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Ottoman-Portuguese War

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The Portuguese-Ottoman War
Portuguese Carracks off a Rocky Coast.jpg
Portuguese carracks defeat Muslim ships off Diu.
Date16th century
Location
Indian Ocean / Africa / Asia
Result Portuguese victory [1][2][3][4]
Territorial
changes
The Portuguese Empire controls the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, builds fortresses along the coast of Africa, India and Asia and retains the monopoly of spice trade. The Ottomans are forced to retreat to their homeland in the Red Sea.[1][2][3][5]
Belligerents

Portugal Portuguese Empire

  • Supported by:

Spain Habsburg Spain

Banner of the Holy League 1571.png Holy League

 Ottoman Empire

  • Supported by:

Flag of Adal.png Adal Sultanate
Muzzaffar (Mogadishu area) flag according to 1576 Portuguese map.svg Ajuran Empire
Kingdom of Calicut
Fictional flag of the Mughal Empire.svg Mughal Empire
Mamluk Sultanate
Aceh Sultanate Aceh Sultanate

Flag of the Gujarat Sultanate.svg Gujarat Sultanate
Commanders and leaders
  • Hadim Suleiman Pasha
  • Piri Reis
  • Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi
  • Mir Ali Beg
  • Mustafa Pasha of Al-Hasa
  • Sefer Reis
  • Murat Reis
  • The Portuguese-Ottoman war [6][7] was a military strife between the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire that took place in the Indian Ocean, Africa, Middle-East and the Mediterranean during the whole of the 16th century. Other European nations allied with the Portuguese in a handful of battles in the mediterranean. The Ottomans, however, fought allied with other Muslim powers like India, Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mughal Empire, Adal Sultanate, Somalia, Aceh Sultanate in most of the battles in the Indian Ocean, which was the main theatre of the war.

    Portuguese background[edit | edit source]

    Portuguese map of the Indian Ocean, Africa and Arabia

    The Portuguese finished reconquering the territory forming the Kingdom of Portugal in 1249 by expelling the last Moorish settlements in Algarve. However, in the beginning of the 15th century, Portuguese arms captured the city of Ceuta in Morocco, also seizing the cities Al Kasr, Arzila and Tangier in the following years.[8][9] This was an era when the Portuguese navigators were exploring south along the African coast.[10] These explorations required the Portuguese to deploy a formidable seapower. According to professor John C. Marshman, "during the whole of the sixteenth century the maritime power of the Portuguese continued to be the most formidable in the eastern hemisphere, and terror of every state on the seaboard."[11] This maritime power made Portugal, according to historians, the first World Power in history and the leading Global Economy from the end of the 15th to the 16th century, due to the African Gold and Asian spices.[12][13][8] The leading authority in English language about the Portuguese Empire, Charles Boxer, concludes: "In the 16th century the Portuguese dominated a part of the Planet and commerce superior to any other country". Another historian confirms this saying that the Portuguese were the richest nation in Europe dominating "half the seas of the world"[14] Starting in 1498, captains such as Vasco da Gama, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Francisco de Almeida and Alfonso de Albuquerque helped to propel the expanding ambition of this powerful Empire. Indeed, to accomplish this bold undertaking the Portuguese brought a new type of warfare to the Eastern territories that would change the lives, economy and politics of that people for centuries to come.[15]

    Ottoman background[edit | edit source]

    Certainly, this newcome powerful nation in the Indian Ocean spread an aura of "terror" there.[11] The only capable force to face it was the Ottoman Empire, as its involvement in almost every battle against the Portuguese in the 16th century suggests.[16] But as early as the 16th century began, this Muslim power was already suffering the economic impact from the arrival of the first Europeans. The Indian historian P. Malekandathil says that "The Portuguese efforts to monopolize the eastern trade by making the commodities flow to Europe through the Cape route had started at the cost of the Ottomans and reduced the flow of wealth to the treasury of the Ottomans."[17] As a result, the Empire started a chain of struggles to challenge the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean and their coastal areas. The Ottomans "smelt a severe political danger in their neighbourhood. Till 1515, the Europeans appeared to be an enemy of the Turks only in the western front. But in that year with the occupation of Hormuz (lying in the eastern part of the Turkish Empire) by the Lusitanians, the Ottomans found themselves being virtually encircled by the Europeans, which in fact sent political messages of caution to the Ottomans. The evolving economic pressure and the political threats emerging from the encircling European expansion made the Ottomans tum their attention increasingly to the politics of the Indian Ocean regions and interfere in them to their advantage."[15] In accordance with this point, the Pakistan author Rasul Bux Rais declares that "The discovery of the Cape route, however, abolished the intermediaries and upset the traditional market system. The strategic consequences of an alternative route to the Indies were far-reaching in terms of the intercontinental balance of power. By diverting the flow of traditional trade to the Cape route, the Portuguese deprived the Arabic-Islamic rulers of the revenues they used to realise as middlemen by tramitting goods from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea."[18] Indeed, it should come as no surprise that the Turks considered the Portuguese as a huge threat to their monopoly in the area. Professor G. Casale puts it best saying the Ottomans launched "a systematic ideological, military and commercial challenge to the Portuguese Empire, their main rival for control of the lucrative trade routes of maritime Asia."[19]

    The War[edit | edit source]

    Declaration of War[edit | edit source]

    Classic edition of the "Comentários do Grande Afonso Dalboquerque"

    The State of War between the Ottomans and the Portuguese is evident not only by the great number of battles they had fought (allied or otherwise) during most of the 16th century, but mainly when we refer back to Portuguese primary sources filed at the Torre do Tombo National Archive, in Lisbon. One of the most important of these primary sources is the "Commentarios do grande Afonso Dalboquerque", published initially in 1576, in Lisbon, by the governor of the Estado da Índia, Afonso de Albuquerque. In this document he explicits how Portugal declared war to the Turks as early as 1510 when he led the Portuguese conquest of Goa: "...lhe daria a governança das terras de Goa, porque fará ali e fizera sempre guerra aos Turcos (had done and will continue to do War over the Turks) e por duas vezes fora cercada deles, sendo de gentios, a defendêra como muito valente cavaleiro"[20] He continues saying that the Turks "eram inimigos capitães dos Portugueses" (main enemies of the Portuguese).[20] He not only confirms this State of War with the Turks but also adds the dimension of it: "Além de senhorar os mares da Índia, também as tuas armadas corriam o mar de Levante, e que de uma parte, e da outra fazia guerra ao Turco, e o grande Sultão." (Your armada navigated the Levantine Sea, and that from one part to the other, made war to the Turks, and the great Sultan). [21]

    Beyond the writings of Afonso de Albuquerque atesting this war there is also "in the Torre do Tombo National Archive, which concerns Portuguese activities in Asia and therefore the Ottoman-Portuguese conflict...Cartas de Ormuz a D. João de Castro (letters from Hormuz, the Portuguese port at the Persian Gulf, to the Portuguese Viceroy of India, 1545-48)".[22]

    Diogo Couto's Manuscript, Da Asia (1611). One of the surviving manuscripts atesting the war.

    The registers of contemporary historian and Knight Diogo Couto (also filed at Torre do Tombo National Archive) are of great value if one is to understand the range of this long conflict. He says in his Da Asia, parte II, Chapter IX: "Foram chamados os capitães a conselho sobre a guerra que se havia de fazer aos Turcos." [23] ("The capitans were called in counsel about the war that was to be carried over the Turks.")

    The Reasons[edit | edit source]

    The military strife between the Portuguese and the Ottomans started mainly from economical issues. These issues led to a long-term conflict that lasted for most of the 16th century.[16] The arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean disrupted a long, relatively peaceful and well stablished cycle of commerce and monopoly from the eastern powers,[24] mainly the Ottoman Empire being the Muslim superpower at the time.

    The Portuguese brought serious economic and political changes that affected not only the Muslim caliphates, but the whole world as well. Since the beginning of the century, the Portuguese were able to control the flow of commerce in the East/West axes. Doing so, the Portuguese were able to block the old sea route to India via the Mediterranean. In a short period of time, the Portuguese Empire captured important and rich commercial centres in East Africa (Sofala 1505, Kilwa 1505, Mozambique 1507); at the approaches of the Red Sea (Socotra 1507); At the mouth of the Persian Gulf (Ormuz 1514, Bahrain 1521); on the west coast of India (Cochin 1503, Cannanore 1505, Goa 1510, Diu 1534, Bassein 1534) and the straits of Malacca (1511). The rich Spice islands of the Moluccas, as well as Indonesia and Mauritius were also secured in 1512. One year later, China was invaded. The Chinese island of Macao was occupied by the Portuguese in 1557 (and remained a Portuguese state until 1999). The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrived in Japan (1543), and stablished a commercial post there in 1570.[24]

    Therefore, it should come as no surprise that those overwhelming changes in the politics of Africa and Asia would end in war. Indeed, those reasons led to the first major battle between the Ottomans and the Portuguese. As early as 1506, the Ottomans and their allies faced the Portuguese in the famous Battle of Cannanore.[25] This fateful battle would sketch the whole scenario of conflicts between those powers later on. Renowned Indian historian K. K. N. Kurup explains that in this very battle "The three Portuguese naus and a caravel bombarded the sixty naus and hundreds of paraus as well as zabuqs...The Portuguese artillery played an important role with the help of the big gun installed on the wall of the fortress at Cannanore and killed more than 3,000 men. This was a decisive Portuguese victory."[25] In the same manner, historian Bailey W. Diffie, says that the Muslim naus ran afoul of a "small Portuguese squadron commanded by Vicero'y son Lourenço. There fallowed a protrected engagement in which one gathers the Hindu, Arab, and Turkish crews."[26] Interestingly, this battle represented a pattern to be repeated virtually in every engagement to come.

    Military Powers[edit | edit source]

    Land power[edit | edit source]

    A typical Ottoman galley

    On one side, the Ottomans always had overwhelming numeric superiority not only from the empire alone but also from other Muslims caliphates that greatly supported them, and vice versa. Indeed, the Ottomans were able to gather impressive and large numbers of men also from outer parts of the Empire.[27] This can be atested in the Fall of Constantinople: "Mehmed besieged the city in early April with a force of between 75,000 and 100,000 and a large fleet.[28] This large land power becomes even more impressive when we compare with the number of European soldiers defending the city: "It was poorly garrisoned, its defenders, under Emperor Constantine XI, numbering around 8,000 men."[28] Likewise, the Portuguese Empire had very limited numbers of men and were rarely supported by important allies in the East. Portugal, at that time, had around 1 million people, and with the discovery of Brazil, their citizens were presented with a new opportunity for immigration. Also, many Portuguese died from diseases in the East.[29] By way of comparison, the Ottoman Empire in the first decades of the 16th century had a population of about 13 million people[30] while the Portuguese had about 1 million people.[31] Therefore, for obvious reasons, menpower was always a huge advantage on the Ottoman side.

    In this context, the Battle of Diu (1509) is a great example that directs us to that scenario. Again, K. K. N. Kurup tells us that in this battle "The turkish fleet consisting of 2000 men under Amir Husayn proceded from the Red Sea with the destination of Diu to join forces with the men of Malik Ayyaz and of the other rulers of the Indian coast. On the Indian side, Malik led the fleet composed of the men of Gujarat, Bijapur Ahmednagar and Calicut. The contingent of Amir Husayn consisting of The Egyptians, Venetians and others in cooperation with the Indian fleet...faced the Portuguese Fleet at Diu and fought desperately. About 6,000 soldiers of the united front fought against the Portuguese in this battle. Now, the historian goes to the portuguese force, consisting of "nineteen vessels and 1,200 men."[32] The historian Willian Weir confirms these numbers: "Husain returned with even more ships. The great majority were galleys, mounting three cannons in the bow over the big bronze beak used for ramming. There were 200 ships, thousands of rowers, and 1,500 soldiers for boarding enemy craft. Besides swords and spears, the soldiers carried bows or matchlocks. They had grappling irons for seizing ships and fire pots for dropping on their decks...When the Muslims returned, Almeida had 17 ships"[33]

    A Portuguese galleon in the 16th century

    Seapower[edit | edit source]

    The result of the Battle of Diu (1509) in which "about 1,500 soldiers of the combined forces were murdered" [32] examplifies how the Portuguese managed to face such overwhelming numeric disadvantage during the war: superior seapower. Though the Ottomans and their allies were really superior in numbers of menpower and ships, they were not as militarily efficient as the Portuguese. The reason for this conclusion is explained by professor Geoffrey Parker: "For the problems of naval strategy that faced the Iberian powers in the sixteenth century were entirely different from those confronting England. The countries bordering on the North Sea and the Channel, where deep water ports were numerous and the theatre of operations relatively small, could rely upon their huge and unwieldy gun-ships for defence. But Portugal and Spain required men-of-war able to sail to distant oceans, through seas of unparalleled malignance, there both to trade and to destroy the ships of any other power operating without their permission. This called for a highly versatile vessel, and it took years before the small 'caravels' of Columbus and Vasco da Gama gave way to the purpose-built, ocean-going warship known as the galleon."[34] He explains this point after saying, in the paragraph before, that "the most modern men-of-war were the squadrons of Portuguese galleons which, in normal times, policed successfully an empire on which the sun never set." Indeed, the success of the Portuguese in Asia and Africa, specifically over the Ottomans and other muslim states, is due to the ability of the Portuguese to develop new "technology and strategies."[35]

    Thus, the Portuguese Empire introduced a new design of naval warfare to the world, but more specifically to Asia. The Portuguese were the pioneers in the development of a cutting-edge naval military technology. "In the 15th century, the Portuguese shipbuilders made great progress specially in the construction of caravelas. The new warships relied on their sailing qualities, manouverability and gun power. In fact, the construction of ships and their equipament for the India voyage was a special interest to the Portuguese authorities...They did much to improve the fire-arms and several fleets of the new type to India for several porpuses.", says the historian K.M Mathew.[36] The Muslim author Syed Ramsey also recognizes that the Portuguese seapower was an "advantage the Portuguese held over their rivals in the Indian Ocean, to a considerable degree (in quantity and quality), on its European competitors in the Atlantic - indeed over most of other world's navies - and the Portuguese crown spared no expanse in procuring and producing the best naval guns European technology permitted." The author continues saying that King John II of Portugal "In 1489, he introduced the first standardized teams of trained naval gunners on every ship." He concludes: "The Portuguese crown apropriated the best cannon technology available in Europe, particularly the new, more durable and far more accurate bronze cannon developed in Central Europe."[37] Also, according to the scholar Jeremy Black, "Medieval naval warfare had been dominated by coming alongside and boarding and this continued to play a role The rising importance of fire-power, however, led to a shift towards stand-off tactics in which ships did not come into direct contact and boarding became impossible. The Portuguese were the first systematically to exploit heavy cannon to fight stand-off actions against superior enemies, a development often incorrectly claimed for the English." [38]

    Portuguese bronze cannons

    In general, Portuguese galleons were said to have 35 cannons.[39] But one particular Portuguese Galleon, known as Botafogo, amazingly "was said to have mounted a grand total of 366 guns" [40][41] and was crucial for the Conquest of Tunis (1535). Batofogo, originally baptized São João Baptista, was the biggest Galleon in Europe.[42] Additionally, the Portuguese also had the biggest ship on the world called Padre Eterno (Eternal Father) that was able to carry cargoes of 2,000 tons.[42] This exhibition of naval power was experienced nowhere else in Africa or Asia and certainly helped to increase the Portuguese "terror" over the Eastern territories they approached, since, specially because many ships in the East had no guns.[43][44] Another author explains Portuguese maritime power as follows: "Unfortunately to the East, the Portuguese were the heir of the medieval military dexterity largely accumulated from the last phase of the middles ages...their ships had the best artillery produced in Europe."[45]

    Indeed, by just looking at the classical pictures of Portuguese and Ottomans ships of the time (presented above) and comparing them, it is possible to understand how overwhelming the military superiority of Portugal was on the sea. So, once more, the main reason for the Portuguese success against the Ottomans was, according to professor G. Modelski, their Seapower.[46]

    Fort Jesus at Mombasa, 1593.

    The Fortresses: Amphibious Weapons [47][edit | edit source]

    The construction of forts was another key element for the success of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean. These castles were highly versatile weapons that were capable to protect and secure both the seas and lands controlled by the Portuguese. Authors like Roger Crowley, stress their huge importance and impact for the development of the Empire, as well as for winning battles, saying that "technological expertise in fortress building.... facilitated a new form of long range seaborne empire, able to control trade and resources across enormous distances."[8] Liam Matthew Brockey goes the same way, saying that "The Portuguese planned their fortresses well...adopted the latest ideas in fortification...They were very difficult to capture and gave the Portuguese a defensive strength far greater."[48] The Portuguese were able to take control of important sites and then stablish their "mastery over the key strongholds of the Indian Ocean."[49]

    The Eastern lands bordering the Indian Ocean and Africa saw their landscapes altered completely by the construction of those European stone castles equipped with highly efficient bronze cannons and artillery men that patrolled those shores. The Fort Jesus at Mombasa is one of the most prominent of its kind together with the forts of Goa and Diu that still stand to this day. Those forts were not only impressive in terms of military construction but they also resisted long and inflicting sieges with outstanding endurance. The victory of the Portuguese over a massive Ottoman-Gujarat force at the First and Second Siege of Diu (1538 and 1546) are considered one of the most important in the century, mainly because of the those militarily well-designed and strong castles made by the Europeans.[48]

    Indeed, the Ottomans were able to mount powerful sieges against the Portuguese in various occasions during the 16th century. For instance, the amount of Ottoman/Arabic force that laid siege at Mazagao (1562) in Morocco was impressive: 100,000 foot soldiers supported by 50,000 cavaliers, according to a Portuguese primary source provided by Agostinho Gavy de Mendonça, a soldier and cronist that fought and survived the siege.[50] Again, the military quality of the castle itself was essential for the Portuguese victory. The cronist concludes saying that "25,000 enemies died during the whole siege."[51] Other notable sieges that ended in the same manner are the Siege of Malacca (1568),[52] The Siege of Hormuz (1552),[53] The Siege of Bahrain (1559) [54] and others. (For a complete list and academic sources, see the Table of Battles below)

    Military Comparison[edit | edit source]

    Portuguese muskets in the 16th century

    Once a dominant military power, specially in the 14th century, the Ottomans were able to control vast territories, establish diplomatic relationships with their people and gather huge quantities of menpower to fight their battles.[28] In the East, specifically, they were bordered by peoples that would welcome them and establish powerful alliances to fight their wars.[55] Indeed, "The Ottomans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were quite capable of putting together armies larger than any of those of the Western European states."[56] In addition to this, Europe in the 14th century was still in the early stages of their military power, and the Ottomans seized this opportunity to invade Eastern Europe with its overwhelming numeric army.[57] The Fall of Constantinople was a beacon of the danger the Ottomans represented to Europe.

    Ottoman Empire armour
    Portuguese Empire Armour

    However, this dangerous scenario for Europe started to drastically change in the first decades of the 15th century, more precisely in 1415, with the Portuguese Conquest of Ceuta, and the rise of the Portuguese Empire. The Age of Discovery, pioneered by Portugal, brought a technological, military and political revolution not seen in the world yet.[34] The evidences shown above explicit how this period of military innovations made Portugal a military power capable to face the Ottomans and their allies in their homeland in the 16th century. Indeed, the Portuguese were able to develop and apply the most powerful military weapons at that time in the form of galleons, bronze cannons, guns and fortresses.[37][58] The Ottomans, for their turn, although still possessing the same military range and increasing numbers of population and soldiers, in the 16th century they started to show their fragility in fighting such an advanced warfare. Professor Fatma Gocek explains this point: "During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, with the increasing consolidation of military power, material wealth, and scientific progress among the European states, the Ottomans started to lose their military superiority over the West."[59] Interestingly, the contemporary Persian chronist Monajjem Yazdī registers that "during the capture of Bahrain in 1603, Portuguese cannons fell into Safavid hands, but experts were unable to manufacture balls of the enormous size used by these weapons."[60]

    Although the Ottomans, Arabs and other Muslim caliphates tried to establish alliances to repel the Portuguese invasion, the military superiority of the Europeans proved too strong for such an enterprise. Eastern author, Al-Khalifa in his book First Light says: "The Arab and Ottoman reaction against the Portuguese intensified in the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. However, this national reaction had no immediate and effective results at first because of the portuguese superiority in weapons. There were no means of equipping a naval force equal to the enemy. The Portuguese continued to be the undisputed rulers of these waters. They were equipped with superior weapons, had better organizational skills and were dedicated soldiers" [61] In contrast, the historians Karen Hasler and William Thompson explain that the "Ottoman...armies represented large hordes of fighting men who were often poorly armed and organized." [62]

    Finally, the Indian author Shankarlal C. Bhatt summarizes the whole Portuguese military superiority saying that they "were better armed and equipped (amor, arquebuses and a type of granade made of clay with gunpowder inside)" and "because in general Portuguese troops were seasoned professional seamen, mostly warrior nobility with a huge ascendancy over the Turks." [63] Another interesting point mentioned by this author is that the Portuguese were superior "not only in physical strength and size, but in combat skills." [64]

    The Battles[edit | edit source]

    In the list below, it is shown the most known battles in the 16th century as well as academic sources recognizing the victor, in chronological order:

    Table of Battles
    Portuguese Victories Ottoman Victories
    The Battle of Cannanore (1506) [25][26] The Battle of Diu (1531) [65]
    The Battle of Diu (1509) [32][33][66][67][68][68] The Battle of Preveza (1538) [69]
    The Conquest of Goa (1510) [70][71] The Battle of Sahar [Algiers] (1541) [72]
    The Conquest of Tunis (1535) [73][74] Capture of Aden (1548) [75]
    The First Siege of Diu (1538) [76][77][78][79] Capture of Muscat (1552) [80]
    Battle of Wayna Daga (1543) [81][82] Battle of Alcazar Quibir (1579) [83]
    The Second Siege of Diu (1546) [77][84][85]
    The Siege of Hormuz (1552) [53][86]
    The Battle of 1553 (Hormuz Campaign) [87][80]
    The Battle of 1554 (Hormuz Campaign) [87][88]
    The Siege of Bahrain (1559) [54][89]
    The Siege of Mazagao (1562) [90][91][92]
    The Siege of Malacca (1568) [52][93]
    The Battle of Lepanto (1571) [94][95][96][97][98][99][100][101]
    The Battle of Mombasa (1589) [102][103][104]

    The Result[edit | edit source]

    As the review of the literature above explicits, in the end of the 16th century the Portuguese proved to be militarily superior to the Ottomans defeating them in the majority of battles and securing the control over the spice trade flow from the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, while the Ottomans were forced to abandon their campaigns in the Indian Ocean and retreat to their homeland in the Red Sea, in which they succeeded to protect.[105] Moreover, after the Battle of Lepanto the Ottomans also lost their major influence over the Mediterranean waters. Additionally, in the lines below we provide different academic authors, from the East and West, attesting this result:

    • David J. B. Trim: "the Portuguese confronted Turkish forces in the Indian Ocean alone and decisively defeated them." [106]
    • Rasul Bux Rais: "The Portuguese found themselves in constant conflict with regional powers. Nevertheless...the Portuguese were not driven away permanently until the arrival of more powerful and formidable rivals from Europe."[107]
    • G. Modelski: "the Turks never won a clear victory on the ocean. The Mediterranean galleys they employed proved no match against the great ships of Portugal." [13]
    • Palmira Brummett: "In the Indian Ocean, the Ottomans would seek unsuccessfully to replace the Portuguese as dominant power." "it's clear that the Ottomans failed in their bid to challenge the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean." [108][109]
    • Pius Malekandathil: "Though both the Portuguese and the Ottomans moved to the maritime space of Indian Ocean almost simultaneously, the Portuguese managed to appropriate a major portion of it. The chain of Portuguese fortresses erected along coastal western India did a lot to prevent the Ottomans from completely integrating the economic activities of India into their designs, which they were cherishing from the middle of the fifteenth century onwards." [110]
    • M.A Cook: "Ali Beg in 1584 moved down the coast of East Africa as far as Malindi. He repeated the venture in 1589, this time reaching Mombasa, where his squadron succumbed, however, to the assault of a superior Portuguese fleet from Goa in western India. Thus ended the last Ottoman endeavour to challenge the domination of Portugal over the waters of India." [111]
    • Lincoln Payne: "The official Ottoman campaign against the Portuguese ended with Sokullu’s assassination in 1579, but a decade later a fleet of five ships was sent to seize Mombasa...the Ottomans surrendered to the Portuguese, thus ending Ottoman efforts to influence events in the Indian Ocean." [112]
    • G.A Ballard: "it was an era of repeated stress and strife, but of stationary general conditions nevertheless; for in spite of being constantly attacked at this point or that, the portuguese were never driven away anywhere, and even when suffering temporary local reverses always recovered their supremacy sooner or later." [113]
    • Svat Soucek: "Piri Reis’s fate thus represents a powerful argument against the image of the Ottoman Empire as fully engaged in the exploration and discovery of the world as its Western trailblazers were, and of a grandiose confrontation between the Ottoman Turks and the Portuguese on the Indian Ocean, a global struggle for dominance which the Turks won. If that had been the case, we would be speaking not of a Portuguese Estado da India but of an Ottoman seaborne empire embracing the Indian Ocean from Mombasa on the coast of east Africa to Melaka in Malaysia, a giant quadrangle whose other anchors would have been Hormuz and Aden. Far from seeing the Porte launching a vigorous campaign to found such an oceanic empire, however, we see that it did not even manage to bring the Persian Gulf under its control: the attempt by the small squadron under the command of Piri Reis to conquer Hormuz had been poorly planned and was too small for such an enterprise, besides being virtually sabotaged by the governor of Basra Kubad Pasha; more importantly, no other, better prepared campaign that should have been launched from Basra was ever undertaken. The great emporium, whose possession by the infidels is so emphatically deplored by Piri Reis in the Kitabı Bahriye, thus continued to be a Portuguese possession instead of becoming a launch-pad for an Ottoman campaign to conquer the Indian Ocean." [55]
    • Admiral James Stavridis, USN: "...This was difficult for the Ottomans as their sea power was optimized for the more restricted coastal waters of the Mediterranean. The Ottomans launched a fairly large fleet of more than fifty vessels to attack Portuguese positions...They were crushingly defeated...until finally the Ottomans essentially withdrew and the Portuguese turned to face new rivals" [114]

    Notes[edit | edit source]

    1. 1.0 1.1 Lee, Wayne, 2016, Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History, p. 261
    2. 2.0 2.1 G. Modelski, 1988, Seapower on Global Politics, p. 157.
    3. 3.0 3.1 Pius Malekandathil, 2010, MARITIME INDIA Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean, p.122 and 123
    4. Svat Soucek, 2014: PIRI REIS His uniqueness among cartographers and hydrographers of the Renaissance, p. 144.
    5. Lincoln Paine, 2013, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, p. 430.
    6. Grant, R. G. (2011-01-03). Battle at Sea: 3,000 Years of Naval Warfare. Penguin. ISBN 9780756657017.
    7. Rogerson, Barnaby (2011-03-29). The Last Crusaders: East, West, and the Battle for the Center of the World. The Overlook Press. ISBN 9781468302882.
    8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Crowley, Roger (2015-12-01). Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9780812994018.
    9. Trim, David J. B. (2003). The Chivalric Ethos and the Development of Military Professionalism. BRILL. ISBN 9004120955.
    10. Modelski, George; Thompson, William R. (1988-06-18). Seapower in Global Politics, 1494–1993. Springer. ISBN 9781349091546.
    11. 11.0 11.1 Marshman, John Clark (2010-11-18). History of India from the Earliest Period to the Close of the East India Company's Government. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108021043.
    12. Midlarsky, Manus (2000). Handbook of War Studies II. EUA: University of Michigan. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-472-06724-4.
    13. 13.0 13.1 Modelski, George (1988). Seapower in Global Politics, 1494-1993. London: THE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-349-09156-0.
    14. Stevens, William (2009). History of Sea Power. BoD – Books on Demand. ISBN 9783861950998.
    15. 15.0 15.1 Malekandathil, Pius (2010). Maritime India - Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean. Delhi: Primus Books. p. 113. ISBN 978-93-80607-01-6.
    16. 16.0 16.1 Lee, Wayne E. (2016). Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199797455.
    17. Malekandathil, Pius (2010). Maritime India - Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean. Delhi: Primus Books. p. 110. ISBN 978-93-80607-01-6.
    18. Rais, Rasul Bux (1987). The Indian Ocean and the Superpowers. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780389206958.
    19. Casale, Giancarlo (2010-02-25). The Ottoman Age of Exploration. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199798797.
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