|1309||Battle of Rhodes||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||The Knights of St John captured the island of Rhodes||15 August 1309|
|War & Enemy:||
Knights of St John
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Island of Rhodes
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Andronikos II Palaiologos)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Unknown||Grandmaster Foulques de Villaret|
|Background story:||The Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Hospitallers or Knights of St John, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders during the Middle Ages.
The Hospitallers arose as a group of individuals associated with the work of an Amalfitan hospital in Jerusalem, which was founded around 1023 by Blessed Gerard to provide care for poor, sick or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land, and was dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Gradually, the organization became a religious and military order under its own charter, and was charged with the care and defense of the Holy Land.
The rising power of Islam eventually expelled the Knights from Jerusalem. After the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291, the Knights were confined to the County of Tripoli and, when Acre was captured in 1291, the order sought refuge in the Kingdom of Cyprus. They already had some possessions there, and the Frankish kingdom of Cyprus let them settle in Limassol.
The Grand Master of the knights, Guillaume de Villaret conceived a plan to leave Cyprus and create a dominion for the knights selecting the island of Rhodes which was, at the time, part of the Byzantine empire. His successor, Fulkes de Villaret, executed the plan.
Knights of St John
The knights first tried to reach a settlement with the Byzantine Emperor, nominal ruler of Rhodes, offering to hold the island in feudal tenure, but the Emperor had refused and instead formed an alliance with the Saracens against the Order. In 1307 the knights came to the island and after two years of operations, on 15 August 1309, the island of Rhodes surrendered to the knights. They also gained control of a number of neighboring islands and the Anatolian port of Bodrum and Kastelorizo.
|Aftermath:||The knights held the island as a Christian outpost until they were defeated and expelled by the Turks in 1522 . Then, they moved to Malta.|