Battle of Dabul

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Battle of Dabul
Part of Portuguese battles in the East
Date 29 December 1508
Location Dabul, India
Result Portuguese victory
Portuguese Empire Cambay
Commanders and leaders
Francisco de Almeida Unknown
19 ships
1,900 men
4 merchant ships from Gujarat
6,000 men [1]
Casualties and losses
Negligible All ships destroyed
Unknown number of men killed, captured and wounded

The Battle of Dabul was an unprovoked attack by the forces of the Viceroy of Portuguese India, Francisco de Almeida, upon the trading port of Dabul in the Kingdom of Cambay December 29, 1508. Despite the presence of a double wooden wall and a ditch, the Portuguese using both an artillery bombardment and a pincer movement of armed soldiers, "slammed into the town. What followed was a black day in the history of European conquest that would leave the Portuguese cursed on Indian soil."[2] The conquerors were merciless--all living creatures (male, female, old, young, human or animal) were slaughtered then the city set on fire to burn alive those who had managed to hide in secret. The Portuguese departed on January 5, 1509. "This massacre stood beside [Vasco de] Gama's destruction of the [Hajj pilgrim ship] the Miri as an unforgiven act that lingered long in the memory.[3]

The battle was fought when the Portuguese were on their way to Diu, where they would defeat an alliance between the Mamluk Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire, the Gujarat Sultanate and others.


  1. ^ Monteiro, Saturnino (2010). Batalhas e Combates da Marinha Portuguesa. Lisbon: Livraria Sá da Costa Editora. ISBN 978-972-562378-7. 
  2. ^ Roger Crowley, Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire. New York: Random House, 2015, p. 198
  3. ^ Crowley, p. 199