The Battle of Matapan, also known as the Battle of Cape Matapan, took place on 19 July 1717 off the Cape Matapan, on the coast of the Mani Peninsula, now in southern Greece. The naval battle was between the Armada Grossa of the Republic of Venice, supported by a mixed squadron of allied ships from Portugal, the Papal States and Malta, and the Ottoman fleet, under Kapudan Pasha Eğribozli Ibrahim Pasha.

Battle of Matapan
Part of the Seventh Ottoman–Venetian War

Batalha Naval do Cabo Matapão, by António José Ramos, copy of the original painting made by João Dantas in 1812.
Date19 July 1717
Result Catholic victory[1][2][3]
Commanders and leaders
Ibrahim Pasha
34 ships
24 galleys
1 frigate
22 ships
21 frigates
9 galleys
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Prelude edit

The 24 Venetian sailing ships under Marcantonio Diedo, commander of the Venetian fleet, met up with another Venetian squadron of 24 galleys under the Capitano generale da Mar Andrea Pisani and a small squadron of 9 mixed Portuguese-Maltese ships under the Maltese knight Bellefontaine near Cape Matapan on 2 July. After trying separately to win the wind gauge, and running out of water supply, the Allied force went to Marathonisi, near the top of the Gulf of Matapan, to resupply. They had tried to reach Sapientza, but winds were against them and they took the risk of being caught in the gulf.

The battle edit

The Ottoman fleet, with 30 sailing ships, and 4 galleys, was seen to the south, on the west side of the bay entrance, on 19 July. With a light wind from the SSE, this meant that they had the advantage. Diedo, unable to sail to the west of the Ottoman fleet, decided to sail slowly east, across the bay.

The Allied fleet was organized into four divisions: the Capitano delle Navi, Diedo, was in the Van, followed by the Center, led by his second in command, Correr. The 3rd or Rear Division was commanded by Dolfin. The 4th or Allied Division was commanded by Belle Fontaine.

Ibrahim with 6 ships attacked the Rear Division at about 6am, while the rest of his fleet went ahead and attacked the Van and Center. At about 12pm the fleets were approaching the east side of the bay, and shortly after the leading ships turned, the wind turned from the SE, putting the leading Venetian ships to windward of some of the Ottoman fleet for the first time. Taking advantage of this, Diedo attacked them and the tough battle continued. At about 3pm the Ottoman fleet retired, sailing for the Cervi-Cerigo passage, while the Allies sailed for Cape Matapan. Neither side wished to continue the fight.

Aftermath edit

As a result of the battle, the Venetian attempt to recapture the Morea was foiled and the Ottoman reconquest of the peninsula was confirmed.

Each Allied state gave their own ships complete credit for any achievements. Some of these accounts are almost totally unreliable due to a variety of reasons—for example, their inclusion of forces which were not actually present for the battle.

Ships involved edit

Venice and allies edit


Admiral Lopo Furtado de Mendonça, commander of the Nossa Senhora da Conceição
    • San Raimondo 46 guns (Maltese)
    • Fortuna Guerriera 70 guns (Venetian)
    • Rainha dos Anjos 56 guns (Portuguese)
    • Nossa Senhora das Necessidades 66 guns (Portuguese)
    • Santa Catarina 56 guns (Chevalier de Bellefontaine - Maltese)
    • Nossa Senhora do Pilar 84 guns (Portuguese)
    • Santa Rosa 66 guns (Portuguese)
    • Nossa Senhora da Conceição 80 guns (General-Admiral Lopo Furtado de Mendoça - Portuguese)
    • Nossa Senhora da Assunção 66 guns (Portuguese)
  • Auxiliaries
    • Captain Trivisan (fireship) - Scuttled
    • Madonna del Rosario (hospital ship) - Sunk

Galleys edit

13 Venetian
5 Maltese
4 Papal
2 Tuscan

Ottomans edit

Ships of the Line edit

Kebir Üç Ambarlı (The Great Three Decker) 114 (Flagship of Ibrahim Pasha)
Ejder Başlı (The Dragon) 70
Çifte Ceylan Kıçlı (The Two Gazelles) 70
Yaldızlı Hurma (The Gilded Date) 70
Şadırvan Kıçlı (The Sprinkling Fountain) 66
Siyah At Başlı (The Black Horse) 66
Beyaz At Başlı (The White Horse) 66
Kula At Başlı (The Grey Horse) 66
Büyük Gül Başlı (The Great Rose) 66
Yılan Başlı (The Snake) 34 (unique ship with 2x372 pdr "üç kantar" monster guns firing marble balls)
Ifrit Başlı (The Demon) 62
Küçük Gül Başlı (The Little Rose) 60
Çifte Teber Kıçlı (Two Halberds) 58
Yıldız Bagçeli (The Star Garden) 58
Zülfikâr Kıçlı (The Two Pointed Sword) 56
Akçaşehir (Town of Akçaşehir) 56 guns
Servi Bagçeli (The Cypress Garden) 54
Ay Bagçeli (The Moon Garden) 54
Yeşil Kuşaklı (Green Belted) 54
Sarı Kuşaklı (Yellow Belted) 54
Kırmızı Kuşaklı (Red Belted) 52
Al At Başlı (The Red Horse) 52
Yaldızlı Nar Kıçlı (The Gilded Pomegranate) 52

Caravellas edit

Mavi Arslan Başlı (The Blue Lion) 44
Siyah Arslan Başlı (The Black Lion) 44
Taç Başlı (The Crown) 44
Güneş Kıçlı (The Sun) 44
Kuş Bagçeli Karavele (The Bird Garden Caravella) 44
Yıldız Kıçlı (The Star) 40
Mavi Kıçlı Karavele (The Blue Caravella) 38

References edit

  1. ^ Saraiva, José Hermano (27 July 2012). Portugal: A Companion History. Carcanet Poetry. ISBN 978-1-84777-977-9.
  2. ^ Jack, Malcolm (22 August 2019). Lisbon, City of the Sea: A History. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-83860-172-0.
  3. ^ Anstruther, Godfrey (1969). The Seminary Priests: A Dictionary of the Secular Clergy of England and Wales, 1558-1850. St. Edmund's College. ISBN 978-0-85597-118-2.
  4. ^ Ercole (2011), pp. 226–245
  5. ^ Yusuf Alperen Aydın, "Sultan'ın Kalyonları", Istanbul, 2011

Sources edit