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Battle Of Diu In English | Indian History | Free PDF Download

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BACKGROUND

    • Just two years after Vasco da Gama reached India by sea, the Portuguese realized that the prospect of developing trade.
  • When King Manuel I of Portugal received news of the victory of portuguese, he decided to nominate Dom Francisco de Almeida as the first viceroy of India.
  • Portuguese intervention was seriously disrupting Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean, threatening Venetian interests as well, as the Portuguese became able to undersell the Venetians in the spice trade in Europe.
  • Unable to oppose the Portuguese, the Muslim communities of traders in India as well as the sovereign of Calicut, the Zamorin, sent envoys to Egypt pleading for aid against the Portuguese.
  • Venice broke diplomatic relations with Portugal and started looking for ways to counter its intervention in the Indian Ocean, sending an ambassador to the Mamluk court in Egypt.
  • Mamluk soldiers had little expertise in naval warfare, so the Mamluk Sultan, Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri requested Venetian support.
  • The fleet left Suez in November 1505, 1,100 men strong.They were ordered to fortify Jeddah against a possible Portuguese attack.Hence only in September 1507 did they reach Diu

BATTLE OF CHAUL(1508)

  • Previously, the Portuguese had been mainly active in Calicut, but the northern region of Gujarat was even more important for trade.
  • The Gujaratis were bringing spices from the Moluccas as well as silk from China, and then selling them to the Egyptians and Arabs.
  • The sovereign of Calicut, the Zamorin, had also sent an ambassador asking for help against the Portuguese.

 RESULT

  • The Portuguese, under Lourenço de Almeida, son of the Viceroy Francisco de Almeida took the command.
  • The Mamluks sailed into Chaul and fought for two days inconclusively with the Portuguese.
  • The Portuguese had to retreat and Almeida’s ship was sunk at the entrance of Chaul harbour with Almeida aboard.
  • The Portuguese later returned and attacked the fleet in the harbour of Diu, leading to a decisive victory in the Battle of Diu (1509).

THE BEGINNING

  • Before they could depart though, on 6 December 1508 Afonso de Albuquerque arrived in Cannanore.On 9 December, the Portuguese fleet departed for Diu.
  • From Cochin, the Portuguese first passed by Calicut, hoping to intercept the Zamorin’s fleet, but it had already left for Diu. In Honavar, the Portuguese met with Timoja himself, who informed the viceroy of enemy movements.
  • From Angediva, the Portuguese set sail to Dabul, an important fortified port city belonging to the Sultanate of Bijapur, From Dabul, the Portuguese called at Chaul.

BATTLE STARTS

  • As the wind turned by about 11:00 am, the royal banner was hoisted atop the Flor do Mar and a single shot fired, signaling the start of the battle.
  • Hussain had strengthened his forces with a great number of Gujarati soldiers, distributed across the ships, and the heavily armoured Portuguese infantry suddenly risked being overwhelmed.
  • Up on the crow’s nests, Ethiopian and Turkish bowmen proved their worth against Portuguese matchlock crews.
  • Throughout the course of the battle, the Flor do Mar fired over 600 shots.Eventually, only a single ship remained.Iit took a continuous bombardment from the whole fleet to finally sink it by dusk, thus marking the end of the Battle of Diu.

 PRELUDE AFTERMATH

  • The battle ended in victory for the Portuguese, with the GujaratMamluk-Calicut coalition all but defeated. The Mamluks fought bravely to the very end, but were at a loss.
  • The Viceroy extracted from the merchants of Diu a payment of 300,000 gold xerafins, 100,000 of which were distributed among the troops and 10,000 donated to the hospital of Cochin.
  • The treatment of the Mamluk captives by the Portuguese however, was brutal. The Viceroy ordered most of them to be hanged, burned alive or torn to pieces, tied to the mouths of cannon.
  • After handing over the Viceroy’s post to Afonso de Albuquerque and leaving for Portugal in November 1509.

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