The birth of the Ottoman state is shrouded in legend. Whatever the truth of its origins, the Ottomans formed an Empire which almost succeeded in bringing Christian Europe to its knees. During the last decades of the 13th century, the ambitious Osman Bey's tiny mountain state took eight frontier castles plus the Turkish town of Eskisehir. In 1299 Osman seized Yenisehir after working up the Kara Su valley. With this as its first real capital, the Ottoman state emerged into history poised above the fertile shores of the Sea of Marmara.
David Nicolle PhD was born in 1944 and was educated at Highgate School. For eight years he worked in the BBC Arabic Service. In 1971 he went 'back to school', gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a PhD from Edinburgh University. For some years he taught art and architectural history at Yarmuk University, Jordan. David has written many Osprey titles, including MAA 140 Armies of the Ottoman Turks, MAA 320 Armies of the Caliphates 862-1098, and Campaign 43 Fornovo 1495.