- War of Chioggia
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=War of Chioggia
caption=The town of
place=coasts of Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Tyrrenhian Sea, Cyprus
result=Venetian victory and control over Mediterranean commerce
Andrea Contarini, Vettor Pisani, Carlo Zeno
Luigi de' Fieschi, Matteo Maruffo, Luciano Doria†, Pietro Doria
casualties2=The War of Chioggia ( _it. Guerra di Chioggia) was a conflict between Genoa and Venice which lasted from
1378to 1381, from which Venice emerged triumphant. It was a part of the larger Venetian-Genoese Warwhich began in 1350.
The two maritime powers had long been leading commercial powers with ties to
Constantinoplethat had nurtured their growth during the Dark Ages. Their rivalry over trade with the Levanthad generated a number of wars. Genoa, having suffered previous defeats at the hands of the Venetians, had emerged from submission to the Viscontityrants of Milanduring the fourteenth century, although it had also been severely weakened by the Black Deathof 1348 which took a toll of 40,000 on the city. Venice had dismembered the Byzantine Empirein 1204and gradually taken over land on the Adriatic— bringing it into conflict with Hungary, and land within Italy — generating a rivalry with Milan.
Genoa's allies included
Hungaryand Padua. The King of Hungary, Louis I, had conquered Dalmatiafrom Venice and by 1379Hungarian forces threatened Venice itself by land from the north. Paduan forces, under Carraresileadership ( Francesco I da Carrara), cut off Venice's communications to the west. [ [http://www.boglewood.com/timeline/chioggia.html The War of Chioggia ] ] Genoa's allies also included the Patriarch of Aquileiaand Leopold III, the Duke of Austria. [ [http://www.chioggia5circolo.it/AreaDidatttica/as00-01/FascicoloRiassuntivo/GUERRA%20DI%20CHIOGGIA.htm Direzione Didattica V Circolo ] ]
Venice's allies included
Bernabò Viscontiof Milan, gave her little help on this side, but his mercenaries invaded the territory of Genoa. The danger on land seemed trifling to Venice so long as she could keep the sea open to her trade and press the war against the Genoese in the Levant. [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Chioggia Chioggia - LoveToKnow 1911 ] ] His troops were however defeated in September 1379 in the Val Bisagno. Bernabò, whose despotism and taxes had enraged the Milanese, was deposed by his nephew Gian Galeazzo Viscontiin 1385. Imprisoned in the castle of Trezzo, he was poisoned in December of that year.
Venice had the support of
John V Palaiologos, Byzantine Emperor. In 1376, with Genoese help Andronikos IV had overthrown John V, but in 1379 Venice restored John to the throne.
The war was primarily fought over control of the island of
Tenedosin the Aegean Sea, and both sides supported different pretenders to the throne of the Byzantine Empire. Tenedos had been acquired by Venice from the Byzantine Empire in 1377, but after this conflict, they ceded it to Savoy and evacuated it in 1381. The Pope decided that the castle on Tenedos should be demolished, rather than be a source of contention between the two cities; 4000 Greek islanders from Tenedos were resettled in Creteand Euboea. [http://www.doaks.org/Crusades/CR12.pdf]
Cape d'Anzio (May 30, 1378)
During the first stage of the war the plans of the senate were carried out with general success. While
Carlo Zenoharassed the Genoese stations in the Levant, Vettor Pisani brought one of their squadrons to action on the 30th of May 1378 off Cape d' Anzioto the south of the Tiber, and defeated it. The battle was fought in a galeby 10 Venetian against 11 Genoese galleys. The Genoese admiral, Luigi de' Fieschi, was taken with 5 of his galleys, and others were wrecked. Four of the squadron escaped, and steered for Famagustain Cyprus, then held by Genoa. If Pisani had directed his course to Genoa itself, which was thrown into a panic by the defeat at Anzio, it is possible that he might have dictated peace, but he thought his squadron too weak, and preferred to follow the Genoese galleys which had fled to Famagusta. [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Chioggia Chioggia - LoveToKnow 1911 ] ]
Pisani returned to the Adriatic and with a fleet of 25 galleys destroyed the port of
Sebenico(Šibenik) and headed towards Traù(Trogir), where 22 Genoese galleys were found, commanded by Luciano Doria. Pisani attacked Traù, but the port, heavily fortified, resisted his attack. The Venetians, suffering damage themselves, withdrew to Venice. [ [http://www.chioggia5circolo.it/AreaDidatttica/as00-01/FascicoloRiassuntivo/GUERRA%20DI%20CHIOGGIA.htm Direzione Didattica V Circolo ] ]
Battle of Pola (May 7, 1379)
The next spring (1379) the Venetians attempted to attack Traù again, but were repelled. During the summer of 1379 Pisani was employed partly in attacking Genoa in
Cyprus, but mainly in taking possession of the Istrianand Dalmatiantowns which supported the Hungarians from fear of the aggressive ambition of Venice. He was ordered to winter on the coast of Istria, where his crews suffered from exposure and disease. Genoa, having recovered from the panic caused by the disaster at Anzio, decided to attack Venice at home while the best of her ships were absent with Carlo Zeno. She sent a strong fleet into the Adriatic under Luciano Doria.
Pisani had been reinforced early in the spring of 1379, but when he was sighted by the Genoese fleet of 25 sail off Pola in Istria on the 7th of May, he was slightly outnumbered, and his crews were still weak. The Venetian admiral would have preferred to avoid battle, and to check an attack on Venice itself, by threatening the Genoese fleet from his base on the Istrian coast. He was forced into battle by the commissioner ("proveditore")
Michele Steno, who as agent of the senate had authority over the admiral. The Venetians were defeated with the loss of all their galleys except six. Luciano Doria fell in the battle, and the Genoese, who had suffered severely, did not at once follow up their success.
When Pisani returned home, he was thrown into prison. [ [http://www.veneto.org/history/serenissima2.htm Veneto.Org ] ] However, he was later released when the city of Venice was threatened by the Genoese at the Battle of Chioggia. [ [http://www.boglewood.com/timeline/chioggia.html The War of Chioggia ] ]
Lido and Brondolo (July 1379)
On the arrival of
Pietro Doria, with reinforcements, the Genoese appeared off the Lido, the outer barrier of the lagoon of Venice, in July, and in August they entered on a combined naval and military attack on the city, in combination with the Paduans under the Carraresiand the Hungarians.
The Venetians had closed the passages through the outer banks except at the southern end, at the island of
Brondolo, and the town of Chioggia. The barrier here approaches close to the mainland, and the position facilitated the co-operation of the Genoese with the Paduans and Hungarians, but Chioggia is distant from Venice, which could only be reached along the canals across the lagoon. The Venetians had taken up the buoyswhich marked the fairway, and had placed a light squadron on the lagoon. The allies soon occupied Brondolo.
Battle of Chioggia (August 1379–June 1380)
This wider conflict takes its name from the fishing port town of
Chioggia, which had a Venetian garrison of 3,000 men. The Genoese were reinforced by the Hungarians and Paduans, and suddenly and unexpectedly they attacked the south end of the lagoon, brought her fleet into the channels of the lagoon and, with her allies, stormed and captured Chioggia on 16 August 1379. By mid-August 1379 the allies had Venice encircled.
The Venetian senate applied for peace, but when the Genoese replied that they were resolved to "bit and
bridlethe horses of Saint Mark" the Venetians decided to fight to the end. [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Chioggia Chioggia - LoveToKnow 1911 ] ] All Venetian reserves were mobilized and Vittor Pisani, imprisoned after the battle of Pola, was released by popular demand.
During the night of 22 December 1379, under cover of darkness, the
doge of Venice Andrea Contariniand Pisani blockaded Chioggia. They thus cut off the occupying forces from both the Paduans and the Genoese fleet. After launching this diversionary attack on Chioggia, the Venetians managed to sink obstructions closing every channel by which the Genoese fleet might escape from the cul-de-sacat Chioggia.
The Venetian galley fleet that had been on a raiding expedition in the Mediterranean reached the anchorage off Brondolo on January 1, 1380; this fleet was under the command of
Carlo Zeno, who had left on a plundering expedition before the battle of Pola and had been inflicting damage on Genoese trade in the Tyrrhenian and Aegean seas as far as Beirutand Rhodes. Zeno returned home in time to join the blockade of Chioggia. It was the Genoese who now were encircled.
The attack on Genoese-held Chioggia was now pressed with vigour. The Genoese held out resolutely in the hope of relief from home. Months of
skirmishesfollowed. The Genoese attempted to clear the barricades in the channels and the Venetians to defend them. Genoese also failed in an attempt to subdue the mercenariesemployed by the Venetians who were besieging them. The heavy Genoese vessels were much hampered by the shallow water and intricate passages through the lagoon. By taking advantage of their embarrassment and his own local knowledge, Pisani carried out a series of movements which entirely turned the tables on the invaders. Pisani executed a succession of night attacks, during which he sank vessels laden with stores not only in the canals leading through the lagoon to Venice, but in the fairways leading from Chioggia to the open sea round both ends of the island of Brondolo. The Genoese were thus shut in at the very moment when they thought they were about to besiege Venice. Pisani stationed the galleys under his command in the open sea outside Brondolo, and during the rest of the year blockaded the enemy closely. The distress of the Venetians themselves was great, but the Doge Andrea Contarini and the nobles set an example by sharing the general hardships, and taking an oath not to return to Venice till they had recovered Chioggia.
But the resources of Genoa had been taxed to fit out the squadrons she had already sent to sea. It was not until the 12th of May 1380 that her admiral,
Matteo Maruffo, was able to reach the neighbourhood of Brondolo with a relieving force. By this time the Venetians had recovered the island, and their fleet occupied a fortified anchorage from which they refused to be drawn. Maruffo could do nothing, and on the 24th of June 1380 the defenders of Chioggia surrendered.
Battle of Chioggiatook place in June 24, 1380in the lagoonoff Chioggia, resulting in a victory for Venice. The Genoese, near starvation, surrendered and thus allowed the Venetians to regain control of the Adriatic.
Peace of Turin (1381)
Through the mediation of the "Green Count" of Savoy, Amadeus VI, the two sides made a peace treaty at
Turin. It gave no formal advantage to Genoa or Venice. But it spelled the end of their long competition: Genoese shipping was not seen in the Adriatic after Chioggia.
This conflict saw the first use of shipborne
cannons in support of amphibious assault operations and perhaps against Genoese galleys.
The conflict was nearly disastrous for both sides, and Genoa was certainly crippled. Venice might have suffered as badly, were it not for its admirals
Vettor Pisaniand Carlo Zeno. She regained her strength and continued to impressive maturity until her defeat by the League of Cambraiin 1508.
* [http://www.boglewood.com/timeline/chioggia.html The War of Chioggia]
* [http://www.veneto.org/history/serenissima2.htm Venice Republic: the Middle Ages]
*it icon [http://www.chioggia5circolo.it/AreaDidatttica/as00-01/FascicoloRiassuntivo/GUERRA%20DI%20CHIOGGIA.htm La Guerra di Chioggia]
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