Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

A fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth, off western Greece. The Ottoman forces sailing westwards from their naval station in Lepanto (Turkey) met the Holy League forces, which had come from Messina.

The Turks began a planned invasion of Europe with the intent  of making Rome the Muslim center of the continent.

The Ottoman galleys were manned by 13,000 experienced sailors in o 222 war galleys, 56 galliots, and some smaller vessels. The number of oarsmen was about 37,000, virtually all of them slaves and mostly Christian.An advantage for the Christians was their numerical superiority in guns and cannon aboard their ships.

The victory for the Holy League was historically important not only because the Turks lost 80 ships sunk and 130 captured by the Allies, and 30,000 men killed (not including 12,000 Christian galley slaves who were freed) while allied losses were 7,500 men and 17 galleys—but because the victory heralded the end of Turkish supremacy in the Mediterranean

1 comment:

  1. War is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.