Battle of Gerontas

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The Naval Battle of Gerontas took place near Leros, on August 29, 1824, during the Greek War of Independence, between a Greek fleet consisting of 75 ships and a combined Turkish, Egyptian and Tunisian fleet of some 400 ships.

The Greek fleet was led by admiral Andreas Miaoulis and consisted of ships from Hydra, Spetses and a few from Psara that survived the destruction of that island. The Ottoman fleet was led by Ibrahim Pasha and Hoshref Pasha.


The Ottomans planned to end the Greek War of Independence by destroying the Greek navy and then landing their army in the Peloponnese. As part of this campaign, they destroyed the islands of Kassos on June 7, 1824 and Psara on June 21. The Greeks countered by sending their navy into the southeast Aegean Sea to prevent the destruction of Samos.

The Battle

A Turkish flotilla of 40 war ships under Hoshref Pasha approached Samos on July 17, 1824. It was met by a force of 21 Greek ships which engaged it for a week, forcing its retreat to the south where they awaited reinforcements from the Egyptians.

The Egyptian reinforcements, under admiral Ismail Gibraltar and Ibrahim Pasha himself, arrived on August 19. They consisted of some 400 ships with a total of 2,500 cannons.

On August 22, Andreas Miaoulis arrived to take command of the Greek fleet which had grown to 70 ships with 800 cannons.

The two fleets first engaged in battle on August 24 between Kos and Alicarnassus. The following day was marked by very poor weather which caused the Greek fleet to take refuge in the Gulf of Gerontas.

On August 29, 1824, the main battle was fought between Leros and the coast of Asia Minor. The Greeks, making use of their fireships destroyed some 30 enemy ships and sent the rest fleeing towards Alikarnassos (Bodrum). Many officers were taken prisoner including the commander of the Tunisian fleet. Eventually, the Egyptian fleet retired to Crete while the Turkish fleet returned to the Dardanelles.


The naval battle of Gerontas saved the island of Samos from certain destruction. Furthermore, it delayed the invasion of Peloponnesus by Ibrahim Pasha.