What about the infighting between the pro-Russian and pro-British factions, is that strictly somethin that developed after independence or was it already present in 1825?

What's Kapodistrias up to right now?
 
Don't forget the shipowners from the islands, who were a faction of their own, too.
To my knowledge, the Islanders generally worked alongside the Morean and Rumelian Primates prior to and during the First Civil War from December 1823 to June 1824 but then fought against the Moreots and Military Captains in the Second civil War from September 1824 to January 1825 alongside the Rumeliotes. For the sake of simplicity, I've essentially lumped both the landed elite and the shipowners together into a broad "Primates" faction up till now, but that won't be the case going forward. If this is a gross oversimplification on my part please let me know and I'll try to amend it.

What about the infighting between the pro-Russian and pro-British factions, is that strictly somethin that developed after independence or was it already present in 1825?

What's Kapodistrias up to right now?
The Russian Party, French Party, and English Party have their origins during the last years of the war when the Great Powers were becoming more involved in Greece. I believe the English Party was created in 1825 when the Greeks signed the Act of Submission, essentially requesting British protection. The Russian Party came into being around the time that Ioannis Kapodistrias arrived in Greece and the French Party emerged around 1828 with the French Morean Expedition. That said, they became most prominent in post war Greece with the constant meddling of the Powers in Greek affairs under King Otto.

Ioannis Kapodistrias is currently in Geneva, Switzerland. After the initial saber rattling by Tsar Alexander in 1821, Kapodistrias resigned as Foreign Minister when it became apparent Russia would not be providing the Greeks with any tangible support. Since then he has been using his reputation and influence to help the Greeks however he can, but his limited involvement thus far is a result of his apparent distaste for the entirety of the political class in Greece at this time, Klepht, Primate, Phanariot, and Shipowners all included.
 
To my knowledge, the Islanders generally worked alongside the Morean and Rumelian Primates prior to and during the First Civil War from December 1823 to June 1824 but then fought against the Moreots and Military Captains in the Second civil War from September 1824 to January 1825 alongside the Rumeliotes. For the sake of simplicity, I've essentially lumped both the landed elite and the shipowners together into a broad "Primates" faction up till now, but that won't be the case going forward. If this is a gross oversimplification on my part please let me know and I'll try to amend it.
The shipowners and the primates didn't differ in their goals, but they also didn't want to share power with each other. Given that almost nobody in Greece was willing to share power with anyone else, I guess it isn't much of a stretch to put them in the same broad category, since otherwise you could end up with any number of factions.
 
The shipowners and the primates didn't differ in their goals, but they also didn't want to share power with each other. Given that almost nobody in Greece was willing to share power with anyone else, I guess it isn't much of a stretch to put them in the same broad category, since otherwise you could end up with any number of factions.
I tend to view them more or less as co-belligerents against the Klephts and Captains than actual long term allies. I'll try to adjust the next part to its a little clearer that they aren't the same.
 
I tend to view them more or less as co-belligerents against the Klephts and Captains than actual long term allies. I'll try to adjust the next part to its a little clearer that they aren't the same.
Oh yes, they agreed on that as much as anyone agreed on anything those days. So far you've captured the story very well and this is not such a crucial point among the ridiculous amount of internal conflict of the revolutionary Greeks.
 
Part 13: The Greek Schism
Part 13: The Greek Schism

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Psara

The failures of the Congress of Salona were symptoms of a much greater problem that had been metastasizing in Greece over the past year. The Second National Assembly in 1823 had attempted to establish a balanced government with the Moreots and Islanders sharing control of the Executive and the Senate. In truth, this caused more problems than it solved. From a cursory glance, the first few weeks of the Petros Mavromichalis Executive appeared relatively quiet as matters dealing with the war occupied most of the governments time and resources. But within weeks of the Assembly’s end in early April, tempers began to flare between the supposedly united Greeks.

The first real issue to emerge was the resignation of Ioannis Orlandos as President of the Senate in July 1823. Despite their own personal distrust of one another, the Morean Primates and the Military Captains aligned in their opposition to Orlandos. Believing him to be nothing more than a puppet of his brother in law, the leading Shipowner of Hydra, Georgios Kountouriotis, the Moreots effectively gridlocked the Senate between them, ultimately forcing his ouster.

With the sudden vacancy in the Senate leadership, the Moreots rushed to put forward their own candidate, the Arcadian, Anagnostis Dheliyannis. Anagnostis was a member of the influential Dheliyannis family of Arcadia who were vocal supporters of the Mavromichalis Executive. His candidacy was troubled from the start as the Roumeliotes and Islanders under the angered Kountouriotis immediately joined together to oppose him. While the Moreots held the single largest caucus in the Senate with 30 Senators out of the total 70, they did not possess a majority within the legislature and required the support of some combination of the 9 Roumeliot Senators, the 28 Islander Senators, and 3 Phanariot Senators that comprised the other factions within the Legislative body. The situation was made worse by Mavromichalis’ endorsement of Dheliyannis, an act which was met with immediate denunciation by the Senate as an overreach of his authority into the purview of the Senate.

Seeking to unravel the opposition aligned against him, Georgios Kountouriotis proposed Alexandros Mavrokordatos for the position, as he was a candidate acceptable to the wide spectrum of interests in the Senate. Surprisingly, Mavrokordatos achieved almost unanimous approval from the Moreots, Roumeliotes, and Islanders in the Senate. The Phanariot refused, however, on the basis that his duties as General Secretary required his full attention and he would require the Executive’s permission to resign for the Senate Presidency, permission which Petros Mavromichalis refused to give. After several days of heated debate, Mavromichalis was forced to acquiesce when several moderate Moreot Senators forced his hand by siding with the Roumeliotes and Islanders. With no other choice, Mavromichalis accepted the Senate’s decision and Mavrokordatos was appointed Senate President on the 2nd of July, ending the flashpoint.

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The Master of Hydra, Georgios Kountouriotis

This respite was short lived as another dispute emerged between the factions in Greece over the price of salt. In October 1823, the Finance Minister Ioannis Peroukas, under the instruction of the Executive, imposed a government monopoly on salt, causing costs to skyrocket across Greece. The measure had been intended to raise money for the war effort, but like most taxes it unfairly burdened the common people who were desperately reliant upon salt. The Senate surprisingly took up the mantle of the common people, although in truth their opposition lay primarily with the notion that the Executive had not sought the Senate’s approval for the measure in the first place.

Their reaction was limited as they required a two thirds majority to legally overturn the Executive’s decision and nearly 26 Senators were either away on leave or in favor of the measure leaving them with little recourse. Summarily, the Senate retorted with the same response arguing that the Executive could only implement such a proposal with a three fifths majority, but seeing as Ioannis Kolettis, Andreas Zaimis, and Panayiotis Botasis where either absent or opposed to the measure, it was invalid. The matter was eventually ended when Kolettis was recalled from Missolonghi by the Senate, where upon his return he immediately killed the measure along with Zaimis and Botasis.[1]

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Ioannis Kolettis (Left), Andreas Zaimis (Right)​

Despite these humiliations, Petros Mavromichalis remained relatively popular among most parties in Greece, due in large part to the tremendous success on the warfront in 1823. The meager Ottoman garrison in the acropolis of Corinth, Akrocorinthos, had finally surrendered to the Greek army of Demetrios Ypsilantis on the 10th of September 1823, ending the 13-month siege and fully securing the Isthmus once more. This victory was soon followed only a few weeks later by the retreat of Mustafa Pasha from Missolonghi, ending the threat against Western Greece and the Morea. One last victory was the quick liberation of Nafpaktos through the means of Lord Byron bringing the northern shore of the Gulf firmly under Greek control. With these victories on the warfront, Petros Mavromichalis managed to limp his way across the finish line, winning the 1824 Executive Elections by a narrow margin.

Another important victory for the Mavromichalis government was the acquisition of the loan from the London Philhellenic Committee, to the sum of 420,000 Pounds Sterling. This too brought its own slough of problems for the Greek Government as the influx of additional revenue sparked an intense debate over the dispensing of the funds. Arriving in 13 installments to be paid out every month from April 1824 until May 1825, the loan essentially doubled the Greek’s available budget, and as was the case when mixing politics with money, every group wanted their piece. The Military Captains wanted the funds to go towards paying their arrears, the Islanders wanted it for their ships, the Primates for their castles, and the Roumeliotes, well no one really cared much about what the Roumeliotes wanted with it.

Control of the funds, however, lay in the hands of the Britons, Byron and Stanhope, the Hydriot Lazaros Kountarious, and the Moreot Andreas Londos. But with Stanhope’s departure in May, power shifted increasingly towards the Greeks as Byron generally acquiesced to Kountouriotis and Londos on the matter, only interjecting when it was absolutely necessary to prevent what he saw as burgeoning corruption and malpractice.[2] Lazaros by nature of his relation to his brother Georgios, sided with the Islanders and the Senate, and Londos, by nature of his close friendship with Andreas Zaimis, supported the Senate’s position as well, which under Mavrokordatos favored a naval policy. As such the bulk of the new revenue was to be dispensed towards the navy, much to the ire of the Moreots and Roumeliotes who desired it for other means. To express their disapproval, the Moreots filibustered the proceedings until they achieved their desired outcome, gridlocking the Greek government for over a month. While this debate raged on an Ottoman fleet arrived off the coast of Psara.

Dread set in amongst the delegates in Nafplion as reports arrived from Psara, the Ottomans had landed on the island and instituted a blockade. The fleets stationed in Hydra and Spetses were immediately dispatched to break the blockade, but their efforts had little impact on the burgeoning siege. The Greeks only succeeded in opening a small hole in the blockade allowing some Psariot ships laden with women, children, and the town’s treasures to escape. When they attempted to return three days later the Ottoman fleet had returned in strength and forced the Greeks into a costly engagement. While the Greeks inflicted heavy losses on the Ottoman navy, they were forced to flee when reinforcements from Asia Minor arrived.

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The Flight from Psara

The siege of Psara would last for barely half a month, beginning on the 22nd of June and ending on the 6th of July. Much of the island had been lost in the initial invasion, with the defenders fleeing to the old Byzantine fort, Palaiokastro, for refuge. After two weeks, the desperate struggle came to an end as the Ottomans finally forced their way into the fortress at which point the last remaining defenders detonated the ammunition depot inside the fort, killing themselves and the unfortunate Ottoman soldiers who had entered the compound first. Those Greeks that survived the explosion were subject to the worse depravities of man before being sent into slavery in Anatolia. Psara, which had been the home to 7,000 Greeks at the start of the war, had been razed to the ground in a matter of days.

The Psariots who had managed to escape to the Morea would fare no better than their kin who were left at the mercy of the Turks. Those that made it to the mainland were met by a mob of klephts who immediately stripped the refugees of their valuables, by force if necessary. In one particularly dastardly incident a Moreot bludgeoned a Psariot to death over his wedding ring while his wife and child looked on in horror. When news of this incident reached Demetrios Ypsilantis, the normally calm and collected Phanariot fell into a rage. Racing down to the port with a company of soldiers, he had the offending men arrested on the spot. Some were released after returning their stolen wares, others received a lashing, but the worst culprits were executed for their crimes. Ypsilantis’ justice provided little recompense for the Psariots who had lost their possessions, their homes, and their families both to the Ottomans and their fellow Greeks.

The loss of any island was a blow to the Greeks, but the loss of Psara was an especially bitter blow. The island had long provided the Greeks with an early warning on the movements of the Ottoman fleet, allowing them ample time to ready their opposition against it. With Psara gone, they were now blind to their enemies’ movements at sea putting them at a decided disadvantage. The military ramifications were bad enough but the political ramifications of losing Psara nearly threatened to destroy all which the Greeks had fought for. The Psariots bitterly blamed Mavromichalis and his followers in the Senate for the annihilation of their people, although in truth there was little he could have done to save it beyond what had already been committed. Despite repeated proclamations of his innocence, the Maniot had become a scapegoat for the ruined Psariots and their friends in the Senate sought to profit off Mavromichalis’ misfortune. By the month’s end, Georgios Kountouriotis and the Psariot Admiral Constantine Kanaris sponsored legislation in the Senate, calling for the removal of Mavromichalis from the Executive.

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Constantine Kanaris, Greek Admiral and Politician

No one blamed the fall of Psara on Mavromichalis more than the famous Admiral Constantine Kanaris. Kanaris had fought nobly at Chios, Tenedos, and most recently Psara before its fall. He had made his home there, his family was there, and many of the people he was forced to leave behind on Psara were his kith and kin. Together with Kountarious and his supporters in the Islands Faction, Kanaris pointedly placed the blame for Psara’s fall at the feet of the Moreots and Maniots in general for their resistance in the Senate. By the end of July, even many of Petrobey’s staunchest supporters had been forced into submission by the impassioned Islanders and on the 3rd of August, Petros Mavromichalis was removed from the Executive and was in turn quickly replaced by Georgios Kountouriotis as President of the Executive.

The move was immediately protested by Petrobey’s supporters as an illegal and unjust act, while his opponents extolled the complete legality of their actions. The most boisterous critic were Panos and Yenneos Kolokotronis, the sons of the martyred hero Theodoros Kolokotronis. The younger Kolokotroneoi had been strong supporters of the Maniot’s government and had closely aligned themselves with his father’s former ally Sotiris Charalamvis. Only hours after the ousting of Mavromichalis, Panos and several other young officers marched on the Senate building in Nafplion where they disrupted the proceedings to physically assault several members of the Senate while they were in session. Despite lasting for a few minutes, no one was seriously injured in the brawl. Regardless, the damage had been done.[3]

In response to this violent outburst by one of his subordinates, the Senate voted to remove Sotiris Charalamvis from the Executive on the 6th of August. Panos for his part fled to the sanctity of his homeland in Messenia where he was later joined by his brother, Charalamvis, and their followers. Together, Charalamvis and Mavromichalis denounced the actions of the Senate as unjust and illegal and called upon their supporters to break with the Nafplion government. This was soon followed by the resignation of Andreas Zaimis from the Executive in protest, though he opted for neutrality as opposed to the burgeoning duality of the Greek Government. By September 1824, the Greek Government had formally split. Most of the military captains, Moreots, and Maniots had withdrawn from the unified National Government forming their own Opposition Government based in Tripolitsa, while the diminished Central Government remained in Nafplion. In the following weeks, several attempts were made to reconcile the two sides with the Philhellenes Lord Byron and Edward Trelawny, and the Phanariotes Demetrios Ypsilantis and Alexandros Mavrokordatos lending their weight behind these motions. These efforts at mediation lasted through the end of 1824 and into early 1825 only for them to end in failure over a personal slight by Kolettis towards Charalamvis causing the Moreot to viciously attack the Epirote before fleeing once more to his stronghold.

The schism between the Greek factions had become a personal one as bruised egos and personal pride overwhelmed patriotism and pragmatism. Charalamvis, Mavromichalis, and the Kolokotroneoi boys had effectively become the focal point of the growing agitation towards the government while Kountouriotis and Kolettis were the purveyors of the state. By February, it was clear for all to see that this schism would inevitably lead to violence, but where diplomacy and politics failed, outside events soon conspired to bring the divided Greeks together once again. On the 24th of February 1825, an army of Egyptians, 10,000 strong landed at Methoni. The Scourge of Hellas had arrived.

Next Time: O Aegyptus


[1] Kolettis was an avid opponent of the Military Captains and Morean Primates in the Executive in OTL. He was a perfidious character that played his opponents against one another and did his utmost to benefit himself. Still he was a talented administrator and quartermaster for the Greeks serving on the Executive, and as Minister of War. Sadly, I couldn’t find any information or pictures on Panayiotis Botasis aside from the fact that he was an ally of Kountouriotis and as such would vote the way of the Senate. Andreas Zaimis was a strong supporter of the Senate as well and would probably vote against the Salt monopoly considering he was opposed to it in OTL as well.

[2] As Byron was a strong supporter of Alexandros Mavrokordatos, and Mavrokordatos is President of the Senate, I think it is safe to say that Byron would dispense the funds however the Senate would like it to be dispense. Byron was very firm about his intentions to only work with representatives of the Greek Government and as such he would support the “elected government”.

[3] A similar event like this took place in OTL when Panos attacked the Senators following the removal of Konstantinos Metaxas from the Executive in December 1823. This act sparked the First Civil War, which was more or less a posturing match between Theodoros and his supporters and the increasingly Islander dominated National Government.
 
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Please have Muhammad Ali have some massive success and kick the Greeks into unity before retreating from the mainland for some reason, making the surviving greeks a more united bunch and leading to a better history of greece, that includes the Anatolian territories returning to the motherland, please.
 
Will the extent of foreign intervention in the Greek war of independence be more or less than OTL?
Their involvement will probably be less than OTL, but not by much. Russia getting involved is almost a given, considering the Ottomans are still occupying the Danubian Principalities and the Serbian Question is still unresolved. Britain and France are a little harder to predict. While their people are generally very pro Greece, the British and French governments have established interests in the Ottoman Empire that they don't wish to disrupt.

That being said, Britain and France are not opposed to an independent Greece. In fact they already have agents in Greece working to promote their favored candidates for the vacant, and currently nonexistent Greek throne with the leading options being the Duke of Nemours for the French, and Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg and the Duke of Sussex for the British among many others. I'll expand more on this at a later date when its more relevant.

Please have Muhammad Ali have some massive success and kick the Greeks into unity before retreating from the mainland for some reason, making the surviving greeks a more united bunch and leading to a better history of greece, that includes the Anatolian territories returning to the motherland, please.
Worry not! Even with the changes in TTL, the Greeks are still no match for Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt in a head to head confrontation, I mean there is a reason he is called the Scourge of Hellas in this timeline.

Egypt under Muhammad Ali has been modernizing rapidly, at least militarily, thanks in large part to the French military mission to Egypt. They have the latest weapons and the latest tactics and they have been drilled extensively by French officers and veterans of the Napoleonic wars. Compared to the regular soldiers of the Ottoman Army, the Egyptians are in a class of their own. I would qualify them as on a level comparable to some of the better European armies at the time. They also have extensive experience fighting against guerrilla warfare after combating the Wahhabis for many years in the Arabian desert.
 
Their involvement will probably be less than OTL, but not by much. Russia getting involved is almost a given, considering the Ottomans are still occupying the Danubian Principalities and the Serbian Question is still unresolved. Britain and France are a little harder to predict. While their people are generally very pro Greece, the British and French governments have established interests in the Ottoman Empire that they don't wish to disrupt.

That being said, Britain and France are not opposed to an independent Greece. In fact they already have agents in Greece working to promote their favored candidates for the vacant, and currently nonexistent Greek throne with the leading options being the Duke of Nemours for the French, and Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg and the Duke of Sussex for the British among many others. I'll expand more on this at a later date when its more relevant.


Worry not! Even with the changes in TTL, the Greeks are still no match for Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt in a head to head confrontation, I mean there is a reason he is called the Scourge of Hellas in this timeline.

Egypt under Muhammad Ali has been modernizing rapidly, at least militarily, thanks in large part to the French military mission to Egypt. They have the latest weapons and the latest tactics and they have been drilled extensively by French officers and veterans of the Napoleonic wars. Compared to the regular soldiers of the Ottoman Army, the Egyptians are in a class of their own. I would qualify them as on a level comparable to some of the better European armies at the time. They also have extensive experience fighting against guerrilla warfare after combating the Wahhabis for many years in the Arabian desert.
I have read that Leopold IOTL refused the Greek throne partly because Kapodistrias didn't want him and presented an even worse picture of Greece than the reality, while he also wasn't satisfied with the border. In the end he was probably right to stay away from a self-interest perspective, but Leopold of Greece would be really interesting. The other two don't sound like choices that the other powers would agree on, though, and of course any Romanov would be out of the question, too. In the end the likeliest choice is some German prince. Naturally, all of this implies that there will be a Greece left to rule after Ibrahim is done.
 
I have read that Leopold IOTL refused the Greek throne partly because Kapodistrias didn't want him and presented an even worse picture of Greece than the reality, while he also wasn't satisfied with the border. In the end he was probably right to stay away from a self-interest perspective, but Leopold of Greece would be really interesting. The other two don't sound like choices that the other powers would agree on, though, and of course any Romanov would be out of the question, too. In the end the likeliest choice is some German prince. Naturally, all of this implies that there will be a Greece left to rule after Ibrahim is done.
The likelihood of a Hanoverian, Bourbon, or Romanov becoming king of Greece was extremely unlikely both in OTL and in TTL as none of the other powers would come to a common consensus about them short of war. Leopold as a minor German nobleman from a good house, with good relations to all the Great Powers was the consensus pick to be King of Greece at the 1830 London Conference by all the Powers, even France and Russia. He actually accepted the crown for Greece in February 1830, only to withdraw his bid in May that same year largely because of the 1830 border as he had been promised the 1832 border with Samos and Crete. Based off my reading of him, he seemed to like the romanticism of Greece, but he was turned off by the widespread devastation Greece had endured in the war, and Kapodistrias certainly did his best, either intentionally or unintentionally to drive Leopold to the opinion that Greece was an impoverished backwater.

Ibrahim will certainly do his utmost to ensure that he is the one to rule Greece after this war if through.
 
I hope that even though this is the OTL revolution so far, they embrace Romaioi identity more. If you want a big Greece, then forcing people to accept a new Hellene identity will only provoke more disunity, especially if the new Greek state has Thessaly and Macedonia.
 
I hope that even though this is the OTL revolution so far, they embrace Romaioi identity more. If you want a big Greece, then forcing people to accept a new Hellene identity will only provoke more disunity, especially if the new Greek state has Thessaly and Macedonia.
Some degree of Hellenism is going to happen just by the nature of this being a Greek Revolution, but there will be a stronger Rhomaion influence to this Greece than the OTL one that should hopefully appeal to a wider range of peoples.
 
Part 14: O Aegyptus
Part 14: O Aegyptus

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Muhammad Ali Sends Egypt to War

In the wake of the Greek victory at Dervenakia, Sultan Mahmud II, despite his better judgement, called upon his strongest and most willful vassal Muhammad Ali of Egypt for aid.[1] Muhammad Ali had originally been sent to Egypt by Mahmud’s predecessor, Selim III, to restore the Sublime Porte’s authority in the region after Napoleon’s failed invasion in 1801. Instead, Muhammad Ali seized power for himself, establishing Egypt as his own private fiefdom, and over the years’ his influence and power had only grown further. By 1821, Muhammad Ali was the strongest magnate within the Ottoman Empire, and was independent from Constantinople in all but name. For Sultan Mahmud II, to call upon the self-proclaimed Khedive of Egypt went against everything he had done so far to restore the central authority of Empire. Yet the constant humiliations of his armies against the Greeks had ultimately forced his hand and by the Spring of 1824, the two had come to terms over the Egyptians intervention in the war.

Muhammad Ali’s obedience, however, came with a steep price, one Mahmud was forced to pay. In return for sovereignty over the islands of Crete and Cyprus, and the Pashalik of the Morea for his son Ibrahim, the Egyptian army and navy would be sent to assist the Ottomans in suppressing the Greek revolt. Egypt boasted one of the finest fleets in the Muslim world with expert sailors and hundreds of ships, yet it was the Egyptian army which was truly fearsome. Though small in stature compared to the vast hordes of the Ottoman armies, its strength lay in its superb quality. Armed with French rifles, assisted by French cannons, and trained by French officers, the army of Muhammad Ali was the spitting image of Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Its leader Ibrahim Pasha, while by no means another Napoleon, still proved to be a very capable and adaptable commander. His bravery in the heat of battle was well recognized and he inspired great loyalty from his men. Ibrahim and his soldiers were also battled tested, having spent the past 10 years fighting a bitter guerrilla war against the Wahhabis deep in the deserts of Arabia. If any force was best fitted to combat the Greek partisans it would be the Egyptians.

Rather than immediately traveling to the Morea, Muhammad Ali set about securing his spoils first. Dispatching his fleet to take possession of Cyprus from the Ottoman forces there, Muhammad Ali installed his own men on the island before proceeding onto Crete in mid-June 1824. The Cretans had nearly driven the Turks from their island, forcing them into a few fortified cities on the coast before the Egyptians intervened. Within days of the Egyptians landing, hundreds of villages across Crete were burnt to the ground and their inhabitants were slain or enslaved. By the start of September all organized resistance on the island had been crushed and the remaining partisans were forced to flee to the mountains. The island of Kasos, 30 miles to the Northeast of Crete met a similar fate when the Egyptian Admiral Ismael Gibraltar and Muhammad Ali’s son in law, Hussein Bey conquered the island for the Khedive of Egypt.

With the islands conquered, the path to the Morea now lay open for Muhammad Ali. Dispatching his son Ibrahim at the head of an army 10,000 strong, the Egyptians initially attempted a landing at Methoni in the Fall of 1824, only to be repelled by the Greek navy whose watch remained vigilant after the fall of Psara. Despite their vigilance, the Greek’s watch was ended by the coming of winter. The winter months were a time when the terrible storms and severe winds made sailing treacherous for the light ships of the Greek and Ottoman navies which were easily thrown into the rocks by the great gusts on the open sea. The Egyptians, however, used heavier Ships of the Line in the vein of the British and the French, which were made nimbler by the frightening winds of Winter. Upon the counsel of his French advisor, Captain Dronault, Ibrahim left port in Alexandria for the Morea.

Though their voyage was fraught with perils, Ibrahim and his men managed to make landfall in the harbor of Methoni on the 24th of February 1825. Establishing his headquarters in Methoni’s castle, Ibrahim awaited the arrival of the remainder of his army before setting out across the Morea. The Castle of Methoni was the largest fortification in the Morea, and at nearly half a mile in length and a quarter mile in width it was by far the most impressive in terms of size. Situated along the craggy shoreline to the south of Methoni, the castle featured three massive stone walls standing nearly 36 feet high, with the fourth side protected by the sea. The castle had been under siege intermittently since the beginning of the war, but the Greeks had never put forth much of a committed effort to seize it from the Turks inside. The looming civil war between the Greeks made it harder to maintain even the semblance of a proper siege as the Roumeliotes were forced out by the Moreots and the Islander’s ships were recalled from the blockade.

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The Castle of Methoni, Basecamp of Ibrahim Pasha

Fifteen miles to the East, however, the Greeks had been putting up a more determined effort to take the city of Koroni. Reports concerning its fall became more pressing in the days after Ibrahim’s arrival and despite missing over half his army, Ibrahim, 4,000 infantrymen, and 400 cavalrymen moved to relieve the siege of Koroni on the 2nd of March. The sudden emergence of a fresh fighting force to their rear compelled the Greeks outside Koroni to flee before the Egyptians without so much as a shot fired in opposition. By the end of March, another 7,000 Egyptians landed, bringing Ibrahim’s total above 11,000 men. With the rest of Ibrahim’s soldiers landed, the Egyptian army immediately began to move North towards the bay of Navarino.

Shaped like an elongated horseshoe, the bay of Navarino formed the best natural harbor in all the Morea with a narrow entrance and a wide inner expanse. It was also one of the most heavily fortified regions in the Morea, protected on all sides by strong defensive works and fortifications. In the North was the castle of Old Navarino, or Palaiokastro. Wedged between the bay in the south and a series of lagoons in the North, Old Navarino sat atop the peak of a steep cliff overlooking Navarino providing the structure with an impressive set of natural defenses. It was an old Frankish castle built in the aftermath of the 4th Crusade, and while it may have been impressive in its day by the Spring of 1825, it was little more than a ruin with gaping holes in its proud walls and a collapsing keep in its courtyard.

Along the Southern bank of the bay’s mouth, near the town of Pylos, was New Navarino, a castle of Ottoman origin. Dating from the late 16th century, New Navarino was in scantly better condition than Old Navarino, having been abandoned by the Turks in the decades preceding the war. While its location along the lower southern shore paled in comparison to the heights its counterpart sat upon in the north, New Navarino’s walls were designed stout and thick to withstand cannons and artillery giving it a substantial advantage over Old Navarino should it come to a siege. The Greeks had done their best to improve it in the days leading up to Ibrahim’s attack, patching holes and storing up supplies, but they were rushed for time and short on men. The last defense of the bay was the fortress island Sphaktiria which sat directly in the mouth of the Bay. More akin to a mountain jutting out of the sea than an island, Sphaktiria provided Navarino with its greatest defense.

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New Navarino and the city of Pylos​

Before Ibrahim could begin reducing the Greek defenses around Navarino, a new adversary had arrived from the North. An army of Greek klephts and militiamen led by the former Executive member Sotiris Charalamvis had marched South from Elis to join with his allies the Kolokotroneoi in Messenia.[2] Charalamvis’ force while certainly large for the Greeks at 5,000 strong, it proved to be a disorganized and undisciplined mess. Still, he posed a significant threat to Ibrahim Pasha, one which he would rather defeat in quick succession before it joined with the men already stationed at Navarino. Leaving much of his army behind to screen Pylos, Ibrahim marched East against Charalamvis with only 2,000 infantrymen and 400 cavalrymen.

Charalamvis had positioned himself admirably atop the hills above Kremmidhia. With only a single impassable ravine leading to his rear, the Moreots were free to direct their full attention to the threat before and below them. Despite lacking the discipline of the Egyptian adversaries, the Greeks managed to easily repel their foes on two separate attacks. Following the second failed assault on Krimmidhia, Ibrahim’s cavalry retreated down the hill for all to see. While it looked to the Greeks as if the Egyptians were on the verge of collapse, the truth was quite the opposite.

Rather than calling a retreat, Ibrahim had directed his cavalry to circumvent the Greek defenses and move up the narrow ravine that emptied out behind Charalamvis’ position. Despite its difficulty, the Egyptian horses made their way through the gully into the undefended rear of the Greeks, killing Sotiris Charalamvis while he attempted to rally his men against the charging horsemen. When Ibrahim sent in a third infantry wave against the Greek lines, the Moreots finally broke and fled the field in a rout. In total over 600 Greeks were killed in the engagement including Charalamvis, 2,000 were wounded, and another 2,000 were captured by Ibrahim against 1000 Egyptians killed or wounded. Some of the surviving Greeks escaped to the relative safety of New Navarino providing the garrison with additional manpower and munitions, but at the cost of stretching their already thin rations even further.

With this threat dealt with Ibrahim finally made his move against Navarino’s defenders, his first target was the mighty island of Sphaktiria at the bay’s mouth. Around 800 Greeks defended the island and an additional 8 ships regularly patrolled the waters surrounding it. To take the island, Ibrahim needed the Egyptian fleet and by morning of the 20th of April, 34 Egyptian naval vessels arrived escorting 40 transports. Within moments the Greek ships were scattered and the Egyptians made their way onto Sphaktiria. Despite their best efforts the island’s garrison was defeated and surrendered to Ibrahim’s men. Their commander did not.

The Phanariot Alexandros Mavrokordatos had been in Messenia negotiating a reconciliation with Sotiris Charalamvis and the Panos Kolokotronis when Ibrahim Pasha arrived in the region. With the Charalamvis’ death at Kremmidhia only three days prior, Mavrokordatos was forced to assumed leadership of the defenses of the bay in his stead. His best efforts were no match for the Egyptians who quickly brushed aside his meager defenses causing the quick surrender of the Sphaktiria’s garrison and the flight of 7 of the 8 Greek ships in the bay. The last ship, the brig Ares, made a daring landfall on the eastern shore of the island, rescuing Mavrokordatos and several others at the cost of the ship’s captain Anastasios Tsamados and five members of the crew. A cloud of smoke filled the bay as the 34 ships of the Egyptian fleet futilely fired upon the nimble Greek vessel to no avail. Finally, after 6 hours, Mavrokordatos and the Ares slipped away from the Egyptians under the cover of night.[3]

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Sortie of the Aris

With the mouth of the bay now open to his fleet, Ibrahim was free to assail the inner defenses. Bypassing the stronger castle of New Navarino, the Egyptians began reducing the walls of Old Navarino first. Unleashing a withering barrage of shot against the old Frankish walls, the Egyptian artillery managed to reduce the old castle to rubble within a single day, forcing its defenders to surrender on the 22nd.

On the 23rd Ibrahim moved south and began the siege of New Navarino. Unlike Old Navarino, this castle managed to withstand the blistering artillery barrage from the Egyptian guns, albeit just barely, forcing Ibrahim to put it to a siege. The defenders realized to their dismay that they could not win this fight on their own. If they were to successfully holdout they would need help. On the night of the 26th of April, a dispatch rider snuck through the Egyptian lines carrying a desperate plea for aid from the government in Nafplion. The fate of Greece relied on the response to this message.

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Greece in the Spring of 1825 [4]
Purple - Greece
Green - Ottoman Empire
Pink - The United States of the Ionian Islands (Great Britain)​

Next Time: Papaflessas


[1] As the POD was during the battle of Dervenakia, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II would still be forced to call upon the Egyptians to assist him in the war. Muhammed Ali’s decision-making process of seizing the islands first is also unchanged because his primary motivation for joining the war was to secure personal gains for his family, while aiding the Sultan was purely a side effect for these actions.

[2] In OTL Charalamvis was imprisoned by the Greek government for his role in the civil wars in the Spring of 1825 during Ibrahim’s invasion of Messenia. Without the civil wars, he would likely be free to operate against Ibrahim during his invasion of the Morea due to his military background and strong base in the region. Even still, he is no match for Ibrahim. Ibrahim’s tactics are better, his soldiers are better, and his weapons are better.

[3] This is an actual event from the war in OTL. Mavrokordatos had been assisting in the defense of Sphaktiria when it fell and only managed to escape thanks to the sacrifice of Captain Tsamados and several members of his crew. It such an extraordinary event that I had to include it.

[4] Just a note, this is my first attempt at making a map for this timeline, so I apologize if it looks awful.:perservingface: I will continue experimenting with programs and different templates so if the image changes at a later date don’t be alarmed. Eventually my hope is to retroactively edit in maps for the previous updates where they are most relevant.
 
Great update! I love a timeline that is well written, engaging, and teaches me something new about a topic that I knew little about (in this case, the Greek Revolution). Keep up the masterful work - and good job on that map :)
 
Honestly, I think that the map is perfect !

Great update! I love a timeline that is well written, engaging, and teaches me something new about a topic that I knew little about (in this case, the Greek Revolution). Keep up the masterful work - and good job on that map :)

The map is as good as the rest of the update. I'm waiting for more.
Thank you all. The sources I'm using for this are a little on the vague side when it comes to the exact territory each side held, but I was able to piece something together.

Edit: I'll try to get another update posted later today to make up for missing yesterday, no promises though.
 
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Will Egyptian invasion cause Anglo-French intervention?
I think Anglo-French intervention will come when the Great Powers decide what kind of Greece they want, in order to impose their wishes to all sides, and not because they are moved by the plight of the poor Greeks who are getting slaughtered.
 
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