Georges Karaiskakis - Encyclopedia




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GEORGES KARAISKAKIS (1782-1827), leader in the War of Greek Independence, was born at Agrapha in 1782. During the earlier stages of the war he served in the Morea, and had a somewhat discreditable share in the intrigues which divided the Greek leaders. But he showed a sense of the necessity for providing the country with a government, and was a steady supporter of Capo d'Istria. His most honourable services were performed in the middle and later stages of the war. He helped to raise the first siege of Missolonghi in 1823, and did his best to save the town in the second siege in 1826. In that year he commanded the patriot forces in Rumelia, and though he failed to co-operate effectually with other chiefs, or with the foreign sympathizers fighting for the Greeks, he gained some successes against the Turks which were very welcome amid the disasters of the time. He took a share in the unsuccessful attempts to raise the siege of Athens in 1827, and made an effort to prevent the disastrous massacre of the Turkish garrison of fort S Spiridion. He was shot in action on the 4th of May 1827. Finlay speaks of him as a capable partisan leader who had great influence over his men, and describes him as of "middle size, thin, dark-complexioned, with a bright expressive animal eye which indicated gipsy blood." See G. Finlay, History of the Greek Revolution (London, 1861).

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