in half with his scimitar. Wheeling his horse round, he pursues the Mamluk warrior, who turns with his Khopesh sword in hand. The two blades clash and the Mamluk is cut in the wrist. He aims an attack at the Hetman's horse and it falls, wounded. The Hetman dismounts with his Dirk dagger in hand and plunges it into the Mamluk's horse, bringing it to its knees as well. The Mamluk takes out his dagger and puts on his shield while the Hetman draws his Yataghan knife. The Mamluk charges and forces the Hetman to the sand.

The Hetman frantically knees the Mamluk in the stomach but the Mamluk thrusts the dagger downward. It goes straight through the Hetman's neck. Blood spurts high into the air as the Mamluk viciously tears it deeper into the dead warrior's flesh and then he pulls it out. Yelling a victory cry, he walks back over to his injured horse and sees what he can do to help it.

Expert's Opinoin[]


To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.