The Ottoman War.

Yes I know it sounds like a titanic struggle between a man and his footstool, but actually I often feel that one of the great forgotten wars is that of the attempted Ottoman conquest of Europe.

By using four building blocks you can basically piece together a century long struggle to halt the consequences of the loss of Crusader Palestine and the fall of Constatinople. Starting at siege of Rhodes 1522 where the Turks threw Knights of St John into exile where they wandered around until given the island of Malta, then Sulieman the Magnificent attempted to take Vienna, and open the gateway to Europe in 1529 but was repulsed. By coincidence this reverse happened a year before the Emperor Charles V gifted the Island of Malta to the Knights of St John in 1530, where no sooner had they settled in, than they immediately began raiding the Barbary coast and attacking Turkish shipping as they had done from Rhodes. The Sultan immediately regretted not exterminating them and soon decided that he could kill several birds with one stone by taking Malta. In 1565 the huge effort to take Malta, gain dominance of the Medditeranean and open up the route to Italy failed due to the courage of the Knights and their allies. The victorys of Vienna and Malta gave the Catholic powers the stability to put the Ottomans on the back foot and Turkish dreams of conquering Europe and taking Rome sank in the carnage that followed when the combined fleet of the ‘Holy League’ met the Sultan’s navy and destroyed it at Lepanto in 1571.

Epic stuff I think, and a subject I want to learn more about. (PS Charleton Heston would have killed in a movie about the siege of Malta)


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