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By Mike DielmanIntroductionDuring a morning of blazing heat of the first July 1571 shouting of joyeverywhere in Barcelona could be heard 47 galleys were about to weigh theanchor in the port The leading ship was the Reale and the supreme-commanderJuan d Austria went on board It was not his intention to inspect the fleetbut to make himself familiar with the ship The Reale build in the shipyardsof Barcelona was kept in the colors of Don Juan Red and Gold The ship washeavily decorated with splendid ornamentation which made it an impressiveflagship At the quays people were congratulating the young prince of 23years on leading one of the most important naval enterprises in EuropeanhistoryA beautiful day- but it ended with a humiliation for the hero At the timeDon Juan returned to his domicile in the evening he found a letter of PhilippII who was his royal half-brother He prohibited him to carry the title ofsublimity because this status only should belong to one excellency Thiswas also a rude reminder of his illegitimate origin Jean Descola Meilensteineder Geschichte 1990 Verlag Hersching2The Supreme CommanderDON JUAN DE AUSTRIA ENGLISH LORD JOHN OF AUSTRIAillegitimate son of the Holy Roman emperor Charles V and half brother ofKing Philip II of Spain Removed from his mother a bourgeois daughterat an early age he was brought up in concealment in Spain After the deathof Charles V Philip II of Spain recognized him as his half brother providedhim with a substantial household and gave him the name Don Juan deAustria 1559 Though it was hoped that he would enter the church the handsomeand spirited Don Juan expressed a desire to embark on a military careerand Philip acceded to hiswishes In the summer of 1568 Don Juan had his first brief experience inwarfare fighting Moorish pirates in the Mediterranean and he was then appointedin March 1569 commander in chief of Spanish forces attempting to subdue therebellious Moors or Christians of Moorish ancestry in
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