Sunday, October 07, 2007


This Day in the History of World Changing Naval Battles

On this day in 1571, Christian forces called the Holy League won the third Battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras off Western Greece, defeating the Ottoman naval forces in the last big galley fight in the Mediterranean. The Holy League loosely consisted of the forces of the Papacy (Pope Pius V), Spain, Venice, Genoa, Savoy, Naples, and the Knights of Malta. The Turks fought well, just not well enough, and the whole thing was a bloody mess. We lost 20 of our 200 plus galleys; the Turks lost 50 sunk and 137 captured of the 230 galleys and 56 galiots (whatever they are) they started with. Much of the fighting was on the ships' decks by boarding parties with edged weapons. Had we not won this fight, Muslim values would be entrenched in more corners of Europe, with the resulting modern problems.


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