Battle of the Lerna Mills
|Battle of the Lerna Mills|
|Part of the Greek War of Independence|
|Greek revolutionaries||Ottoman Egypt|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Ioannis Makrygiannis Demetrios Ypsilantis Konstantinos Mavromichalis||Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt|
|350 soldiers||5000 soldiers|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of the Lerna Mills was fought on June 24, 1825 in Lerna, Greece between the Egyptian forces of Ibrahim Pasha and Greek forces led by Captain Ioannis Makrygiannis, Demetrios Ypsilantis and Konstantinos Mavromichalis.
After the Greek army (led by Theodoros Kolokotronis) fled to Karitena, Ibrahim's forces captured Tripolitsa, which was completely abandoned. Immediately afterwards, Ibrahim sent 5000 soldiers to the plains of Argos in order to seize Nafplion. When Ibrahim's forces reached the mills of Lerna on June 24, Captain Makrygiannis and Mavromichalis organized a resistance force containing 350 Greek soldiers (Walter Alison Phillips places the number at 250). Prince Demetrios Ypsilantis and several philhellenes volunteered in the defense of the garrison.
Protecting Lerna was vital since the mills contained large quantities of grain that supplied food to Nafplion. The mills of Lerna were surrounded by a stone wall that was flanked by a deep pond and a marsh. Moreover, the garrison was supported by two gunboats that were anchored a short distance (or "musket-shot distance") from the shore. Unfortunately, the Greeks did not repair a small break in the stone wall. As a result, a small contingent of Arabs exploited this weakness in the defensive structure and attempted to create an entrance by increasing the size of the break. When the Arabs forced themselves through the break, they were prevented from regrouping once they entered the courtyard. Thirteen Arabs were killed by a charge of Greeks and philhellenes led by Makrygiannis. Ultimately, the remaining Arabs in the overall contingent were forced to flee. The Greeks, afterwards, attempted to fill in the gap in the stone wall. Despite the constant reinforcements he received, Ibrahim was aware of the fact that the Greeks were prepared to staunchly defend the Lerna Mills and he eventually retreated to the plains of Argos. From there, Ibrahim took his army to Tripolitsa on June 29, 1825.
- Finlay, pp. 78-79.
- Phillips, p. 179.
- Finlay, George. History of the Greek Revolution. Blackwood and Sons, 1861 (Harvard University).
- Phillips, Walter Alison. The War of Greek Independence, 1821 to 1833. Smith, Elder and Company, 1897 (University of Michigan).