Battle of Gravia Inn
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2010)|
|Battle of Gravia|
|Part of the Greek War of Independence|
The Battle of Gravia Inn by Panagiotis Zographos
|Greek revolutionaries||Ottoman Empire|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Odysseas Androutsos||Omer Vrioni|
|120 men||9,000 troops |
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Gravia Inn (Greek: Μάχη στο Χάνι της Γραβιάς) was fought between Greek revolutionaries and the Ottoman Empire during the Greek War of Independence. The Greek leader, Odysseas Androutsos with a group of 120 men defeated an Ottoman army numbering 9,000 men and artillery under the command of Omer Vrioni.
Following his defeat of the Greeks at the Battle of Alamana and the execution of their leader Athanasios Diakos, the Ottoman army under the command of Omer Vrioni, planned to attack the Peloponnese with an army of 9,000 men. However, his army was met by a Greek group numbering 120 men under the command of Odysseas Androutsos who had barricaded themselves inside an old inn. The Ottoman army surrounded the area and attacked the inn but were thrown back with heavy losses. While the Ottoman army paused their attacks to bring up the cannon, the Greeks slipped away and escaped through the Ottoman lines.
This attack is considered important to the outcome of the Greek revolution because it forced Omer Vrioni to retreat leaving the Greeks to consolidate their gains in the Peloponnese and capture the Ottoman capital of the Peloponnese, Tripoli.
In May 1821, after crushing the Greek resistance at the Battle of Alamana and putting Athanasios Diakos to death, Omer Vrioni headed south into the Peloponnese from his base at Lamia, seeking to crush the Greek rebellion with an army of 9,000 men supported by artillery. However, as he was advancing, a Greek revolutionary soldier, Odysseas Androutsos together with 120 men barricaded himself in an old inn near the centre of the road.
The other two Greek captains that had come with Androutsos, Panourgias and Duovounitis, took their men and assumed higher position on other side of the road. They did this because they assumed that Androutsos' stand would end up a disaster like Alamana and being up high would allow them to retreat. When Vrioni arrived he dispersed his men through the hills and surrounded the inn. He sent a Dervish to negotiate with Androutsos, but when he was shot dead at the door Vrioni ordered the attack.
As soon as Vrioni ordered the attack, a detachment of Albanian soldiers charged the building. As they entered the building they were met by a barrage of gunfire. The Albanians were forced to retreat under heavy fire and suffered many casualties from the concealed Greeks. The following Ottoman attacks also met a barrage of fire and were forced to retreat.
Vrioni, angered by the losses he was suffering, ordered for the cannons to be brought. However Androutsos had guessed Vrioni's intentions and retreated with his men through the Ottoman lines undetected, only leaving behind his six dead countrymen.
The casualties suffered by Vrioni were heavy with 300 soldiers dead and 800 wounded in a couple of hours of fighting. This battle shocked him into uncertainty and he decided to retreat to the island of Euboea, just off the coast of Attica where he would later combine forces with Kioshe Mehmet. The Battle of Gravia was considered to be an important event in the Greek War of Independence. By forcing Vrioni to retreat, Androutsos allowed the Greeks in the Peloponnese to have more time to consolidate their gains as well as to capture the Ottoman capital of the Peloponnese, Tripoli.
- Paroulakis, p. 71.
- Makriyannis' Memoirs, Book 1 Chapter 5
- Paroulakis, pp. 71-72.
- Paroulakis, p. 82.
- Paroulakis, Peter H. (1984). The Greeks: Their Struggle for Independence. Hellenic International Press. ISBN 0-9590894-0-3.
- The Battle of Gravia from Makriyannis' Memoirs in Wikisource