Some see, few know, many choose to wander aimlessly in a fog, devoid of sunlight. I seek the light of day and leave the others to their chosen realm of ignorance. They are the ones who have brought this great nation down. I write only for the benefit of those who possess the courage required to restore our birthright.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA
I consider myself to be fairly well versed in historical matters, but none know it all. Recently, thanks to a friend in the U.K., I had the honor of reading about the Knights of Malta, and the lasting impact that their courage and that protracted battle had on us today. Had these few men not fought so well, and so long, in what was surely one of the bloodiest, most ruthless battles in the annals of warfare, you and I would not have the freedom to live and believe as we do today.
Everyone has heard of the Ottoman Empire, and some of Suleiman the Magnificent, but very few have ever heard of the Battle of Malta, The Hospitaller Knights of Saint John, Fort Saint Elmo, Fort Saint Angelo, or when Christian knights used human heads as cannonballs. Yes; you read that right and I don't blame them one damn bit.
It was 1565, The Middle Ages had ended, the Crusades were ancient history, and Knights were a thing of the past; with one exception. Two Hundred and fifty years after such groups as the Knights Templar had faded into history there yet remained an anachronism known as the Knights of Saint John.
They were a product of the past that would not die, clinging to the old ways and beliefs, they still presented a strong and steadfast military status. It was their self appointed goal to defend the Mediterranean from the Islamic hordes of the Ottoman empire, and defend it they did.
Earlier they had been forced to retreat from the Island of Rhodes, and thus they found themselves in Malta, the key to controlling the Mediterranean, with Fort Saint Angelo as the primary command center, and Fort Saint Elmo as an outpost a scant one thousand yards away. After a month of ruthless combat, Saint Elmo fell to the Muslims and the defenders had been beheaded, crucified after death, and set afloat on wooden crosses as a warning to the other Knights, and that is where the plot thickens.
A sentry walking his post at night saw crosses floating toward his position. He reported the sighting and it was verified that the headless knights who had defended the outpost of Saint Elmo were nailed to those crosses. The sight was meant to intimidate and frighten the remaining knights away; psychological warfare at its very best. It had the opposite effect. The defenders of Saint Angelo adopted a fearful resolve and sent their own message to Suleiman. They beheaded all of their Turkish prisoners and used their heads as cannon balls the following day.
I have no doubt that they got their message across; a 'heads up' you might say. They were not about to compromise, surrender, or retreat. It was to be a bitter fight to the death.
Suleiman had left Turkey forty thousand strong with his men and boasted hundreds of warships. He had already lost 8000 of his forces in a month long engagement with the badly outnumbered defenders of Saint Elmo, but was quite confident that his remaining army would have no trouble overrunning the 700 Knights of Saint John and a few thousand Spanish infantry. After that perceived victory he would be in total control of the Mediterranean Sea and in a favorable position to attack Rome, thus beheading Christianity in one fell swoop.
Grand Master Valette had pleaded with the kings of Europe for aid; which they declined, far more interested in their own comforts than some hare brained idea of fighting for principles. Only Sicily offered help, if the Knights could but survive until they prepared their small group of men. Valette was over eighty years old and yet he battled with a spear in hand, as day after day the Turks assailed his fortifications.
Needless to say Valette and his 700 men plus the 2000 Spanish infantry held off 32,000 men, thus prevailing, and today the capitol city of Malta is 'Valette'. Nearly his entire garrison was killed in the defense of the fort, but Suleiman, after leaving Turkey with 40,000 well trained troops, returned home leaving behind 30,000 dead, and Europe, as well as Christianity, was saved from Islam. The entire story is below in Suggested Reading, and I hope that you take the time to read it. Courage is inspiring, and occasionally contagious.
It strikes me as odd how Christianity has evolved. Four hundred years ago forts were named after saints, as monks and priests fought to the death with a sword in one hand and a cross in the other. Today so many have forgotten the adage that God does for those who do for themselves, and now many simply await Armageddon, hoping for an end to their problems instead of a solution; preferring not to do for themselves, rather they are waiting for God to clean up the mess that we have made of the world.
In my previous website I once wrote an essay in reference to the
famous painting of George Washington, alone in the woods praying. The following is a quote from that essay:
My favorite painting of this nation's greatest founder portrays him at his weakest, deeply troubled, and probably in his moment of greatest self doubt. It shows a man, desperate and alone, verging on failure, and out of answers. In it we see a warrior, kneeling in the snow, perhaps hungry, alone with none but his horse, his sword, his faith, and his God. He is praying, asking not that God smite his enemies for him. In his humility he seeks only strength and guidance, that he himself may do what must be done.
A short time prior to the above incident there were men known as the Black Robe Regiment, church leaders who wore a military uniform and two pistols under their black robes on Sunday morning as they taught the message of God. These were men of courage, men of conviction, and men who firmly believed that God helps those who help themselves, and these were the things that they taught from their pulpit. Where are such men today as many pews offer not only the Bible but the Qur'an as well?
Every generation that has ever lived have had those among them some who taught that this is the End Times. Sadly one of our greatest teachers today, Glenn Beck, is announcing the same. Surely there were such people in 1776, for all crisis situations bring out the End Timers. Thankfully men such as Washington and The Black Robe Regiment disregarded and ignored their dire prophecies and did what had to be done.
Without a doubt there had to be at least one man in Malta carrying a sign which read "Repent...The End is at hand." Fortunately for Christianity as a whole, those Knights felt not the need to repent, only the need to fight evil as it approached. That is the difference between men of courage, and those who snivel, of those of conviction, and those who compromise, and of those who will mount the ramparts to fight and die, and those who will go along to get along.
I find great comfort knowing that such people as the Knights of Malta once stood before overwhelming odds and triumphed. I find the same comfort in believing that people such as they still exist. Were that not so then I would not be writing, for it is to them that I address my efforts. I seek not a vast audience, only one dedicated to the principles that I hold dear.
One of my regular readers once suggested that I form a group where people could discuss the topics that I write about. I declined his suggestion, feeling that to do so would be rather presumptuous on my part. Now I am forming a group, but not to that end. Its purpose is solely to bring together those of courage who love liberty and are willing to sacrifice all in its pursuit.
I could care less how many 'Likes' the group gets, nor do I aim for a following of thousands, only for a gathering of those who feel the love of this nation and liberty to their very souls. The United States has allowed itself to be taken over by those who would bring us down, and like 700 Knights against 40,000 corsairs we can prevail, for if we do not then all is most assuredly lost, perhaps forever.
Although I can think of many who I hope choose to join this group, I shall ask none, nor did the Knights of Malta seek volunteers. Those who were among them were there because they chose to be with the very best. You, and you alone, know what beats within your heart. If liberty be the goal ye seek then seek that goal among others who live for the same. Let us be known as The Knights of Malta.
History's Bloodiest Siege Used Human Heads As Cannonballs