Battle of Ponza (1552)

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Battle of Ponza
Part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars
Kadırga Minyatür.jpg
An Ottoman galley.
Date5 August 1552
LocationOff Ponza, present-day Italy
Result Franco-Ottoman victory
 Republic of Genoa Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ottoman Empire
 Kingdom of France
Commanders and leaders
Republic of Genoa Andrea Doria Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Dragut
Kingdom of France Gabriel de Luetz d'Aramon
Republic of Genoa 40 galleys Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg 100 galleys
Kingdom of France 3 galleys
Casualties and losses
7 galleys captured

The Battle of Ponza (1552) was a naval battle that occurred near the Italian island of Ponza. The battle was fought between a Franco-Ottoman fleet under Dragut and a Genoese fleet commanded by Andrea Doria.[1] The Genoese were defeated and lost seven galleys captured. The battle made it easier for the Ottoman fleet to raid the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia and Italy for the next three years.

Opposing fleets[edit]

The Ottoman fleet consisted of 100 galleys which had been sent to the Western Mediterranean when Henry II entered in conflict with Charles V in the Italian War of 1551-59.[2] The fleet was accompanied by three French galleys under the French ambassador Gabriel de Luetz d'Aramon, who accompanied the Ottomans from Istambul in their raids along the coast of Calabria in Southern Italy, capturing the city of Reggio.[3]

The Genoese fleet consisted of 40 galleys under the command of Andrea Doria.[4] Twenty of the galleys in the Genoese fleet belonged personally to Doria, six to an Antonio Doria and two to the House of Grimaldi of Monaco.[5]


The battle between the fleets took place on 5 August 1552 between the islands of Ponza and Terracina on the Italian mainland. The Ottomans captured seven of the Geonoese galleys which were full of troops.[1]


After the battle, the Franco-Ottoman fleet entered Majorca on 13 August 1552.[1] The Ottomans resisted pressure from the French to send their fleet further west, perhaps for personal reasons of the commander or due to the continuing war with Persia.[1] The victory gave the Ottomans better facility to attack Sicily, Sardinia and the coasts of Italy for the next three years.[6] After the battle, the Ottoman fleet wintered in Chios, where it was joined by the French fleet of Baron de la Garde, ready for major naval operations the following year, including the, later failed, Invasion of Corsica in 1553. In 1560 the nephew of Doria, Giovanni Andrea Doria, led another attempt to thwart Dragut at the Battle of Djerba in but was defeated and Dragut continued his raiding of the Northern Mediterranean shores until his death five years later.[6]

Gabriel de Luetz d'Aramon accompanied the fleet of Dragut with 3 galleys in the Battle of Ponza.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II by Fernand Braudel p.924 [1]
  2. ^ European warfare, 1494-1660 by Jeremy Black p.177
  3. ^ The History of England Sharon Turner, p.311
  4. ^ Whitehouse, Rosie (2013). Bradt Liguria: The Italian Riviera. Bradt Travel Guides,. p. 91. 
  5. ^ Kirk, Thomas Allison (2005). Genoa and the Sea: Policy and Power in an Early Modern Maritime Republic, 1559–1684. JHU Press. p. 41. 
  6. ^ a b Konstam, Angus (2008). Piracy: The Complete History. Osprey. p. 87.