Princely Guard Regiments
Nominal Strength : 350 men
Organization: Two Ortas of 125 men each.
Duties: Bodyguard, Palace Guard, Light Infantry, Assault Infantry
Uniform Note: 1st Orta Blue coats, Red Shirt, Blue Pants, 2nd Orta Green coat, Green Shirt, Blue Pants.
Recruited from: 200 Muslim families of Egyptian and Turkish origin living in Morea. Also from capable Sipahis.
The unit was initially raised from Egyptian mamelukes fleeing the conquests of Selim. Despot Michael I, decided to take advantage of this, in order to create a military force, contingent totally on the Despot to survive. He offered the Egyptians, safe haven, and freedom to practice their faith, in return for provisioning him with children to become Janissaries. The Egyptians, put their pride as horsemen away, and accepted the offer. Initially the Orta served the purposes of a military unit belonging to the Despot and no one else. Its tactics and training were copied from the Ottoman original. Religiously the Sunni Egyptians started embracing the more heretical Bektashi sect, as a survival mechanism inside a realm dominated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. During the change from the Palaiologoi to the De Paleologue dynasty, the unit remained faithful to the old dynasty and was decimated in the wars. The new despots, decided not to disband it, but divided it into two Ortas, and started bringing in Turkish and Muslim Slavs for he second Orta, thus creating an ethnic division, they could use to ensure the unit’s impotence in palace politics. Today this diffrences are muted, as the Bektashi and Sufi sects, have become the dominant form of Islam in the Principality.
Note: The Unit uses the Turcoman standard with 1 horsetail.
Hungarian Regiment (Cuirassiers, Hussars) 1 and 2 squadrons
Created: Originally 1577, Hussar elements in 1712.
Nominal Strength: 450 men
Organization: 1 squadron of Cuirassiers , 2 of Hussars
Duties: Bodyguard, Police force in
Central Morea, Heavy Calvary and Light Calvary.
Uniform: Maroon and Peach-Brown, with black turn backs and facings. Black dolaman and shirt for the hussars.Cuirassier 1739
Cuirassier Cornet 1739
Hussar Uniform 1739
Hussar Cornet 1739
Recruited from: 1577-1600 Hungarian immigrants and refugees. From 1600 and later also from Wallachians, Transylvanians, Moldavians, Christian Turks, and Poles.
This force was created from Hungarian expatriates fleeing the Ottoman conquest of
, and also the religious strife there. Initially the expatriates were given fiefdoms in Messinia, which had been depopulated due to pirate attacks. In return for religious freedom, they served as knights in the Despotate’s army. During the dynastic change, they supported the dePaleolologue dynasty, and for a period where made the bodyguard. Their abysmal behavior in a couple of battles during the 17th century led to the reformulation of the unit, into a more permanent – professional corps. They served well under Andronicus II and Michael II, almost being destroyed at the Battle of Bari in 1709. From that day off, both their standards and uniform featured the color black in honor of their lost comrades, and the death of Basil, heir of Michael, who led them. Another addition was that from the late 17th century, numbers of Poles, Christian Turks and Danubians, where inducted into the ranks. Carl’s reforms changed the unit into a more modern cuirassier corps, and added two squadrons of hussars.