In his new book Suleyman the Magnificent and Malta 1565 – Decisions, Concerns, Consequences, Arnold Cassola looks at the 1565 Siege of Malta through the eyes of the great Ottoman Sultan.

The book opens with the motivations that spurred Suleyman to authorise the invasion of Malta, also referring to his pre-campaign thoughts, concerns and actions. It then highlights the beginning of the journey towards Malta and the measures the Sultan took to protect and reinforce the armada on its way to the island, from Istanbul to the Peloponnese and from the Peloponnese to Malta.

As the fierce battle unfolds, the author underlines the strategic importance of Maghreb aid for the Ottoman forces, the moments of frailty and deep worries of the aging Sultan, his concerns on ways and means of replenishing his troops with food provisions and munitions, his rectitude in dealing with the French monarch and the Doge of Venice and his firmness in clamping down on the turbulence in Morocco and Crimea.

The publication ends with the return journey of the Ottoman armada after its defeat, the post-siege appreciation, rewards and awards the Magnificent dished out and an appreciation of Suleyman’s human qualities and failings.

The publication is the fruit of research based exclusively on primary Ottoman sources of the 1564-1566 period, supplemented by evidence from the contemporary eyewitness account of Balbi de Correggio.


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