Francisco Balbi di Correggio

Balbi di Corregio's Diary - 3rd of July - A third relief party comes

Tuesday, 3 July

The Turkish platforms were completed, and on them mounted 25 heavy pieces with which they immediately commenced to bombard us in the following manner.

Six pieces on the Margerita Heights bombarded the bastion of Provence. Six others on the promontory of St Elmo took on St Angelo, the Post of Commander de Guiral and the houses, with great fury.

Since the 24th of last month, which was the day on which the four galleys carrying the relieving force had been sighted from the City, daily signals had been made from there, but, before daybreak on the 2 July, Bajada came and told us that the reliefs had landed and that they had been brought by Juan de Cardona in two galleys of Sicily and two of the Order.

The Grand Master was greatly worried as to how this force could come in, because such a small body could not do so without great risk, owing to the large number. Lascaris was consulted as to which would be the safest way. He advised that the reliefs should follow the coastline from the City to Is-Salvatur and that boats should be sent there to ferry them to the Post of Castile. He was sure that by following this route they would not encounter a single Turk and offered to go himself. Bajada was of the same opinion adding that he had never met with a Turk along that route. The Council adopted this scheme. Bajada, together with some other good guides, was sent to Colonel Robles with instructions to follow this plan…

They arrived at the appointed place the following day, two hours before dawn, with the loss of only one knight. On his arrival, Robels found the boats and loaded them with his men. He was the last to cross to the Birgu, well pleased with his followers, as was His Lordship and all of us…

This was the third relief, which, after God, the powerful Catholic king gave to this Order during the siege, and which we sorely needed, because, if it had not arrived, we could not have withstood the first assault by land and water, nor the many others which followed.

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