Battle of Focchies

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Battle of Focchies
Part of the Ottoman-Venetian War over Crete
Battle of the combined Venetian and Dutch fleets against the Turks in the Bay of Foja 1649 (Abraham Beerstratenm, 1656).jpg
Battle of the combined Venetian and Malta fleets against the Turks, with the Madonna della Vigna on the left. (Abraham Beerstraten, 1656
Date 12 May 1649
Location Focchies, near Smyrna in western Turkey
Result Venetian victory
Belligerents
 Ottoman Empire  Republic of Venice
Sovereign Military Order of Malta Knights of Malta
Commanders and leaders
Giacomo Riva
Strength
11 sailing ships
10 galleasses
72 galleys
19 sailing ships
Casualties and losses
9 sailing ships lost
3 galleasses burnt
2 galleys burnt
105 casualties

The naval Battle of Focchies took place on 12 May 1649, during the Cretan War, off Focchies, near Smyrna in western Turkey, when a Venetian fleet of 19 ships, under Giacomo Riva, defeated an Ottoman fleet of 11 ships, 10 galleasses (mahons) and 72 galleys.

Prelude[edit]

A Venetian fleet had been blockading the Dardanelles Straits since about April 1648. On 19 November, most of the fleet withdrew, leaving 13 sailing ships, under Riva. In Spring 1649 he was joined by Bertucci Civrano with seven more, making 19 as he had lost one.

Early in May, the Ottoman fleet appeared from Istanbul. Only two of Riva's ships attacked them, and the Turks made it out of the Strait and headed south. Riva followed and caught them at the port of Focchies, on the mainland. Many of the Venetian ships were hired Dutch or English vessels, and Riva had to promise to compensate their captains for any damage.

Battle[edit]

When it became apparent that the Venetians were going to attack, the 10 galleasses covered the entrance to the port, with the galleys further in. One Ottoman sailing ship was captured by Mercante Diletto and Jupiter, one galleass by James (Captain George Scot), which was so damaged it sank ten days later, and one galley was brought off by her own slaves. Nine sailing ships, three galleasses and two galleys were burnt before the wind changed, preventing the fire from spreading to other Ottoman ships and causing the Venetians to withdraw as the burning ships were blown toward them. Three Venetian ships didn't fight: Esperienza which kept out to sea, and Francese and San Bartolamio (Captain Alardi), which were abandoned by their crews. San Bartolamio was recovered by Tre Re but Francese ran ashore and was burnt by the Turks.

The Venetians suffered 105 casualties. The Turks lost nine ships, three galleasses and two galleys burnt, while one of each type was captured.

Order of battle[edit]

Venice (Giacomo Riva)[edit]

Many were hired English or Dutch vessels

Rotta Fortuna (flag)
Croce Dorata
Tre Re
Mercante Diletto (English Merchant's Delight?)
Principessa (flag 2?)
James (English?/Scottish?) - sank 22 May
San Felippe
Carita (Dutch Lieffde)
Esperienza
Giudizio di Salomon (Dutch Salomons Gerecht)
Madonna della Vigna (Dutch)
Jupiter (Dutch)
Profeta Samuel
Amburgense
Sacrificio d'Abram (Dutch Abrahams Offerand)
Fregata Contarini
Orca Negro
San Bartolamio (French?)
Francese (French?) - abandoned, aground and burnt

Ottoman Empire[edit]

11 sailing ships - nine burnt, one captured
10 galleasses - three burnt, one captured
72 galleys - two burnt, one captured

References[edit]