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Active16th Century-1826
Allegiance Ottoman Empire
TypeBombardier, Mortar
SizeAround 600
Garrison/HQHasköy, Istanbul
Humbarac? Ahmet Pa?a

Humbarac? corps were bombardier and mortar troops of the Ottoman army.

It is considered as the first organized and specialized troops in the corps level for this class, in the military history of the world.


Humbara, sometimes referred as Kumbara was derived from the Persian word hum-i pare meaning metal bowl or casing to store money. Due to the similarity of the shape of the projectiles, in the Ottoman Turkish, it was used to name the bombshells cast from iron or bronze.

In modern Turkish meaning changed original to denote the earthenware money box used by kids, basically a metal piggy bank.[1]


In the 16th century, Mustafa, an artillery officer in the Ottoman army established a workshop to cast first humbaras in order to give the fire power of the artillery to the mobilized infantry groups.

On 1729, Humbarac? Ahmet Pa?a established a Humbara School and reorganized all humbarac? soldiers in a corps level military formation, founding the Humbarac? Corps.[2]

On 1731, corps' size reached a little bit over of 600 soldiers, arranged in teams of 25, to serve as a detachment to armies.

On 1826, during the Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye movement to modernize the Ottoman Army, corps were dissolved.[3]


Humbaras were cast for two different purposes:

  • Humbara-i Dest: To throw with hand
  • Humbara-i Kebir: To throw with an apparatus[1]


Humbarac? Klas? or Kumbarahane (Humbarac? Garrison) was located in the Hasköy district of the Istanbul, on the coast of Haliç. The street in front of the barracks are still called Kumabarahane Street.

As considered one the first example of military garrisons, it included casting workshop, stable, training ground, kitchen, mosque, hospital, and shops. Garrison was also home Lamc?lar, corresponds to Sapper in modern armies.

On 1795, the garrison was expanded to include Imperial School of Military Engineering.

After the modernization of the Army and dissolving of the corps, barracks were used as a medical school. (Mekteb-i T?bbiye-i ?ahane) [4]


  1. ^ a b [1] Humbaraci nedir?(in Turkish)
  2. ^ Uyar, Mesut; Erickson, Edward (2009). A Military History of the Ottomans.
  3. ^ [2] Humbarac? Corps
  4. ^ [3] Humbarac?lar Klas? Tarihi(in Turkish)

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