On May 18, 1565, an Ottoman Turkish armada arrived at Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. The Islamic armada wished to establish Malta as a naval base. They began a siege that lasted for months and cost many lives. Estimated casualties range from over 10,000 to 30,000 lives lost. Birgu and Senglea, fortified cities, were leveled. It is estimated that 130,000 cannonballs were fired at the forts and armies on the island.
The siege was pivotal to Europe. Queen Elizabeth I wrote, “If the Turks should prevail against the Isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow to the rest of Christendom.” Finally, a relief army arrived, the tables were turned and the Turks fled the island.
On July 16, 1683 the Ottoman Turks were as far west as Vienna, Austria. The army that began the Siege of Vienna is estimated variously from 90,000 to 300,000 men. Months later, the city was about to capitulate when relief came from Poland. King John III Sobieski arrived with an army of 84,000 men.
The resulting battle involved what is called the largest cavalry charge in history. This decisive battle cost the lives of 60,000 Islamic soldiers, and marked the beginning of the decline of the Ottoman Empire in Europe.
In 1697 the Ottoman Turkish army was crossing the River Tisa near Zenta in what is now known as Serbia. The Imperial Hapsburg Austrian army surprised the Islamic army and won an overwhelming victory. It is estimated that 10,000 Turkish soldiers drowned in the river and 20,000 were killed in battle. It is said that only 1,000 soldiers managed to escape. The Hapsburg army lost only 500 men. In addition to routing the Islamic army, the Austrians captured the sultan's harem, 87 cannons, the royal treasure chest and the official State Seal of the Ottoman Empire.
Besides overwhelming military victory, these three events have one thing in common.