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Kolokotronis

Theodoros Kolokotronis the General of the Greek war of Indipendence

Theodoros Kolokotronis was a legendary figure who acted during the National Liberation Struggle of 1821. He was born in Ramavouni of Messinia in 1770. He was orphaned at the age of 10 in 1780. From a very young age, only 15 years old, he joined the Zacharia federation starting a course which was to make him one of the most important protagonists of the Greek Revolution. He gave his first great battles with Androutsos, Odysseus’ father, helping him to cross to Central Greece. He already stood out from these battles due to his military skills. After the conquest of the Ionian Islands by Napoleon in 1797, the liberation movement intensified and he was on the front lines. He escaped the siege of the Turks in Xerokerpini and took refuge in Zakynthos in 1805. However, he returned to Mani, where he faced the unquenchable hatred of the Turks and the Protestants and was absolved by the Patriarch. In 1806, twenty-eight members of his family were exterminated by the betrayal of the monastery of Aimyalon, where they had found refuge. He was saved because he did not happen to be in the monastery. So he took refuge in Zakynthos, where he met Kapodistrias, Botsaris and others who had also taken refuge in the Ionian Islands due to their persecution by Ali Pasha.

He developed action and formed the first Greek fleet consisting of 70 ships. This fleet operated from 1807 to 1808, when it stopped after the intervention of the Patriarchate. Then, Kolokotronis collaborated with Ali Farmakis making plans for the liberation of the Peloponnese. From 1810 to 1816 he served in the English army in Zakynthos and at the same time studied the history of Greece. In 1816 he resigned and became a livestock trader to survive. In 1818 he became a member of the Friendly Society.

In 1821 he left Zakynthos for the Peloponnese. He took military action and carried out his first military victories, such as the occupation of Kalamata in March 1821, the occupation of Valtetsi on March 12-13, 1821, the fall of Tripoli on September 26, 1821. The first Greek government proclaimed him Commander-in-Chief of all forces of the Peloponnese.

In 1823-1825 civil strife broke out between the pro-government politicians on the one hand and the warlords on the other. Then his son Panos was killed and he was confined to the monastery of Profitis Ilias in Hydra. Eventually, however, he was released to face Ibrahim, who had landed in Moria, thus managing to keep the Revolution alive.