A Brief History
On February 3, 1509, the Arabian Sea portion of the Indian Ocean witnessed a naval battle that had centuries of effects on the global balance of power when a Portuguese fleet defeated a combined fleet of Asian warships at the Battle of Diu, India.
The Portuguese put together a force of 18 warships along with 1200 soldiers to face a fleet of 46 warships and an additional 70 to 150 smaller war boats of the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamlûk Burji Sultanate of Egypt, the Zamorin of Calicut, the Republic of Venice, and the Ottoman Empire.
The battle was a massacre, with the Portuguese sinking or capturing almost all of the opposing ships. Modern Portuguese ships and the use of cannons and arquebuses overwhelmed the enemy. The Battle of Diu resulted in over 400 years of European naval dominance over Asia and Asiatic waters, lasting until the ascendancy of Japan in World War II.
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For more information, please see…
Doe, Helen. Great Naval Battles: From Medieval Wars to the Present Day. Sirius, 2022.
The featured image in this article, a map by Crenelator of the naval Battle of Diu, fought by the Portuguese, in 1509, is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
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