The Tudor Society

ISIS v The West 1565 – Part 2: Dark Days – The Great Siege Begins by Derek Wilson

Siege of Malta by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio

Siege of Malta by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio

The waters of the bay were littered with floating wooden crosses. To each was nailed the decapitated corpse of a warrior who had died trying to defend the island. This was the gruesome sight which presented itself to Malta's citizens in the last days of June 1565. After a month-long siege the fortress of St. Elmo had been obliterated by Muslim artillery and its 1,500 surviving inhabitants had been butchered. The incident has a horribly familiar ring to it. We recognise the fanatical nihilism of terrorists who justify their own most inhuman impulses by reference to the creation of a worldwide Islamic state from which everything not in accord with Sharia law would have been purged.

The summer of 1565 was the high water mark of Sunni expansionism. Many in Europe who heard the news from Malta feared that civilization was about to be trampled into dust by the advancing Ottoman barbarians. Malta, it seemed was doomed and would become the main staging post for IS attacks against Italy and Spain and neither the Alps nor the Pyrenees would be adequate barriers to the continued advance of Koran-waving, death-or-glory zealots.

And there is another sad similarity between events today and 450 years ago. De Valette, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar and governor of the island, had sent repeated desperate pleas for aid to the European governments. All he had received was a token force of 600 men from Sicily. The major western powers were too involved in their own rivalries to be distracted by the fate of one small island. In distant England Queen Elizabeth warned of the potential danger to Christendom but she did not despatch one soldier or one silver penny to the relief of Malta.

Click here to read the rest of the article over on Derek's blog.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. J

    I went over the castle in Valetta many times and also other battle sites from this great battle, Into the caves where the Jews used to hide from the Knights and later a lot of the people of Malta hide the young women and children .

    What a wonder history they have ,a nd yes it was the turning point of the Islamic push into Europe. We have the same thing again. It should be stopped with out fear.

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ISIS v The West 1565 – Part 2: Dark Days – The Great Siege Begins by Derek Wilson