Submitted by skinhat on Wed, 2006-08-16 06:25.


Another Wench

Shovelling Knight

Where Lindos is

The following is a history (taken from Micheal W Cooks website at http://www.castles-abbeys.co.uk/Medieval-Rhodes3.html) of what happenend after 1521. Note, though, in the game the following history may not occur.

On the 26th 1522, two days after the feast of St John, a massive Turkish armada of 103 galleys and another 300 other vessels was sighted off the coast. We have a lot of information available on the final siege of Rhodes and contemporaries tell us that the Sultans forces were commanded by Suleiman's brother-in-law, Mustafa Pasha, and numbered 120,000 men with a further 60,000 Balkan peasants who were used for labour.
The Turks tactics were somewhat different to the siege of 1480, they too also blockaded the harbour, but their artillery barrages were mounted against the landward fortifications and great walls. On 28th July, Suleiman himself arrived with more fresh troops and the artillery could now keep up their barrage throughout the day and night. All through the month of August the Turks concentrated their attacks against the positions of England, Spain and Provence, with constant barrages followed by wave after wave of infantry.
On the 4th September, two huge gunpowder mines exploded under the bastion of England, bringing down twelve yards of wall which filled the moat, it seemed to the Turks the perfect breach. They immediately assaulted the ramparts and soon held the gap, but the English brothers under Fra' Nicholas Hussey held an inner barricade and they were soon joined by the Grand Master Villiers de l'Isle. The English regrouped and then charged the Turks position, driving them back and capturing the Turkish standards. Twice more Mustafa repeated his assault on the badly damaged bastion of England and twice more the English brothers drove them back, helped by some German brothers who had rushed through the town to aid them. The Turks lost over two thousand men during these assaults and Pasha himself had to be dragged away by his own men after all around were fleeing.

Mustafa Pasha decided to risk everything on a final assault and on 24th September, watched by Suleiman from a hillock, the four bastions of Spain, England, Provence and Italy felt the full force of the Turkish artillery and were pounded mercilessly. Wave after wave of Turkish infantry followed, racing for the walls and fierce hand to hand fighting followed. Attacks were quickly followed by counter-attacks and the bastion of Spain changed hands twice, the sea beside the position of the Italians was said to have turned red with blood. The Grand Master somehow managed to find 200 fresh troops and the Turks were eventually called back by Suleiman after loosing 3,000 men. The knights had lost about 200 men with 150 wounded.

Outraged by the shame, Sulieman paraded his entire army to witness his brother-in-law Pasha shot to death by arrows, but he spared him only after one of the elders pleaded for his mercy. Suleiman himself by now had had enough and was about to pack up and raise the siege when an Albanian deserter was brought to his tent. He claimed that the knights had lost so many men that they could not face another assault and the city was almost his. Sulieman appointed a new commander, Ahmed Pasha, an elderly engineer, and it soon became clear to the knights what their new tactic would be - blow them out of their stronghold.

The Turks resumed their barrage on the walls, which were by now badly damaged in many places with nobody left to repair them. The Grand Master recalled all his troops from the other Islands but the situation was getting helpless and matters were to get even worse. Some Turkish slaves managed to escape and started to burn the town, but were soon rounded up and executed. At the end of September, a servant of the Prior of Castile and Grand Chancellor d'Amarel, was caught shooting messages into the Turkish camp and after torture implicated his master. Andrea d'Amaral was solemnly degraded from his vows in front of the whole order and beheaded for treason.

New Knights Hospital

At the end of November the Turks made a further assault on the positions of Spain and Italy, they were again beaten back with the further loss of three thousand men. Matters were now getting desperate for the knights, but the Turks also had their problems with their exhausted army, now much depleted through the fighting and disease which was spreading through their camps. Their next move was to appeal to the townsfolk, bypassing the leaders, offering them peace, their lives and food if they surrendered the city, but threatened to put them to the sword and under slavery if they were made to enter by force. At first the Grand Master and knights would hear none of it, but under pressure from the local people gave in and agreed to accept negotiations.

A three day truce was declared for 11th-13th December, but after the locals demanded further assurance of their safety and welfare from Suleiman, he got angry and ordered his forces to begin the bombardment again of the town. On 17th December the bastion of Spain fell and it was only a matter of time before the whole city capitulated. The ramparts and walls had been virtually destroyed and to continue seemed like suicide. On 20th December the Grand Master asked for a fresh truce.

A deputation of Latins and Greeks met again with Suleiman and on 22nd December they declared their acceptance of the terms he proposed. The knights were to be given twelve days to leave the Island and could take their weapons and any valuables or religious icons they desired. Any Islander who also wished to leave with them could do so right away, or at any time within a three year period. He also promised that no church would be desecrated or turned into a mosque and that he would also grant the Island tax exemptions for five years. Extremely generous terms considering the losses he had endured in gaining his victory.

After Suleiman had entertained the Grand Master Villiers de I'Isle, he refused a guard to accompany him on his tour of the fallen city. He was shown the rubble and barricades which had been the knights only defences and was later to remark that he was sorry that he was to make 'that fine old man', de Villiers I'Isle, leave his home.

On the evening of 1st January 1523 a single trumpet blast sounded. To the Turks amazement, the remaining brethren all marched out of the town in parade order. They had their banners flying and were wearing full battle armour with the drums beating a regular tattoo. The 50 ships, which had been made available to them, were boarded and they sailed off with heavy heads and uncertainty for the Island of Crete. After 213 years the knights' stay on the Island of Rhodes had finally come to an end and the last Crusading State had fallen.

The Knights eventually ended up making their new home the Island of Malta, with several thousand Rhodian Christians following them. For the next four centuries, Rhodes remained a Turkish possession, and one would have expected Ottoman rule to have left an indelible imprint on the Island. The Turks built - and destroyed - little, occasionally a church was converted into a Mosque but nothing of note stands out as a legacy to their time on the Island. The Grand Master's Palace was used as a cattle barn and the once noble inns were turned in barracks - time just rolled by on the island.