The 1541 Algiers expedition occurred when Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire attempted to lead a fleet against the Ottoman Empire's stronghold of Algiers, in modern Algeria. Lackluster planning and unfavourable weather meant that the expedition was a failure.
|Part of the Ottoman-Habsburg wars|
Siege of Algiers in 1541. Engraving of 1555.
|Kingdom of Kuku||Regency of Algiers|
|Commanders and leaders|
Navy: Andrea Doria
Army: Duke of Alba
Ferrante I Gonzaga
Bernardino de Mendoza
Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon
Total of 80 galleys|
Total of 500 ships.
|Casualties and losses|
Algiers had been under the control of the Ottoman Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent since its capture in 1529 by Barbarossa. Barbarossa had left Algiers in 1535 to be named High Admiral of the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople, and was replaced as Governor by Hassan Agha, a eunuch and Sardinian renegade. Hassan had in his service the well-known Ottoman naval commanders Dragut, Sālih Reïs and Sinān Pasha.
Charles V made considerable preparations for the expedition, wishing to obtain revenge for the recent siege of Buda, However the Spanish and Genoese fleets was severely damaged by a storm, forcing him to abandon the venture.
Charles V embarked very late in the season, on 28 September 1541, delayed by troubles in Germany and Flanders. The fleet was assembled in the Bay of Palma, at Majorca. It had more than 500 sails and 24,000 soldiers.
After enduring difficult weather, the fleet only arrived in front of Algiers on 19 October. The most distinguished Spanish commanders accompanied Charles V on this expedition, including Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico, though he was never invited to the War Council.
Troops were disembarked on 23 October, and Charles established his headquarters on a land promontory surrounded by German troops. German, Spanish, and Italian troops, accompanied by 150 knights of Malta, began to land while repelling Algerine opposition, soon surrounding the city, except for the northern part.
The fate of the city seemed to be sealed, however the following day the weather became severe with heavy rains. Many galleys lost their anchors and 15 were wrecked onshore. Another 33 carracks sank, while many more were dispersed. As more troops were attempting to land, the Algerines started to make sorties, slaughtering the newly arrived. Charles V was surrounded, and was only saved by the resistance of the Knights of Malta.
Andrea Doria managed to find a safer harbour for the remainder of the fleet at Cape Matifu, 5 miles east of Algiers. He enjoined Charles V to abandon his position and join him in Matifu, which Charles V did with great difficulty. From there, still oppressed by the weather, the remaining troops sailed to Bougie, still a Spanish harbour at that time. Charles could only depart for the open sea on 23 November. Throwing his horses overboard, Charles abandoned his army and sailed home. He finally reached Cartagena, in southeast Spain, on 3 December.
Losses amongst the invading force were heavy with 17 galleys and 130 carracks lost, plus large numbers of sailors and soldiers. A Turkish chronicler confirming that the Berber tribes were massacring the 12.000 men of invading forces So many of Charles' troops were taken captive that there was a glut of slaves on the market in Algiers, so that 1541 was said to be the year when Christians were sold for the price of an onion per head.
Battle of Algiers or Algiers expedition may refer to:
The Siege of Algiers (1510) by Spain leading to the establishment of the Peñón of Algiers
The Capture of Algiers (1516) by Aruj Barbarossa
The Capture of Algiers (1529) by Hayreddin Barbarossa
The Algiers expedition (1541) by Charles I of Spain
The Invasion of Algiers (1775) by Spain
The Bombardment of Algiers (1783) by Spain
The Bombardment of Algiers (1784) by Spain, Portugal, Malta, and Sicily
The Bombardment of Algiers (1816) by an Anglo-Dutch fleet
The Invasion of Algiers in 1830 by France
Part of Operation Torch (1942) involving the liberation of Algiers by the Allies and the French Resistance from Vichy
The Battle of Algiers (1956–57), a campaign of guerrilla warfare carried out by the National Liberation Front (FLN) against the French Algerian authorities from late 1956 to late 1957
The Battle of Algiers, a 1966 film by Gillo Pontecorvo about the Algerian WarConquest of Tunis (1535)
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Hasan Agha or Hadım Hassan Ağa, also Hassan the eunuch, was a Sardinian renegade and effective ruler of the Regency of Algiers from 1533 to 1545. He was the deputy of Hayreddin Barbarossa, who left him in command when he had to leave for Constantinople in 1533.In 1534 also, Hasan Agha continued to be left in command of Algiers when Barbarossa waged his campaigns in Tunisia. Hasan Agha ruled Algiers until 1545, as Barbarossa continued to be based in Istanbul as Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman fleet.
Hasan Agha was the commander of Algiers during the Algiers expedition (1541), in which Barbarossa was absent, and which ended with catastrophic results for Charles V.In 1542, he besieged the tribe of the Zaouaoua, who had supplied Charles V with 2,000 troops.Upon the retirement of Barbarossa in 1544, the son of Barbarossa Hasan Pasha was appointed Governor of Algiers to replace his father, and thus also replace Hasan Agha in the position of effective ruler.Index of articles related to the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire (1299–1922) is a historical Muslim empire, also known by its contemporaries as the Turkish Empire or Turkey after the principal ethnic group. At its zenith in the second half of the 16th century it controlled Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa. Below are the links to articles about the Ottoman Empire.John of Austria
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A siege is a prolonged military assault and blockade on a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition. A chronological list of sieges follows.Navy of the Order of Saint John
The navy of the Order of Saint John, also known as the Maltese Navy after 1530, was the first navy of a chivalric order. It was established in the Middle Ages, around the late 12th century. The navy reached its peak in the 1680s, during the reign of Grand Master Gregorio Carafa. It was disbanded following the French invasion of Malta in 1798, and its ships were taken over by the French Navy.Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon
Nicolas Durand, sieur de Villegaignon, also Villegagnon (1510 – 9 January 1571) was a Commander of the Knights of Malta, and later a French naval officer (vice-admiral of Brittany) who attempted to help the Huguenots in France escape persecution.
A notable public figure in his time, Villegaignon was a mixture of soldier, scientist, explorer, adventurer and entrepreneur. He fought pirates in the Mediterranean and participated in several wars.
Villegagnon was born in Provins, Seine et Marne, France, a nephew of Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Grand Master of the Order of Malta. He was ordained as a Knight of the Order in 1521.Spanish Marine Infantry
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Hungary and the Balkans
Ottoman victories are in bold.