Monday, November 8, 2010

My Second Expedition to India: First Conquest of Socotra and Hormuz, 1507

We left Lisbon on April 6th, 1507. During our departure, we lost our appointed pilot and I had to pilot my ship myself. However, while on the Mozambique Channel, we found captain Joao da Nova stranded while returning from India. We decided to rescue him and the ship Frol da la Mar, joining both in our fleet. From Malindi, our head commander, da Cunha, sent envoys to Ethiopia. Those included priest Joao Gomes, Joao Sanches, and Tunisian Sid Mohammed who, having failed to cross the region, headed for Socotra from where I managed to land them in Filuk. After a series of successful attacks, thanks to me, on Arab cities on East African coasts, we headed to Socotra island, hoping that it would be a base to stop the Red Sea commerce to the Indian sea. We occupied Suq, where we started a fortress. From Socotra my head commander Tristao da Cunha and I parted. He sailed for India where he would relieve the Portuguese sieged at Cannanore (that darn place.) I sailed with a fleet of seven ships and five hundred men in an unrequested advance towards Hormuz in the Persian Guld, which was one of the eastern chief centers of commerce in my day. On this route I conquered the cities of Curiati, Muscat, and Khor Fakkan, accepting the submission of the cities of Kalhat and Sohar. On September 25th, (yes I still remember the exact day), we arrived with a fearsome reputation at Hormuz and soon captured the city! The city agreed to become a tributary state for my noble Portuguese king. A few days later, the king of Hormuz was met by an envoy demanding the payment of tribute to Shah Ismail I from Persia. Who does he think he is?! But then I said something amazing, I said that the only tribute would be in cannon balls and guns. Ha! This thus began the connection between me and the Shah Ismail I. Immediately my men and I began building the beautiful “Fort of Our Lady of Victory.” However, some of my weak and sissy officers revolted against the heavy works and climate. Our fleet was reduced to only two ships :(. Due to this, I was unable to maintain my position for long :((. Being forced to abandon Hormuz in 1508, I raided coastal villages to resupply the settlement of Socotra, returned to Hormuz and only then headed to India.
 I thought this was a cool picture of my expedition to Hormuz

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