Great Siege of Malta

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Great Siege of Malta
Part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars
Dimostrazione di tutte le batterie.png
Dimostrazione di tutte le batterie, fresco by Matteo Pérez d’Aleccio at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta
Date 18 May – 11 September 1565
(3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)

35°53′31″N 14°31′06″ECoordinates: 35°53′31″N 14°31′06″E

Result Christian victory

The Great Siege of Malta took place in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire attempted to invade the island of Malta, then held by the Knights Hospitaller. The Knights, with approximately 2,000 footsoldiers and 400 Maltese men, women, and children, withstood the siege and repelled the invaders. This victory became one of the most celebrated events of sixteenth-century Europe, to the point that Voltaire said: „Nothing is better known than the siege of Malta.“ It undoubtedly contributed to the eventual erosion of the European perception of Ottoman invincibility, although the Mediterranean continued to be contested between Christian coalitions and the Turks for many years.[6]

The siege was the climax of an escalating contest between the Christian alliances and the Islamic Ottoman Empire for control of the Mediterranean, a contest that included the Turkish attack on Malta in 1551, the Ottoman destruction of an allied Christian fleet at the Battle of Djerba in 1560, and the decisive Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Belagerung von Malta (1565)

1. Große Maltesische Belagerung
Teil von: Osmanische Expansion
Die Belagerung von Malta – Ankunft der osmanischen Flotte (Matteo Perez d’ Aleccio)
Die Belagerung von Malta – Ankunft der osmanischen Flotte (Matteo Perez d’ Aleccio)
Datum Ankunft der Flotte am 18. Mai bis Abzug derselben am 8. September 1565
Ort Malta, Mittelmeer
Ausgang Niederlage und Abzug der Osmanen
Souveräner Malteserorden Malteserorden
Entsatzheer (ab 7. September):
Spanien Spanien
Osmanisches Reich Osmanisches Reich
Jean Parisot de la Valette Mustafa Pascha
Piyale Pascha
Turgut Reis
Verteidiger: 9.350 Mann
Entsatzheer: 8.000 Mann
40.000 Mann
10.300 Tote
1.300 Verwundete
24.000 Tote
10.000 Verwundete
1.000 Gefangene

Die Belagerung Maltas (maltesisch l-Assedju l-Kbir, die große Belagerung) durch ein osmanisches Heer begann mit der ersten Sichtung der türkischen Flotte vor der Küste Maltas am 18. Mai 1565, wobei die Ausschiffung der Truppen erst am 19. Mai begann, während die eigentliche Belagerung der Mauern von Malta sogar erst am 24. Mai erfolgte. Die Invasion dauerte bis zum Abzug der Truppen am 8. September (Mariä Geburt) 1565. Die von dem Malteserorden verteidigte Insel konnte sich dabei gegen die Invasoren behaupten. (…)


The Great Siege: Malta 1565: Clash of Cultures: Christian Knights Defend Western Civilization Against the Moslem Tide Taschenbuch – 19. August 2014

„Suleiman the Magnificent, the most powerful ruler in the world, was determined to conquer Europe. Only one thing stood in his way: a dot of an island in the Mediterranean called Malta, occupied by the Knights of St. John, the cream of the warriors of the Holy Roman Empire. A clash of civilizations the likes of which had not been seen since Persia invaded Greece was shaping up. Determined to capture Malta and use its port to launch operations against Europe, Suleiman sent an armada and an overwhelming army. A few thousand defenders in Fort St. Elmo fought to the last man, enduring cruel hardships. When they captured the fort, the Turks took no prisoners and mutilated the defenders‘ bodies. Grand Master La Vallette of the Knights reciprocated by decapitating his Turkish prisoners and using their heads to cannonade the enemy. Then the battle for Malta began in earnest: no quarter asked, none given.“