1565 GREAT SIEGE OF MALTA
01 Rout of turks On 19 May, Mustafa Pasha’s soldiers attack the curtain wall protecting the suburb of Birgu on the south side of the Grand Harbour. Supported by two powerful batteries, the knights of the Castilian langue emerge from a sally port in the wall, routing the startled Ottomans. The Ottomans subsequently withdraw.
02 Christian Sortie At St. Elmo The Christians defending St. Elmo conduct a sortie on 29 May against the Ottoman trenches. In the face of the attack, Ottoman engineers and soldiers abandon their forward positions. Mustafa Pasha orders his janissaries to retake the lost ground. They sweep forward, driving back the Christians and capturing the outer works of the fort.
03 CAVALRY Raid On 9 June the Christian cavalry detachment from Mdina in the centre of the island launches a raid that temporarily knocks out the Ottoman guns at Gallows Point. The crucial strike enables the defenders to continue to send small boats across the harbour to resupply and reinforce the beleaguered garrison at St. Elmo.
04 Fall of St. Elmo The Ottomans launch a fresh all-out attack on 23 June against the crumbling walls of Fort St. Elmo. The 60 Christian defenders fight to the death. The time-consuming siege of St. Elmo costs the Ottomans heavily.
05 GRUESOME TACTICS Following the capture of Fort St. Elmo, the Ottomans mount the decapitated bodies of the dead knights on crucifixes, which they float across the harbour to Fort St. Angelo. La Valette responds by ordering his gunners to fire the heads of executed Ottoman prisoners from cannons atop St. Angelo.
06 little RELIEF FORCE ARRIVES A pair of Spanish galleys lands 42 knights and 600 Spanish infantry on the north shore of the island in late June. A dense fog on 5 July furnishes the cover for their transport by small boats into Birgu.
07 ottoman Amphibious Attack Having portaged boats from Marsamuscetto inlet to Marsa, the Ottomans launch an amphibious attack against Senglia on 15 July. Algerian corsairs attempt to storm the beach along French Creek.
When that fails, they try to reach Fort St. Angelo by water, but a Hospitaller battery sinks the boats.
08 Sustained Shelling The Ottomans begin a five-day bombardment on 2 August with all of their siege batteries at once, in order to soften up Senglia and Birgu for landward assaults. One of the hardest hit positions is St. Angelo, which is caught in a crossfire from batteries on Mount Sciberras, Gallows Point and Mount Salvador.
09 turkish CAMP destroyed While the Ottoman troops are preoccupied attacking Birgu and Senglia on 7 August, the Christian cavalry based in Mdina attacks and destroys the Ottoman camp. The Ottomans return from battle to find their tents ablaze, their wounded slain and their horses stolen.
10 SIEGE tower FALLS In a fresh effort to capture Birgu and St. Angelo, the Turks roll a wooden siege tower up to the land walls. The Christians unmask a battery at ground level and fire chain shot at the base of the tower, sending it crashing to the ground.