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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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A first-hand account: “The [Great] Siege of Malta 1565”, by Francisco Balbi di Correggio

One of the great battles in Western history. Little known.

by Ferdinand III


The moderate Islamic Jihad hit Malta in 1565. Over 50.000 moderate Turkish soldiers and mercenaries including former Christians from conquered states; descended on the island in a 4 month long attack, noticeable by its destruction, savagery, and excessive violence. There were opposed by less than 4.000 Maltese militia and 2.000 professional Knights. The Nazi bombing raids during World War II did far less damage to this key strategic island, which guards the approach to Sicily and the sea lanes of the central Mediterranean; than the bloody Turkish assault in 1565. But who knows much about this seminal event – a battle which was without any question a key struggle in the 1400 year war between Islam and the West. [see here for more info on the Knights of Malta]

This book is the only first-hand account by someone who fought at this pivotal clash. Balbi was an Italian and an old man of 60 when he joined the defense of Malta, probably to earn money and pay off his creditors. He was an 'arquebusier' or infantryman trained in the use of a pre-cursor to the musket. Malta was the key portal of entrance for the Turk to the Western Mediterranean and Europe. It was obvious to all of Christendom that if Malta fell so too would the West be imperiled.

In the conflict between East and West the little sandstone island of Malta became the fulcrum of the conflict. The Turks were moving westwards with every intention of conquering the entire European littoral and from the eastern marches, Germany and France. Malta barred the entrance to Europe by sea. As Ernle Bradford so rightly points out in the introduction:

The island had been a Spanish gift to the Knights of St. John, and if it fell it was the lands of the Spanish crown that would immediately suffer – firstly, Sicily, and then the Kingdom of Naples. Elizabeth I of England....'If the Turks', she wrote, 'should prevail against the Isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow the rest of Christendom.”

The Knights galley's preyed upon Turkish and North African shipping, disrupting commerce and communications. The small Maltese fleet was fearsome in both training and technological advancement. The Knights were the best sailors of the era and made regular forays into the Aegean and littoral waters of the Turkish heartland. They were roundly hated and despised by the Sultan Suleiman and his court. After ejecting the Knights from Rhodes in 1522, and losing some 35.000 men in the process, an attack against their 'new' home was only a matter of time. It came 43 years later.

Suleiman's objective was to fulfill the 'prophecy' of Islam's mad founder Mohammed and take Rome. As Balbi relates, the words of the Sultan were not very nuanced, and rather clear in their intent:

..There would come a time when we should take that fertile land, Sicily, the granary of the Romans who once ruled where now – praise be to Allah and to His Prophet! -- it is we who rule. Thus we should make war upon Italy and upon Hungary, and the great German empire would become ours. We should extend our sway to the limits of the known are not only sailing against Malta, but against the whole of Italy.”

The only European state to aid Malta was Spain and some of the Italian principalities. France was actually an ally of the Turks. England and Germany were Protestant and fighting Spanish ambitions in northern Europe. The only reinforcements came quite late in the siege. Ten thousand men under the command of Don Garcia landed in late August after the Turks had failed to take the key fortresses guarding the harbor and had lost some 40.000 men during 4 months of fighting. The siege was already won. The carnage was horrific. As the hawk-eyed Balbi informs us:

Since they began their siege of Malta, the enemy had lost thirty-five thousand men, including Dragut [the most famous Muslim corsair at that time] and many other notable men. They had fired one hundred and thirty thousand rounds from their cannons and basilisks. Indeed by the time that I left Malta, sixty-five thousand cannon balls – all of cast iron – had been collected in St. Angelo.”


Over two thousand five hundred soldiers of all nationalities died in the siege. Seven thousand Maltese, men, women, girls, and boys, were also killed, as well as five hundred slaves belonging to the Order.”

The island was destroyed and denuded. No town or village was spared. The butchery of all husbandry and the destruction of water sources, fields, farms, housing and all urban areas was total. By September 1565 after 4 months of Islamic Jihad, the island resembled a lunar landscape.

I won't recount the details of the siege as evidenced by the remarkable witness, Balbi. The Italian arquebusier was in the key fort of St. Michael and had a front row seat to view and take part in the most tremendous moments of the ferocious Turkish assault. His writing is outstanding in every respect. He is detailed, fair, engaging, and illuminating. Few better first-hand accounts of a key battle exist anywhere in human literature.

The hero of this conflict was of course the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Jean La Valette. This was an extraordinary man, every bit as courageous and intelligent as Winston Churchill. In fact La Valette is the apogee of the ancient heroic type – perhaps few in history could equal him in military skill; political acumen; leadership quality; intelligence or in courage. Yet he is largely unknown outside of the esoteric community which shares an interest in the medieval military orders. When the Turks attacked in 1565, La Valette was 67, yet he fought side by side with his men weighed down by armor, battling in the torrid Maltese summer [in 1940 and during the Battle of Britain Churchill was 66]. The physical and mental fitness displayed by La Valette is simply astonishing. As Balbi so rightly summarized, 'If it had not been for the constant foresight and preparations made by the Grand Master, not one of us, would have survived...'.

Indeed. And he could have added – few would have escaped a Turkish assault on Sicily and Italy. Where Islam went and where Islam goes, destruction and slavery did, and do follow.


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