Presentation on theme: "By George Kyriakopoulos. During the Greek revolutionary war of independence (1821-1832), the Greeks fought for their freedom after 400 years of Turkish."— Presentation transcript:
During the Greek revolutionary war of independence (1821-1832), the Greeks fought for their freedom after 400 years of Turkish occupation. After several years of fighting, the rebel forces were at their weakest when the three Great Powers decided to intervene due to great pressure from the public which was very fond of the Greek ancient culture (but also because of the trade benefits they would receive).
The naval Battle of Navarino was fought on the 20th of October 1827 in Navarino Bay (on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula) in the Ionian Sea. The battle was fought between the three Great Powers of that time (United Kingdom, Kingdom of France and the Russian Empire) against the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptian forces.
The great powers had brought their fleets to Navarino as a demonstration of power and to enforce their policy which was to make the Ottomans grant the Greeks autonomy within the Empire.
The Ottoman fleet was stationed in a three row horseshoe/crescent formation, the front line consisted of heavy boats, battleships and large frigates, the 2 nd line contained the remaining frigates and larger corvettes, the 3rd consisted of the remaining smaller boats. The idea was that the small boats could fire through the gaps in the frontline, whilst being protected by the large boats from Allied attack. On the ends of the horseshoe were stationed corvettes and fire ships. They could be towed by small boats into position covered by the smaller corvettes and shore batteries.
The Allied plan was to anchor in the free water inside the crescent. Codrington's fleet would take up position facing the centre of the Ottoman line and the French and Russian squadrons would face the Ottoman left and right wings. This plan was very risky since it allowed the enemy to surround them. Also the wind was blowing SW which would make it very hard for them to leave if they needed to.
The Great Powers (Britain- France-Russia) The Ottomans and Egyptians Commanders: Admiral Sir Edward CodringtonIbrahim Pasha Admiral Henri de RignyAdmiral Amir Tahir Pasha Admiral Login GeidenAdmiral Capitan Bey Ships: 10 ships of the line3 ships-of-the-line 4 brigs28 brigs 10 frigates17 frigates 2 schooners5 schooners 30 corvettes 5-6 fire ships
The extensive use of fire ships by the Greeks allowed them to counterbalance the Turkish naval superiority in terms of ship size and artillery power. As the small fire ships were much more maneuverable than enemy ships of the line, especially in the coasts of the Aegean Sea where the islands, islets, reefs, gulfs and straits restrained big ships from being easily moved, they were a serious danger for the ships of the Turkish fleet. Many naval battles of the Greek War of Independence were won by the use of fire ships.
The battle was most likely started by accident and not from a direct order from the Ottomans or the Allied forces. As one of the frigates was deploying into the bay with some smaller boats, a fireship was set on fire. As an allied cutter went to tow it to safety, it was met with Ottoman musket fire. The nearby Allied ships opened musket fire on the fireship to provide cover for the crew of the cutter. At this poin,t a French flagship, which was just then entering the bay, opened fire with muskets to support the frigate. This chain reaction spread along the line so that within a short time there was general engagement.
By about half-time in the battle, all Ottoman battleships and most of the large frigates of the 1st line had been destroyed. This left the mass of smaller boats in the 2nd and 3rd lines at the mercy of the Allied battleships, all of which were still operational. During the ensuing massacre, Codrington tried twice to order a ceasefire, but his signals were either invisible because of the thick smoke or ignored in the heat of the battle. Three quarters were sunk: many of them, dismasted but still afloat and reparable, were blown up or set on fire by their own crews to prevent them falling into Allied hands.
Of the entire Ottoman-Egyptian armada of 78 vessels, just 8 remained afloat: 1 dismasted battleship, 2 frigates and 5 corvettes. Ottoman casualties given were approximately 3,000 killed and 1,109 wounded. Allied casualties were given by Codrington as 181 killed, 480 wounded. Several Allied ships were severely damaged: the 3 Russian battleships and three British battleships had to be sent to England for repairs. In fact, given the rough handling all the battleships had endured and the danger from exploding Ottoman vessels, it was a miracle that not a single Allied vessel was sunk.