Zamburak

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An example of a Zamburak from South Asia.
Humayun introduced different types of Zamburak which were in use by the Mughal Empire.

A zamburak or zumbooruk was a specialized form of camel cavalry and mobile artillery from the early modern era. The operator of a zumbooruk is known as a zamburakchi or zumboorukchee.

Use[edit]

Camel guns in use by Indian cavalry at some time after 1850

Probably developed by Egyptian warriors who originally mounted large crossbows on the camels, the zumbooruck was rapidly adopted by Arab, Afghan, Mughal and especially Persian Safavid armies up until the 19th and 20th century India. Zumboorucks were one of the royal guard units in the 19th-century Persian army. A Persian zumbooruck regiment would be accompanied by musicians with huge camel-mounted drums, in order to create even more noise and impress the enemy. Zumboorucks were used against the invading British in the Anglo-Afghan Wars and in the Anglo-Sikh Wars.

A zumbooruck consisted of a soldier on a camel with a mounted swivel gun (a small falconet), which was hinged on a metal fork-rest protruding from the saddle of the animal. In order to fire the cannon, the camel would be put on its knees. The name may be derived from Arabic zambūr, hornet (possibly in reference to the sound earlier camel-mounted crossbows made). The mobility of the camel combined with the flexibility and heavy firepower of the swivel gun to make an intimidating military unit, although the accuracy and range of the cannon was rather low. The light cannon was also not particularly useful against heavy fortifications.

A later development (after 1850) would see Gatling guns mounted on camels as well.

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