First siege of Mesolonghi

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The First siege of Mesolonghi took place in 1822 during the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Background

After the Battle of Peta on July 4, 1822, Ottoman forces, under Kutahye Pasha, marched south towards the Greek stronghold of Mesolonghi where President of the Executive, Alexandros Mavrokordatos, and Chief in Command, Markos Botsaris had sought refuge along with the remnants of the army that had fought at Peta.

On October 10, forces under Omer Vrioni joined Kutahye's troops. A united Ottoman army of some 7,000 men then marched on Mesolonghi arriving there on October 24. Meanwhile, a squadron of ships, under Yusuf Pasha, blockaded the city by sea.

Mesolonghi was defended by Alexandros Mavrokordatos, Markos Botsaris and Souliote Kitsos Tzavelas along with a small force of some 380 men.

The siege

Initially, Omer Vrioni tried to negotiate terms of surrender with Botsaris. The latter used the time hoping for reinforcements from the Peloponnese. The reinforcements arrived on November 8, breaking through the blockade, and negotiations broke off.

Omer Vrioni decided to attack on December 25, hoping the defenders would be at church rather than their positions. His plans however, had been betrayed to the Greeks who were well-prepared and repelled the assault. Afterwards, Greeks outside the walls also attacked the Ottoman forces inflicting further casualties.

On December 31, 1822, the Ottomans ended their siege. The remnants of their army arrived in Amfilochia on February 21, 1823 and, from there, retreated to Epirus.