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Siege of Candia
In 1645 the Knights of Malta attacked a Turkish convoy on its way from Alexandria to Istanbul. They landed at Candia with the loot, which included part of the Sultan's harem, returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca.
In response, 60,000 Ottoman Turks led by Yussut Pasha disembarked on Venetian Crete and occupied Chania (La Canea) and Rethimno (Rettimo). Both of these cities took two months each to conquer. Between 1645 and 1648, the Turks occupied the island rest of the island and prepared to take the capital, Candia.
In May 1648, the siege of Candia began. The Turks spent three months investing the city, which included cutting off the water supply. For the next 16 years, the Turks bombarded the city without being able to gain entry.
During the siege, the Venetians tried to raise European and Papal support for their defense of the island. While some assistance was forthcoming, the Venetians generally stood alone.
Being a sea power, the Venetians sought to blockade the Dardanelles to prevent the Turks from resupplying thier troops on Crete. This lead to a series of naval actions focused on Crete. In 1655 the Venetian navy was victorious against the Turkish navy. On 26 August 1656, the Turks suffered their most crushing defeat since the Battle of Lepanto (1571), although the Venetian commander, Lorenzo Marcello fell. On 17-19 July 1657, the Venetian navy was beaten by the Turkish navy, and the Venetian captain, Lazzaro Mocenigo was killed by a failing mast.
On 7 November 1659, with the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees and peace between France and Spain, Venice received more aid from the Christian states. However, after the signing of the Peace of Vasvár (August 1664), the Turks were also able to bring more forces to bear.
The turning point was the decision of the French to leave Candia in August 1669. General Sea Captain Francesco Morosini , commander of the Venetian forces, was left with only 3,600 fit men to defend the fortress. He surrendered to Grand Vizier Achmed Koprolu (Kioproulis) on 27 September 1669.
As part of the negotiations, all Christians were allowed to leave the city with whatever they could carry with them. In addition, Venice retained the possession of three fortresses (Grambusa , Souda and Spinalonga ) on islets, which protected natural harbours where the Venetian ships could stop during their route eastwards and was compensated for the loss of Crete by an expansion in Dalmatia. However, Morosini negotiated the treaty without asking authorisation from the Venetian Senate, which made him a controversial figure for some years.
- Knights of Malta fought at the Siege of Candia (in Crete) in 1668. In fact, by raiding a Turkish convoy en route from Alexandria to Constantinople in 1644 and capturing part of the sultan's harem, they could be said to have precipitated the crisis.
- Francois de Beaufort, who died there.
- Charles de Sévigné.
- A Very Brief History of Crete, Stelios Jackson
- Crete: History and culture, Turkish Occupation (1669 - 1898)
- Battle of Candia, 25 August 2005.
- The War for Candia, by the VENIVA consortium.
- Venice Republic: Renaissance, 1645-69 The war of Candia, by Marcantonio Bragadin.
- Knights of Malta - Order of St John.
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