On May 8, 1821, at Gravia Inn, Greek revolutionaries led by Odysseus Androutsos made history by achieving a great victory against Ottoman forces.
In late April 1821, after the defeat of the Greek army in Alamana and the martyric death of Athanasios Diakos, Omer Vrioni and Köse Mehmed’s large army was finally able to march to Salona (Amfissa) and, from there, to the Morea (Peloponnese), to suppress the Revolution.
Greek warlords Androutsos, Dyovouniotis, and Panourgias assembled at Gravia pass, a naturally fortified location that offered strategical advantages, in order to block the Ottoman advance on Salona.
Indeed, on May 7, 1821, Omer Vrioni’s army of 7-8 thousand infantry and about a thousand cavalry soldiers were heading to Gravia from Thermopylae. At the time, there was no consensus among the Greek warlords about which position their defensive forces should hold.
Eventually, Androutsos, together with 120 men, decided to get fortified in an old inn, while Dyovouniotis and Panourgias took their men and assumed positions at the roots of mounts Giona and Parnassus.
On May 8, Omer Vrioni’s army attacked the Greek positions, forcing revolutionaries to disperse on nearby hills. Androutsos and his men remained calm and managed to repel the enemy’s serial attacks throughout the day.
In the early hours of May 9th, Androutsos, seeing that he was running out of ammunition and knowing that the Ottomans were about to have cannons brought to them from Zitouni (Lamia) to bomb the inn, ordered his men to come out of their fort with their swords at hand, break through the Turkish-Albanian lines, and escape to the mountain.
The casualties suffered by the Ottomans were heavy. Over 300 soldiers had been killed and 600 were wounded, while the Greeks had only 6 countrymen dead. The strategic success of the battle was huge. The Greeks managed to block Vrioni’s advance on Peloponnese and facilitated the win of the Greek forces in Valtetsi, strengthening the morale and self-confidence of the revolutionaries. After the battle of Gravia Inn, Omer Vrioni decided to put a halt to his military campaign and retreat to Euboea, where he would later join forces with Köse Mehmed. By halting the advance of Vrioni on Peloponnese, Androutsos gave the Greeks in Peloponnese more time to consolidate their gains.