Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > Turret, World Changing, One Each

Turret, World Changing, One Each

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the early 1500s, the Muslim Ottoman Empire was near its peak and rising fast. Rhodes and Belgrade fell, as did the last Venetian outposts east of Italy. North Africa became Ottoman and the Turks’ conquests in the Balkans and Hungary opened a clear path to the Gates of Vienna.

Hapsburg Spain still ruled the sea west of Malta, sort of, but the Spanish gaze was focused on its own new empire, filled with Incan and Aztec riches. Without them, neither Vienna not the Mediterranean could have been defended at all against vast Ottoman resources.

Only the tiny island of Malta, a fortified fiefdom led by 500 Knights of St. John, stood between Suleiman the Magnificent’s invasion fleets and a massive assault on the Western Mediterranean.

Today’s world would have been much different if Malta had fallen to the Ottoman Sultan’s vast siege. Walking the site of that 1565 battle, it’s hard to believe that the knights and people of the tiny island, outnumbered 10 to one, held out. But, they did. Luckily for us. It was a near thing.

If you’re interested in this turning point of history, I recommend a visit and relaxing stay on this delightful island and a book, “Empires of the Sea,” By Roger Crowley.

(Click here to see a larger image)

This photo is an HDR shot of a castle turret in Valletta, Malta, that withstood the Ottoman invasion. You can stand on it, touch it, and take a quiet moment to thank the defenders who held it fast.

I did.

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