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.
Question for students (and subscribers): What naval battle do you believe is the most important in history? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
If you liked this article and would like to receive notification of new articles, please feel welcome to subscribe to History and Headlines by liking us on Facebook and becoming one of our patrons!
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Doe, Helen. Great Naval Battles: From Medieval Wars to the Present Day. Sirius, 2022.
LLC Books. 1509 by Country: 1509 in France, 1509 in India, 1509 in Italy, 1509 in Portugal, Battle of Diu, Battle of Agnadello, Siege of Padua. Books LLC, 2010.
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.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.