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LEPANTO
brucelewis.com ^ | 2008.10.07 | Bruce Lewis

Posted on 10/06/2008 11:35:52 PM PDT by B-Chan

WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun,  

And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;  

There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,  

It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;  

It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;          5

For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.  

They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,  

They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,  

And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,  

And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.   10

The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;  

The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;  

From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,  

And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.  

  

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,   15

Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,  

Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,  

The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,  

The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,  

That once went singing southward when all the world was young.   20

In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,  

Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.  

Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,  

Don John of Austria is going to the war,  

Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold   25

In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,  

Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,  

Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.  

Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,  

Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,   30

Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.  

Love-light of Spain—hurrah!  

Death-light of Africa!  

Don John of Austria  

Is riding to the sea.   35

  

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,  

(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)  

He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,  

His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.  

He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,   40

And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;  

And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring  

Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.  

Giants and the Genii,  

Multiplex of wing and eye,   45

Whose strong obedience broke the sky  

When Solomon was king.  

  

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,  

From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;  

They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea   50

Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,  

On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,  

Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;  

They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—  

They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.   55

And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,  

And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,  

And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,  

For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.  

We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,   60

Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.  

But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know  

The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:  

It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;  

It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!   65

It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,  

Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."  

For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,  

(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)  

Sudden and still—hurrah!   70

Bolt from Iberia!  

Don John of Austria  

Is gone by Alcalar.  

  

St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north  

(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)   75

Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift  

And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.  

He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;  

The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;  

The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,   80

And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,  

And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,  

And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,  

And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,—  

But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.   85

Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse  

Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,  

Trumpet that sayeth ha!  

    Domino gloria!  

Don John of Austria   90

Is shouting to the ships.  

  

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck  

(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)  

The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,  

And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.   95

He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,  

He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,  

And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey  

Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,  

And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,  100

But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.  

Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed—  

Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.  

Gun upon gun, ha! ha!  

Gun upon gun, hurrah!  105

Don John of Austria  

Has loosed the cannonade.  

  

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,  

(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)  

The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,  110

The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.  

He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea  

The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;  

They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,  

They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;  115

And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,  

And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,  

Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines  

Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.  

They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung  120

The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.  

They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on  

Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.  

And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell  

Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,  125

And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—  

(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)  

Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,  

Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,  

Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,  130

Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,  

Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea  

White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.  

  

Vivat Hispania!  

Domino Gloria!  135

Don John of Austria  

Has set his people free!  

  

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath  

(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)  

And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,  140

Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,  

And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....  

(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)  



TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: christianity; islam; lepanto; victory
Commemorating the 437th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.
1 posted on 10/06/2008 11:35:53 PM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
A great vicotry for Christian Europe over the Turks. Well documented by Victor Davis Hansen in his book Carnage and Culture.
2 posted on 10/06/2008 11:55:35 PM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: B-Chan

Thanks for posting this. I love Chesterton.


3 posted on 10/06/2008 11:55:49 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: B-Chan

Two thumbs up for the greatest verse ever written.


4 posted on 10/06/2008 11:57:12 PM PDT by Byron_the_Aussie (Michelle Obama, The Early Years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBYGxBlFOSU)
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To: All

The author of this poem is, of course, G.K. Chesterton. Sorry I left that off, everybody!


5 posted on 10/06/2008 11:58:38 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: B-Chan
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall



6 posted on 10/07/2008 12:11:56 AM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: sockmonkey; B-Chan
Thanks for posting this. I love Chesterton.

I love Chesterton too, but I have never read any of his poetry. What is this from?

7 posted on 10/07/2008 12:13:22 AM PDT by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: B-Chan
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is she that saith not 'Kismet'; it is she that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is she whose loss is laughter when she counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon her, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Doña Sara of Alaska is going to the war.)



8 posted on 10/07/2008 12:18:19 AM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: B-Chan
I wondered who it was. It seemed like a translation from Spanish or Italian, written 300-400 years ago.

But then, perhaps Chesterton intended it to read that way.

Thanks for posting it. Now I can say I've read Chesterton!

9 posted on 10/07/2008 12:19:04 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: B-Chan
i knew you posted this before I looked

as we used to say

Bump.

to a battle that ranks with Thermopylae and the sinking of the Spanish Armada as pivotal for our culture

10 posted on 10/07/2008 12:29:57 AM PDT by wardaddy (i can see now why despots always purge the media)
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To: lentulusgracchus

Try “The Man Who Was Thursday” next....(novella).


11 posted on 10/07/2008 12:56:55 AM PDT by baa39 (The price of liberty is eternal vigilence.)
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To: B-Chan

Thanks be to the Holy Mother of God whose intercession secured the Christian victory and stayed off the enemy for 400 years. Now we are at war again.

Our Lady of Lepanto, pray for us.
Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us.

(And October 7 is also my birthday, so spare me any anti-Catholic flames, thanks.)


12 posted on 10/07/2008 1:00:30 AM PDT by baa39 (The price of liberty is eternal vigilence.)
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To: baa39

Happy Birthday! :D


13 posted on 10/07/2008 1:06:25 AM PDT by neb52
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To: B-Chan

bookmark


14 posted on 10/07/2008 1:48:28 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: B-Chan

All things in time, sir.

Also,

Have some Emerson.

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.”


15 posted on 10/07/2008 1:52:19 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: B-Chan
Thanks for that! Lepanto was a very narrow run thing,and without Don Juan of Austria leading the fight and willing to risk all on one great throw of the dice, who know what the outcome would have been.

To hold together an under financed coalition of fractious people with disparate national interests was something.

Great poem; never read it before!

16 posted on 10/07/2008 4:15:12 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Rummyfan

Just a few years before, the Christians at Malta defeated a massive Ottoman invasion force, too. Doesn’t get the same “ink” as Lepanto, but given the odds, it was an even more impressive victory.


17 posted on 10/07/2008 4:31:28 AM PDT by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: LS

Lepanto gets the ink, because it was the finality, the exclamation mark and the point of decline for the Turks. There was also an invasion force into Hungry that got chewed up during a drawn out siege at this time.


18 posted on 10/07/2008 4:56:19 AM PDT by neb52
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To: B-Chan

Could I use this graphic on my blog?


19 posted on 10/07/2008 7:10:27 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: B-Chan

Brilliant commemoration of an earlier battle in the War on Islamic Terrorism.


20 posted on 10/07/2008 7:21:21 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Pyro7480

Feel free!


21 posted on 10/07/2008 7:24:37 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: B-Chan

Thank you!


22 posted on 10/07/2008 7:35:21 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: B-Chan

I’m basically going to “mirror” your post, since I had been already thinking about posting the poem on my blog. Have you ever seen the Ignatius Press book about “Lepanto”?


23 posted on 10/07/2008 7:36:29 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: B-Chan
LEPANTO

A Call To Prayer: This Lepanto Moment [Repost]

Lepanto, 1571: The Battle That Saved Europe

Celebrating the Battle of Lepanto

Clash of civilizations: Battle of Lepanto revisited

Lepanto, Bertone e Battesimo, Oh My!

Lepanto Sunday

Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval (A Mini-Lepanto in the Philippines)

Swiss Guards at the Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

Battle of Lepanto

LEPANTO, 7 OCTOBER 1571: The Defense of Europe

Battle of Lepanto

Remember Lepanto!

The Battle of Lepanto

On This Day In History, The Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto

Chesterton's Lepanto

The Miracle At Lepanto...

Lepanto

The Naval Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto

Call to Prayer 12:00 EST 17 November: This Lepanto Moment [Read only]

A Call To Prayer: This Lepanto Moment[Read only]

24 posted on 10/07/2008 8:23:09 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: B-Chan
 
Pray the Rosary. 
Pray without ceasing.

25 posted on 10/07/2008 8:23:55 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Pyro7480
This is an except on a work in progress on The Battle of Lepanto. Thought it might be okay to post in memorial of the battle.

1571 - Malta - Greece- The Battle of Lepanto - The Knights of Malta (formerly Knights of St. John Hospitalers) and the Ottoman Turks have continued at odds since the Knights had fortified Rhodes during the latter part of the Thirteenth Century. Now the two antagonists again face each other, but this time, the Knights have at their side a mighty Christian Armada led by Don John of Austria. The Fleet transporting the “Holy League” is composed of nearly three hundred Vessels and carries more than 75,000 men, and of these nearly 50,000 are aboard to row, leaving a fighting force of about twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand men. The Fleet is composed of Vessels supplied by various Christian states including, Genoa, Spain Venice. And the Pope, Pius V, supplies a Flotilla, as Christianity intends to strike a heavy blow against the Turks. Pope Pius V, had informed Don John that if he were to leave behind all troops known to be leading “evil” lives, that victory would be assured. Don John arrives at Messina in Sicily where the Fleet awaits him. During September, Don John leads his impressive Armada from the harbor of Messina in Sicily to engage the Ottoman Turks. While pausing at Corfu, in the Ionian Sea near Albania and Greece’s mainland, they receive grave news. The Turks had been there and inflicted great fear into the people. Soon after, the Fleet departs in search of the Turks suspected to be at Lepanto in the Lepanto Strait. The Armada speeds to Cephalonia (Keffalinia) in Greece and again receives anguishing news. Don John is informed that the Turks have stormed Cyprus and spared not a single defender. The Turks overwhelm the defenders bludgeon the troops and slaughter the survivors. The devastating information infuriates the Christian assault force and brings about cries of vengeance.
The troops aboard the Vessels press for a speedy departure to bring them within striking distance of the Turkish Fleet. In addition to the news of the massacre at Cyprus, the troops are informed that the Turk’s have been reinforced by the Bey of Algiers, Uluch Ali, of Calabria who converted to Islam. With this addition, Ali Pasha’s Armada numbers are nearly identical to those of the Christians. And the Turks are enormously more familiar with the sea where the clash is about to take place. The Christians embark from Cephalonia en route to strike and on the evening of October 6th, the Turkish Fleet sails from Lepanto to intercept the encroaching Armada in the Gulf of Patras.
The Turks observe John Don’s Fleet divide and form its lines into three distinct sectors with a fourth formation to the rear as reserve. At about this point, the Turks collapse their half-moon formation and follow suit, splintering into an attacking trio. Both opposing Commanders hold the middle of their respective lines as the vanguard, with their flanks covered by the others. The Christian left is maintained by the Genoese, and the Galleys supplied by Pope St. Pius V. It is commanded by Andrea Doria and the Christian right is commanded by the Venetian Barbarrigo, who is hampered because his Venetians are lacking sufficient Sailors to properly maintain the Vessels. To supplement his deficiency, Spaniards are aboard, but this situation is volatile as there is mutual contempt among the mixed crews. The rear is held by Santa Cruz and a contingent of about twenty-five to thirty Spanish and Venetian Warships.
As the opposing Sea Chariots converge, the Turks, their Warships manned by Christian rowers (slaves) boldly push from the center, unaware that Don John had instructed his force to hold their fire until the moment that the Turks are close enough to ensure that their blood will splatter upon the Christians. Meanwhile the impetuous Turks thrust forward directly into the sights of the Christian Gunners, At the prescribed moment, the bellowing Cannon spew their deadly fire upon the advancing Crescent Standards of the Turks. More than five of the Turkish Vessels plummet to the depths, but the attack is maintained. The Crescent continues to press against the Cross, maneuvering to begin to board the Shisp in the center and collapse the line. In the meantime, the Turks, under the Calabrian, Uluch Ali, strikes against the Genoese under Andrea Doria Turks, following the tactics of Sirocco who strikes the contingent of Venetians under Barbarrigo, each awaiting the opportunity to board the Christian Vessels to liquidate the Soldiers and capture the rowers as slaves. The fighting on the flanks initially favors the Turks; however, the Christians hold fast and their Crossbow Marksmen take a high toll on the Turks who are at close-quarters. Nevertheless, the Turks more skilled in these particular waters inflict severe punishment. Both Barbarrigo and Andrea Doria become encircled. Soon after, an arrow from a Turkish Marksman strikes and kills Barbarrigo. Shortly thereafter the Turks board and capture his Vessel, but the Christians regain it only to lose it again.
The ongoing slug-fest also continues in the center of the line as Ali Pasha continues to pour fire upon Don John’s center. The Turks move in closer and prepare to board, but they are soon introduced to the Spanish Infantry who bludgeon the Turks and repeatedly drive them from the Vessels. Undaunted, the Turks continue to hammer the Don John’s center, confident of eventual victory. But still, the Spanish Infantry and the Archers forestall any boarding by the bold Turks. In addition, the Turkish contingent under Sirocco, unable to encircle the Genoese, had noticed a gap in the Christian lines. He zooms through and bangs the rear of the center line, lambastes several of the Vessels, and boards and captures the Capitana (Flagship of the Knights of Malta), taking it as a fine prize.
Suddenly, the tables turn and the Christians take the offensive as Don Jon orders his troops to seize the Flagship of Ali Pasha. Suddenly the Spanish swing from the sails and bolt from the deck to crash upon the Turkish Flagship. The Turks, forced to defend, deliver punishing blows to the Christians and drive them back, but similarly to the Turks, the Christians are also known for their valor and perseverance. They doggedly initiate another boarding attack and again are prevented from conquest. The decks are full of dead and wounded, and amidst the shrill sounds of the weaponry, the desperate cries of the wounded echo in and around the combatants. Relentlessly, the Turks and the Christians bludgeon each other but neither can proclaim victory until the Christians mount a third attack. The relentless lightning-quick assaults had not only drawn blood, but royal blood! Ali Pasha had become wounded, a minor item, except that the Christians capture him and eliminate the need for first aid. They immediately decapitate him. In the meantime, a Sailor ascends to the mainmast and relieves it of the Turkish battle flag. To underscore their seizure and convince the Turks that they had indeed been the initial captors of a Turkish battle-flag, the Christians raise the head of Ali Pasha which is implanted on a staff and swirled about for all to see. The Turks who had been attempting to crack the center of Don John’s line become obviously disillusioned and initiate a retreat.
All the while, the sea-duel had also been continuing on the flanks, but here too the momentum had swung to the Christians. Barbarrigo’s Flagship, seized after he had been felled, is retaken by the Christians. They pummel Siroco’s Flagship. Soon after, Sirocco is plucked from the water, but spared only temporarily. He is immediately decapitated. The final line of the Turks, commanded by Uluch Ali, had attempted escape, but the Warships under Santa Cruz had observed the action when Ali succeeded in gaining the Capitana and gave chase. Rather than risk imminent personal disaster, Ali abandons the Capitana and speeds from the area, leaving his contingent to continue the fight. By this time, Don John, having brought the center under control, hurries to support Andrea Doria’s beleaguered Vessels. The remaining Turkish Warships are engaged and driven back bringing complete victory to the Christian Fleet and immense relief and happiness in Europe, particularly to the families of the Christian slaves that had been held by the Turks.
The four-hour bloodbath in the sea is expensive for both sides; however, for the Christian Warriors, it accomplished more than a military victory. These men had finally dispelled the lingering mystique of the invincibility of the Turks and injected a new confidence in the Christian nations. The Cross had mastered the Crescent and inexplicitly, both had shown their propensity to show no mercy or quarter to the other.
The Christians lose more than 5,000 dead and more than 15,000 wounded. They also rescue more than 10,000 men who had been held as slaves (rowers). The Christians lose less than twenty Ships. Turkish losses are approximately 20,000-25,000, and their Fleet is decimated, either by destruction or capture. More than 150 of their Vessels are seized and slightly less than twenty are sunk. In conjunction, in another example of the mutual ill-feelings between the Christians and the Turks, the Christians who capture the Turks at this Naval Battle transform their captives into slaves for the Christian Ships. Malta becomes a primary location for the slave-markets and remains such until the Eighteenth Century. The Knights of Malta maintain many slaves for their own Vessels. In conjunction, it is reported that on the day of the battle at Lepanto, Pope Pius V, while conferring with some Cardinals, glanced out his window and soon after, declares: “A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian Army.” Later, news arrived that the Christians had won, just as the Pope had so stated. In conjunction, it is reported that by praying the Rosary, the Christians had attained victory.

26 posted on 10/07/2008 9:15:53 AM PDT by Seniram US (Quote of the Day: Smile You're An American)
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To: Seniram US
Whoa, that needed some breaks in there. Here it is again:

1571 - Malta - Greece- The Battle of Lepanto - The Knights of Malta (formerly Knights of St. John Hospitalers) and the Ottoman Turks have continued at odds since the Knights had fortified Rhodes during the latter part of the Thirteenth Century. Now the two antagonists again face each other, but this time, the Knights have at their side a mighty Christian Armada led by Don John of Austria. The Fleet transporting the “Holy League” is composed of nearly three hundred Vessels and carries more than 75,000 men, and of these nearly 50,000 are aboard to row, leaving a fighting force of about twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand men. The Fleet is composed of Vessels supplied by various Christian states including, Genoa, Spain Venice. And the Pope, Pius V, supplies a Flotilla, as Christianity intends to strike a heavy blow against the Turks.

Pope Pius V, had informed Don John that if he were to leave behind all troops known to be leading “evil” lives, that victory would be assured. Don John arrives at Messina in Sicily where the Fleet awaits him. During September, Don John leads his impressive Armada from the harbor of Messina in Sicily to engage the Ottoman Turks. While pausing at Corfu, in the Ionian Sea near Albania and Greece’s mainland, they receive grave news. The Turks had been there and inflicted great fear into the people. Soon after, the Fleet departs in search of the Turks suspected to be at Lepanto in the Lepanto Strait. The Armada speeds to Cephalonia (Keffalinia) in Greece and again receives anguishing news. Don John is informed that the Turks have stormed Cyprus and spared not a single defender. The Turks overwhelm the defenders bludgeon the troops and slaughter the survivors. The devastating information infuriates the Christian assault force and brings about cries of vengeance.

The troops aboard the Vessels press for a speedy departure to bring them within striking distance of the Turkish Fleet. In addition to the news of the massacre at Cyprus, the troops are informed that the Turk’s have been reinforced by the Bey of Algiers, Uluch Ali, of Calabria who converted to Islam. With this addition, Ali Pasha’s Armada numbers are nearly identical to those of the Christians. And the Turks are enormously more familiar with the sea where the clash is about to take place. The Christians embark from Cephalonia en route to strike and on the evening of October 6th, the Turkish Fleet sails from Lepanto to intercept the encroaching Armada in the Gulf of Patras.

The Turks observe John Don’s Fleet divide and form its lines into three distinct sectors with a fourth formation to the rear as reserve. At about this point, the Turks collapse their half-moon formation and follow suit, splintering into an attacking trio. Both opposing Commanders hold the middle of their respective lines as the vanguard, with their flanks covered by the others. The Christian left is maintained by the Genoese, and the Galleys supplied by Pope St. Pius V. It is commanded by Andrea Doria and the Christian right is commanded by the Venetian Barbarrigo, who is hampered because his Venetians are lacking sufficient Sailors to properly maintain the Vessels. To supplement his deficiency, Spaniards are aboard, but this situation is volatile as there is mutual contempt among the mixed crews. The rear is held by Santa Cruz and a contingent of about twenty-five to thirty Spanish and Venetian Warships.

As the opposing Sea Chariots converge, the Turks, their Warships manned by Christian rowers (slaves) boldly push from the center, unaware that Don John had instructed his force to hold their fire until the moment that the Turks are close enough to ensure that their blood will splatter upon the Christians. Meanwhile the impetuous Turks thrust forward directly into the sights of the Christian Gunners, At the prescribed moment, the bellowing Cannon spew their deadly fire upon the advancing Crescent Standards of the Turks. More than five of the Turkish Vessels plummet to the depths, but the attack is maintained. The Crescent continues to press against the Cross, maneuvering to begin to board the Shisp in the center and collapse the line. In the meantime, the Turks, under the Calabrian, Uluch Ali, strikes against the Genoese under Andrea Doria Turks, following the tactics of Sirocco who strikes the contingent of Venetians under Barbarrigo, each awaiting the opportunity to board the Christian Vessels to liquidate the Soldiers and capture the rowers as slaves.

The fighting on the flanks initially favors the Turks; however, the Christians hold fast and their Crossbow Marksmen take a high toll on the Turks who are at close-quarters. Nevertheless, the Turks more skilled in these particular waters inflict severe punishment. Both Barbarrigo and Andrea Doria become encircled. Soon after, an arrow from a Turkish Marksman strikes and kills Barbarrigo. Shortly thereafter the Turks board and capture his Vessel, but the Christians regain it only to lose it again.

The ongoing slug-fest also continues in the center of the line as Ali Pasha continues to pour fire upon Don John’s center. The Turks move in closer and prepare to board, but they are soon introduced to the Spanish Infantry who bludgeon the Turks and repeatedly drive them from the Vessels. Undaunted, the Turks continue to hammer the Don John’s center, confident of eventual victory. But still, the Spanish Infantry and the Archers forestall any boarding by the bold Turks. In addition, the Turkish contingent under Sirocco, unable to encircle the Genoese, had noticed a gap in the Christian lines. He zooms through and bangs the rear of the center line, lambastes several of the Vessels, and boards and captures the Capitana (Flagship of the Knights of Malta), taking it as a fine prize.

Suddenly, the tables turn and the Christians take the offensive as Don Jon orders his troops to seize the Flagship of Ali Pasha. Suddenly the Spanish swing from the sails and bolt from the deck to crash upon the Turkish Flagship. The Turks, forced to defend, deliver punishing blows to the Christians and drive them back, but similarly to the Turks, the Christians are also known for their valor and perseverance. They doggedly initiate another boarding attack and again are prevented from conquest. The decks are full of dead and wounded, and amidst the shrill sounds of the weaponry, the desperate cries of the wounded echo in and around the combatants. Relentlessly, the Turks and the Christians bludgeon each other but neither can proclaim victory until the Christians mount a third attack. The relentless lightning-quick assaults had not only drawn blood, but royal blood! Ali Pasha had become wounded, a minor item, except that the Christians capture him and eliminate the need for first aid. They immediately decapitate him. In the meantime, a Sailor ascends to the mainmast and relieves it of the Turkish battle flag. To underscore their seizure and convince the Turks that they had indeed been the initial captors of a Turkish battle-flag, the Christians raise the head of Ali Pasha which is implanted on a staff and swirled about for all to see. The Turks who had been attempting to crack the center of Don John’s line become obviously disillusioned and initiate a retreat.

All the while, the sea-duel had also been continuing on the flanks, but here too the momentum had swung to the Christians. Barbarrigo’s Flagship, seized after he had been felled, is retaken by the Christians. They pummel Siroco’s Flagship. Soon after, Sirocco is plucked from the water, but spared only temporarily. He is immediately decapitated. The final line of the Turks, commanded by Uluch Ali, had attempted escape, but the Warships under Santa Cruz had observed the action when Ali succeeded in gaining the Capitana and gave chase. Rather than risk imminent personal disaster, Ali abandons the Capitana and speeds from the area, leaving his contingent to continue the fight. By this time, Don John, having brought the center under control, hurries to support Andrea Doria’s beleaguered Vessels. The remaining Turkish Warships are engaged and driven back bringing complete victory to the Christian Fleet and immense relief and happiness in Europe, particularly to the families of the Christian slaves that had been held by the Turks.

The four-hour bloodbath in the sea is expensive for both sides; however, for the Christian Warriors, it accomplished more than a military victory. These men had finally dispelled the lingering mystique of the invincibility of the Turks and injected a new confidence in the Christian nations. The Cross had mastered the Crescent and inexplicitly, both had shown their propensity to show no mercy or quarter to the other.

The Christians lose more than 5,000 dead and more than 15,000 wounded. They also rescue more than 10,000 men who had been held as slaves (rowers). The Christians lose less than twenty Ships. Turkish losses are approximately 20,000-25,000, and their Fleet is decimated, either by destruction or capture. More than 150 of their Vessels are seized and slightly less than twenty are sunk. In conjunction, in another example of the mutual ill-feelings between the Christians and the Turks, the Christians who capture the Turks at this Naval Battle transform their captives into slaves for the Christian Ships. Malta becomes a primary location for the slave-markets and remains such until the Eighteenth Century. The Knights of Malta maintain many slaves for their own Vessels. In conjunction, it is reported that on the day of the battle at Lepanto, Pope Pius V, while conferring with some Cardinals, glanced out his window and soon after, declares: “A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian Army.” Later, news arrived that the Christians had won, just as the Pope had so stated. In conjunction, it is reported that by praying the Rosary, the Christians had attained victory.

27 posted on 10/07/2008 10:29:26 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Pyro7480

Thanks

After it was posted, I could see the problem, but it was too late.

Paragraphs are a piece’s best friend.


28 posted on 10/07/2008 10:52:18 AM PDT by Seniram US (Quote of the Day: Smile You're An American)
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To: baa39

Happy Birthday


29 posted on 10/07/2008 10:56:48 AM PDT by NeoCaveman (Who is the real Barack Obama?)
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To: B-Chan

Thanks. We can never get too much Chesterton.


30 posted on 10/07/2008 10:59:37 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear (The cosmos is about the smallest hole a man can stick his head in. - Chesterton)
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To: NeoCaveman

How sweet! Thank you, NeoCaveman!


31 posted on 10/07/2008 12:39:23 PM PDT by baa39 (The price of liberty is eternal vigilence.)
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To: neb52

How nice of you, thanks neb52 !!!


32 posted on 10/07/2008 12:41:52 PM PDT by baa39 (The price of liberty is eternal vigilence.)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

Hoping McCain pulls a Lopanto tonight!!!


33 posted on 10/07/2008 12:41:56 PM PDT by Radagast the Fool
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To: Radagast the Fool
Back then the Christians were fighting the Turks.

In this case it is McCain fighting a turkey.

34 posted on 10/07/2008 1:23:22 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear (The cosmos is about the smallest hole a man can stick his head in. - Chesterton)
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