Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1780 – 1827)
Karaiskakis is one of the most renowned figures of the Greek War of Independence. He was known by the nickname “son of the nun” and was originally a klepht serving in Ali Pasha’s courtyard in Ioannina. With the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, Karaiskakis partook actively in the war as General of the Army in Central Greece, becoming Lieutenant General and ultimately Field Marshal.
Karaiskakis’ operations for the liberation of Greece began in 1820 when he fought together with Ali Pasha against the Turkish forces in Ioannina. One year later he hoisted the flag in Tzoumerca thus spreading the message of the revolution in the neighbouring villages. In 1822 he became captain of the Agrapha. He and his men occupied the lands of Agrinion where they gave a fierce battle against the Turkish forces who sought to descend to Central Greece. The following 2 years he got involved in the Civil War.
In 1825 he fought in Agrapha with an army of 3000 men and in 126 he was appointed General of the Army in Central Greece. He led his army, this time consisting of 680 men in the Siege of Acropolis where he fought with the utmost bravery together with Nikolaos Kriezotis, Ioannis Gouras, Charles Fabvier and Ioannis Makriyannis. In the same year he fought victoriously in the Battle of Arachova and reclaimed the surrounding lands. From the 2000 Turkish soldiers only 300 survived. He then built a pyramid out of the 1500 skulls of Turkish and Albanians he had killed. By 1827 Karaiskakis had liberated all of Central Greece excluding Messolonghi, Vonitsa and Naupaktos.
His unfortunate death in 1827 proved to be detrimental for the war. The Greeks lost the Battle of Analatos and their base in Acropolis. Karaiskakis death was lamented by all Greeks, notably by Theodoros Kolokotronis who, upon being informed of his death, he “sat down and cried like a woman”. Karaiskakis was a genuine patriot described as an intuitive military genius, a valuable asset to the Greek War of Independence who, in spite of having no education at all possessed extraordinary leadership skills. Thanks to him and his army of brave men, the Greek flag waved proudly above the villages of Central Greece once more after nearly 400 years.
- “Karaiskakis, Georgios”. Helios New Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Passas, I. Athens: 1946. Print.
- ”Γ. Καραϊσκάκης: ”Ρώτησα τον μπούτσον μου και μου είπε να μη σε προσκυνήσω””. mixanitouxronou.gr. 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.