Mustapha thought the time had come to make his surprise move, ordered the Janissaries in their ships forward to attack the point of Senglea. Unknown to the Turks at the very foot of Fort St. Anglo on the opposite side of the creek from Senglea there was a concealed cannon battery placed for just such an attempt. The French knight in charge of this battery could not believe his eyes the 10 ships were heading straight his guns, at 200 yards he gave the order to fire. The Turks did not stand a chance, 9 ships were blown out of the water, 800 of Mustapha’s best soldiers were lost. The 10th ship managed to escape. With this the Turks on the walls of St. Michael were thrown back. Christian losses have been estimated at 200 to 300, but the Turks lose 2000 to 3000.
The Turks regrouped, redirected cannon fire. On August 2nd, all the Turkish guns “opened up with a roar,” 10 After pulverizing the fortification of Birgu and Senglea, the army swept forward and a 6 hour battle commenced. The Turks managed to break through several times but only to be thrown back. Finally Mustapha who it is said, tore his beard in mortification on what was happening called his troops back he underestimated the will of the defenders.
Once again, Mustapha ordered a cannon bombardment for 5 days to weaken the defenses. On August 7th, the Turkish army swept forward attacking the walls of Birgu and Senglea, the Turks broke threw the outer wall at Birgu, only to find that the Knights had built an inner wall, trapping the Turks in a cross fire and were thrown back. At Senglea, the Turks were achieving success and had broken threw, victory was within their grasp, but at just at the key moment, a trumpet call is heard. It is the Turkish call to retreat. To the amazement of the defenders the Turks pull back.