Turkish morale no doubt suffered, but Mustapha, as he walked through the ruins of St. Elmo, ordered what we would now consider psychological terrorism. He had the bodies of the Knights decapitated, “then nailed (the bodies) to improvised wooded crosses in mockery of the crucifixion” 8 and that night set them adrift in the Grand Harbor, where the next morning they washed up on the foot of Fort St. Angelo. The Grand Master understood Mustapha’s message, this was a war in which no quarter was to be granted.
In response to Mustapha, Grand Master La Valette, in an apparent eye for an eye reaction, ordered all of the Turkish prisoners in the dungeons of St. Angelo executed and decapitated. Their heads he had “placed in the two large cannons on the top of the high cavalier” 9 of the fort and fired them into the Turkish lines across the harbor.
The very day that St. Elmo fell, 1000 reinforcements under Chevalier de Robles, a Knight Hospitaller, was approaching from the north. On the night of June 29th, with the help of Maltese guides, they slipped around the Turkish lines, incredibly with no losses, into Birgu. The first time the Turks knew that reinforcements had arrived, was that morning, when the shouts of celebration and bell ringing was heard.
Mustapha Pasha responded by repositioning cannon batteries and began a cross fire. He developed a strategy to attack Senglea, it being the perceived weaker of the remaining fortifications.