In 1533, Suleiman the Magnificent
ordered Hayreddin Barbarossa
, whom he had summoned from Algiers
, to build a large war fleet in the arsenal of Constantinople.
Altogether 70 galleys
were built during the winter of 1533–1534, manned by slave oarsmen, including 2,000 Jewish ones.
With this fleet, Barbarossa conducted aggressive raids along the coast of Italy, until he conquered Tunis on 16 August 1534
, ousting the local ruler, theretofore subservient to the Spanish, Muley Hasan
Barbarossa thus established a strong naval base in Tunis, which could be used for raids in the region, and on nearby Malta
, one of the most powerful men in Europe at the time, assembled a large army of some 30,000 soldiers, 74 galleys (rowed by chained Protestants[dubious – discuss]
shipped in from Antwerp
and 300 sailing ships, including the carrack Santa Anna
and the Portuguese galleon São João Baptista
, also known as Botafogo
(the most powerful ship in the world at the time, with 366 bronze cannons) to drive the Ottomans from the region.
The expense involved for Charles V was considerable, and at 1,000,000 ducats
was on par with the cost of Charles' campaign against Suleiman on the Danube
Unexpectedly, the funding of the conquest of Tunis came from the galleons
sailing in from the New World
, in the form of a 2 million gold ducats
treasure extracted by Francisco Pizarro
in exchange for his releasing of the Inca
(whom he nevertheless executed on 29 August 1533).
On 1 June 1535, protected by a Genoese
fleet, Charles V destroyed Barbarossa's fleet and, after a costly yet successful siege at La Goletta
, captured Tunis. In the action, the Portuguese galleon Botafogo
distinguished itself by breaking the chains protecting the harbour's entrance with its spur ram
, thereafter opening fire on La Goletta. In the ruins, the Spanish found cannonballs with the French Fleur-de-lys
mark, evidence of the contacts stemming from the Franco-Ottoman alliance
The resulting massacre of the city left an estimated 30,000 dead.
Barbarossa managed to flee to Algiers
with a troop of several thousand Turks.
Muley Hasan was restored to his throne.
The stench of the corpses was such that Charles V soon left Tunis and moved his camp to Radès
The siege demonstrated the power projection of the Habsburg dynasties at the time; Charles V had under his control much of southern Italy, Sicily
, Spain, the Americas
, Austria, the Netherlands, and lands in Germany. Furthermore, he was Holy Roman Emperor and had de jure
control over much of Germany as well.
Ottoman defeat in Tunis motivated the Ottoman Empire to enter into a formal alliance with France
against the Habsburg Empire. Ambassador Jean de La Forêt
was sent to Constantinople, and for the first time was able to become permanent ambassador at the Ottoman court and to negotiate treaties.
Charles V celebrated a neo-classical triumph
"over the infidel" at Rome on 5 April 1536 in commemoration of his victory at Tunis.
The Spanish governor of La Goulette, Luys Peres Varga, fortified the island of Chikly in the lake of Tunis to strengthen the city's defences between 1546 and 1550.
Barbarossa managed to escape to the harbour of Bône
, where a fleet was waiting for him. From there, he sailed to accomplish the Sack of Mahon
, where he took 6,000 slaves and brought them to Algiers
The Ottomans recaptured the city in 1574. However the Ottoman governors of Tunis were semi-autonomous Beys
who acted as privateers against Christian shipping. Consequently, raiding in the Mediterranean continued until the suppression of the Barbary Pirates in the early 19th Century and the subsequent French invasion leading to the creation of French Algeria
in 1830, and the establishment of a protectorate over Tunisia
Bombardment of La Goletta.
Attack at La Goletta.
Battle scene at Tunis, 1535.
Liberation of 20,000 Christian captives.
Charles V going to Radès
Charles V announcing the capture of Tunis to Pope Paul III
Ottoman troops in the conquest of Tunis, 1535.
- ^ Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, faber and faber 2008 p.61
- ^ History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey Ezel Kural Shaw
- ^ 15 galleys of the Mediterranean Squadron, 42 ships of the Cantabrian fleet, 150 ships of the Málaga Squadron
- ^ a b c Crowley, p.61
- ^ Garnier, p.96
- ^ Bruce Ware Allen, "Emperor vs. Pirate Tunis, 1535." MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History (Winter 2014) 26#2 pp 58-63.
- ^ Crowley, p.56
- ^ Crowley, p.57
- ^ a b Crowley, p.58
- ^ Also known as Muleassen in Italy, and Abu-Abd-Allah-Mohammed-el-Hasan in Tunis. Il Palazzo di Fabrizio Colonna a Mezzocannone, article by Bartolommeo Capasso in Napoli nobilissima: rivista di topografia ed arte napoletana, Volumes 1–3, page 100-104.
- ^ Crowley, p.59
- ^ a b Crowley, p.60
- ^ a b Crowley, p.62
- ^ a b Garnier, p. 94–95
- ^ A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, Vol. II, ed. Spencer C. Tucker, (ABC-CLIO, 2010), 506.
- ^ History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey Ezel Kural Shaw p.97 
- ^ Panvinio, Onofrio (1557). De fasti et triumphi Romanorum a Romulo usque ad Carolum V. Venice: Giacomo Strada. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- ^ Pinson, Yona (2001). "Imperial Ideology in the Triumphal Entry into Lille of Charles V and the Crown Prince (1549)" (PDF). Assaph: Studies in Art History. 6: 212. Archived from the original(PDF) on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- ^ Frieder, Braden (15 January 2008). Chivalry & the Perfect Prince: Tournaments, Art, and Armor at the Spanish Habsburg Court. Truman State University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-1931112697. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936 by M. Th. Houtsma p.872
- Allen, Bruce Ware. "Emperor vs. Pirate Tunis, 1535." MHQ: Quarterly Journal of Military History (Winter 2014) 26#2 pp 58-63.
- Battle: a Visual Journey Through 5000 Years of Combat. Grant, R. G. 2005
- Roger Crowley, Empires of the sea, 2008 Faber & Faber ISBN 978-0-571-23231-4
- Garnier, Edith L'Alliance Impie Editions du Felin, 2008, Paris ISBN 978-2-86645-678-8
Last edited on 10 May 2021, at 14:37
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