The Battle of Navarino (Greece)

May 27, 2010 in Blogs, Crusing

The Battle of Navarino (Greece)

 

On shore the streets of Pilos were decorated with triangular pennants of British, French and Russian flags to commemorate the Battle of Navarino. In July of 1827, the Treaty of London provided that Greece should be autonomous, “but under the control of the Turks”, as the Greeks had been waging their War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire which had dominated Greece for the past few centuries. The Greeks agreed to the treaty, but the Turks did not. The main Turkish/Egyptian fleet was at anchor in the Bay of Navarinon, 89 ships with 2450 guns, anchored in a three quarter semi circle, effectively controlling the entrance. The combined British/French/Russian fleet under the senior admiral, British Admiral Codrington, with only 26 ships and 1270 guns entered the bay “peacefully”, with bands playing and gun ports half open, but prepared for battle, and anchored in the middle of the Turkish/Egyptian fleet. It is claimed that an Egyptian ship opened fire first and the battle ensued. All ships were at anchor, but the European gun crews were more efficient in the heat of “the bloody and destructive battle”, destroying the larger enemy fleet. Even though Admiral Codrington was given wide powers of discretion in “policing” the treaty, England expressed regret over the incident, while the French fleet mopped up any remaining opposition in the Peloponessos, paving the way for Greek independence. In the bay there are three memorials, to each of the nations involved. At the entrance to the bay on Nisos Pilos is the French memorial, in the middle of the bay on Nisos Khelonisi is the British, and in town is the Russian memorial commemorating this battle.