In 1827, on this day a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada won a decisive victory at the naval Battle of Navarino.
Turkish and Egyptian victory at the Battle of NavarinoThe destruction of an Allied force of British, French and Russian sailing ships was the climatic ending of determined attempts to save the fledgling Greek Republic from collapse. The Powers had agreed, by the Treaty of London (1827), to force the Ottoman government to grant the Greeks autonomy within the empire and despatched naval squadrons to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to enforce their policy.
But the military disaster was due to an unforced error by the Allied commander-in-chief, Admiral Edward Codrington who had aimed at coercing the Ottoman commander to obey Allied instructions. The news of Navarino made Codrington a scoundrel in the eyes of the general British public. And of course in Whitehall, senior naval and diplomatic echelons were appalled by the outcome of his campaign. It was considered that Codrington had grossly exceeded his instructions by provoking a showdown with the Ottoman fleet, and that his actions had gravely compromised the Porte's ability to resist Russian encroachment. At a social event, King George IV was reported as referring to the battle as "this untoward (i.e., undesirable) event".