In 1565 the Ottoman Empire attempted to conquer the island of Malta. The Knights of Hospitaller, which controlled Malta at the time with more than 2,000 soldiers, were able to stop the Ottoman attack despite being greatly outnumbered. The Great Siege of Malta was a key battle in the quest for power over the Mediterranean. Before the battle, many throughout the region viewed the Ottoman empire as invincible. Christian alliances formed to stop the spread of the Islamic Ottoman empire into the region. The Siege of Malta was considered an important victory which emboldened the Christian forces. They would go on to defeat the Ottomans again six years later at the Battle of Lepanto in Greece, ultimately stalling further Islamic expansion into Europe.