There were three countries sovereignty from the beginning of the XVIII century and the Khanate of Khiva is one of them. The Khanate ruled from 1511 until 1920. We may observe two dynasties control during four hundred year`s government. After Shayboniys dynasty, the dynasty of Kungirots came to power in the exchange of dynasties.
Perfect acquaintance with officials pedigree, their title and ranks that stated in different lists and documents of Khiva archives has a special importance not only for setting up the administrative service construction of Khiva, but also for learning the process of development of Khiva.
If we pay attention to the political history of the Khanate, the Khan was the highest military official of the state himself.There were attacks to other territories leaded by Khan in most cases and sometimes leaded by well-known commanders.
Some interventions were carried out in organizing regular military forces in the Khanate of Khiva in the first half of XIX century. There formed a regular army containing 2 thousand men in the Khanate. Their function of this army that was called «The Khan body-guards» was to guard the Khan and his family when the country is in peace. The army was given several privileges by the Khan. The ruler provided each bodyguard with some land around Khiva and salary. The same provision was deserved by higher ranked officials.
There existed public armies that were gathered while military actions are spread out in Khiva Khanate. The main part of the army consisted of cavalry men and infantry. It was paid attention to healthcare system of the army. Certain amount of money was separated for the soldiers who injured in military services by the Khan`s treasure.For example, it was noted that some amount of money was separated for each soldier: five gold coins for Ibodulla who wounded in military services, five gold coins for Boltaniyaz Bahodir, and three gold coins for each of wounded thirty four shots. They usually addressed to doctors with that money. It is evident from those data related to the Khanate of Khiva, there were such cases that a soldier received compensation for his lost horse. The soldier received ten gold coins in compensation for a dead horse.
Military weapons in the Khanate can be bifurcated into cold weapons and shooting guns. The former includes dagger, bow, knife, sword and others. As time passed this type of weapons lost their importance. As the amount of those weapons rose, the usage of dagger, bow, sword, pike and other cold arms decreased. The arms of forces consisted of gun, sword and shield. Guns were especially made by local masters who make weapons in Khazorasp. In the second half of XIX century Russian and English guns began to appear in the troops.
Military fortresses had their own positions in the Khanate of Khiva. Mostly forts were the places where the governor of a certain possession sits. They performed administrative-defensive function. Anbar, Manoq, Gurlan, G»azovot, Ilonli, Kibchoq, Kilich Niyozbiy, Kungirot, Urgench, Kiyot, Mangit, New Urgench, Pitnak, Rahmonberdi biy, Tashhovuz, Khazorasp, Khonka, Khujayli, Chimboy, Shabboz, Shovot, Shuraxon were examples of such forts.
According to the writings of Russian investigator I. Muravin who had been in Khiva in the XVIII century, the cities of Khiva were also covered with walls. He stated «there are eight cities built from clay under the control of Khiva; height of their walls is five or six fathom (1.83meter or six feet); canals were digged around». It was proved by the materials related to 20th of XX century. According to them, like other cities in that place, all of the towns including Khazorasp, Khonka, Gurlen and Khujayli were covered with clay walls and strengthening.
It was paid attention to protect the boundaries of the country in the Khanate. Certain amount of militaries were kept in the borders of the country. The soldiers who stand in the border of the Khanate were given land from this area. They were paid salary, also. The leader of militaries in the border was called as «karavulbegi» (the principal guard). There were several fortresses to save the army in the borders. Their main function was to provide safety of different trade caravans and to defend the country from foreign invaders.
The historian of Khiva of XIX century Bayoniy wrote about military invasions of Muhammad Rahim. According to his writings Pahlavon ota, Eltuzar khan, Muhammad Rakhimkhan and others raised 5 countries sign in front of the army and after them 25 clans- Kungirots, Karakalpak, Yovmuds, Chovdars, Mangits, Kipchoks and others also raised their flags.
The Khan and his family members had their own multiple detached force. As Bayoniy described the journey of the khan of Khiva, Muhammad Amin raised the flags of tribes such as Kungirots, Yovmut, Jamshid, Karakalpak, Oralliks, (in general 25).
There were regular military forces in the middle of the XIX century that is on the eve of Russian empire invasion in the Khanate of Khiva. In the regular military forces there were artillery, cavalries, personal guardians of the Khan and infantry. Cavalry part that was called as body –guards consisted of mainly Turkmen is considered as the most martial part. Cavalry was armed with gun, sword and dagger. Infantry mainly consisted of Uzbeks, Karakalpaks and Turkmen.
Personal guardians of the Khan — Khan`s bodyguards were settled in Khiva. Guardians of the Khan were provided with land, water and wage and they were free from taxes and obligations. Families of perished guardians were supplied with relief, they were given slave instead of money when there was necessity.
As for military officials and their function in Khiva Khanate, the highest military-administrative rank was «Amir-ul-ulamo». «Amir-ul-ulamo» introduced the army with Khan`s decree. After him high commander was officially mounted guard. They were two in the Khanate: one of them commanded yovmud Turkmen, the other for chovdirs. There was no permanent seats of the principal mounted guards in official reception ceremonies in Khan`s palace. But they participated with mehtar, kushbegi and devonbegi (types of ranks) equally. Mounted guards, police, shotirs, guards of door obeyed to the principal mounted guard. the principal mounted guard leaded the army to the war with Khan`s order. Police, prisons and safety of the Khan were the functions of the principal mounted guard. Khan`s secret orders were also kept in his hand. He commanded the soldiers» part containing nomads. Khan used these soldiers to suppress fights and pillage. In the Khanate the army was divided into «hundreds» and «tens». In the documents the XIX century of Khiva archives it was stated that those subdivisions were ruled by the centurion and the official of tens. The commanding officer was their leader and, in its turn, he obeyed to the principal mounted guard. The commanding officer and the centurion stand after the principal mounted guard in military grade. The highest price in the Khanate (500 gold coins) was paid to the principal mounted guard. Naqibs (organizer of the army) was paid 100 gold coins. The next military position is the commanding officer- the leader of military subdivision containing more than 1000 soldiers.
During military invasions the responsibility of the commanding officer was great. That is they have to collect the army in the ordered place, control their preparation level, lead certain amount of the army during the battle. The centurion was the leader of military subdivision including more than 100 soldiers then panjohboshi — ellikboshi (the officer of fifty) and then dahboshi — o`nboshi (the officer of ten) occupied the position. Katovul was responsible for military fortresses; sarhan was responsible for the construction of the defensive walls and forts; karaulbegi controlled the border armies; naqib organized and armed the troops; naqib was responsible for the state of the soldier in ambush, centre, in front, right and left flank of the army during war.
Based on scientific substantiation of the above mentioned data, it was observed that military service, military tactics and the development of military weapons and also military rank, owners of title and in its turn their function to the government, military knowledge and practice were increased as a result of the development of military service in the Khanate of Khiva. And it had an importance in preventing external and internal dangers to the country.
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