Greek Revolution 1821 (english subs)

Uploaded by neofdoukas on 25.07.2012

For four centuries, Greece is a distant province of the Ottoman Empire.
Its habitants live under the authority of the Sultan, isolated from each other and the rest of the world.
However, only in a few months, they unite and fight side by side.
Poor or rich,farmers,landholders and merchants, everybody is recruited in the struggle.
In 1821, Peloponnese becomes the stronghold of the Greek Revolution.
Right here, the Greek nation, at the top of its voice, defies the Ottoman sovereignty and claims its independence.
This is the story of 1821...
After the fall of Constantinople, in 1453, the Ottoman empire is constantly expanding.
Sultan Mehmed II isn't called Conqueror for no reason. The fall of Constantinople is merely the beginning.
The Ottomans occupy step by step all the Byzantine territories and become the dominant force between Europe and Asia.
Their empire expands from Syria and Egypt to the surroundings of Vienna.
At its north borders, the Azof walls keep the Russians away, while to the south, they control the Aden gulf and the Red Sea.
To the east, the Sultan defines the Caspian Sea, while in the Mediterranean, his conquests go as far as Algeria.
Under his power, all these territories are politically and financially unified in an empire that will last for five centuries.
Even in periods of some peace and prosperity, life in the Ottoman Empire is hard.
Epidemics,floods,droughts,fires, piracy, constant wars..
All these are parts of the everyday life.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a farmer's son from Smyrne, Petros Meggos, is writing:
"The Turkish command is like a snake, I can't find a better comparison.
They exploit any occasion to rip off the Greeks.They rule completely capriciously.
They are anytime able to take your land and property and the Greeks can't claim it back, without laying them open to great danger.
I know many Greeks, whose life was ruined this way.
In court, they are sentenced, without having the opportunity to defend themselves with evidence.
If the penalty is death, they are executed within 24, at most 48, hours.
This is the picture of the Greek peninsula, when in 1770, the Russian brothers Alexey and Teodor Orlov disembark in Mani.
The Orlov brothers dream of a general revolt against the Turks, which will serve the Russian interests.
Two years ago, in 1768, the Sultan has declared war on the Russian Empress Catherine the Great,
who dreams the resurrection of the Byzantine Empire, with Constantinople as its capital.
The Orlov brothers will get in touch with local leaders and clergymen in south Pelopponese and especially here, in Mani.
The Orlov revolt is a great event, which comes from the plans of Catherine the Great to create a satellite kingdom in the area of today Greece.
The Orlov brothers, who are pretty close to the Empress, come up with this idea.
But, it fails, because themselves aren't very sure about what they really want.
The Peloponnese peasants, at the beginning, meet the Russian call with enthusiasm.
It seems to verify some old beliefs for a nation of blond warriors, that will come from the north to liberate Peloponnese from the Muslims.
The Turkish reaction is instant. They recruit a group of Albanian mercenaries in order to strangle the revolt.
In Tripoli, they slaughter three thousand non- combatant Greeks. They are starting to sack all of Peloponnese.
"The Albanians didn't come like men, but like a beast, like fire.
And the human mind can't realise all the blood they brought to the Christians of Pelopponese."
The Orlov brothers finally abandon.
The events in the Greek peninsula start to get interesting, regarding the course of the Greek Revolution, from the time of the Napoleon wars.
At that time, Greek commercial ships are given enough space to act.
As a result, Greeks get in touch with the ideas that are overwhelming western Europe.
Secondly, except from the ideas, money come as well.
However, even the Orlov events, despite their total failure, have contributed in their own way to the Revolution of 1821.
Refugees from Peloponnese spread out in every corner of the Ottoman empire, carrying their experiencies to the Greek-speaking population.
Petros Meggos, later a volunteer in the 1821 struggle, continues in his memoirs:
"I learned a lot for the atrocities of the Turks from my nurse.
When the old revolution took place, she was 8 years old and living in Tripoli.
The city fell and her parents were slaughtered in front of her eyes.
She was brought to Smyrne as a slave.
The Turks and the Greeks could never be friends again. They had harmed each other a lot.
When friends were coming to the village to stay with us, they were often singing.
The songs were saying that the Turks are tyrrants. When will the day come when we will be free again?
It was enough that we were born Greeks and we were seeing the ancient monuments around us.
Everything was telling us that we are better than the Turks."
The oppressive Ottoman rule, the intolerable taxes and the public corruption will bring the Greeks of Peloponnese on the edge of abjection.
Their despair will lead them to a common struggle.
But, in order to achieve the unimaginable, to organise a large scale revolution, the Greeks will first have to take a big step:
dream the existence of an independent state, which would be named Greece.
This is the situation in Greece, fifty years before the outburst of the Revolution.
In this place, in 1770, Theodoros Kolokotronis comes into the world.
Fatherless from the time of the Orlov events, Kolokotronis comes at the age of 15 to the Arcadian mountains to join his uncle's bandit group.
The story of Kolokotronis isn't much different from the other Peloponnese leaders.
It is a constant struggle for survival.
In 1806, after years of persecution, he has lost most of his men and is forced to abandon Peloponnese.
Before Easter,he passes into the island of Zante, that is under Russian control.
There, he gets in touch with a new world.
"The old days, there were men who knew no village one hour away from their own.
They thought that Zante was the most far-away place in the world. The society of men was small.
The French Revolution and Napoleon, in my opinion,made the world open its eyes.
The nations didn't know each other before.
They thought the kings were gods on earth and whatever they did was thought to be well done.
When we were young, there were only a few schools, where we could learn to read and write.
The old notables, who were first among the place, could barely spell their own name.
It wasn't until I went to Zante, that I found out the modern history of Greece."
The belief that Europe is obliged to step in and help the Greeks is spreading out fast in the salons of Paris and Vienna.
The philellenism movement will play its own,decisive part in the years before the 1821.
Before 1800, a French excursionist who travels through the ruined Peloponnese writes for the Greeks:
"These slaves are not ordinary mortals, they are the descendants of the ancient Greeks
and my respect for them makes my feelings for their misery stronger.
However, he sees signs of hope.
The islanders, he writes, are patriots and independent, while the Maniots, just like the ancient Spartans, love both war and freedom.
The European excursionists and intellectuals are actually more interested in Greece than their goverments.
For them, Greece is the birthplace of the European civilisation and has the right and obligation to resist to the barbarity of Asia.
Voltaire himself, born here,in Paris, is a fanatic admirer of ancient Greece.
He believes that the Turks deprived the Greeks of their unique architecture and sculpture, of their poetry and philosophy.
The ideas of Voltaire and the Enlightenment are inspired by the ancient Greek democracy
and will lead to one of the most important events of modern history: the French Revolution.
For some, the message of the new ideas that come from France is pretty clear:
The time for the revolution has come.
One of them, is Rigas Ferraios.
His name remains till today alive, as a forerunner and the first martyr of the Greek Revolution.
Rigas was born in 1757 in ancient Ferres of Thessaly, modern Velestino.
Remarkably educated, he travels to Constantinople, Bucharest and Vienna, where he begins his writing work.
At the age of 27, Rigas publishes his "Thourios".
It is an oath against tyranny, written in the fast and heady rhythm of the Greek folk songs.
"For how long, o brave men, shall we live in the fastnesses? Alone, like lions, in the ridges and the mountains?"
The rebellious "Thourios" isn't simply declamatory, or something sung late at night in the Greek taverns.
It has a vision, that exceeds anything the Greeks have imagined till that day.
"Let's slaughter the wolves that hold our chains and harshly torture both Christians and Turks."
The Revolution, Rigas says, will not just be Greeks against Turks, it will drag and unite all the Balkan nations that suffer from the Ottoman rule.
Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Armenians and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, all of them are equally opressed under the yoke of the Sultan.
The Revolution will be made by the people against tyranny.
Three thousand copies of "Thourios" and other Rigas' texts are printed in Vienna, in order to be sent to every corner of the Balkans.
But Rigas never reaches Greece.
In 1797,by the command of the Sultan, is arrested in Trieste and he is murdered.
During the next two decades, "Thourios" is sung in the entire Greek-Orthodox world, even in the Ottoman capital.
Rigas and the intellectual Adamantios Korais are connected more than anyone else with the first Greek ideas for independence.
However, at the beginning of the 19th century, even the biggest visionaries have no idea on how the independence will come true.
What the Greeks really need right now is somebody to call them to arms.
The first move for the preparation of the Revolution takes place in 1814 in Odessa, Ukraine.
Three young Greek merchants form the "Filiki Eteria" (Society of Friends). They are Nikolaos Skoufas, Emannuel Xanthos and Athanasios Tsakalov.
Three years after its foundation, Filiki Eteria has managed to recruit only 42 members and raise rather poor contributions.
At the end of 1817, the three founders tranfer their headquarters to Constantinople.
The capital of the empire they are trying to subvert is full of Greeks of all classes.
These are the famous documents of Filiki Eteria. In fact, they are the secret identity cards .
They indicate the encoded name of each member. Filiki Eteria is organised according to the masonic lodges of the 18th century.
The codes, the degrees of initiation and the absolute secrecy contribute decisively in its development,
by making it seem bigger and more inviting than it really is.
Besides, its members are growing rumours that some great personality is leading the movement.
When, Alexander Ypsilantis, a distinguished adjutant of the Tsar, finally becomes the head,
Filiki Eteria is counting more than a thousand members.
It embraces a large number of merchants abroad, but most importantly, men of power and status in the Greek peninsula.
"A single Turk shall not be left in Peloponnese, nor in the entire world", folk song,1821
The Uprising
At the end of January, the political and ecclesiastic leaders of Peloponnese meet in secret in order to evaluate the situation.
The meeting takes place in Vostitsa, modern Aigio, at the south shores of the Corinthian gulf.
Bishop Germanos takes immediate control of the meeting.
He believes that the time is not yet suitable for the Revolution, as most of the Greeks have no idea for the upcoming struggle.
Besides, they have no support from foreign powers.
Starting the Revolution now, whould be sheer madness.
However, the doubts of the prudent are not noted.
The march of events in the Greek peninsula is already runaway.
Here, in Peloponnese, the winter of 1820-21 passes in doubt. Both Greeks and Turks are watching in agony the tension in their relation growing fast.
It is said that it was just like the calmness before the storm.
The moment is convenient for great expectations and conspiracies.
To the north, Ali Pasha has just created the ideal diversion.
The Turkish army is heading towards Ioannina to crash his defection.
Peloponnese is left unguarded for the first time.
Kolokotronis arrives in Peloponnese and sends messengers to the entire peninsula.
He gets in touch with the greatest families of Mani, the warlords of central Greece and the notable of the islands.
But the notable are not enough. Kolokotronis knows that if the Revolution is to come true, the plain men must come to arms.
He had no army. He was gathering whoever he could find. Mostly farmers or bodyguards.
The Kolokotronis army were, in fact, agricultural population, they were not any war professionals.
Except from very few officers, such as Kolokotronis, the majority has never seen a European army.
For them, the flags, the uniforms, the parades are a rather funny spectacle.
The Greeks have their own, unorthodox manner of fighting.
Their weapons are a determinative factor.
Their rifle, the kariofyli, is a heavy, awkward weapon, not accurate at all, while the Greek gunpowder is of inferior quality.
Each gunshot takes a lot of preparation and is often dangerous, not only for the enemy, but for themselves as well.
Hence, the moment they pull the trigger, they sometimes even turn their back on the enemy, shooting backwards by the hip.
They prefer to hide behind rocks and around canyons, setting up ambush.
When the battlefield is more open, they build stone barricades so they can take cover.
And when the battle is up, they practice with passion a kind of psychological warfare, shouting threats and heavy swears,
in an attempt to undermine the enemy's morale.
There are times when some Greek gets killed while showing his bottom to the Turks.
In the meantime, many warlords return secretly from exile, while the islanders of Hydra and Spetses recall their ships back to Greece.
In every place, they are raising money, gathering weaponry, making gunpowder and bullets.
The sudden mobilisation in southern Greece doesn't pass unnoticed by the Turks.
They command the population to hand over their weapons and the Greek leaders, notable and clergymen, to come to Tripoli.
Even now, many Greek leaders in Peloponnese, would prefer submission.
Their authority under the Turkish domination has been established, while their benefits from the Revolution remain uncertain.
However, it's too late for them to stand back.
The Greek Revolution finally bursts in different places during the second half of March 1821.
Areopolis, Kalamata, Vostitsa, Kalavryta..
It begins with sporadic acts of violence against the Turkish population and spreads out fast.
During just 10 days, from March 17 till March 26, the Greeks rise up in all of Peloponnese against limited or non-existent Turkish forces.
Almost the same time the Revolution in Peloponnese breaks out, an other military revolt takes place in the north borders of the Ottoman empire.
Alexander Ypsilantis, leader of Filiki Eteria, had dreamed of a general revolution that would begin from the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
Ypsilantis seemed certain for the success of this venture.
He had good knowledge of the area and hoped that both the Tsar and the neighbours -Serbians and Bulgarians- would support him.
His hopes, however, turned out to be false.
Soon it becomes clear that Russia has no intention of invading the Ottoman empire.
Ypsilantis himself is denounced by the Tsar as traitor.
The next strike for Ypsilantis comes from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
On March 23, after the Divine Service, the patriarch Grigorios V excommunicates him.
The reason for his excommunication is to prevent the threatening certain danger of a general massacre of innocent Christians through the empire.
The Patriarchate's statement is straightforward.
The Sultan's authority is set by God and whoever resists it, rises against God's will.
Ypsilantis is condemned.
Isolated and vulnerable by the Danubian banks, stands no chance against the Turkish army.
The only force that still resists is the Sacred Band, a batallion of 500 young Greeks.
Most of them are students in russian, german and italian colleges. They are standing here out of sheer idealism.
They are dressed in black uniforms and their caps are decorated with a skull and cross-bones.
But, their impressive appearence and their self-denial are not enough to balance their inexperience.
Exhausted by a long march under rain, the 500 young soldiers make a staggering rush.
The turkish cavalry falls upon them without giving them time to react.
400 fall dead in the battlefield's mud and the rest of the army falls apart.
Ypsilantis is arrested near the Austrian borders and spends almost the rest of his life in prison.
The Sultan , facing violent revolts in various parts of the empire, is determined to face terror with terror.
It's not the first time he even promotes a plan of total extermination of the entire Greek-Orthodox population.
For the Sultan, it is the Greeks, as a community, who have revolted against him and now, he is determined to punish all the Greeks of the empire.
The Ottomans could not accept that the Greeks would break the cohesion of the empire,
because they were looking forward to the Greeks, as many of them had rised highly in the chain of command of the Ottoman bureaucracy.
It was proved that the Greek case worked as a domino and a model for other nations inside the Ottoman empire,
so the retaliation inflicted by the Ottomans was very violent.
On Easter Day, the patriarch of Constantinople Grigorios is officially accused of participating in the Revolution.
Although the patriarch has already excommunicated Ypsilantis and adresses the Greeks with pleas of submission to the Sultan,
is considered responsible for their behaviour.
The same afternoon, Grigorios is hanged from the Great Gate of the Patriarchate, which from that day remains sealed.
Three days later, his body is dragged through the dirty streets of the city and is finally thrown into the sea.
Thereafter, the Ottoman authorities come after well known Greeks of Constantinople.
State officials, clergymen, noblemen and merchants are executed in public in various points of the city.
But these first executions are merely the beginning.
The Sultan is determined to punish the entire Greek-Orthodox community of the empire.
And this is obvious, nowadays, from the Ottoman records, there was an order to the Ottoman commanders to leave nothing standing.
When the news for the slaughtering of Turks in Peloponnese come, groups of fanatics come down to the streets of Constantinople seeking for revenge.
The massacre spreads out fast to the city suburbs and even further.
In Adrianopolis, in Rhodes, in Kos, in Cyprus, in Smyrne and in other cities of Asia Minor.
Mass arrests and imprisonments in many parts of the empire are next.
Greek communities that lie many kilometres from each other and have no involvement in the Revolution
are completely destructed by this Sultan's terrorism campaign .
In the meantime, the Sultan takes steps to confront the revolt itself in the Greek peninsula.
The military advantage of the Turks is felt immediately.
In Epirus, Macedonia, Thessaly and Pilio, the Revolution gets drowned in bloodshed.
The male prisoners are executed, while the women and children are carried to the slave market of Salonica.
By the end of summer, the Turks have crashed all the stages of the Revolution north of the Corinthian gulf.
However, in Peloponnese, the immediate objects of the Greeks have succeeded.
With important military victories, they have managed to prove that the Revolution isn't going to collapse under the first Turkish counter-attack.
In the sea, there was the famous fleet of Hydra and Spetses, that was letting nothing to pass.
The next Greek object is the capture of Tripoli.
In 1821, Tripoli is the largest city of southern Greece.
The city commander Mustafa is carrying a force of ten thousand men, but he is aware of his isolation.
The coastal forts lie far away and he can't expect the support of the Turkish forces that are moving in north and central Greece.
Around Tripoli, thousands of Greeks are gathering fast on the round bare mountains, ready to attack the city.
The stage for the great siege is already set.
The siege tecnique is simple and age-old.
The Greeks occupy positions around the city,maintaining a safety distance from the range of Turkish cannons,
and make daily dashes for the fort.
A few shots, a lof of swears and shouts, occasional pauses for rest.
In the afternoon heat, you could see both sides sitting and talking for the outcome of the battle or their private affairs, while smoking their pipes.
The night passes in absolute silence.
Then, sometimes you could hear the sounds of a tambourine or a mandolin or the lines of the first martyr of the Revolution, Rigas Ferraios.
In mid September, the besieged Tripoli has submitted to hunger, thirst and disease. Hundreds die each day.
The houses and streets of the city are full of unburied corpses.
On the other side, during the six months the siege has lasted, the Greek soldiers are unpaid.
At last, they are determined to take their share and even more.
On October 5, they get the opportunity they were lusting for.
At the south-east walls of the city, near to the Argos gate, the few Turkish guards of the tower allow a group of Greeks to come closer,
in order to sell them some grapes.
They take advantage and climb over the walls.
When the blue-white cross shows up on the walls of Tripoli, all the Greek forces rush for the city.
Within a few minutes, Tripoli is flooded with Greek troops, determined for plunder and blind manslaughter.
The corpses of the early dead of hunger and diseases left unburied in the streets are now covered with new corpses.
The buried are dug out for their valuable.
More than eight thousand habitants of Tripoli lie dead or carbonized in the ruins.
The British adjutant of Dimitrios Ypsilantis- brother of Alexander- describes the sight in repulsion.
"As Ypsilantis advances slowly in the city streets, everywhere we meet the dreadful view of half-burnt houses and rotten bodies.
There's total confusion, since everyone is doing whatever he likes.
Ypsilantis founds military police, but it's not enough to guard the city gates and the prisoners.
He has some Muslims carry and bury the dead.
But the thousands of rotting bodies have already contaminated the air.
The epidemic has now passed to the conquerors and is spreading out in Peloponnese, mowing down many in its passing.
The Greeks have every reason to feel satisfied. After four centuries, they have defied the Sultan's power.
They have proved themselves in battle and justified their cause.
With God's help, by the end of the next year, their banners will be waving in the walls of Constantinople.
But in reality, Greece's future is dark and uncertain.
Inebriated by their victories in the battlefield, the Greeks are ignoring the heavy clouds that are gathering around them.
Free from the Turkish chains, Pelopponese finds itself in total anarchy.
Armed rebel groups are acting uncontrollable.
Reinforced by their victories, the Peloponnese warlords are scouring southern Greece sacking and looting.
It is natural for us to consider the Greeks of that time as a commonweal.
We suppose that the hatred against the Turks, the bonds of religion and language crush any other differences.
The truth is that the Greek society is divided.
This fact will become pretty clear during the last 1821 weeks, here, in the village of Piada, near ancient Epidavros.
Local leaders from all Greece concentrate here in order to decide the nation's future.
The main object of the national assembly of Epidavros is the composition of a Constitution and the formation of a unique national administration.
Delegations from Peloponnese, central Greece and the Aegean islands arrive.
They meet in a barn at the centre of the village.
The name "Epidavros" provides the right associations.
This is the birthplace of the god of healing Asclepius and the place where the marvellous classical theatre lies.
The assembly signals the beginning of a new administrative structure and the creation of two political parties.
In the party of the politicians, the Phanariotes leaders of central Greece A. Mavrokordatos and Th. Negris are in charge.
It contains the wealthy Peloponnesian notables as well, such as P. Mavromihalis and the islands' leaders, such as G. Kountouriotis from Hydra.
These clearly political leaders have come to Epidavros aiming at organising a single political administration in Greece,
ensuring their own influence and limiting the power of the Peloponnesian warlords.
The warlords,on their turn, form gradually the other party, the military party.
Firstly they unite behind Dimitrios Ypsilantis and afterwards behind Kolokotronis.
The Peloponnesian warlords have the most close relations with the common people where they usually come from.
They are the driving force of the Revolution, but now they foresee that the political leaders are planning to clip their power.
The warlords decide not to participate in the Epidavros assembly.
Kolokotronis ,outraged, says:
"Who are they who came to Greece only yesterday, grabbed power and started giving us orders?
We are not going to free ourselves with the delicate manners and the big words.
By the sword shall we free ourselves."
Within fifteen days, the Constitution of Epidavros has been composed, approved and signed, marking the beginning of the first year of Greece's independence.
January,1, 1822
"In the name of the holy and co-essential and impartible Trinity, the Greek nation declares today its political existence and independence."
The first succesful year of the Revolution, despite leaving the governmnets of the European powers rather impassive, creates a powerful philhellenic movement.
The European writers and artists soon replace the ancient Greeks for the modern ones.
For the public opinion, the war between Greeks and Turks has something exotic, picturesque and especially romantic.
But this war has an impact in Europe for another reason: It represents the struggle of the civilised world versus the barbarians.
Of Christianity versus Islam.
The Greeks are considered as the modern martyrs of Christianity and are glorified as protectors of the cross.
This message has a special effect on romantic young men in Europe.
A young doctor from Mannheim is saying that that the call for help drove through him like a voltage discharge.
A Danish student is writing:
" How could a man eager to fight for freedom and justice find a better place than by the side of the opressed Greeks?"
But, the summer of 1822, an other incident will leave the entire world speachless and refresh the interest of the West for the Greek fighters.
That spring, a fleet from Samos makes his appearence outside Chios.
Its mission is to persuade the Chians to join the Revolution.
The Sultan's reaction is instant.
Kapudan Pasha Kara Ali is commanded to get to Chios with a powerful fleet.
The Sultan's orders for the punishment of his enslaved subjects anticipate:
the killing of all men over 12, all women over 40 and the selling of the rest as slaves.
At the sight of the Turkish fleet, the Samians abandon the island to its fate.
A 15- year old man who survived the massacre remembers:
The Turkish captains were sitting in the village square. There, they were bringing the Christians,all tied, and were decapitating them.
The babies were thrown to the air and pierced with swords.
The Ottoman commander of Chios, Vahit Ali, pays his soldiers for every chopped ear, tongue or head.
Within just a week, he sends two cargos with amputee members to the Palace.
After sacking the town, the invaders rush in the countryside.
On Easter Day, three thousand refugees have found shelter in Saint-Menas monastery.
The monastery is burnt down by the Turks. Everybody is dead.
An other two thousand civilians are slaughtered here, in Nea Moni.
Their bones, marked by the Turkish swords and axes, witness today, almost 190 years later, the atrocity of that moment.
In May, admiral Andreas Miaoulis arrives to help.
He is heading a united Greek fleet of 56 war ships and 8 fire ships.
But, the great sea battle never happens.
However, Konstantinos Kanaris succeeds in torching the Turkish flagship.
When the fire reaches the powder magazine, the flagship blows up in the air.
Out of 2.286 crew members, only 180 survive.
The loss of their flagship drives the Turks to a last act of retaliation against the Chians civilians.
The final death toll is dreadful.
Out of the 100 thousand Greeks of Chios, 25 thousands get killed and 45 thousands are enslaved.
Chios looks like an endless deserted slaughterhouse.
Among the Greek sailors that witnessed the massacre of Chios is the volunteer from Smyrne Petros Meggos:
"I was on one of the boats that approached the land and I saw things I will never forget.
The sea was like glass.
Looking down to the bottom, somewhere near the coast, I saw 500 of these ill-fated beings.
They had drowned themselves in order to escape their persecutors."
In 1824, in the Paris Salon, the French painter Eugene Delacroix exhibits a painting under the title "The Massacre of Chios".
The painting excites the public opinion the same way the television screens are doing it today.
The foreign goverments gradually change their attitude.
The Greek demand for independence starts to be treated as just.
In the summer of 1822, the Turkish army is moving south, from Lamia to Peloponnese.
It is a vast force.
The largest army that has made its appearence in Greece for more than a century.
It is numbered between twenty and thirty thousand men, many times bigger than the Greek army.
The man appointed to lead this huge force to Peloponnese is Mahmut, known as Dramali Pasha.
While the Turkish position is much stronger than a year before, the Greeks are weaker, due to intense dissension between their leaders.
The upcoming danger finds Greece completely unprepared.
From Theves and Corinth to south Peloponnese, the Greeks have total control, but they do nothing to repair the forts they have captured.
Instead of preparing the resistance against the huge Sultan's summer campaign,
every political and military leader of Greece is mixed in conflicts and conspiracies to displace each other.
On July 5, 1822, Dramali Pasha's army crosses the Sperchios river and sacks Theves.
In the impressive fort of Acrocorinth by the Corinth Canal, the Greek garrison retreats before the Turkish forces arrive.
In Argos, Dimitrios Ypsilantis, with a few hundreds, stands up heroicly, but the city acropolis is captured.
Within a month and with the lowest losses, Dramali Pasha has led his vast army into the heartland of the rebelled Greece
and brought the collapse of the Greek administration.
His final target is the complete submission of Peloponnese by the capture of Tripoli.
He will face only one obstacle: Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Kolokotronis aims at halting Dramali Pasha's march from Argos to Tripoli.
He decides to trap him in the Argos valley.
The land doesn't favour the huge Turkish cavalry.
Full of vineyards, creeks, canyons and mountain passes, it is ideal for the local marksmen.
Seeing the road to Tripoli closed, Dramali Pasha is obliged to retreat to Corinth.
Dramali Pasha chooses to retreat in the most direct way: through the pass of Dervenakia.
In this deep canyon, Kolokotronis is waiting for him.
"At dawn, after sunrise, the soldiers came to the set position, but before the counting was over,
the Turks started entering the pass of Dervenakia.
Then, the captain spoke to encourage them.
"Greeks", he said,"this day we are born and this day we shall die for the salvation of our country and of ours.
Today fortune favours our homeland and we shall be victors.
Today you shall take rich spoils.
Tomorrow,by this hour, I will be seeing all of you with Turkish weapons, on their horses, dressed in their clothes.
God is on our side"
"All his flags were put at the top of the mountain, where the captains' horses and himself were, so the enemy could see them.
The captain had his binocular and was watching the Turks going into the public road of Dervenakia."
When the Turkish phalanx found itself deep in the canyon, Kolokotronis gave the word
and the Greeks opened fire from the high rocks they were hiding.
"We can't describe the grieving and shouting of the Turks.
The Turks immediately turned their backs and out of their big hurry, they were leaving all their stuff behind.
Their horses and several loads: coffee, beans, screw nuts and others.
The sick Turks, when the Greeks rushed them, covered their eyes with their hands, so they wouldn't see what's going on.
Because the Greeks started killing them.
During our passing by the coomb at night, our horses were stepping on dead bodies
and on men lying down everywhere groaning and dying out.
And the injured were shaking all over and writhing in agony."
This is the situation when the philellenists ask Lord Byron to intermediate the reassurance of money from London.
Byron accepts in enthusiasm and on August 3,1823, arrives at the island of Cephalonia.
This is not his first time in the Greek ancient grounds.
Back in 1810, he visited Epirus and Athens, the only places where he said he ever felt satisfied.
The 35-years old Byron is already famous in the West for the publishing of his poems and his tempestuous personal life.
Lord Byron realises at once that the Greek struggle is in need for money.
"Cash moves wars", he writes, "like most of things."
But money isn't everything.
From the beginning, Byron acknowledges the fact that the Greek Revolution is not threatened only by the Sultan's military campaigns,
but by the internal conflicts for power as well.
And the rivalry between the two political parties is continuously rising.
Three months after Byron's arrival, the country is already in civil war between Kolokotronis and Mavrokordatos.
"Kolokotronis' house is full of armed guards, just like one of the warlords in the ancient times.
Since we came to Peloponnese, we have heard nobody talking for Mavrokordatos with respect.
Everybody thinks he wants to hand Greece over to the foreign powers.
From what we know, he is a remarkable and noble man, but the people of Peloponnese trust him no more.
Kolokotronis says that Greece needs neither Mavrokordatos nor an English loan.
It can be liberated by its own powers."
Byron writes:" Greece is now facing three options: To gain its freedom,
to become a colony of the European powers or an Ottoman province.
The civil war can only lead to one of the last two alternatives.
If Greece wants to liberate itself, it must do it now.
It won't be given another chance."
Three weeks later, Byron has made his choice.
Instead of Kolokotronis and the Peloponnesian captains, he chooses to co-operate with Mavrokordatos
and with those he calls western Greeks".
However, all of Greece recognises Mavrokordatos' goverment. Army and naval forces obey to its orders
and the national fund is full of English pounds.
It is the end of the civil war and the beginning of the country's European path.
The negatives of this path are visible since then.
The interference of European powers in the country's affairs will become particularly felt in the next hundred years.
And many of what we take for granted today, such as the influential part of England in modern Greek history come from these first years of the Revolution.
The English loans towards Greece determined most importantly this dependence
and led to an insupportable debt that burdened their relations for many generations.
On the other side, it is hard for anyone to imagine what alternative course Greece could follow in 1821.
Without the recognition, the support and the following intervention of the European powers,
Greece might had never gained its independence.
From that point of view, the triumphal arrival of Lord Byron in Missolonghi, in January 1824, is an important landmark in Greek history.
Byron imagines himself as the liberator of the Greeks and dreams of glorious victories in the battlefields.
But, in the next three months, his stay in Missolonghi turns into nightmare.
All the political and military plans he and Mavrokordatos organise, fail.
The huge amounts of money he spends from his own fortune for the creation of an army bring no result.
Byron is going under deep depression.
In addition, the Missolonghi climate proves to be particular heavy and humid, even for a British.
"In comparison with Missolonghi, the dams of Netherlands are deserts in drought.
If the sword doesn't cut us, we will die of malaria in this marsh.
I'm starting to fear that I 've done nothing more than lose time, money, patience and health.
The illness strikes him in April.
The constant exsanguinations and quack remedies he is given will only make his already fragile health even worse.
He dies on April 19, on High Monday.
Two years after the 1821 Revolution, the war seems to be coming to its end.
Greece seems to have gained its independence.
Two large campaigns of the Turkish army in 1822 have failed.
In 1823, not a single Turkish soldier sets foot in Peloponnese.
But, in reality, the Sultan hasn't written Greece off yet.
He knows that if Greece becomes independent, other provinces of the empire will want to follow its example.
The Sultan instantly needs an organised army, capable of annihilating the Revolution.
There is only one man who can help him: Mehmet Ali, Egypt's Pasha.
The last 20 years, Mehmet Ali has created a vast and modern war machine.
It contains a hundred thousand experienced soldiers, armed with the best European weaponry.
The Sultan finds no difficulty in offering a strong motive:
If Mehmet Ali helps him to capture Peloponnese, his son, Ibrahim can become its new Pasha.
In 1825, Greeks are facing the biggest threat so far.
14.000 infantrymen, 2.000 horsemen and 500 artillerymen with 150 cannons disembark in Peloponnese.
It is the mighty Egyptian army of Ibrahim Pasha.
During the summer of 1825, Ibrahim Pasha crosses over Peloponnese undefeated.
The bandit warfare of the Greeks isn't effective against the disciplined and mighty Egyptian army.
The big cities of Navarino, Kalamata, Tripoli and Argos fall one after another.
Ibrahim's next target is Missolonghi.
"Whoever dies today, dies a thousand times", Dionisios Solomos
"The Free Besieged"
At the beginnings of the Revolution, Missolonghi was nothing more than a fishermen village of three thousand habitants.
During the war, it became a major communication centre for Peloponnese and western Greece.
It also managed to withstand two large Turkish sieges, in 1822 and 1823.
Since the outbreak of the Revolution, Missolonghi is the only city north of Peloponnese that remains continuously in Greek hands.
Until the summer of 1825, thousands of refugees from all parts of Greece have found shelter here.
Now, the population has grown four times, reaching at twelve thousand.
What made the capture of Missolonghi always difficult, was its position.
The city is built on a narrow line of land, at the end of an enormous lagoon.
Rich in fish and less than a metre deep, the Missolonghi lagoon has proved to be the best ally against attacks and sieges by the Turks.
No Turkish ship can come close.
On the contrary, the locals know with their eyes shut the small, buoyant canals and passes.
In the moonless nights, when they set out for fishing or breaking the blockade in order to bring supplies back,
the small Greek boats are practically invisible.
In April,1825, Missolonghi is under siege for another time.
Outside the walls, a Turkish force of twenty thousand men is camping.
Resit Pasha, the general who crushed Ali Pasha's revolt four years ago,is in charge.
The Missolonghi defenders are tough and experienced in both battle and siege.
When, in July 1825, the 28-years old Nikolaos Kasomoulis arrives at Missolonghi, he realises at once the difficulties the city defenders are facing.
"While advancing to the crenellations where our leaders were stationed, the bullets were falling like hail,
but no one was bending because of their sing.
Only I was bending, because I thought everything was going to kill me.
Their faces dyed by the gunpowder,blood-stained, their hair dusty,
they looked like they were getting out of some bakery,
blood-stained their clothes, they looked like butchers, ready to butcher again.
Captains, soldiers and civilians, all unrivalled for their patience and fearlessness,
unrivalled for their suffering and effort.
You could compare them with the wildest beasts the moment of the battle against the enemies
and with angels in the relations between them.
Behold the guard's entertainment!
When the battle in the crenellations stops, they bake their own bread,
they have the mortar for making a garlic sauce and in the end, they cook some fish.
Someone here was laughing, another was singing and because the Turks were so close that they could hear,
they were getting into bigger fury.
Resit Pasha, exactly like his predecessors, tries everything in order to break Missolonghi's defence.
Firstly, he tries to open a breach in the walls with his artillery.
But the city guard is already there and pushes his forces away.
The same night, groups of civilians, with women dressed like men among them, carry rocks and repair the day damage.
Changing his tactics, Resit Pasha tries to tunnel his way through the walls and place explosives.
But, the Missolonghi fighters make it before him.
They place explosives themselves, in drains under the Turkish forces and blow them up.
Resit's third effort: He builds an entire hill from where the Turks can shoot over the walls.
However, the Greeks have the answer again.
They build new crenellations, behind the walls.
When the Turks enter the city, they discover that they have been trapped.
The besiegers have turned into besieged.
They retreat with the Missolonghi fighters shooting at them from everywhere,even the kids are stoning them.
Resit Pasha has lost.
With his army weaker by losses, diseases and defections, Resit retires leaving only a few troops in the trenches.
1825 is a year of triumph for Missolonghi.
Soldiers and civilians believe that their suffering has ended.
But they are mistaken.
After ruining Peloponnese, Ibrahim's army crosses through the Corinthian gulf.
In early January of 1826, the Egyptian fleet anchors outside the Missolonghi lagoon.
The moment of its arrival is described in the local newspaper "Greek chronicle",
published in the besieged city by the Swiss philellenist Johann Jakob Meyer.
"Domestic news: Missolonghi, 3rd of February.
Opposite to our walls today, someone can see a camp equal to that of king Xerxes.
Flags of various colours are waving in the air and we are hearing the sound of drums and the military music of the instructed hordes.
More than forty fiery mouths are throwing up our death again.
14th of February.
The barbarians continue to bombard the city. Four women were dismembered by the discharge of these thunders.
Two men had the same misfortune and two other were injured.
19th of the same month.
The enemy repeated their firing during all night.
They insist in multiplying their crenellations and advancing."
At this point, the publishing of the newspaper is permanently terminated
as a Turkish bomb destroys the printing office.
During the next three days, an estimated 8.000 bombshells fall upon Missolonghi.
In the city walls, civilians are fighting in the most dangerous crenellations, next to the soldiers.
For another time, Missolonghi has standed.
But Ibrahim Pasha is determined.
It has been clear that the besieged will bend only in one way: hunger.
This means blockading the lagoon.
Ibrahim is carrying the right weapon.
A fleet of 82 small boats without keel enters the swallow waters of the lagoon.
Five large rafts with 36 pound cannons are following.
At once they attack the small islands that have the key to the entire lagoon.
Anatoliko, Vasiladi, Dolmas and Poros fall after a day of heroic resistance.
Missolonghi's thread of life seems to be cut.
The situation in the besieged city worsens very fast.
Nikolaos Kasomoulis writes:
"Late February, many families started to lack bread.
A committee was appointed in order to write down and gather all the flour found in every house.
It will be rationed fairly to everybody, civilian or soldier, old or young.
Day by day, as the hunger grows, the prevention of eating unclean animals fell.
They started,almost immediately, to butcher horses, mules and donkeys.
The colleague of the typographer mister Mesteneas, sitting in our house, ate a cat.
Doctor Agiomavritis cooked his dog in oil.
He was praising his meal for being the most tasty.
The soldiers are now grabbing any dog or cat they find in the street.
Three days passed and we went short of these animals too.
By March 15 we started eating pikralithra, a sea grass.
We boil it five times to lose the bitterness.
We eat it with oil and vinegar, like a salad, and with a crab juice.
Unfortunately, frogs have we not.
A man from Kravara cut meat from a dead man's thigh and ate it."
Until April, malnutrition and diseases have brought the Missolonghi people on the verge of abjection.
The surrender of the city is now a matter of time.
But the Missolonghi people make a desperate decision:
they decide to attempt a sortie in order to escape to the near-by mountains.
They choose the night of Lazarus Saturday, on April,10,1826.
The association is clear: Lazarus was dead and returned to life.
They hope the same for Missolonghi.
The Italian doctor Nuzzo Mauro who is outside the city walls, describes the night of the sortie.
"Dead silence lies within the walls of Missolonghi.
The shouts and provoking swears have stopped, the blast flashes and the cannon booms too.
The city gives the impression of a heap of ruins to the outside, without any living beings inside.
On the sea side, a dark and impenetrable forest of enemy ships.
The deadly bronze cannons of the besiegers hane been silenced,as if a secret agreement has been made."
Nikolaos Kasomoulis narrates what followed:
"The decision was issued and the news spread out to all the classes.
You could see a race for preparations, made with so much calmness,as if nobody was thinking that they might actually die.
It dawned and what could you see then!
All the couples were heading to the set bridge like lambs, in total silence.
They decided to make the children drink poppy at the time of the sortie, so they would sleep and not cry.
Many women got dressed like men and took arms and you couldn't tell them from the men by the way they walked.
The fathers, with the swords in one hand, the rifle hung by the strap from their shoulder
and in the other hand holding some kid of them or their wifes were advancing.
All the captains and soldiers went to say goodbye to our injured or ill comrads and family.
Everybody was wishing "Until we meet again in the other world".
After kissing the soil of Missolonghi, we left in tears a place that seemed paradise to us
and in which we were leaving so many alive heros behind, despite the fact that we were not aware of our own fate too.
The moon is ten days old.
The cloud that covered the moon fell apart, as if by the Ibrahim's prayers to God.
We were notified by those in front of us to get ready because they were going to rush.
We got ready and with one voice "Upon them!" "Go get them!"
You could hear nothing but the sound of swords and falchions as in a slaughterhouse.
Within the rush and ebullition of fire, a voice was heard, I don't know how,
saying "Back, go back brothers".
Then the Arabs were given the chance to get out of the trenches and hit the column of civilians on the bridge.
All the families with women and children retreated, some to the city interior and others to the wall canal.
Everywhere in the city, you could hear the sound of women shouting, of gunshots and blasts,
a confused, indescribable, dreadful sound.
The city looked like a lighted kiln because of the unstoppable fire."
Two years after the Missolonghi sortie, the captains of western Greece send this report to the Greek goverment.
It is the record of the names who took part in the sortie and of their later fate.
"Varvara, servant of Andreas Kalogeras. Eleni, her grandmother.
Karatzogiannis D. and L. : Died fighting during the Missolonghi guard sortie.
Vasiliki, wife of Kitsos Tzavellas from Agrinio: The night of the sortie, she went out armed with her husband.
She was pregnant and with two young children. She threw one at the enemy, so she could fight.
Rokaidis Chronis: Died fighting in the island of Vasiladi.
His sons, Giorgos and Mitsos, were killed during the sortie.
His daughters, Anna and Prasia, killed during the sortie.
His third daughter, Tsantini, along with her mother, Stavroula, were captured and tranfered to Egypt.
Barlabani Eleni: Was captured in the night of the sortie, tranfered to Egypt and has not given any sign of life since.
Advancing through the Peloponnesian valleys, Ibrahim Pasha is ruining everything.
The unarmed civilians are slaughtered, the villages are destroyed.
The survivors try to protect themselves in isolated caves, in the Peloponnesian mountains.
Kolokotronis' first leutenant is writing in his memoirs:
"The entire Peloponnese was covered with Turks.
We had hidden our wifes and children into holes at the top of rocks and mountains."
In Messinia, Ibrahim pursues a scorched earth policy.
The orders issued by his adjutant are clear:
"By the command of His Highness our Master, I have come here to cut off, burn and annihilate all your trees,
those useful and necessary for your food.
Retire from insurrections and come to bend."
Now the Sultan has every reason to be satisfied.
With the capture of Missolonghi, another important Greek city has fallen.
But in reality the fall of Missolonghi obtains much larger meaning.
In the next few months, the Missolonghi tragedy makes the European public opinion rise in protest.
A torrent of poems, songs, essays and plays overflows the European capitals.
In Paris, protests take place, while in Bavaria money for the support of the Greeks is raised.
In the French and English parliaments, speeches for the bravery of the Missolonghi fighters are made.
Having the European powers clearly moving towards the imposition of a solution in Greece,
the Sultan decides to move fast.
After the capture of Missolonghi, he controls western Greece.
In order to secure his domination above Peloponnese, one fort remains:
Resit Pasha arrives in Athens with 7.000 men and 800 horsemen.
It is difficult for anyone today to imagine Athens of that time.
In 1826, it's nothing but a small village on the Acropolis and its feet, Plaka.
With few habitants, it is a mixture of ancient remains, small houses and Muslim mosques.
Around Athens there are empty, open valleys with some olive groves.
What impresses Resit Pasha the most is the Acropolis itself.
In a letter to the Sultan, he writes:
"The Acropolis of Athens, as Your Highness does know, was built in the ancient times on a high steep hill.
It contains so many ancient monuments and so many philosophers have visited it, that educated Europeans admire it the most.
All the nations of infidels worship it as a sacred place and consider it their property.
Now, they have conspired and are helping one each other, so it will never fall in our hands.
I pledge my word to conquer it within two months, with Allah's help and the prayers of our Emperor."
In mid August, Resit controls all of Athens, except the Acropolis.
The Greek garrison will stand through the next winter.
While the Acropolis is being besieged, the Greeks are divided again.
They entrust the army and navy command to two British officers,
hoping they can organise a large counter-attack against the Turks.
However, everything goes the wrong way.
In a disorderly and without co-ordination venture for the capture of Athens,
the Greek troops spread out in the open valley between the sea and the Acropolis.
This way they are an easy target for Resit's cavalry.
1500 are killed right on the spot and the rest 8000 retreat.
The Acropolis garrison capitulates on June,5,1827
In 1827, the future of the Greeks seems more and more dark and uncertain.
The Revolution is on the verge of an inglorious end.
For six years, the Greeks are beating the Sultan's army, repelling his fleet and capturing cities and forts, defying his power.
But now, everything change.
The Greeks are counting one defeat after another by Ibrahim Pasha.
They are starting to lose their energy.
Greeks and Turks will never again be able to live together, this is certain.
And many Greeks are shuddering at the thought of their nation being on the verge of extinction.
Under these circumstances, the Greek leaders offer the state leadership to a politician with great influence in the West:
Ioannis Kapodistrias
His placing in the position of the Governor of Greece has great advantages for the Greeks.
His reputation is international and he has access in the highest levels of European goverments.
His longtime absence from the country means that he is not bound with any personal frienship or political debt to any Greek leader.
For the European powers, Kapodistrias is the only man who can keep this country united.
For the Greeks, he is their only hope to gain definitive support from the West.
After George Canning's call , who is the British Secretary of state, England, France and Russia sign the London protocol, in June 1827.
The secret protocol articles prescribe that these three countries will enter into commercial relations with Greece
which will enjoy a status of autonomy from the Sultan.
Greece and Turkey must negotiate a truce within a month.
If not, the great powers will step in.
For Kapodistrias, this is certainly good news.
He knows that Turkey will reject any suggestion for truce.
The west intervention is certain.
But now, a new hazard is beginning to threaten the existence of Greece: famine.
Its last money and food reserves have run out.
In many areas, cultivation has stopped a long time ago.
The cities are ruined.
Thousands of refugees have flooded the country in the last five years.
Then, in September 7, the Turkish fleet anchors in the gulf of Navarino .
100 ships, 15.000 men and hundreds of cannons.
Among with Ibrahim Pasha's army, it is vast power.
Everything shows that the Revolution is breathing its last.
But in one day, everything will change.
Here in Navarino, the stage for the last and most definitive battle of the war will be set.
On October 20, the fleets of England, France and Russia take positions.
Their orders are not to attack the Ottoman fleet, but to force it to depart.
However, the orders the admirals are given are so contradictory and the rival weaponry so big that make the conflict look inevitable.
An unplanned shot by an Egyptian corvette hits the French flagship.
This is enough to lead to a general engagement.
At once, the gulf's calmness gets lost in the noise of cannonade
and a pall of smoke covers Navarino.
Never again a sea battle between anchored fleets exchanging close range cannonade has occured.
The allies, despite their numerical handicap, have the advantage.
They are experienced enough to turn their ships around the anchor's rope in order to aim with accurancy.
They shoot hundreds of tons of missiles.
The noise is so thunderous that many men lose their hearing.
Soon the sea is full of burning hulks from which thousands of men are hanging without any help.
The battle is over.
The Ottomans have lost 60 of their 90 ships and 8.000 men.
These four dramatical hours are enough to change the fate of Greece.
Five months ago, the capture of Athens by the Turks seemed to be the gravestone on Greek hopes.
After Navarino, their independence is certain.
The news from Navarino bring Kapodistrias' arrival in Greece faster.
His welcome is universal and full of enthusiasm.
Kapodistrias himself will speak about his welcome in the Aigina cathedral:
"Women with ruffled hair were shouting " Long live our Governor, our saviour, our liberator!"
Men with battle wounds, orphans half-naked brought down from the caves...
The soil was wet by tears.
The myrtles and the bays of the bedight street were wet, from the shore to the church.
My knees were shaking.
The people's voices were breaking my heart.
Women dressed in black and old men were asking me to raise up their dead.
Mothers were showing me their children on their breast telling me to feed them
and that they are left with nothing but them and me."
While Kapodistrias is feverishly working to improve the situation in the country, the allies meet in London.
In February,3,1830, England, France and Russia sign the official establishment of the independent Greek state.
They form a special form of custody for Greece.
All the important decisions, such as the specification of the borders and the the choice for the new leader will be taken by the allies.
The Greek state's future is decided without the Greeks,
which confirms the European intention to play a leading part in Greek affairs.
And the irony is that this weird form of custody was promoted by the Greeks themselves.
The moment he sets foot in Greece, Kapodistrias finds only the peasants and tradesmen worthy of his protection.
He clearly states that from now on his goverment will act only to their interest.
On the contrary, he distrusts the leaders of the Revolution.
In his regard, they have failed to unite in the common struggle.
Warlords, local leaders and politicians, all of them are opressing the people to their own interest.
They have been involved in civil wars for a long time and have ruined the country.
Soon Kapodistrias has to face, except the open criticism on behalf of his enemies, three armed revolts.
The first in Mani by P. Mavromihalis.
The second in the island of Hydra by Kountouriotis.
The third by central Greece warlords, supported by Mavrokordatos.
All of them have-more or less- the same demands:
More local autonomy and compensations for their participation in the Revolution.
Kapodistrias could easily say that everyone but the people is against him.
The people's support is important for the country's Governor, but not enough.
The time of judgement has come.
Kapodistrias asks the Russian admiral Richord to support him in putting down the revolts, by negotiations or violence.
His meeting with rebel Mavromihalis brings no result.
Three days later, Mavromihalis' brother and son are waiting for Kapodistrias outside Saint-Spyridon church in Nafplion.
The moment he steps out, the first stabs him and the second shoots him in the head.
One of the assassins is killed right on the spot by Kapodistrias' escort.
The other is arrested and executed two weeks later.
The news of Kapodistrias' assassination spreads out impressively fast.
The shepards are shouting from one top of the mountain to another:
"Brothers, secure your flocks. The Governor, our father, is killed"
The friends and critics of Kapodistrias surely don't forget one thing.
Greece owes him its first borders.
One year after his assassination, the allies decide that the country will no longer be confined to Peloponnese and the Cyclades islands.
Now, it extends from Amvrakikos to Euvoikos gulf, from Arta to Volos.
In parallel, the allies end the lack of governance by proclaiming the Kingdom of Greece.
In May 1832, they give the crown to the 16-year old prince Otto of Bavaria.
During the next century, many of the former confrontations will be repeated.
Anarchy against order, high national ambitions without the power to be fulfilled, dependence on foreign powers
and resentment against the rotation between their generosity and arrogance.
However, the day of Otto's arrival, the Greeks have every right to be proud of what they have accomplished.
They have brought the first cracks in the previously mighty Ottoman empire.
They have gained their independence as a nation-state.
They have every right to celebrate the birth of modern Greece.