Obrona Rodos w 1480 roku

Mateusz Sekuła

Abstrakt

The Defense of Rhodes in 1480

In the year 1451 Mehmed II, known as Fātih, that is Conqueror, became the new Turkish sultan. From the very beginning of his reign, Mehmed consistently implemented his goal of carrying out the conquest of the Christian territories. Already in 1453, he annexed Constantinopole and in this way he finally put an end to the East-Roman Empire. Subsequently, he subjected Serbia, Albania and Greece and invaded Bosnia, Croatia and Dalmatia. He fought victorious battles with Venice and Genoa. He also invaded Italia and occupied Otranto. Yet in his efforts, he was always thwarted by the knights of St. John, also known as the Knights of Rhodes from the island of Rhodes where they settled already at the beginning of the 14th century. Wishing to finally crush the Knights, in May 1480 sultan Mehmed II decided to attack the island. The defense was conducted by the Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Pierre d’Aubusson. From the very beginning of the attack, the latter accompanied by his knights, successfully repulsed the Turkish attacks. On the side of the sea, it was the fort of St. Nicolas that successfully blocked the access to the city; during the siege, its crew had sunk many an enemy ship. The Turks had even planned an attack on the fort itself which was to take place at night on 18–19 June, 1480, when the Turkish galleys on board of which there were siege towers, approached it. The defenders answered with fire. Yet the maneuver of the followers of Allah was a trick whose aim was to detract the attention of the Christians, while the Turks were clandestinely building a pontoon bridge across the Mandraka bay. It was over this bridge that the Muslim troops which gathered on the shore planned to cross the bay and attack the “infidels”. On the 19th June, shortly before dawn, the Turkish troops launched the attack. The Muslim troops outnumbered the defenders considerably, yet the defenders managed to shell the pontoon bridge with canon fire; the bridge eventually fell apart and sank taking the crowding Muslims with it. After the unsuccessful attack on the fort of St. Nicolas, the Turks tried once again to conquer the city by launching a direct attack which began on the 28th July 1480, yet it too proved unsuccessful. So after an 89-day siege, the Osmans decided to withdraw from the fort which remained unconquered, thanks to the heroism of the Knights of Rhodes. The defense of Rhodes is an event which is relatively little known, yet one which has immense political significance both for Europe and for the order itself.In the year 1451 Mehmed II, known as Fātih, that is Conqueror, became the new Turkish sultan. From the very beginning of his reign, Mehmed consistently implemented his goal of carrying out the conquest of the Christian territories. Already in 1453, he annexed Constantinopole and in this way he finally put an end to the East-Roman Empire. Subsequently, he subjected Serbia, Albania and Greece and invaded Bosnia, Croatia and Dalmatia. He fought victorious battles with Venice and Genoa. He also invaded Italia and occupied Otranto. Yet in his efforts, he was always thwarted by the knights of St. John, also known as the Knights of Rhodes from the island of Rhodes where they settled already at the beginning of the 14th century. Wishing to finally crush the Knights, in May 1480 sultan Mehmed II decided to attack the island. The defense was conducted by the Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Pierre d’Aubusson. From the very beginning of the attack, the latter accompanied by his knights, successfully repulsed the Turkish attacks. On the side of the sea, it was the fort of St. Nicolas that successfully blocked the access to the city; during the siege, its crew had sunk many an enemy ship. The Turks had even planned an attack on the fort itself which was to take place at night on 18–19 June, 1480, when the Turkish galleys on board of which there were siege towers, approached it. The defenders answered with fire. Yet the maneuver of the followers of Allah was a trick whose aim was to detract the attention of the Christians, while the Turks were clandestinely building a pontoon bridge across the Mandraka bay. It was over this bridge that the Muslim troops which gathered on the shore planned to cross the bay and attack the “infidels”. On the 19th June, shortly before dawn, the Turkish troops launched the attack. The Muslim troops outnumbered the defenders considerably, yet the defenders managed to shell the pontoon bridge with canon fire; the bridge eventually fell apart and sank taking the crowding Muslims with it. After the unsuccessful attack on the fort of St. Nicolas, the Turks tried once again to conquer the city by launching a direct attack which began on the 28th July 1480, yet it too proved unsuccessful. So after an 89-day siege, the Osmans decided to withdraw from the fort which remained unconquered, thanks to the heroism of the Knights of Rhodes. The defense of Rhodes is an event which is relatively little known, yet one which has immense political significance both for Europe and for the order itself.

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