Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Standards/Banners/Colors IV.

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to Crisis Magazine December 2006 H. W. Crocker III this exciting read through FreeRepublic.

[the name of H.W. Crocker III is not familiar to me. He is a historian who writes good history! Seems to!]

Lepanto (1571).

Naval battle, fought off the coast of Greece. Decisive action between the forces of the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire. Victory for the Holy League.

Another “high water” mark of history. Defeat from which the naval power of the Ottomans in the Mediterranean never did recover.

"This Turkish defeat stopped Turkey's expansion into the Mediterranean, thus maintaining western dominance, and confidence grew in the west that Turks, previously unstoppable, could be beaten."

[we do not normally think of the various Muslim nations as being seafarers? But for almost a thousand year period, Muslim raiders [corsairs] had harried Christian communities along the southern coast of the Mediterranean, AND EVEN MADE RAIDS AS FAR NORTH AS ENGLAND, IRELAND, AND ICELAND!!!]

The Holy League fleet consisting of naval vessels from Spain, Genoa, Venice. Commanded by the Austrian Prince Don Juan. A naval force the fighters aboard to include Sir Knights from a variety of nations [including contingents of the Knights of Malta], gentlemen adventurers, and many individual Protestant soldiers[?], [willingly serving under the Papal Banner with the blessing of the Pope!].

"Catholic knights not only from the papal states and the Knights of Malta, but from Italy, Germany, and Spain; and even from England, Scotland, and Scandinavia, Catholics and freebooters, gentleman adventurers and convicts"

A Pan-European force to confront the external and alien threat [Ottomans]

During the battle, both sides prominently flew enormous banners aboard their flagships proclaiming their allegiance.

Banners to include:

* The Papal Banner. "He [Don Juan] also had the blessings of the pope and the papal banner"

* The Banner of the Knights of Malta.

* The Banner of Ali Pasha [Ottoman commander].

* The Sultan’s Own Banner. "the sultan’s own undefeated standard made of green silk and with the prophet’s name threaded through it 28,900 times in gold"

SOP [standard operating procedure] for combatants on both sides would have been to grapple with and board an enemy ship, engaging in close quarters combat with your adversary, overcoming same, CAPTURING THE BANNER OF THE ENEMY VESSEL IF POSSIBLE BEING A MAJOR GOAL!!

At Lepanto, honor to the Holy League, disgrace to the Ottomans. The banners of BOTH ALI PASHA AND THE SULTAN WERE CAPTURED BY THE CHRISTIAN FORCES! Symbolic of the ignominious and total Ottoman defeat!

"He [Don Juan]. . . made gifts of two captured banners: The imperial Ottoman banner went to the pope; the fabulous green silk banner went to Philip II, along with his after-action report."

Do not think, however, that the Holy Leaguers emerged from Lepanto totally unscathed. The banner of the Knights of Malta was captured by a Christian turncoat, an Italian convert to Islam and corsair.

"Uluch Ali Pasha, an Italian turned Barbary corsair. Uluch Ali had his prize—the Knights of Malta’s banner—and he knew how to skedaddle when necessary. A realist, he knew the bigger battle was lost." [It is as if the man was saying, “I did my bit, I’m outta’ here!!”]

Read the comments on the FreeRepublic link. Most interesting.




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home