The Greek revolutionaries under Nikitaras defeat the Ottoman Turks at Doliana in Arcadia on May 18, 1821 and seal the great victory at Valtetsi (May 12-13). The siege around Tripolitsa is tightening, according to the strategic plan of Theodoros Kolokotronis.
After the defeat at Valtetsi, the plan of the Turks to advance on Messinia from the road to Megalopolis had failed. Thus, the mourning of Moria Mustafabeis, was forced to reconsider his plan and apply another tactic to compensate for his defeat.
On the night of May 17th, a 2,000-strong army led by Turkalvans set out from Tripoli, heading southeast, towards the village of Rizes. From there, a section headed for Doliana, intending to invade Vervaina from the southeast. Two other divisions marched towards Dragouni and Vervaina. The target of the Turks was mainly the Greek camp of the Bervains, from the dissolution of which they estimated that they could open the way to Argos, Mystras and Messinia.
Nikitaras (Nikitas Stamatelopoulos), according to the plan of Kolokotronis, had passed through Doliana and was heading to Nafplio to besiege the Turks. He was in Agios Ioannis, near Astros, when the inhabitants of Doliana warned him of the Turkish movements and hurried to face the enemy.
With his two hundred soldiers, he was fortified in three stone-built houses, while in other houses and in key positions, the men of the local chiefs Mitromara Athanassiou, Ilias Konstantopoulos, Thodoros Terzakis and Costas Karzis were fortified. Their total number did not exceed 600.
On the morning of May 18, the Turkish attack began with great intensity and Nikitaras, who for the first time assumed the leadership of a military corps, managed to repel the Turks and use two Turkish cannons. At the same time, in neighboring Vervaina, the Turks attacked the Greek camp, which put up excellent resistance and forced them to retreat in the afternoon.
The Greeks chased them to Doliana, where they joined the men of Nikitaras. The enemy was in a difficult position and Mustafabeis left the battlefield at night and returned to Tripoli. The dead were only 50 for the Turks, but the loot that the Greeks gained was a lot. Nikitaras, apart from directing the battle, was also distinguished in sword fighting. For his success he was named Turkophagus.
The joyful news quickly spread to the other war fronts, strengthening the morale of the Greek revolutionaries. On the contrary, all the hopes of the Turks of Moria for the suppression of the revolution turned to the help of eastern Central Greece, which was soon waiting to arrive.
The success of the Greeks in Doliana was praised by the popular poet Panagiotis Callas or Tsopanakos (? – 1826) with the following verses:
The Battle of Doliana or General Nikitaras
The war started again,
And the doom of the Turks.
And in Doliana a click
Where the place was ruined.
Oh hero Nikitaras!
The blood of the Turks boa,
To put down your sword
Your Greek momentum.
You closed with eighty men,
You were not afraid of Turks.
Three thousand you are not afraid,
You cry until Leonidas.
Homeland to honor,
And let us all live for an hour,
The time of glory has come,
Revenge to give,
It puts the Turks forward,
As a shepherd the tragedies,
It hit them with two towers
and all the pockets.
* Pockets = loot
Source: Zougla.gr by www.zougla.gr.
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