The Techniques and Holy War
The world has experienced several battles since man came into being. If a group wins a battle, it becomes powerful and gains advantage over their opponents. The world leading giants of today have proved to be up to the task. America has been holding the position of the powerful country in the world. This is due to the country’s rich resource and technology in matters of war. Currently, we continue to witness many incidences of war between nation, uprisings, and religious battles. The latter forms the discussion in this paper where we evaluate The Battle of Lepanto. Moreover, this paper will pay special attention to scholars who have written on matters of war in the contemporary world. The paper will critically look at the major aspects of this war. These include the course of the war, tactical conduct, and strategic outcome.
The Battle of Lepanto took place in 1571 in western Greece. This battle was a tussle between the Holy League and the Ottomans that were the main cause for this war. These people had taken over Cyprus and enslaved its inhabitants. Given that Cyprus is in Venice, battle lines were drawn between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. This battle gained momentum since it was considered a holy war (McMullen). This is because Christians were now fighting with Muslims. As a result, Christians involved themselves fully as it would be wrong for some Christians to wait and watch as their brethren are slain in battle. The exchange in the field took approximately five hours (Glete).
The use of weapons in this battle is a complete show of how intensive this war was. The two sides had adequately prepared for battle. There were many galleys and sea vessels involved in the battle. Venice led the battle with the close support of Spain. Moreover, Venice enjoyed the support of the papacy and other small emerging nations. Therefore, there was a lot of funding to this group commonly known as the holy league. According to research, the church donated money to purchase weapons for the battle (McMullen).
Moreover, the church called on Christians to join in the battle as well. This gave the holy league an edge over the Ottomans. The latter used weapons and included slaves who were used to row the boats during the confrontation. Despite this, the Holy League ended up winning the battle. This group had many galleys and they were able to confuse the Ottomans who were more skilled in battle. By the time, this war ended, 7500 Christian fighters died while 15,000 members of the Ottomans died (McMullen). The Venetians took advantage of this win to consolidate and capture the Ottoman fighters. Moreover, it is said that Venice captured many ships, which were in good shape. Therefore, Venice gained the lost island and accumulated a lot of wealth from the battle.
Several things made it possible for the Christian holy league to win the battle. One, they had more and sophisticated weapons than their opponents. These weapons helped to capsize most of the opponents’ ships within minutes. Secondly, the Ottomans under estimated the weapons carried by the Venetian fighters. They mistook the Holy League’s war ships to merchant ships. These miscalculations lead to their ambush, as they were not prepared for such a powerful combat. Moreover, the weather was not suitable for the Ottomans. This made it even more difficult for them to attack, as they were not environmentally furnished. It is said that the Venetians and their partners were students of the Ottomans when it came to skill in battle.
However, as Hanson remarks, in battle, technology, and resources are secondary. According to him, culture informs the outcome of war more than anything else does. Christians who are Westerners by nature are said to posses this simple phenomenon of winning in battle that is why they carried the day. In order to win a battle, there has to be fatalities and loss. This is called decisiveness in battle (Hanson). This tactic is used by the west in battle across the world. The same aspect played a great role in The Battle of Lepanto. Both sides lost most of their soldiers and property. Nevertheless, it is evident that the Ottomans’ loss of human resources was instrumental in their defeat. On the other hand, Venice had many fighters from the locality that had personal weapons that they used in the battle. This made sure that they won in the end (Hanson).
Venetians played an important role in this fight. Their nature of life made it possible for them to recapture their lost estate. Venetians were capitalistic in nature. This means that money was circulated in the entire Empire and was not a reserve of a few. This created opportunities and growth in the country. As a result, the country’s economy was stable and thus making it possible for them to have purchasing power (McMullen). The Ottomans had all their possessions held by the Sultan. Money was stagnant and could not be used for development. As a result, money could not be used to purchase technology to build an Empire. The Ottomans not only lost the battle but also their wealth. Venice won economically as well as in battle.
Glete, Jan. “Warfare at Sea, 1500-1650.” Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe. (2009): n.p.
Hanson, Victor. Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power. Anchor publishers inc, 2011.
McMullen, Robert. “Remember Lepanto: Events of the Battle.” Tradition in Action (2009): n.p.