A military historian??s enlightening reassessment of the famous 16th century naval battle between the Ottoman Empire and Pope Pius V??s Holy League.
The battle of Lepanto has long been considered one of the decisive naval battles of history. Yet, the savage fighting on October 7th, 1571, left the strategic map unchanged. The defeated Ottoman Turks were able to replace their losses and launch a new fleet the following year. In Lepanto 1571, historian Nic Fields reexamines the battle and concludes that its importance was psychological. It sank the perception of Ottoman dominance and the inevitability of Islam??s westward encroachment beyond the Balkans.
With over 200 ships per side, it was the largest naval battle in sixteen centuries and the last major fight between fleets composed entirely of the muscle-driven galley. These slender ships were the direct descendants of the Classical trireme but carried cannon and marines bearing firearms, although massed archery and cold steel still played a major role on the fateful day. Nic Fields gives an excellent account of this fascinating and spectacular battle.