Gibraltar 3rd Siege February 1333 – 17 June 1333

An attempt by Aba al-Malik, allied with Muhammed IV, Sultan of Granada, to recapture Gibraltar from the Castilians. The attack was preceded by a series of distraction campaigns waged by the Moors and Granadans in Castilian territory, which limited the ability of the Castilians to defend Gibraltar.

The Moorish army of approximately 7,000 men, who had been assembled in secret, laid siege to Gibraltar in February 1333, taking King Alfonso XI of Castile by surprise. Alfonso was unable to respond quickly due to the distraction campaigns, rebellion in central and northern Castile, and a lack of funds. He initially sent a flotilla of 21 vessels to assist, but without a supporting army, it could do little to break the siege. It took Alfonso four months to raise the funds to send an army to relieve Gibraltar, but the force only reached the Guadalete River before the governor, Don Vasco Perez de Meira, surrendered to the Moors.

The governor escaped to Africa, and was widely considered a traitor for misappropriating funds intended for strengthening the town’s defences, as well as for hoarding food supplies during the siege.

The Castilians surrendered Gibraltar to the Moors.