January 11, 2022

Video: Fall of Malacca, How 1,000 Portuguese Toppled an Empire



Video premise: How a tiny force of about 1,000 Portuguese soldiers toppled the Malacca Sultanate, a wealthy trade hub and an early adopter of gun powder.

Note: In a very short time the Portuguese turned their exploration fleets into amphibious invasion forces that included trained soldiers as well as superior European cannon. Among the Portuguese soldiers was Ferdinand Magellan, who would return to Europe and ten years later embark on the armada that first circumnavigated the globe.

Sometime during or shortly after the Portuguese sack of Malacca in 1511, Enrique of Malaccaa Malay teenager, was captured and made a slave of Magellan's. Enrique was one of the first—if not the first—to circle the globe.


The Video Description:

"Malaysian history often centers around the Malacca Sultanate. The Malacca Sultanate was a diverse and prosperous merchant empire with extensive trade networks throughout the Indian Ocean, but in 1512CE its capital city was captured by a small Portuguese invasion force. The event sent the Malacca Sultanate into a tailspin from which it never recovered. 

"Despite how important the event is to Southeast Asian and Indian history, few know the details. In fact, the Fall of the Malacca Sultanate is a story that involves many fascinating people, from feuding Tamil and Gujarati merchant lords to an imprisoned Portuguese soldier who managed to ferry secret messages to his comrades."