Navarino Anniversary

The naval Battle of Navarino was one of the most important battles in the Greek War of Independence, that took place on 20th October 1827.  It was on this date that a coalition of European powers defeated the Ottoman Turkish/Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino, off the Peloponnesian peninsula.  The Greek revolution was viewed sympathetically by many European powers, especially France, Britain and Russia, which sent considerable forces to assist the revolt.  Six years after the revolution originally began in 1821, the rebellious but outnumbered Greeks found themselves exhausted, both physically and mentally.  The Ottoman Turks believed that this was the time to crush the Greek rebellion once and for all, gaining support from Egypt, ruled by Muhammad Ali, that was part of the Ottoman Empire.

The presence of an Egyptian navy and army on the European continent provoked outrage and led the great European powers to form an alliance, with the nations of Britain, France and Russia sending naval squadrons to the Ionian Sea.  Their decision to attack the Ottoman fleet at Navarino (modern-day Pylos) was made by British Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, in full consultation with Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece.  Although the Ottoman fleet fired the first shots, the allies' ships were much superior and their guns had longer ranges, and within hours the European forces totally destroyed the Turkish and Egyptian armada.  The defeat was devastating for the Ottomans as they lost control of seas that had been in their possession for centuries.  

The Battle of Navarino in 1827 was the last naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships.  It was the end of an era.  The battle lasted for four hours, resulting in the sinking of sixty Turkish-Egyptian ships . . . the allied fleet did not loose a single ship.

Although the Egyptians already on Greek soil refused to evacuate, French troops landed in Navarino Bay, welcomed by the local Greeks, drove out all the Egyptians by October 1828.  Greece acheived international recognition as a state on 3rd February 1830.