One of the most noted incidents of the 1821 Greek war of independence, was the garrison's second heroic defence of Missolonghi, North West Greece, when besieged by the Turkish army for twelve months - April 10, 1825 until April 22 1826.
One of the most noted incidents of the 1821 Greek war of independence, was the garrison's second heroic defence of Missolonghi, North West Greece, when besieged by the Turkish army for twelve months - April 10, 1825 until April 22 1826. To celebrate this great moral victory, Crown Prince Constantine attended anniversary celebrations in the town April 10, 1960, and laid a wreath at the statue of British poet Lord Byron.
Preparing for a systematic suppression of the widespread 1821 uprising, Sultan Mahmud, leader of the occupying Turks, sent two armies southward. One, led by Omar Vrioni, was held in check at the mud ramparts of Missolonghi. The other went on to relieve the gallant Missolonghi garrison, led by guerilla leader Mavrocordato, was still defying Vrioni's advance. Weakened by lack of supplies, Vrioni was forced to abandon the siege and retreat.
In the second siege, again the gallant Missolonghi garrison held out, this time for twelve months. Unfortunately the campaign went against them. Their outlying fortifications were being destroyed one by one until only the main garrison was left. On the night of April 11 1826, they blew up their arsenal, threw the Turks into confusion and many of their number were thus to escape.
Between the two sieges, feuding had broken out between all Greek factions. They could not agree on who should rule the country when the Turks had been defeated. In an attempt to unite the North-West factions, Mavrocordato asked British poet, Lord Byron, to come to Missolonghi and negotiate with opposing parties. Lord Byron - a noted Philhellene and newly elected member of the Greek Committee (A small body of influential British Liberals who had taken up the cause of Greek Liberation) landed at Missolonghi on January 5 1824. During his three month's residence, he advanced large sums of money for troops and reconstruction, and organised large-scale welfare amenities for the populace. Successful in uniting many of the local chieftains, he died there on April 19, 1824. His body is buried in Missolonghi, but his heart was brought home to England.