On the morning of October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Lepanto on the Ionian Sea, the vast and heavily-manned fleets of the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League clashed in one of the most significant battles in history. By four o’clock that afternoon the sea was red with blood. It was a victory of the west-the first major victory of Europeans against the Ottoman Empire. In this compelling piece of narrative history, Niccolo Capponi describes the clash of cultures that led to this crucial confrontation and takes a fresh look at the bloody struggle at sea between oared fighting galleys and determined men of faith. As a description of the age-old conflict between Christianity and Islam, it is a story that resonates today.