Battle of Lepanto --Greatest Sea Battle with Oars commanded by a 25 year old kid!!
Ok, chillen's this heah is an important day in the history of the West. The biggest sea battle of all wif oars--very drameatic. October 7, 1571 is the day that Christians finally got up some dern gumption and started pushin' them Moslems BACK off the edges of Europe. The Christians was led by that handsome lady killer, Don Juan--jes' 25 years old at the time, hoo-whee!
I wanted ter tell ya'll all about it today, but I'se too lazy today, so here is an excerpt or two that tells it better'n I would. This is excitin' readin' even iffin' ya doan like history much:
"Autumn had come to the Mediterranean, and more than a hint of the blustery winter to come was in the air, as two formidable armadas gathered for battle near Corinth. By far the larger force was the fleet commanded by Ali Pasha, servant of Ottoman Turkey's Sultan Selim II. From the deck of his fearsome flagship Sultana, Ali directed 270 war galleys and a massive collection of lighter craft. The fleet, appropriately, was deployed in a huge crescent stretching from the rocky shores of Albania in the north to the coast of Peloponnesus in the south.
From the Sultana's mast flew a green banner into which the name of Allah had been stitched in gold nearly 30,000 times. "The flag was one of the treasures of Mecca," comments British historian Jack Beeching in The Galleys at Lepanto. "Over the centuries, when the Moslems had carried its green and gold into battle, they invariably gained the day." Throughout the Turkish fleet, the soldiers of The Prophet, confident of victory, disported themselves by belly-dancing to the music of the tambor and the flute.
Across the straits from the Turks, a smaller but no less resolute force was arrayed, its ships deployed in the shape of the cross. This navy represented the Christian League, an ad-hoc coalition of Catholic monarchies, ducal kingdoms, and Italian republics under the command of 25-year-old Don John of Austria. While the Turks made merry, the League soldiers, with quiet fortitude, grimly prepared for battle. Boarding nets were rigged, arquebuses prepared to fire, and swords were put to the whetstone. Armourers struck the fetters from galley slaves (except for captured Muslim fighters), each of whom was given a sword or pike. As Beeching observes, the impending battle "would be won or lost in the hand-to-hand fighting. What counted that morning above all else was the spirit of the men."
As the time for battle approached, Don John debarked from his flagship Royal to tour the fleet. As the youthful commander dressed the line of battle, he sought to rally his men: "My children, we are here to conquer or die,"
Wanna read more of this one? See http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-98576858.html
Clash of Civilizations...
The Ottoman Turks had attacked and captured Christian strongholds throughout the Mediterranean. Their strategy was to control the sea, the trade routes, and thus crush European navies and commerce. In 1522, the Knights of St. John were driven from Rhodes by the Moslems. The year 1529 saw an attack on Vienna. By 1570 Cyprus was under siege. According to historian H.W. Crocker III, the Turks skinned the commander of Cyprus while the officer was still alive. More than 12,000 Christians were enslaved on Moslem galleys, lashed to the oars of Turkish ships that then threatened Europe. Feared as "invincible," the Moslem fleet terrorized cities along the coasts of Italy and Greece.
The Turkish fleet, under the command of Ali Pasha, gathered at Lepanto (Gulf of Corinth). They were reinforced with lawless Corsairs under the command of the ferocious Moslem pirate, Uluch Ali.
Europe's Holy League was an allied fleet of the Knights of Malta, Spanish, Venetian and Papal ships assembled by Pope Pius the V. The famous Don Juan of Austria, assisted by equally famous Andrea Doria, led the Holy League. Maritime historians note that the Battle of Lepanto was the last of the great sea battles between oared vessels, and the largest battle since the Battle of Actium in 30 B.C.
An estimated 50,000 seamen and another 30,000 fighting men fought for Europe against a stronger, better armed Ottoman force of 330 ships. Ottoman ships flew flags emblazoned with verses from the Quran. Christian galleys were named "Resurrected Christ," "Christ of Venice," "Angel of Venice," "St. Euphemia" and "Our Lady of Venice."
As the day dawned over Lepanto, in Rome Pius V called the faithful to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. There he led the people to pray, asking God for a Christian victory. Throughout the morning the prayers of the people continued until, it is said, the pope had a vision of the victory and shouted, "Our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given us."
fer more on this see http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52338
Well, sugar pies, jes' remember, that this heah fight wif Islam is an old fight--the stakes is jes' higher now wif' Iran gettin' a nuke...we'uns need ter know that Islam doan plan to play fair, so buckle up, pets.
Oh, an' one more thang...ya'll, on this day in 1571, the Pope asked the folks to ask the Mother of God to pray for them, and they give her the credit for interceding on behalf of the Chrisitian fleet--so still today they mark this day, October 7, as the Feast of the Rosary.
Never hurts to get Mama to ask sweetly on yore behalf, even when youse not been so good yoreself.