Admiral, Statesman, Hero of the Greek War of Independence (1769 – 1835)
Andreas Vokos Miaoulis was an admiral, statesman and patriot from the island of Hydra and one of the major participants of the Greek War of Independence of 1821. Together with Constantine Kanaris, Laskarina Bouboulina and Antonios Kriezis, he is considered as one of Greece’s most important naval officers of the modern era.
He descended from a wealthy family of ship-owners and was involved with the emporium from a young age. During the Napoleonic Wars, the adventurous Miaoulis increased significantly his wealth by breaking the siege of the Spanish cities by Admiral Lord Nelson and resupplying them. Another one of his accomplishments was the prevention of an Albanian invasion in the island of Hydra.
With the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence, Miaoulis signed a document whereupon he devoted all of his ships and fortune to the war and was appointed captain of the Hydrean fleet. His first clash with the Ottoman fleet was in the Battle of Pylos where he led the Greek naval forces victoriously against the enemy ships. He successfully defeated the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Orei and the Battle of Artemisium.
Following the Destruction of Psara, the Egyptian naval forces sailed from Alexandria with 100 ships, 50.000 sailors and 2500 cannons to Kos, where they merged with the Turkish fleet. Under the command of Andreas Miaoulis, the Greek fleet gathered in the Gerontas bay and battled against the enemy forces in one of the longest battles of the Greek War of Independence. In spite of them being vastly outnumbered, the Greeks won by destroying 27 Ottoman – Egyptian ships and causing massive casualties. The Battle of Gerontas rendered Andreas Miaoulis an admiral comparable to the British ones in terms of skill and military capacity. After his victorious battle, Miaoulis sailed to Methone of Messenia and shipwrecked 23 Egyptian ships; he also confronted the Egyptian fleet in Suda. With his fleet, during the second siege of Mesolonghi, he regularly supplied its citizens with food and firearms, until the final days before the sortie, when it was no longer possible. Throughout the war, he was involved with multiple skirmishes against the Ottoman navy.
Miaoulis’ contribution continued even after the end of the Greek War of Independence. He was assigned by John Kapodistrias with combating piracy in the Aegean archipelagos, a task which he completed successfully. A few years before his death, he was appointed chief of the General Directorate of the Greek navy and inspector of the fleet. He died in 1835 and was buried in Piraeus, next to the tomb of Themistocles.
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