Legends from History

 
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The Navigator Prince
Austrian Line Infantry
Austrian Line Infantry


Joined: 12 Jul 2016
Posts: 59
Location: Porto - "a Cidade Invicta", Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Legends from History

Hi all,

This Christmas I went to my grandfather's house where I found 2 books -"Homens, Espadas e Tomates" and another without cover (is in really bad shape) - about the old Portuguese kingdom and the foundations of the early Empire, with descriptions of tactics, uniforms, legends and battles from the XV and XVI centuries.

All are based on real events, but some are more like legends while others speak of real events.

I'll leave some here, for anyone who wants to see.


A Lusitan Sword defeated by Love

During the conquest of Oja, located 17 "léguas" away from Melinde, on the African East Coast, there was a violent battle between Portuguese commanded by Tristão da Cunha and Afonso de Albuquerque on one side and a large number of Moors, subjects to the Sultan of Egypt, on the other.

As the battle came to a close, the Muslim lines collapsed and its soldiers started running for their lives, being pursuited by the Portuguese.
One of the Portuguese knights, Jorge da Silveira, then saw a great Moorish warrior running into the woods carrying a Moorish girl of rare beauty.
As he approached, the Muhammad's faith follower gave signs that he was ready to strike the Portuguese, while demanding to his companion to flee into the woods and get safe. But she would not leave the man she loved. She begged him to let her stay and share with him the fate of death or bondage. She preferred all the evil that could happen to both of them than to stay alive but without him as freedom without him meant nothing to her.
Her insistence delayed the beginning of the fight between the Moor and Jorge da Silveira, who was just standing there watching the whole discussion between the couple.

In the face of this demonstration of love, the Portuguese knight said: "May God never want my sword to separate so much love" ("Nunca Deus queira que a minha espada aparte tanto amor"), and let them flee in peace.

Spoiler:

The translation was made by me, here is the story in Portuguese:

Uma Espada Lusa vencida pelo Amor

Durante a conquista de Oja, situada a 17 léguas de Melinde, na Costa Oriental Africana, deu-se um violento combate entre portugueses comandados por Tristão da Cunha e Afonso de Albuquerque de um lado, e um grande número de mouros sujeitos ao Sultão do Egipto do outro.

Ao fim de algum tempo, os muçulmanos foram derrotados, seguindo-se a usual perseguição aos fugitivos. Foi, então, que um dos cavaleiros lusos, Jorge da Silveira, viu um grande guerreiro mouro correndo para o bosque e levando pela mão uma moça mourisca de rara beleza.
À sua aproximação, o seguidor da fé de Maomé deu sinais de que estava pronto para investir contra o português, exigindo ao mesmo tempo à sua companheira que fugisse para o bosque e se pusesse a salvo. Esta, porém, não quis largar o homem que amava. Suplicou-lhe que a deixasse ficar e compartilhar com ele o destino da morte ou escravidão. Preferia ela todo o mal que pudesse acontecer aos dois, do que ficar com a vida mas sem ele, pois a liberdade sem ele nada significava para ela. A sua insistência atrasou o início do combate entre o mouro e Jorge da Silveira, que assistia à discussão entre o casal.

Assim, perante esta demonstração de amor, disse o cavaleiro português: "Nunca Deus queira que a minha espada aparte tanto amor" e deixou-os fugir em paz.





The Dome

This legend took place at the time of construction of the Monastery of Batalha. The architect of the monastery was called Afonso Domingues, but due to his almost blindness and old age, was removed of the work. The completion of the monastery had then passed into the hands of an Irishman, Master Huguet, and Afonso Domingues was not happy with it.

One day, D. João I went to visit the monastery to attend the Celebration of Kings. He was anxious to visit the House of the Chapter of the Monastery, which Master Huguet had recently completed, following the design of Afonso Domingues's projects, except for the dome that covered the Chapter.
In the opinion of the Irish master, it would be impossible to realize the dome imagined by Afonso Domingues as it would be too much flat; without consulting the Portuguese master, he decided to conclude it in another way.

The Irish Huguet was in the Chapter, boasting of his supremacy over the Portuguese master, when he noticed the cracks that opened in the dome and threatened its fall.
In panic he ran down the church saying that Master Afonso Domingues had bewitched his work. Thinking that the Irishman was possessed by the Devil, the friars came to exorcise him. Huguet collapsed at the same time as a tremendous crash announced the fall of the House of the Chapter dome, only 24 hours after it was completed.

King João I again appointed Afonso Domingues master of the monastery's works, putting the Irish under his orders. The construction of the dome was then resumed, now following its original layout. On the day the simple beams that supported the dome were removed, only a stone was left in the center of the room where Afonso Domingues sat.

He promised Christ that he would sit on the stone, neither eating nor drinking for three days, as proof that the dome would not fall. At the end of the third day, El-Rei received the sad news that the great Portuguese architect was dead. The dome, as he had promised, had not fallen.

In memory of Afonso Domingues a statue was carved from the stone on which he finished his days.
The statue was placed in the House of the Chapter.

Spoiler:

In Portuguese:

A Abóbada

Esta lenda teve lugar na época de construção do Mosteiro da Batalha. O arquiteto do mosteiro chamava-se Afonso Domingues, mas devido à sua quase cegueira e idade avançada, foi afastado da obra. A conclusão do mosteiro tinha passado então para as mãos de um irlandês, o mestre Huguet, e Afonso Domingues não se conformava com o facto.

Um dia, D. João I foi visitar o mosteiro para assistir ao Auto de Celebração dos Reis. Vinha desejoso de visitar a Casa do Capítulo do Mosteiro, que mestre Huguet tinha recentemente concluído, seguindo o traçado dos projetos de Afonso Domingues, à exceção da abóbada que cobria o Capítulo. No entender do mestre irlandês, seria impossível concretizar a abóbada imaginada por Afonso Domingues por esta ser muito achatada; sem consultar o mestre português, decidiu concluí-la de outra forma.

O irlandês Huguet estava no Capítulo, vangloriando-se da sua supremacia sobre o mestre português, quando reparou nas fendas que se abriam na abóbada e que ameaçavam a sua queda. Em pânico, entrou a correr pela igreja dizendo que o mestre Afonso Domingues lhe tinha enfeitiçado o trabalho. Pensando que o irlandês estava possuído pelo Demónio, os frades acorreram a exorcizá-lo. Huguet caiu desmaiado ao mesmo tempo que um tremendo estrondo anunciava a queda da abóbada da Casa do Capítulo, apenas 24 horas depois de ter sido concluída.

El-Rei D. João I nomeou novamente Afonso Domingues mestre das obras do mosteiro, pondo o irlandês sob as suas ordens. A construção da abóbada foi então retomada, agora seguindo o seu traçado primitivo. No dia em que foram retiradas as traves dos simples que sustentavam a abóbada, apenas foi deixada no centro da sala uma pedra, onde ficou sentado Afonso Domingues.

Este prometeu a Cristo que ficaria sentado na pedra, sem comer nem beber, durante três dias, como prova de que a abóbada não cairia. Ao fim do terceiro dia, El-Rei recebeu a triste notícia de que o grande arquiteto português estava morto. A abóbada, como garantira, não tinha caído.

Em memória de Afonso Domingues foi-lhe esculpida uma estátua, da pedra sobre a qual acabou os seus dias. A estátua foi colocada na Casa do Capítulo.


_________________
"Não há derrotas quando é firme o passo. Ninguém fala em perder, ninguém recua."
"There are no defeats when you walk firm. No one speaks about loosing, no one goes back."

-From the Poem "Aleluia", of Pedro Homem de Mello; André Villas-Boas speech, 2011 | FC Porto



FC Porto's Official Site: www.FCPorto.pt/en
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The Navigator Prince
Austrian Line Infantry
Austrian Line Infantry


Joined: 12 Jul 2016
Posts: 59
Location: Porto - "a Cidade Invicta", Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject:

Correias Africanas - African runs

In the XV and XVI centuries, the Northern Coast of Africa (where today is Morocco) had several Portuguese Forts, scattered and constantly under siege by Saracen Armies.
After many decades under Portuguese rule, traditions were born, one of them beeing the so called "African runs". These could be performed either by a single men on horseback or by a group of them wondering the countryside. Many of these "runs" ended in a fierce fight between the different followers of faith.

On both sides there was always someone who wanted to challenge potential opponents with demonstrations of courage. One of the Portuguese known in the history of both nations for his "African runs" was the Governor of Safim, Nuno Fernandes de Athaíde.

In 1510, the Moors surrounded Safim with a large army.
Seeing the great military apparatus around him and aware of the impossibility of reinforcements coming to his rescue, the Governor decided to leave the City with a fearless group of his best friends and charge the opponent, preventing him from using his machinery.

He did so many rapid raids on horseback, always returning before the Moor could efectivly organize to hunt him down, that ended up achiving the lifting of the siege. The Moors were losing men and material at an unsustainable rate and decided that Wars like those brought them neither the profit nor the glory they desired, but rather avoidable expenses and losses.

Seeing the opponents abandoning the siege, Nuno decided to attack them again. He chased them up until the doors of Medim, causing tremendous losses, many times greater than the number of men who were accompanying him.
On his return he was attacked twice and end up fighting incessantly against a numerical superior opponent, but managed to disrupt him and withdraw safe to Safim.
This achievement earned him fame and respect from both sides of the conflict.


In 1516, after fierce fighting and having already taken a considerable prey, he found enemy forces again many times superior. He still endured the Moorish attack with disproportionate value, but while sustaining the withdrawal of his own, he was mortally wounded by a spear.
His death was very much felt, not only in the Portuguese African Forts but also in Portugal itself.
_________________
"Não há derrotas quando é firme o passo. Ninguém fala em perder, ninguém recua."
"There are no defeats when you walk firm. No one speaks about loosing, no one goes back."

-From the Poem "Aleluia", of Pedro Homem de Mello; André Villas-Boas speech, 2011 | FC Porto



FC Porto's Official Site: www.FCPorto.pt/en
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The Navigator Prince
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Austrian Line Infantry


Joined: 12 Jul 2016
Posts: 59
Location: Porto - "a Cidade Invicta", Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject:

FIVE JUMPED INTO THE BREACH

Resentment ruled among the Turks and Cambaians after the shameful defeat suffered during the Siege of Diu in 1538 - when the 23.000 strong Armies of the Gujarat Sultanate and Ottoman Empire could not defeat 600 Portuguese.

The Portuguese Empire by then was firmly established on the Indian Coasts with formidable Fortresses protected by a mighty Navy and skillful soldiers and sailors.
However, numbers never played in their favor so when by 1546 they decided to reduce the Diu's Garrison down to just 250 men, the Sultan of Cambay - always ready to go to war - quickly gathered an Army of 13.000 men and deployed it in front of the Portuguese Fortress.

Alea iacta est

Led by D. João de Mascarenhas, the Portuguese tried to get reinforcements fast, but so did the Indians (wtf?).
The Portuguese did receive around 200 men... but the Indians got thousands more. The situation was desperate. Defeat was inevitable in an open field battle, so the only option was to remain on the defense.
To make the situation even worse, the Indian General - in an effort to prevent another disaster - brought Venetian engineers to better build trenches in order to better maneuver the Bombards and better assault the Fortress. Then, the Battle - Second Siege of Diu - begun.

Wave after wave of assaulting Indians was repulsed.
The Portuguese fought with everything, but the Indian General, Khadjar Safar, had already seen this kind of fierceness 8 years before, when he commanded the Army of the Gujarat Sultanate during the First Siege of Diu.

Assaults were to no avail, so mines were set beneath one the Fortress Redoubts and, in the middle of an assault, when there was fighting occurring all along the wall, the Indian General gave the order to explode them.

TOTAL CHAOS!

The colossal explosion completely destroyed the Redoubt killing Portuguese and Indians alike. Many more Indians than Portuguese though, as many more Indian corpses were lying dead on the ground compared to just 60 Portuguese.

The Indian General gave the order in the middle of his own assault to not lose the chance of blowing a whole Redoubt full of Portuguese.
Had he given the order while the front was quiet, he would have saved the lives of many of his own men that's for sure, but the Portuguese would have formed lines further behind and his assault would have been repulsed, just like the others.

As is to be expected, Khadjar Safar immideately sent 500 of his best soldiers to breakthrough the wall breach and conquer Diu once and for all.

War cries and total confusion followed. That section was in ruins but the explosion caused a thick fog that prevented anyone from seeing what was happening there.
Meanwhile, assaults on other fronts were intensified.

The Islamic pressure was at an all time high. It was clear to all that the Portuguese lines, already overstretched, would completely collapse if the Turks made it across the walls. And there was a wall breach so... it seemed that Diu would fall to the Muslim Crescent.


But against all odds, the Portuguese Flag was still waving.


But how? The Turks made a breach in the wall and sent 500 skilled men to where there were no Portuguese left to defend so how could they not be inside the Fortress after so much time?


The Lusitan ranks were also wondering about that. Screams in a strange language were being shouted out loud in the ruins but still the Turks did not yet enter.
Defending the Main Gate, D. João was wondering as well, but the need of his presence on that front kept him for checking what was happening over the breach.

When the situation made it possible, he took arround 15 of his men and went towards the screams still comming from the ruins. When they finnally arraived, they saw an episode that shoudld be in all books of Military History.


They saw 5 Portuguese: 1 dead, 4 standing - 3 of them heavily wounded - fighting alone against an inconceivable number of Turks in the breach (where the enemy numeric superiority could not be properly enforced).
In front of those 5 Portuguese warriors were the bodies of some 200 Turks pilled up.

Amazed with what was going on, the 15 men replaced the weakened and tired arms of those 4 still alive.
With revitalized strength, the Portuguese managed to push the remaining 300 enemies out of the Fortress and closed the breach.

This incredible exploit sharply rose the morale of the rest of the men still resisting to the siege.


Even though sad for the loss of 60 friends, the Portuguese Soldiers achieved Victory after the arrival of an Armada thanks to the magnificent action of those 5 warriors, whose name here I'll write so their memory can be perpetuated:

-Sebastião de Sá;
-António Pessanha;
-Bento Barbosa;
-Bartolomeu Corrêa
-Mestre João, surgeon of Diu.
_________________
"Não há derrotas quando é firme o passo. Ninguém fala em perder, ninguém recua."
"There are no defeats when you walk firm. No one speaks about loosing, no one goes back."

-From the Poem "Aleluia", of Pedro Homem de Mello; André Villas-Boas speech, 2011 | FC Porto



FC Porto's Official Site: www.FCPorto.pt/en
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