Carl Otis Schuster, "The Battle of Talas River, AD 751," Strategy and
Tactics Magazine, #273, Mar. -- Apr. 2012, Bakersfield, Calif.
This story is one which is very interesting, since it has aspects
which touch the famous "Silk Road." This is a story of deceit on an
empirical level and also religious tolerance. The battle resulted
from a situation in which two kings one in China and the other in
Tashkent. The Chinese army were joined with a Turkish Mercenary
Cavalry force and immediately moved on Tashkent and executed its
king. A son of the dead king escaped and appealed to the Samarkand
Governor who in turn moved an army north and the two armies met
somewhere along the Talas River in summer near the modern day country
The magazine article supplies a detailed set of maps showing the
approximate location of the battle as well as the probable initial
positions of the two armies. The article also features three pictures
of reenactors dressed in period dress as they reenact the battle.
There is a detailed Legend for ten diagrams of the battle and of the
tactics of the Caliphate and Chinese armies, as well as their
organization in the field. There is an article on the two army
commanders, and two detailed articles concerning both armies at Talas.
In my view the four diagrams relating to the five day battle of the
two armies at the Talas River are certainly worthy of my redrawing
them for inclusion in the ByzantiumNovumMilitarium blog in the coming
weeks. For those few who may have an interest in such, I shall make
note on this list when that occurs.. It would also e interesting to
develop a battle game from this detailed article which provides a
great deal of information about the battle.