Suleiman the Magnificent


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Who was Suleiman the Magnificent?

Suleiman the Magnificent, also known as the Lawgiver, has been well known as one of the best leaders of the Ottoman Empire. It was thanks to him that the Ottoman Empire gained control and wealth. He was born in 1495 and died in 1566. Once his father died, Suleiman immediately succeeded him and commenced a set of military conquests. Some of his conquests consisted of Belgrade, Budapest, Yemen, Tebriz, Rhodes and many more. He constructed a number of bridges, mosques, aqueducts and fortresses. He brought about cultural development in the Ottoman Empire too. Suleiman truly believed that Muslims should reign the world, however he was considered to be a fair ruler and sometimes merciful.

The Strong and Weak Side of the Turks

Suleiman had hundreds of cannons and increased his army of Turkish soldiers by thousands. He had flotillas of warships constructed and thus he was able to take hold of the Mediterranean and scare of passing ships. During his forty-six years of sovereignty he had thirteen campaigns of conquest. He managed to triumph over parts of Hungary, Austria and almost Rome. The vulnerable point of the Turks was the bad weather since they always had to retreat if it was cold. On the other hand their strong point was the cavalry and cannons. Even so the cannons were tricky to move and the cavalry could not function well in tough weather. Thus Suleiman realized that he could overpower a piece of land as long as he had good weather.

The Struggle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights

There was never any amicability between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights, therefore on the 18th of May 1565; Suleiman conveyed 200 ships with 40,000 men and 70 cannons in order to conquer Malta. Malta had only between 7000 and 9000 men, so he perceived that once Malta would be won, he would move on to conquer Italy and Sicily. In the summer of 1564 spies were sent to Malta pretending to be fishermen so that they would get information on the fortifications.
Suleiman fought together with Mustapha Pasha and Piyale Pasha and informed them to adjourn Turgut on whatever decision they would take.

The Great Siege of 1565

Though there was fighting as to which fort they should attack first, they decided that their first goal was to take Fort St. Elmo. Though they had thought that only three days would be needed, the struggle continued for 35 days. The Turks lost around 6000 men however Birgu, Senglea and Fort St. Michael were the next target. They tried to build a bridge to St. Michael; nevertheless this plan did not get through. When they saw that Don Garcia had brought back up, the Turks gave up. The estimated number of deaths was 35000 Turks,

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