Battle of Focchies
|Battle of Focchies|
|Part of the Ottoman-Venetian War over Crete|
Battle of the combined Venetian and Malta fleets against the Turks, with the Madonna della Vigna on the left. (Abraham Beerstraten, 1656
|Ottoman Empire|| Republic of Venice
Knights of Malta
|Commanders and leaders|
|11 sailing ships
|19 sailing ships|
|Casualties and losses|
|9 sailing ships lost
3 galleasses burnt
2 galleys burnt
The naval Battle of Focchies took place on 12 May 1649, during the Cretan War, off Focchies near Smyrna in western Turkey. A Venetian fleet of 19 ships, under Giacomo Riva, defeated an Ottoman fleet of 11 ships, 10 galleasses (mahons) and 72 galleys.
A Venetian fleet had been blockading the Dardanelles Straits since about April 1648. On 19 November, most of the fleet withdrew, leaving 13 sailing ships, under Riva. In Spring 1649 he was joined by Bertucci Civrano with seven more, making 19 as he had lost one.
Early in May, the Ottoman fleet appeared from Istanbul. Only two of Riva's ships attacked them, and the Turks made it out of the Strait and headed south. Riva followed and caught them at the port of Focchies, on the mainland. Many of the Venetian ships were hired Dutch or English vessels, and Riva had to promise to compensate their captains for any damage.
When it became apparent that the Venetians were going to attack, the 10 galleasses covered the entrance to the port, with the galleys further in. One Ottoman sailing ship was captured by Mercante Diletto and Jupiter, one galleass by James (Captain George Scot), which was so damaged it sank ten days later, and one galley was brought off by her own slaves. Nine sailing ships, three galleasses and two galleys were burnt before the wind changed, preventing the fire from spreading to other Ottoman ships and causing the Venetians to withdraw as the burning ships were blown toward them. Three Venetian ships didn't fight: Esperienza which kept out to sea, and Francese and San Bartolamio (Captain Alardi), which were abandoned by their crews. San Bartolamio was recovered by Tre Re but Francese ran ashore and was burnt by the Turks.
The Venetians suffered 105 casualties. The Turks lost nine ships, three galleasses and two galleys burnt, while one of each type was captured.
Order of battle
Venice (Giacomo Riva)
Many were hired English or Dutch vessels
Rotta Fortuna (flag)
Mercante Diletto (English Merchant's Delight?)
Principessa (flag 2?)
James (English?/Scottish?) - sank 22 May
Carita (Dutch Lieffde)
Giudizio di Salomon (Dutch Salomons Gerecht)
Madonna della Vigna (Dutch)
Sacrificio d'Abram (Dutch Abrahams Offerand)
San Bartolamio (French?)
Francese (French?) - abandoned, aground and burnt
11 sailing ships - nine burnt, one captured
10 galleasses - three burnt, one captured
72 galleys - two burnt, one captured
- Naval wars in the Levant 1559-1853 by R. C. Anderson ISBN 1-57898-538-2