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  • Naval General Service Medal, LM Daniel Hawkins
  • Naval General Service Medal, LM Daniel Hawkins

Item: GB1046

Naval General Service Medal, LM Daniel Hawkins


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Naval General Service Medal, LM Daniel Hawkins

1 Clasp - NAVARINO (DANIEL HAWKINS.). Naming is officially impressed. Board mounted, crisp detail, despite light contact marks and single bruise, in very fine condition. Accompanied by research papers from the National Archives comfirming him on the medal roll. Footnote: The naval Battle of Navarino was fought on October 20, 1827, during the Greek War of Independence (1821-32) in Navarino Bay (modern-day Pylos), on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Ionian Sea. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada consisting of 78 ships was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force of 22 ships. The British force consisted of 7 ships: Asia, Albion and Genoa (on which LM Daniel Hawkins was serving), Glasgow, Cambrian, Dartmouth and Talbot and was complemented by 5 French and 8 Russian ships. It is notable for being the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships. The northern European ships were better armed than their Egyptian and Ottoman opponents and their crews were better trained, contributing to a complete victory. The central factor which precipitated the intervention of the three European Great powers in the Greek conflict were Russia's ambitions to expand in the Black Sea region at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and her emotional support for the fellow-Orthodox Christian Greeks, who had rebelled against their Ottoman overlords in 1821. As Russia's intentions in the region were seen as a major geostrategic threat by the other powers, British and Austro-Hungarian diplomacy aimed at preventing Russian intervention in the hope that the Ottoman government would succeed in suppressing the rebellion. But in late 1825, the accession to the Russian throne of Tasr Nicholas I, who adopted a more aggressive Balkan policy, forced Britain to intervene, for fear that an unrestrained Russia would dismantle the Ottoman Empire altogether and establish Russian hegemony in the Near East. France joined the other two powers in order to restore her leading role in European affairs after her defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. The governments of all three powers were also under intense pressure from their home public opinion to help the Christian Greeks, especially after the invasion of the Peloponnese in 1825 by Ottoman vassal Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt and the atrocities committed by his forces against the indigenous population. The Powers agreed, by the Treaty of London (1827), to force the Ottoman government to grant autonomy within the empire to the Greeks and despatched naval squadrons to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to enforce their policy. The naval battle happened more by accident than by design as a result of a manoeuvre by the Powers' commander-in-chief Admiral Edward Codrington aimed at coercing Ibrahim to obey their instructions. The sinking of the Ottomans' Mediterranean fleet saved the fledgling Greek Republic from collapse. However, it required two more military interventions, by Russia in the form of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-29 and by a French expeditionary force to the Peloponnese to force the withdrawal of Ottoman forces from central and southern Greece and to secure Greek independence. (BCM820)
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