Battle of Peta

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The Battle of Peta (Greek Η μάχη του Πέτα) - not to be confused with the Battle of Petra - was fought in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Prelude

The president of the executive, Alexandros Mavrokordatos, left the Peloponnese with several troops of an army organised by Dimitrios Ypsilantis and travelled north. His aim was to relieve the besieged people of Souli in Epirus. In the beginning of June 1822, his army of 3,000 men arrived in Peta - now in Arta prefecture.

A force of 1,500 Greeks tried to enter Souli on June 21. They were repelled by the Turks and forced to retreat to Peta. At this point many Greek kapetanei tried to persuade Mavrokordatos to retreat to higher, more defensible ground. Mavrokordatos refused.

On July 3, Kutahye pasha sent a force of 1,000 to nearby Komboti to test the defenders. His force was repelled (see Battle of Komboti).

The battle

The next day, July 4, 1822, the main Greek force of 2,000 men - including many philhellenes - was attacked at their camp, in Peta, by a force of 8,000 Turks under the command of Kutahye pasha himself. The Greeks initially repelled the Turkish attacks until some 80 men came upon them from the rear. The result was a total rout in which nearly 70 philhellenes were killed.

The aftermath

The consequences of the Battle of Peta were significant: Mavrokordatos and his chief in command, Markos Botsaris, were forced to flee to the south.

Souli had to sue for peace while the road to Mesolonghi was laid open for the Turkish army.