And so the greeks on the mainland arrive at otl borders more or less victorious. Now the true battle begins, which will decide if most of the islands and Crete make it into this new greek state..
They pretty much achieved the same results in OTL, albeit they reclaimed this territory in 1829 as opposed to 1828 in TTL. The OTL Morea Expedition took nearly an entire year to transfer control of the castles from the Egyptians and Ottomans to the Greeks, the Ottomans were especially resistant to surrendering their castles and actively fought against the French. It helps that in TTL, the Egyptians only ever managed to secure the western coast with any effectiveness, and the sudden exit of the Egyptians from the war prevents the Ottomans from dispatching forces to the region to take possession of their castles.

Across the Gulf, the Greeks are also a lot better off, as they are starting much further north than they were in OTL with Athens, Amphissa, Nafpaktos and much of the Morea and Central Greece still under Greek control at the end of 1827 instead of being under Ottoman control. Much of this has to do with Odysseus Androutsos still being alive and still being loyal to the Greeks, as a result they are much better in Eastern Greece, with the front near Lamia as opposed to Athens.

Another important thing to mention is the lack of Resid Pasha, the Ottoman Serasker and Grand Vizier who died during the Third Siege of Missolonghi ITTL. He was arguably the most competent commander for the Ottomans in the war, outside of the Egyptian commanders, which makes his death especially detrimental to the Ottomans in the long run. Without him, the Ottomans bungled the post Missolonghi campaign in Western Greece. So instead of besieging the Greeks at Athens in the Fall of 1826 and Spring of 1827, the Ottomans were defeated and subsequently besieged themselves at Missolonghi by the Greeks.

Regarding the islands, some of them will be included in the independent Greek state and some others won't it will most likely depend on what the situation on the ground is and how generous the Great Powers are in bolstering Greece territorially. While they are generally in favor of the Greeks, I can't see them getting everything they want territorially and making them independent as well.

How would a territorially larger Greece postwar impact its future economically and politically? Crete could be difficult because of the Cretan Muslims (but Greek speakers) who were a large part of the island’s population at this point. Do they flee the island as OTL from sectarian violence?
Economically it will help quite a lot as more people and more territory means more taxes to collect and more trade that can take place. Crete was also a very important trade post for ships traveling to and from the Black Sea. Even today, Crete is one of the wealthier provinces in Greece due in large part to its strong agriculture industry on the island, although this has diminished in recent years with tourism becoming a greater part of the Cretan, and Greek economies.

Politically it would also help as post independence, there were still more Greeks under Ottoman rule than under Greek rule. This was incredibly humiliating politically and it delegitimized the Greek government in many ways. Crete also engaged in six recorded revolts against the Ottomans after the war for independence in 1841, 1858, 1866, 1889, 1895, and 1897. The Greeks on numerous occasions attempted to support their kinsmen on Crete, but were impeded either by the Powers, the Ottomans, or their own inability and fractiousness. Having Crete under Greek control eliminates a lot of these problems. Oddly enough, having Crete be a part of an independent Greece could possibly benefit the Ottomans to some degree as well.

Roughly speaking, the OTL population of Greece post war was about 700,000 in the post war census in 1834. I don't have an exact number on the population for Crete after the war, as the 1831 Ottoman Census took place when the Ottomans were fighting against the Egyptians who just so happened to have control of Crete at the time. As a result, the best I can do is estimate its population using the 1872 census which lists Crete's population at 120,000 Christians and 90,000 Muslims for a total of 210,000. Interestingly, this census was taken right after the Great Cretan Revolt of 1866 to 1869 so it could be relatively similar to the population of a post Greek War of Independence Cretan population, although one can't be certain.

The Muslim population of Crete post war will most likely flee the independent Greek state after the war as was the case with the Muslims in the Peloponnese and Central Greece in OTL, although a minority will certainly remain it won't be very large. The Christian population would also be somewhat lower than the 120,000 given in the 1872 census as they suffered from years of Ottoman and Egyptian occupation and deliberate acts of destruction. If I had to make a guess, the islands population, post war would be around 100,000 if it is included in an independent Greece.

I will also say that the land border will be a bit further north than it was in OTL.
 
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Economically it will help quite a lot as more people and more territory means more taxes to collect and more trade that can take place. Crete was also a very important trade post for ships traveling to and from the Black Sea. Even today, Crete is one of the wealthier provinces in Greece due in large part to its strong agriculture industry on the island, although this has diminished in recent years with tourism becoming a greater part of the Cretan, and Greek economies.

Sounds like a significant step up from OTL, then. I wonder if tourism could kick in to a greater extent in TTL 19th century if Greece is more prosperous (and more stable)?

Politically it would also help as post independence, there were still more Greeks under Ottoman rule than under Greek rule. This was incredibly humiliating politically and it delegitimized the Greek government in many ways.

I never knew that! Makes sense, though, the Greeks were/are really widespread.

Crete also engaged in six recorded revolts against the Ottomans after the war for independence in 1841, 1858, 1866, 1889, 1895, and 1897. The Greeks on numerous occasions attempted to support their kinsmen on Crete, but were impeded either by the Powers, the Ottomans, or their own inability and fractiousness. Having Crete under Greek control eliminates a lot of these problems. Oddly enough, having Crete be a part of an independent Greece could possibly benefit the Ottomans to some degree as well.

Sounds like it’ll be best for everyone really. Gotta say, though, if the Ottomans end up more stable in the long term they may not collapse, which would be interesting...

Roughly speaking, the OTL population of Greece post war was about 700,000 in the post war census in 1834. I don't have an exact number on the population for Crete after the war, as the 1831 Ottoman Census took place when the Ottomans were fighting against the Egyptians who just so happened to have control of Crete at the time. As a result, the best I can do is estimate its population using the 1872 census which lists Crete's population at 120,000 Christians and 90,000 Muslims for a total of 210,000. Interestingly, this census was taken right after the Great Cretan Revolt of 1866 to 1869 so it could be relatively similar to the population of a post Greek War of Independence Cretan population, although one can't be certain.

The Muslim population of Crete post war will most likely flee the independent Greek state after the war as was the case with the Muslims in the Peloponnese and Central Greece in OTL, although a minority will certainly remain it won't be very large. The Christian population would also be somewhat lower than the 120,000 given in the 1872 census as they suffered from years of Ottoman and Egyptian occupation and deliberate acts of destruction. If I had to make a guess, the islands population, post war would be around 100,000 if it is included in an independent Greece.

Makes sense! It would definitely be a strong addition to Greece and a pretty stable one as well. Also, nice job on the estimate.

I will also say that the land border will be a bit further north than it was in OTL.

Neat. One interesting butterfly: will Greece stretch farther into Epirus than OTL?
 
They pretty much achieved the same results in OTL, albeit they reclaimed this territory in 1829 as opposed to 1828 in TTL. The OTL Morea Expedition took nearly an entire year to transfer control of the castles from the Egyptians and Ottomans to the Greeks, the Ottomans were especially resistant to surrendering their castles and actively fought against the French. It helps that in TTL, the Egyptians only ever managed to secure the western coast with any effectiveness, and the sudden exit of the Egyptians from the war prevents the Ottomans from dispatching forces to the region to take possession of their castles.

Across the Gulf, the Greeks are also a lot better off, as they are starting much further north than they were in OTL with Athens, Amphissa, Nafpaktos and much of the Morea and Central Greece still under Greek control at the end of 1827 instead of being under Ottoman control. Much of this has to do with Odysseus Androutsos still being alive and still being loyal to the Greeks, as a result they are much better in Eastern Greece, with the front near Lamia as opposed to Athens.

Another important thing to mention is the lack of Resid Pasha, the Ottoman Serasker and Grand Vizier who died during the Third Siege of Missolonghi ITTL. He was arguably the most competent commander for the Ottomans in the war, outside of the Egyptian commanders, which makes his death especially detrimental to the Ottomans in the long run. Without him, the Ottomans bungled the post Missolonghi campaign in Western Greece. So instead of besieging the Greeks at Athens in the Fall of 1826 and Spring of 1827, the Ottomans were defeated and subsequently besieged themselves at Missolonghi by the Greeks.

Regarding the islands, some of them will be included in the independent Greek state and some others won't it will most likely depend on what the situation on the ground is and how generous the Great Powers are in bolstering Greece territorially. While they are generally in favor of the Greeks, I can't see them getting everything they want territorially and making them independent as well.


Economically it will help quite a lot as more people and more territory means more taxes to collect and more trade that can take place. Crete was also a very important trade post for ships traveling to and from the Black Sea. Even today, Crete is one of the wealthier provinces in Greece due in large part to its strong agriculture industry on the island, although this has diminished in recent years with tourism becoming a greater part of the Cretan, and Greek economies.

Politically it would also help as post independence, there were still more Greeks under Ottoman rule than under Greek rule. This was incredibly humiliating politically and it delegitimized the Greek government in many ways. Crete also engaged in six recorded revolts against the Ottomans after the war for independence in 1841, 1858, 1866, 1889, 1895, and 1897. The Greeks on numerous occasions attempted to support their kinsmen on Crete, but were impeded either by the Powers, the Ottomans, or their own inability and fractiousness. Having Crete under Greek control eliminates a lot of these problems. Oddly enough, having Crete be a part of an independent Greece could possibly benefit the Ottomans to some degree as well.

Roughly speaking, the OTL population of Greece post war was about 700,000 in the post war census in 1834. I don't have an exact number on the population for Crete after the war, as the 1831 Ottoman Census took place when the Ottomans were fighting against the Egyptians who just so happened to have control of Crete at the time. As a result, the best I can do is estimate its population using the 1872 census which lists Crete's population at 120,000 Christians and 90,000 Muslims for a total of 210,000. Interestingly, this census was taken right after the Great Cretan Revolt of 1866 to 1869 so it could be relatively similar to the population of a post Greek War of Independence Cretan population, although one can't be certain.

The Muslim population of Crete post war will most likely flee the independent Greek state after the war as was the case with the Muslims in the Peloponnese and Central Greece in OTL, although a minority will certainly remain it won't be very large. The Christian population would also be somewhat lower than the 120,000 given in the 1872 census as they suffered from years of Ottoman and Egyptian occupation and deliberate acts of destruction. If I had to make a guess, the islands population, post war would be around 100,000 if it is included in an independent Greece.

I will also say that the land border will be a bit further north than it was in OTL.



IMHO expanding northwards, especially to the fertile plains of Thessaly would be even far more beneficial to the nascent state. I have wiki read that OTL there was a proposal to limit the independent Greece to the Morea, but the rationale against it was that it would cause such a flow of refugees from the bordering northern regions which had taken part in Epanastasis that would render her stillborn
 
They pretty much achieved the same results in OTL, albeit they reclaimed this territory in 1829 as opposed to 1828 in TTL. The OTL Morea Expedition took nearly an entire year to transfer control of the castles from the Egyptians and Ottomans to the Greeks, the Ottomans were especially resistant to surrendering their castles and actively fought against the French. It helps that in TTL, the Egyptians only ever managed to secure the western coast with any effectiveness, and the sudden exit of the Egyptians from the war prevents the Ottomans from dispatching forces to the region to take possession of their castles.

Across the Gulf, the Greeks are also a lot better off, as they are starting much further north than they were in OTL with Athens, Amphissa, Nafpaktos and much of the Morea and Central Greece still under Greek control at the end of 1827 instead of being under Ottoman control. Much of this has to do with Odysseus Androutsos still being alive and still being loyal to the Greeks, as a result they are much better in Eastern Greece, with the front near Lamia as opposed to Athens.

Another important thing to mention is the lack of Resid Pasha, the Ottoman Serasker and Grand Vizier who died during the Third Siege of Missolonghi ITTL. He was arguably the most competent commander for the Ottomans in the war, outside of the Egyptian commanders, which makes his death especially detrimental to the Ottomans in the long run. Without him, the Ottomans bungled the post Missolonghi campaign in Western Greece. So instead of besieging the Greeks at Athens in the Fall of 1826 and Spring of 1827, the Ottomans were defeated and subsequently besieged themselves at Missolonghi by the Greeks.

Regarding the islands, some of them will be included in the independent Greek state and some others won't it will most likely depend on what the situation on the ground is and how generous the Great Powers are in bolstering Greece territorially. While they are generally in favor of the Greeks, I can't see them getting everything they want territorially and making them independent as well.


Economically it will help quite a lot as more people and more territory means more taxes to collect and more trade that can take place. Crete was also a very important trade post for ships traveling to and from the Black Sea. Even today, Crete is one of the wealthier provinces in Greece due in large part to its strong agriculture industry on the island, although this has diminished in recent years with tourism becoming a greater part of the Cretan, and Greek economies.

Politically it would also help as post independence, there were still more Greeks under Ottoman rule than under Greek rule. This was incredibly humiliating politically and it delegitimized the Greek government in many ways. Crete also engaged in six recorded revolts against the Ottomans after the war for independence in 1841, 1858, 1866, 1889, 1895, and 1897. The Greeks on numerous occasions attempted to support their kinsmen on Crete, but were impeded either by the Powers, the Ottomans, or their own inability and fractiousness. Having Crete under Greek control eliminates a lot of these problems. Oddly enough, having Crete be a part of an independent Greece could possibly benefit the Ottomans to some degree as well.

Roughly speaking, the OTL population of Greece post war was about 700,000 in the post war census in 1834. I don't have an exact number on the population for Crete after the war, as the 1831 Ottoman Census took place when the Ottomans were fighting against the Egyptians who just so happened to have control of Crete at the time. As a result, the best I can do is estimate its population using the 1872 census which lists Crete's population at 120,000 Christians and 90,000 Muslims for a total of 210,000. Interestingly, this census was taken right after the Great Cretan Revolt of 1866 to 1869 so it could be relatively similar to the population of a post Greek War of Independence Cretan population, although one can't be certain.

I think that's wrong for 1872. The 1881 census counted 276,208 people (202,934 Greek and 72,353 Muslim the rest being Jews and foreigners). The 1858 census counted 278,908 people (both numbers from Pinar Senisik The transformation of Ottoman Crete). The latter was broken down to 215,863 Christians, 62,138 Muslims and 907 Jews. (Breakdown from Stavrakis, Statistics of the population of Crete).

On the other hand we have also the data of the Egyptian census of Mustafa pasha in 1832, right after the end of the revolution. These are not including some 60,000 refugees in the Greek mainland that were in the process of returning to the island at the time under the peace treaty and outside the towns counted households but still are pretty useful. According to them you had 12,000 people in Heraklion, 5,800 in China and 3,200 in Rethymnon, while outside the towns you had 16,133 Christian and 5,402 Muslim households. If we assume 4-5 people per household and the whole population of the cities as Muslim (unlikely but the grand majority likely would be) we get to a rough number of about 80,000 Christians and 48,000 Muslims in 1832 increasing to about 130,000 Christians and 48,000 as soon as the refugees came back (some 10,000 or fewer would remain in the independent state IMS)
 
Neat. One interesting butterfly: will Greece stretch farther into Epirus than OTL?
The 1830 border placed the Western border with the Ottoman Empire along the Acheloas River near Missolonghi. The 1832 border moved it further North to the Gulf of Arta, I can say with some certainty that it will a little further north than that, but probably not by much.

HO expanding northwards, especially to the fertile plains of Thessaly would be even far more beneficial to the nascent state. I have wiki read that OTL there was a proposal to limit the independent Greece to the Morea, but the rationale against it was that it would cause such a flow of refugees from the bordering northern regions which had taken part in Epanastasis that would render her stillborn
Indeed, there were 4 proposed plans for the Greek state territorially with just the Morea being the most limited. The others I believe were the 1830 border, the 1832 border, and the 1832 border with Crete and Samos. The concern over refugees was certainly a prominent factor in determining Greece's territory post war, another very important factor was defensibility. Anything south of the OTL 1832 border was viewed as indefensible against the Ottomans and ultimately the Powers agreed.

Having Thessaly would certainly be beneficial to a newly independent Greece, that said there is only so much they can get territorially once the war ends, and a lot will depend on what they hold at the end of the war.

I think that's wrong for 1872. The 1881 census counted 276,208 people (202,934 Greek and 72,353 Muslim the rest being Jews and foreigners). The 1858 census counted 278,908 people (both numbers from Pinar Senisik The transformation of Ottoman Crete). The latter was broken down to 215,863 Christians, 62,138 Muslims and 907 Jews. (Breakdown from Stavrakis, Statistics of the population of Crete).

On the other hand we have also the data of the Egyptian census of Mustafa pasha in 1832, right after the end of the revolution. These are not including some 60,000 refugees in the Greek mainland that were in the process of returning to the island at the time under the peace treaty and outside the towns counted households but still are pretty useful. According to them you had 12,000 people in Heraklion, 5,800 in China and 3,200 in Rethymnon, while outside the towns you had 16,133 Christian and 5,402 Muslim households. If we assume 4-5 people per household and the whole population of the cities as Muslim (unlikely but the grand majority likely would be) we get to a rough number of about 80,000 Christians and 48,000 Muslims in 1832 increasing to about 130,000 Christians and 48,000 as soon as the refugees came back (some 10,000 or fewer would remain in the independent state IMS)
Huh, I couldn't find a census for Crete in 1832, so that is certainly very helpful thank you.
 
The 1830 border placed the Western border with the Ottoman Empire along the Acheloas River near Missolonghi. The 1832 border moved it further North to the Gulf of Arta, I can say with some certainty that it will a little further north than that, but probably not by much.


Indeed, there were 4 proposed plans for the Greek state territorially with just the Morea being the most limited. The others I believe were the 1830 border, the 1832 border, and the 1832 border with Crete and Samos. The concern over refugees was certainly a prominent factor in determining Greece's territory post war, another very important factor was defensibility. Anything south of the OTL 1832 border was viewed as indefensible against the Ottomans and ultimately the Powers agreed.

Taking for granted that the border won't include Thessaly and Epirus I don't think too many changes over the OTL border are practical. Maybe move it to the heights north of Domokos going east to Almyros, this was the line the Greek army retreated to in the 1897 war and is very defensible when properly held. In Epirus the only logical lines extending beyond the OTL border are either following the Arachthos river that will leave the town of Arta on the Greek side of the border or a line further north roughly from Pente Pigadia village (subject of battles in 1897, 1912 and also IMS the 1854 revolt) to the town of Parga in the coast. That of course would be leaving both Arta and Preveza on the Greek side of the border which may be too much if we are talking for limited gains over OTL...
 
Taking for granted that the border won't include Thessaly and Epirus I don't think too many changes over the OTL border are practical. Maybe move it to the heights north of Domokos going east to Almyros, this was the line the Greek army retreated to in the 1897 war and is very defensible when properly held. In Epirus the only logical lines extending beyond the OTL border are either following the Arachthos river that will leave the town of Arta on the Greek side of the border or a line further north roughly from Pente Pigadia village (subject of battles in 1897, 1912 and also IMS the 1854 revolt) to the town of Parga in the coast. That of course would be leaving both Arta and Preveza on the Greek side of the border which may be too much if we are talking for limited gains over OTL...
I tend to agree that getting all of Epirus and Thessaly is most definitely out of the question even with the better situation for the Greeks presented in this timeline. Despite their support for the Greeks, the Great Powers are very strongly in favor of the status quo as it works to their benefit, and the status quo is dependent upon a functioning, and relatively intact Ottoman Empire. That said, I think the 1832 border with Crete and some slight adjustments in Greece's favor is certainly within the realm of possibilities ITTL.
 
I tend to agree that getting all of Epirus and Thessaly is most definitely out of the question even with the better situation for the Greeks presented in this timeline. Despite their support for the Greeks, the Great Powers are very strongly in favor of the status quo as it works to their benefit, and the status quo is dependent upon a functioning, and relatively intact Ottoman Empire. That said, I think the 1832 border with Crete and some slight adjustments in Greece's favor is certainly within the realm of possibilities ITTL.

Samos too in my opinion, it has been under Greek control since the start of the revolution, rather less complicated to include it in the free state under the TTL conditions...
 
I tend to agree that getting all of Epirus and Thessaly is most definitely out of the question even with the better situation for the Greeks presented in this timeline. Despite their support for the Greeks, the Great Powers are very strongly in favor of the status quo as it works to their benefit, and the status quo is dependent upon a functioning, and relatively intact Ottoman Empire. That said, I think the 1832 border with Crete and some slight adjustments in Greece's favor is certainly within the realm of possibilities ITTL.

Humm..... I'm afraid I've got swept up in passion.....

I thought ITTL Rebellion would spread out to Epirus and so on.... but I suppose that an indigenous Epirote uprising + external support of remaining fresh troops from Central Greece wouldn't tip the balance enough during the last push which comes before every ceasefire
 
Humm..... I'm afraid I've got swept up in passion.....

I thought ITTL Rebellion would spread out to Epirus and so on.... but I suppose that an indigenous Epirote uprising + external support of remaining fresh troops from Central Greece wouldn't tip the balance enough during the last push which comes before every ceasefire
Sadly, now that the Powers are involved, there is only so much Greece can do to influence the outcome of the war, a war which is rapidly reaching its conclusion. Obviously they will become independent, but independence comes at a cost of reduced territory. The Powers forced Greece to choose between having more territory in exchange for limited autonomy, or full independence at the cost of less territory, it was the case in OTL and it will be the case in TTL as well unfortunately.

There are several things working in the Greek's favor in TTL that should result in a more, albeit not much more, northerly border. The first being, they control much more land prior to the intervention of the Powers. In OTL when the Powers intervened Greece was down to a thin strip of land around Argos, Corinth and the Isthmus of Corinth, along with some pockets of resistance elsewhere on the mainland and a patchwork of islands like the Saronic and Cyclade islands. Barely two years later, the Greeks managed to rather quickly recover all of the territory they had lost in the past few years and much more by the Summer of 1829 when the Ottomans finally agreed to an armistice. Admittedly, they had the help of the Powers, at least in the Morea and Russia had declared their own war on the Ottomans diverting a lot of their attention, but they were effectively on their own north of the Gulf of Corinth and they still managed to liberate Missolonghi, Nafpaktos, Amphissa, Karpenisi, the Gulf of Arta, and the Thermopylae pass.

In TTL, in addition to the territory they held in 1827 in OTL, the Greeks retained control of Attica, Boeotia, Phocis, and much of Phthiotis, they also had control over most of the Morean interior as well before the Powers intervened and Egyptians made peace. Provided the Greeks attempt the same dash for land in the last two years of the war, they will have a more northerly starting point from which to launch their campaigns in TTL. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the Greeks have soldiers in Epirus and Thessaly at the end of the war, staking a claim to those regions.

Arguably the more important factor working in the Greek's favor in TTL is the survival of George Canning. Prime Minister Canning was much more sympathetic to the Greeks than Wellington ever was and he will be especially more favorable to a larger Greece, Wellington was especially resistant to the inclusion of Crete and Samos into the OTL Greek state in 1830. If the Greeks manage to secure more land than in OTL, Canning should be more willingly to allow them to keep some of it. That said, British policy comes before personal opinions and as a former Foreign Minister Canning knows this better than anyone, he will push only as far as British interests in the region allow him to push.

So its safe to say that parts of Epirus and Thessaly are still on the table, just not the whole thing.
 
Sadly, now that the Powers are involved, there is only so much Greece can do to influence the outcome of the war, a war which is rapidly reaching its conclusion. Obviously they will become independent, but independence comes at a cost of reduced territory. The Powers forced Greece to choose between having more territory in exchange for limited autonomy, or full independence at the cost of less territory, it was the case in OTL and it will be the case in TTL as well unfortunately.

There are several things working in the Greek's favor in TTL that should result in a more, albeit not much more, northerly border. The first being, they control much more land prior to the intervention of the Powers. In OTL when the Powers intervened Greece was down to a thin strip of land around Argos, Corinth and the Isthmus of Corinth, along with some pockets of resistance elsewhere on the mainland and a patchwork of islands like the Saronic and Cyclade islands. Barely two years later, the Greeks managed to rather quickly recover all of the territory they had lost in the past few years and much more by the Summer of 1829 when the Ottomans finally agreed to an armistice. Admittedly, they had the help of the Powers, at least in the Morea and Russia had declared their own war on the Ottomans diverting a lot of their attention, but they were effectively on their own north of the Gulf of Corinth and they still managed to liberate Missolonghi, Nafpaktos, Amphissa, Karpenisi, the Gulf of Arta, and the Thermopylae pass.

In TTL, in addition to the territory they held in 1827 in OTL, the Greeks retained control of Attica, Boeotia, Phocis, and much of Phthiotis, they also had control over most of the Morean interior as well before the Powers intervened and Egyptians made peace. Provided the Greeks attempt the same dash for land in the last two years of the war, they will have a more northerly starting point from which to launch their campaigns in TTL. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the Greeks have soldiers in Epirus and Thessaly at the end of the war, staking a claim to those regions.

Arguably the more important factor working in the Greek's favor in TTL is the survival of George Canning. Prime Minister Canning was much more sympathetic to the Greeks than Wellington ever was and he will be especially more favorable to a larger Greece, Wellington was especially resistant to the inclusion of Crete and Samos into the OTL Greek state in 1830. If the Greeks manage to secure more land than in OTL, Canning should be more willingly to allow them to keep some of it. That said, British policy comes before personal opinions and as a former Foreign Minister Canning knows this better than anyone, he will push only as far as British interests in the region allow him to push.

So its safe to say that parts of Epirus and Thessaly are still on the table, just not the whole thing.

Aye. The Greeks should count themselves lucky if the border comes as far north as Arta and Volos.
 
What kind of properties do the Thurman owned that have been seized by the Greeks? Is it gonna be sold by the government to raise revenue and any agricultural land given to decommissioned solders as payment in liue of cash?
 
Will this TL continue past the revolution, or will it end when Greece "wins"?
It's my intention to continue this timeline to the present day, or at least 2000. I actually have a few parts covering the immediate post War of Independence years already written, although they do need some refining and adjustments.

What kind of properties do the Thurman owned that have been seized by the Greeks? Is it gonna be sold by the government to raise revenue and any agricultural land given to decommissioned solders as payment in liue of cash?
You are correct. There are thousands of vacant homes, farms, shops, estates, and plantations across Greece that were abandoned by their Ottoman owners at the start of the war and currently under the control of the Greek Government. In the 1823 National Assembly, the Government considered selling these properties for revenue but, by in large, they have been used as collateral for the two English Loans. In the case of OTL, these properties were either sold to wealthy individuals or in the case of the smaller properties, they were given out to veterans once the war ended and it will most likely be the case in TTL as well.
 
Part 26: Crete, Chios, and the Cesme Incident
Part 26: Crete, Chios, and the Cesme Incident

550px-Navarin_Garneray.jpg

The Battle of Cesme

As the Powers worked to bring peace between the Ottoman Empire and Greece on the mainland, the war had only intensified across much of the Aegean since their arrival in the region. In the South, the island of Crete roared to life after the evacuation of the Egyptian garrison in late December 1827. Though the island had been a hotbed of rebel activity against the Ottomans for much of the war, it had fallen silent in recent years following the Egyptian conquest of Crete in the Summer of 1824. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of Cretans were slain in the process and tens of thousands fled to the mainland seeking refuge. Even still, the Greeks continued to retain a hold on the island of Gramvousa to the Northwest and the castle of Kissamos on Crete itself against heavy Egyptian and Ottoman opposition. Cretan partisans also continued to operate in the hills and mountains of Crete, striking against vulnerable patrols and striking out where they could. Still they required a better opportunity if they wished to free all of Crete from the Ottomans and Egyptians.

That opportunity came in the Fall of 1827 with the exit of Muhammad Ali and the soldiers from the war. In the ensuing weeks, Crete quickly became a vacuum as the Egyptians left the island in droves, a vacuum that was soon filled by the local Cretans who once more rose in revolt against the few remaining Ottoman forces on the island. The Ottomans managed to reinforce the island with 1,000 soldiers in late December, but the Greek Navy soon joined by the British, French, and Russian expeditionary fleet, became dominant on the seas and prohibited the further transport of men and war materials to Greece. While this wasn’t so much of an issue for the Ottoman strongholds on the mainland, for the Ottoman outposts on Crete it was a death knell. Despite being heavily outnumbered and now isolated from resupply and reinforcements, the Ottomans managed to retain control of several cities along the northern and Southern coasts of Crete, namely Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Lerapetra, Sitia and a few smaller villages in the Northeast corner of the island nearest Anatolia, albeit just barely.

Rather than wait passively for the Powers to pacify the region in their stead, Kapodistrias took the initiative and dispatched a force of men and ships under the command of the Epirote Hatzimichalis Dalianis to liberate Crete from the remaining Egyptian and Ottoman soldiers on the island. Arriving at the newly liberated port city of Chania on the 11th of January, the Greeks, numbering about three battalions of infantry and two companies of cavalry, roughly 1,400 men on foot and 200 plus on horses and mules in total, immediately moved to East along the Northern coast towards Heraklion. Heraklion was the largest city remaining under Ottoman control on the island. Its defenses were also the toughest, with large stout walls, and the mighty Venetian citadel Castello a Mare sitting amid the city’s silted in harbor. The garrison at Heraklion was also the strongest on the island with slightly over 2,000 regular Ottoman, Albanian, and Egyptian soldiers, along with several hundred armed civilians. Lastly, they were led the ambitious Albanian commander Mustafa Naili Pasha.

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Hatzimichalis Dalianis (Left) and Mustafa Naili Pasha (Right)​

Despite being a subordinate of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Mustafa Naili had remained behind on Crete following the withdraw of Egypt from the War. The Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II, upon learning of the Treaty of Alexandria, reached out to the various Egyptian commanders in Greece in an attempt to retain their services for the Porte, or at least delay their departure long enough until his own forces could become available in their stead. Though his efforts generally bore little fruit in the Morea, they were relatively successful in Crete as Mustafa Naili and members of the Egyptian garrison agreed to stay on Crete. The price for his continued service to the Porte, however, was the Vilayet of Crete which had recently become vacant following the betrayal of Muhammad Ali.[1] As the Sultan had no means of transporting troops to Crete thanks in large part to the Powers strict prohibition of it, Mahmud was forced to agree.

As such, a substantial portion of the Egyptian garrison, roughly 2,500 men, chose to remain behind on the island following the Treaty of Alexandria. Even still, the total Ottoman force on the island amounted to little more than 6,100 soldiers scattered across a dozen towns and cities along the Eastern half of Crete which paled in comparison to the estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Greek regular and irregular combatants believed to be on the island. Still, their continued presence on Crete helped to bolster the flagging Ottoman defenses, prolonging the conflict on Crete for several months to come as the Greeks were forced to starve them out one by one. By the end of June though only Heraklion remained.

With their supplies running out and no rescue in sight, Mustafa Naili Pasha attempted a desperate sortie attempt against the smattering of Greeks outside his walls. The gamble succeeded in causing mass casualties among the Greek besiegers, Dalianis himself was severely injured in the attack, but it ultimately failed to break the siege and he was forced to surrender several days later on the 12th of June. The fall of Heraklion completed the liberation of Crete and under the mediation of the Powers, the Turkish and Egyptian soldiers and civilians on the island were given safe passage to Asia Minor or Alexandria and they were generally permitted to bring their personal affects and weapons with them. However, events to the North complicated this planned exodus of the Turks and Egyptians from the island.

Over the previous Fall and Winter, Governor Kapodistrias had dispatched another force to liberate the islands of Chios and Psara from the Ottomans. In recent years, Nafplion had become inundated with refugees from the islands lost since the war began nearly seven years before. Their kin scattered across the country had also formed a large community of expats with some sway over the local politics by they used their wealth and influence to organize efforts to liberate their homes from the Ottomans. In 1825 the Chios Committee emerged from among the Chian community in Syros, with Ambrosios Skaramangas, Loukas Rallis, and Georgios Psychas as its leaders and representatives to the Kapodistrias Government. The Committee in the ensuing months gathered arms, funding, and political support from their supporters abroad and their friends at home for the liberation of Chios. Kapodistrias himself was a prominent supporter of the endeavor and used his position as Governor of Greece to help their cause. By the Fall of 1827, the final approval for the endeavor had been received and the expedition was launched in late October with the Frenchman Charles Fabvier tasked as the operation’s leader.

Instead of traveling directly to Chios, the Greek force landed first at Psara, which had been abandoned since the island’s fall to the Turks in July of 1824. The Greek forces numbered 1,100 infantry from the regular army, 350 cavalrymen under the command of the Portuguese Philhellene Antonio Figueira d'Almeida, and a corps of artillery numbering 10 siege guns, 8 field guns, and 6 mortars under the command of the Epirote Engineer Konstantinos Lagoumitzis. They were also assisted by nearly 1,200 irregular units comprised mostly of Chian and Psarian refugees. After reestablishing a Greek presence on Psara, Fabvier and his force finally departed for Chios on the 10th of October. Landing at the town of Mavrolimana, Fabvier and the Greeks managed within the span of two days to liberate the entirety of the island, except for the city of Chios itself on the island’s east coast. Efforts to besiege the city and its castle proved more difficult as the Ottomans still possessed a significant garrison behind their walls and reinforcement also proved to be an issue as Ottoman transports continued to bring more men and arms into the city. If they were to take the city and fully secure the island they would need control of the strait.

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The Castle of Chios

To that end, the British Philhellenes Lord Cochrane and Captain Hastings, along with the Psariot Admiral Kanaris and a fleet of 20 Greek ships blockaded the city of Chios from the sea. With their route of supply cut off, Fabvier finally began to make progress against the Ottoman defenses at Chios. The Frenchman did not stop there however, and in conjuncture with Cochrane and Kanaris had launched a raid against the coast of Asia Minor near Smyrna which met with some success and planned another assault against the port city of Cesme to be carried out near the beginning of February. Unfortunately, bad weather proved to be an issue forcing the raid to be delayed until the end of the month when the wind and rain finally began to clear. Cesme, located across the Chios strait from Chios had developed into quite the military port over the years, where Ottoman soldiers would gather for operations against the Greek islands. By late February, a small fleet of ships and transports had steadily built up in an attempt to break the Greek blockade of Chios city. If Fabvier and the Greeks were to finally free Chios, then the Ottoman fleet at Cesme would need to be destroyed. Unfortunately, news of this operation leaked out from the Greek camp making its way not only to the Ottomans at Cesme, but it also came to the attention of the Great Powers.

When word reached them of the coming attack against the Turks at Cesme, the British, French, and Russians moved to intervene. The reasoning for their actions in February 1828 are not hard to understand. While it was no secret that the Powers favored the Greeks, they still wished to present at least a semblance of neutrality and impartiality in the conflict which would be in doubt if they solely limited the Ottomans endeavors while ignoring those of the Greeks. More importantly however, they felt slighted. The Powers had agreed to support Greece in establishing itself in all territories which had taken an active part in the revolt, this territory was generally defined as all land south of a line from Volos in the East to Arta in the West in addition to the neighboring islands, Chios was however noticeably absent from this territory. Since Chios had fallen to the Ottomans in the Summer of 1822 the island had been relatively quiet and had been left out of the Power’s design for Greece for this reason. Efforts to real in Fabvier and Cochrane had met with little success on the part of Codrington and de Rigny and so the Allied Fleet was forced to remind the Greeks of their place.

Arriving off the coast of Cesme on the 23rd of February, the British, French, and Russian ships arrived off the coast of Cesme. They were soon joined by the Greek fleet under Kanaris leading to a tense, but polite meeting between the two. After some pleasantries, Kanaris was told under no uncertain terms that the Powers would prohibit further acts by the Greeks against Asia Minor. With no other choice, Kanaris, rather than risk a confrontation with the Powers, agreed to withdraw his ships from Cesme and turned for Chios. As soon as he began to leave though, cannon fire began to erupt far to the East.

Codrington having dealt with the Greeks turned his fleet into Cesme bay to meet with the Ottomans in an attempt to alleviate their concerns. The entrance of the Allied Fleet into the harbor had been carried out without the express permission of the Ottoman commander Amir Tahir, however, bringing the Ottomans into a state of alert. Mistaking the Allied Fleet’s presence as a show of support for the Greeks who were still present outside the bay, the captain an Ottoman ship opened fire on a Russian and French delegation that had come come up alongside to treat with them, striking several Russian sailors and their interpreters dead. The aggrieved Russian ship in return opened fire on the offending Ottoman ship with rifles and light guns killing six Turkish sailors before they ceased their attack.

Further bloodshed between the Ottomans and the Powers could have been avoided had an Ottoman fireship not been broken free of its moorings and drifted into the midst of the Allied fleet. Believing it was the precursor to an attack, Codrington had the fireship blown out of the water killing all aboard it. This act set off a chain reaction of fighting all across the bay that resulted in the battle of Cesme or the Cesme Incident was it was later known.[2] The “battle” for all intents and purposes was a massacre as the 20 Allied Ships made short work of the 52 Ottoman ships assembled in Cesme Bay. Of the 20 British, French, and Russian ships at Cesme, 10 were Third Rate Ships of the Line all of which were equipped with 74 to 84 guns. The remaining 10 ships in their fleet included 7 Fifth Rate ships of the line with 36 to 50 guns, one Sixth Rate with 28 guns, and a pair of Frigates with 60 and 44 guns respectively.

The Ottomans in comparison only had 3 Third Rate Ships of the Line at Cesme in addition to 6 Frigates of varying sizes, 14 corvettes, and 20 brigs, in addition to 3 more fireships and nearly 40 transports that did not take part in the ensuing battle. Despite their numbers, the smaller Ottoman ships could not withstand the blistering firepower of the Great Power’s Ships of the Line which made short work of the Ottoman fleet. The deafening roar of the cannons left combatants on both sides incapable of hearing for several days after the battle. The gun smoke also proved problematic for the combatants as it quickly filled the bay impairing vision and it difficult for the commanders to communicate with their ships and crews. Codrington is reported as shouting his orders to neighboring ships through a loudhailer. Flying debris and shrapnel filled the air killing or maiming dozens including Codrington’s young son Henry who was struck by a piece of planking which ripped into the boy’s leg. If any attempts had been made to stop the fighting before its conclusion they were likely hindered by the heavy smoke and the constant crack of cannon fire.

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The HMS Asia Destroys the Burj Zafer and the Ghiuh Rewan
The destructive power of the Allied Fleet was immense. Within three hours’ time, the Ottoman fleet had lost nearly half of their number, with twenty warships sent to the bottom of the bay and nearly 1,500 soldiers and sailors had been killed in the fighting and another 2,352 were recorded as wounded. Another twenty ships received varying degrees of damage ranging from very light to very heavy. Of the 4 ships which were damaged beyond repair, 3 were later destroyed by their Turkish commanders to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Allies as their honor demanded they not strike their colors and the last was run aground. The Allies for their part lost 211 sailors and marines in the engagement with several hundred wounded, four ships were heavily damaged along with nine others receiving moderate to light damage.

The immediate response to the Battle of Cesme was jubiliation in the cities of Europe and great concern by the Ministers in their courts. Codrington, upon his return to Britain the following year, received a hero’s welcome by the British populace, but a slap on the wrist by Parliament and a refusal by the Admiralty to pay the basic rewards to his crew for the capture of Ottoman spoils and riches. It quickly became apparent that Codrington was to be the sacrificial lamb blamed by the Britain for overstepping his prerogative in the Aegean and provoking the confrontation with the Ottoman Navy at Cesme in the first place. Codrington, the Greeks and the Russians for their part place the blame for the battle squarely on the shoulders of the Ottomans for responding with force to the initial entreats of the Powers at Cesme. Canning for his part quietly praised Codrington behind closed doors and publicly shielded him from any further humiliation or punishment while working to meet the needs of his sailors. The more immediate impact of the battle of Cesme was in Chios city, without the support of the relief force at Cesme, the Ottoman garrison was forced to capitulate in early May when the walls of the Castle were finally brought down by Greek sappers.

More important than the final fall of Chios to the Greeks was the Sublime Porte’s reaction to the Cesme Incident. In retaliation for the blatant and seemingly unprovoked attack on his ships, Sultan Mahmud II declared a Jihad against the Powers, he ordered the Dardanelles closed to Russian shipping, and he rescinded the Akkerman Convention Treaty effectively throwing down the gauntlet to the Powers in general and Russia in particular. Attempts by both Britain and France to calm the situation with the Ottomans fell on deaf ears as the Porte continued to reject any and all calls for peace with the Greeks and the Powers. Britain's efforts for peace were finally foiled when Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire on the 1st of May 1828.

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Greece in June 1828
Purple – Greece
Green – Ottoman Empire
Pink – United States of the Ionian Islands​

Next Time: The Bear and the Horse Tail


[1] Part of Muhammad Ali’s prerequisites for joining the war in 1822 were the cessation of Cyprus and Crete to his rule. In OTL, Muhammad Ali held these islands until 1841 when the Great Powers forced him to relinquish them following the Oriental Crisis. In TTL, as part of the Treaty of Alexandria, Muhammad Ali was forced to abandon the islands, leaving them without a central authority. Mustafa Naili was the OTL Pasha of Crete following the Oriental Crisis, in which he was forced to shift his allegiance from Alexandria to Constantinople, here he does it a bit sooner.

[2] This is essentially an analog to the Battle of Navarino.
 
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Well.... with two defeats for the Porte around the corner against Russia and Egypt (the same than OTL, if there aren't big changes TTL), the Greeks will have chances for extra gains. In fact I suppose that it didn't happen OTL because Greece was in worse shape and in turmoil after the assasination of Kapodistrias.
 
I do wonder if the Greeks will be able to take the Dodocanese and Lesbos before the war ends, and thus end up with most islands in their possession at independence :D
 
Well.... with two defeats for the Porte around the corner against Russia and Egypt (the same than OTL, if there aren't big changes TTL), the Greeks will have chances for extra gains. In fact I suppose that it didn't happen OTL because Greece was in worse shape and in turmoil after the assasination of Kapodistrias.
For the most part, Russia has been largely unaffected by butterflies in this timeline so the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 ITTL will be mostly the same for them as in OTL at least initially. The primary difference will come from the lack of Resid Mehmed Pasha who led the defense of the Balkans against the Russians in the Spring of 1829 since he is currently dead.

The situation for Egypt when they inevitably decide to turn on the Ottomans will be a bit different considering they peaced out of the war in the Summer of 1827 rather than staying in the war until the end. Interestingly enough, Resid Mehmed Pasha also led the defense of Anatolia against the Egyptians during their first war in 1831 to 1833, so his absence will really start to be noticed there as well. Resid Pasha was a very competent and very loyal Ottoman commander, arguably the best non Egyptian commander the Ottomans had, so he will surely be missed in the next few years.

The Greeks actually did take advantage of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 somewhat as they managed to reclaim much of Central Greece during that time. It also encouraged them to reject anything short of full independence. I would expect them to go even further, albeit not much further, ITTL given their improved situation prior to the war between Russia and the Ottomans.

I do wonder if the Greeks will be able to take the Dodocanese and Lesbos before the war ends, and thus end up with most islands in their possession at independence :D
While getting Lesbos and the Dodecanese islands would be a nice boost for Greece, I don't think the Powers would permit them to take them or keep them after the war. Crete and Chios are already stretching their relationship with the Powers to the limit and those were islands that had experienced some degree of independence during the war. The Dodecanese and Lesbos were generally hesitant to join the rebellion initially enabling the Ottomans to remain in control of them for nearly the entirety of the war.

So if the Greek win, will the British hand over the United States of the Ionian Islands? Or will they wait?
The Ionian Islands were handed over to Greece in 1864 primarily because Otto of Bavaria was ousted from power in 1862. The British Government never really liked Otto and he never did anything to improve their opinion of him, if anything he made it much worse. So it was no surprise when King George I came to power in Greece in 1863 that Britain almost immediately ceded the islands to Greece to sure up his support and legitimacy. I certainly think that if a more friendly King comes to power in Greece in 1830 then the British will more than likely cede the islands to Greece much sooner than OTL. It may not happen immediately after independence, as events elsewhere will probably take priority, but it certainly could happen within the 1830's as the Ionian Island's importance to Britain had really diminished following the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the acquisition of Malta in 1814.
 
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