200 YEARS FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF KASSOS
In 1824, Sultan Mahmud allied with Muhammad Ali of Egypt to suppress the Greek Revolution. Muhammad Ali’s son, Ibrahim, mustered a large expeditionary force and fleet. After putting down the rebellion in Crete, the Egyptians moved against Kassos, a strategically located maritime island that had assisted the Cretans’ revolt. The Greek government was unable to send its fleet due to lack of funds, leaving the island undefended.
On the night of 28 to 29 May, the Egyptians staged a feigned attack on the northern coast of the island, while a small disembarkation force managed to land unobserved at another site. The Kassiots fought heroically but were, inevitably, defeated. A terrible massacre ensued; the island was devastated, over 2,000 people were killed, and an equal number of women and children were enslaved. The destruction of Kassos was one of the most tragic events of the Greek Revolution. Along with the destruction of Psara that followed, it was a serious setback for the Greeks, who now also had to fight a new, mighty enemy.
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