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    (May 7, 1405-January 17, 1468)
    Birth name was Gjergj Kastrioti
    Skanderbeg derives from Skenderbeu, which is an Albanian pronunciation of Iskander Bey (Lord Alexander in Turkish)
    Distinguished military officer for the Ottoman Empire
    Fought for Albania independence from the Turks (1443)
    The Turkish sultan Mehmed II settled on a truce and acknowledged him as Lord of Albania (1461)
    Died of natural causes
    He fought against the army he served in. Albanians see this as a noble and patriotic act, but technically, this makes him a military deserter and traitor.
    Twelve years after his death, the Turks reconquered Albania.
    After that, the Turks found his grave, opened it, and used his bones as good luck charms.
    Ironically, even though he was a devout Christian, 70% of Albanians are now Muslim, like the Turks.
    He is the national hero of Albania.
    In addition to freeing his country, he temporarily prevented a Turkish invasion of southern Italy.
    With an army under 20,000, he managed to fight off against one of the most powerful world powers of the time.
    In a period of 25 years, 2 Ottoman sultans had to come out of Istanbul and personally lead the Turkish army to fight the Albanians, only to be defeated.
    He successfully defended his hometown of Kruje 24 times.
    The kingdoms of Venice, Naples, and Aragon as well as the Pope where so impressed with his uprising that they supported him financially.
    His castle is now a museum, the Museum of Skanderbeg, in Kruje, Albania.

Credit: Vereenyce

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