Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreeceAnniversary of the Battle of Navarino: Major Victory in Greece's War of...

Anniversary of the Battle of Navarino: Major Victory in Greece’s War of Independence

The Battle of Navarino
The Battle of Navarino was a naval battle fought in 1827, during the Greek War of Independence. Credit: Wikipedia/Public domain.

One of the most crucial dates in Greece’s War of Independence is October 20, 1827. It was on this date that a coalition of European powers defeated the mighty Ottoman naval forces at Navarino.

After almost 400 years of Ottoman rule, the Greeks had revolted and bravely took up arms against their occupiers. The Greek revolution was viewed sympathetically in Western Europe and Russia, with Britain, France, and Russia offering considerable help to the fighting Greeks.

The Russians, who like the Greeks were members of the Orthodox Christian faith, were very favorable to the Greek cause. The Russian Tsar believed that he had a duty to support his Orthodox brethren. At the same time, France and Britain were not keen on the Ottoman Empire gaining a strong foothold in Europe and were therefore also sympathetic to the Greek cause.

The Battle of Navarino
Russians at the great naval battle of Navarino, during the Greek War of Independence. Credit: Wikipedia/Piublic domain.

By 1827, the rebellious but outnumbered Greeks were exhausted after six years of fighting. The Ottomans saw this fatigue as an opportunity to crush the Greeks, and they sought the support of Egypt, which was nominally part of the Ottoman Empire but was in practice independent, under the rule of Muhammed Ali. The presence of Egyptian Army forces in Europe provoked outrage and led the great powers to form an alliance to help the Greeks attain their freedom.

The defeat of the Ottomans at Navarino

Britain, France, and Russia joined forces and sent battleships to the Ionian Sea. The decision to attack the Ottoman fleet at Navarino Bay was made by British Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, in cooperation with the French and in consultation with Greece’s first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias. The two powers wanted to secure Greek autonomy and bind Russia by treaty as a check on Russia’s own expansionist tendencies. In turn, Russia wished to take over Ottoman territories and therefore sought to weaken Ottoman forces.

It was hoped that a show of force from Europe and Russia would persuade the Turks to end their occupation of Greece. However, the Turks and the Egyptians did not budge, instead deciding to confront the allies’ naval squadrons. The two opponents met off the coast of the Peloponnesian town of Navarino (or Pylos). Turkish ships fired first on the allied ships, commencing the Battle of Navarino.

Though the Ottomans attacked first, the allies’ ships were superior and their guns had a longer range. Codrington’s ship led the counterattack, and within hours the superior artillery of the European forces utterly destroyed the Turkish and Egyptian armada. The defeat of the Turks was so complete that they lost control of the seas that that had been in their possession for centuries.

The Ottomans’ defeat in Navarino was so devastating that their position in Greece was substantially eroded. While they continued their efforts to control Greece, the Ottomans had lost the upper hand. Ottoman forces were ultimately forced to abandon Greece in 1832, with Greece gaining its independence that same year.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts