Still, the Muslims’ troubles were far from over. Nature was not through with them. A terrible sea-storm is said to have all but annihilated the retreating ships, so that, of the 2,560 ships embarking back to Damascus and Alexandria, only ten remained — and of these, half were captured by the Byzantines, leaving only five to make it back to the caliphate and report the calamities that had befallen them (which may be both why the Arab chroniclers are curiously silent about the particulars of these events, and why it would be centuries before Constantinople would be similarly attacked again).How many such storms, so severe as to thrash a navy or an army traveling by sea, have convinced people of a divine hand at work? Salamis, Artemisium, Constantinople, the Spanish Armada, the kamikaze that broke up Kubla Khan's fleets...
This sea-storm also led to the popular belief that divine providence had intervened on behalf of Christendom, with historians referring to August 15 as an “ecumenical date.”
Sea Storms and Fate
An article on the 717 siege of Constantinople raises a theme that occurs again and again in history:
By Grim on Saturday, August 17, 2013