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Andrea Doria
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Military Personnel
    (November 30, 1466-November 25, 1560)
    Born in Onegelia, Italy
    Geonese mercenary and admiral who co-led the Catholic naval forces of The Holy League to victory against the navy of the Ottoman Empire on Occtober 7, 1571 along with John of Austria
    Known as, 'Liberator et Pater Patriae' translated as Liberator and Father of his Country
    He was a originally a mercenary who fought solely for pay for several different Italian royal families.
    During his career he fought for his native Genoa against France, then against Genoa for France and then back and ended up fighting for The Holy Roman Empire against both!
    Before winning the Battle of Lepanto, his naval forces had been defeated by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Preveza in 1538 and in 1552 at the Battle of Ponze.
    He was frequently involved in the conspiracies that were so popular in the Italy of his time, one of which led to the death of his nephew and heir.
    The Ottomans rebuilt their navy within a year of their defeat and did not lose one square inch of territory.
    His victory at Lepanto almost annihilated the Ottoman navy and permanently ended the Ottoman threat to the northern and western Mediterranean.
    At Lepanto, he freed 12,000 Ottoman slaves including some Muslims.
    Before the Battle of Lepanto, Pope Pius V placed the Christian fleet under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and encouraged its members to pray the rosary so the victory was a spiritual one as well as military and united the Catholic forces far more than simple pay or glory hunting could have.
    He won the victory without the help of Protestant England which had elected to sit the war out.
    After Lepanto, the Ottomans never again sought a major naval battle with the West.
    He stayed mentally and physically active until well into his nineties.
    He was orphaned at an early age.
    He reformed the constitution of his native Genoa ending much of violent infighting that had marked the city's history for centuries.
    He was 'royalty.'
    Most people recognize his name as being the name of a famous cruise ship that sank in the 1950's.
    He had a girl's first name.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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