Siege of Tripolis

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The Siege of Tripolis was fought during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.

Very early in the war, capturing the city of Tripolis in Arcadia became an objective of Theodoros Kolokotronis on account of the city's strategic location in the middle of Peloponnesus.

The Greeks under the general command of Kolokotronis along with leaders such as Dimitris Plapoutas, Anagnostaras, Nikitaras and Dimitrios Ypsilantis, surrounded Tripolis, setting up camps in Vervena, Doliana, Alonistena and other areas on the Mainalus mountains.

At the time of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, Hursid pasha was the Turkish military governor of the area, however, he had been called away to Epirus to fight against the forces of the Albanian Ali Pasha. Still, Hursid pasha managed to send 4,000 troops, under Mustafa Kehaya Bey, to Peloponnesus to help the besieged. Kehaya Bey entered Tripolis on May 6, 1821, without resistance from the Greeks, as Kolokotronis preferred to have him inside the city rather than at his back. In the mean time, Turks from surrounding areas also started arriving in Tripolis seeking protection. The city's population swelled to between 30,000 - 35,000 including the soldiers. A shortage of food developed. The Greeks' noose around the city tightened after victorious battles at Doliana and Valtetsi.

The Albanians in the city, under Ahmed Bey, then came to a separate agreement with Kolokotronis and left Tripolis under escort of Dimitris Plapoutas. The situation was bleak and the Turkish officials met on September 21, 1821, at the Palace (Saray) to discuss the terms they should seek for surrender. However, two days later, as they were doing so, a Greek named Manolis Dounias with two companions, captured one of the towers, turned its cannon upon the Saray and started firing. In the mean time, more Greeks climbed onto the tower using ropes and managed to open two gates from the inside. A fierce battle developed from street to street, house to house. Many houses were thus burned and a merciless slaughter ensued of both armed and unarmed Turks. Kolokotronis managed to save the few remaining Albanians from his troops - as was his agreement with Ahmed Bey - but little else.

This victory was of great significance to the Greek cause as it eliminated the greatest Turkish resistance in Peloponnesus and left the revolutionaries able to consolidate their position in the south of Greece.