Battle of the Counts

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Battle of the Counts
Date June 23, 1287
Location near Naples, present-day Italy
Result Aragonese victory
Belligerents
Kingdom of Aragon flag Crown of Aragon Angevin Empire
Commanders and leaders
Roger of Lauria Reynald III Quarrel
Narjot de Toucy
Strength
40–45 galleys 70 galleys
Casualties and losses
Unknown 5,000 captured
40 galleys captured

The naval Battle of the Counts took place on 23 June 1287 at Naples, Italy, when an Aragonese-Sicilian galley fleet commanded by Roger of Lauria defeated a large combined Angevin (Apulian and Principatan) galley fleet commanded respectively by Reynald III Quarrel and Narjot de Toucy.

Lauria had taken his fleet to Augusta, eastern Sicily, after a report of an Angevin galley fleets landing invasion troops there. He landed his troops, who recaptured the town, leaving the Angevins holed up in the castle. However, the invasion was a decoy and the Angevin galleys had sailed around the south of Sicily and linked up with their allies, forming a fleet about twice the size of Lauria's. Their plan was to land troops in the south-west of Sicily.

Lauria searched for the allied fleet and finally found it at Naples. Unable to attack it close to the city he bombarded the nearby coast to lure it out, as he had done in 1284, and sent in a formal challenge. The Angevin fleet came out arranged in 5 squadrons, each commanded by a count (hence the name of the battle). They were Reynald III Quarrel of Avella, Hugh of Brienne, the Count of Aquila, Count Jean de Joinville and Guy de Montfort, Count of Nola. Each of their flag-galleys was surrounded to each side by 4 other galleys and to the rear by 2 galleys. The fleet flag-galley had 2 galleys to its front also. This made 63 galleys, and there may have been a small reserve since about 70 of the about 84 Angevin galleys are said to have come out to fight. 2 tarides carried the Papal and Angevin banners.

Lauria had around 40-45 galleys. He followed his usual tactic and retreated until the Angevin galleys had become disorganized, weathered their initial attack, then counterattacked from the sides, damaging the Angevin galleys oars. In a battle lasting much of the day, Henry di Mari again fled, leaving about 40 Angevin galleys to be captured, along with 5000 prisoners, including many counts and barons.

Ships involved:

Aragon (Roger of Lauria)[edit]

40-45 galleys

Angevins[edit]

about 70 galleys - About 40 captured

Coordinates: 40°50′N 14°15′E / 40.833°N 14.250°E / 40.833; 14.250