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25 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ 1821: ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ



ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΑΔΕΡΦΙΑ!

HELLENIC REVOLUTION 1821 - 1829

In 1821, the HELLENES, after nearly 400 years of slavery under the turks decided to take up the arms and fight for their freedom. The 25th March 1821 marks the beginning of the HELLENIC revolution and the 22 March 1829 the day of the creation of the modern HELLENIC state. Below some of the key figures of that revolt are presented:

Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770 - 1834). He came from a family of kleftes and escaped to Zakynthos where he served in the English Army. He returned to Peloponnesos on the eve of the revolution and due to his military experience and knowledge he soon became the leading figure in organising the Greek fighters. He lead the siege of Tripolis and its surrender marked the first success of the HELLENIC revolution. The following year (1822) with his courage, determination, patience and military acumen defeated the army of Dramalis. He was imprisoned by his political opponents but was freed when Ibrahim invaded HELLAS, against whom Kolokotronis applied guerrilla tactics and was able to inflict major blows to his army. Kolokotronis is considered as the most important figure of the HELLENIC revolution.

Georgios Karaiskakis (1782 - 1827). He grew up in poverty and was forced to the mountains as kleftis. He was one of the first to take part in the HELLENIC revolution and his military genius became apparent during the last years of the struggle. He was appointed by the first HELLENIC government as chief marshal of Eastern HELLAS and made Elefsina as his headquarters. Following a clash with the turks at Haidari, he was planning to cut off Kioutachis supplies, during the siege of Acropolis. His initial failures followed two famous victories at Arachova and Distomo. He was killed in a clash with the turks at Faliro. Karaiskakis is considered the second most important military figure of the revolution, after Kolokotronis.

Constantinos Kanaris (1793 - 1877). He came from the island of Psara. He blew up the Turkish armada at Chios and at Tenedos and other turkish ships at Mytilene and Samos (1824). He attempted to burn the turkish ships at the port of Alexandria in order to destroy Mehmet Ali's preparations against HELLAS and failed only due to the fact that at the time the wind was blowing from opposite direction. He became one of the important naval figures of the revolution. With the liberation of HELLAS he became involved with politics opposing king Othon. He served several times as a minister and became prime minister. He was brave, courageous and modest man.

Makriyannis
General Makriyannis was born at Lidoriki, in Eastern HELLAS. When in June 1825, Ibrahim Pasha attacked the mills of Argos with a force of 4,000 foot-soldiers and 600 cavalrymen from his regular army, Mkriyannis, together with Ypsilantis, Mavromichalis and 300 men, defended the position, which commands the approaches to Naples of Romania. They had already repulsed four fierce attacks by Ibrahim when, towards evening, they were reinforced by a detachment of the first regular Greek regiment. Its arrival decided the outcome of the battle and the turko-egyptian forces retreated in great disarray, with heavy casualties. The gallant Makriyannis, who was gravely wounded in the fighting, was invited aboard the French Admiral de Rigny's frigate, where he was received by the admiral.
At the battle of Faliron on the 5th February, 1827, Makriyannis commanded the corps of Athenians, under the orders of General Gordon. He distinguished himself again and again in the defence of his position, by bravery in number of minor engagements.

Laskarina Boumboulina
Yet another heroic woman of the HELLENIC uprising for freedom. Boumboulina came from a rich family from the island of Spetse. This 'Archontissa' (Lady) of Spetse used her wealth to build a navy and became one of the most famous leading figures in the HELLENIC War of Independence. After the success of the revolution in Peloponnesos and Sterea Ellada, the uprising spread in the islands. Spetse was the first of the islands to join the revolution and this was mainly due to Boumboulina's leadership and courage. The example of Spetse was followed by many other islands and therefore the freeing of the Island of Spetse was one of the initial major steps towards victory for the HELLENES. Thereafter Boumboulina, with her fleet took part in many naval battles and dominated the Aegean creating probelms to the, by far superior, turkish fleet.


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