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John of Austria
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Military Personnel
    (February 24, 1547-October 1, 1578)
    Born in Regensburg, Germany
    Commander of Holy League naval forces in their victory over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571
    AKA Don John of Austria, Don Juan de Austria, Ritter Johann von Osterreich
    Son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
    Half-brother of King Philip II of Spain
    Born out of wedlock himself, he had many affairs and (although he never played in the NBA) fathered three children out of wedlock by three different women.
    He was constantly involved in royal politics of his time which at one time led the Netherlands to declare war on him personally(!), forcing him to disguise himself as a Muslim slave.
    After capturing Galera, Spain, while putting down a Muslim revolt in Granada, he razed the city, sowed the ground with salt and sold the survivors into slavery.
    When he captured Tunis for a Muslim client of the Holy Roman Emperor, he built a fortress in the middle of the city that left the city impregnable to his attacks when he unsuccessfully tried to recapture the city the next year.
    He led a failed invasion of Algiers.
    The Ottoman Empire was able to rebuild its fleet within a year of its defeat at Lepanto and did lot lose a single inch of territory.
    He was very thin-skinned and insisted on being addressed by royal titles that, due to his illegitimacy, he was not entitled to.
    He briefly plotted to invade England, free Mary, Queen of Scots, and marry her.
    His battle plan and its execution at Lepanto were among the most brilliant in military history and led to the near total annihilation of the Ottoman navy and permanently freed the western Mediterranean from the threat of Ottoman invasion.
    Even before Lepanto, he was known for his meticulous and brilliant planning.
    He freed 12,000 slaves at Lepanto including some Muslims.
    Although both his parents were German, he was raised mostly in Spain by various foster parents at his father's behest and never lived in Germany or learned the language.
    Because of his out of wedlock birth, he was viciously snubbed by other royals.
    He was by all accounts a tender, devoted, and doting father and was crushed when he lost his only son in his infancy.
    He was devoted to relatives who would have him, particularly his various half-sisters.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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