Battle of Diu 1538 – Ottoman-Portuguese War

Battle of Diu 1538 – Ottoman-Portuguese War. The Portuguese armada that had made its first landfall in Brazil continued on to India bombarding Calicut and establishing Portugal’s first Asian factory in Cochin by 1504 Portuguese ships were regularly plundering arab shipping in the Indian Ocean with a blockade of the Red Sea earning them the ire of the mamluk sultanate and of their trading partner venice but despite Venetian encouragement.

allowed the Portuguese to find ready allies despite their hostile bearing and the enmity of so many sultanates and city-states and Mamluk Egypt ruled as it was by an elite. At the battle of Diy in 1509 against Calicut the Mamluks and the Sultanate of Gujarat Portugal’s dominance in the Indian Ocean would be unchallenged for nearly three decades central to these early Portuguese campaigns was Alfonzo dabikerke a masterful admiral.

Sultanate of Gujarat Portugal’s

And statesman acting with considerable autonomy in waters far distant from his homeland he had already seized Muscat and Hommus before the Muslim stand at Du and was elevated to become governor of Portuguese India. In the same year, the conquest of Goa followed soon after despite a failure to capture Aden by his death in 1515.

Alfonso had established an effective network of ports and bases that would allow the Portuguese to fight on even terms a world away from their home shores for the Mamluks, on the other hand, the Mamluks turned to oppressive taxation causing instability. Discontent proved to be one of the greatest factors in allowing the Ottoman sultan Saleem to rapidly defeat what had once been a major rival with the local nobility of Syria defecting on mass to Salim when he invaded in 1516.

Ottoman Sultan Saleem

By the beginning of February 1517 Ottoman Empire armies had entered Cairo and subjugated the nation in doing so Salim indirectly landed his first blow against the Portuguese as their initial aim had been to capture Egypt. Take control of the established trade routes rather than diverting them through a long chain of expensive and vulnerable bases.

But Egypt’s change in rulers did not change the realities faced by arab merchants in the Indian Ocean and the Ottomans quickly found that they had inherited their predecessor’s piracy crisis although no outright hostilities would occur between the Ottomans and the Portuguese during the reign of Salim there was no doubt that war was inevitable and each empire sought to gain allies.

Battle of Diu

Influence among the local rulers of India and East Africa in order to strengthen their position of chief importance were the ports of Aden Homes Basra and Battle of Diu sultanates of Adel and Ajiran and with the sultanate of Gujarat in northwestern India Gujarat had formerly been a dominant regional power before the Mughal empire’s incursions by land.

Portuguese power at sea left it weakened and diminished forced into the tributary status to stronger empires to retain its autonomy after being on the losing side of the Battle of Diu and Persian wars still looming without access to the Persian Gulf however direct Ottoman intervention would be minimal. At first, some efforts were made to shore up the Ottoman Red Sea fleet prior to the capture of Basra.

Portuguese Ships

In 1525 grand vizier Ibrahim Pasha reorganized the old Mamluk fleet with Selman race again serving as admiral after short imprisonment possibly for his earlier defection to the Mamluks having already beaten the Portuguese fleet once off Jeddah in 1517 arranging his galleys in a tight formation under the cover of the shore batteries so as to force the ocean-going Portuguese ships to either retreat.

Fighting a Mediterranean-style Battle of Diu and fireships Salman managed to do what both the Mamluks and the Portuguese had failed to do and secured effective control of Yemen by 1527. this marks the first serious Ottoman Empire challenge to Portuguese dominance in the Indian Ocean and Salman’s victories encouraged the numerous Muslim rulers in western India to turn to the Ottoman Empire for protection as their suzerain.

History of Battle

In the following years’s ottoman soldiers and military experts would be sent to the courts of Gujarat and Calicut simultaneously strengthening the defenses of crucial port cities increasing the influence of the Ottoman sultan abroad and giving credibility to his recently adopted title of caliph one of these consulting Ottoman Empire generals would soon be called on to do.

Battle of Diu with the Portuguese on the site of the Portuguese triumph of 1509 do you together with surat.Thus in due that the Ottoman Empire Portuguese wars would start in earnest with a large Portuguese fleet of over 400 ships carrying close to 6,000 soldiers attacking the city’s Gujarati and Ottoman garrison in 1531.

India admiral Nuno de Cuny this new fleet was significantly stronger than the one that had been victorious against the Mamluks in 1509 and unlike the first fleet, this one carried a fearsome mixed army of Portuguese soldiers and conscripted auxiliaries from the Malabar coast which had shown its effectiveness in numerous engagements already however despite boasting complete naval superiority over the mere 18 ottoman ships arrayed against.

The Mughal Empire

The Dekunya had met his match in Mustafa bairam the unparalleled ottoman artillery crews dealt severe damage to the procedures while the narrow waterways separating Diu Island from the mainland frustrated Portuguese efforts to bring the firepower of their large fleet to bear this first siege of Dew demonstrated the limitations of both empires while de kunya could not overcome the combination of Gujarati numbers and ottoman gunnery to capture the city.

Neither could Mustafa Bairam destroy the Kunya’s fleet to end the threat it posed the fortress remained Gujarati but the sea remained Portuguese with de Kunya plundering Sarat and other poorly defended Gujarati ports after withdrawing in defeat from Dew the Ottoman Empire Portuguese wars would not begin in earnest until seven years later though in a bizarre twist the roles of the two empires would be almost completely reversed.

In the second siege increasing military pressure from the Mughal empire combined with the inability of the Ottomans to protect their maritime interests drove Sultan Vahedur to sign the Treaty of Basain in 1534 and seed numerous islands and territories including Bombay and Dew despite the successful defense of the city three years prior in the same year Suleiman took Baghdad from the Safavids and gained the nominal fealty of basra opening a new avenue to the Indian ocean with his war in Persia ending.

Konya and other Portuguese

In Europe quiet for the time being Suleiman finally turned to confront the Portuguese head on building shipyards in the Suez and Yemen and greatly expanding his Red Sea fleet the drowning of Sultan Bahadur during negotiations aboard a Portuguese vessel in 1537 provided the spark of war and in 1538 the ottoman fleet under the command of him Suleiman Pasha attacked dew fort laying siege to the same city they had helped defend seven years prior although.

The Ottoman fleet numbered only 80 ships compared to the 400 ships the Portuguese had fielded in 1531 they were of heavier build than the light galleys comprising most of the Portuguese fleet and they carried a similar force of soldiers though a naval engagement still would have favored the Portuguese the ottoman armada had caught the Portuguese largely by surprise and arrived unopposed on September 4th after capturing and plundering garden on route de Konya and other Portuguese.

Admirals had expected the Ottoman fleet to make for Moscow hommus but once again it was here Dew upon landing the 6,000 Turkish soldiers aboard the royal galleys of the Armada disembarked to join a larger force of 16 000 Gujarati soldiers under the command of Kaja Safa which had been besieging the fortress for the past two months though with little success due to a lack of ships and cannon also present was the Ottoman Empire captain hodja savage.

Ottoman Galleys

Who maintained a small Turkish force in Gujarat after Mustafa Pyram’s departure to preserve the waning influence of the Ottoman sultan over their Indian ally with only 3,000 Portuguese in the fort of which only 600 were soldiers under Antonio di Silva’s command when backed by Ottoman Empire siege gunnery but the Portuguese still held a number of advantages firstly.

It had replaced a small bastion in the channel to the north placed halfway between the fort and a redoubt on the mainland allowed chains to be drawn across the Dew Channel to cut off the Ottoman Galleys secondly the alliance between Suleiman and Mahmud Shah III of Gujarat was weaker than it might seem despite the Portuguese having abandoned the city of due without battle upon the arrival of the Gujarati army falling back into the fort to make their stand a force of ottoman janissaries ransacked.

Portuguese War

Shortly after disembarking the senseless damage enraged many Gujarati nobles and with Mahmud Shah’s succession already disputed he risked losing his throne if too much of the nobility turned against his Ottoman patrons this diplomatic breakdown would hamper the Ottomans in the coming siege with the Gujarati’s reluctant to supply the hungry ottoman force and lastly the ottomans were not willing to risk their fleet in open Battle of Diu so far from their home shores putting them under pressure to capture.

The fort was quickly before Portuguese reinforcements from Goa could arrive despite these various disadvantages the Ottomans made rapid progress building siege works about the surrounded fort and by September 28th a punishing bombardment was underway but the first hasty attempts to storm the walls were repulsed with significant losses as the volleys continued over the coming month’s various attempts would be made to weaken the defenses first kaja safa targeted the Portuguese strong point.

Suleiman Pasha and Pacheco

On the north bank of the Dew Channel assaulting it with Gujarati forces backed up by Ottoman guns the small thoughts 40 Portuguese defenders held firm however Kaja’s attempt to smoke the defenders out with fireships was foiled when a Portuguese nighttime attack lit the craft prematurely this initial Portuguese victory would be short-lived.

On October 1st the commander of the Redoubt Francisco Pacheco was forced to surrender after narrowly beating back a second assault by hardened janissaries. An agreement between Suleiman Pasha and Pacheco to grant safe passage to the fort the remaining defenders were imprisoned on the precious galley the redoubt had been silenced so this was a small victory.

And all the Ottomans had to show for most of a month of effort in an attempt to avoid the losses a continued siege would entail suleiman pasha had the captured de Pisco write a letter to Desulvaya detailing the good treatment he had received on the patios galley. The overwhelming power of the Ottoman army in an attempt to secure Desulvera’s surrender would prove unsuccessful however with de Salvea viewing Pasheko’s imprisonment as an act of treachery.

Suleiman Pashu’s Army

On October 12th and 13th failed and the efforts of Ottoman sappers to breach the walls with gunpowder charges were hampered by barricades erected within the walls by Portuguese non-combatants [Music] the next target of the procedures would be the sea fort in the Dew channel with ottoman galleys attempting to storm it on October 27th and 28th but without any surrounding landmass, to disembark besiegers on attackers would be forced to scale the seafront’s walls directly from their galleys.

A difficult task in the face of the cannon fire and firebombs of the well-stocked Portuguese garrison 18 galleys in total would be committed between the two attacks but despite significant casualties, the defenders of the sea fort successfully weathered the attacks and forced the battered galleys into retreat after the failure to capture and reinforce the defenders faced with the possibility of deserve knew better than to drop his guard while still surrounded.

Ottoman Empire

However, his vigilance would pay off when the Ottoman Empire retreat proved to be a last ruse by slowing Asha he launched a massive final attack on the morning of the 31st the majority of the Ottoman Gujarati army as many as 14 000 attacked under heavy artillery barrage the 600 soldiers that had held the fort at the beginning of the siege had since dwindled to 100 or fewer with more of the soldiers now imprisoned on ottoman galleys than remaining to defend the fort.

But with the situation as dire as it had become much of the fort’s civilian population took up arms in its defense as well with some sources suggesting a group of female soldiers saw active duty in the frenzied battle damage to the fortress bulwarks was severe and at several points along the walls, Gujarati or Ottoman Empire soldiers succeeded in winning their way onto the ramparts to raise their banners above the beleaguered fort.

But just as in the initial assaults the time constraints the besiegers faced worked against them in their haste to crush the remaining opposition the troops attacking the walls were exposed to significant friendly fire from the ongoing cannon volleys though the fighting on October 31st would stretch the defenders to the breaking point the attackers were again repulsed and those similar attacks on the following days would have inevitably ended.

The Gujarat Sultanate

In an Ottoman Empire victory no more would be forthcoming a relief force of 24 Portuguese galleys was mistaken for the vanguard of the governor’s powerful Goa fleet while a small sortie by the remaining defenders created the impression that the fort was still garrisoned to withstand another attack.

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On November 6 the Ottoman fleet currently embarked for Yemen while Kaja Safar torched his camp and withdrew to the mainland a mere 40 soldiers remained fit for battle inside the fort when the relief fleet arrived yet they had held off the largest Ottoman Empire expedition ever dispatched to India with the Turkish armada returning to Yemen 1200 men lighter the failure to capture deer was a major loss for the ottomans weakening their influence in India.

Straining their critical alliance with the Gujarat sultanate spies would continue to work its way around the Cape of Good Hope with even the merchants of Venice at times forced to purchase from their Portuguese rivals but Suleiman’s efforts in the Indian Ocean had not been for naught the construction of shipyards in Basra and Aden had greatly strengthened the Ottoman Empire position compared to the feeble mamluks while Ibrahim pasha.

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