The Two Battles of Matapan, 1717 and 1718

By R.C. Anderson, published February 1945


In 1717 and 1718 two sea battles occurred off Cape Matapan, on the south western coast of Greece’s Peloponnesian peninsula. On 19 July 1717, a combined fleet of Venetian, Portuguese, Maltese and Papal States vessels (commanded by Pisani) engaged the Turkish fleet (commanded by Kapudan Pasha Ibrahim). Sailing ships predominated, but the battle was probably the last in which galleys also took part. While descriptions of the battle vary, the resulting accounts are detailed and include full descriptions of tactics, manoeuvres and casualties. The 1718 battle, between Venetians and Turks, was fought by sailing ships alone. It lasted three days, from 20 to 22 July. The Venetian fleet was again commanded by Pisani; the Turkish fleet was under the new Kapudan Pasha, Soliman Koggia.

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Filed under: Eighteenth Century | Mediterranean | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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