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Title: Hospitaller defensive strategy at the turn of the seventeenth century : the need for coastal defences
Other Titles: The Turkish raid of 1614
Authors: Spiteri, Stephen C.
Keywords: Malta -- History -- 17th century
Fortification -- Malta -- History -- 17th century
Knights of Malta -- History -- 17th century
Order of St John -- History -- 17th century
Coast defenses -- Malta -- History -- 17th century
Fort San Lucian (Marsaxlokk, Malta)
Wignacourt Towers (Malta)
St. Thomas Tower and Battery (Marsaskala, Malta)
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Wirt iż-Żejtun
Citation: Spiteri, S. C. (2014). Hospitaller defensive strategy at the turn of the seventeenth century : the need for coastal defences. In R. Abela (Ed.), The Turkish raid of 1614 (pp. 94-102). Żejtun : Wirt iż-Żejtun.
Abstract: For most of the sixteenth century, the Knights of St John had focused all their resources and military planning on securing the safety of their convent and its naval facilities inside the Grand Harbour. This left little money and energy which could be spared for the protection of the islands' shores and its rural areas. The renewed Turkish incursions into the Western Mediterranean towards the late 1500s, however, meant that the Order could no longer continue to ignore the problem posed by the islands' defencless and exposed shores, and the vulnerability of the rural population to the threat of the predatory activities of Turkish and Barbary corsairs. Under the leadership of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, however, the Knights began to address the problem by introducing a -number of coastal defences designed to serve both as vigilant sentinels and physical barriers to invasion. By the time of the Turkish razzia of 1614, three such coastal fortini had been built and one of these, Torre S. Luciano, played an active role in the fateful events of that summer. These coastal defences, and others that followed in their wake, stirred by the events of 1614, were instrumental in establishing the foundations for a new coastal defence strategy - one that would shape and dictate the islands' fortification schemes and the Knights' defensive posture throughout the remainder of the Order's rule. This paper discuss the nature, scope, and limitations of the early seventeenth-century Hospitaller coastal defences.
ISBN: 9789995784003
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsBS

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