I'd like to see the Egyptians get their first shot since the Mamluks at controlling the Levant but it all seems for naught.
Browsing Wiki to try to compare with OTL—it sounds like the Ottoman Navy won’t surrender to Egypt immediately TTL and there may not be an equivalent to the Battle of Nezib?

It’s possible that the Ottomans could win this conflict much more decisively than IOTL. I’ll be curious to see what happens!
The war has only just begun so a lot can and will change between now and the end, so while it may look bad for the Egyptians right now they can still rebound if they play their cards right.

I will say that there is an important reason why I'm keeping Sultan Mahmud around a little longer than OTL and that the continued loyalty of the Ottoman Fleet is the most immediate effect of that decision.
 
With the Ottoman Empire in a stronger state than OTL, we might not see the foreign intervention that led to Egypts defeat?
 
With the Ottoman Empire in a stronger state than OTL, we might not see the foreign intervention that led to Egypts defeat?

We could also see Egypt and the Ottomans battle to some sort of stalemate. Then just as they’ve exhausted each other the GPs swarm in and take concessions and territories for themselves...
 
With the Ottoman Empire in a stronger state than OTL, we might not see the foreign intervention that led to Egypts defeat?
Intervention by the Powers in this conflict is almost guaranteed, but the timing and the degree to which they intervene is not and will be determined primarily by the Ottoman performance in the war. If they do well then the Powers may stay neutral, or they may even aid Egypt to weaken the Ottomans. If the Ottomans do poorly then they may do something along the lines of OTL where they aided the Ottomans against the Egyptians. Ideally, they would want a stalemate like cmakk proposed as that would give them the greatest leverage over both sides during the negotiations at the end of the war.
 
Part 47: Egypt in the Maelstrom
Part 47: Egypt in the Maelstrom

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Alexandria on the Eve of War

Coinciding with Osman Pasha’s invasion of Adana, the Kapudan Pasha of the Ottoman Empire Ahmad Fevzi Pasha was tasked by Sultan Mahmud II with attacking the city of Alexandria. It was the hope of the ailing Sultan and his aging Grand Vizier Khosref Pasha that the Ottoman Navy might destroy or otherwise incapacitate much of the Egyptian flotilla before they could join with Ibrahim Pasha’s army in the Levant. It was believed that if such a decisive blow could be struck against their enemy, then the whole region would rise in revolt against the Kavalali once again and an Ottoman victory in the war would be all but assured. With the Levant in rebellion and their fleet destroyed, the Egyptian force in Syria would become trapped between the Mediterranean Sea to the West, the Ottoman Army to the North, the Syrian desert to the East, and the rebels to their South with little hope of escape or resupply.

To achieve that end, the lion’s share of the Ottoman Fleet, some 74 ships in total were dispatched on the mission to Alexandria in what was to be a coup de main against Muhammad Ali. Departing from their base in Constantinople at midday on the 20th of March, Ahmad Fevzi Pasha led his armada on a southerly route along the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. After passing the isle of Rhodes on the 21st the fleet immediately shifted course, bearing Southeast towards Egypt and the Nile Delta. Soon though, the weather began to turn against the Turkish fleet as dark clouds gathered on the horizon, the winds increased, and the seas worsened as a late winter storm fell upon the unsuspecting fleet, throwing eighteen ships far off course. The billowing winds of the tempest were so great that two ships, the 44-gun Frigate Mirat-i Zafer and the 80-gun Third Rate Necm-i Sevket would be blown as far away as Crete some 90 miles away to the West.

Rather than press on without them, Ahmad Pasha instead waited off the coast of Rhodes for three days while he searched for his missing ships and sailors. While his decision to wait may have been compassionate in nature, it was also rational given the extensive battering many of his ships had endured during the storm. Several ships suffered varying degrees of damage, most of which consisted of ruined rigging or ripped sails that would require mending, but some had suffered hull damage and were taking on water when they were thrown against hidden rocks and sand barges. Additionally, nearly three dozen sailors and officers had fallen overboard during the storm leaving some of the smaller ships undermanned necessitating some reshuffling of crewman between ships. While a search was made for the missing sailors, it was quickly abandoned the following day in favor of finding the missing ships and all men were presumed lost at sea. Eventually the last of the ships were discovered on the 25th and the last of the repairs were completed the following day allowing the fleet to set off once again for Alexandria this time without issue and would arrive at their destination at dawn on the 28th of March.

Rather than immediately bombard the city and the Egyptian fleet within its harbor as he had been instructed, Ahmad Fevzi Pasha would instead opt to enter negotiations with the civilian and military leaders of Alexandria, demanding the surrender of the city to the forces of the Ottoman Sultan. This questionable decision was compounded even further when he offered the Egyptian leadership until sunrise the following day to consider his demands. Whether Ahmad Pasha was simply overconfident of his fleet’s capabilities or reluctant to begin the attack no one can say, his decision to postpone the attack would cost the Ottomans dearly. The Egyptians for their part had been woefully unprepared for an attack against them so soon and spent several crucial moments in a panic, but when it became apparent that the Ottomans were not attacking immediately, they quickly collected themselves and prepared an attack of their own.

The Egyptians were at a distinct disadvantage, however, as the tight nature of their harbor’s entrance made it so only two or three ships could pass through at a time. With the Ottoman fleet positioned at its exit, any attempt to sortie would be spotted immediately and snuffed out under a withering volley of cannon fire. Four warships had been caught outside the harbor when the Ottomans arrived and another seven ships were docked in the old port, but they would most likely be overwhelmed before they could join with the rest of their forces coming from the new port. Despite this obvious handicap, the Egyptians hoped that they could strike the Ottomans whilst they remained unsuspecting of their true intentions and went ahead with the attack anyway. And so, with daylight fading the Egyptians made their move.

Despite his apparent reluctance to fight, Ahmad Pasha had permitted his ships to defend themselves if threatened, which the Egyptian sortie clearly was leading most to respond accordingly, as they turned their cannons on the approaching ships. Within moments, 2 of the 4 Egyptian ships outside the harbor were almost instantaneously destroyed by the withering cannon fire of the Ottoman fleet as were the first 3 ships that exited the harbor that came to aid them. The other two, the 80 gun Barecham and the 58 gun Aboukir were quickly captured by the Ottomans before they could make their attack. One ship, the old frigate Souriya would succeed in firing upon the Ottoman fleet and make a frantic attack on the Ottoman Steamship Mesir-i-Bahri, shooting one cannonball through the aft mast of the ship and another just above the waterline before it too was reduced to a floating mass of fiery debris by the heavy broadsides of the Turkish ships. Unable to effectively engage the Ottomans, who vigilantly guarded the opening to the port, the remaining Egyptian ships were forced to abandon their attack before it ever really began, with the only accomplishments of their failed endeavor being the loss of 8 ships. With the Egyptians showing their hand, Ahmad Pasha was forced to begin the attack on Alexandria itself, and within minutes of the failed attack, the city was under siege.

The Egyptians were only spared from a complete catastrophe by a combination of three factors; first the Egyptian fleet in Alexandria’s harbor represented only half the number of the vessels available to the Khedivate of Egypt. The other half of the Egyptian fleet had been scattered across the Eastern Mediterranean aiding Ibrahim’s forces in Syria at the time of the attack. They were also incredibly fortunate that Muhammad Ali had sent the order to recall them to Alexandria only days before the Ottomans arrived, providing the defenders with the sense that help was coming. The Ottomans for their part had been under the impression the entire Egyptian fleet had been in port at Alexandria resulting in a slackening of their diligence and determination to finish the siege as rapidly as possible.

Secondly, the high winds within the harbor mitigated the spread of the fires caused by the Ottoman bombardment. While many shells did indeed hit their targets, igniting munitions caches and sparking fires on sea and shore, these were relatively contained to the stricken ship or depot thanks to the swirling winds of Alexandria’s port which changed at a moment’s notice.[1] Finally, the defenses of Alexandria had been stiffened considerably over the many years of Muhammad Ali’s reign. The Citadel of Qaitbay at the mouth of the harbor had its walls reinforced, its guns were updated to contemporary standards, and the ramparts had been refurbished as had all the other forts in the city. Together with the littoral guns which had been positioned around the entrances to the two ports any Ottoman ship that dared enter their range risked annihilation.

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The Citadel of Qaitbay

The guns of Qaitbay proved especially adept at hitting the Turkish ships forcing Ahmad Pasha to steadily move his fleet further and further afield to protect his own vessels, but this in turn steadily reduced his own force’s accuracy. As a result, a stalemate of sorts developed as the Ottomans fired on Alexandria and the Egyptians in turn fired upon the Ottomans, only for both sides to miss their targets completely. Had he been aware of his own numerical advantage over the Egyptians, Ahmad Pasha could have pushed his advantage and destroyed the enemy fleet. Instead he continued to keep his distance from the littoral guns while his ships sporadically fired on the town to little effect. His predicament was made worse by the lack of soldiers aboard his ships, preventing him from landing a force down the coast which could in turn attack Alexandria from land. Because of this, the farce that was the Siege of Alexandria would continue for four long days with the Ottoman ships firing upon the city’s harbor to minimal effect. Eventually though the attack would cease at noon on the 3rd of April and it soon became apparent why.

Moharram Bey, commander of the Egyptian naval detachment aiding Ibrahim Pasha had returned to Alexandria with the remaining half of the Khedivate Fleet, some 51 ships and was charging upon the Ottoman fleet as fast as the winds would carry him. Though many of his ships were older than the freshly lain down Ottoman ships, the Egyptian crews were experienced sailors and their officers were adept commanders who had spent most of their lives at sea. Moharram Bey was himself a grizzled veteran of the war with the Greeks and the first war with the Ottomans in 1831, having directed invasion of the Morea and the naval bombardments of the littoral Levantine cities. With the arrival of the Main Egyptian Fleet, the battle of Alexandria began once more as the battered ships within Alexandria’s harbor made another determined sortie against the now outnumbered Ottoman fleet. Faced with a numerically superior force attacking from two opposing directions, Ahmad Pasha’s force quickly lost all sense of cohesion as the Egyptian ships broke through his hastily erected battle lines.

The engagement that followed was sordid affair as battle lines on both sides quickly collapsed leading to a mass frenzy on the waves. Smoke and gunfire filled the azure sky, ships crashed into one another, men fell overboard by the dozens, and friendly fire was abundant. One particularly account details the sinking of the Ottoman steamship Eser-i Hayır by the Mahmudiye, which had mistaken it for the Egyptian steamship Mehmet Ali which had been spotted near the Eser-i Hayr. With its vision obstructed by smoke, the Mahmudiye fired all 60 of its portside guns upon their own compatriots without question. Only when the smoke cleared could they see the Ottoman ravaged horsetail fluttering in the wind and realize their mistake. Of a total crew of 192, only 48 members of the Eser-I Hayr’s crew would survive this unfortunate case in mistaken identity and they would not be the only case that day.

Conflagration was also a clear and present danger for both fleets as open flames and lucky shots threatened to ignite exposed munitions caches aboard every ship. The old French Ship of the Line Scipion, having been sold to the Egyptians in 1834, was the unlucky victim of a fireship, which attached itself to the hull of the old ship like a magnet to metal and doggedly resisted all attempts by the Scipion’s crew to draw it away.[2] Overshotting also risked blowing ships to smithereens as overanxious captains seeking to gain an advantage on their adversaries stuffed their cannons well beyond their intended capacity. Many cannonades were filled with extra balls or even grapeshot providing an extremely volatile, yet remarkably effective concoction. The large supply of black powder needed to fire these heavy loads risked destroying the guns or even sinking the ships, but due to their lethality to enemy ships the technique was permitted if only this once.

For two long hours, the battle would rage with the outcome listing on the edge of a knife, As the sun reached its pinnacle, Muhammad Ali’s trump card revealed itself when the Ottoman flagship, Mahmudiye suddenly and inexplicably burst into flaming debris. Over the course of the week-long engagement, Mehmet Ali had been courting Ahmad Pasha to his side with promises of riches and prestige.[3] It also helped Muhammad Ali’s cause that Ahmad Fevzi had no love for his superior, the Grand Vizier Khosref Pasha. The pair had a particularly bad falling out many years before and had never reconciled in their many years of working together, if anything their relationship worsened following Khosref’s promotion to Grand Vizier. This dispute had also turned the once loyal Ahmad Pasha against Sultan Mahmud who had come to see Khosref Pasha as a kindred spirit, resulting in the Kapudan Pasha’s opposition to the Sultan’s more extreme reforms. As such he and a few of his fellow like-minded subordinates, proved amenable to talks with the Khedive of Egypt during their initial correspondence on the 28th of March.

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The Mahmudiye in Flames

It is likely that the bombardment of Alexandria thus far had been used as a bargaining tactic for Ahmad Pasha and his fellow co-conspirators to raise the price of their defection. While it did no real damage to the city or the ships hiding within its walled harbor, it did serve as a aggravation for Muhammad Ali as it denied him from aiding his forces in Syria to his fullest ability. By leveraging his blockade and bombardment of the city against Muhammad Ali, Ahmad Pasha believed he could pry more riches and privileges from him in return for his services. Instead, his plans were ruined by the sudden arrival of Moharram Bey’s ships which likely disrupted their arrangement, forcing the conspirators into action in a bid to destroy any evidence of their treason.

Still the destruction of the Ottoman flagship had the desired effect on the battle as it threw the rest of the Turkish fleet into confusion and despair. They were only saved from total defeat by the quick action of Topai Izzet Pasha who had become the effective commander of the Ottoman Navy following Ahmad Pasha’s supposed demise aboard the Mahmudiye. With the battle clearly against them, Topai Pasha worked to regain control of the fractured fleet and ordered an immediate retreat. Though the Egyptians would attempt to chase down the fleeing Turkish ships, by dusk the battle effectively came to an end although shots would continue to ring out well into the night. In many ways, the battle of Alexandria was a tactical defeat for the Ottomans yet a strategic victory for them as well.

While the Ottomans were indeed forced to withdraw from Alexandria, the Egyptians clearly suffered worse losses in the battle. Over the course of the engagement the Ottomans would lose 3 Ships of the Line including their Flagship the Mahmudiye, 2 steamships, 3 Frigates, 5 smaller escort ships (brigs, corvettes, sloops and gunboats), and nearly 2,000 sailors and officers who were either killed, wounded, or captured, including Kapudan Pasha Ahmad Fevzi, who would “miraculously” turn up in Alexandria where he would remain as a gilded "guest" of Muhammad Ali. They had succeeded in capturing three Egyptian ships; the 2nd Rate Ship Barecham and the 3rd Rate Aboukir during the initial attack on the 28th of March as well as 2nd Rate Fayoum on the 3rd of April. However, the Aboukir would be scuttled during the following battle on the 3rd to prevent its recapture by the Egyptians and the Fayoum would suffer extensive damage to its hull and it masts in the same engagement, forcing it to withdraw from the battle almost immediately after it was captured.

The Egyptians for their part lost 3 Ships of the Line, 4 frigates, 1 steamship, and 9 smaller vessels in both the siege and the naval battle that followed along with over 4,000 soldiers, sailors, and civilians over the course of the 5-day engagement. Their losses were recovered somewhat by the capture of the Ottoman 2nd Rate Tesvikiye, the 3rd Rate Ainduie, the steamship Tahir-i Bahri, the frigates Nouhan Bahri and Avnillah, and four smaller vessels. In addition to the ships sunk or captured, dozens of vessels on both sides suffered terribly, with many taking on water and others needing extensive repair that would effectively sideline another 50 ships between the two fleets for several months. The port of Alexandria also suffered immense damage to its docks, dry-docks, munitions depots, and other military structures around the harbor, greatly reducing the Egyptian Navy’s ability to utilize Alexandria as a naval base for the immediate future. Furthermore, while the Ottoman Navy had been forced to retreat they did not go very far.

Once his damaged ships and injured crewmen had been sent back to Constantinople, Topai Pasha took his now reduced fleet of 46 ships to raid and pillage the Nile Delta and unlike Ahmad Pasha, he would prove to be a decidedly more loyal and therefore effective commander. This in turn forced Muhammad Ali to dedicate many of his remaining ships to hunting the Ottoman fleet as opposed to aiding his son Ibrahim Pasha who was now faced with defeating the Syrian rebels and the 100,000 strong Ottoman army with his force of 40,000 men. Ibrahim's only support was Suleiman Pasha’s force of 20,000 located to the South of Damascus and Bashir Shibab's Maronites on Mount Lebanon, but both were occupied repressing revolts in their vicinity. If he were to call on either of them, then Ibrahim would run the risk of inciting the region to rebellion once more. Ultimately, it was up to Ibrahim to defeat the Ottomans by himself.

Next Time: Fire and Thunder on the Plains of Syria


[1] In 1825, Greek Admiral Constantine Kanaris led an attack against Alexandria in OTL that was also foiled by the winds. Despite making his way into Alexandria’s harbor and attaching his fireships to the Egyptian ships, the Egyptian fleet was saved from a catastrophe by the changing of the wind. Lord Cochrane would make a similar attempt in 1827 several weeks before the battle of Navarino, but his attempt was similarly foiled by the wind. Had either attempt succeeded, the war in OTL may have gone a lot differently.

[2] The Scipion was the target of a fireship in the OTL battle of Navarino, but thanks to the cooperation of the Scipion’s crew and a neighboring British ship, the fireship was towed away and carefully sunk. Here it isn’t so lucky.

[3] Ahmad Fevzi Pasha defected from the Ottoman Empire to the Khedivate of Egypt during the Second Egyptian Ottoman War, citing growing Russian influence over the young Sultan Abdulmejid. In the OTL defection, Ahmad Pasha succeeded in taking the entirety of the Ottoman Fleet over to the Egyptians, here he is less successful given the fact that Sultan Mahmud is still alive, albeit barely, and the more extensive reformation of the Ottoman military and administration, has managed to root out several disloyal officers and administrators.
 
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Im picking the Ottomans to win this whole war because they deserve it and it’s time Egypt be reminded its place, and once the Egyptian Army in Syria is defeated I imagine the lower ranked Arab Officers might decide their Albanian-Turco generals are leading them into disaster and it’s time they beg The Caliph for mercy obviously with the heads of the highest traitors to make Mahmud open to showing clemency
 
Im picking the Ottomans to win this whole war because they deserve it and it’s time Egypt be reminded its place, and once the Egyptian Army in Syria is defeated I imagine the lower ranked Arab Officers might decide their Albanian-Turco generals are leading them into disaster and it’s time they beg The Caliph for mercy obviously with the heads of the highest traitors to make Mahmud open to showing clemency
Well aside from this current war everything has been going well for Muhammad Ali and company in Egypt thus far, so I don't know if the Arab officers would jump ship just yet. After the next part though things might change.:evilsmile:
 
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Im picking the Ottomans to win this whole war because they deserve it and it’s time Egypt be reminded its place, and once the Egyptian Army in Syria is defeated I imagine the lower ranked Arab Officers might decide their Albanian-Turco generals are leading them into disaster and it’s time they beg The Caliph for mercy obviously with the heads of the highest traitors to make Mahmud open to showing clemency

Never! Egypt shall be victories! It must be!
 
Never! Egypt shall be victories! It must be!
In addition, I'm wondering how Greece, even though much better managed, more stable, and therefore wealthier in the long run, can possibly expand, or even survive with a more powerful and stable Ottoman Empire. Unless another powerful opponent to the Ottomans emerges or this is a secret Ottoman victory timeline (eek!), I'm not sure Greece can do well should the Egyptians fail. I'm very much looking forwards to seeing how this plays out.
 
I think Greece wil Watch this war very carefully as to plan accordingly if the ottomans win they know they’re eventually next but as of now Thay have England France and Russia protecting them but thay know that won’t last Forever so thay are content letting the Turks and Egyptians kill each other
 
In addition, I'm wondering how Greece, even though much better managed, more stable, and therefore wealthier in the long run, can possibly expand, or even survive with a more powerful and stable Ottoman Empire. Unless another powerful opponent to the Ottomans emerges or this is a secret Ottoman victory timeline (eek!), I'm not sure Greece can do well should the Egyptians fail. I'm very much looking forwards to seeing how this plays out.
A secret Ottomans timeline!:eek: No, no, no this is just how the butterflies have developed thus far I swear.:biggrin:

In all seriousness though, most of the Ottoman reforms that have been enacted ITTL so far, were also enacted in OTL, albeit a few years later and under different circumstances. This is generally a result of their poorer performance during the 1820's and early 1830's relative to OTL which have necessitated further modernization and centralization ITTL in order to keep up the pace with their rivals. So while they may be stronger than OTL, I wouldn't say they are that much stronger. In truth, the Ottomans caught the Egyptians at the perfect time, when they were distracted with the ongoing rebellion in Syria. If the Egyptians can regroup they could stabilize the war, but that will likely take more time than they can afford.

Greece on the other hand is miles ahead of OTL, just by avoiding Otto and all the political instability that ensued during his reign. King Leopold in comparison is a diplomatic savant who has carefully guided the Greek state during its early post war years and together with Ioannis Kapodistrias they have effectively brought Greece into the 19th Century. His relations with the powers are immensely better than OTL and the Greek economy is like night and day compared to OTL. Not to mention that Greece ITTL also has Crete, Chios, and Samos as well as some more territory on the mainland in Central Greece which provides them with a nice economic and demographic bump over OTL. That's not to say that everything is great in Greece, far from it. Literacy rates are still incredibly low in the country around 20-25% or so, most Greeks are still small sustenance farmers or herders who are barely above the poverty threshold, their military is terribly small compared to the Ottomans at around 30,000 if you include reserves, and debt is still a bit of an issue, albeit to a much lesser degree than OTL.

I think Greece wil Watch this war very carefully as to plan accordingly if the ottomans win they know they’re eventually next but as of now Thay have England France and Russia protecting them but thay know that won’t last Forever so thay are content letting the Turks and Egyptians kill each other
Greece is definitely looking on at this war with great interest and may interject themselves into this conflict. While they certainly don't care for the Egyptians after their invasion in 1825, they don't want them to lose to the Ottomans either as a resurgent Ottoman Empire would be a terrible development for them. The best case scenario for Greece is the status quo, or something similar to that as neither state would be clearly superior to the other allowing Greece more room to maneuver going forward.
 
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Greece is definitely looking on at this war with great interest and they will look to interject themselves into this conflict to an extent in the near future. While they certainly don't care for the Egyptians after their invasion in 1825, they don't want them to lose to the Ottomans either as a resurgent Ottoman Empire would be a terrible development for them. The best case scenario for Greece is the status quo, or something similar to that as neither state would be clearly superior to the other allowing Greece more room to maneuver going forward.
Except their options are limited. Declaring war, well, Ottoman's are already in full on "Smack a bitch up mode", so if Greece goes ahead and starts trouble, well, they're not going to be delayed, and with the last one in recent memory, they know what went wrong.

The Great Powers won't intervene because Greece brought it on themselves, eliminating a lot of their advantages.
 
Except their options are limited. Declaring war, well, Ottoman's are already in full on "Smack a bitch up mode", so if Greece goes ahead and starts trouble, well, they're not going to be delayed, and with the last one in recent memory, they know what went wrong.

The Great Powers won't intervene because Greece brought it on themselves, eliminating a lot of their advantages.
Intervening militarily would indeed be a terrible idea for Greece, but they do have other options if they want to stir the pot.
 
Intervening militarily would indeed be a terrible idea for Greece, but they do have other options if they want to stir the pot.
Like what? Formenting dissent in Ottomans breaks a treaty leading to war, economics hurt them more, and diplomatic pressure is kinda limited.
 
The Ottomans might be salty over Greece but I doubt they even want the trouble of running it. Mahmud is old and might want it back but his heir and his more modernizing advisors might just say to cut their losses and focus on the rest of the Balkans cause realistically the Ottomans can economically dominate Greece after all they may not like each other but trade still happens. And of Greece wants to stir the pot well smacking them down and reducing them a few islands(like Crete) is certainly a humbling experience.

Cause while the Europeans might sympathize with Greece, especially Britain a resurgent Ottoman Empire is just politically more useful cause even now the earliest vestiges of The Great Game are beginning and MP’s in Parliament have more to fear from Russia, and France in their colonies in Africa, and Asia than they do a regionally powerful Ottoman Empire.

And Ali may have had a good time so far but all good things must come to an end, the Ottomans have been humbled for well over a half a century. It may not reach Suleiman the Magnificent levels of power but it can still come back and be a stable empire.
 
The Ottomans might be salty over Greece but I doubt they even want the trouble of running it. Mahmud is old and might want it back but his heir and his more modernizing advisors might just say to cut their losses and focus on the rest of the Balkans cause realistically the Ottomans can economically dominate Greece after all they may not like each other but trade still happens. And of Greece wants to stir the pot well smacking them down and reducing them a few islands(like Crete) is certainly a humbling experience.
Difference between occupying and just torching as much of the place as possible.

Remember, Ottoman's aren't stupid, they know they can't hold it. They'll torch as much as possible and leave.
 
Like what? Formenting dissent in Ottomans breaks a treaty leading to war, economics hurt them more, and diplomatic pressure is kinda limited.

To be a cynic they don't need to foment dissent within the empire, dissent will keep springing up on its own. Nor is it so clear that if Athens supports the next revolution with any degree of plausible deniability it will be easy for the Ottomans to declare war, in OTL thousands of volunteers from the mainland and loads of supplies reached the Cretan rebels in 1866-69 without war actually occurring, although by 1869 the Ottomans felt they had enough great power backing to at least threaten one. It's no accident that the first open war between Greece and the Ottomans did not occur till 1897 under diplomatic conditions very much favoring the Ottomans having a free hand and said war ended in the Greeks losing the war... but the Ottomans losing Crete which became autonomous under governors selected by the Greek government.

So what they got to do at this point not even 10 years from independence? Get the pop corn going as that lovely fellow that burned down the Peloponnese and the other lovely fellow that personally ordered the massacre of tens of thousands of their compatriots from the patriarch down are now killing each other and keep making money. No reason to hurry up things.
 
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