All very interesting, well written and obviously well researched but I think the effects of Kolokotronis death would start from bad and go to catastrophic very fast. To start with Dervenakia, they happened only due to Kolokotronis correctly deducing that Dramalis was actually to retreat and capturing the passes behind him with what essentially consisted of units that personally followed him and close allies. If he's killed there is a very fair chance they just melt away and Dramalis retreats unscathed to Corinth to wait out on the Ottoman fleet to supply him. Even if we assume Panos and Niketas keep the units in place (Panos was after all a fairly good commander by all accounts) it's highly doubtful that the revolution can survive Ibrahim without Kolokotronis around. Kolokotronis may have failed to directly defeat Ibrahim but was attriting him to death with his army hardly controlling anything but the ground they were standing on, which by the way is why leaving Tripoli intact is a bad thing, while at the same time keeping the population from surrendering. (It was Kollokotronis "fire and axe against surrendered" decree that stopped the surrenders that had started taking place on their tracks. Remove him and Ibrahim is bound to steadily reduce the Peloponnese through 1825 and 1826.
Theodoros Kolokotronis is a very interesting character from the Greek War of Independence and despite me killing him in this timeline, he is probably my favorite figure from the war. He was incredibly important in developing the Greek resistance in 1821 and 1822, and I can honestly say that he is largely responsible for the protecting the independence of Greece in those first two years. That said, his actions in 1823 and 1824 were extremely harmful to the Greeks so my decision to have him die at Dervenakia was an attempt to get the best moments of Theodoros Kolokotronis, Dervenakia, without his worst ones, his short tenure in the Executive and the civil wars.

I will admit that there is some hand waving involved to get the OTL result for Dervenakia with the added death of Theodoros Kolokotronis. My understanding of Dervenakia is that once the Ottomans entered the hills near Dervenakia, the OTL outcome was almost guaranteed one way or another regardless of who was actually in charge at that point which is a testament to Theodoros' oberservation and organization leading up to that battle and the terrible ineptitude of Dramali Pasha and the Ottomans. Obviously some details are going to be different but the Ottoman's supply situation still is on the verge of collapse, their morale is already low as a result of a relatively pointless venture to Argos, they are taking the same route back to Corinth, a route defended by the same Greeks as OTL, and while Theodoros died on the night of the first day, it does take some time for that news to reach all the Greeks in the area.

I will agree that Kolokotronis' war of attrition certainly worked in the long run against Ibrahim, but Ibrahim is still plagued by the same problems of he dealt with in OTL, more or less and attrition, albeit to a lesser degree, is still an issue for him even without Theodoros. The Ottomans essentially refuse to support him in the Peloponnese, he can only be reinforced from Egypt, and his father is very mercurial about Egypt's involvement in the war. The Siege of Missolonghi both OTL and TTL was especially taxing on him physically, he was injured in the leg, and tactically as he lost over a third of his entire force between January and April of 1826 alone. The Greek resistance against him is also stronger and more united than OTL due in large part to the mitigated "civil war' between the Greeks in TTL, so they have some more resources to throw at Ibrahim that they didn't in OTL. That said, Ibrahim will be very destructive and in some ways he will be worse than OTL. Still I defer to your knowledge on the topic and if something seems incredibly unlikely or impossible please let me know and I will modify it to the best of my ability.
 
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Theodoros Kolokotronis is a very interesting character from the Greek War of Independence and despite me killing him in this timeline, he is probably my favorite figure from the war. He was incredibly important in developing the Greek resistance in 1821 and 1822, and I can honestly say that he is largely responsible for the protecting the independence of Greece in those first two years. That said, his actions in 1823 and 1824 were extremely harmful to the Greeks so my decision to have him die at Dervenakia was an attempt to get the best moments of Theodoros Kolokotronis, Dervenakia, without his worst ones, his short tenure in the Executive and the civil wars.

I will admit that there is some hand waving involved to get the OTL result for Dervenakia with the added death of Theodoros Kolokotronis. My understanding of Dervenakia is that once the Ottomans entered the hills near Dervenakia, the OTL outcome was almost guaranteed one way or another regardless of who was actually in charge at that point which is a testament to Theodoros' oberservation and organization leading up to that battle and the terrible ineptitude of Dramali Pasha and the Ottomans. Obviously some details are going to be different but the Ottoman's supply situation still is on the verge of collapse, their morale is already low as a result of a relatively pointless venture to Argos, they are taking the same route back to Corinth, a route defended by the same Greeks as OTL, and while Theodoros died on the night of the first day, it does take some time for that news to reach all the Greeks in the area.

I will agree that Kolokotronis' war of attrition certainly worked in the long run against Ibrahim, but Ibrahim is still plagued by the same problems of he dealt with in OTL, more or less and attrition, albeit to a lesser degree, is still an issue for him even without Theodoros. The Ottomans essentially refuse to support him in the Peloponnese, he can only be reinforced from Egypt, and his father is very mercurial about Egypt's involvement in the war. The Siege of Missolonghi both OTL and TTL was especially taxing on him physically, he was injured in the leg, and tactically as he lost over a third of his entire force between January and April of 1826 alone. The Greek resistance against him is also stronger and more united than OTL due in large part to the mitigated "civil war' between the Greeks in TTL, so they have some more resources to throw at Ibrahim that they didn't in OTL. That said, Ibrahim will be very destructive and in some ways he will be worse than OTL. Still I defer to your knowledge on the topic and if something seems incredibly unlikely or impossible please let me know and I will modify it to the best of my ability.


Unlikely... not really. I think you can put a lot more of the blame on the civil war on the notables, Mavrokordatos and particularly Kolletis than on Kolokotronis but conflict between the notables and the lets call it democratic faction of Kolokotronis was inevitable. The other things are that without a civil war with or without Kolokotronis the money of the first British loan wasted on the civil war are still available. This in turn means there are money both to finance the expansion of the "taktikon" the European style army, Panos Kolokotronis may actually be big on this given his background, and much more importantly to finance the fleet. In the end Messolongi fell out of starvation, because Miaoulis did not have enough ships to break the blockade for one more time. If the money to pay for the fleet are there instead... Miaoulis is entirely likely to re-supply Messolongi once more and the besiegers were suffering massively themselves, Ibrahim was down to 3,600 men by the time the siege was broken IMS and Resid not much better so if the Greeks supplies are extended by a month or two more then the siege quite possibly fails.

I'll add that there is a second major POD hidden there when you killed off Resid. The man was arguably the best military commander of the Ottoman empire of his time and staunchly loyal to Mahmud, he'll be getting sorely missed by the Porte, but for the immediate effects Karaiskakis and Botsaris are probably triumphant in eastern Greece come 1827... and before Cochrane can mess things up.
 
Unlikely... not really. I think you can put a lot more of the blame on the civil war on the notables, Mavrokordatos and particularly Kolletis than on Kolokotronis but conflict between the notables and the lets call it democratic faction of Kolokotronis was inevitable. The other things are that without a civil war with or without Kolokotronis the money of the first British loan wasted on the civil war are still available. This in turn means there are money both to finance the expansion of the "taktikon" the European style army, Panos Kolokotronis may actually be big on this given his background, and much more importantly to finance the fleet. In the end Messolongi fell out of starvation, because Miaoulis did not have enough ships to break the blockade for one more time. If the money to pay for the fleet are there instead... Miaoulis is entirely likely to re-supply Messolongi once more and the besiegers were suffering massively themselves, Ibrahim was down to 3,600 men by the time the siege was broken IMS and Resid not much better so if the Greeks supplies are extended by a month or two more then the siege quite possibly fails.

I'll add that there is a second major POD hidden there when you killed off Resid. The man was arguably the best military commander of the Ottoman empire of his time and staunchly loyal to Mahmud, he'll be getting sorely missed by the Porte, but for the immediate effects Karaiskakis and Botsaris are probably triumphant in eastern Greece come 1827... and before Cochrane can mess things up.
I certainly agree that Mavrokordatos and especially Kolettis were largely responsible for causing the civil wars, unfortunately in my research I couldn't find a reasonable POD early enough to mitigate the infighting so I went with Kolokotronis, who caused his own fair share of divisiveness as well. That said I think Theodoros was completely in the right, he just went about it in the wrong way.

The better management of the loans should definitely benefit the Greek navy, among other things, which should have a detrimental effect on Ibrahim as he can only be resupplied and reinforced via sea. Honestly, I can't emphasize enough just how important those loans were and how bad they were wasted in OTL, especially the second one. That being said, I don't know if Miaoulis would be able to break the blockade a second time, as his last breakthrough was in late January just as Ibrahim arrived in the area with the Egyptian navy.

Resid will certainly be missed by the Porte and his absence will have some really detrimental effects on the Ottomans in the near future.
 
hummm.... Kapodistrias investing a lot more of time and patience to build a stronger power base? Was he the kind of guy able to swallow his pride and try to co-opt potential opponents with bribes and flattering ?

I must admit I haven't read much about the character, but I agree he's the most capable ruler Greece had within reach.

I'm following this TL with great interest, good work, keep on !!
 
I certainly agree that Mavrokordatos and especially Kolettis were largely responsible for causing the civil wars, unfortunately in my research I couldn't find a reasonable POD early enough to mitigate the infighting so I went with Kolokotronis, who caused his own fair share of divisiveness as well. That said I think Theodoros was completely in the right, he just went about it in the wrong way.

The better management of the loans should definitely benefit the Greek navy, among other things, which should have a detrimental effect on Ibrahim as he can only be resupplied and reinforced via sea. Honestly, I can't emphasize enough just how important those loans were and how bad they were wasted in OTL, especially the second one. That being said, I don't know if Miaoulis would be able to break the blockade a second time, as his last breakthrough was in late January just as Ibrahim arrived in the area with the Egyptian navy.

Resid will certainly be missed by the Porte and his absence will have some really detrimental effects on the Ottomans in the near future.

Miaoulis lacked the funds to mobilize enough ships in his last attempt to break the blockade, he had 18 ships IMS in the attempt when with sufficient supplies he could had mobilized 50 to 70.

Now the second loan scandal is an interesting matter. Not certain how you stop it from happening. First you need the frigates bought in Britain or alternatively having someone like Kontostavlos controlling the US order from the start instead of a French retired general with no idea of trading and contracts. Then there is the matter of the steamships. Karteria was basically sound and very successful, all other ships crap. Which was entirely connected to Galloway's son working for Egypt, apparently in 1826 Greek cruisers captured a ship with incriminating letters and supplies that proved this without doubt. Hmm perhaps have the London committee stick to Cochrane's proposals in their entirety? After all he had asked to buy two or more razees from RN 74s that the RN had just decommissioned instead of brand new frigates. As for Galloway either Mehmet Ali has to hire a different engineer or the evidence of his Egyptian relation unearthed earlier...
 
hummm.... Kapodistrias investing a lot more of time and patience to build a stronger power base? Was he the kind of guy able to swallow his pride and try to co-opt potential opponents with bribes and flattering ?

I must admit I haven't read much about the character, but I agree he's the most capable ruler Greece had within reach.

I'm following this TL with great interest, good work, keep on !!
Thank you, I'm glad your enjoying it. Kapodistrias doesn't really strike me as a man who would willingly shallow his pride, but he doesn't have much of a choice. That said, he wasn't stupid by any means and he sincerely cared for the people of Greece. So if his only option was to play the long con, then he would do it if he had to.

Miaoulis lacked the funds to mobilize enough ships in his last attempt to break the blockade, he had 18 ships IMS in the attempt when with sufficient supplies he could had mobilized 50 to 70.
That's very interesting. The sources I'm using didn't list the number of ships Miaoulis had with him, but it stands to reason that having closer to 70 ships as opposed to 18 would definitely help the Greeks at Missolonghi. In that case I will probably go back and edit part 18 to include this.

Now the second loan scandal is an interesting matter. Not certain how you stop it from happening. First you need the frigates bought in Britain or alternatively having someone like Kontostavlos controlling the US order from the start instead of a French retired general with no idea of trading and contracts. Then there is the matter of the steamships. Karteria was basically sound and very successful, all other ships crap. Which was entirely connected to Galloway's son working for Egypt, apparently in 1826 Greek cruisers captured a ship with incriminating letters and supplies that proved this without doubt. Hmm perhaps have the London committee stick to Cochrane's proposals in their entirety? After all he had asked to buy two or more razees from RN 74s that the RN had just decommissioned instead of brand new frigates. As for Galloway either Mehmet Ali has to hire a different engineer or the evidence of his Egyptian relation unearthed earlier...
I haven't touched upon the second loan much so far primarily because I haven't figured out how to deal with it in a better way than OTL. Originally, I was going to have Kondostavlos in charge of overseeing the frigates from the start as the Hellas was a very good flagship for the Greeks, albeit a very expensive one, but I will consider getting two decommissioned British ships instead. Switching Alexander Galloway for someone else as the steamship engine builder will be difficult but it would definitely benefit the Greeks immensely if the Steamships were delivered relatively on schedule and in working order.
 
Just as a note, I edited Part 18 to include an attempted rescue of Missolonghi by the Greek Admiral Andreas Miaoulis on the 10th of April. Thanks to my conversation with @Lascaris I have decided to include this minor retcon as the better management of the English loan would allow the Greeks to muster additional ships for a larger relief effort. Aside from this the only other edits were to some dates as a small amount of supplies made their way into the city allowing the defenders to holdout for another week before making their escape from the city with the sortie taking place on the 29th as opposed to the 22nd. Part 19 has also been edited to reflect the change in date with Ioannis Kapodistrias now being elected on the 10th of May as opposed to the 1st as it was previously written.
 
I'm always a sucker for an underdog story, and I admire the depth of detail here. Please keep up the good work.

He also introduced potatoes to Greece, and while they were unpopular at first, Kapodistrias goaded the Greeks into eating and growing them by posting guards outside the warehouse where they were stored. Peeking the curiosity of the local Moreots, the potatoes were quickly stolen and effectively incorporated into the Greek diet.

This sounds very similar to a story I read of Frederick the Great, who allegedly had trouble getting the populace to accept potatoes until he stationed a guard detail of grenadiers around the royal potato plants, causing the peasants to assume they were valuable and steal them. It makes me wonder whether either of these stories are really true, or whether "ruler tricks peasants into planting potatoes by posting a guard and making them think they're valuable" is a sort of urban legend that has been applied to various circumstances over time.
 
If I may tangentially jump into this potato talk, the story of its introduction in Revolutionary Serbia during the First Serbian Uprising is an entertaining one;

Dositej Obradović, a well known Serbian figure of the time, brought over several sacks or bags full of potatoes from Zemun in 1806. Since times were tough, especially in the winter where food was very sparse and folks died of severe starvation, Dositej wanted to introduce the potato to make sure his people were fed. Unfortunately, as these stories go, folks didn't have fate in the potato, not even Karađorđe and the Governing Council trusted what was seen as the "devil's seed". So, he ordered that some of the potatoes be cooked to his instructions and be served while he was meeting with members of the Council.

The members of the Council were apprehensive, despite Dositej's nudging, not only because it was seen as heretical, not only because they didn't know how to eat it, but also because they didn't know if they were poisoned or not. Seeing how they reacted, Dositej went ahead and had a nice warm potato. Then he had a second, and then a third. Emboldened by his eating and how he ate, they all went ahead and tried the potatoes. With that, Dositej suggested to Karađorđe that a good majority of one of the sacks of potatoes should be planted, and explained how they are cultivated. By 1808, there were enough potatoes to be shared among the Serbs and eaten, but many peasants, emboldened by the words of their local clergy figures (who looked upon the potato as if it were deceitful like the Catholics), refused to even accept it, even after being sentenced to a public whipping by Karađorđe. It was only after the obor-knezes, heads of several villages (above the village head), were punished too that the peasants planted the potato, though only because they were punished in the first place. The potato would be accepted by the people over the next decade or two (though there is a story of Dositej personally convincing Miloš Obrenović that the potato wasn't a devil's seed due to it appearing to have "eyes", referring to the spots where the seedlings sprout from, only being convinced after its degustation), and by 1855, a cook book by a Serbian hieromonk would mention potatoes as an ordinary foodstuff.

And since he brought the potatoes in from Zemun, he referred to them as the Germans of the region did - grundbirne - which is why, just like the Croats, Serbs refer to the potato as "krompir".
 
I'm always a sucker for an underdog story, and I admire the depth of detail here. Please keep up the good work.



This sounds very similar to a story I read of Frederick the Great, who allegedly had trouble getting the populace to accept potatoes until he stationed a guard detail of grenadiers around the royal potato plants, causing the peasants to assume they were valuable and steal them. It makes me wonder whether either of these stories are really true, or whether "ruler tricks peasants into planting potatoes by posting a guard and making them think they're valuable" is a sort of urban legend that has been applied to various circumstances over time.
Thank you, I'm glad you like it.

I'm pretty sure it is a legend, based solely on its similarities to other potato stories, but every source on Kapodistrias, that I have found at least, mentions the introduction of potatoes to Greece as one of his accolades so I included it. There is also a real practical reason for this. Greece, as I'm sure you know, is a relatively mountainous country, and much of the soil in the region isn't very conductive for growing vast amounts of crops. The areas that were good for growing were mostly owned by the the church, the magnates, or the Turks, leaving smaller Greek farmers to farm on a pittance of good arable land. The Greeks also lacked modern farming tools for much of the 19th century, the American Consul to Athens wrote that he saw the wooden plow in use in Greece as late as 1889 and until the early 20th century, in many cases they didn't use any form of crop rotations or fertilizers to help with farming as well.

Potatoes resolve a lot of the issues farmers had in Greece. They were high density crops that would be grown in the relatively poor quality soil of Greece with even the most rudimentary farming tools. They are also a very cheap food to buy for the people of an impoverished country like Greece and they are high in vital nutrients.

If I may tangentially jump into this potato talk, the story of its introduction in Revolutionary Serbia during the First Serbian Uprising is an entertaining one;

Dositej Obradović, a well known Serbian figure of the time, brought over several sacks or bags full of potatoes from Zemun in 1806. Since times were tough, especially in the winter where food was very sparse and folks died of severe starvation, Dositej wanted to introduce the potato to make sure his people were fed. Unfortunately, as these stories go, folks didn't have fate in the potato, not even Karađorđe and the Governing Council trusted what was seen as the "devil's seed". So, he ordered that some of the potatoes be cooked to his instructions and be served while he was meeting with members of the Council.

The members of the Council were apprehensive, despite Dositej's nudging, not only because it was seen as heretical, not only because they didn't know how to eat it, but also because they didn't know if they were poisoned or not. Seeing how they reacted, Dositej went ahead and had a nice warm potato. Then he had a second, and then a third. Emboldened by his eating and how he ate, they all went ahead and tried the potatoes. With that, Dositej suggested to Karađorđe that a good majority of one of the sacks of potatoes should be planted, and explained how they are cultivated. By 1808, there were enough potatoes to be shared among the Serbs and eaten, but many peasants, emboldened by the words of their local clergy figures (who looked upon the potato as if it were deceitful like the Catholics), refused to even accept it, even after being sentenced to a public whipping by Karađorđe. It was only after the obor-knezes, heads of several villages (above the village head), were punished too that the peasants planted the potato, though only because they were punished in the first place. The potato would be accepted by the people over the next decade or two (though there is a story of Dositej personally convincing Miloš Obrenović that the potato wasn't a devil's seed due to it appearing to have "eyes", referring to the spots where the seedlings sprout from, only being convinced after its degustation), and by 1855, a cook book by a Serbian hieromonk would mention potatoes as an ordinary foodstuff.

And since he brought the potatoes in from Zemun, he referred to them as the Germans of the region did - grundbirne - which is why, just like the Croats, Serbs refer to the potato as "krompir".
That is a very interesting story! I'm curious as to why the potato was so vilified in Serbia and other parts of Europe. Obviously, it is a foreign food but it has become such a staple of the modern diet that it is hard to belief something like this was an issue back in the 1700's and early 1800's.
 
Thank you, I'm glad you like it.

I'm pretty sure it is a legend, based solely on its similarities to other potato stories, but every source on Kapodistrias, that I have found at least, mentions the introduction of potatoes to Greece as one of his accolades so I included it. There is also a real practical reason for this. Greece, as I'm sure you know, is a relatively mountainous country, and much of the soil in the region isn't very conductive for growing vast amounts of crops. The areas that were good for growing were mostly owned by the the church, the magnates, or the Turks, leaving smaller Greek farmers to farm on a pittance of good arable land. The Greeks also lacked modern farming tools for much of the 19th century, the American Consul to Athens wrote that he saw the wooden plow in use in Greece as late as 1889 and until the early 20th century, in many cases they didn't use any form of crop rotations or fertilizers to help with farming as well.

Potatoes resolve a lot of the issues farmers had in Greece. They were high density crops that would be grown in the relatively poor quality soil of Greece with even the most rudimentary farming tools. They are also a very cheap food to buy for the people of an impoverished country like Greece and they are high in vital nutrients.


That is a very interesting story! I'm curious as to why the potato was so vilified in Serbia and other parts of Europe. Obviously, it is a foreign food but it has become such a staple of the modern diet that it is hard to belief something like this was an issue back in the 1700's and early 1800's.

I've always thought it had something to do with the fact that, when potatoes first began to be introduced to Europe, they were thought to be poisonous. Several plants related to the potato do produce poison and the potato, before it began to be bred for consumption, was too.

I might be mistaken, however
 
I've always thought it had something to do with the fact that, when potatoes first began to be introduced to Europe, they were thought to be poisonous. Several plants related to the potato do produce poison and the potato, before it began to be bred for consumption, was too.

I might be mistaken, however
IIRC, England tried importing them, and the queen at the time had them served.

Cook though, made a slight error, served the eyes, and people were disgusted by the taste.
 
IIRC, England tried importing them, and the queen at the time had them served.

Cook though, made a slight error, served the eyes, and people were disgusted by the taste.

I've heard that story as well - about the court of Elizabeth I. And the potato sprouts were said to have given the court a bad case of indigestion.

Personally - and I have no evidence to back this up - the story kinda smacks of legend to my ears.

But, potatoes are of the nightshade family, which may well have caused some people to think twice about eating the amazingly, wonderful things! :)
 
Part 20: Akkerman or War
Part 20: Akkerman or War

550px-BilhorodDnistrovskyy_Akkerman3.JPG

Akkerman Castle, Site of the Conference of Akkerman

On the 2nd of March 1826, a British vessel arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia. Aboard was the victor of Waterloo, the First Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. Wellington had been sent to Russia officially to congratulate the new Tsar Nicholas on his ascension to the throne, but his visit included a far more important task. Nicholas’ brother, the previous Tsar Alexander I had been in extensive negotiations with the British government over the plight of the Greeks in their war against the Ottomans.

Alexander had a long and winding relationship with the Sublime Porte since the war began in 1821. Tsar Alexander was initially opposed to the rebellion of the Greeks, ruthlessly denouncing the actions of his former friend and Aide de Camp, Alexander Ypsilantis when he invaded the Danubian Principalities, sparking the war.[1] The Tsar even had the Phanariot’s name struck from every record of officers in the Russian Army and barred him refuge in Russia henceforth. His stance quickly changed following the murder of the Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V and the massacre of Constantinople’s Greek populace in April. In response to this, Russia severed all ties to the Porte, recalled its diplomats, and threatened to support the Greeks in their war against them alongside the “Whole of Christendom” unless the Porte acquiesced to Russia’s demands for the autonomy of the Greeks. Unfortunately for Alexander and the Greeks, the Quintuple Alliance was decidedly against intervention, nor was the Whole of Christendom for that matter. With no external support, Alexander was forced to back away from war.

His second clash with the Ottomans over the Greeks came in the Winter of 1824 when he proposed hosting a congress of the Quintuple Alliance along with the Ottomans and representatives of the Greeks to reach an amiable conclusion to the conflict. By this time, Alexander intended to establish Greece as three separate Principalities comprising the Morea, Eastern Rumelia, and Western Rumelia.[2] While they would receive more autonomy under Alexander’s proposal, they would remain tied to the Ottoman Empire as vassal states. Despite their continued failures to defeat the Greeks over three years of bitter and bloody war, the Ottoman Foreign Minister Reis Effendi immediately rejected the proposal in a scathing rebuke, one which allegedly made him blue in the face and pass out from exhaustion. While the Greeks were inclined to attend the conference, Alexander’s terms were leaked to them resulting in a public outcry from the Greeks and their immediate refusal to attend as well. Without the involvement of the Greeks or the Ottomans, the British promptly refused to attend the Congress as well and by December 1824, the effort was well and fully dead when Metternich and Talleyrand of France refused to cooperate with the Tsar.

By 1825, Britain’s stance towards Greece had begun to change as news from the East emerged in British papers. The British people had always been predisposed towards the Greeks as a fellow Christian people, long oppressed by a foreign power. The tales of Lord Byron and his adventures captivated the masses and his return to Britain in September was met with wild applause and a hero’s welcome. His return to the House of Lords after more than a decade was not met with such exuberance and he soon left London once again for the continent to rally support for the Greeks. The depravity of Ibrahim Pasha was also equally powerful in moving the British public towards intervention, yet still the British Government resisted any action in Greece, the British Foreign Minister George Canning, however, was open to the idea.

Canning’s predecessor and longtime rival, Lord Castlereagh, had been a staunch opponent of intervention in the Greek War of Independence and along with his ally, the Duke of Wellington, he had frustrated the efforts for official recognition of and support for the Greeks. Castlereagh as the architect behind the Quintuple Alliance and the Congress system strongly opposed any efforts to circumvent its authority much to the aggravation of Tsar Alexander, as he had personally had personally ended the Tsar hopes of intervention in 1821. Relations with Russia had soured under Castlereagh, but with his death in August 1822 and Canning’s reappointment to the office in mid-September of that year, Britain began a slow process of reconciliation towards Russia and the Greek rebels. Despite that, it would take another two and a half years before Britain and Russia fully aligned with one another, and no one was more influential in mending the relations between the British and the Russians than the wife of the Russian Ambassador to Great Britain, Princess Dorothea von Lieven.

238px-George_Canning_by_Richard_Evans_-_detail.jpg
230px-Countesslieven.jpg

Foreign Minister George Canning (Left) and Princess de Lieven (Right)


Princess von Lieven was an incredibly savvy woman, politically sophisticated, and in many ways, she was even more influential than her husband the Ambassador. She had a talent for making even the most discreet men give up their secrets. While visiting family in St. Petersburg during the Summer of 1825, she was hosted by Tsar Alexander and his Foreign Minister Karl Nesselrode on several occasions. The Tsar in his conversations with her revealed his opinions of the war in Greece, his troubles with the Quintuple Alliance, and his desire to pass reforms at home in Russia. Finding the Princess to be trustworthy and capable, the Tsar had Nesselrode entrust her with the private knowledge of his desire to break from the Quintuple Alliance and form a bilateral alliance with Britain to more effectively deal with the Greek War. Before departing for London, Nesselrode also gave the Princess a message meant to be strictly delivered to Canning with utmost secrecy. Upon her return to Britain in October, Princess von Lieven met with Canning in private while he was on holiday in Brighton. She explained the Tsar’s desire to cooperate fully with Great Britain towards a peaceful solution in Greece and most importantly, she presented the Tsar’s message to Canning:

“The Court of Russia has positive information that before Ibrahim Pasha’s army was put in motion, an agreement was entered into by the Porte with the Pasha of Egypt, that whatever part of Greece Ibrahim Pasha might conquer should be at his disposal; and that his plan of disposing of his conquest is (and was stated to the Porte to be and has been approved by the Porte) to remove the whole Greek population, carrying them off into slavery in Egypt or elsewhere, and to re-people the country with Egyptians and others of the Mohammedan religion.”

This letter revealed evidence of a clear breach of the Treaty of Kutchuk-Kainardji making Russian intervention inevitable.[3] The delivery of the letter was clearly a ploy meant to drag Britain along as well, as they could not allow Russia to act alone for whatever reason, humanitarian or otherwise. Whether by choice or by coercion, Canning and the British government were compelled to align with Tsar Alexander and Russia in regard to Greece. Unfortunately, Tsar Alexander fell ill and died on the 1st of December before any further progress could be made towards intervention or mediation. The succession crisis that followed did little to assuage the concerns of the British Government and so it was that when Alexander’s youngest brother, Nicholas took the throne as Tsar, the Duke of Wellington was dispatched to ascertain his stance towards Greece and the Ottomans.

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Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias
Tsar Nicholas was seemingly impartial to the plight of the Greeks, having just surmounted his own rebellion against his rule, and being staunchly conservative in his beliefs certainly did little to ingratiate himself to the rebellious and relatively liberal Greeks. His antagonism towards the Ottomans, however, was clearly on display. In late January, with his enemies at home defeated, and the Ottomans embarrassed once again at Missolonghi, Nicholas issued the Ottomans an ultimatum regarding their illegal occupation of the Danubian Principalities and Serbia. They were to withdraw all their forces from the Principalities, restoring their autonomy, and allow locally elected boyars to serve as the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia, as opposed to Ottoman appointed princes. The Ottomans were also required to reaffirm the Treaty of Bucharest which established Serbia as an autonomous principality under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. Finally, a conference was to be held in Akkerman to formalize the preceding terms and the Porte’s acceptance of those terms in writing. Refusal of these terms would result in a state of war between them.

Despite Ottoman resistance, Nicholas persisted and by the beginning of March they had agreed to attend the conference at Akkerman.[4] With the matter of the Principalities settled for now, the Tsar turned his attention to the Iron Duke and Greece. Nicholas, Nesselrode, and the Ambassador to Great Britain, Prince Christopher Henry von Lieven, negotiated with Duke Wellington and the British Ambassador Lord Strangford to resolve the long-delayed Greek Question. After only a fortnight, they reached an agreement that both Britain and Russia would jointly mediate the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Greeks. The terms to be enforced by the British and Russias were as follows:

· Greece would become a dependency of the Ottoman Empire, paying an agreed annual tribute.

· The Greeks would choose their own governing authorities, but in this choice the Ottoman Empire shall hold influence over the proceedings.

· Greece shall have complete freedom of conscience, of trade, and of internal administration.

· To separate Greeks from Turks, the Greeks would acquire all Turkish property in Greece.

· If mediation was rejected by the Ottoman Empire, these proposals would form the basis of intervention by Russia and Britain either jointly or separately.

· The future extent of Greece shall be settled at a later date.

· Neither Russia nor Britain would seek for herself territorial gains, exclusive influence or commercial advantage from the mediation.

· Austria, France, and Prussia would be invited confidentially to guarantee, with Russia, the final arrangement, but Britain will not be part to this guarantee.

These terms were intended to give something to both the Ottomans and the Greeks, but in truth neither party favored them. The Protocol also signaled the end of the Quintuple Alliance after barely more than a decade as the two strongest members of the alliance broke its very principles to achieve their own interests. Metternich denounced the measure as a renunciation of the order and authority they had worked so hard to reestablished after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, that it recognized the legitimacy of rebels and that any solution in the Balkans would require war. Austria and Metternich were clearly against the measure yet, surprisingly, they refrained from rejecting involvement in it completely. Instead, Metternich attempted to kill the proposal by muddying the waters, they released confusing statements, outrights lies and half-truths to anyone who would listen. Suffice to say, their efforts didn’t work.

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Klemens von Metternich, State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire

Prussia, despite being the furthest from the conflict and having the lowest interest in the region, announced its tepid support for the Protocol, but also revealed that it lacked little means of supporting or enforcing it. France was clearly interested in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire and its environs and it was certainly invested in the region as it was the primary supplier and trainer of the Egyptian army and navy which were currently assailing Greece. Their interests logically extended to Greece itself. In April 1825, the French General Roche landed in Nafplion to promote the potential candidacy of the Duke of Nemours as the future King of Greece, should they win their independence.[5] The General’s mission quickly met with difficulty as the rising influence of the British in Greece, the so called English Party, came to take hold of many the Greek magnates and notables ending their hopes of a French King for Greece. With their independent intrigues in Greece a failure, the French slowly began to align with the British and Russian initiative to mediate the end to the war. By the end of August, the French government also came out in support of the Protocol and signed as a full partner to Britain and Russia in the subsequent Treaty of London in July of the next year.

The Porte’s reaction was not as graceful. When they learned of the Protocol of St. Petersburg in the Fall, the Ottomans, as they had done before in 1824, immediately rejected the offer of mediation by the British and Russians. Having already been slighted by the Russians earlier that year, the Conference of Akkerman had proven to be little more than a farce. There was no negotiation of terms, nor any semblance of it as they were forced to capitulate to each of Tsar Nicholas’ demands, it was clear that the Conference was a production meant solely to humiliate the Porte and that accepting the mediation put forth by this Protocol would only result in further disgrace and dishonor. They would not accept, they could not accept, and so the answer once again was a firm no. Akkerman had made it so any future proposal would end in the same manner.

The Greek response to the Protocol of St. Petersburg was more nuanced, choosing to delay their response until the Ottomans had announced their opposition, they then announced their own tentative support for mediation. Though they disagreed with many of the terms, specifically remaining subject to the Porte and the uncertainties regarding territory, they viewed them as starting points from which they could advance from. They also recognized they were in desperate need for help, Missolonghi had fallen, Nafpaktos and Salona were under siege, and Ibrahim had returned to the Morea, albeit greatly weakened. Despite their past victories, they could not hope to fight the Ottomans forever. Fortunately for them, the Ottoman rejection of the Protocol had made the intervention of the Powers an inevitability, one that was now just a matter of time. They only needed to survive until they arrived.

Next Time: Perseverance on Troubled Tides


[1] Alexander was a colonel in the Russian army as commander of the 1st Hussars brigade. He served with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars. In the battle of Dresden, he lost his right arm to a cannon ball, but continued to fight despite his injury, earning him the respect of Tsar Alexander.

[2] This territory would correspond roughly to the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, and most of Epirus. In addition to Serbia and the Danubian Principalities, Russia would have 6 satellites in the Balkans, which was a very concerning prospect for the other members of the Quintuple Alliance.

[3] The truth is Russia didn’t have any evidence of the Barbarization Project beyond what was already common knowledge. Ibrahim and the Ottoman government also denied any such intentions to do this, although they keenly refused to issue these denials in writing. Regardless, both here and in OTL, Canning and much of the British government believes it to be true.

[4] Akkerman, modern day Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, is a port city located on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine near its border with Moldova. In 1826, Akkerman was under Russian control, and the decision to host the conference in Russian territory as opposed to neutral territory was clearly meant to humiliate the Ottomans.

[5] The Duke of Nemours, OTL King Louis Philippe, was indeed promoted as the French candidate for Greece during the war although it didn’t get very far both in OTL and in TTL.
 
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Like what? A tribute and the ability to maybe select leaders, assuming the Greeks didn't bitch and moan again about being "mistreated"?
Pretty much, yeah. Those terms are basically the same terms proposed in OTL. Obviously they weren't perfect but they were supposed to be a medium between full independence, which the Greeks wanted, and the return to the status quo ante bellum, which the Ottomans wanted.
 
Pretty much, yeah. Those terms are basically the same terms proposed in OTL. Obviously they weren't perfect but they were supposed to be a medium between full independence, which the Greeks wanted, and the return to the status quo ante bellum, which the Ottomans wanted.
I just don't see why the Ottoman's would accept that deal. They basically get nothing.
 
I just don't see why the Ottoman's would accept that deal. They basically get nothing.

Well, it seems to be pretty close to the deal that the Ottomans would eventually take to maintain control of Serbia. They would still maintain nominal control over Greece, profit from it, and have some say over the leadership. They also end a very destructive and prolonged war and would, effectively, get to cut Egypt out of the settlement.

Now, that being said, the Ottomans would probably agree with you, considering they rejected it. The European powers might have made the offer being pretty sure of the Ottoman's rejection.
 
I just don't see why the Ottoman's would accept that deal. They basically get nothing.
Honestly, the Ottomans have no reason to accept that treaty as they are currently "winning" the war at this point. The only thing the Protocol does is establish a framework for future intervention by the Powers, intervention that at the earliest will happen in the second half of 1827. Their thinking, is that if they can destroy the Greek state before the Powers arrive, then they remove the very reason for their intervention, and at the very least they can limit their losses by continuing the war against the Greeks, or so they think. In OTL they actually came very close to doing this before Navarino ruined everything for them.

That said, the Great Powers aren't exactly honest brokers here either. Russia obviously is against the Ottoman Empire and has no qualms about going to war with them on behalf of their fellow Eastern Orthodox brethren. The rejection of the Protocol of St. Petersburg, and later the Treaty of Akkerman in the Fall of 1827 provided them with just the casus belli that they were waiting for, resulting in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828/29. Britain, while certainly not as openly hostile towards the Ottomans as the Russians are, still have a lot of public sympathy for the Greeks and by 1825/26 they were clearly in alignment with them in most regards. Britain is acting primarily to limit Russia, while protecting the Greeks at the same time. France is involved primarily because they want a seat at the table when the war ends.
 
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