Monday, July 25, 2016

The Battle of Oran

Building upon the struggle that had been raging for quite some time between Spain, Portugal and the ruler of Oran, the final stage was played out on my basement table jokingly referred to as the
'War Room". The first view is off the harbor district with the Bey of Oran and his forces located to the left. The Portuguese will be attacking from the wall in the background, while the Spanish have to find a way to cross the river emptying into the harbor.
The Spanish place their fire support troops along the waterfront to cover their attack as some of their men try to utilize the native fishing vessels. (you can just make out this at the 2nd boat from bottom) 
The Portuguese make the first major move, pouring out of the houses they already occupied inside the wall. At the University (center), resistance is spirited, and the first casualties are suffered. Then a major militia force ambushes the Portuguese at the end of the street (bottom) and numerous Portuguese go down (can see two such figures down near bottom
Meanwhile, in the northeast sector, the main Portuguese unites approach and enter the courtyard of the Great Mosque...and there is no apparent opposition
After surviving the ambush mentioned earlier, the Portuguese fight through heavy resistance into the University grounds, where they destroyed all opposition
Back in the great square near the Mosque, heavy fire is taken from the Palace and homes to the west. Casualties mount quickly
As the Portuguese reach the enemy posts to their front, a large force of fanatical militia pour from the Great Mosque and take the Portuguese in the rear! The Portuguese commander is not amused!
Fortunately for the Europeans, the Spanish finally (after suffering significant casualties as they crossed the river) add their numbers to the fight and begin to break the Arab resistance. The first men are seen in center of photo:
Interestingly as men attempt to flee the Palace (seen to left of palms)as fires set by the Spanish and Portuguese begin to rage out of control, others try to escape (?) by pushing into the Palace! (as seen at bottom)
One lone brave (but foolish) Arab gunner stands by his piece, firing one last round into the advancing Portuguese pushing out of the now cleared University (seen above) Note the Spanish casualties on the boat bridge...that was the result of one incredibly accurate Arab volley from the Palace (as the fire rages)
Back at the Harbor basin, more Spanish have now pushed across the river and are in the process of eliminating the opposition (You have to excuse the British Sailors filling in for Spanish...was a little thin on the ground for this massive fight!) You may notice an official Turkish contingent sent by the Sultan himself in the building rooftop by the ship they were attempting to escape on
As more Allied soldiers arrive near the Palace, the Janissary Guard prepare for a last stand. That is a lone militiaman standing in front of the Janissaries...he will not survive)
The Turkish officer, witnessing the death of the Turkish ambassador on his ship, realizes it is hopeless, and orders a surrender. The Bey and his family are executed on orders of the Portuguese commander in return for nearly a year of struggle, treachery and death. Oran has fallen! It was one of the grandest fights the group held in our 21/2 year colonial campaign!