Battle of Cape Celidonia

Last updated

Battle of Cape Celidonia
Part of Ottoman-Habsburg wars
Combate naval, por Juan de la Corte.jpg
Spanish galleons fighting off Ottoman galleys. Oil on canvas by Juan de la Corte (1597–1660), Naval Museum of Madrid.
Date14 – 16 July 1616
Location
off Cape Celidonia, Anatolian south coast
Result Spanish victory
Belligerents
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Habsburg Spain Naval Ensign of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1793).svg Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Francisco de Rivera Bey of Rhodes
Strength
5 galleons
1 patache
1,600 soldiers [1]
55 galleys
12,000 soldiers [1]
Casualties and losses
34 killed
93 wounded [2]
10 galleys sunk [3]
23 galleys damaged
3,200 killed [4]

The Battle of Cape Celidonia took place on 14 July 1616 during the Ottoman-Habsburg struggle for the control of the Mediterranean when a small Spanish fleet under the command of Francisco de Rivera y Medina cruising off Cyprus was attacked by an Ottoman fleet that vastly outnumbered it. Despite this, the Spanish ships, mostly galleons, managed to repel the Ottomans, whose fleet consisted mainly of galleys, inflicting heavy losses.

Contents

Background

Area of Rivera's cruise. Cyprus and Asia Minor South Coast.jpg
Area of Rivera's cruise.

In mid-1616 a Spanish fleet under the command of Captain Don Francisco de Rivera y Medina sailed from the Spanish Kingdom of Sicily to Eastern Mediterranean waters in order to undertake privateering against Ottoman vessels and ports in the area between Cyprus and the region of Çukurova. It was composed of 5 galleons and a patache. These ships were the 52-gun Concepción, flagship of Rivera; the 34-gun Almirante, commanded by alférez Serrano; the 27-gun Buenaventura, under Don Ínigo de Urquiza; the 34-gun Carretina, commanded by Balmaseda; the 30-gun San Juan Bautista, commanded by Juan Cereceda; and the 14-gun patache Santiago under Gazarra. Aboard the ships were about 1,600 Spanish soldiers, of whom 1,000 were musketeers. [1]

The Spanish fleet sailed to the island of Cyprus, then under Ottoman rule, where Francisco de Rivera ordered that land be sighted prior to initiating of the cruise. During the mission 16 merchant caramoussals were captured by Rivera's fleet off Cape Celidonia, as well as an English privateer in Famagusta and a large number of minor vessels at sea. [5] In addition, ten warships were sunk or burnt in the port of Salinas, whose defenses were also destroyed by a landing party which suffered no loss. [5] The Ottoman governor of Cyprus, who had been rapidly informed regarding the Spanish activities, called for help from the Ottoman navy. Rivera, warned of the relief force thanks to the capture of a merchant vessel coming from Constantinople, decided to wait for his pursuers off Cape Celidonia in order to return to Sicily with a great victory. [5] A Turkish fleet of 55 galleys with about 275 guns and 12,000 fighting men on board appeared off the cape few days later, on 14 July. [1]

Battle

The battle began at 9 am when the Ottoman galleys moved toward the Spanish ships and opened fire. Previously they had formed up into a huge crescent, designed to encircle the Spanish ships. To avoid his ships becoming separated and overwhelmed individually in the light wind conditions, de Rivera ordered his ships join each other end to end with chains. The Concepción stood at the vanguard, being followed by the Carretina, the Almiranta, and the patache Santiago. [6] The other two ships remained on standby. Their heavy artillery fire kept the Turkish vessels at bay until sunset. The attackers then withdrew to their initial positions with eight galleys about to sink and many others damaged. [6]

The attack was resumed the next morning, when, after a night war council, the Ottomans attacked in two groups which separately attempted to capture the Capitana (or flagship) and the Almiranta (or secondary ship). After approaching inside the range of the Spanish muskets, the galleys were subjected to the heavy gunfire of the entire Spanish flotilla. Unable to board the Spanish ships, the Ottoman force withdrew in the evening with another 10 galleys heeling over. [6]

That night a new council of war took place during which the Turks decided to resume the action at dawn. After a speech that boosted their morale, the Ottomans attacked with great resolve and managed to approach Rivera's flagship from a more favorable angle in order to exploit her blind spot. Nevertheless, the Spanish commander, who had foreseen such a possibility, ordered that the Santiago move to his ship's bow. This maneuver exposed the Turkish galleys to more heavy gunfire which inflicted severe damage, finally forcing the Ottoman force to withdraw at 3:00 pm with another galley sunk, two dismasted, and 17 others severely damaged or heeling over. [7]

Aftermath

The Turkish fleet suffered heavy losses, with 10 galleys sunk and another 23 disabled. 1,200 Janissaries and 2,000 sailors and rowers were killed. [4] The Spanish suffered 34 dead and 93 wounded as well as damage to the rigging of the Concepción and the Santiago, which had to be towed by the other ships. For his success Rivera was promoted to Admiral by King Philip III, who also rewarded him with the habit of the Order of Santiago. [4] The soldiers and sailors of the fleet were also recognized by the Duke of Osuna. Some time later the Spanish playwright and poet Don Luís Vélez de Guevara wrote the comedy "El asombro de Turquía y valiente toledano" ("the wonder of Turkey and the courageous Toledoan") to commemorate the battle. [7]

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Rodríguez González, p. 312
  2. Linde, p. 123
  3. Fernández Duro, p. 108
  4. 1 2 3 Fernández Duro, p. 110
  5. 1 2 3 Fernández Duro, p. 106
  6. 1 2 3 Rodríguez González, p. 313
  7. 1 2 Rodríguez González, p. 314

Related Research Articles

Pedro Téllez-Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna

Pedro Téllez-Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna was a Spanish nobleman and politician. He was the 2nd Marquis of Peñafiel, 7th Count of Ureña, Spanish Viceroy of Sicily (1611–1616), Viceroy of Naples (1616–1620), a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece since 1608, Grandee of Spain, member of the Spanish Supreme Council of War, and the subject of several poems by his friend, counselor and assistant, Francisco de Quevedo.

Action of 3 October 1624

The Action of 3 October 1624 was a naval engagement that took place near San Pietro Island, Sardinia, during the war against the Barbary corsairs. A squadron of galleys from the Kingdom of Naples (Spain), Grand Duchy of Tuscany and Papal States under Diego Pimentel engaged a squadron of six Algerian ships under Azan Calafate. The Algerians were defeated, their flagship was destroyed, and four ships were captured. Also, the Christian slaves they owned were freed.

Battle of Cape Passaro

The Battle of Cape Passaro, also known as Battle of Avola or Battle of Syracuse, was a major naval battle fought on 11 August 1718 between a fleet of the British Royal Navy under Admiral Sir George Byng and a fleet of the Spanish Navy under Vice-Admiral Antonio de Gaztañeta. It was fought off Cape Passaro, in the southern tip of the island of Sicily of which Spain had occupied. Spain and Britain were at peace, but Britain was already committed to supporting the ambitions of the Emperor Charles VI in southern Italy.

Battle of Gibraltar (1621) Naval battle in the Eighty Years War

The Battle of Gibraltar took place on 10 August 1621, during the Eighty Years' War between the Spanish Empire and the Dutch Republic. A Dutch East India Company fleet, escorted by a squadron under Willem Haultain de Zoete, was intercepted and defeated by nine ships of Spain's Atlantic fleet under Fadrique de Toledo while passing the Strait of Gibraltar.

Siege of Castelnuovo

The Siege of Castelnuovo was an engagement during the Ottoman-Habsburg struggle for control of the Mediterranean, which took place in July 1539 at the walled town of Castelnuovo, present-day Herceg Novi, Montenegro. Castelnuovo had been conquered by elements of various Spanish tercios the year before during the failed campaign of the Holy League against the Ottoman Empire in Eastern Mediterranean waters. The walled town was besieged by land and sea by a powerful Ottoman army under Hayreddin Barbarossa, who offered an honourable surrender to the defenders. These terms were rejected by the Spanish commanding officer Francisco de Sarmiento and his captains even though they knew that the Holy League's fleet, defeated at the Battle of Preveza, could not relieve them. During the siege, Barbarossa's army suffered heavy losses due to the stubborn resistance of Sarmiento's men. However, Castelnuovo eventually fell into Ottoman hands and almost all the Spanish defenders, including Sarmiento, were killed. The loss of the town ended the Christian attempt to regain control of the Eastern Mediterranean. The courage displayed by the Old Tercio of Naples during this last stand, however, was praised and admired throughout Europe and was the subject of numerous poems and songs. Even the Venetian refused the promised naval link to Castelnuovo with the supplies and reinforcements; after a general troop parliament, the Capitan Francisco de Sarmiento answer to the Barbarossa surrender question was: "Que vengan cuando quieran".

Battle of Orbetello

The Battle of Orbetello, also known as the Battle of Isola del Giglio, was a major naval engagement of the Franco-Spanish War of 1635. It was fought on 14 June 1646 off the Spanish-ruled town of Orbetello, on the coast of Tuscany, Italy, between a French fleet led by Admiral Armand de Maillé, Marquis of Brézé, and a Spanish fleet commanded by Miguel de Noronha, 4th Count of Linhares sent to break the blockade of Orbetello and relieve the town, besieged since 12 May by a French army under the command of Prince Thomas of Savoy. The Battle of Orbetello was tactically very unusual, since it was fought by sailing ships towed by galleys in a light breeze.

Battle of Alborán Battle in the Ottoman-Habsburg wars

The battle of Alboran took place on 1 October 1540 off the isle of Alboran during the Ottoman-Habsburg struggle for the control of the Mediterranean when a Spanish fleet under the command of Bernardino de Mendoza destroyed an Ottoman fleet commanded by Ali Hamet, sinking a galley and capturing 10 other ships.

Sieges of Oran and Mers El Kébir

Between April and June 1563 the Regency of Algiers launched a major military campaign to retake the Spanish military-bases of Oran and Mers el Kébir on the North African coast, occupied by Spain since 1505. The sieges of Oran and Mers El Kébir of 1563 represented a major Hispano-Algerian episode in the larger Ottoman-Habsburg wars of the Mediterranean. The Kingdom of Algiers, the Principalities of Kabyle, and other vassal tribes combined forces as one army under Hasan Pasha, son of Hayreddin Barbarossa, and Jafar Catania. The Spanish commander brothers, Alonso de Córdoba Count of Alcaudete and Martín de Córdoba, managed to hold the strongholds of Oran and Mers El Kébir, respectively, until the relief fleet of Francisco de Mendoza arrived to successfully defeat the offensive.

Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1641) Military battle

The Battle of Cape St Vincent of 1641 took place on 4 November 1641 when a Spanish fleet commanded by Don Juan Alonso de Idiáquez y Robles intercepted a Dutch fleet led by Artus Gijsels during the Eighty Years' War. After a fierce battle two Dutch ships were lost but the Dutch claimed only a hundred of their men were killed; the Spanish fleet also lost two ships but over a thousand dead. The damaged Dutch fleet was forced to abandon its planned attack on the Spanish treasure fleet.

Bombardment of Algiers (1784)

The 2nd Bombardment of Algiers took place between 12 and 21 July 1784. A joint Spanish-Neapolitan-Maltese-Portuguese fleet commanded by the experienced Spanish Admiral Antonio Barceló bombarded the city, which was the main base of the Barbary corsairs, with the aim of forcing them to interrupt their activities. Massive damage and casualties were inflicted to the Algerians, while the loss aboard the allied fleet was low. The Dey of Algiers refused to start negotiations immediately but the fear of a third planned expedition under José de Mazarredo convinced him to negotiate a peace with the Spanish by which he was forced to cease large-scale piracy, signalling the effective end of the Barbary privateering until the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Cape Corvo

The Battle of Cape Corvo was a naval engagement of the Ottoman–Habsburg wars fought as part of the struggle for the control of the Mediterranean. It took place in August 1613 near the island of Samos when a Spanish squadron from Sicily, under Admiral Ottavio d'Aragona, engaged an Ottoman fleet led by Sinari Pasha. The Spanish were victorious and captured seven galleys and about 600 prisoners, among them the Bey of Alexandria and another 60 important Ottoman nobles. Cape Corvo was the first major victory of the Spanish fleets under Pedro Téllez-Girón, 3rd Duke of Osuna, the Spanish Viceroy of Sicily, as well as the greatest Spanish victory over the Ottoman Empire since the Battle of Lepanto.

Action of 14 June 1742

The Action of 14 June 1742 was a minor naval battle of the War of the Austrian Succession in which a small British squadron under Captain Richard Norris burned 5 Spanish royal galleys at the French port of Saint Tropez. Norris had surprised the galleys near Sainte-Marguerite and had chased and driven them into the French port. The British captain, in spite of alleged French neutrality, followed the Spanish vessels into the port and destroyed them at slight cost.

Patache

A patache is a type of sailing vessel with two masts, very light and shallow, a sort of cross between a brig and a schooner, which originally was a warship, being intended for surveillance and inspection of the coasts and ports. It was used as a tender to the fleet of vessels of more importance or size, and also for trans-Pacific travel, but later began to be used for trading voyages, carrying cargo burdens of 30 tons or more.

Battle of Girolata

The Battle of Girolata was a naval action fought between Genoese, Spanish, and Ottoman ships on 15 June 1540 in the Gulf of Girolata, on the west coast of the island of Corsica, amidst the war between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Suleiman the Magnificent. A Spanish squadron of 21 galleys led by the Genoese Gianettino Doria and the Spaniard Berenguer de Requesens surprised an Ottoman squadron of 11 galleys, anchored at Girolata, led by the Ottoman admiral Dragut, whom the commander of the Ottoman Navy, Hayreddin Barbarossa, had committed to raid the Italian coast after his victories in the Adriatic sea the year before. As the crews of the Ottoman warships were ashore, distributing the booty from recent raids, the Spanish-Genoese fleet easily overtook them, taking all 11 Ottoman galleys and making 1,200 prisoners, among them Dragut, who was carried to Genoa and put, together with his captains, to row in Andrea Doria's galleys.

Spanish ship <i>Purísima Concepción</i> (1779) Spanish first-rate ship of the line of the Kingdom of Spains Armada Real

Purísima Concepción, was a Spanish first-rate ship of the line of the Kingdom of Spain's Armada Real in service between 1779 and 1810.

The Battle of Cape Palos was a naval engagement that took place between 9 and 10 June 1758, during the Spanish-Barbary Wars. A Spanish squadron of three warships intercepted an Algerian squadron of two warships escorting a prize ship. After a prolonged fight, the Algiers flagship surrendered. His consort eluded the battle, but wrecked and the prize ship escaped. Algiers flagship sank from the damage, but there were several prisoners and Christian slaves released.

Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1606) Naval battle fought in 1606

The Battle of Cape St. Vincent was a naval engagement that took place on 16 June or 6 October 1606, during Eighty Years' War and Dutch–Portuguese War. A Spanish fleet under Admiral Luis Fajardo attacked the Dutch fleet led by Admiral Willem Haultain and Vice Admiral Regnier Klaazoon, which was blocking the Spanish-Portuguese coast to intercept the Spanish treasure fleet. The battle concluded in a Spanish victory; in which Klaazoon's flagship was destroyed, two ships were captured, and Haultain fled with the rest of the fleet to his country without having achieved his purpose.

Luis Fajardo (Spanish Navy officer) Spanish admiral

Luis Fajardo y Ruíz de Avendaño, KOC, known simply as Luis Fajardo, was a Spanish admiral and nobleman who had an outstanding naval career in the Spanish Navy. He is considered one of the most reputable Spanish militaries of the last years of the reign of Philip II and the reign of Philip III. He held important positions in the navy and carried out several military operations in which he had to fight against English, Dutch, French and Barbary in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. It is known for the conquest of La Mamora in 1614.

Spanish-Algerian war (1775-1785)

The Spanish-Algerian war (1775-1785) was a conflict between the Spanish Empire and the Deylik of Algiers.

References