1827 - The Battle of Navarin


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1827 The Battle of Navarin 475

sea, the dragoman not having returned, and both admirals having the fullest confidence in the honour of Ibrahim. The Dartmouth was left to watch the Turkish fleet, and Sir Edward Codrington, having despatched some of his ships to Malta for supplies, shaped a course for Zante in the Asia.

On the 2d of October the Dartmouth was seen in the offing, and communicated the intelligence that a strong division of the Turkish fleet had weighed from Navarin, and were standing to the north-west towards Patras. Immediately the Asia, Talbot, and Zebra weighed, joined the Dartmouth, and soon came in sight of the Turkish squadron, consisting of 47 sail, amongst which were two double-banked frigates, one large frigate, seven brigs, and eight corvettes. The English squadron ranged up alongside, and the ships of both nations hove to. Sir Edward Codrington sent Captain Spencer, of the Talbot, to complain of this breach of faith, this sudden and unexpected violation of the treaty, and to make known the admiral's determination to fire into the first ship that might attempt to pass the Asia's broadside. The Turkish commander, Petrona Bey, replied that he was acting in obedience to the pacha's orders, and added that he was under the impression that Sir Edward Codrington had given Ibrahim leave to send a squadron to Lepanto. He then sent Reala Bey, the second in command, on board the Asia, to remonstrate, but without any effect; and when Reala Bey returned to his own ship, the Asia filled her main topsail, and fired a gun, on which the whole fleet stood towards Navarin. Some of the smaller vessels evinced a disposition to pass the English ships, but in this they were thwarted. Sir Edward Codrington's squadron kept in their rear until they were all clear of the gulf of Lepanto, but no sooner had both divisions arrived at the south end of Zante, than the English ships made sail, and passed ahead of the Turkish squadron, in order to look out for some assistance.

On the morning of the 3d of October the Turkish squadron were joined by 15 more ships, two having flags at the main, the whole under the command of Ibrahim Pacha, who came in sight round the north point of Zante ; on his making a signal with a gun, the first division bore up to join him. Sir Edward Codrington immediately made the signal to prepare for action, and bore up also. A communication now took place between Ibrahim Pacha and the vice-admiral commanding the first detachment, after which the Ottoman fleet, in obedience to a signal from their chief, made sail for Navarin, although the wind was fair for Patras. The Asia and Talbot anchored in the entrance of the bay of Zante, in order to obtain coals, water, and other supplies of which they were much in want, the Dartmouth being desired to watch the Ottoman fleet.

The next morning the Dartmouth communicated that several of the Turkish ships had again sailed towards Patras. The

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