Battle of Karpenisi

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Battle of Karpenisi
Part of the Greek War of Independence
Marsigli Filippo - The Death of Markos Botsaris - Google Art Project.jpg
The death of Markos Botsaris
by Marsigli Filippo
Date21 August 1823
Location
Result Tactically inconclusive[3]
Belligerents

Greece First Hellenic Republic

Ottoman Empire

Commanders and leaders
Flag of Botsaris.svg Markos Botsaris  Flag of Mahmut Pasha Bushatli - 1796.svg Mustafa Pasha Bushatli[1]
Flag of Mahmut Pasha Bushatli - 1796.svg Djelaledin Bey[4]
Strength
1,200[5] 10,000[5]
Casualties and losses
minimal ~1,000 dead[3]

The Battle of Karpenisi took place near the town of Karpenisi (in Evrytania, central Greece) on the night of 21 August 1823, between units of the Greek revolutionary army[3] and Ottoman troops.

Background[edit]

Markos Botsaris led the attack against the Ottoman camp.

After the Ottoman failures of 1822, the Sultan Mahmud II devised a plan of invading Greece in 1823. An army was destined to invade Peloponnese not by the eastern side of Central Greece, but by its west side and Patras. The leadership of this expedition was taken over by the pasha of Shkodër, Mustafa Bushati. Mustafa assembled his army at Ohrid, and it consisted of 10,000 Albanian mercenaries[1] (according to others there were 8,000 or 13,000).[4][3] During July, the Ottoman forces headed south, but instead of following the direct road, from Ioannina to Missolonghi, they moved diagonally, arrived at Trikala, continued their march through Pindus, and encamped at Karpenisi.[6]

The first resistance against the campaign of Mustafa Pasha was carried out by the Souliote captain Markos Botsaris.[7] The latter moved from Missolonghi to Karpenisi with 350 men. On his way to Karpenisi he persuaded more Greek revolutionaries to follow him, and he eventually managed to muster 1,200 soldiers. His forces, however, were too small to meet Mustafa Pasha’s army in open battle, thus Botsaris convinced the other revolutionaries to assault their opponents’ camp during nighttime. Two days prior to the Greek assault, a unit of spies was sent by Botsaris, which infiltrated and scouted their enemies' positions without being noticed.[5]

Battle[edit]

At midnight of 21 August 1823, Markos Botsaris assaulted the Ottoman camp, believing surprise would secure their victory over Mustafa's larger army. Botsaris’s men, even though they were eventually not supported by the majority of the Greek revolutionaries, managed to cause panic in the Ottoman camp, and inflicted severe casualties. Botsaris himself was wounded in his abdomen, but he continued on guiding his forces. Later, Botsaris raised his head above a walled enclosure in which many of his enemies were fortified, but he was shot dead. His men hided his death and continued the battle until dawn. The revolutionaries eventually retreated without stopping Mustafa Pasha’s expedition, but they looted nearly 700 pistols, 1,000 muskets and a large amount of horses, mules, and sheep. The army of Mustafa had lost 1,000 men while the Greeks had minimal casualties.[5]

Botsaris’s corpse was transferred to Missolonghi, where he was buried with great honors.[8] After the battle of Karpenisi, the Ottoman Albanian forces moved against Missolonghi and besieged it. However, they were finally defeated, and Mustafa Pasha retreated to Albania during December of 1823.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bradford, James C. (2004). International Encyclopedia of Military History. Routledge. ISBN 9781135950330. ...an Ottoman force of 10,000 Albanian mercenaries led by Mustafa Pasha was routed by Markos Botsaris, who was killed in the Battle of Karpenisi (21 August 1823).
  2. ^ ÖRENÇ, Ali Fuat. ALBANIAN SOLDIERS IN THE OTTOMAN ARMY DURING THE GREEK REVOLT AT 1821 (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2021. At this time, Sublime Porte decided to send Mustafa Pasha, the governor (mutasarrıf) of Alexandria to Akarnania and Misolongi with Gheg Albanians, while Omer Pasha, the mutasarrıf of Yanya, had moved for Athens with Tosk Albanians.
  3. ^ a b c d Showalter, Dennis (2013). Imperial Wars 1815–1914. Amber Books. ISBN 9781782741251. Markos Botsaris' band of 450 Greek rebels made a night attack on an Ottoman Army of 13,000 men encamped near Karpenisi. The Greeks inflicted 1000 casualties almost without loss, but retreated...
  4. ^ a b Finlay George, History of the Greek Revolution, volume II, pp. 6–11
  5. ^ a b c d David Brewer,"The Flame of Freedom: The Greek War of Independence, 1821-1833", 2001, pp. 260-261, Publications Patakis (Greek edition)
  6. ^ a b Christopher M. Woodhouse, "The War of Greek Independence", pp. 130-131, 1952, Publications Papadopoulos (Greek edition)
  7. ^ Nikos Giannopoulos, "Markos Botsaris, the absolute exemplar of heroism", Military History, issue 138, 2008, p. 16, Publications Periskopio
  8. ^ David Brewer,"The Flame of Freedom: The Greek War of Independence, 1821-1833", 2001, pp. 261-262, Publications Patakis (Greek edition)

Sources[edit]

  • Paroulakis, Peter Harold. The Greeks: Their Struggle for Independence. Hellenic International Press, 1984. ISBN 0-9590894-0-3.

Coordinates: 39°03′22″N 21°34′20″E / 39.0560°N 21.5723°E / 39.0560; 21.5723