Spanish conquest of Tripoli (1510)
|Conquest of Tripoli|
Crown of Aragon|
Kingdom of Sicily
|Commanders and leaders|
|c. 15,000 men|
|Casualties and losses|
|c. 300 killed||
c. 3000–5000 killed|
c. 5000–6000 enslaved
Navarro was a commander in the service of King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and plans to capture Tripoli began after the King of Tlemcen agreed to pay a tribute to Aragon on 5 June 1510. The invasion force consisted of some 15,000 men, including 3000 soldiers from Sicily. Navarro's fleet set sail from Sicily and landed at Malta, where he was joined by five galleys and some Maltese guides and a pilot. The fleet departed Malta on 20 July and it arrived off the coast of Tripoli four days later.
On the morning of 25 July 1510, St James's Day, the invasion force attacked the city and its castle. Approximately 6,000 marines came from Spanish ships, half of whom were employed in the siege of the city, while the others stayed in the camp to prevent an Ottoman attack from the hinterland. With the effective use of naval artillery, the Spanish quickly captured the Maghreb city. Tripoli surrendered after about three hours of heavy fighting in the city's streets.
The Spanish conquest devastated Tripoli. Prior to the attack, the city was inhabited by about 15,000 to 20,000 people. Between 3000 and 5000 were killed during the attack, while 5000 to 6000 others were enslaved. A considerable number of Jews who were enslaved were sent to Sicily, where some converted to Christianity. Some of the city's inhabitants managed to escape to the nearby settlements of Janzur and Tajura. Spanish casualties were low, with some 300 men losing their lives. About 170 Christians who had been slaves in Tripoli (most of whom were from Sicily or Malta) were freed after the attack.
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