Greek War of Independence 1821 in Art 

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The Battle of Valtetsi (Greek : Μάχη του Βαλτετσίου) was fought on May 12 (O.S.), 1821 in Valtetsi between the Ottoman army and Greek revolutionaries.

Background

The Greek War of Independence officially broke out on March 25, 1821. The city of Tripoli in Arcadia, central Peloponnesus, became a prime objective of the Greek revolutionary army.

Only the warlike Maniots were experts in the art of battle. Besides them, klephtes who lived in mountains, as well as the armatoloi, who had for centuries been hired by the local Turkish authorities initially to guard the mountain passes and later for the general keeping of law and order were able to make a coherent force.[3]

During April 1821, the initially small Greek forces in the area were slowly augmented by men from the nearby villages who declared Kolokotronis as Archistratigos, the man for overall command.
Anagnostaras (Anagnostis Papageorgiou) in the Battle of Valtetsi by Peter von Hess

Immediately, he established armed camps near the villages of Levidi, Piana, Chrysovitsi, Vervena and Valtetsi who were former rebel's dens that now became headquarters for the preparation of the siege of the Ottoman stronghold, taking advantage of the absence of Hursid Pasha (governor of Morea) who was leading an expedition against the apostate Ali Pasha of Janina under the Sublime Porte's special command.[4]
Battle

On April 24 (O.S.), 1821, the Ottoman forces of Tripolitsa attacked and put to flight the Greeks based in Valtetsi. The Muslims were then reinforced on May 1 (OS) by 4,000 Albanian under Kâhya Mustafa Bey, the Kehayabey of Hursid Pacha, coming from Argolis.[5][6]

A couple of weeks later, a combined Turkish and Albanian force of 5,000 men, under the command of Kâhya Mustafa Bey, was departed to destroy the Greek positions at Valtetsi on May 24, 1821.[2] Its main section, under Rubi bey, was sent directly to assault the Greek camp now defended by 2,300 revolutionaries.[7]

The defensive strategy was to fortify 4 tower houses in the area following the pyrgospitia Maniot pattern: Kyriakoulis Mavromichalis as field-commander defended the first tower with 120 men. Ilias Mavromichalis was in charge of the second one with 250 men. Ioannis Mavromichalis with 350 men commanded the third tower and the old septuagenary Mitropetrovas with 80 men stayed in the last one.

Rubi bey ordered to storm the place, while a small force was to move behind the village itself to cut off the Greeks' expected retreat to the mountain paths. He demanded the rebels to surrender their weapons but, when refused, began his full assault. The Turkish and Albanian forces managed to capture some positions including the water supply but a fierce resistance obliged them to demand for Kâhya Mustafa's reinforcements.

In the meantime, more Greeks, numbering 700 men, under Theodoros Kolokotronis, arrived and attacked the Ottomans on their flanks weakening their operational power. Once again, another contingent under Dimitrios Plapoutas, made a significant entrance in the battle so as to give vital support to the exhausted rebels, balancing the actions.[7]

Against Ottoman expectations, Greeks maintained their positions as the Ottoman cavalry became useless when trying to attack on rocky slopes. All Turkish and Albanian attacks were repelled and finally Rubi bey ordered retreat which turned into a route after the Greeks abandoned their defensive attitude under the fortified positions and violently counterattacked, completely breaking the enemy lines.

According to an old Maniot folk tradition, when watching the Turkalbanians in retreat Captain Kyriakoulis is said to have shouted:

«Που πας βρε κερατόμπεη, και συ σκυλαρβανίτη; Δεν είν’ της Κόρθος τα χωριά, τ’ Αργίτικα κορίτσια, εδώ το λένε Τρίκορφα, εδώ το λεν’ Βαλτέτσι». [6]

"Where are you going you cuckold Bey, and you Albanian dog ? These are neither the villages of Corinth nor the Argive girls. This place is called Trikorfa, this place is called Valtetsi."

The Greeks achieved a decisive victory and captured two cannons[8] and ammunition.

The battle itself lasted for nearly 24 hours. The casualties were also unexpectedly heavy for the Ottoman army: 600 dead compared to the 150 dead rebels.[9]
Aftermath

The Battle of Valtetsi was the first decisive Greek victory in their struggle for freedom. Its effects were as follows:

It proved that an organized rebel force could face and defeat the Ottoman military machine.
It strengthened the morale and self-confidence of the Greeks, which encouraged them to continue their task to free their homeland.
It proved that real Ottoman control in central Peloponnesus remained within Tripolis' walls.[10]

Kolokotronis, according to his memoirs, said to his compatriots: We must render up thanksgivings for this day, which should be kept holy for ever, as the day upon which our Motherland achieved her freedom.[11]
References

Tony Jaques: Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A Guide to 8,500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-First Century, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, ISBN 0313335397, page 1061.
T. Gordon, History of the Greek Revolution, T1 p. 160
Clogg, Richard "A Concise History of Greece" – Second Edition -pg. 15–17. Cambridge University Press 2002, ISBN 0-521-00479-9
Το Βαλτέτσι στο 1821 (in Greek). valtetsi.org. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
Χρήστος Βλασσόπουλο, Ημερολόγιον του Αγώνος, Εκδοτικός Οίκος Δημητράκου, Αθήνα, 1930, p 36 [1]
http://www.inarcadia.gr/news/arthra/istorika/valtetsi.pdf
Η μάχη του Βαλτετσίου (in Greek). valtetsi.org. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
T. Gordon, History of the Greek Revolution, T1 p. 161
G. Kafentzis. Istoria ton Neoteron Chronon. Athens: Ekdosis Chatzichrisou, 1974.
Stratiki, Poti. To Athanato 1821. Athens: Ekdosis Stratiki, 1990.

Kolokotronis, Theodoros. Memoirs from the Greek War of Independence, 1821–1833. Chicago: Argonaut Publishers, 1969.

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Greek War of Independence (1821–1829)
Background
Ottoman Greece
People

Armatoloi Proestoi Klephts Dionysius the Philosopher Daskalogiannis Panagiotis Benakis Konstantinos Kolokotronis Lambros Katsonis Cosmas of Aetolia Ali Pasha Maniots Phanariots Souliotes Gregory V of Constantinople

Events

Orlov Revolt Souliote War (1803)

Greek Enlightenment
People

Athanasios Christopoulos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Adamantios Korais Eugenios Voulgaris

Organizations

Ellinoglosso Xenodocheio Filiki Eteria
Nikolaos Skoufas Athanasios Tsakalov Emmanuil Xanthos Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos Philomuse Society Society of the Phoenix

Publications

Adelphiki Didaskalia Asma Polemistirion Hellenic Nomarchy Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios Salpisma Polemistirion Thourios or Patriotic hymn

European intervention and
Greek involvement in
the Napoleonic Wars

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca Greek Plan of Catherine the Great Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
Fall of the Republic of Venice Republican French rule in the Ionian Islands Septinsular Republic Greek Legion Imperial French rule in the Ionian Islands Albanian Regiment Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry United States of the Ionian Islands

Ideas

Nationalism Eastern Orthodox Christianity Liberalism Constitutionalism

Events
Sieges

Patras Salona Navarino Livadeia 1st Acropolis Tripolitsa Arta Acrocorinth Nauplia 1st Messolonghi 2nd Messolonghi 3rd Messolonghi 2nd Acropolis

Battles

Kalamata Wallachian uprising Alamana Gravia Valtetsi Doliana Lalas Vasilika Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Trench Peta Dervenakia Karpenisi Greek civil wars Sphacteria Maniaki Lerna Mills Mani Distomo Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Chios expedition Martino Koronisia Petra

Massacres

Constantinople Thessaloniki Navarino Tripolitsa Naousa <a href="MassacreOfSamothrace.html">Samothrace</a> <a href="ChiosMassacre.html">Chios</a> Psara Kasos

Naval conflicts

Eresos Chios Nauplia Samos Andros Sphacteria Gerontas Souda Alexandria Volos Itea Navarino

Ships

Greek sloop Karteria Greek brig Aris

Greek regional councils and statutes

Messenian Senate Directorate of Achaea Peloponnesian Senate Senate of Western Continental Greece Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece Provisional Regime of Crete Military-Political System of Samos

Greek national assemblies

First (Epidaurus) (Executive of 1822) Second (Astros) Third (Troezen) Fourth (Argos) Fifth (Nafplion)

International Conferences,
Treaties and Protocols

Congress of Laibach Congress of Verona Protocol of St. Petersburg (1826) Treaty of London Conference of Poros London Protocol of 1828 London Protocol of 1829 Treaty of Adrianople London Protocol of 1830 London Conference Treaty of Constantinople

Related

Greek expedition to Syria (1825) Russo-Turkish War (1828-29)

Personalities
Greece

Chian Committee Odysseas Androutsos Anagnostaras Markos Botsaris Laskarina Bouboulina Constantin Denis Bourbaki Hatzimichalis Dalianis Kanellos Deligiannis Athanasios Diakos Germanos III of Old Patras Dimitrios Kallergis Athanasios Kanakaris Constantine Kanaris Ioannis Kapodistrias Stamatios Kapsas Panagiotis Karatzas Georgios Karaiskakis Nikolaos Kasomoulis Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis Georgios Kountouriotis Antonios Kriezis Nikolaos Kriezotis Kyprianos of Cyprus Georgios Lassanis Lykourgos Logothetis Andreas Londos Yannis Makriyannis Manto Mavrogenous Alexandros Mavrokordatos Petrobey Mavromichalis Andreas Metaxas Andreas Miaoulis Theodoros Negris Nikitaras Antonis Oikonomou Ioannis Orlandos Papaflessas Dimitrios Papanikolis Emmanouel Pappas Christoforos Perraivos Nikolaos Petimezas Panagiotis Rodios Georgios Sachtouris Georgios Sisinis Iakovos Tombazis Anastasios Tsamados Meletis Vasileiou Demetrios Ypsilantis

Philhellenes

António Figueira d'Almeida Michail Komninos Afentoulief Joseph Balestra Lord Byron François-René de Chateaubriand Richard Church Giuseppe Chiappe Lord Cochrane Vincenzo Gallina Charles Fabvier Thomas Gordon Frank Abney Hastings Carl von Heideck Vasos Mavrovouniotis Johann Jakob Meyer
Ellinika Chronika Karl Normann Maxime Raybaud Giuseppe Rosaroll Santorre di Santa Rosa Friedrich Thiersch Auguste Hilarion Touret German Legion [el] Serbs Olivier Voutier

Moldavia and Wallachia
(Danubian Principalities)

Alexander Ypsilantis Sacred Band Nikolaos Ypsilantis Alexandros Kantakouzinos Georgios Kantakouzinos Athanasios Agrafiotis Giorgakis Olympios Yiannis Pharmakis Dimitrie Macedonski Tudor Vladimirescu Konstantinos Xenokratis Anastasios Manakis Stamatios Kleanthis

Ottoman Empire, Algeria, and Egypt

Sultan Mahmud II Hurshid Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha Ismael Gibraltar Omer Vrioni Kara Mehmet Mahmud Dramali Pasha Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha Reşid Mehmed Pasha Yussuf Pasha Ibrahim Pasha Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi

Britain, France and Russia

George Canning Stratford Canning Edward Codrington Henri de Rigny Lodewijk van Heiden Alexander I of Russia Nicholas I of Russia

Financial aid

London Philhellenic Committee Ludwig I of Bavaria Jean-Gabriel Eynard Lazaros Kountouriotis Ioannis Papafis Georgios Stavros Ioannis Varvakis Rothschild & Co

Morea expedition
Military

Nicolas Joseph Maison Antoine Simon Durrieu Antoine Virgile Schneider Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély Camille Alphonse Trézel

Scientific

Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Léon-Jean-Joseph Dubois Pierre Peytier Stamatis Voulgaris Guillaume-Abel Blouet Gabriel Bibron Prosper Baccuet Eugène Emmanuel Amaury Duval Pierre-Narcisse Guérin Charles Lenormant Edgar Quinet

Historians/Memoirists

Dimitrios Ainian Fotis Chrysanthopoulos Ioannis Filimon George Finlay Ambrosios Frantzis Konstantinos Metaxas Panoutsos Notaras Panagiotis Papatsonis Anastasios Polyzoidis Georgios Tertsetis Spyridon Trikoupis

Art

Eugène Delacroix Louis Dupré Peter von Hess Victor Hugo François Pouqueville Alexander Pushkin Karl Krazeisen Andreas Kalvos Dionysios Solomos Theodoros Vryzakis Hellas The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi Le siège de Corinthe The Massacre at Chios The Free Besieged Hymn to Liberty The Archipelago on Fire Loukis Laras The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos

Remembrance

25 March (Independence Day) Hymn to Liberty Eleftheria i thanatos Pedion tou Areos Propylaea (Munich) Garden of Heroes (Missolonghi) Royal Phalanx Evzones (Presidential Guard)

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