Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Post: Why Were the Ottoman Muslims Unstoppable? by C. Wayne Dawson

Flashlight Commentary and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours are pleased to host author C. Wayne Dawson as a guest contributor and eagerly invite readers to enjoy his original feature, Why Were the Ottoman Muslims Unstoppable?

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Until the 1683 siege of Vienna, the Ottoman Turks appeared invincible. First the Byzantines, then the Serbs, Rumanians, Bulgarians and Hungarians crumbled before them. Why were the Christian powers unable to use their superior numbers to muscle the Turks back?

First, the Ottomans were united around one ruler with a single, energizing faith: Islam. That ruler, the Sultan, was expected to expand Islam aggressively whenever possible. It led him to create Europe’s largest and most professional army.

Christian Europe, on the other hand, was hopelessly divided. Splintered into hundreds of duchies and states, torn by religious feuds between Catholics and Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox, they were busier quarreling against one another than Islam.

One of the biggest issues the Ottomans exploited was the centuries-old rivalry between the Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and the French kings. Each power wanted to dominate Christendom at the expense of the other. In 1543, for instance, Francis I of France allowed 30,000 Muslim sailors and sailors to quarter in the port of Toulon, where they conducted raids against the Spanish, Italians, and the Holy Roman Empire.

Second, until the 17th century, the Ottomans generally tolerated religious differences better than their Christian counterparts. This made them a magnet for talented Protestant soldiers, engineers and Jewish merchants and doctors on the run from persecution. Referring to lower taxes and greater freedom under Ottoman rule, many conquered Greeks said, “Better the sultan’s turban than the bishop’s mitre.”

Finally, the Sultan created Europe’s best military corps, the Janissaries. Unlike European troops who were cobbled together for a few weeks’ education and put in the field, the Janissaries trained for seven years before serving in combat. They were better fed than European recruits who were frequently starved and vulnerable to disease. Additionally, these elite troops were superior in swordmanship, psychological warfare, and their system of supply.

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C. Wayne Dawson writes for The Williamson County Sun, and has written for History Magazine, Focus On Georgetown, The Georgetown Advocate, and SAFVIC Law Enforcement Newsletter. In 2012, he founded Central Texas Authors, an author’s marketing collective.

He was an Adjunct Professor of History for ten years at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where he created the Chautauqua program. There, he enlisted scholars, government officials and activists to discuss and debate social policy before the student body and the media.

In 2009, the students of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society honored him with the Glaux Mentor Teacher Award for bringing the Chautauqua program to Mt. SAC.

He currently lives in Georgetown, TX with his wife and two dogs.

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First and foremost entertaining and high, fast-paced drama. A must read. I am ready for Dawson’s next book!
– Stephen O. Fought, Ph.D., Former Dean of Academics, Air War College.

Every paragraph is packed with images, texture, and information. It is an intense and spirited tale, bursting with excitement.
– Ann Seaman, biographer, editor of TERRA, the magazine of Los Angeles County’s Natural History Museum.

Vienna’s Last Jihad takes us on a journey that will surely keep readers turning their pages until the very end.
– Edward Zapletal, Editor, History Magazine.

A gem of historical fiction. Meticulously researched and wonderfully written, this picturesque presentation of war and passion in seventeenth-century Europe is flat-out fun to read. Plot, characters, historical detail, and dialogue blend together to become first-rate historical fiction.
– Harlan Hoffman, PhD., Mt. San Antonio College.

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Brash and brilliant, twenty year old Mathis Zieglar, Professor of Languages, faces an agonizing choice: should he fight the Turks who take his family hostage and move to destroy Vienna? Or should he betray his army to save his kin? Vienna’s Last Jihad is an historical novel set against the 1683 siege of Vienna.

Europe is balanced on a knife’s edge while Mathis, the man who holds its fate in his hands, struggles against powerful enemies: Father Sistini, a Jesuit who brands him a heretic and drags Mathis’ fiancée off to the Inquisition; a xenophobic city mob, who wants him dead for protecting a Hungarian soldier; but most dangerous of all, Captain Tyrek, a Muslim chieftain who will kill Mathis’ family unless he spies against his own army. One by one, Tyrek’s agents murder Mathis’ closest associates in an attempt to isolate him. As 138,000 Turks grind down Vienna’s 11,000 defenders with no relief in sight, Mathis’ only chance to save family and country is to use his wits, the ability to speak Tartar and the knack he learned as a child to leap, whirl, and strike.

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Format: Paperback
Publication Date: October 20, 2013
Released by: Katy Crossing Press
Length: 330 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1490426341
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Check out all the stops on c. wayne Dawson's Vienna's Last Jihad virtual book tour

Monday, February 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at History & Women
Wednesday, February 26
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, March 3
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, March 4
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, March 6
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, March 11
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, March 12
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, March 13
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, March 14
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, March 20
Review at Just One More Chapter
Friday, March 21
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

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