“Ass to ass, Greeks.” The legendary order of Kolokotronis in the famous Battle of Grana, which forced the Turks to a critical defeat
During the siege of Tripoli in 1821, Turkish troops made sudden raids through the city and attacked the Greeks in order to force them to end the siege. However, in May the Turks were defeated at Valtetsi and Doliana. Thus, until August 1821, they avoided leaving Tripoli again.
However, because the Greeks were now close to the city walls, the Turks took the opportunity to come out in small groups and attack the besiegers by surprise, killing or fleeing a few of them.
With these counterattacks, the Turks secured food for Tripoli for its starving inhabitants. Kolokotronis expected that a significant Turkish force would leave Tripoli on its way to Corinth for supply and return to the city. That is why he applied an intelligent technique in order for the Greeks to face the Turkish cavalry. He ordered a large moat to be dug, which was about 700 meters long, one meter deep and two meters wide. He chose to do it in the area of Mytikas which was a narrow point, on the road north of Tripolitsa to Corinth.
The big moat was opened between the hill of the village of Loukas, where the chief Dagres and his men had been fortified, and the village of Bedeni. At that time the moat was called grana – a medieval Greek word – and so this work and the battle that took place there between Greeks and Turks went down in history. It is the famous Battle of Grana. As the old man had predicted, on August 10, 1821 a large body of Turkish cavalry and infantry left Tripoli, led by Kehagiabei, but in the direction of Luke and not Corinth. That is, as the Turks were leaving Tripoli, they would not find the grenade in their path.
But this would happen on their return. Kolokotronis then ordered his men to enter the grenade and wait for the arrival of the enemy forces. In Loukas, the Turks looted and with the loaded rucksacks, they started the way back to Tripoli in the direction of Grana. When they arrived there they realized the presence of the Greeks. Having no other way, the men of Kehayabei tried to pass through the ditch. At the beginning, 300 Turkish horsemen passed, who had no losses, because the Greeks had not managed to fill all the positions. However, about 1,000 cavalrymen along with Kehagiabei remained on the other side of the grenade, which made it difficult for the Greek defenders, as they were fired from two directions. In front of the 300 riders who had passed and behind them by the 1,000 who were following.
Theodoros Kolokotronis. Portrait of Adam Friedel. (Wikipedia)
Then, once again, the almost certain defeat of the Greeks turned into a victory thanks to a tactic immediately applied by Kolokotronis. The old man shouted to his men the slogan “ass to ass”, that is, to fight leaning on each other’s backs. Thus, the Greeks were able to face both threats at the same time, applying, according to Fotakos, “Dizygon Pyr”, which Kolokotronis expressed popularly and understandably to his men. This was a tactic that could be carried out by a well-trained regular army, but which was impeccably applied by the rioters of Kolokotronis.
The Greeks pinned the Turks on either side of the grenade. Fearing that the Greeks would attack the defenseless Tripolitsa, Kehagiabeis ordered his men to go through the grenade, where many were killed. The losses of the Greeks were minimal. The Turks, terrified by the defeat, did not attempt another exit until September 23, 1821, when Tripoli was conquered by the Greeks. According to Kolokotronis, after the Battle of Grana “the Turks no longer left the walls of Tripoli, it was their last time”.
of the historian Konstantinos Lagos
*The article has been translated based on the content of διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!