The Battle Plan
Portrait of Don Juan at a young age   Μanuscript illumination bearing the portrait of Muezzinzade Ali Pasha The rallying of the forces of the Holy League
As general commander of the allied forced had been appointed, following Philip's  demand, his half-brother Don Juan of Austria, aboard the flagship La Real. The ships of the Holy League set off from Barcelona, Genoa, Rome, Venice, Malta, Corfu and Crete in order to gather at the Sicilian port of Messina. On September 17th 1571 the allied fleet comprised over 270 ships (206 galleys, 6 galeasses and 70 firkatas together with auxiliary ships). Aboard these ships were at least 28.000 men, of which 8.000 are estimated to have been Greeks, serving as mercenaries. The entire manpower, together with the rowers and the auxiliary personnel is estimated by some historians to have been about 70.000 men.
The rallying of the forces of the Ottoman Empire
Upon receiving the news of the rallying of the Holy League's fleet, the Ottoman Sultan Selim II proceeded to the rallying of an even larger fleet. The naval force of the Ottomans consisted of the fleet which was active at the Cyprus campaign, as well as of allied forces from Cairo and Algiers. The total number of ships reached 328, of which 208 were Ottoman galleys, 56 galliots and 64 fustas. Muezzinzade Ali Pasha was appointed commander general and he came aboard his flagship, the Sultana. The largest part of the fleet was initially rallied around Corfu and the neighbouring Albanian shores, where it stayed for most part of August. As the summer came to its end, though, and the threat of war seemed to fade away, the Ottoman fleet headed towards Naupaktos (Inebahti at the time).
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