Battle of Lepanto

1571 naval battle between Holy League and Ottomans

The battle of Lepanto (in Italian Battaglia gave Lepanto; in Turkish: İnebahtı deniz muharebesi naval battle of İnebahtı) was a naval fight hat took place on 7 October, 1571 near of the Greek city of Náfpaktos (Lepanto in Italian).

Battle of Lepanto
Part of the Ottoman–Habsburg wars and Fourth Ottoman–Venetian War
The Battle of Lepanto by Paolo Veronese.jpeg
The Battle of Lepanto, Paolo Veronese[1]
Date7 October 1571
Result Holy League victory

Holy League
 Spanish Empire

 Papal States
 Republic of Venice
Flag of Genoa.svg Republic of Genoa
Flag of Savoie.svg Duchy of Savoy
Tuscany Grand Duchy of Tuscany
 Order of St. John
 Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Spanish Empire John of Austria
Spanish Empire Álvaro de Bazán
Spanish Empire Alexander Farnese
Spanish Empire Luis de Zúñiga
Spanish Empire Carlo d'Aragona Tagliavia
Flag of Genoa.svg Gianandrea Doria
Republic of Venice Sebastiano Venier
Republic of Venice Agostino Barbarigo 
Papal States Marcantonio Colonna
Papal States Pope Pius V
Ottoman Empire Ali Pasha 
Ottoman Empire Mahomet Sirocco 
Ottoman Empire Occhiali

65,000 men:

  • 30,000 sailors and oarsmen
  • 35,000 soldiers[2]
206 galleys
6 galleasses[3][4][5]

67,000 men:

  • 37,000 sailors and oarsmen
  • 30,000 soldiers
222 galleys
56 galliots
Casualties and losses
7,500 – 10,000 killed[6]
13 galleys sunk or destroyed[7]
20,000 – 30,000 killed[8][9]
117 galleys captured
20 galliots captured
50 galleys and galliots sunk or destroyed
12,000 Christian slaves freed

They confronted in her the armed of Ottoman Empire against the one of a Catholic coalition, called Holy League, formed by the Spanish Empire, the Pontifical States, the Republic of Venice, the Order of Malta, the Republic of Génova and the Duchy of Savoy.

In this battle participated Miguel de Cervantes, that resulted injured and lost the mobility of his left hand, what cost him the nickname of «manco of Lepanto». This writer, that was very proud to having combated there, described it like «the more memorable and high occasion that saw the past centuries, neither expect to see the coming».[10] Also it entered the history in the Quijote, through the #narration of the captive, as typical work of literature of border.


  1. National Maritime Museum BHC0261, based on a 1572 print by Martino Rota.
  2. John F. Guilmartin (1974), pp. 253–55
  3. Konstam, Angus (2003). Lepanto 1571: The Greatest Naval Battle of the Renaissance. United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. pp. 20–23. ISBN 1-84176-409-4. Retrieved August 29, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. Fernandez de la Puente y Acevedo, José (1853). Memoria histórico-crítica del célebre combate naval y victoria de Lepanto. Madrid, Spain: Real Academia de la Historia. p. 35.
  5. Geoffrey Parker, The Military Revolution, pp. 87 – 88
  6. Nolan, Cathal (2006). The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000–1650: Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization, Volume 2. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 529.
  7. Confrontation at Lepanto by T. C. F. Hopkins, intro
  8. William Oliver Stevens and Allan F. Westcott, A History of Sea Power, 1920, p. 107.
  9. "Battle of Lepanto".
  10. En palabras de Cervantes, Novelas Ejemplares, prólogo.