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Honour - NAVARINO 1827


Date - 20-October
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - Greek War of Independence; 1821-29

 
Description The action took place in the Bay of Navarino, off present day Pylos, in the Ionian Sea.

It was fought between a combined British-French-Russian Fleet and a Turkish-Egyptian Fleet.

For some time Greeks part of the ottoman Turkish Empire had revolted against their masters. The situation continued for some years in the area, and piracy against commerce of all nations had increased.

The Turks were trying to re-establish their rule over the Greeks and despatched a Joint Turkish-Egyptian Fleet in support of this. The British, French and Russian ships were there to combat piracy and when the Greeks requested mediation between themselves and the Turks to mediate an end to ongoing bloodshed.

The Turks had anchored in the Bay of Navarino when the British arrived followed by the French and Russians who were under British command, also anchored. Tensions were high but British instructions were that they were only to open fire if they were first fired upon.

The intention was to mediate a treaty between the two warring powers.

Ships boats were plying between and around the anchored ships, when a Turkish ship believing a British boat contained a boarding party, opened musket fire on it, killing one officer and several crew. HMS Dartmouth then opened fire to cover her boats. The French Sirene then opened musket fire and an Egyptian ship returned fire with one cannon shot which struck the Sirene.

This soon developed into a general action for four hours until 1700hrs. By which time the Turkish Fleet had been almost destroyed. Many Turkish ships on being badly damaged or disabled were abandoned by their crew and set fire to, to avoid them being captured. The resulting explosions endangered all nearby ships.

No allied ships was sunk but many were badly damaged.

Navarino was the last major sailing ship-of-the-line, battle. The next major Fleet Battles were between powered ships. Tsushima Strait 1905, between Japan and Russia, and Jutland 1916 between Britain and Germany.

 

 
 
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This page last edited - 18 September, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.